Finally got my car back

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    Marc Lipsius


    After a month in the shop (my mechanic had a 2 week vacation scheduled) I finally got my car back today after a total ground up engine rebuild – case, crankshaft, camshaft, all bearings, pistons, jugs, valve lifters, new exhaust valves, newer model oil cooler and fan shroud, replaced the electric fuel pump the PO put on with regular VW mechanical pump – almost a whole new engine,  and a total brake rebuild with new brake cylinders and pads on all 4 wheels. If it goes, it also has to stop.
    Once he started tearing into the engine, which had the #3 cylinder and piston damage due to the usual overheating problem, he found all kinds of other damage so we had to keep going all the way, but it will be worth it in the long run, hoping I keep the car for many years.
    Next week, new tires get put on, as mine are over 10-12 years old and cracking where the sidewall meets the tread. Getting four 165/80-15’s, maybe keep the best old one as a spare.
    Then I have to either get the top repaired or get a new one made. My side curtains are pretty good.
    I drove it about only 2 or 3 miles today, will be taking about a 50 mile ride tomorrow and can’t wait. It runs and sounds great, but boy is it HOT here – 100 today. Not too bad when you’re moving, buy you die/fry when you have to stop at a light.
    The mechanic wants me back at 600 miles to check the valves and everything else, and do an oil change. He wants to use synthetic from then on – anyone else using that in their VW?
    I’ll post a couple of pics after I rub it down and wax it. It’s red of course (is there any other “proper” color for these?).



    Of course, have your mechanic check the valves and change the oil, but in the long run, if you can do these recurring maintenance tasks yourself, you will save a bundle of cash and keep that new engine tuned and adjusted properly.

    I dreamed about a red one for years, but took a cream one due to pricing and timing.  Red certainly catches the eye faster, including eyes of the traffic police.

    It sounds like you have a beauty to really enjoy.  I’m not taking mine out in our sunny heat (109 and it will burn-you-in-a-flash sun), but I’ll look forward to the cooler weather, for certain.

    Have fun!

    edward ericson


    Good on ya mrlmd. Here’s hoping it all breaks in easy & keeps purring for 100,000 miles more.

    Peter C. King


    At the risk of being overly cautious, I would check the torque on the heads and the valve lash after the 50 mile run. Torque is a funny thing. A bolt that was set precisely could be over or under because it was drier or oiler than the rest. Running an engine for a short time evens out those issues. You may find that torque settings have changed.

    Valves will seat after a valve job. That tightens up the lash. Head torque will affect valve lash too. You have solid lifters. Everything is connected to everything else.

    I would change the oil after 50 miles too. Regardless of how carefully the parts were cleaned, there is still casting sand and debris in the block. 50 miles will move that stuff to the screen. Don’t just drain the oil. Drop the plate and wipe off the collection plate. There will be debris there. An oil change is cheap insurance.

    You don’t want to run loose heads and tight valves for 600 miles. The damage will be irreperable. An air cooled Type One engine is not a hydraulic valve, 350 Chevy. It requires a different level of care. #3 will run hot because the stock oil cooler interferes with the air flow to that cylinder, but it shouldn’t overheat. You need to fix that problem now.

    Is the fan thermostat installed? It looks like a round bellows and controls the airflow doors. Is all the tin in place? Particularly the bits between the cylinders? Air will flow through the easiest path. It should go through the cylinder fins and not around them. Until you have the cooling issue sorted out, I would make the 50 mile run at night when the air is cooler.

    About the color. Is there any color besides British Racing Green? A leather strap across the bonnet would not be out of place. I’m old school.  





    If you have a VW engine, you really should pick up a copy of John Muir’s book, if you don’t already have it.—Step/dp/1 566913101/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312250946& amp;sr=1-1#reader_1566913101

    Happy trails.

    Bill Gould


    I imagine most of us know what you mean about the heat here lately, especially those down here in the South and Southwest. Where are you located, Mark?

    1981 Lafer TI
    1600 cc Type 1 engine

    Marc Lipsius


    Shell Point Florida, in the town of Crawfordville, 40 miles south of Tallahasse, right on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. There’s usually a gentle seabreeze during the day right by the water, but go inland 100′ and it’s 95-100 degrees. And lots of bugs – noseeums now, very annoying.

    BDriver, thanks for the advice.

    Anybody using synthetic oil in their VW, or just dino?



    Yeah I’m in Georgia just BELOW the “Gnat Line” and have to tend with gnats and danged noseeums (pronounce no see ums) o. 20 miles north and I’m on the good side. Just my luck.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack



    design. Great.
    Richard Wobby


    i it first blush thought paul had finally gotten his car


    Paul Mossberg


    I wish Wobby! I wish!

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Peter C. King



    I have the same thought every time this topic pops up.

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