Phoenix… my revival project

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This topic contains 105 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  kentt 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #234685

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    I don’t plan to do a complete “build” thread, since my car was relatively complete when I got it — but it was last registered and driven 15 years ago, in 1998. So it is more a revival than a build, in addition to correcting some initial build issues.

    As I’ve said before, I “think” this is an early FiberFab kit, though I’m not absolutely sure.  There are no FiberFab markings on it that I’ve found, only a serial number under the hood on the bulkhead/firewall.   It is a very basic kit – with few of the “niceties” that were then optional, some of which came standard later.  No chrome grille shell, headlights mounted to the sides of the grille shell, only a front bumper facebar (with no real  mounting brackets) and no rear bumper at all, etc.

    I’m correcting some of those things, as I continue to work the mechanicals.  Here’s an initial dry-fit of the original MG chrome/brass grille shell that I scored off eBay for a couple hundred bucks. It has dents, dings and imperfections, but overall the visible chrome is in decent condition.  Most of the wear and tear was where it rubbed the original TD’s fenders.  That’s what got it replaced during someone’s TD restoration.  Luckily, all that damage got trimmed off, to fit this kit’s one-piece nose-piece.  
    I raised the mounting brackets for the headlights to cover the slots where the original curved headlight bows would’ve mounted – which in turn, raises the headlights a few inches higher than original.  I can live with that – IMO it makes it look more like an old roadster…
    Similarly, the fiberglass grille shell had four chromed plastic slats on each side.  I damaged a couple removing them to paint the inset portions of the grille.  I originally thought of using chrome tape to repair them, but then stumbled across this 1/2″ x 1/2″ aluminum angle stock at Lowe’s while looking for aluminum flat stock to shim the hood hinge.  It fits almost perfectly the short side of the molded grille indentations.  So, I cut four new slats for each side and pop riveted them in, then sprayed a couple coats of clear enamel over them and the whole inset portion of the grille, to help control corrosion/oxidation.  Again, using only four slats with the high contrast black background adds to the roadster look, IMO. Black grille slats were not “authentic” to a red TD, but it does match the black dashboard, and most of the interior.
    The previous owner had fabbed his own badge bar out of 1/8″ flat steel and used it to mount the front license plate and the Lucas horn.  I relocated the horn to the center, above and behind the license plate, then added a couple 55w Halogen driving lights that are up higher to shine over the bumper and facebars. And, my own blatant personalization disclaimer that this NOT an original MG, complete with a local VW dealer (long since out of business) license plate frame…
    The Moss Motors replacement front bumper is sitting on my “garden scooter” (somewhat tilted) just to give an idea of how it will look once mounted.   Now, it’s time to remove the dry-fit, glue on the welting to let it dri, and get back to the greasy/dirty mechanicals.  Then, it will be time to come back and reinstall the grille and refit the hood…
    This whole update to the front look has been a huge distraction from actually getting this thing on the road.
    Some of the mechanicals done or undeway:
    1.  New rubber fuel lines everywhere, new fuel filter and fuel pump
    2.  New rubber brake lines all around
    3.  New wheel cylinders, master cylinder, brake shoes and retaining hardware
    4.  New front brake drums and wheel bearings
    5.  New tires
    6.  New tie rods and tie rod ends
    Last but not least:
    7.  New clutch, pressure plate and throw-out bearing
    Then, there’s a complete tune-up, up to and including a carb kit, if needed… and then it is on to sprucing up the interior, cleaning up some spaghetti wiring, etc.
    I’m intermixing “cosmetic stuff” with “mechanical stuff” to keep me motivated to deal with the rusty bolts, busted knuckles, and greasy hands…  :P:lol::lol:

    KentT2013-05-14 23:33:03

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255897

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Looks good Kent!
    Major improvements!

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #255898

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    Nice.
    Just those few cosmetic changes really dresses it up.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #255899

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    “front bumper is sitting on my garden scooter”   ….I was about to tell you that you mounted your wheelie bar on the wrong end.  😆


    Looks good.  Front grill is sharp.  
    #255900

    jebarry
    Participant

    @jebarry

    looks great kent !

    #255901

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Great work, Kent. I love it when I find a hard-to-get replacement part in the bin at the Despot, looking for shapes and colors. She’s really shaping up!

    #255902

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Royal wrote:
    I was about to tell you that you mounted your wheelie bar on the wrong end.  😆


    The wheelie bars are on the opposite end from the engine — isn’t that where they’re supposed to go?  :lol::lol:

    KentT2013-05-15 12:16:23

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255903

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Tried shimming the piano hinge used for the hood.  Doesn’t work.  The leading edge on the side of the hood is hitting the recessed flange on the side panels.  

    Bottom line is that piano hinges simply won’t work here, unless I move the piano hinge down onto the side of that recessed flange.  That would still leave me with the line of holes in the hood where the PO had the piano hinge originally bolted on — so I’m back to fitting the normal marine hatch hinges…

    So, I’ll glue fender welting to both sides of the hood also, while it’s apart prior to fitting the hinges…

    KentT2013-05-17 09:42:48

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255904

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Still working cosmetics while waiting on Kroil and PB Blaster to work its magic — I hope — I put fender welting around my engine compartment lid.  As I mentioned in another thread (sorry for the hijack)  Embarrassed my engine lid doesn’t fit well, not simultaneously touching the back of the tub and the splashpan for the full length,, and I see no real way to improve it much.

    Now I understand why… look at the shape and fit of this original TD gas tank – it’s supposed to fit against the tub, and NOT the splashpan:
    Perhaps that is possible… I’ll have to see if that leaves any room for convertible top snaps…

    KentT2013-05-21 19:56:42

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255905

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Well, progress has been MUCH slower than anticipated due to competing priorities, lack of time, and no garage (only a carport) to work in…

    Front brakes (drums, steel/rubber lines, wheel cylinders, bearings, mounting HW, etc), master cylinder, shocks & steering stabilizer, tierods all replaced after much fussing and cussing with 40+ year old rusted parts.  Couldn’t get fronts to bleed up (pedal height) to my satisfaction, so I ordered a pressure bleeder and winter got here before I could replace the rears…
    Got the original 1500cc SP engine running, after replacing the rusty, leaking gas tank with another ’69 model that I had modified to fit — only to find that it needs rebuilt due to low compression and traces of smoke — the engine had no air filter on it when I bought it, and I suspect that it’s been run too much, too long, without one.  So, this winter’s project is to build the replacement engine.  My friend has a garage with enough room to build it in… so it can be ready when it’s warm enough to get outside and install it.
    Going kind of “old school” with it, combining what I’ve used successfully in the past, and know to work and last, with a couple of twists:
    1. A set of NOS 88mm Gene Berg piston/cylinders that will form the core.  They essentially use 90.5 cylinder castings, but are bored to 88mm instead, yielding much thicker walls than even the stock 1600’s 85.5s.  I’ve seen the bottom (case-side) of too many oversized jugs crack — these should never.  Also, this old set has forged flat top pistons, while the new Berg kits for low compression appear to be cast.  This set should be rebuildable, instead of replaceable — worst case, they can be rebored to 90.5s.  Meanwhile, they’ll run much cooler and should wear predictably, without distortion or cracking.
    2. Used dual-relief case, just bored for these 90.5-size jugs with 8mm studs.  Mains cleaned up nicely, and still allows one additional line-bore in the future, should I need one. Modified 69mm German crank, turned 10/10, with matching 8-dowelled re-surfaced and lightened stock flywheel, and rebuilt German rods, all balanced as a set.  Not going with full-flow remote filter/cooler nor counter-weighted crank to save $$ – I’ve blown an engine in the past using rubber oil lines and will NOT take oil outside the case without using braided steel lines, which cost $$.  I don’t expect extended high RPMs (5500+) so counter-weighting isn’t necessary.  (I’d rather have a forged German crank than a counterweighted cast one…)  Similarly, not expecting high RPM, I went with static rather than dynamic balancing.  Finally, the proven Engle 110 cam and lifters, which I ran years ago with a 69×88 and dual Solex carbs in my Karmann Ghia and had a blast with it.  
    3. Brother’s Machine Shop’s dual port heads, 40×35.5mm stainless steel valves,  heavy-duty single springs, and chromemolly retainers.  Considered going with smaller valves, but a port/polish to make them flow would’ve been more expensive than these off-the-shelf variety.  Figured that any loss in low-end torque would be offset by the light weight of the TDr’s body.  Not sure which original head casting was used – I think they’re Mexican, but not sure – I didn’t pay attention to the casting marks. These should economically give me good airflow for the RPMs I’m expecting,  http://www.brothersvwmachineshop.com/heads.htm I’m starting with stock pushrods and rockers, but may upgrade to a solid rocker shaft once it’s broken in and I see what kind of RPMs I want to run.
    4.  Set of lightly-used Empi 40 HPMX Version 2 carbs, originally set up and run on a mild 1750 (he replaced them with Dellortos), so any initial cleaning and setup kinks should be worked out.  I need for them to arrive next week, get them dry-fit and installed, and see what kind of clearance issues I may have with the early FF engine lid.  I think they might fit with only minor trimming of the flat flange around the edge.  If not, I’ll need to get the CB Space Saver kit:  http://www.cbperformance.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=3268 Not going to bother with the expense of port-matching the heads because of the low-RPM range, once again.
    5.  Ordering a Scat 36HP doghouse fresh-air cooling shroud, and will install a venturi ring, Hoover bit, and OEM thermostat/flaps.  Will run the heater boxes off my 1500, after I’ve cleaned and painted them.
    6.  Still undecided on what exhaust system I’ll run long-term, which prompted my earlier question about hide-aways.  I’d ordered and never installed a ceramic coated Empi 3487 single-tip exhaust, but I also have access to a lightly used Empi or Bugpack 4:1 extractor with a single quiet-pack (I’ve run those in the past, both on my KG and bugs).  May try that first, before ever installing the more-restrictive Empi just to break the engine in, as cool as the restrictive heater boxes will allow, and see how it does. Also want to see if how far it extends past the TDr’s splashpan, under the bumper, and how obtrusive it looks. The splashpan on my car has already been trimmed by the PO (who put a piece of aluminum on top of the cutout), so clearance there is not an issue…
    Longblock is assembled, with VW 26mm oil pump, set up for 8:1 compression ratio, with an electronic 009 distributor, waiting on my carbs and shroud, and test-fitting the engine lid – in addition to installing an electric fuel pump, pressure regulator, etc.  Sadly, without completing my brakes, no test-driving nor engine break-in any time soon — unless I can find a garage I can borrow for a while to get it roadworthy… then who want’s to drive a convertible in 20 degree weather? (Have I mentioned how much I hate winter?)
    My goal is 75-80 reliable (stock-equivalent or better), affordable horsepower, a broad power range (1800-4500) that will allow occasional 5,000 RPMs in 3rd gear should I need/want to…  (When you get in the 5500-6000 RPM range, you need dual valve springs, chromemolly pushrods, counter-balanced crank, etc — and that gets real expensive, real quick!) 
    My prior experience with a 69×88 (1678cc) and this cam was in a heavy KG convertible, running with 32×35 valves and dual Solexes, 009,  heater-boxes, a 4:1 exhaust and quiet pack.  It used German Kolbenschmidt (sp?) machine-in 88s, and would easily rev to 5000 but peak power was about 4800 because of the carbs/heads.  It would run/handle with a 1.8L Porsche 914 until I needed to shift out of 3rd gear — then his mid-engine and 5 speed would run off and leave me…
    Not sure what these larger carbs and heads will do, nor how much of a restriction the heater boxes/exhaust will be with them — but I essentially want to use those restrictions to “govern it” to keep me out of the range where I’ll either experience valve-train failure or pound out the crank journals with this non-counterweighted crank… Meanwhile, I want to watch engine heat, though I think the modified 36HP doghouse (especially with the added venturi ring) should work.  Prior experience was with factory doghouse shroud and full tins.  I think the lighter weight of the TDr will offset lower-RPM torque-loss of the larger valves, and I should have dramatically better mid-to-top range performance, especially in a MUCH lighter car.  I’d guess that KG combo put out 70-72 reliable HP, and this should do a bit more – perhaps 80HP.
    More to follow… 

    KentT2014-01-04 10:01:39

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255906

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    That sounds like a really smart combo that should get you about 75 horse at the flywheel at 4750; 85 ft lbs. in the low 3000s with the restrictive exhaust. You’re going to be pushing about 300 lbs less than the KG with it, so it should move smartly.

    I think Schu has a collector header on his car and it’s visible under the apron but not obnoxiously so. With that I’m betting the engine you’re building would pull 10 more horses at 5000. 
    All theoretically, of course.
    Put in the tins, seal it up and it should run cool enough. Not sure why you wouldn’t go with a later doghouse shroud & fan though. Cheap insurance, no?

    Got 3.88s?

    edsnova2014-01-03 14:44:40

    #255907

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    The later doghouse shrouds with heater hoses don’t work well with the dual Webers or HPMX clones — no room to get to them — if they don’t actually hit the shroud.  That would’ve saved some serious money if they would — that new shroud, by the time I add the flaps/thermostat, venturi ring, Hoover bit, etc — cost me about as much as the pistons/cylinders or the used carbs…

    EDIT:  I’m still running the stock 4.12, AFAIK.  A 3:88 with close ratio 3rd and 4th sounds interesting though!  Gotta get it on the road and running well to deal with that whole issue, in addition to handling.  Meanwhile I have to redo the interior also… 
    It never ends….

    KentT2014-01-03 15:32:48

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255908

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Dang. I have an older shroud on my motor. 1966, 1300 SP. Going to part it out, I think. 

    #255909

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    More on why I chose to base it on 88s instead of the common 90.5s… 

    The thick walled machine-in 88s that I used in the KG were based on the earlier 90mm (not today’s 90.5mm) castings.  I put about 40,000 miles on it with the 35×32 DP heads, before trading it, and compression was still checking within 5-7 psi of when it was newly built.  It still used no oil between changes, and ran cool…
    One Monday afternoon in late May 1975, about 2 PM Eastern, my wife and I left Jefferson City TN going on vacation with our 18 month old daughter.  At 6 PM Wednesday afternoon, Pacific time, we pulled into my brother’s house in Spokane Washington — 2309 miles later.   In those days, on I-90 heading west, there were no speed limits on the interstate until we crossed into Washington state.  80-90 MPH slowed to about 70 MPH as we crossed the Continental Divide due to altitude, but quickly recovered once we dropped down out of the mountains.   

    Just to be safe, I popped the valve covers when I changed the oil at my brother’s place to check the valve lash — unchanged!  On our way back, we took our time, detoured through Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, then came back east across I-80, again running 80+ MPH until we crossed the Missouri state line…

    I ran almost full throttle for hour after hour after hour, without overheating or worrying about it… 

    KentT2014-01-03 18:27:26

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255910

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Excellent story. I believe everything you wrote except that part about “no speed limits.” 

    #255911

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Well in 1975 Montana’s signs still stated: Speed limits dependent upon road conditions (or something to that effect)…

    I just confirmed that with my wife — my co-driver — and we also remembered the “Next services: 90 miles” sign… 
    The Feds may have passed the law, but some states clearly chose to ignore them…

    KentT2014-01-03 18:44:01

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255912

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    “Reasonable and prudent”.  Those are the words that I remember from my 1968 trip through Montana and Nevada.  The trooper explained and then let me off – asking that I slow down a bit in my brand new 1968 Vista Cruiser.    

    #255913

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    That may have been the wording, Roy.  I just remember that no specific number was stated.  

    I could be rolling along at about 90 and get passed occasionally — there wasn’t much traffic out there, back then…
    I’m not sure but I think I averaged 31.3 MPG at those speeds for the entire leg out.  I tracked it because I wanted to make sure not to get too low on gas, with those infrequent exits and rest areas.  I don’t recall tracking the mileage on the way back….     

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255914

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Muffler/header-wise, maybe the Tri mill “hotdog?” That thing looks as compact as the 3487 and supposedly works OK to 100 horses. Stock type dual exhaust setup. Cost like $150 or so. 

    Beyond that I think you’re looking at A-1 “Sidewinder” stuff, and it quickly gets spaghetti-like down there with lots of flanges and taking the muffler off to adjust the valves, etc. Plus you can drop $800 on that rig easy….
    #255915

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    That’s an alternative, though they’re noisy… 

    I was hoping someone might’ve tried the hideaway type to see if they’d tuck up under the TDr’s fender.  If so, you could could get an entension bent and welded on that would put the exhaust back out in close to the original TD’s location…
    Yes, you have to remove the muffler by unbolting them at the 3-bolt collector and the added support tab in order to adjust the valves…

    KentT2014-01-04 09:27:46

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255916

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Back to the subject of cooling, especially after reading about others having cooling issues with their VW TDrs here…

    Couple things that a lot of folks don’t realize about factory VW cooling:
    1.  When VW upgraded to dog-house coolers and the larger cooling fans for the dual-port engines, they also had to start adding vents to the engine lids on the Bugs (similar to earlier VW convertibles) to supply the additional cooling air that the larger fan pulled.  The older-style air vents above the hood, below the rear window, would not provide enough air. The new, wider fan flows 25 cubic feet per second of air at 4,000 RPM, while the old single-port fans flowed 21 cfm/sec, an increase of 19%.
    2.  Later, when smog regulations forced them to go to fuel injection running leaner mixtures, even that doghouse shroud was not enough, and they added a venturi ring to the back of the fan shroud, similar to what had been used on the old 36HP engines.  These venturi rings function similar to “velocity stacks” or “air horns” used on carbs — they reduce turbulence and increase airflow especially in high flow (i.e. high RPM) conditions.  Supposedly, adding an air venturi will add 10% in airflow through the fan… They’re now available to the aftermarket at places such as:  http://vwparts.aircooled.net/Venturi-Ring-for-Fan-Shroud-Black-Powder-Coated-p/venturi-ring.htm 
    If anyone with a VW TDr is experiencing overheating issues, you may want to consider adding one of these, though it would require you to pull the engine.  This manufacturer offers them for the earlier, non-doghouse fan shrouds also:  http://www.awesomepowdercoat.com/Venturi_Ring.html
    So, when combining the larger doghouse fan with the venturi ring, I should be able to flow between 25-30% more cooling air than my old 1500 single port — IF the TDr’s body design will allow it.  
    My early FF kit has gaps at the bottom front of the engine lid, where it fits against the rear of the body tub, as shown in a pic above.  Many of the other TDr kits do not.  Similarly my early FF engine lid is 34-5/8″ wide (outside measurement) which is wider than many other kits, it seems.  (That’s why I have a chance of fitting these Weber IDA-clones underneath it.)  I’ll be able to draw some air in there through those gaps, without additional venting, and hopefully that will be sufficient for the carbs.
    My issues/concerns with cooling relate to the primary cooling airflow over the tranny into the bottom front of the engine compartment.  My 1500 engine still has the original rear, upright tin on it.  I’m considering eliminating that piece of tin on this new build, if I can figure out a way to securely mount and hold the doghouse oil cooler’s exit spout.  I may need to modify and extend that “spout” down farther to try preventing that hot air from being sucked in and recirculated by the engine cooling fan… 

    Similarly, the cooling fan for a VW TDr is sucking in air from around the factory heater boxes and tubes that connect with the body, but that would be a more complex issue to solve…

    KentT2014-01-04 13:05:57

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255917

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    KentT wrote:
    The later doghouse shrouds with heater hoses don’t work well with the dual Webers or HPMX clones — no room to get to them — if they don’t actually hit the shroud.  That would’ve saved some serious money if they would — that new shroud, by the time I add the flaps/thermostat, venturi ring, Hoover bit, etc — cost me about as much as the pistons/cylinders or the used carbs…

    Just wanted to add clarification on this for posterity — people DO run dual IDFs or HMPXs with stock doghouse shrouds.  You just have VERY limited space.  Many people running them with factory shrouds are doing so with stroker engines, where the jugs are shimmed out more.  Even then, they typically have to remove the carbs to clean or change the jets.  There are reports on Samba of HPMXs (early kits, perhaps?) that simply would not fit.  Similarly, many people seem to need to dent or modify the airtubes coming out of the shroud for either IDAs or HPMXs. 
    The aftermarket 36HP doghouse shroud gives much more room, and is ABSOLUTELY required for using the CB Performance spacer kit that moves the carbs even closer toward the center of the engine, and reverses their orientation… BTW, only the Scat (not the cheaper Empi) 36HP shroud is recommended, because it has the internal vanes to direct the airflow and seems to fit better overall, though it doesn’t flow and cool as well as the thoroughly-tested OEM doghouse fan shrouds.
    Just didn’t want to mislead anyone…
    I may wait to see if the carbs will fit under my engine lid with trimming before making the investment in a thermostat-equipped doghouse shroud, since these HPMXs have already been jetted and set up for a mild engine.  I may be able to get by with the idle jets they already have, and save some $$ by buying a used OEM doghouse shroud, complete.

    KentT2014-01-05 09:53:28

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255918

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Just ran across this on Samba…

    It’s a 69×88 engine built by Jake Raby, in a stock-bodied ’64 Beetle, running the stock 4:37 rear end.
    [TUBE]pN9JFLm4xig[/TUBE]
    Specs are:
    DPR counterweighted 69mm crank  — mine is not counterweighted 
    Thickwall 88’s. 
    Engle FK-41 on 112 LC — paired with rockers below is a slightly more radical cam
    1.4 rockers — mine are stock 1.1:1, though this might have convinced me to go to solid rockers
    Stock heads, no port/chamber work — his are 35×32 while mine are 40×35.5 also with no porting
    9.6 CR.  — mine is around 8.0-8.1
    Dual 36 Dellorto DRLA’s, 30mm vents.  — mine are dual 40 HPMX with 28 mm venturis
    Vintage Speed stainless exhaust.  –mine is still TBD
    Drilled/tapped for full flow oil with filter.  — mine is stock VW with 26mm pump

    In a ’64 with stock trans/4.37 R&P. — mine is the far lighter TDr with 4:12 R&P
    Though mine will likely not put out the same power due largely to compression ratio, the TDr will weigh 300-400 lbs less.  His engine was also built by a legend, while mine was built by a red-neck novice…
    Moral of the story:  You don’t have to build monster VW engines for them to be “quick enough” to have fun with…

    KentT2014-01-05 22:09:15

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #255919

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    About 8 seconds to 60 mph. That’s not too shabby. When we tested mine It did 60 in about 23 seconds.

    I was going for authentic ’52 MG slip times, of course.
    #255920

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    LOL…

    These 69×88 combos were common back in the day when I really got into VWs.  The only alternatives were 90mm and 92mm, and they all shared the same castings — heat went up and longevity went down with each increase.  Later, after the cases with 8mm studs became common, they started casting today’s series that are commonly used for 90.5, 92 and 94mm.  The 90.5s are reliable, and run relatively cool.  The others are short-lived, unless extraordinary measures are taken…
    They tried slip-in 88s, but they were even thinner walled than 87s but they ran hot and wore out fast — earning ALL 88s a bad reputation. These thick-walled 88s have cylinder walls almost 5mm thick at the head — almost a full millimeter thicker than stock 85.5s.  They should seal well and transfer heat like crazy while being a lot kinder on the head than thinner walls, especially the 87mm slip-ins…
    BTW, here’s an excellent topic where the same builder, Jake Raby, rebuilt an engine with thick-walled 88s after 60,000 miles.  New rings, new cam and cam bearings and a valve job.  Look at these HP and torque numbers for a single carb engine on a chassis dyno — as impressive the numbers are, I’m more impressed with how flat the torque and HP curves are…
    I think the 69x88s will become more common again now, because at least three companies are offering these thick-walled 88s machined down to slip in the case, and require only machining the heads.  That allows them to be used in old SP engine cases, when someone is trying to hold down machining costs. or where someone doesn’t want to split the case during a rebuild.  Refacing of heads is often required in rebuilds, and machining them for 90.5-sized jugs would only cost a few $$ more.  I think these hybrid machine/slip-in 88s are under $200 with cast pistons — not much more $$ than stock.  They’re probably good for 3-5 HP more than 87s, run cooler, and most importantly last much longer… after 30,000 miles they’ll still be performing almost like new, while the 87s will have lost most of their added pep because of heat, distortion and wear.

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

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