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Besides tencent and GoWesty, who rebuilds WBXers?
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climberjohn
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Joined: January 11, 2005
Posts: 1840
Location: Portland Orygun
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is does not answer the OP's actual question, but . . .

With some determination, you may well be able to buy a used running engine, and see it run (virtually or in person) before you buy it.

If you can find someone doing a swap of some sort who has a running engine, ask them to shoot a video and post it to Youtube for you to see.
Seeing the engine revving in the driveway and driving on a flat road at, say, 4,000 RPM can give you a pretty good idea of what it can do. Heck, you can even pay for the seller to do a leakdown and or compression test.

Expect to pay a bit more for this extra documentation, but doing so may give you much greater confidence when buying an engine long distance.

To find someone swapping their engine, post "Running vanagon engine wanted" ads to Craigslist within a radius of where you live.

This does work. I just sold my engine in this very manner to a guy in Missoula MT who will drive to Portland and get it in 2 weeks.

Good luck,
CJ
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Howesight
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Joined: July 02, 2008
Posts: 2597
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to chime in and point out that so far as I could tell, GoWesty's engine problems arose mainly from their stroker engines (2.3 litre and larger) and from using the 1.9 cases for 2.1 and 2.2 engines. The 2.1 and 2.2 engines built from 2.1 cases, IIRC were pretty solid.

Gene Berg used to say, "Who's the best engine builder for your engine? You are!"

That's still a good maxim for many people.

Gene meant that you, as owner, would fit and assemble the high quality parts he sold with the care of someone who wanted it to last. While I do think that there are and were many clumsy or ignorant people who might prove Gene's maxim wrong with their own shortcomings, doing it yourself can definitely help with quality control and saves some money, depending on what tools you already have.

If the bearings and cylinders are within spec, then re-ringing and re-using pistons, honing the cylinders, rebuilding the heads, and using some of Rocky Jennings' rebuilt connecting rods (together with new oil pump, water pump and cam bearings, plus cam upgrade and lifters if you need or want to) can give you excellent life without the full Monty rebuild. Having said that, the cost of the parts to go for the full rebuild would not add that much to the budget.
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