Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

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Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:16 am

Hello,

You guys were helpful in helping me find a valve problem. I took the heads to a repair shop, had the exhaust valves and springs replaced. Thought about replacing the heads but did not feel comfortable with Chinese heads. It looked like the shop did a good job.

I set the valves to .006 when I put the car all back together. This was my first time doing this big of a job and I felt it might be a little over my head. (pulling the engine out of the car)

Car now starts, runs and drives but doesnt have a lot of power. Doesn't seem to run as powerful as it did before the valve stuck. When starting it, the starter doesnt seem to have as high of a pitch in sound that it did before I took everything apart. Could it be that I might have done something to the carburetor when I took it off? Or did I put the fan belt on too tight? Did I torque something too tight? I did use a torque wrench. I kind of feels like the carburetor is loading up.

I'm at a loss. Maybe someone has run into this before.

Thank you!
Jim
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by fluxcap on Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:06 am

After doing the valves, did you check the points gap and re-adjust your timing? Loss of power is often times a timing issue. It could be something else, but I would first start with the timing. What carb and distributor are you running?

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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by 39coupe on Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:12 am

When I first put my 1200 together it had no power. Top end was about 45 or 50. The problem with mine was that the vac advance dissy was not working correctly. A lot of people knock the 009 but after the problems I had with the bad vac advance I put in a 009 with electronic ignition and I can cruise the highway at 65 now without much problem, unless I come to a hill that is.
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:26 am

I did not check the points gap or timing. I'm going to check that today. I'm really a novice at this, but I do have the John Muir book which is written for someone like me. The carburetor is a Solex not sure what distributor is in it. I don't know much about a vac advance either.

Thank you for your comments, guess I'll be doing more reading and adjusting today.
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by fluxcap on Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:58 am

The "tune-up" section that covers valve adjustment, points gap and timing is great in the Muir book. I've got the tune-up routine memorized, but I still always pull out that book just to make sure I don't skip any steps.

Also, I'm not sure how you adjusted your valves, but they really need to be adjusted with the motor cold. If you drove the car for a bit, disovered the lack of power, and came back home and then adjusted the valves, they may have been warm and possibly didn't get adjusted correctly. If you adjusted them when warm/hot, I'd give them a quick re-check. If you did them with the motor cold, I wouldn't worry about them and just check the points and timing.

You have to time it according to the distributor model. If you are unsure about where you need to set the timing, post the model number of the distributor here (should be stamped on the side of the distributor), and someone here should be able to tell you how it should be timed.

Good luck!

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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by vwtattooed on Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:38 am

were the valve springs replaced with stock spec? it sounds to me as if you may have a timing issue as well as too stiff of a valve spring. the starter will sound a little different after doing a valve job as it is now compressing springs with resistance....but the lack of power is the valves not opening as they should.
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:03 pm

I adjusted the valves when the engine was out of the car. The valve springs were replaced but I'm not sure they were stock spec. Harrells in Carrollton did the work.

The distributor had no brand listed on it. It's chrome has the number 908 in a circle followed by JF4 with a "<--" next to the letters, then the number 9220081 094 and off to the side the number 945. I'm not sure anyone can identify it by that information.

Thanks for the info, you guys are really help me learn more.

Jim
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by fluxcap on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:15 pm

Sounds like a knock-off 009 distributor. Look like this one?
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=878025

009 should be timed at full advance. around 30*BTDC @ 3000-35000 rpms.

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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:41 pm

You're good. The distributor does look like that one. I'm reading Muir right now about how to do this. I just drove the car around the block again. It is misfiring, and can barely go up a hill in first gear. I was hoping to drive it to the bonfire this weekend. I don't have a timing light, but the book shows how to make one. After the engine is cold, I'm going to check the valve adjustments again as well. It's also hard to start. I'm also going to look at the points. I appreciate your help, based on what I have been telling you, do you think its just a minor adjustment somewhere?

Jim
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by 39coupe on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm

From what you are saying it really sounds like a timing/points issue. I would adjust the points and set the timing as Eric said. Mine acted like that when I had the points in my car, they kept closing up and it was only running on 2 cylinders.
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by fluxcap on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:53 pm

Ditto on what the other Eric said. I had a set of points close up as well, the power at the time felt normal (I guess they had slowly been closing, and the power loss was gradual), but once I fixed it, it was like a night and day.

I think this should be an easy fix for your power loss.....but you did just have other work done, and like David said above, it's always possible that valve is having issues.

Now for the bad news Evil or Very Mad , I don't have my idiot book around, but I think the light you are talking about making can only be used for static timing. Unfortnately, the 009 can't be static timed. You'll need a real timing light, got any neighbors you could borrow one from.

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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:24 pm

Sounds like timing. I'm going to look at the points. I might have to check out pricing on a timing light, the neighbors that I know don't work on their cars like I do. I may not have the skill or proper tools to do this right and might have to go to the repair shop.

Thanks again,
Jim
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by DOODLE BUGG on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:33 pm

igot a nice craftman at sears for around 50 bucks or youmight be able to get one at auto zone the might have one they do a tool lone were you leave a deposit and when you bring them back you get your money back it worth a try
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:36 pm

GREAT SUGGESTION! I'm not too far from a Autozone and I'm going to look into tool loan
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by rpm750 on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:37 pm

Hi Jim,
I didn't read every word in this post so it may of been said. How did you adjust the valves to a .006 gap. You know you have to turn the engine over several times to place the cam and valve train in positon to adjust them correctly. Go to Youtube and there is a guy with a video that explains it very well and the way he does it is the way I do mine and it is simple.

One other thing is a compression check, this would tell you a lot about the valve adjustment and sealling ability of the piston rings and cylider tightness.

I go thru Fayetteville on my way home from work if you'll be home around 3 - 3:30pm.

Also if you don't get it running tow it my house Sat and as a group we'll put the club tune on it!!!
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:38 pm

I hope I'm not wearing you guys out with this, but I am a little lost. Do I need a Dwell meter too?
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by rpm750 on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:39 pm

Jim Baker wrote:GREAT SUGGESTION! I'm not too far from a Autozone and I'm going to look into tool loan

Are you near the Autozone on Hwy 54?
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:41 pm

That sounds awesome!! I will be around 3-3:30. Would you like me to PM you, my phone #
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by fluxcap on Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:53 pm

Not sure if you and Bob met up or not, but a dwell meter isn't necessary, you can do the points with a feeler gauge. Hope you got it running better. If not, just tow it to Bobs on Saturday!

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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by vwtattooed on Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:15 pm

it may be as simple as timing...for your sake i hope thats all it is. sounds like it is a valvetrain problem to me. vw heads are notorious for dropping valve seats! Herrells is reputable but even the best vw mechanic can still have problems. an easy way to check the valve seats is to pressurize the cylinder while the valves are closed and check for leak down by listening to the exhaust side and intake side of the head to hear air escaping. you can find the air spark plug adapter online or rig up your own...all you need is an air fitting that will seal in the spark plug hole. go back and check your timing to ensure you are not 180 degrees out of time(distributor in backwards),while it is not likely the car would be drivable they WILL run very crappy.
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by camch on Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:11 pm

to check a drop valve seat you can also pull the valve cover and turn the engine over sloly and watch to see if the valve is equal if there both at the top,if 1 valve is lower than the other the seat more than likly has droped
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Jim Baker on Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:18 am

Good advice!
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by rpm750 on Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:08 pm

Stopped by Jim's today and took a look at his son's car. Very cool Super. Checked the valves, all good and adjusted to .006. Well continued on and a very simple thing like a missed placed plug wire will cause a lot of confusion. Moved the plug wire fired it up and whatayaknow, it runs real smooth. Adjusted the timing a bit and also adjusted the Air/Idle mix on the carb. Sounds really good.

Glad I could help Jim. Maybe see ya Friday night and Sat.
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by Attorney Isaiah Loophole on Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:27 pm

Awesome! Glad to hear it wasn't anything big.

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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

Post by vwtattooed on Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:53 pm

SEE...THATS WHAT I GET FOR OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING! GLAD TO HEAR NOTHING MAJOR.
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Re: Suggestions on why car is lacking power.

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