Posted on 11/09/2020 at 16:21

Do you remember Küby, my VW Thing? I had sold it in 2007 to a good friend of mine...

And as it happens, that very same friend doesn't have a garage for Küby any more, and was thinking about selling it... And since on my end, I do have one spare spot to store it, and more important since I always missed that car... I bought it back from him, 13 years later! KÜBY IS BACK!!
kuby's current statekuby and pinzgauer
It's globally clean, but needs a bit of TLC.
The body suffered a bit due to several years of being stored outside, the paint job crackled in several places, a bit of corrosion... The wipers motor is stuck, the tires are those I mounted myself 14 years ago, they have a low milage but are cooked.
But Küby purrs and is still a delight to ride!
kuby back homekuby as seen from the workshop
Thank you so much aSa for taking care of Küby all those years!

"Guess who's back... Back again... Küby's back... Tell a friend..." - Eminem
Posted in : 1970 VW Thing
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Posted on 10/09/2020 at 14:29

Retirement time...

I've finally resigned myself to buying a "daddymobile"; a vehicle more suited to my fatherly duties. icone smiley sad

The little one loves the Golf, but I gotta admit that once loaded with a trolley and the baby seat, there's not much room left... And it's not that comfy (nor secure!) to drive long trips for our family of 3. icone smiley meh

So there it is, "Krapo Bleu" (Blue Toad) finally goes into retirement after 24 years of daily use, at the ripe age of 32. Almost a quarter of a century, every day, behind this steering wheel, this car has almost become an extension of myself. I'm not gonna lie, I choke up a little bit when I pushed her back into the garage ; and on this last picture I took before I closed the door, looks like she had a bit of a teary eye herself too! icone smiley wink
There, you can have a rest now, "my old friend". See you back for weekend rides... Or on track maybe? icone smiley laugh
Posted in : 1988 Golf MkII
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Posted on 18/08/2017 at 07:22

Elvira : Rebuilding the 36hp, episode 9 : Flywheel and Cluch

episode 9 : Flywheel & Clutch
OK, time to put the flywheel back on... Where is it, by the way? icone smiley meh
Confession of the day : I've spent hours upon hours, month after month, looking for my flywheel. I completely emptied my 3 garages, twice, and I was still unable to find the bloody thing.

I finally came to the conclusion that I possibly had thrown it away by mistake (!), and right before I started looking for another one (they're not easy to come by, them 36hp flywheels), I gave a call to my friend Laurent, to ask if I had not left my flywheel at his workshop when we closed the engine block... I didn't expect much as I thought I remembered him telling me it would be better to keep all the parts together...

But he told me "yes, sure your flywheel is here!!".

GRRAAaaaaRRRGHh!!!! So much time lost! Damn, I could kick myself in the ass! #StupidOfTheYear

Anywayyyyy...
On my flywheel, the oil seal running surface was pretty dull : some pitting, lots of oxydation... In order to avoir any oil leakage from there, I had to do something about it.
So I polished the running surface, starting with dry sandpaper 320 / 400 / 600 grit, then with oil (WD40 is your friend) 800 / 1000 / 1200 / 1500 / 2000 grit. I ultimately use 3 polishing compounds, of increasingly finer grit, applied with a felt wheel on my Dremel tool.
I take this opportunity to ever so slightly round the top angle, to make sure the oil seal won't get damaged when putting everything together.

And Tadaaaa! Shiny-shiny! icone smiley laugh
VW 36hp flywheel oil sealVW 36hp flywheel oil seal
Now comes the time to adjust the axial play of the crankshaft ; it has to be comprised between 0.07 mm and 0.13 mm, ideally in the lower part of this range, to take into account the parts wearing out.
That's the opportunity for me to bring out my BIG torque wrench, the one I use to reach the 35 mKg needed to properly tighten flywheels and rear wheels' central nut. icone smiley smile

First step, find a set of shims, cuz' as expected, the ones I have don't allow me to adjust the play correctly... And as usual, the 36hp shims aren't the same as Type 1's, and much harder to source!
Long story short, I buy a couple of 0.32mm shims from VW Classic Parts, take out the ones in my original engine, and I end up with a pretty good assortment of shims in various thicknesses, plus 3 paper gaskets of various thicknesses.

Without the paper gasket between the flywheel and the crankshaft, I get a little over 0.03mm of end play, measured with a dial indicator. After 4 assembly/torquing/disassembly sessions, I manage to find the right set of 3 shims (always install 3 of them, for relative rotation speed reasons) to get 0.10mm of end play with the paper gasket on. I would have prefered it to be a tiny bit tighter, like 0.08mm, but it will do. I give the oil seal a good dose of lubricant, put the flywheel on, and torque the central nut (with a drop of blue Loctite medium threadlocker).
VW 36hp end play shims crankshaftVW 36hp flywheel torque wrench FacomVW 36hp flywheel end play measure dial indicator
Just for later reference, if you ever had to look for 36hp shims : here are the VW references. Good hunting! :
  • 111 105 281 : 0.24 mm
  • 111 105 283 : 0.30 mm
  • 111 105 285 : 0.32 mm
  • 111 105 287 : 0.34 mm
  • 111 105 289 : 0.36 mm
You can get reproductions from BBT, but at 6€ a piece, I find it a bit expensive... And make sure you deburr them before use!

The flywheel had been re-surfaced and balanced with the crank and clutch assy (work done by Slide Perf in March 2012!! It's really high time for me to finish this engine! icone smiley sadicone smiley meh).

A "1" mark had been stamped to make sure the flywheel is in the same position as it was balanced ; same for the clutch assembly, with a "0" mark. At least, the bloody thing shouldn't wobble around. icone smiley wink
VW 36hp flywheel clutch assembly balancing crankshaftVW 36hp flywheel clutch assembly balancingVW 36hp flywheel clutch assembly balancing
The flywheel, clutch disc and clutch mechanism running surface are thoroughly cleaned using brake cleaning fluid before assembly.
The clutch assy screws are torqued (2.5 mKg) and secured with the usual drop of Loctite.

That's it for today! Yet another checkbox ticked out! icone smiley laugh
Hopefully this engine should run in no time now! (wishfull thinking...)
Posted in : 1959 Beetle
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Posted on 07/03/2017 at 21:18

Elvira : Rebuilding the 36hp, episode 8 : cooler, tinware and shroud

episode 8 : cooler, tinware and shroud

Oil Cooler

I start by sprucing up my oil cooler. I put it under pressure to ensure it is still air tight, using a bicycle tire valve (same method I recently used for my intake manifold). It holds at 5.5 bars : we're good here.
Thorough cleaning using brake cleaning fluid and compressed air, giving the whole damn thing a good shake to make sure I get rid of any muck sitting in all the nooks and crannies inside...
Then I give it a light sandblast to remove the flaking off original paint (I obviously first taped shut the oil in/out holes), and then a thin coat of high temperature spray paint, just to prevent rust. Just to make sure the sandblasting did not affect the oil cooler, I give it another pressure test ; still holds at 6bars, we're still good (#paranoid).
It then goes back on the engine with a couple of brand new gaskets. Next !
VW 36HP oil coolerVW 36HP oil coolerVW 36HP oil cooler

Fan shroud and tinware

Again, because of my modified cylinder heads, I gotta touch up the tinware to make it fit the new engine width.
Since I'd rather keep my original tinware untouched, I managed to get my hands on a new set of tinware and fan shroud to modify them. That new shroud is slightly different than my original one, it doesn't feature the top recess (which makes room for the oil bath air cleaner)... Prolly an older shroud ; well, since I wanna move later to a two carbs setup...
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinware
For the two over-cylinder tins , it's pretty straight forward : I just Dremel-cut 3.2mm at their base. Done.
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinware
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinware
For the shroud, well, it's a bit more tricky. I make two triangular relief cuts on each side, which I then bend inward and weld back shut... And there you go, a 6.4mm narrower shroud.
Well, it did take a few hours to weld/grind! icone smiley laugh
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinware
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinware
VW 36HP engine tinware
The two tins get sandblasted ; the shroud is too big for my sandblasting cabinet, so I sand it down to bare metal with an electric file.
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinware
Then, the usual ; anti-rust primer, some bondo finition (the shroud looked like a mine field), filler primer, sanding, and then finally painting with a two-component polyurethane spray can.
I wanted to give a shot to this product for a while now, as a friend recommended it to me... Not exactly cheap (25€ the spray can at Vernicispray), but I gotta say, the result has NOTHING to do with that of a standard spray can! Shiny! Well, sure, as I used it in my dusty garage, it's not perfect by any means, but way good enough for engine tinware as far as I'm concerned.

In order to use these spray cans, you first have to hit the bottom cartridge, that holds the hardening component, then shake the damn thing a couple of minutes. You than have 6 to 7 hours to use the product before it hardens... So you need a bit of organization if you want to spray more to one coat!

Just one drawback I experienced : it might be because the temperature in my garage was too low, but by the end of the can, it spitted droplets instead of a nice even spray (even though I did heat the can before use by putting it above a radiator, and made sure the nozzle remained clean)... Just be careful.

The oil filler, small tin below fuel pump, and front/back half-moon tins all get their lick of paint as well... I did not originally planned to do so, but they looked dull next to the other shiny parts... icone smiley wink
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinware
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinwareTwo components epoxy spray can
VW 36HP engine tinwareVW 36HP engine tinware

Generator

About a dozen years ago, I converted my circuit to 12V, using a rare 90mm generator (ref. VW 113903031E, ref. Bosch 0101206116), and a fitting Bosch 14V 25A regulator (ref. Bosch 0190350049).
But that regulator only held by one single screw on top of the generator, and since it was a bit too long, it had to be set askew... And, well, you know my OCD.
So i took a deep breath, a drill press, and drilled a 4.2mm hole in the generator body (making sure I wouldn't drill into a coil inside, obviously), which I proceeded to tap at 5x80 like the other one. Done! I then gave a lick of paint to the regulator, cut 3mm from its back stand, and now it ssits aligned with the generator. Much better!

As usual, since nothing is ever simple, while putting back together the fan assembly, torquing the nut at 6mkg, the expansible washer broke on me... Argh. Ordered a new one from VW Classic Parts (ref. 111119135), yet another week to wait... Damn, restoring these machines requires infinite patience!
regulator generator Bosch 36HP 12VRegulator Bosch 90mm 12Vfan washer 36HP
Regulator Bosch 90mm 12Vregulator generator Bosch 36HP 12V

...and reassembly!

To put everything back together, I ordered a set of stainless steel tinware screws identical to the original ones (mine weren't looking good). The cardboard "seal" between the generator and its stand is glued in place using Gasgacinch.

I also give a coat of satin black on the coil (an actual, real blue Bosch one), the generator's pulley, and the oil pump plate (which I had forgotten, and already showed rust spots).
The coil also receives a sticker reproduction to make it look like an old 6V one... That'll make the trick! icone smiley laugh

After a bit more of fiddling... TADAAAAA!! icone smiley laugh
bosch blue coil 36hp vwbosch blue coil 36hp vw
VW 36HP engine
It seriously starts to look like an actual engine, right?? icone smiley laugh
OK, almost there now... If the pain in my shoulder gives me some slack, this baby should run pretty soon!
Posted in : 1959 Beetle
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Posted on 15/02/2017 at 18:08

Good Bye Pierburg, Hello Weber!

Conversion Weber 32/34
My Golf came equipped as standard with a Pierburg 2E2 carburetor. When this one works fine, it's a great ride...

But in the other hand, when it starts acting, it's a PITA : it's full of vacuum modules, dilatation elements,wax component, in which the cooling liquid goes through... Kind of a Rube-Goldberg machine, next to impossible to fix.

And you guessed it, mine started acting weird, it did not like last April's engine swap (I did write about it at the time already).

Around a decade ago, I had found on eBay Germany a rebuilt 2E2 for a fair price, but unfortunately the vendor doesn't exist any longer. There's a specialist in the UK (Bromyard) that offers complete Pierburg 2E2 rebuilding services, but for a hefty 395 £ + S&H (that's over 500 €), I wasn't too keen on going again with that same Hell-of-a-carb (that being said, looks like that company does a great job).
I also had the option of buying a brand spanking new Chinese reproduction of the Pierburg 2E2 : you can find them on AliExpress, and they will set you back around 100 €. I have to admit, I'm a bit skeptical on the quality of these...

Long story short, I finally bought a Weber DMTL 32/34 conversion kit from EuroCarb via eBay. It's cheaper this way than from national french re-sellers, 324.50 £ w/ S&H (which is 380 €, would have been 455 € w/o S&H at local stores).
Golf Pierburg 2E2 Weber DMTL 32 34 conversion kit
It's a beautiful kit, very well engineered. Installation instructions are clear, it's almost plug'n'play... Even thought the french traduction is a bit sketchy (and the fuel line clamps are a bit small, but I'm nit-picking). icone smiley wink
So now, no more faulty automatic choke, which functioning is a matter of voodoo sorcery, back to basics with a good'ol manual choke!

Installation note : the small bit at the end of the throttle cable cameinto contact with the vaccum element at the back of the carb, preventing the throttle from coming back to idle. I snapped it with a pair of pliers : fixed (on the middle picture below, you can still see the contact point before the modification).
Golf Pierburg 2E2 Weber DMTL 32 34 conversion kitGolf Pierburg 2E2 Weber DMTL 32 34 conversion kitGolf Pierburg 2E2 Weber DMTL 32 34 conversion kit
I installed the bloody thing on 01/29/2017 and since then : pure HAPPINESS! Starts neatly, acceleration is linear, the engine doesn't die on me any more when cold, more torque at low revs... I definitely should have done this a long time ago! icone smiley laugh
Posted in : 1988 Golf MkII
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