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Idiot book no-no's
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tomfreo
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:18 pm    Post subject: Idiot book no-no's Reply with quote

Browsing the forum I've often come across statements about John Muir's "Idiot Book" along the lines of, e.g.

raygreenwood wrote:
Muir book while interesting and [...] fun [...] has so many items in it that range from poor information to absolute "no-no's".....that I dont recomend it for any beginner.


Muir's book was my first introduction to VW repair and maintenance. I did ok with it for quite a few years before stumping up for the green Bentley.

I'm aware that Muir's recommendation for the 009 mech-only advance distributor is perhaps misguided, and his advice to only static-time engines is not a good suggestion, but can anyone tell me what else you can find in the Muir book that is "poor information" or an "absolute no-no"?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot book no-no's Reply with quote

tomfreo wrote:
Browsing the forum I've often come across statements about John Muir's "Idiot Book" along the lines of, e.g.

raygreenwood wrote:
Muir book while interesting and [...] fun [...] has so many items in it that range from poor information to absolute "no-no's".....that I dont recomend it for any beginner.


Muir's book was my first introduction to VW repair and maintenance. I did ok with it for quite a few years before stumping up for the green Bentley.

I'm aware that Muir's recommendation for the 009 mech-only advance distributor is perhaps misguided, and his advice to only static-time engines is not a good suggestion, but can anyone tell me what else you can find in the Muir book that is "poor information" or an "absolute no-no"?


Timing a 10+ year old DVDA dizzy statically is probably way more accurate/repeatable than timing it dynamically as recommended by VW. FWIW, I can check my timing statically in about 30 seconds with no tools, that is a major plus in my mind.

The Bentley is also not known for being error free. Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:59 pm    Post subject: Idiot book no-no's Reply with quote

His (Muir's) flexible philosophy about repairing/overhauling
all-at-once or as-you-drive-it won't work in the 21st century.
The rarity of knowledge in any given town/county means you leave home for the long drive in top shape, or as close as you can come to it.
There aren't many (any?) Muldoons out there anymore.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot book no-no's Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
tomfreo wrote:
Browsing the forum I've often come across statements about John Muir's "Idiot Book" along the lines of, e.g.

raygreenwood wrote:
Muir book while interesting and [...] fun [...] has so many items in it that range from poor information to absolute "no-no's".....that I dont recomend it for any beginner.


Muir's book was my first introduction to VW repair and maintenance. I did ok with it for quite a few years before stumping up for the green Bentley.

I'm aware that Muir's recommendation for the 009 mech-only advance distributor is perhaps misguided, and his advice to only static-time engines is not a good suggestion, but can anyone tell me what else you can find in the Muir book that is "poor information" or an "absolute no-no"?


Timing a 10+ year old DVDA dizzy statically is probably way more accurate/repeatable than timing it dynamically as recommended by VW. FWIW, I can check my timing statically in about 30 seconds with no tools, that is a major plus in my mind.

The Bentley is also not known for being error free. Crying or Very sad


That is a good point about being able to time statically, I am almost due for my spring tune up. I will practice timing it statically so I have that tool available when the timing light is not.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

His thoughts on warm up and disabling chokes are archaic. He wants a 3-minute idle warm up, which is BS. If you're not making power, you're not making heat. We want the engine to warm up as quickly as possible, and we do that by driving away without racing the engine.

Robbie
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

His picture of the dizzy drive gear for a Type 3 motor is wrong - making it 180 off.

It wasn't till Tram chewed my ass out for using the idiot book - like an idiot - knowing full well I had a real Type 3 VW manual to look at for direction. Then I got it right Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:
If you're not making power, you're not making heat.


I think anyone out east knows this well.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Idiot book no-no's Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:

That is a good point about being able to time statically, I am almost due for my spring tune up. I will practice timing it statically so I have that tool available when the timing light is not.


There are general philosophies to be learned here. Things like "coming kindly to your ass for it bears you," are staples of driving a 45-year-old car in todays world. Being self-reliant and able are two great traits; let us not forget them.

In the spirit of Muir, did you know you can time your bus statically using just your ears and a 10mm wrench? You can! Listen for a click of the points opening that will coincide with a static timing light turning on. If it is loud and you require a visual timing light, jump a wire from terminal 1 (points wire) to a reverse light positive spade. Voilà! Instant static timing light with no tools to carry besides a few feet of wire.

Where were we…?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All that and the vast majority of what little tuning info he gave for 411, 412 is fkat out not useful..and no....timing D-jet statically does not work well at all. Timing had to be spot on or Injection timing is off.

There are lots of little tidbits in there I consider "no-no"s. Im not really interested in digging for all of them.

Its a good book to have for the collection....and it does only and exactly what its title says.....paraphrasing here.....its a book for idiots (mechanically speaking).....about how to keep for VW ALIVE.....no more and no less.
Its not about how to tune them perfectly, keep them factory correct....or how to preserve or restore them.

In the days this book was originally, written....VWs had little value. There were millions of them and already 10s of thousands or more in the junkyards.
Muir notes as he put it...about "scrambling" a spare piston from the yard to get you off the side of the road does just that....and only that...and he notes that.

He had a noted dislike of fuel injection, chokes and almost anything later in technology than 1966. He was a cool guy and his book is worth having because its part of VW history and there are some decent crossmatch parts lists in it.

But from the thread you took my quote....the original poster was looking for the best books for technology for his new ride......this is not one of them for that.

In this day and age with GOOD parts getting scarce, good engine cases and headscgetting scarce......and good unhacked chassis getting scarce.....if you want your VW to survive as more than just a rusty, smoking beater.....that is if its worth more to you than that.....you, cannot use the mentality outlined in that book as a mainstay. Ray

EDIT: also....perhaps you might have kept this question in the original thread so that the person who asked the original question could benefit from the answers crom those here. Just sayin.... Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:
We want the engine to warm up as quickly as possible, and we do that by driving away without racing the engine.

Robbie


I do not a believer in this philosophy. I let my engine warm up some before I drive it. In the warm weather only for a minute or so and in the winter upwards of 5 minutes. My engine is a lot happier and smoother when I do this.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do what the manual says "just drive" you also have an oil heater, so.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richparker wrote:
asiab3 wrote:
We want the engine to warm up as quickly as possible, and we do that by driving away without racing the engine.

Robbie


I do not a believer in this philosophy. I let my engine warm up some before I drive it. In the warm weather only for a minute or so and in the winter upwards of 5 minutes. My engine is a lot happier and smoother when I do this.


What's interesting about this is-

1) A stock VW engine with ALL the original, STOCK items in place (tins, thermostat, flaps, pre-heater flap working on the oil bath, clear pre-heat tubes on the carb manifold, etc. Everything the engine came with new. You can absolutely fire it off and drive it cold out the drive way with excellent driveability. My 69 bug is this example.

2) A non-stock VW engine. After market, single header exhaust which provides poor pre-heat to the carb manifold (even with the holes drilled out on the exhaust manifold) on a 1776 engine with a Solex 30/31 carb. No preheat to the oil bath, no thermostat but flaps welded in the open position.
This engine REQUIRES a 4-5 minute warm up before its decently driveable. Once it reaches temperature, it runs beautifully. I'm going to weld a small 1/2" pipe from the pre-heat hole to the bottom of the manifold by where the pipes merge. I've read it get the hot exhaust flow thru the carb manifold pre-heat pipe MUCH better. I'm going to be interested in the difference.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richparker wrote:
asiab3 wrote:
We want the engine to warm up as quickly as possible, and we do that by driving away without racing the engine.

Robbie




I do not a believe in this philosophy. I let my engine warm up some before I drive it. In the warm weather only for a minute or so and in the winter upwards of 5 minutes. My engine is a lot happier and smoother when I do this.



This is probably off topic. I'll post it because I still think it's a "Muir no-no."


There is a stark difference between warming the metallurgy of the case, cylinder, and head junctions, and good air/fuel mixture achieved by the induction system being warmed up. When we discuss this in real detail (so not like Muir Wink ) we should specify what is getting warmed up. Oil? Heads? Manifold? Exhaust gasses? Just like how an entire engine doesn't over heat, (one part or system will,) let's talk about the systems that matter:

We want the case, cylinders, and heads to reach operating temperature as quick as possible. This is not up for debate, as it affects both the performance and longevity of the engine.

Because of the endothermic-esque nature of fuel and air mixing, every engine will respond differently to variations on air temperature, humidity, fuel temperature/composition, and manifold length/shape/temperature. Since there is a large difference in all our induction setups, we will naturally have different methods for achieving roadability. My skepticism arises when taking steps to make the bus drivable negatively impacts the metallurgy and work that I put in to making sure the clearances and assembly of my engine are perfect.

We want the oil to get up to temperature quickly too, so we don't allow moisture and acids to accumulate. Again, we can debate temp numbers all day with no results, but we must somehow warm up the oil.

Like the oil, our cold exhaust systems can also hold a great deal of moisture. We can get rid of the water by boiling it off with a fully-warm exhaust system and a sufficient-length drive.

Now I'm all warmed up,
Robbie
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richparker wrote:
asiab3 wrote:
We want the engine to warm up as quickly as possible, and we do that by driving away without racing the engine.

Robbie


I do not a believer in this philosophy. I let my engine warm up some before I drive it. In the warm weather only for a minute or so and in the winter upwards of 5 minutes. My engine is a lot happier and smoother when I do this.

We live where it's cold. Californians can spout platitudes that don't apply to us. I can't just get in and drive off with no choke duals on a 20 degree f day. I have to warm things up.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomWesty wrote:
richparker wrote:
asiab3 wrote:
We want the engine to warm up as quickly as possible, and we do that by driving away without racing the engine.

Robbie


I do not a believer in this philosophy. I let my engine warm up some before I drive it. In the warm weather only for a minute or so and in the winter upwards of 5 minutes. My engine is a lot happier and smoother when I do this.


no choke duals on a 20 degree f day. I have to warm things up.


Again, I refuse to sacrifice the core of my engine to achieve drivability. And I've only flicked the key and puttered off in temps as low as 9*F. I'll let you know how it does when I find a colder morning... But you're absolutely welcome to tune and maintain your bus however you want; my goal is to make mine last as long as possible without sacrificing enjoyment. So I let the induction warm up along with the metallurgy. I can neither comprehend nor tolerate a finicky princess of a car when there are roads not yet driven, vstas not yet seen, and mountains not yet passed....

...at 55-60 miles per hour...
Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is still better to time the engine using a timing light over a static test light IMO.

The art work is a lot better in the Muir book also IMO.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall a Muir quote from years ago. Goes something like: "Start the engine. Roll a joint. When the joint is rolled, you're ready to drive.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And that's all I have to say about that...... Very Happy

I drive my Dubs just like the my water cooled fleet. 30 seconds in driveway ( seat, seatbelt, mirrors, gauge check) then drive off like Miss Daisy for the first 5 minutes. On the turbos, I'm careful not to get into boost until I'm at operating temperature
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Randy in Maine wrote:
It is still better to time the engine using a timing light over a static test light IMO.


Time an engine with a bad retard canister according to the book and you will be ~12° too far retarded. Hard to be that far off when static timing an engine following Muir's suggestions. Also with an engine that will not drop to base idle for one reason or another, timing it dynamically by the book will lead to the timing being off typically by 5-10°, this can actually be accumulative with the ~12° of extra retard from a back retard can. Again it is hard to be that far off static timing an engine, one would possibly be better off to take a wild guess at the timing than to follow the book and use a light. Crying or Very sad

I will agree that it is better to time an engine at full mechanical advance, as I have been doing since these engines since they were new, but few people or shops actually do it that way. They seem to prefer the "time is by the book method" and live with the poor performance and shortened engine life that too often results.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lil' Lulu wrote:
I recall a Muir quote from years ago. Goes something like: "Start the engine. Roll a joint. When the joint is rolled, you're ready to drive.


it's actually phrased as a "hand rolled cigarette." i always think about this when i start my bus cause i used to smoke hand rolls and loved to putter away with a fresh smoke going. it also is a pretty good warm up for a progressive carb, if you keep your throttle at about 40% while you do it.
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