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Any advice, please?

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Any advice, please? Empty Any advice, please?

Post by Blake412 Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:53 am

Dubbers, I am in a quandry and could use some advice from you experts.

Last March I bought "Grace," a 1978 ASI/Riviera, a Late Bay Camper Bus with a 2 liter fuel injected engine. It leaks a fair amount of oil (maybe half a quart each time I take it out for an afternoon), but I was told that most leak oil (Grace has 117K original miles on her). She ran just fine at the time of purchase -- not a lot of power, but I wasn't expecting a whole lot anyway (I'd had a bus back in the 70's and it didn't have a lot of power either).

Over the past year I have benefited greatly from reading these sites. I haven't posted because quite frankly my knowledge is so small compared to Jake, Eric, and others -- but I'm learning as fast as I can! Although I am a "weekend warrior" when it comes to tools, the VDub community is very helpful, and my confidence is growing.

A few months after the purchase I replaced the oil strainer gasket, thinking that would stop the leak (it didn't). I tried to check the compression, but neither myself nor two neighbors (mechanics) could get a reading on any cylinder no matter what equipment was used. While the bus ran ok, the fact that I could not get resolution on issues (no compression readings, oil leaks continue) bothered me, so I decided to escalate the matter.
Anyway, I purchased a set of engine gaskets and took Grace to the VW dealership here in Buford. I said that I wanted to get 1) the oil leak assessed, 2) a thorough engine inspection, and 3) a compression test on all the cylinders.

After an inspection, they said that while they could simply start swapping out gaskets, I "was arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." 2 of the 4 cylinders have low compression (35-40) and they are recommending that I replace the entire engine rather than trying to chase down and replace/repair "a gazillion individual parts."

Eek!  affraid My questions: Is it usual or reasonable to need to replace an engine at only 117K miles? Second, what are your opinions regarding repair vs. replacement, given that I've never dropped an engine before? Third, what kind of money does replacing an engine cost? ANY advice you can give is greatly appreciated, as I have a growing concern that I may be in over my head.
Blake412
Blake412
Dub Noob

Number of posts : 9
Location : Buford, GA
Registration date : 2014-01-29

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Post by ASBug Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:25 am

Wow. They actually looked at the engine at the dealer! My dealer here in Dalton wouldn't know squat about old aircooleds any more. They do stock the occasional voltage regulator in a pinch, but you would almost be as well off getting the Walmart greeter to look at your bus (he probably had one in the day). There are specialty shops listed here that will treat you right and not rip you off. Don't get me wrong, I use the dealer on my '04 passat wagon, but I would not let them touch my '69 ghia... Get a second opinion. Just my $0.02.
KC
ASBug
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Post by Attack chicken Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:13 am

ASBug wrote:Wow. They actually looked at the engine at the dealer! My dealer here in Dalton wouldn't know squat about old aircooleds any more. They do stock the occasional voltage regulator in a pinch, but you would almost be as well off getting the Walmart greeter to look at your bus (he probably had one in the day). There are specialty shops listed here that will treat you right and not rip you off. Don't get me wrong, I use the dealer on my '04 passat wagon, but I would not let them touch my '69 ghia... Get a second opinion. Just my $0.02.
KC

X2

The Dealer is not the place for you, those folks look at your bus as a novelty at best and most likley consider it a pest vehicle. It's not uncommon to get excessive cost estimates for repair when no one wants to do the work...or even knows how. You need a shop that specializes in what you have or you WILL end up with a GIANT bill and probably worse off than when it was brought in. You can have a VW that does't leak, but in the real world most do to some degree. I have seen a retarted amount of money spent chasing leaks that never stop on late model vehicles let alone 40 year old air cooled engines. Leaks show up for many different reasons, SOMETIMES it's due to old or damaged seals/gaskets and many times it's due to the physical condition of the parts...all working together to pretty much pump the oil out at every seam. 1st thing find the correct place to get the bus evaluated, then make a list of items to be repaired and then put them in the order of importance to you. The shop should be able to help you with that last part incase anything has what is called overlap in labor.

Attack chicken
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Location : Hiram
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Post by type4revolution Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:29 am

I work and live type 4 your welcome to call and set up an appointment. Def sounds like your engine is tired an could use a refresh. Vws are not suppose to leak oil by the way. Not good to have oil fire would be a horrible death for your  prized Vw. Milage isn't bad but unless maintenance was well documented then there is no telling what could be wrong at this point . Best to start fresh and you will know what's in it while you take a long trip rather than just around the block.
type4revolution
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Post by vw57drvr Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:48 pm

The heads are a weak spot for any stock type IV. Especially the 2.0 liter. Bottom end is typically bullet proof. You definiately need a Type IV guy. If it werent for the lack of a heater solution, I would have a converted type IV in my beetles.
vw57drvr
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Post by Blake412 Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:53 am

Wow. Just wow. Thank you so much for the all the replies! Let me display my "Noob-ness" once more: what is a "bottom end" and how does it differ from a "top end?"
Blake412
Blake412
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Number of posts : 9
Location : Buford, GA
Registration date : 2014-01-29

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Post by vw57drvr Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:35 pm

Bottom end just refers to your crank, rods, cam etc. top end usually refers to pistons, jugs and heads.
vw57drvr
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