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Sanchius and Tuna ride again...
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The Carrot
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Here is a link to an upgraded alt. Adjuster. Toothed bolt sold separately.


https://www.buslab.com/product-p/025903251.htm
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sanchius
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

A few weeks ago I split the WBX case and it was clear that #2 rod had stretched.
The big end was 1.5mm out of round, the rod/crank bearing was completely gone and the crank journal was galled and damaged.
I'm no expert, but I don't think that'll polish out.
I think I'm going to need a new crank

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Luckily my brother had secured a free donor WBX from a conversion for me in his garage in San Francisco.
All I had to do was make the 4-hr drive from Reno to SFO to get it.

Easier said than done.
The first open weekend coincided with a big storm on Donner Pass; no go.
Then a busy week at work; no go.
Then another big storm dropped an additional 44" of snow on the pass; no go.

Finally, there was a clear 3-day window to get into the city and retrieve the donor WBX engine.

Of course, that day turned out to be the first day of the Bay Area's big COVID19 lockdown.
Both wanting to responsibly respect the intent of the lockdown and to avoid getting trapped in CA in case things really got bad and they closed the state borders, I resisted the urge to make a high-speed run in & out of the city to grab the donor engine.

So, rather than tearing down the donor engine and making progress towards reassembly during this quarantine time, the WBX project is on hold for a couple weeks until I can get into SFO to grab the crank out of the donor

** I should ask if anyone has a usable WBX crank they'd like to sell. That would get things back on track.

With the WBX rebuild on hold, we've been going snowshoeing up in the high country, doing stuff around the house and I've been working on other projects in the garage.

The XKR got a new valve cover gasket.
This entailed extracting the broken VC bolt the PO had left in the head, which was causing a small oil leak.
Gotcha, ya little bugger.

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The last time I was at the pick-n-pull, I grabbed an nice threaded adjustable alternator tightener off an old Jag XJ6 to see if I could get it to work on the WBX in place of that OG cave-man slider bar tightener system.

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I wasn't able to easily fit it to the WBX, so I retasked it to be the pivot for a cantilivered LED shop light to give extra light over my work space.

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Ob.husky.covid19 picture for Abscate...

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:48 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Sanchius...you forgot to take 59% off the specs....it’s in the fine print of the free flashlight coupon
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:17 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

sanchius wrote:

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Sanchius - Had I known you needed to roll your Vanagon, I would have loaned you my HF vehicle dollies:
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But looks like you found a solution that worked just fine! I always forget to post to the Reno Bus Pilots group on FB when in need of a local hand. Lesson here for me to try and use the local's input and resources...

Hope your rebuild goes smoothly.
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kourt
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
plus they only have glitter in the oil

Very Happy
Now *that* made me laugh!

I come to The Samba looking for this thread every week.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:10 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Woof, said the Husky. Im much prettier than any engine build, plus they only have glitter in the oil
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sanchius
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:07 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Nice van... Great color... And thanks for the kind words.
This thread is fun to write, it helps me document what I am doing for future reference, and I love the great feedback I get from the group as I go along.

That was a mystery engine that was running on borrowed time and it stretched a rod bolt right on schedule.
It was also the strongest WBX I've ever experienced, so I'm keen to see what it is like after getting renewed.
Since this is my first WBX rebuild, I'm going to keep it relatively stock, except for adding a 2252 cam (https://www.cbperformance.com/product-p/2252.htm) that seems to be so popular.

Right now I'm putting together the parts list for the rebuild and cleaning 35 years of accumulated oily sludge off the bottom of the engine before I crack the case open to see how bad the damage is.

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When I parked the van in the garage to pull the engine, I wasn't thinking ahead and ended up blocking Mrs S's spot.
So I needed to translate the van sideways to the other side of the garage.
I've done this with just a floor jack before and it wasn't a pleasant experience.
My nice metal car dollys were back in Colorado so I thought I'd be clever/frugal and use 4 cheap HF $8 wood 1000lb furniture dollys.
It should be OK with 1 under each wheel (3000lb vehicle - 300lb engine)/4= 675lb per wheel.

It didn't go well

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Fortunately I had some extra casters from another project and successfully beefed them up a bit

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Ob.Tuna.pics from a recent petroglyph outing. I can't decide which one I like better, stalwart or happy, so here's both.

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Last edited by sanchius on Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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cek347
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Just wanted to say I have enjoyed reading your posts. Sorry about the engine. You use your van the right way and I hope to be using mine in similar fashion. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration. I just picked up mine yesterday. Back at it after 11 years from my last Westy.

Looks slightly familiar.... '86 Wolfsburg

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Looks a bit dry too, did you PBB it ? I know oil get soaked up in Husky glitter easily
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sanchius
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

It is always comforting when 10c weights in, it's like having a kind guru watching over your shoulder.

As expected, there was 5.85mm of slop in piston #2 at midstroke.
The engine definitely needs to be torn down.

I had successfully hand built my Jag XK engine years ago, instructed by a Jag-expert friend, so I am familiar with the basics, but I also recognize that there is much here that I will need to learn anew.
So I am starting to disassemble the engine, while reading every good WBX rebuilding thread I can find:
https://intrepidoverland.com/on-the-wbx-flywheel-seal/
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3711609&#3711609

The first thing is to remove the crank pulley while I still have something to lever against.
Since I wasn't planning to be doing big car work again, I had left all my heavy duty air tools back in Colorado with my son.
The 258ft/lb crank pulley bolt just laughed at my Dewalt 18v 1/2" impact gun.

OK, let's try the 2-foot 1/2" breaker bar.
I strapped one end of the engine support cradle to the engine stand and supported the other end with a floor jack to keep the WBX from rotating.
I constrained the pulley with a 1/2" impact extension through the pulley hole held against a stout part of the upper engine case.
Putting all my weight on the end of the breaker bar didn't do a thing.

I am hoping that the bolt hadn't been loc-tite'd in, like we experienced on my son's AUDI, where we had to use 700+ ft/lbs on it to free it.
Heat is always an option, but I like to go there last.

I went back to TheSamba to read some more and I saw this:

tencentlife wrote:
Tip: strike the head of the pulley bolt, HARD! three times with a 3-pound hammer before putting the gun to 'er, it's like night and day.

Five HARD! whacks later and the bolt finally came free. Thanks again, 10c!

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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Hadn't looked at this until now, but yes, for sure, that clean band around the #2 chamber mirroring the piston's squish band is the piston almost kissing the head due to excess rod bearing clearance, or a beaten-out wrist pin bore, but much more likely the former.

After the standard cylinder-cancel test points you to the suspect rod, a loosening rod bearing or wrist pin can easily be physically confirmed. Move the pistons to mid-stroke, put a metal rod as a probe against the crown of the piston in the suspect cylinder, and rock the crankshaft back and forth while feeling the probe; you'll feel the free play in the rod when the piston doesn't move immediately when the crank movement changes direction. You'll be surprised how well you can feel even very small amounts of free play this way.

This can even be done on complete engines still in the car with the head still on, just probe thru the spark plug hole.

The test is optimal at mid-stroke because there's the greatest amount of piston movement per degree of crank rotation there, but if you can't reach the crown thru the plug hole at mid-stroke, just move that piston higher until you can.

(And don't use pencils or wooden implements as probes inside the engine, folks. I've seen people do that and they find out how easily a piece of wood will break, and then they can't get it out because, surprise!, wood isn't magnetic!)
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sanchius
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

I finally made some time to extract the engine to start the teardown to see if the WBX is rebuildable or if there's a Subi in my future.

rbambrick astutely noted that the lack of carbon buildup in the #2 head surface in the pic above indicates that the piston was kissing the head there, pointing to a stretched rod bolt. However, I would have expected to get a low oil pressure buzzer. Strange.

Dropping the WBX solo with a floor jack and the HF engine support bar was safe, uneventful, and took about 3 hours working slowly. All the anti-seize I applied everywhere the last time I had it out really payed off.

I was about to pull the trigger on a new engine stand when one showed up locally for $10 the day before I needed it. I always love a bargain. With no ceiling hardpoint or engine crane, it took some ingenuity to get the engine up on the stand solo. But I know better than to try to deadlift something like that.

I've never cracked a WBX case before, so this will be fun.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Fortunately the weather is very mild, which makes it easy to work on it without having to run garage heaters.

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The WBX isn't the only thing in for repair.
Tunes picked up a bad sticker in her front leg on a recent outing that she couldn't stop licking.
So she's stuck in the dreaded cone of shame until the wound heals.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
Can y0u ease out #2 con rod with the engine in place and inspect?
Haven’t done a wasser boxer myself.

I've done a fair number of WBX head gaskets & main seals, but never cracked a WBX case to do a lower end.
This will be educational.

I was hoping that I could get away with a quick, in situ, 1-2 head refresh and reinstall.
The WBXs are so quick to pull and easy to move around once you have them out that removal is the logical next step.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Can y0u ease out #2 con rod with the engine in place and inspect?

Haven’t done a wasser boxer myself.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

I wonder if it's possible to pull the oil drain plug and insert a boroscope to check out if there is anything damaged that is easily visible.

Can you rotate the crank and see if the #2 cylinder does not quite reach TDC?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

I finally had time to dig into the hammering noise this weekend

I removed the new lifters, disassembled and primed them as per 10c and Christopher Schimke's excellent tutorial, and reinstalled them.
I've never had to do this before so this is new territory for me.
Since the lifters were already full of oil when I disassembled them, I wasn't surprised when the hammering sound was still there when I restarted the engine.

Well, maybe it was the something with the 1.25 ratio rockers I had recently installed.
I pulled the plugs and rotated the engine by hand, with my other hand touching the 4 rocker arms.
Nothing felt or sounded out of place as they went through their cycles.
I cranked the engine with the fuel pump relay also removed and no hammering sound.
I pulled the new rocker set, swapped the stock rockers back in and restarted the engine,
Nope, no change, it's still hammering.

OK, I'm out of ideas externally, maybe it's a broken/dropped valve seat.
Time to take things up a level and pull the head.
It turns out to be stunningly easy and about an hour later I extract the head expecting to see something visibly wrong.
But, nada, everything looks normal and well seated

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

So, the only thing I can think at this point is that it's a failed #2 rod bolt and my concluding that it was the valve train hammering was a red herring.

The Westy is well north of 144K miles and we were pulling a steep mountain grade at altitude at full throttle with 5 adults and a husky on board when this all started.

Or maybe I just shouldn't have painted the intakes red.

Either way, this has got to come out... again... ugh... More down time...

Since 95% of the threads here are about repairs, I had hoped this thread would mainly be about adventures on the road in the Westy.
However, maybe it's time to change the thread name to "Sanchius and Tuna wrench again..."

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Last edited by sanchius on Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Thanks for cleaning up the glyph site. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

The tall plant by the "scorp figure" is corn. You see this on a lot of glyphs in Utah for one, but curiously, have yet to see it on any pictographs.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Yes, Luna turns seven next April.
This is her in her early days when she was no bigger than a boot.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I had a chance to look into the engine noise yesterday and it doesn't look good (repair discussion thread here).

To check the collapsed lifter theory, I ordered replacement lifters and collapsible lifter tubes for cylinders #1 and #2.
They arrived promptly and it was a simple matter to remove the old with a long magnet...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

...and very satisfying to install the new.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The collapsible lifter tubes from Bus Depot are an impressive bit of kit.
The old #2 exhaust lifter was definitely expired, I could easily depress the core with my finger and the others were weak.

However, once everything was all back together with the new lifters, the hammering was still there and, if anything, seemed worse than before.
I'm going to try a couple more things, but I'm growing less optimistic that it's not something with the #2 con-rod, which will require a complete tear-down.

Ugh, it looks like I'm going to be back off the road for awhile...

All back together, but definitely not fixed.
Note the Husky hair on cyl #1, that stuff floats everywhere, though I don't suspect it has anything to do with this issue.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Tuna coming up on 7 years now?

Woof.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

What a lovely holiday share. The hikes to the train tunnels and petroglyphs are intriguing Good on you for your care-taking of the site.

Sorry for the WBX tribulation that befell you--it appears from all the smiles that the positive spirit of the activities overcame the interuption. I hadn't run into that situation so have nothing better than what has been offered already.

Tuna is beautiful and quite the character I see.

Happy New Year -- Good health and high spirits to all!
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