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Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:56 pm    Post subject: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

Finally forced myself to put the bus up on jack stands and start the process of replacing the heads with the custom set from Len (what gorgeous work he does), fixing an alternator chirp, and replacing the exhaust. If the new case gets back from Germany in time I will split the case and use it too. Will also try to find the whine in the trans. Retirement has its joys. Older age has its back pains and right about now I wish I had a son(s) to help with this if their social lives allowed. I will say that it was quite painful every time I had to crawl under the bus and back out. Weight doesn't help, and I am rare 1 in 100,000 guy who has no morphine receptors so if Tylenol or Advil doesn't stop it one just pushes thru it. Since one of my brothers has the same genetic rarity I guess that makes us 2 / 100,000 or more. It is more common in Denmark, 1 /10,000 so I'm guessing there is some Danish blood there somewhere. Smile

So I am going to try to document the work as best I can. If it helps someone great. Worst case whomever buys my bus the day I decide to sell it can look at the history of the build.

Day 1 - maybe 2 hours

Trans oil wrench
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Engine oil allen socket
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Properly dispose of oil to take to HHW
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Disconnect battery charger
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Battery negative cable comes off
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Extra shroud to chassis ground strap comes off
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Pull the coil wires off and remove wire ties
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Pull the shroud to air canister hose off
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Oil sender wires
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Head Temp disconnect
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Cut wire ties carefully
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Double relay and resistor pack disconnect
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right air hose
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Left air hose
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ECU disconnect
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Fuel clamps ready and back under the bus
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Where the extra fuel will go
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Draining the tank. I don't like to have a full tank only held by clamps or a bolt and clamp while it sits in the garage
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

whats the purpose of the shroud ground? I get more grounding is beneficial, but does grounding the shroud specifically target one thing or just an extra?
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ivwshane
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

Damn! Look at all the pretty parts!
Did you refurbish your coil or did you buy it like that? My coil works fine but looks beat up and I would love to clean it up.

I'm looking forward to see how you work.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

Thanks Shane. I cleaned and painted it. FI coils are different than non-fi coils with the exception that there is one Bosch Blue coil that has the same windings and voltage. Richard Atwell has the specs on his site. It took me a while to find one worthy of cleaning and painting. The bus was restored 10 years ago so I am looking forward to refreshing everything. A mostly new exhaust is off to the powder coated tomorrow.

As to the extra ground. It seems that these engines can get corrosion on the grounds and cause issues. there are actually a bunch of bays out there with this mod. I also added a strap between the engine and transmission as well as cleaned the one between the chassis and transmission really well. During the restoration I went thru every connector and wire in the bus to be sure the connections were good.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

last photos from Day 1. I also remove the U tubes and heater valves to fit them on the new heater boxes that go to powercoat today. No photos of that. Normally those would come off after the engine was pulled.

remove heater bellows
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remove heater cable. Note - the factory barrels hold up better than the after market ones that are too soft so they strip.
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remove clutch cable from arm
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remove bowden bracket
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remove reverse light connectors
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remove reverse boot. Looks like it has torn. Hope they all don't do that.
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One of my supervisors came to check out the work and offer support before she wandered off to bed.
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Remove trans ground strap.
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Remove starter wires
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:

remove reverse boot. Looks like it has torn. Hope they all don't do that.
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Thank you for taking the time to document this process, as well as for using the samba picture gallery to store the images.

I am unfamiliar with this 'reverse boot' and will have to check my manual when I get home.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

airkooledchris wrote:
SGKent wrote:

remove reverse boot. Looks like it has torn. Hope they all don't do that.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.




Thank you for taking the time to document this process, as well as for using the samba picture gallery to store the images.

I am unfamiliar with this 'reverse boot' and will have to check my manual when I get home.


There is a thread on it. Unfortunately the part doesn't fit most people's coupler because the shape of the coupler was changed from a fat coffin shape to the more familiar round shape. Using the proper part with the common collar will result in ripping like in sgkents picture.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

Cool! Definitely following along.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

airkooledchris wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to document this process, as well as for using the samba picture gallery to store the images.



This. 100%

Thank you, SGKent
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1977 Westfalia Weekender Tintop (very first car - SOLD Sad )
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

y'all are welcome. Will try to document each step. Kind of a bummer on the trans boot. I am thinking next time I will put the wire outside so it holds the boot to the coupler. That should reduce pressure on the eye. The couplers I have are genuine VW but they lack the tombstone. The welds were added to keep it from failing at the crimp

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

If you run the battery ground to the engine (fan shroud or other) instead of the body then the starter current does not need to pass through the transmission ground strap which being hidden underneath the van is subject to corrosion and neglect. VW set the system up the way they did to save a few extra cents on each van at the factory. Having the battery ground strap connected to the engine, tranny, or starter is very common in the automotive industry and I have run my Transporters this way for decades.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

Steve, did you take before pics of your exhaust before you sent them out. If I remember your previous engine pics, your exhaust already looked really good. I'm specifically interested in your heat exchangers as I am currently rebuilding mine.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

ivwshane wrote:
Steve, did you take before pics of your exhaust before you sent them out. If I remember your previous engine pics, your exhaust already looked really good. I'm specifically interested in your heat exchangers as I am currently rebuilding mine.


You are welcome to come by and take a look Shane. I will probably sell the old system complete, and I think John in Los Alamos NW has first right of refusal. These had a couple small blems on them that Elmer's welding made like new before he retired. Those guys could weld to thin steel business cards together without a flaw. In fact it was one of their tests before they hired a welder. My current guy does that kind of stuff too. Perfectionist.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

Lol, I just spent $250 on some used ones in better shape than what I have. But they will still need some work (mostly just welding on new collars on the shells). I think I can do this Confused
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

When I refreshed the 1977 CE-1 I got one of those shifter boots from Bus Depot. It was a perfect fit, but I have no idea what they offer now.

I got brass heater cable lugs from Bus Depot and have used them without issue on the 1981 Westy and the time 1977 sunroof bus. However, if I recall the OE were steel. Stronger by far, but always rust seized.

Im still in the camp that says your bus is just fine the way it is... likely amongst the top 2% in running quality and you should be wearing out your tires, not your back. But, hell... your call! Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
If you run the battery ground to the engine (fan shroud or other) instead of the body then the starter current does not need to pass through the transmission ground strap which being hidden underneath the van is subject to corrosion and neglect. VW set the system up the way they did to save a few extra cents on each van at the factory. Having the battery ground strap connected to the engine, tranny, or starter is very common in the automotive industry and I have run my Transporters this way for decades.


Good call!
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

Wasted youth wrote:
When I refreshed the 1977 CE-1 I got one of those shifter boots from Bus Depot. It was a perfect fit, but I have no idea what they offer now.

I got brass heater cable lugs from Bus Depot and have used them without issue on the 1981 Westy and the time 1977 sunroof bus. However, if I recall the OE were steel. Stronger by far, but always rust seized.

Im still in the camp that says your bus is just fine the way it is... likely amongst the top 2% in running quality and you should be wearing out your tires, not your back. But, hell... your call! :lol:


I agree!!

Here is a picture of the collar and the proper boot, as you can see not only is the shape different but so is the size.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

I found a good used tombstone coupler and ordered it.

The goal when I built this bus was to have one that was reliable as new. I wanted a new case, new set of heads, and a new exhaust as part of the rebuild. That was 10 years ago. A new case back then was about $6K imported, and new heads were not available except like $3K for a pair. Since then the person doing the heads started selling directly and the cases came way down although they need a mod in the fuel pump area. When this bus is done I am thru working on it, and will use it a lot more.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

I would like to get the tomb style coupler as well, how did you find one and what specifically did you search for?

Hell, I might have found one.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00EDOP1TE#Ask

In the comments someone said it fit their 76 bus.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Process of rebuild, replacing heads, new exhaust & misc 1977 FI Reply with quote

finally got the energy up to work on the bus some more. My back was injured in a 2010 accident and made worse in a 2017 accident so getting under the bus is painful at times these days. But, slowly I will get there.

Remove CV joints
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Use wire ties to hold them stable so they don't rock and the ball bearings fall out.
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Bag in plastic and tape to keep dirt out and grease off me
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Upper trans ear bolts. Use a tiny bit of lift on the engine and trans to be able to pull bolts - do the same when putting them back in.
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Back up above now. Pull engine cover
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AFM harness. Use a scribe to spread the clips a little and slide off.
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rest of the hoses., throttle body cable nut, and afm
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Remove voltage regulator part of harness
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Pull oil filler - makes it easier to move engine back to pull it. Remove foam around engine too. Inspect it because it may need to be changed with age.
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All that is left are the fuel lines (already drained), the carrier bolts, and the nose cone support. Will pull the throttle body cable out and its tubing also at the same time. Off to other chores.
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