Carb problems

Well although the engine is running, I have had some problems with my Carbs. We had real trouble getting them to behave themselves. Even with the air bypass screws closed, and the throttles backed right off, it would tick over way too fast. I believe the jets are all ok for this engine, so I don't really know. I think they have just had a hard life, and been messed around with too much. They will be useful for someone, but just not for me.

Anyway to test this, I borrowed a pair of 36 Dellortos from a friend, bolted them on and the engine runs so much better. I didn't have to fiddle with them at all. So the Webers will get put on the shelf, and I will source a good pair of Dellortos.

Engine support

I have another theory on the oil priming issue (as suggested by Jeff). Because the oil filter was filled with oil, for the pump to prime it would have had to push air through the (oil filled) filter, which would have been quite difficult. So if I were to do it again, I would have removed the filter before cranking to prime the pump, then replace the filter and continue.

Here are some pictures of the engine support bar that was made up (thanks again DrDub), and then powder coated (thanks Jeff). As you can see it goes up above the j-tubes and is solid mounted on the bumper mounts (i don't plan to run bumpers, if you did you could weld the bar supports onto the bumper irons). The bar mounts to the engine with the stock rubber mounts.

She lives!

Well the engine has now been run! I had some friends to help me out (thanks DrDub and Jeff!). We had a bit of trouble building oil pressure before we started it. First of all the engine was filled with oil (Quantum 15W/40), and the oil filter was filled. The spark plugs were removed and the engine cranked over, but no pressure showed on my gauge, and the idiot light didn't go out. So, I took the oil pressure sender off, and cranked over again. No oil appeared. Next the oil pressure relief valve was removed and checked, it was found to be OK. Next the pump cover was removed. There was a bit of oil in there, but I pumped some more on and around the gears before replacing the cover. Next the filter was removed. This time oil came out of the filter mount. So the filter was screwed back on, and oil was now appearing at the pressure sender. The sender was screwed back on and hay-presto; fuel pressure! So I don't really know why we had this problem, it could of been a pump priming problem, but the pump had graphogen on the gears so it should have. Next time I would probably try and rig up some kind of vacuum priming system, as the engine had to be cranked over without oil pressure much more than I would have liked.


Me and DrDub have knock up an exhaust system. It is based on some shortened J-tubes, a BAS header and a custom silencer setup. Actually the J-tubes I had were too short, the header fowled on the pully, so they had to be lengthened again, which was done in situe so we could get everything right.. I think its very neat. The weight of the header is taken by a bracket welded onto a rear support bar bracket. The silencer is fixed by another bracket to one of the J-tubes. The silencer tucks up very neatly in the wheel arch, and the tip of the exhaust has an angled end so you can hardly see it under the car at all.

Engine installed

Last night I put the engine into the bug! Its taken a year...

I used my standard procedure for putting an engine in a beetle: Use a massive jack under the rear section of the floorpan, and jack it right up. Place the engine under the car, using a smaller jack. Rest the engine on blocks of wood (so the smaller jack can remain under it). Lower the car down onto the engine (careful!), then use the smaller jack to fine tune the engine height to slide it on to the gearbox. I have done it enough times with not enough jacks or not big enough ones, to know that a very large jack for jacking the entire car up makes life much easier. Once I had realised i needed to tip the engine up slightly to clear the fan ring, and that I needed to cut a small section out of the valence, it was much easier.

Good head

I received the heads a few weeks ago from Microgiant. The work looks good, although one of the rocker shaft retainers was broken! Although the rocker geometry is not spot on I have decided to use the standard length pushrods, I believe the lengths are within acceptable limits.

I have fitted my electric fuel pump to the bug, which was a bit fiddley, as space is very tight down there.

I have now got the pistons and barrels on, and the heads on. I have also put in the followers and pushrods on one side. Now left to do is finish off the carb linkage, which is causing a bit of a headache, and install the cooling system. I have decided not to use the deep sump for now, there is no point when I am running the engine in, and will just get in the way when I am putting the engine in the car. I also have a problem with my exhaust. The BAS header doesn't get anywhere near the shortened J-tubes without fowling the pulley. It could be that the j-tubes were intended for another style of header. Either way I am going to have to think again about the exhaust.. :(

Bottom end together

After a long period of little progress I have taken a large step forward. With a help from a good friend Dr Dub (, I now have the bottom end together. There were no problems with it, especially when it came to torqueing the case up. The crank turns smoothly with no tight spots. We used a product called Graphogen on the bearing surfaces, which should really help in those critical first couple of seconds.

I still don't have my heads back from Microgiant, they have had to go abroad to get the inlet valves as they couldn't get them in that size in the UK. I sent them a set of 1700cc rocker assemblies which have allowed him to fit Ford Courier swivel foot adjusters which, according to Microgiant are better lubricated than the Porsche 911 type. Looking forward to getting them back, as its holding me up now. When they are back I will cc them and work out my compression ratio.

Fan ring

I have sanded down the fan ring a little and it now fits into the shroud much better. I have a slight problem in that the fan ring sits a little too far out, so I will have to space out the lower pulley a little. There is nothing stopping me putting the bottom end together now. Trouble is once I start doing that, i need the place to be very clean, but I am worried that I will need to do more mods to the case etc after putting it together.

Goodies in the post

I have picked up a great breather box from CSP in Germany, as well as a few other things (like flywheel centre bearings, rocker cover breather vents etc). I also picked up some air filters and fitting for my carbs, and a CB Performance electric fuel pump from VW Speedshop. This pump is great, it puts out at about 3.5 psi and therefor there is no need for a fuel pressure regulator.

Straight-cut timing gears

I have sourced some straight cut timing gears! They were a good price otherwise I wouldn't bother, as I know they won't get me much but a wicked whine! However it causes more bolt to oil pump clearance problems. I have had to machine the pump down even more, and also the bolt faces (I took a couple of mm off them all). They now clear the oil pump again. I have peened the rear off the oil pump to stop the pressed in shaft coming out and wiping out my engine (hope it works!).

I have decided not to use my windage tray, but will use a deep sump instead. I have heard reports of the windage tray causing problems with the oil backing up on top of the tray and not returning to the sump quickly enough. To fix this you have to cut the tray up a little. I managed to pick up a deep sump at the Volksworld show back at the end of march. That will allow me to run with a lower oil level (but still more oil than stock), which should discourage the oil to slop into the pistons and up into the heads. Eventually I would like to run a dry sump system.

Enthusiasm :(

I have had trouble keeping my enthusiasm going recently, however I do have some updates. I made up an aluminium block that will allows me to mount the fan strap in the send place on the dizzy side. It utilises the bolt that goes through the front of the breather tower (well i will need a longer bolt), and then has a stud in the top of it for fixing the strap. I am now able to bolt the fan on straight and true. :) I have also finished the fan rear support bar too.

Something that I forgot to mention was that a while ago I decided to machine down the fan ring myself. Well 'machine' is too strong a word, I just got the grinder out with a soft pad on it! I took the ridge out that runs all the way around it, allowing me to use the wide strap I have. I also flatted off the area at the base of the ring so it sits snugly on the breather tower cover plate.

Fan mounting options

I have now made up a metal cover plate for the breather tower and a rubber pad for the fan shroud to sit on. I also played with the strap a little more. The mounting on the right side (other side to the distributor) is fine, but the other side is not so good. The strap fixes on one side to the distributor clamp stud, but the other side needs some support. I might put in an aluminium block, held by the case through bolt, with another stud to fix the strap to. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Here are some more pictures of the engine. You can see my shroud placed on the case. Notice it has provision for the oil cooler in the stock location. Opinions are divided on how well these work, but I am willing to try.

Pretty fan

I started to clean up my fan last night, its pretty dirty and has some minor surface corrosion, but underneath its loverly and shiny! :)


I have sent my heads off to a company called Microgiant to have a bit of work done on them. I know I need new valves, but I also wanted them checked over and ready to bolt straight on when I get them back.

I have also sourced a fan strap so I have started playing around with the fan positioning. I have decided that I will use some thin galvanised metal that I have to cover the breather tower under the fan, probably glued on. I will then put a rubber sheet on that which the fan can sit on. I will also support the fan from the middle, down to the engine case, just to keep things rigid.

Oil pump

At the weekend I sorted out an oil pump for my engine. Type 1 and type 4 pumps are constructed differently. The type 4 is a better design which doesn't need a cover plate. The gears are inserted into the pump from inside making it much less prone to leaking. However new type 4 pumps are very difficult to get hold of, so the solution is to use a type 1 pump, which luckily for us expects the same stud pattern and cam position. The downside is the type 1 pump needs to protrude much further into the case (the oil gears in a type 4 pump are half outside the engine case), and so needs some clearancing.


After talking to some friends I might send my fan ring off to be machined down to sit better on the case, and also allow for the fitting of a wider strap. Any decision I have to make is whether to send my heads off to have new valve seats fitted. If I do then do I get anything extra done, what about new valves? Porting and polishing? Oh decisions, decisions!

Fan Strap

I have started to think about the strap to hold the fan ring down. I have some stainless steel bits of metal given to me by a friend that look to be ideal for holding the fan ring on. They are exactly the right width. I will probably use 2 lengths of box section steel and a nut and bolt to make a clamp at the top.

Case issues

I brought the case ready machined, but it wasn't quite right, the fan was slightly skewed, so I had to finish that off. I used a large sanding drum in a drill, which worked very well and gave a nice finish. Unfortunately I went through the case! Doh! However I believe I can still use it as I plan to cover that area with a stainless steel sheet.


At Dubfreeze I was able to buy a Eurorace G grind cam, a Scat lube-a-lobe lifter set and a windage tray from Stateside Tuning.


I have started collecting bits and pieces for my engine. So far I have:

  • Porsche fan assembly
  • Fan shroud allowing for cooler in stock position
  • Engine case, machined to seat the fan on the breather tower
  • 2 litre crank and rods
  • 1800 cylinder heads
  • 94mm Pistons and barrels
  • Weber 44IDF carbs and manifolds
  • Shortened heater manifolds
  • BAS exhaust header
  • 050 and 009 dizzys

Most of these items were brought as a job-lot from a friend of mine. I picked the carbs up at Vanfest last year, for £200!