I had to bite the bullet and buy a professionally built long block. After considerable research, debating, number crunching, and check writing, I finally came to a decision on what to install.
Although I love to build and repair things myself, I felt the main engine rebuild was beyond my immediate capability and expertise. The final decision was to get the help of a pro: Darryl at Darryl’s VW was a great choice. He personally has his hands on every engine build and can answer and accommodate just about any request. His prices are reasonable, everything is NEW not REBUILT, and he didn’t seem to mind my many questions.
Final decision was a 1776cc with my a single Solex 34 PICT 3 carb that I previously rebuilt. Darryl even provided the new dual port engine tins since I was upgrading from single port heads. He further provided me with new jets for the carb to permit a richer mix.
Removing the old engine to harvest parts was very simple. I did need to buy a engine stand, but opted NOT to buy a VW engine mount. I used washers and bolts to securely mount the old engine to the standard engine stand. Using this method has its drawbacks, as you cannot easily mount the clutch plate until off the stand.
Parts that I harvested from the old engine included the OE engine tins, doghouse, and generator/stand.
New parts include, gaskets, exhaust (USA made from CB Performance), ducting, and SS bolts. From a local junkyard, I picked up a Bus intake manifold that had the port for the vacuum brake servo. The intakes exhaust risers were blocked with carbon and required a drill and coat hanger to ream out.
Once I stripped the old engine, I could see just how bad it was: clearly the engine block was trashed…
At some point, mice made a cozy nest with fiberglass b/w the engine tins and the old cylinder heads. The salvageable parts, including the obscure “Hoover bit” was removed, degreased, derusted, and painted with POR-15.
The new 1776cc longblock arrived from Darryl’s VW in a robust crate.
To reduce shipping costs Darryl shipped to my local UPS freight facility where I picked it up and loaded it on my trailer.
I decided to roll the dice and pull the faulty 009 distributor and use a Richmond Technology VW10 electronic ignition. It was a steal on Amazon last month, and it came with a new coil. I also installed a new SACHS 200mm clutch kit.
I did have some real frustrations with the engine re-installation. After 2-3 hours I was certain, I had a engine/trans incompatibility. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the trans shaft to seat properly. In time I learned that I had to drop the trans 3 inches to allow proper alignment. Once mated, I raised it all up and, using new engine mounts, bolted it in place. Phew. I was gettin upset there for a minute.
Here’s a little video on the first time we fired it up. The timing and idle were off, but it was exciting to hear the bus come alive for the first time: