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Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input
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D/A/N
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:36 am    Post subject: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

Part 1

Short background story

7 or 8 years ago, I decided I was going to build a 1904 for my 1973 beetle. I fucked some things up at the beginning of building and decided to get it built by a professional. I was never very happy with the results. Now, I want to freshen the motor up and maybe put it in my 1970 Riviera, a heavy camper. If not that, then maybe Iíll put the motor up for sale. Iíve started digging into the motor, and have found some things Iím less than thrilled by.

Long background story

Back in 2012, I read about the aircooled.net ďno machineĒ 1800 motor and started buying parts to build one for my 73 Beetle. Then, I realized I could build a 1904 for not much more, especially if I did the build myself. By 2013, Iíd gathered up these parts

New AS41 case clearanced and full flowed
1 1/2 quart sump
DPR lightened flywheel
DPR 74mm crank
DPR balanced rod set
Mahle 90.5 p/cís
W110 cam
Aircooled.net L3 heads
Stock heater boxes
1 3/8Ē header
36mm DLRAís
019 distributor

After some dicking around and messing up a set of bearings, overheating/bluing the crank gear and feeling like I was in over my head, I reached out to a very well-regarded engine builder and sent him the parts. After some back and forth, I agreed to a few changes. In the end, the L3 heads got new valves and a port and polish job and the exhaust and carbs were upgraded. I wound up with

Rebuilt L3 heads with 40x37.5 valves
1 1/2ď ceramic coated header and single quiet pack
1 1/2Ē heater boxes
40mm DRLAís
German 009

I took delivery of the full turnkey motor in the summer of 2014 and it just never ran right. We couldnít get it to idle smoothly and it seemed underpowered for what it was. The builder was very helpful in terms of jetting and timing suggestions but we were never very happy with the performance. After a while, the builder hooked us up with some Weber 42 DCNFís and the engine idled and performed the best it ever did though gas mileage was shit.

Eventually, we got tired of dicking around with the carbs and the car sat while we drove our Squareback. Some rust spots in the beetle got much worse, we got a 1970 camper, and we decided to sell the beetle (without the motor). In the end, we put somewhere between 3k and 4K miles on the 1904. I misplaced the notepad we used to keep in the dash of the car where the exact numbers are. Iím sure itíll pop up one day when I have no need for it.

Part 2 coming soon.....
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'69 Fuel Injected Squareback. "B" D-jet. 1600 with balanced rotating assembly and lightened flywheel. Full flow and external filter.

'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler


Last edited by D/A/N on Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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D/A/N
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem and Rebuild of a 1904 Reply with quote

Part 2

Present Day


The motor has been sitting under a table in our apartment for the last 3 years and I decided to see what I could do to turn it into something we could use in our bus. I started taking pictures and made some preliminary measurements and havenít loved what Iíve found.

Heads

The L3 heads had a ton of casting flash in them. [These were made by DRD and purchased in 2012 so this may no longer be the case for L3 heads. I think I read that aircooled.net is using a different manufacturer.] I told the builder about the casting flash when he sent the heads to his guy to be re-worked. He said heíd seen worse and that these would cool fine. I figured he knew better than me because heís the well-regarded pro and Iím just some guy. Hereís what one of the heads looks like today with an OEM VW head for comparison. I canít imagine these L3ís ever cooled very well at all. I had to take 2 pics to get the angles right.

L3

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


L3

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


OEM head

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


So I need new heads. Not only do I not feel like dealing with all of that casting flash, but Iíve since read that 40x37.5 valves are more apt for a turbo set up. I also read about someone else with this valve combo having idle issues in conjunction with a cam so that could explain the lumpy idle we used to contend with.

Iím thinking of going to stock valve size heads or something like the Tims ďsuper stockĒ heads so I can use stock heater boxes. With air leaks sealed up, the bus gets pretty warm with the heat on in the shoulder seasons....at least in the front cabin.

Question: Since these heads obviously werenít cooling very well, how might this have affected other parts of the motor? What should I keep an eye out for going forward?

Part 3 coming soon......
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'69 Fuel Injected Squareback. "B" D-jet. 1600 with balanced rotating assembly and lightened flywheel. Full flow and external filter.

'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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Ohio Tom
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem and Rebuild of a 1904 Reply with quote

Carb size has nothing to do with idle quality.

I can make a set of 48IDA run perfectly on a 1776 with a drag race cam.

It's all about the idle mixtures, and idle speeds and proper sync of the carbs.
Sounds easy, but I know it's not...

YOu might be better off running a single IDF style carb. Easy to tune, lots more mid range.

NO need to dump those heads.

Pretty common these days for heads to look like that. Doesn't mean they are junk.
Just keep the compression ratio decent and they will be fine.

I will say this; if you want the best flow thru the head, get set of Panchito heads from CB. They have more air flow thru them than any head I have seen.
They do run nice and cool and come ready to run out of the box. 160cfm as sold.
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D/A/N
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem and Rebuild of a 1904 Reply with quote

Ohio Tom wrote:
Carb size has nothing to do with idle quality.

I can make a set of 48IDA run perfectly on a 1776 with a drag race cam.

It's all about the idle mixtures, and idle speeds and proper sync of the carbs.
Sounds easy, but I know it's not...

YOu might be better off running a single IDF style carb. Easy to tune, lots more mid range.

NO need to dump those heads.

Pretty common these days for heads to look like that. Doesn't mean they are junk.
Just keep the compression ratio decent and they will be fine.

I will say this; if you want the best flow thru the head, get set of Panchito heads from CB. They have more air flow thru them than any head I have seen.
They do run nice and cool and come ready to run out of the box. 160cfm as sold.


Sorry if I was unclear....I was thinking that part of the idle and power issue might have had to do with the 110 cam and the oddball 40x37.5 valve size. That valve combo seems uncommon to say the least.
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'69 Fuel Injected Squareback. "B" D-jet. 1600 with balanced rotating assembly and lightened flywheel. Full flow and external filter.

'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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Dan Ruddock
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

Plugged up heads like that can be drilled to cool properly, but you must be careful or you can ruin the head. Dan
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Brian_e
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

For a mini stroker in a bus, I really like this combo.

74x90.5 or 92mm
37x33 ported high velocity heads
web 218, 8.5-8.8cr
1 1/2" header
40mm IDF's, or 36 or 40 dells.

In a bus you need lots of torque. Low end torque for a bus comes from fast airspeed in the heads (small efficient ports), and a low duration cam.

This combo would allow you to reuse quite a few of the parts you already have.

Brian
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

the only thing I had different from your original 1904cc combo was a web 163 cam, in a 2200lb squareback, lots of torque from idle to 5000rpm, it was a great engine.

Quote:

New AS41 case clearanced and full flowed
1 1/2 quart sump
DPR lightened flywheel
DPR 74mm crank
DPR balanced rod set
Mahle 90.5 p/cís
W110 cam
Aircooled.net L3 heads
Stock heater boxes
1 3/8Ē header
36mm DLRAís
019 distributor

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1973 super
1965 squareback 1500E
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FreeBug
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

So this engine has had several sets of carbs, and two distributors, but still doesn't run right? What is the C/R, what advance are you setting, and how. Have you balanced flow at idle and just off idle for each throttle perfectly?

The sad part is that overheating the crank gear is not really an issue. You could have kept on building it, probably would have been the best thing.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

I'm sure you'd like to learn from it,
but I don't think you have nor want the ability to blueprint engine parts.
And you can only learn a little from failure anyway.
What you can learn the most from is success.
Just have to try a different approach and find parts and people that work for you.

What should you do with it....well, find somebody that LIKES those chinese heads and let them have it.
That's not me, and it's probbly not you, but one man's trash is anothers treasure.

Berg supposedly had a very large pile of "defective" parts, which did not work for him.
But I betcha every single thing in that pile there was somebody somewhere who was looking for exactly that part. Legend was it the pile WAS free to make withdrawals as well as deposits.
If your storing your pile indoors, that's doing it wrong. Laughing
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Scott65Beetle
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

I use a file to take care of flashing. Tedious but it works.
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D/A/N
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

Brian_e wrote:
For a mini stroker in a bus, I really like this combo.

74x90.5 or 92mm
37x33 ported high velocity heads
web 218, 8.5-8.8cr
1 1/2" header
40mm IDF's, or 36 or 40 dells.

In a bus you need lots of torque. Low end torque for a bus comes from fast airspeed in the heads (small efficient ports), and a low duration cam.

This combo would allow you to reuse quite a few of the parts you already have.

Brian


I got to ride in a 71 Westy last weekend that had a 1904 with a 110 cam but with stock valve heads, 36mm Dells and a 1 3/8Ē header. It was great to drive: strong, fast, and pulled hills like nothing compared to the 1600 single port I have in mine right now.

Would leaving the 110 cam in mine but going to 37x32 heads be that much less optimal than if I went to a web 218 and 37x32 heads?
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'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

Not a good head comparison. You cannot get dual port heads to flow air around the intake ports like a single post head. Different animal! That said, yes those heads could use some work in that area. Chances are that any new heads will require the same attention.

Personally I would not be so quick to throw them away unless there are other un-redeemable issues.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

oprn wrote:
Not a good head comparison. You cannot get dual port heads to flow air around the intake ports like a single post head. Different animal! That said, yes those heads could use some work in that area. Chances are that any new heads will require the same attention.

Personally I would not be so quick to throw them away unless there are other un-redeemable issues.


True, but I used that just to show how cleared out the passages are in the OEM head vs the aftermarket one.

Apart from the 40x37.5 valve size and the casting flash, there are no other issues with the heads. Anyone have experience with that valve size around these parts?
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'69 Fuel Injected Squareback. "B" D-jet. 1600 with balanced rotating assembly and lightened flywheel. Full flow and external filter.

'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

Did you have high chtís?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

Post-mortem means the patent is already dead.
You building frankenstiens monster out of dead parts? Ok
but
Not knowing which organs are good and which aren't? please consult a doctor. Razz
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

modok wrote:
Post-mortem means the patent is already dead.
You building frankenstiens monster out of dead parts? Ok
but
Not knowing which organs are good and which aren't? please consult a doctor. Razz


Well, I guess the motor has lived through at least one of its incarnations (in my bug) and is perhaps getting ready for a new life after 3 years of living under a table.

There are still more measurements (deck height, end play, etc.) to come so who knows what might get cut out and transplanted in.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

Dan~

here is the engine in my bus

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

don't use deves rings or I will punch you in the dick

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7421137

https://rennlist.com/forums/911-forum/402884-deves-rings.html
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
Dan~

here is the engine in my bus

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

don't use deves rings or I will punch you in the dick

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7421137

https://rennlist.com/forums/911-forum/402884-deves-rings.html


You know the saying Dan ďWhen in Sticksville do what the Stickyís doĒ AND SUBIE THE HELL OUT OF IT. See, problem solved. Laughing Just choose the right bank, not those kind found in Supermarkets Shhh
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

So fresh built and never ran right? A?nd from an experienced builder? Seems to me...somewhere in there is something lacking.

HOw as the motor after it was built? YOu have comression pressures in the cylinders? How much? If the engine was built properly, then it is safe to assume it is mechanically correct. OTher than that...it is just setting up the fuel system to feed it.

If you went dual carbs, then them have to be configured to the motor. Proper venturis, and matching jettings for the motor and expected use..heavy bus..so on.

If you have no idea if the motor is mechanically correct, no amount of damn tuning will make it run right. Everything has to jive together.

And a single dual carbs is one of the worse ways to feed a VW aircooled motor. gas mileage on them are 8 mpg. Laughing Talk about fuel wash.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Post-Mortem of a 1904: Need some input Reply with quote

I have a set of those heads but just the entry level.... not the L3.
While Iíve had issues with them.... cooling has not been a problem.

My issues were piss poor valve sealing..... a complete new set of valves and a valve job took care of that..I did put 20,000 miles on them though.
I also put new guides in them this spring along with ď1.25Ē rockers that measured out at 1.38.
I donít know what DRD did in the last year or so if his business but it sure wasnít quality head sales.
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