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Oh no - something blew up
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rob_engineer
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:12 pm    Post subject: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

Hey guys - I'm new to this, having only had a VW for about the last 2-3 weeks. I think I blew something major up. I have a 1776cc dune buggy registered as a 1969 vw bug. I was taking a 100 mile ride on a major highway. In 4th gear at about 65-70mph I would start to lose speed. At around 55mph the engine would sputter. I then shifted to 3rd gear and, although the RPMs were of course higher, it seemed to run fantastic. After about 5 miles in 3rd I shifted back into 4th and went back up to 65mph. It would be absolutely fine for about 5 miles then start to slow down again. This cyclic behavior was repeated for about 60 miles. The oil temp was high >260. Finally, after going through this cyclic behavior for awhile. I was in 3rd gear when all of the sudden a bunch of smoke came out of the engine somewhere. My wife was behind me and her windshield was spattered with some type of oil. I pulled off the side of the road. Engine was running and sounded fine. I shut it off, now several days later I cannot get it started. Even with jumper cables on, it sounds like it barely wants to crank, as if the battery is almost dead. Engine oil was new last week and still shows halfway between the marks on the dipstick. I am not sure where to start. I like to figure things out and fix them myself but I am new to this and am at a loss for a path forward..
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

Lets start with the basics.
Can you turn the engine over by hand? Try to put a socket wrench on the front pulley? Make sure the trans is in neutral.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

Oil temp over 260? Pull your motor, you cooked bearings. The barely cranking is due to melted bearings. DO NOT START IT.

After you asses the damage, you need to find out why the oil got so hot. Something is not right

brad
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

Why would you continue to drive with oil temps at 260?!? Worse then that, you had to downshift just to keep it going and didn't stop. Fried chicken right there
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

mcmscott wrote:
Why would you continue to drive with oil temps at 260?!? Worse then that, you had to downshift just to keep it going and didn't stop. Fried chicken right there


Yep, same thing happened to me, oil everywhere, either blew a hole in the #3 piston, or rings shattered.

My Wife was driving, she didn't tell me until after the fact that she was having to hold the gas pedal to the floor to keep the speed up and couldn't figure out why.
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rob_engineer
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies. Don't hate on me. Never had an air-cooled car before - as I said, I'm new to this. I did not know that 260 degrees was too hot for this car. It was my first prolonged drive on a highway. Due to circumstances beyond my control, the trip was late at night and the oil temp gage does not have lights, so I could not see the temperature until I stopped and got a light on the subject. It seemed to run perfectly normal in 3rd, so did not feel the need to stop. I was wondering if the loss of speed was maybe something wrong with the battery or charging system. Also, I had just gotten gas a few miles before it started happening and was trying to figure out if there was a problem with the gas.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

A touch off topic, but your screen name is Rob engineer, you are not an engineer are you?
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rob_engineer
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

mcmscott wrote:
A touch off topic, but your screen name is Rob engineer, you are not an engineer are you?

Yes, I am an engineer, physicist actually, for 25 years. I bought the buggy for my wife so she would have an eye-catching fun car to drive now & then. She drove it about 100 miles from our home to show it off to her family. After she got there, she had a problem getting it into 1st gear, so I drove the 100 miles to rescue her. In my short time owning the car, and from help on this forum I learned that whoever did the shortening of the car made the shift rod too short, causing problems getting it into 1st gear, unless you used a good amount of force. It was a geometry problem, with the shift handle hitting the cutout in the floor. That evening I took the car to my brothers house where we removed the shift rod, welded in an extension to the proper length, then reinstalled. After that, it was shifting beautifully. All of that activity is why we ended up returning late at night when it was dark and could not see the gages. It made the trip down the highway fine earlier in the day with my wife driving. When I was driving it home is when I experienced the problems I described in my post.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

chrome or aftermarket fan shroud? the cooling vanes inside may have detached and allowed one side to run too hot, cooking that side and destroying your oil, among other things.


hard to say until you start giving it a once over.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:19 am    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

Start by trying to do a compression test. On pulling the plugs, the problem cylinder(s) will probably show up.

If it won't turn over properly, you're going to have to pull the engine out, for further dismantling and investigation. It sound like there is something seriously wrong.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

Welcome to aircooled ownership first off! It's a blast for the most part but occasionally something happens that bites.

Listen to the guys on here, they're pretty good for the most part.

Make sure you can still turn the engine by hand and if you can't I'd think a rebuild is in order. This is not too complicated if you have some skill doing things hands on like that. Otherwise find a builder near you to do a stock rebuild.
If you can turn it over start with basic diagnostics like compression to see what you are dealing with.

Feel free to ask questions, but feel even more free to use the search bar and google as there are usually a few topics covering your questions.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

So, what was oil temp when wife drove it? I'm sure it was quite high on the trip down, if it was that high on the return trip. What ever was wrong to cause the high temps on second trip was there for the first trip. Not blaming your wife, but what ever caused the high temps will cause it again on rebuilt motor until it is fixed, yu just don't want to go thru motors to find it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

nogoodwithusernames wrote:
Welcome to aircooled ownership first off! It's a blast for the most part but occasionally something happens that bites.

Listen to the guys on here, they're pretty good for the most part.

Make sure you can still turn the engine by hand and if you can't I'd think a rebuild is in order. This is not too complicated if you have some skill doing things hands on like that. Otherwise find a builder near you to do a stock rebuild.
If you can turn it over start with basic diagnostics like compression to see what you are dealing with.

Feel free to ask questions, but feel even more free to use the search bar and google as there are usually a few topics covering your questions.

Thank you for your support. I love to use forums from RV's to Glocks, Harleys and Jeeps. Yes there are those that criticize, but I always find lots of help from folks that have been there and done that.

Prior to the long trip, we had only put about 100 miles on it since purchasing it. It has the 1776 motor. I will see if it turns. When I tried to jump it with my jeep it seemed to turn some, but will not really crank. So my plan it to see what damage I may have done, get that fixed so its running again, then try to find out why the temp got so hot. My wife thinks it was fine when she drove, but bad when I drove because I was driving faster. She went down about 60-65mph and I came back up about 70-75 mph. Was that too fast, or should it have been able to take a 100 mile journey at those speeds if the cooling was working properly? It does have chrome shrouds on the engine. Also, I'm not sure if it should have shrouds on top and bottom. Mine only has shrouds on the top.
A question I'll have to answer - to buy a rebuild kit, or a new engine. I hope to keep the costs down. The vehicle is for my wife. She wants it to be fun and reliable. She likes the sound, but does not need super high performance.
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rob_engineer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

ps2375 wrote:
So, what was oil temp when wife drove it? I'm sure it was quite high on the trip down, if it was that high on the return trip. What ever was wrong to cause the high temps on second trip was there for the first trip. Not blaming your wife, but what ever caused the high temps will cause it again on rebuilt motor until it is fixed, yu just don't want to go thru motors to find it.


Sequence: wife drove it 100 miles down the parkway. I then fixed the shift rod by lengthening it. My test drive after lengthening the shift rod ended up on a dirt road with some pretty bad potholes. I hit a couple of them rather hard. After that, I drove it back towards home, getting almost there before it blew.

Maybe its possible I jostled something loose when I took it on the washboard test drive after fixing the shift rod that later resulted in the high temperature on the parkway.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

How tall are your rear tires?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

When you pull the motor, replace the shroud with a factory (non-chrome) shroud, and take a careful inventory of what cooling tin is on the motor. Your speed had the effect of creating more heat, and if any of the tins are missing or wrong, that is most likely the main reason the temps went off the charts.

There are a couple of cooling threads running right now, read thru them to gain some additional knowledge. All the tins, and the proper weight oil will help you keep it cooled, and proper sized pulleys.

Does your fan inlet have a screen over it? Did it suck in stuff and block the oil cooler air flow? Could be a real issue since you have a "buggy" and the motor is exposed like that.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

I've driven a buggy for over 23 years. I only run a shroud and the top cylinder tins. I've never had overheating problems. The open rear on a buggy provides lots of airflow to cool the motor. I had a 1776 in my buggy for 15 years, great engine. Unless something came loose inside there's nothing wrong with your current shroud, but inspect if carefully. If you drive in an area with lots of debris, by all means run a screen, but for street driving they aren't nessasary, I've never sucked up anything in mine.

As far as your motor goes. You have hurt it bad. Don't bother trying to do a compression or any other tests, just start pulling it apart.

Chances are it got so hot it has warped the case. You can check for this by tearing the motor apart completely and bolting the case halves together. Torque the 6 main case bolts to spec and take a trouble light and place it shining in through the pulley end of the crank bore, and look through the flywheel end bearing bore. IF you see any light between the case supports for the main bearings you have warped the case and it is junk. IF it did survive make sure all the oil galley plugs get pulled and tapped for threaded plugs as there is bound to be a ton of debris in the galleys.


Since it won't turn easily you can probably assume you have spun a bearing or at least melted some rod bearings. IF the rods are blue they are done and it's cheaper now to buy a new crank and rods than to have them rebuilt.

Also have the cylinders measured to see if they are still round. IF they aren't, they are also headed for the pile. Check the pistons for scoring on the skirts.

IF the bearings did get burnt, as I suspect, throw out your oil cooler, there is no real way to clean them.

Good luck.

brad
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nogoodwithusernames
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

rob_engineer wrote:
nogoodwithusernames wrote:
Welcome to aircooled ownership first off! It's a blast for the most part but occasionally something happens that bites.

Listen to the guys on here, they're pretty good for the most part.

Make sure you can still turn the engine by hand and if you can't I'd think a rebuild is in order. This is not too complicated if you have some skill doing things hands on like that. Otherwise find a builder near you to do a stock rebuild.
If you can turn it over start with basic diagnostics like compression to see what you are dealing with.

Feel free to ask questions, but feel even more free to use the search bar and google as there are usually a few topics covering your questions.

Thank you for your support. I love to use forums from RV's to Glocks, Harleys and Jeeps. Yes there are those that criticize, but I always find lots of help from folks that have been there and done that.

Prior to the long trip, we had only put about 100 miles on it since purchasing it. It has the 1776 motor. I will see if it turns. When I tried to jump it with my jeep it seemed to turn some, but will not really crank. So my plan it to see what damage I may have done, get that fixed so its running again, then try to find out why the temp got so hot. My wife thinks it was fine when she drove, but bad when I drove because I was driving faster. She went down about 60-65mph and I came back up about 70-75 mph. Was that too fast, or should it have been able to take a 100 mile journey at those speeds if the cooling was working properly? It does have chrome shrouds on the engine. Also, I'm not sure if it should have shrouds on top and bottom. Mine only has shrouds on the top.
A question I'll have to answer - to buy a rebuild kit, or a new engine. I hope to keep the costs down. The vehicle is for my wife. She wants it to be fun and reliable. She likes the sound, but does not need super high performance.


I can mostly speak for the rebuild as I've only been working one VW's for a few years and don't know too much yet. I do know that most of the aftermarket chrome stuff is junk and if possible get a work on getting a complete used set of factory tins.

Regarding a rebuild, so long as you do it yourself and take your time doing research beforehand so you know what you're doing (also get a book or two on the VW such as the idiot guide and "How to rebuild your vw aircooled engine") you should be able to do a good quality rebuild for fairly cheap. I just recently finished building a "fancy" motor with pretty much all brand new parts and the long block probably cost me $2500. If you have a good re-usable crank, and rods, good heads, etc... you should be able to get a rebuild for possibly the cost of some machine work for a line bore (if needed), bearings, a gasket kit, and for a VW guy to rebuild the heads for you.

If you are not comfortable reading up and getting your hands dirty find someone who has dealt with VWs before and go for a stock rebuild.
Back when I first got a little VW kit car MG I had to have the motor re-built by my local old-timer VW mechanic it cost me $1000. This included new pistons and cylinders and one new head if I recall correctly.

Of course before you just do a rebuild find the cause as everyone else has said, and fix it. Start with the easy/cheap/small stuff and finding the cause rather than throwing money and expensive parts at it hoping it'll work!
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rob_engineer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

Trying to post some pics so you can help me figure out what engine, mods, shrouds, etc that I am dealing with.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Oh no - something blew up Reply with quote

first give it a bath, then pull it out, then strow it and inspect everything. if you dont know what your looking at then ...find somebody that does.no not says they do. realy do.
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