Monthly Archives: July 2008

Did I run the motor too hard?

So I wanted to calculate the RPM to see if I ran the engine too hard.  From what I have calculated, I don’t think so.  The speedo was 11MPH off according to my VZW Navigator GPS.  I checked the tire size on the bus VS the tires that came stock.  The stock tires were 6.40 – 15, which according to a vintage tire size conversion they were P195/75R15, or P205/70R15.  The tires that are currently on the bus are P215/75R15.  Why is this important?  We need to understand the what the tire diameter is in order to know the speedo correction. By using the handy-dandy tire size calculator tells me that the im either 4.5% or 7.5% too slow.  Which tells me something else is wrong with my speedo, or there is another variable I’m not considering.

Now for the calculation.  The variables i need are the following.

tire diameter – 27.7

4th Gear ratio – 0.82

Ring & Pinion – 4.125

Reduction Gearbox Ratio – 1.26

Constant – 336

RPM = (MPH*336*Drive Ratio)/Tire Diameter

Drive Ratio = (ring & pinion * Gear * RGB Ratio)

Given that I kept the speedo at 50 to 55 MPH, which translates to 61 to 66 MPH.  That equates to 3153 and 3412 RPM. From what I can gather, as long as I keep the engine under 3500 RPM I should be fine.  However I have read that the best cooling is around 2800 to 3000 RPM, so I was probably pushing it some, but I don’t think I ran the motor too hard unless the tuning was off.  That I’ll never know at this point.

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Posted by on July 21, 2008 in Maintenance, Uncategorized


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New Engine Notes

I looked a little closer at the new engine yesterday. I think I did notice is that it has dual exhaust with chrome tips! It has a Solex 34 PICT-3 carb, which was the original carb on a 1600 DP engine from 1971 to 1974. The distributor is a dual vaccum 049 instead of the .009 in the old motor. I don’t know enough about distributors yet to know difference . . . .

However, according to Bob Hoover, ” the overwhelming majority of VW owners — and manufacturers — have found that a distributor incorporating vacuum-advance not only gives better mileage but prolongs the life of the engine.” That is good enough for me to keep the 049 in Kermit.

I have found that neither engine has a thermostat or the cooling flaps. Since I know the engine overheated and that I can reduce the temperature another 15 to 17% by installing these, I searched The Samba and found that a person had the HW I needed for a great price!

Bob Hoover has also written articles on the importance of this part of the cooling system. He has also provided a procedure on how to restore this system. The bottom line is, the engineers from Volkswagen felt that their engines needed this cooling system to run efficiently. I know i’m not qualified to argue. Besides I don’t know many folks that take thermostats out of their water cooled vehicles. I did notice that the exhaust manifold in the left hand side has a rust hole, so I’ll swap with the old engine.

I ordered some tuneup parts, Oil Cooler and manifold gaskets today. I forgot the oil screen, but I’m sure I’ll need something else before it’s all over.

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Posted by on July 14, 2008 in Maintenance, Uncategorized


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Old Engine Analysis

I began tearing down the old motor this weekend and discovered that I did do in fact have a doghouse oil cooler on the motor, which I’ll put on the new motor. I have not, however located the thermostat, so this motor may not have one. I have not inspected the new motor yet. All I know about the motor is that it is a 1600 DP without a doghouse and is a 6v motor. I have removed the coil and alternator for installation on the new motor.

The starter has some silicone on the solenoid. I was having problems getting the bus started, not sure if this was the reason or not. Especially since the battery was not charging due to the bad wire off the regulator. Not the best picture. I guess I need to get my tripod out next time.

The oil cooler doesn’t look to bad, but since the engine seized, Ill have it replaced.

The carb on this motor is a Mexican Bocar 34 PICT-3. I looked at the main jet and it was 127.5 which is the apropriate size for this motor. I did feel the oil as was requested and found it to be very dark, slimy, but also with a faint sent of fuel. Below is a pict of the plugs not sure on the condition, but they appear kinda dark for less than 600 miles. They seemed pretty easy to remove and I would have thought that they would have been tighter. They were gap’d at .025. I believe the specification is .026, but my gauge does not have that combination. The plugs themselves are Bosch W8A6 – This type of is a hotter plug suitable for normal driving conditions, cold climate, and stop and go traffic.

I looked at the distributor, not sure how to tell what kind it is, but I believe it is a .009. The rotor and points look good, but I have not verified the gap yet.

Finally, I’m embarrassed to say I found this rubber seal? and I’m not sure yet where this goes, so I’ll have to do some research.  I didn’t have to research too far on this . . I found another one just like it on one of the cooling hoses…. it’s a seal.

The next step is to begin ordering parts I’ll need such as filters, new plugs points ect.

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Posted by on July 12, 2008 in Maintenance


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What Happened??

First of all big thanks to my cousin John and Gary for helping with the maint this weekend.  We got the engine puled and found that it is in fact seized.  Now we need to determine the cause.  I was a little concerned when I first pulled the engine and saw the inside of the trans axle.

Gene told me this was not a concern since the bus was converted from 6v to 12v and this was done to accommodate the 12v flywheel.  I was curious on how the housing so marred up and the flywheel looked so good.  Now the root cause.  Gene gave me some homework to do, which I will do when we get back from Michigan next week.  This will also give me the opportunity to take off parts from the old engine to the new.  I don’t think I have mentioned this, but I did determine that the blown engine is a 1600 DP too.  I was able to determine this by the AE engine code.  So anyway the homework . . .

  • Take out the spark plugs, label them, and take pics for inspection
  • Smell and feel the oil that was drained – It was slippery and had a faint smell of gasoline
  • Check the thermostat and or the presence of
  • Look at the heads and find out what went wrong.
  • Verify the jet size on the carb.  It should be ~127 for 1600 120 is too small
  • Take a picture of the starter for Gene
  • Look into a doghouse cooler
  • Electronic ignition or points.

We did find that a wire on the voltage regulator had a bad connection and that the alternator wasn’t charging the battery.  In fact the battery was so low that we couldn’t use it to test the starter.  We also noticed that the bendix didn’t engage all the time, so I need to make sure I have a good connection, or maybe the starter is bad.  So back to the charging issue, Gene said (I hope I get this right) that it is possible that the lower voltage caused the plugs not to fire properly and caused the engine to overheat. Looking at the plugs should help determine that.  Other thoughts include cheap (regular) gas, which is hard to determine with out knowing the original compression of the engine.

Other notes:

I averaged 20.9 mpg.  The run from Atlanta to Chattanooga was the worst at only 17mpg.  After that I averaged 22.1 mpg.

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Posted by on July 6, 2008 in Maintenance


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Kermit is finally home

Well the beginning is at the end.  Kermit is finally home and what a first adventure it was. Because of that I have very few pictures.  I got down to Atlanta at 10am on June 26th.  The bus wasn’t complete, so woody and I went to Macon to visit one of his job sites.  After that we went to Carrollton, to Herrell Bug Parts to pick up the Hippy bus from a tune up.  Since I had admitted that I never drove a bus before, Woody said I could drive the Hippy back to the shop.  I got in the bus and it was all over the road and I began to wonder what I got myself into.  I considered backing out.  After a few miles, I got used to the Hippy and figured I’d be ok. Here is a pic of the Hippy

Saturday we worked on the bus all day.  I was helping with cleaning the glue off the doors, woody was putting the Z-bed together and Dawg was doing the installation.  Dawg deserves a BIG THANKS.  He worked till 10pm on Friday and was back at 7:30am on Saturday to help finish the job! About 6PM we were ready to roll.  Woody said no trip to Atlanta was complete with out going to The Varsity a world famous hotdog joint. We almost made it to the restruant before the first incident.  I stalled the bus on a hill and could not get it started. I was able to jump it off in reverse and we made it to get a couple of dogs.  When we came out of the Varsity, we noticed that there was a puddle of gear oil under the bus.  We called the mechanic and determined it would probably be ok to drive to Chattanooga and see what the next day brought.  I made it up there around 10PM and stayed with Mike and Diane.

I called Marilyn around 7:30 and told her the issue with the oil and she called Gene….. at 5:30am.  He was very nice and called me and gave me instructions on how to check the oil.  It checked out good and I was on my way.  I was right proud of him during the Monteagle, TN climb.   I was able to do it in 4th ~ 45 mph.  A few miles off the mountain he began to act funny.  It felt like vapor lock, so I pulled over.  I looked in the back and could see bubbles coming out the fuel pump, so I let it set.  I had some problems getting it started and a guy gave me a jump.  Got back on the road and the bus drove great; strong at 55 to 60 mph and still wanted to run.  I found that the speedo is off by 11mph (per my GPS), so sometimes the speed crept up on me.  I made it to Cave City Kentucky, the gateway to the Mammoth Cave, to get gas, I wanted to make into southern Indiana for the night.  My goal was to keep it running, but I failed.  About 45 minutes later I got it going, and made it up a hill to a stop light and it died.  Feathering would not keep the motor going.  I tried to jump it but it wouldn’t work.  I turned it around and headed back to the gas station.  I guy offered to pull me and it still wouldn’t start.  It would just jump….. like something was locked up….  I thanked the guy and said it would start later and went into the restaurant and ate.  When I got out there I still couldn’t get it started it was dark, so I went across the street and got a room.  In the morning, I rolled it down the hill and it started.  I drove around the gas station three times to make sure the bus would stay running.  The attendant must have thought I was crazy.  Things were going great!  Made it just south of Indy and needed gas.  Pulled in to the station and was able to keep it running.  I was in and out quicker than a NASCAR pitstop.  I wanted to get gas one last time before I got into the city and pulled off in Demotte, In.  Got to the top of the off ramp and he died.  I jumped it off to get into the gas station, but again Kermit died.  The battery acted like it was dead, so I pushed it to a small hill in the parking lot and tried to jump it.  It felt like it did the night before when I could not get it started, but I though the hill was too small.  On the other side of the gas station there was a camp ground called Lake Holiday that had a pretty good hill.  I asker the girl if I could roll through and if it didn’t start Ill call a tow truck.  I pushed the bus around to the hill and tried.  There was enough speed, but the engine wasn’t turning over.  It had plenty of oil and wasn’t making any noise and had plenty of power.  I can’t understand why the motor seized and still not convinced that it did.  The first thing I’m going to do is check to see if the bendix stuck in the starter and is locking up the motor.  Meanwhile, Woody has shipped a dualport 1600cc that we can use if it turns out the motor is really bad.

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Posted by on July 1, 2008 in the begining


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