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eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/21/18 9:04 p.m.

Drained the sump earlier today, and once the liquid kerosene finished draining (it was pretty nasty), the remaining sludge was, to use precise language, a lot more gloopy than chunky.  I cut and bent a wire hanger to sweep around the sump some, and that helped more come loose.  It was looking a lot better than it did a few days ago.  There's still some goop caught in the filter screen, so I may just go after it with a water hose, and see if that loosens it up enough.

While the sludge was dribbling out of the engine, I pulled the driver's side valve cover, and was pretty happy with what I saw:

No big mess, just a little bit on the bottom of the head, but it looked thin enough to flow pretty easily once the engine heats up.

I buttoned everything back up and put a bit more kerosene in the sump to try to clean it out a bit more.  In the next day or so, I'll drain it again, and see about putting a mix of oil and kerosene in the engine, and firing it up and running it for a few minutes.  I'm hoping that'll get most of the remaining crud in suspension, and I can just drain it out through the drain plug.

 

barefootskater
barefootskater HalfDork
7/21/18 10:54 p.m.

I know it is probably way out of the question, but I would love to see what that little single port motor could do with boost. For science.           

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/22/18 7:15 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

It’s been considered.  devil  I’m already thinking of experimenting with mega squirt for it, so a turbo is a possibility.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
7/22/18 8:18 a.m.
eastsideTim said:

In reply to barefootskater :

It’s been considered.  devil  I’m already thinking of experimenting with mega squirt for it, so a turbo is a possibility.

Tim, check the ebays for an aisin amr500 supercharger.  I have a feeling your wallet will like the prices in refurb units.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/22/18 11:40 a.m.

In reply to Patrick :

...and now I’m down the rabbit hole of superchargers and turbochargers used on small Japanese cars...

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/22/18 6:02 p.m.

Got the engine to run.  Sort of...

First, after getting the fuel line hooked up, and putting a mix of oil and kerosene in, I hooked up the battery and cranked the car over.  No luck.  The fuel filter didn't seem to be getting much, if any fuel into it, so I tried pouring a bit of gas down the carb, and after that failed, a bit of starting fluid.  Still no luck, so it must be an ignition problem.  Started tracing wires - looks like the only thing hooked to the positive side of the coil were wires that ran to the carb.  So, no power could cause a problem.  I found a wire that had 12V when I turned the key to on, and hooked it to the coil.  Hit the starter again, and success - for a few seconds. 

Seems like it would start on the some gas down the carb, but wouldn't stay running.  By this time, there was definitely gas in the inline fuel filter.  I pulled the line between the pump and the carb, and not only was it dry, but it pretty much came apart in my hands.  I then disconnected the line from the filter to the pump, and it was dry on the pump side.  My guess is the fuel pump is not strong enough to pull fuel through the filter, which it may not need, as it has a screen filter internally, from my understanding.  However, I needed the filter to work as an adapter between the 1/4" line from the chassis to the 5/16" barb fitting I added to the fuel pump (smallest I could find).  I've ordered a 5/16"-1/4" fitting, and some 1/4" fuel line (my local parts store didn't have any), and they should be here on Tuesday. 

At least now I know the engine can run.  Will have to wait at least a couple days to see if it'll run well enough to drive the car on the street, or just shuffle around my driveway.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
7/22/18 7:30 p.m.
eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/24/18 7:26 p.m.

Yeah, I really need to not watch that video another time.  Too much temptation.  I'm purposely not looking to see if anyone sells premade brackets for it.

Meanwhile, in the garage, even more success!  Swapped out the fuel filter for the reducer fitting, and replaced the broken line from the pump to the carb, and went about trying to fire it up.  Quite a bit of cranking, and nothing.  So, I pulled the new fuel line, and ran a line into a bottle from the pump.  No fuel at all coming out.  Just for the heck of it, I hit the carb with some gas, and fired it up.  Ran a few seconds, and died, since the line wasn't hooked up, but it appears that finally got the fuel pump to prime.  I reattached the line, and the car still wouldn't start on its own, but I found with a bit more gas down the carb, and feathering the throttle, I could get it to run.  It'd stumble and die, though, once I let off the gas, even after I adjusted the idle screw out quite a bit.  Since I was inside the car when it was running, couldn't see how far the throttle had to be open to keep it going.

After keeping it going for about 5 minutes, I drained the oil/kerosene mix, and it was already pretty ugly.  I think most of the sludge is out at this point, and the oil screen should prevent anything particularly nasty from getting up into the engine.  I refilled it with cheap 10W30 oil.  One item of note - this car is awesome for changing the oil, enough ground clearance you don't have to put it up on stands, and since it only takes 2.5 qts, a single jug of oil covers two changes. 

The next step will be seeing when my FIL can make it back out, and with two of us, we should be able to see what's happening when the engine is running, and get it somewhat in tune.  I'm debating picking up a new fuel pump, and maybe an alternator to replace the generator, but I'm trying to keep the budget as low as possible right now, so may hold off for now.

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
7/24/18 10:52 p.m.

Quick comment from a former aircooled guy who hasn't been active for 30 years, but still probably holds true - VWs in stock configuration will slosh most of the oil up into the valve covers in hard cornering, resulting in possible kerblammo when the oil pump pickup sucks air.  FV solved this with a 250 cc sump extension, but you can get commercial deep sumps.  With an extension on the oil pickup, this solves the problem.  There used to be deep and shallow deep sumps, I'd guess you would want a shallow one for rallycross.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
7/25/18 1:39 a.m.
Jim Pettengill said:

Quick comment from a former aircooled guy who hasn't been active for 30 years, but still probably holds true - VWs in stock configuration will slosh most of the oil up into the valve covers in hard cornering, resulting in possible kerblammo when the oil pump pickup sucks air.

 

Subarus are prone to the same thing, at least at rallycrosses. The tendency to somehow eat a half quart of oil on any random run does not help any.  (At least the Subarus start off with over four quarts of oil, and not only two!)

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/25/18 5:45 a.m.

In reply to Jim Pettengill :

Thanks for the advice.  I will definitely look into those.  I’m not sure if rallycross will be enough to cause a problem on cornering, but I’m not sure I want to find out the hard way.

barefootskater
barefootskater HalfDork
7/25/18 11:34 a.m.

+1 for the deep sump. For some reason I could never figure, when the engine is running most of the oil seems to live in the valve covers anyway, one side more than the other but I can't remember which. There is video somewhere of a guy that fitted a window in one of the covers and it was more than halfway full when running. Anyway, more oil is more better. A "full flow" mod/pump with an actual filter helps up the capacity some, but a decent deep sump and skidplate should be in the mix for rally-x.

An example from some highly qualified german engineers. A 911 from the same era (I know, different car, different engine, different intended use) with twice the engine displacement hold over 5x the oil in a VW. More oil more better. Better cooling, better lubing, better suited to abuse. Not that I'm condoning car abuse...

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
7/25/18 1:24 p.m.

WAY back in time I ran the wife's '63 Bug at a night autocross (had a compensator, so it wasn't a death wish), and the oil pressure light would flicker on every corner.  Got a deep sump with pickup extension shortly afterward, problem solved.  Also ran an oversized iol pump with integral spin-on oil filter.  Another trick from the past was to fab some pushrod tube extensions that would make it harder for oil to run up the tubes into the heads, butt he deep sump was much easier.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
7/25/18 4:39 p.m.

In reply to Jim Pettengill :

Wouldn't it have been easier to just only autocross in daytime so you don't see the idiot light?

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
7/25/18 5:31 p.m.

Knurled:  Had a BMW 2002 for that.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Reader
7/26/18 5:48 a.m.

Also, if you do end up attaching a cheap ebay turbo to the motor additional oil will help with cooling. Gotta keep all them whisper ponies under control somehow.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/29/18 6:43 p.m.

Still a ways off from turbo or supercharging, have to get the bloody thing running well first.  I have been doing some reading up on various combos, and it appears there's a "no-machining" build that can net about 85-90 whp for around $1K.  That might be the easy button over the winter, if my budget allows. 

Today, my father-in-law came by, and we went to work out the idle problem.  We did the following:

  1. Sprayed carb cleaner down the carb
  2. Pulled the top off the carb, checked the float, and generally took a quick peak around the innards.  Nothing was obviously wrong.
  3. Re-timed the engine to 5 degrees ATDC from 0.  If we read the engine code right, it appears it really should be 7.5 ATDC, but that just seems extreme to me, not to mention, 2.5 degrees off shouldn't be that bad.  Not to mention there is a sticker on the engine saying to time it to 0.  Guidelines for this are all over the place.
  4. Checked the valves - #3 exhaust was tight, but the others were good to go.  After this, the engine definitely ran a bit smoother.
  5. Replaced the spark plug wires.
  6. Played with the idle mixture screw - we got it to the point where it seemed to run at the highest RPM, but it may still not be good, as we couldn't keep it idling low enough to be sure it was right.

The net result was that we can get it to idle around 1300 RPM, but anything lower, and it starts stumbling, and we get a few quiet pops from the exhaust and it eventually dies.  It even pops a little bit at that RPM.  My current guess is carb issues, since I'm pretty sure the ignition is behaving, and I'd think if the engine runs fine at higher RPM, the ignition should be fine at lower RPM.  I'd consider vacuum leaks, but there's only one vacuum line to the distributor, and one or two plugged lines.  I'll double check the plugged lines, just in case they are coming apart.  I do have a rebuild kit, so I may just pull the carb, tear it down, and thoroughly clean it.  A left field theory is that the mechanical fuel pump isn't able to deliver enough fuel at lower RPM, but that seems pretty farfetched.

Bigger problems arose when we decided to see if we could get it moving under it's own power.  Shifted it into reverse to back it out of the garage, and it ground the gears bad.  We set about adjusting the clutch, and after two rounds of adjusting, it still ground.  Not to mention, the clutch is adjusted so far now that it barely grabs at the top of the pedal travel.  At this point, we had the bright idea to try first gear.  No grind.  Sitting still, we also went through two, three, and four.  No grinds.  So, there is something wrong with reverse.  I'll need to do some research to see if there is an easy fix or not.  Until then, I'll just shift the car into reverse before starting the engine.  I'll also be adjusting the clutch back out to the recommended point of about 1/2" of pedal travel before engaging.  Oh yeah, shifter knob is installed, too.

Finally, we took a look at dealing with the charging system.  This is a real frankenstein setup.  The 1974 Super Beetle originally came with an externally regulated alternator, with the regulator under the rear seat.  When it was racing in the past, I'm pretty sure it was using an internally regulated alternator.  The engine we put in has an externally regulated generator.  I hadn't even hacked it myself, and the wiring is already a bit of a mess, including a taped together 10 gauge positive connection where a regulator would be.  This will actually work in my favor, as both ends already had blade connectors that will work with the regulator I bought.  I will still need to run another wire to the generator (or reuse one from the alternator connection), and another to the charge light up front, if I decide to (the car has an aftermarket voltmeter, so I may not).  The new regulator will just get screwed into the floorpan for now.

So this week's goals are to get the charging system working, which will be nice, so I won't have to keep attaching the battery to a charger, and to see if I can dig a bit deeper into the idle issue, and maybe rebuild the carb.  Oh yeah, and readjust the clutch properly.

Quick addendum regarding farther future plans.  I grabbed a TBI unit and air cleaner off a 91 Geo Metro at the local junkyard's 40% off sale this weekend, and will stash them for now in case I go EFI.  I figure it seemed like the closest in horsepower that I could get on a "modern" car. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
7/29/18 6:50 p.m.

Idle circuit is gummed up.  It runs at 1300 because you are getting the throttle open so far that it is running on the main circuit.  As a test, get it running up there and turn the mixture screw all the way in.  Bet you can do it without stalling the engine.

 

It has been a very long time, but some of these old carbs had idle AIR adjustment screws, not fuel.  They tune backwards, and adjusting the air also changes the idle speed...

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/29/18 7:07 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

Thanks, sounds like it is time to tear into the carb.  It is an idle air mixture screw on it. I followed the procedure of turning it until it hit its highest RPM, then adjusted the regular idle screw. I have had pilot jet issues on CV carbs that kept engines from idling at the proper speed, wish this would be as simple as pulling a pilot jet and cleaning it.  At least this looks fairly simple, at least as automotive carbs go.

A note about reverse gear grinding.  A little bit of searching, and after a few dozen "you need to adjust your clutch cable" comments, I hit on a comment that it tends to grind if the idle speed is too high.  I'm going to put the transmission issue on the back burner for now, and hope fixing the idle clears it up.

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
7/30/18 6:28 a.m.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
7/30/18 11:34 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Oh, yeah, reverse is generally unsynchronized in anything pre-1980s.  First gear too pre-1970s.  General rule, not VW specific.  So if you try to shift from neutral instead of grabbing a synchronized gear first to stop the geartrain... it's gonna grind.

barefootskater
barefootskater HalfDork
7/30/18 12:05 p.m.

If it is a solex PICT carb it does indeed have an air screw for idle mixture. Take the carb apart and clean it. They are dead simple and rebuild kits are cheap cheap. And that timing sounds odd to me. My 73 ran best at about 9* BTDC at idle and around 30 at full chat. I know that was a bit aggressive compared to the factory settings but it was much happier all around. Your engine is a single port though so I may be way off.

VW didn't sync 1st or reverse in the old beetles. Reverse may be screwed or maybe not. Did you put new fluid in? And more importantly, did you see the old gear oil? Could be hiding clues.

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
7/30/18 2:46 p.m.

I'm sure someone has already mentioned this (could even have been me early in the thread, I've slept since then), but if you don't already have one, grab a copy of John Muir's How to Keep your Volkswagen Alive, it's still the do-it-yourself bible and cheap from Abe Books and other used book sources.  If you can find a copy (I just checked Abe Books, and the only copy they have right now is like $118, yikes!) of Bill Fisher's How to Hotrod VW Engines was always useful, probably largely outdated today, but the principles apply.  Both good references.  I agree the ignition sounds WAY retarded to me, seems i remember it needs ot be several degrees BTDC, depending on which distributor you use - mine was the Bosch 010 way back when.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
7/30/18 3:38 p.m.

In reply to Jim Pettengill :

Luckily the book has been reprinted.  I ordered it before the car was even in my garage.  It wasn’t too expensive for a copy of it off Amazon.  Earlier editions do seem to be pretty pricey, though.  I also have an early 70’s copy of How to Fix Your Volkswagen.  

I appear to have messed up on the timing adjustment, too.

The sticker on the engine says it should be at 0,so maybe we’ll go back to that.  For an HO code engine, it is supposed to be 7.5 BTDC ( I read it wrong as ATDC, so I will need to adjust that, before I pull the carb, just in case).  Based on the chart in How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, a type 1 engine can go from anywhere from 10 BTDC to 5 ATDC.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
8/5/18 8:06 p.m.

Earlier last week, I bumped the timing to 7.5 BTDC, but that didn't seem to make much of a difference.

More progress this weekend.  Late last week, I pulled the carb, and tore it down.  The float bowl had some sediment in it, but I've seen worse in cars that ran better.

I cleaned it up, pulled apart quite a bit more (but not the float valve, more on that later).  The main jet was jammed in good, and came out with a little bit of thread from the carb body.  The pin for the float was in the bottom of the float bowl, but the float itself had been where it belonged.  None of the jets or needle looked too bad, but I gave everything a bit of a clean, and threw it back together.  There was one thing  that had me a bit perplexed - the gasket between the body and top of the carb blocked one of the passages.  There was another gasket in the "universal" kit that left it open.  So, some time was spent online trying to figure out which gasket it should really have.  I would have thought somewhere, someone would have a diagram or silhouettes of the correct gaskets depending on the revision of the carb (mine's a Solex 30 PICT-3), but I could not find one at all.  I took a wild guess that the previous rebuilder screwed up, and installed the gasket with the extra opening. 

Once I reinstalled the carb, I could not get the engine to fire up.  On a hunch, pulled the top off the carb, and there was no gas in the float bowl.  The fuel pump was having trouble priming again.  I filled the bowl manually, and was able to get the car started.  After messing with idle-air adjustment and the idle adjustment, it settled into a somewhat unsteady idle.

Blue Beetle idling

While it's still a bit above the 850-900 recommended, it's so close, I'm not too worried.  The occasional pops had me concerned a bit, but I was out of time to mess with it more that day.

Today, I decided the goal was to prove it could move under its own power, in order to free up the garage bay as needed.  First things I attacked were the valve cover gaskets, as they were leaking like sieves once the oil warmed up.  I had thought the old gaskets were rubber, but once pulled them off, I realized they were cork, just hardened up and completely soaked through.  After a little bit of clean up on the valve covers, a new set of cork gaskets were installed.  Next was the electrical system.  The main power wire to the generator was there, and there was a plug for other alternator wires, but I decided to run a temporary wire to the other terminal on the generator.  It didn't take much looking to figure out where the factory location for the voltage regulator was, so I installed it there, and wired it up, except for the voltage warning light:

 

I made sure to tape off loose wires, then hooked the battery back up, and turned the key to run.  No smoke anywhere, so I cranked it over, and got the engine running.  I figured there was a chance I'd have to re-polarize the generator, but a glance at the voltmeter said it was good to go:

Once it came off fast idle, the voltage dropped to 12, but at least it charges at higher RPM.   Now was the time to give the car a quick test run.  I backed it out into the driveway, then shifted into 1st, and moved it forward slowly.  So far so good, but needed a better test.  Took it out onto the street, and it was pretty weak in first, and stumbled more in second, so I turned around and got it back to the driveway.  It's now had its first test drive, even if it was only 150 feet or so. 

 

I took the opportunity to spend some time cleaning up the garage and doing a bit of organizing, but eventually the heat and humidity got to me.  Pulled the beetle back in, and decided I'd take a quick look at the fuel system before packing it in for the day.  Judging from the symptoms - exhaust pops, low power, and some stumbling, I'm guessing the engine is going lean.  The carb was relatively clean, so I'm mostly ruling it out for now.  I pulled the intake line off the fuel pump, in order to see if the screen filter was clogged, and learned there was no screen filter.  And then I decided to go inside and relax in the air conditioning.  At this point, I have two thoughts on the problem:

  1. I didn't replace the float valve, because it looked alright, but maybe it is gummed up, and not letting enough fuel into the carb.
  2. More likely, the fuel pump is weak.  This would be in line with the issues I've had priming it.  It is a VW branded pump, so probably old enough to not have any ethanol-resistant guts, either.  It is serviceable, but I haven't seen rebuild kits for it (I'm sure they are out there, though).  I already have a replacement pump, so I could just install it and see what happens.  I also have an electric pump I could toss on, but would rather hold off on that unless it is absolutely needed.

Its tempting to just replace both the valve and the pump at the same time, and see what happens.  I'd like to pull the top off the carb anyway to see if there is more sediment in the bowl, or if the gas coming out of the tank is relatively clean.   If the problem clears up, I should put the inline fuel filter back on.  I'll see if I have time to get to that after work tomorrow, and if weather cooperates.  We're supposed to see three days of thunderstorms here.

 

 

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