1979 SuperBeetle Convertable

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Post by EngineerTEN on Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:25 pm

Starting this thread up for a friend to start documenting the work he is doing on his car...

Here is the background story...

1979 SuperBeetle Convertable 4971_110

A good friend of mines wife was admiring my car and was reminiscing about a convertible she had in high school. She said she would like to have one again some day. So as I had been running across them, I was posting links to beetles for sale on her Facebook page. So her husband, my friend Emil, decided to give her what I think is the greatest Mother's day gift ever. He purchased this beetle for her and surprised her with it for mother's day. She absolutely loves it.

So he brings it over to the house for my help a few weeks ago for help to figure out why it wont stay running anymore at idle. We were going through the usual... idle adjustment, ignition components and timing etc. We even checked the the distributor drive gear was installed right since we count seem to time it where the engine would run good. The distributor drive gear was installed correctly. At this point, I was thinking that the valves may be way out of whack. So we let his engine cool down for a few hours for a valve adjustment. In the meantime, assembling my engine.

1 & 2 valves were almost spot on. The springs on the intake valves on 3 & 4 were busted in two places. We found the cause of the problem. There was aluminum powder all around the the rockers.

1979 SuperBeetle Convertable 4971_111

1979 SuperBeetle Convertable 4971_112

I figured the engine will at least need 1 new head. So we decided to pull the engine out and tear it down completely for inspection. We we drained the oil, it looked like metallic brown paint. This was an indication that the parts inside were subjected to a heavy abrasive treatment.

Here is Emil dismantling the engine for inspection.
1979 SuperBeetle Convertable 4971_113

The cylinders were missing fins brittle fins were falling off the heads. The rods are in good shape. Although the bearing surface running on the crank looked like someone took a medium grit sand paper too it. Same effect on the main bearings. The cams lobes were visibly warn and the lifters were wither completely flat or concave, none were rounded anymore. My recommendation to Emil was a complete rebuild and to go ahead and remove the fuel injection and move to carbs.

Emil decided to do the rebuild and he turned his case over to Steve at Pro-Flow Performance in Hiram for a line bore. Steve looked at the case and very happy with it. The case had never been machined and was is very good condition. He joked that it was because fuel injected engines were so underpowered that the cases last much longer.

Here is the case back from Steve...
1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Photo11

The current plans for the engine rebuild are:
- Conversion to Carbs from Fuel Injection
- Electric Fuel Pump
- Dual ICT Webbers from CB Performance
- New stock 1600 85.5mm Pistons and Cylinders
- New stock dual port heads.
- Stock 69mm Crank - I am giving him the one I have been trying to sell
- Engle W100 cam
- Oil pump attached oil filter
- Header with heat-exchangers and dual quiet pack exhaust.

Hopefully Emil will get on here and introduce himself soon.
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Post by emil on Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:45 am

Okay, so "Hi" everybody! It WAS a cool Mother's Day gift until . . . Anyway, she expects it back before her 20th high school reunion on the 24th of July, but I don't have enough money or time. Also, now she thinks I killed her car. Seems like it's gonna be a long summer. Hope you guys like the awesome drama--I'm sure there'll be more soon. In the meantime, I've got to study study my "Keep your VW alive" book. See ya'll.
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Post by 59suicide on Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:36 am

emil wrote:Okay, so "Hi" everybody! It WAS a cool Mother's Day gift until . . . Anyway, she expects it back before her 20th high school reunion on the 24th of July, but I don't have enough money or time. Also, now she thinks I killed her car. Seems like it's gonna be a long summer. Hope you guys like the awesome drama--I'm sure there'll be more soon. In the meantime, I've got to study study my "Keep your VW alive" book. See ya'll.

Welcome to the site, cool build... I bet she's mad at you cause she saw the picture of you tearing that engine apart in your white polo Laughing Steve at proflow did my cases also, my first one was warped. Good luck, you have a good source of knowledge helping you Smile
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Post by emil on Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:17 am

59suicide wrote:I bet she's mad at you cause she saw the picture of you tearing that engine apart in your white polo Laughing

Haha, that's my play shirt!!! And she's madder about her new baby (the vert, not a real baby) being in intensive care Crying or Very sad
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Post by emil on Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:06 pm

Well, here’s the latest on Marci’s engine build:
Tuesday, July 7, 2009, Jason and I went to Pro-Flow Performance in Hiram to see if Steve had the seal and urethane kit for his transmission. He didn’t have them both yet, so we came back to Douglasville to finish my short block. We had previously picked up the parts needed for my short block the week prior, so we had everything in order and since Jason couldn’t finish his transmission, I had some pretty awesome supervision.
We started out by cleaning, lightly sanding (with very fine grit sandpaper), installing and lubing up the rod bearings.
1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Lubing%20the%20rod%20bearing
Once that was complete, we then carefully installed the connecting rods making sure the crank was properly positioned and the rods had the marks facing up (also I was told that the stamped numbers on each half of the connecting rods need to match and be on the same side).1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Installing%20a%20connecting%20rod

Torque to proper specs. 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Torquing%20the%20connecting%20rods

After installing and torquing all the connecting rods, we installed, lubed and double-checked the orientation of the case and crank bearings. Then we installed the crank. 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Installing%20the%20crank%20assembly
This picture of me installing the crank is a little posed.
After I set the crank in the bearing saddles, Jason said, “wait . . . I need to get a picture of this!” So I lifted it out again, posed, he snapped the photo, and I set it back in there!
It was now time to begin lubing and installing the lifters. We found the lifter package and, after cutting them free, began lubricating them. Initially I wasn’t using enough assembly oil, but Jason again came to the rescue to instruct me to apply liberally. 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Lubing%20the%20lifters
Once all lifters were installed in the left case-half, it was time to turn our attention to the right case-half and lube and install the other lifters. 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Installing%20the%20lifters%20inthe%20right%20case%20half
I asked Jason how the lifters were goig to stay in while I turned the right case-half upside down to put it on again. And Jason said I should use quite a bit of assembly oil to make it sticky at the top so they wouldn’t fall, but after watching the lifters drop into the bottom of the case, we decided another strategy was in order: Jason has some little tools that are kind of big-paper-clip like that hold the lifters up on right case-half while it is flipped over for installation.
I have no idea what they are called, but they slide into the tops of the cam-followers and keep them held in place while the case is turned over.

Once the lifters are installed, the next step is to assemble the cam gear to the cam and line up the cam with the crank. 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Lining%20the%20cam%20up%20with%20the%20crankMatch the mark on the cam gear with the two marks on the crank and just guide it in to the cam-bearing saddles—make sure you make a funny face while doing this step!


And there it is! 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Guiding%20the%20cam%20into%20bearing%20saddles
So once the cam is properly installed, no engine rebuild is quite complete without the always important . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




Popsicle break!
1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Popsicle%20break

Lastly the installation of the right case-half. Torque it town to spec and make sure it turns (in this case, it turns like buttah). 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Torquing%20down%20the%20case%20nuts I only have to come up with like $700 to finish the long block and the dual carbs. *Sigh.*
It will probably be a while before I continue this saga. Until then . . .
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Post by 59suicide on Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:24 pm

Its going to be nerve wrecking when in comes time to fire the engine when your all done. Looks good.
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Post by EngineerTEN on Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:48 pm

Emil - It looks like your compression will be about 7.8 without shims.

1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Unmodi10

You probably want to be close to 7 as you can get. Putting in .060" shims to adjust the deck height will get you to 6.9.

1979 SuperBeetle Convertable After10
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Post by emil on Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:03 pm

Thanks for the sentiment, Joe. You're right. I'm already worried about it not cranking. Everything seems to be in working order though--the engine turns really smoothly just turning the main pulley, so we haven't pinched any bearings. Anyway, don't worry, we'll keep you posted! Thanks for the interest.
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Post by emil on Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:08 pm

EngineerTEN wrote:
You probably want to be close to 7 as you can get. Putting in .060" shims to adjust the deck height will get you to 6.9.

Sounds good to me. I'll try to make it by soon to install them.

Thanks,
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Post by emil on Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:05 pm

Well, after much scrounging for every bit of extra money I could find, I finally was able to purchase heads from Steve at ProFlow Performance. I got the pistons and installed them and then began installing the heads. Here I am installing the push-rod tubes before attaching the heads.
1979 SuperBeetle Convertable 5360_1200534606042_1008849379_648989_4303804_n
Here I am about to torque down the last head. 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable 5360_1200534886049_1008849379_648990_7934208_n
I now have the long block completed.
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Post by emil on Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:12 pm

I've installed the oil filter, oil pump, spark plugs, and coil relocation mount. I have left: carbs (purchased and delivered), ignition kit (purchased, not delivered), heater boxes (not purchased), and exhaust (dual quiet pack--also not purchased). We're getting close to seeing her run again! I'll add more photos later.
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Post by emil on Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:47 pm

Well as promised, here are a few more photos of work we've done so far.
1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Image022
Jason helped me set both carbs correctly before getting them both installed. Here we are installing the linkage on the ICTs.
1979 SuperBeetle Convertable Image023
And this is the result of the installed carbs and linkage. I have the electric ignition ready to be installed. Jason was pretty funny, as he kept drooling over my original fan shroud and engine metal--he says it just fits so much better. I guess he's right, I've only ever known one Beetle engine Neutral

Hopefully the next pictures I have will be of the engine INSTALLED in the car!
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Post by Grifspop on Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:06 pm

the fuel injected engine looks so different with the fatter cylinder head tin and no fuel pump mounting area
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Post by Grifspop on Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:07 pm

BTW, great looking work done so far, hope it fires right up the first time for you guys
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Post by emil on Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:38 pm

Grifspop said: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:06 pm
the fuel injected engine looks so different with the fatter cylinder head tin and no fuel pump mounting area
Interesting you should say that, Grifspop! We've had to do some serious thinking where we're going to mount the electric fuel pump and breather—we're thinking of going behind the fan shroud so you don't even see the fuel lines. You'll see more pics when we get there! Thanks for watching!
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Post by Bugman114 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:39 pm

emil wrote:.....we're thinking of going behind the fan shroud.....

NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Do NOT mount the fuel pump near the motor at all. Mount it as close to the gas tank as possible. preferably on the firewall right under the tank. The reason, is that electric fuel pumps are designed to PUSH fuel, NOT PULL. Mechanical fuel pumps are designed to pull. i had an electric pump mounted on the fanshroud and had nothing but problems. it badly overworked the pump, and caused it to overheat and cut out while driving. i moved it to a place where it got air while driving, and that helped, but if you stand still for a long period of time, it will overheat, and die. i had finally mounted the fuel pump under the tank, and it was like night and day. the pump was MUCH cooler. i could leave the car idling for an hour, and the pump still stayed cool, even with no air flow. also you will get bad vapor locking issues mounted in the engine compartment. since the fuel is under a vacuum, instead of pressure, it will cause the gas in the line to vaporize, which will leave you on the side of the road. mount it under the tank, and avoid all the problems me and many other people had, lol.
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Post by Grifspop on Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:28 am

Yeah, I've got the electric fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, and filter mounted under the gas tank, I isolated the pump with some rubber grommets when I mounted it, and it was a breeze to wire right from the dashboard too.
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Post by Grifspop on Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:30 am

You can also wire in a cut-off to the fuel pump as an anti-theft device, or hook it into an alarm if you're adding one of those.
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Post by emil on Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:02 pm

Bugman114 wrote:Do NOT mount the fuel pump near the motor at all. Mount it as close to the gas tank as possible. . . and avoid all the problems me and many other people had.
Grifspop wrote:You can also wire in a cut-off to the fuel pump as an anti-theft device
Wow, thanks guys. I'll definitely make sure we update the location in light of that information. You guys rock!
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Post by Bugman114 on Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:06 am

i actually had a switch in the inside of my bug to manually turn it on or off. best to hide the switch tho. I remember someone told me once that they wired the pump to the headlights, so the car wouldn't run unless the lights are on. personally i just pull the red wire off the switch, and leave them on, so the lights come off when you turn the key off.
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Post by emil on Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:42 pm

Finally got my electronic fuel pump installed in the correct location (thanks BugMan and GrifsPop!). Here are some photos of the finished product:

1979 SuperBeetle Convertable DSCI0601
removed the old fuel pump and replaced it with the new electronic fuel pump. We split the fuel lines here and re-purposed the return line from the previous fuel injection coming up to the tank from the engine.

A clamp popped off while I was under the car changing out the fuel pump. I got a little bit of gasoline on me (it seemed like a lot at the time). 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable DSCI0594

Finally got the long block installed: 1979 SuperBeetle Convertable DSCI0595

1979 SuperBeetle Convertable DSCI0598 The gen mount and oil filler.

Here it is running for the first time in a year for the initial 20 min. break-in. It was very exciting!