Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ed was definitely sick.

Well, I finally had some time to tune up the bug. I have neglected him for way to long and nothing was even close to being where it should of been. I have been putting off doing this because you have to adjust the valves and the points when the engine is cold. That prevented me from doing it after work because I drove it home and it would be warm. He started running so bad I had to do it today because he was definitely sick. He was running really bad when cold and got a little better when warm. I have all new spark plugs, wired, cap, rotor, and so I set out to adjust everything that needed it. That would include adjusting the valves, points, timing, and carburetor. I figured I would need to do the valves for sure but figured as I looked at the other stuff it would be on. Boy was I wrong.
I started the morning getting ready to do the valves. To do that you need to pull the valve covers and get the engine to top dead center on the #1 piston.                                                                                                
 There are 2 easy ways to tell if you are on TDC. The 1st way is to set your pulley on the 0 degree mark and pop off the distributor cap and make sure your rotor is pointing to the mark on the distributor housing. You have to be careful with this method if you are unfamiliar with your engine because it is possible to put your distributor in 180 degrees out and it will still work fine. The problem is that the rotor will be pointing opposite to your mark. Also it doesn't have to be dead on to the mark, in some cases it will just be close.
 Here are the valves on the right side of the engine. It is for #1 and 2 cylinders.
 The 2nd easy way to see if you are on TDC is to wiggle both the intake and exhaust valve for the cylinder that should be TDC. They should both wiggle a little bit. Here I am wiggling them. They are the 2 farthest ones away in the picture. At TDC you are able to adjust both intake and exhaust valves at the same time for that cylinder. (On a side note, if you are unfamiliar with your motor it is important to make sure you are exactly on TDC. You should then pull the spark plug for that cylinder and stick a drinking straw in the plug hole and rotate the engine. Doing this will tell you without a doubt that you are on TDC. The straw will not move up or down. When you are there check your pulley mark with the case half and remark it if necessary so when you adjust your valves in the future you will know where to go. While your at it mark your pulley exactly 180 degrees opposite and you will be set to do all your valves with these 2 marks.)
I checked my valves and they were really loose. They should be adjusted to .006 of an inch. It takes a set of feeler gauges, a flat screwdriver and a 13 MM wrench. Loosen the lock nuts on the valves and tighten the set screw until the .006 feeler gauge slides with just a little bit of resistance. The more you do it the easier it is to get the right feel down. When you have it set right tighten the lock nut and check it again to make sure it still feels good. I have found that if you adjust it perfectly and then tighten the set screw it will be a tad loose. I go a tiny bit tighter then tighten the set screw and it works out to be about perfect. This is where having 3 hands would come in handy. 4 if your trying to take a picture and adjust the valves at the same time.

 Now when you have the #1 cylinders valves adjusted crawl out from under the car turn the motor counter clockwise 180 degrees. ( that's why you made the 2nd mark) and you will be ready to adjust #2 cylinders valves. Rotate it CCW again so you are back at 0 degrees on your pulley and you can do #3's valves and rotate it once again 180 degrees and your set to do #4's. It's really that easy. If you take the time to get your marks set up, which I did when I had my engine out, it really is an easy job. You can very easily make your marks with the engine in also, it just takes a little more time and is a little tighter. Just make sure if your going to stick something down your spark plug hole to find TDC, it isn't going to be something that will brake off. That's why I use a drinking straw. Some people have used pencils and some people had to pull their head off to retrieve the other side of the pencil when it broke off inside. If you own an air cooled VW, you need to get use to adjusting valves or have the money to pay someone to do it because they need it quite frequently. Once you do it a couple times your a pro and can do it in 20 minutes or less.
 I finished the valves and moved on to the distributor and the points. My rotor and cap are pretty new and they looked to be in great shape so I added a drop of oil to the felt in the distributor shaft. That is right under where the rotor goes on. You should do that when you adjust or change the points if your distributor has the felt. If it doesn't, don't worry about it.
 My whole distributor was new when I put it in and I never did adjust the points. It ran so good I figured they were good. When I looked at them this time, the gap was way to small. Points for a VW should be adjusted to .016 of an inch. To do this you need a set of feeler gauges and a flat blade screwdriver. Rotate the engine so that the points are open to their widest setting. At this point you should be able to get a .016 feeler gauge in. If not adjust them. This will get you close and you will end up fine tuning them with a dwell meter later.
 Like I said, mine were way to tight so I adjusted them open with the feeler gauges.
 I set it at .016 and reinstalled the dust cover, rotor and cap.
 I hooked the dwell meter up and checked my dwell. I had to fine tune the points a couple of times to get the dwell perfect.
 You want 50 +/- 1 degree. The meter I have is for 6 and 8 cylinder so I have to go off the 8 cylinder scale and times it by 2. I am looking for 25 degrees. Right on the money. Most people nowadays don't even know what a dwell meter is yet alone own one. I have my Dad's which I am thankful he lent/gave me. If you own a VW, invest in one cause your gonna need it. You can also switch to read RPM's which you will need to do to adjust your carburetor.
 The next thing to do is to adjust your timing. Every VW has a different flywheel. Some people put on an aftermarket one that has all the degrees printed on it. I prefer a stock one for a couple reasons. One they are accurate for the most part. The aftermarket ones are a guess at best. In fact I would rather get a stock on and add my own significant marks on it. I had an aftermarket one on my first bug and it worked it's way loose. It in turn wallered out the keyway in the crank. This was a newly rebuilt engine and if I let it get worse it would of required a new crank. That's a lot of money. My advice is to stick with the stock pulley and mark it according to your needs. I ended up using some JB weld and a stock pulley and it worked at least as long as I remember the car being around. I got lucky. You will need to check with your setup as to what your timing should be. Mine is suppose to be 7.5 degrees before top dead center or BTDC at idle (850-900 RPM). I actually bump mine up to 10 degrees BTDC for a little extra performance. VW engines timing varies from 5 BTDC to 10 ATDC. If you have an 009 distributor, you time that at 3000 RPM to 30 degrees BTDC. Be aware of that and do some research for your particular setup.
Now mine was still running rough and idling badly so I adjusted the carb. I have a 34 pict 3 carb and they are adjusted different then every other carb out there. There are 2 screws that adjust this particular carb. One is the volume control screw and the other is the bypass screw. Start by turning in the volume control screw which is the smaller screw on the left side of the carb all the way in. Turn it out 2.1 turns. That will be where you start at. Start the engine and make sure it's warm then turn the bypass screw, which is the big one out or in until you reach 850 to 900 RPM. You really need a tach to do this, don't just do it by ear. Go back to the volume control screw and adjust it until you get the maximum RPM that you can. You then turn it in slowly until you lower the RPM by 20 -30. Return to the bypass screw and adjust your idle until you are once again at 850-900 RPM. You are then done. Recheck your timing one more and take it for a test spin. I have always been surprised by how much better my bug runs after an adjustment. I must let them go to long between so it is always highly noticeable. These are the things that take time and patience with a bug. They are definitely not a get in and drive for 100,000 miles before you even think about doing something like new cars are. Most of the time if I go 1000 miles and haven't done anything to mine I am doing pretty good. That turns most people off of old cars but for me, That's why I love them. I was thinking of driving my truck to St. George instead of the bug like I originally planned. After today it's running so good I am back to driving Ed down. It should at least be an adventure.

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