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Air-cooled Rebuild - '82 Vanagon (Automatic Calif. model)
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Steve O.
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Joined: October 23, 2013
Posts: 26
Location: Utah
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:48 pm    Post subject: Air-cooled Rebuild - '82 Vanagon (Automatic Calif. model) Reply with quote

Dear Air-cooled members:

I abandoned my own efforts and went with a experienced mechanic to rebuild my van. It blew a valve and damaged the cylinder head. Luckily the block is in great shape. Here is the mechanic's estimate for the rebuild and parts, with his comments below. I am looking for your thoughts on the project. The van is primarily a daily driver in Salt Lake City. But I'm sure I will test the limits of the engine. I'm considering adding after-market oil cooler (don't know much about those) and thermostat, etc. to guard against over-heating. Thanks in advance!

Total: $ 4377.18

Engine: Labor: 25hrs $1250.00

1-Gasket set $ 154.20

1-Air filter $ 8.49

1-Fuel filter $ 15.69

1-Oil filter $ 8.99

4-Qts. Oil $ 16.00

4-Intake sleeves $5.93 $ 23.73

1-Fan belt $ 12.49

2-Crankshaft seals $ 18.95

4-Spark plugs $ 15.00

1-Set plug wires $ 47.49

1-Cap & rotor $ 35.40

1-Cylinder head temperature sensor $ 35.00

3-Crankshaft end play shims $ 15.00 $ 45.00

2-Cylinder heads $528.00 $ 1056.00

4-Exhaust valves $28.82 $ 115.31

1-Pistons & Cylinders $ 531.43

1-Set main bearings $ 72.49

1-Set connecting rod bearings $ 45.30

1-Set camshaft bearings $ 28.95

1-Camshaft & Gear (Hydraulic) 8-Followers $ 431.42

1-Camshaft drive gear (crankshaft) $ 35.00

8-Valve adjustment screws $ 81.00

4-Engine mounts $13.47 $ 53.88

1-Crankshaft regrind $ 140.00

4-Rods reconditioned $ 100.00

"I would also recommend replacing the drivers side exhaust heater box with an earlier model year part that will accommodate an exhaust header. The engine will run better and have more horsepower.

"There is also no thermostat or hardware to mount it with. (I see it being left off a lot). If the car will be driven in cold weather, it needs to be there and I’ll need to round all of those parts up… if not we can leave it be."
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danfromsyr
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Joined: March 01, 2004
Posts: 13766
Location: Syracuse, NY
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that all looks about right for shop rates.
and $50/hr isn't bad at all these days..

if you can't DIY then you have to pay to play.. and the aircooled are only cheap for cheap-ass hack jobs..
want it done right will always cost.

but after saying all that when I burned a valve in my aircooled vanagon I changed it over to an inline 4 jetta motor (DIY hack) for about 1/2 that money.. more power - more reliability - more heat.
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Macwesty
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Joined: September 23, 2013
Posts: 109
Location: Chambersburg, PA
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an '82 air-cooled Westy and have been considering rebuild options for a while so I am familiar with your situation and have actually rebuilt a 4 cyl air-cooled engine and worked on them enough to know all the parts in your list well.

It looks like a comprehensive rebuild list
The prices don't look out of line
The mechanic is 100% correct about the thermostat. Your motor will actually run too cool and wear much faster without it. Don't do the rebuild without the thermostat.

If I was in your situation with a motor that required a rebuild I would ask the mechanic if he would be willing to install the Raby CS (camper special) cylinder heads with this rebuild. This will give the engine signicantly more power and it will run cooler. Even a properly rebuilt 2.0 air-cooled is still going to be underpowered and when considering where you live I'm sure you'd be glad you sprung for the CS kit every time you drove the van. You can check out the CS kit at http://type4store.com/cylinder-heads.html

Plenty of info on the camper special here on TheSamba if you search.

Talk about it with your mechanic and offer to let him make some margin on the kit if necessary so that he doesn't feel like the job is less profitable for him. You are already spending a significant portion of the cost of the Raby kit on the stock parts your mechanic is suggesting. Why not get the best air-cooled engine possible. It will increase your enjoyment of the van and its value.

Good luck!

Scott
(No affiliation with Raby or Type IV Store, yadda, yadda)
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

$2300(retail) for cylinder heads alone.. Shocked
I'd slipa used WBX and coolant system in the back for alot less.
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option would be to have your engine sent off to here....new improved heads would be a plus.

http://www.headflowmasters.com/

and they would send you back a long block for you and yoru Utah guy to put all of your stuff back on it and just install it.
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VWinVT
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Location: North East Kingdom
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an 81 Air-Cooled van and my motor is currently sound. I am planning an engine swap to a Subaru. If you have some nerve and some skills, you can do this swap yourself for about the same money. To me, that is a lot of money to pay for a 67hp motor, have marginal cabin heat, <19mpg and few if any local parts/repair choices. Just my $0.02 Smile
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would pay a bit more to have the entire rotating package balanced.
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Mark70baja
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've currently got our project underway. Our 82 Air Cooled Camper. Your estimate is incomplete. Machine work? Where is the absolutely necessary machine work? That case is old, it's used, been abused, and needs to be reborn right along side that crank and those rods. It's an engine assembly and needs to be treated as such. All parts working together in balance and harmony, and on a type-4 that's not such an easy thing to achieve these days unless one has bottomless pockets.

Dune Buggies and Hot VWs magazine did an excellent article on building a Type-4 torquer motor back in the August 2006 issue. The work was done by none other than Jake Raby himself. Though they don't mention the actual cost or even estimate the cost of the build, one can easily figure the cost to be at least $10,000. The engine kit used sells for over $5,200 itself, and doesn't include the case or any of the necessary machine work, other labor or testing.

We've been giving the Subaru swap lots of thought. The pricing of the swap doesn't look to be that much more than a properly done 2.0, if at all. An air cooled conversion looks to add around $2,000 for the necessary modifications that will include both cutting and welding. If you don't already have the tools and equipment to enable you to heavily modify your van, you'll need to add the costs of those as well.

I've been reading nothing but good about the type-4 store. But the cost of their parts make this choice prohibitive. A Subaru 2.2/2.5 swap would actually costs about the same as properly rebuilding your 2.0 through them. Good Quality stuff, but WOW! Also reading almost nothing but good about Headflow Masters. Only problem I've ever read about is on an optional modification they do to the oiling system. Don't know if that's been corrected or not, and I haven't spoken with them directly, but according to their website, they come in at a much easier price to live with, about $3,000 for a rebuild with new heads. Again though, I don't know about what parts they use or reuse or options available other than what is on their website.

Lastly is the Subaru swap. I've not heard one single complaint from a person who has a properly done and completed Subaru conversion. You get at least twice the horsepower and torque, the engines are many times more reliable, they are much more common and far less expensive to rebuild, the parts market is awesome in comparison to the 2.0, and even better yet the motors are still supported by Subaru. Meaning that Subaru still makes parts for them. The reliability of Subaru motors speaks for itself. 2-300,000 miles on a Subaru motor is commonplace.

Decisions, decisions. All written out makes it look easy.
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82 Vanagon with ASI Full Camper Conversion, 2010 Jeep Rubicon
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