Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rebuilding a Solex H 30/31 carb for the baja Part 1

Well, tonight I finally finished rebuilding the carb for the baja I started a week or so ago. I had to fix a faucet and paint some outdoor lights and then rebuild a carb on a lawn mower between tearing it apart and finally getting it put back together. It turned out really nice and hopefully it will run as well. I decided to do this in 2 parts because I took so many pictures so hopefully it will help someone else in rebuilding theirs. Here are the instructions in pictures.

When rebuilding a carburetor I HIGHLY recommend taking LOTS and LOTS of pictures. I always take lots of pictures anyways so I can add them to this blog but it has saved my butt more than once when I go to put it back together. I often go back and look at my pictures to see how it goes back together. My hats off to those mechanics back in the day before digital cameras and cameras on cell phones. They had to remember and put things back together without the aid of technology. These pictures show how crusty the carb was. It sat for about a year and a half so the fuel was pretty bad in it.

 I like to take shots from all sides. It helps!
 The electric choke is on the upper side of this picture.
 I like to have a place set out to put all the parts I take off. I keep all the parts I remove even if they have new ones in the rebuild kit until the carb is back together and running just in case I need to reuse something.
I took the top of the bowl off the carb here and you can see how grungy it is. The yellow stuff from the bottom is varnish from old gas. This carb looked better inside than the one I rebuilt on Ed. Then again Ed sat for 11 years before I picked it up.
 There shouldn't be any green goo on this part. Whenever you rebuild a carb you really need to let it soak for at least a day in some really good carb cleaner. It's the only way you will get all the crap out of the little passages and orifices. A lot of times people just buy the carb cleaner in a pressurized can and spray the carb down a little bit and think that's gonna do it. I promise you, it won't and you will be disappointed in the results. When rebuilding a carb, clean, clean, and more clean is the name of the game.
 On this particular carb there are 2 jets right next to each other. Remember to look at them and write down on a piece of paper where each on goes. I took a picture so I would remember. The jets are marked with a size number on them.
 This is the stuff you need to soak your carb in. It comes with a little basket for dipping. This stuff is very potent and you must wear gloves when using it. This stuff is very nasty stuff but works great. It is pretty expensive but I bought this can 12 years ago and I am still using it. I decided I am at a point now that I need to replace it but I have done literally 2 1/2 or 3 dozen carbs in this 1 gallon bucket. I definitely got my moneys worth out of it. Next time I am going to get a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff so I can do carbs that are bigger than a bugs.
 This is also a must when rebuilding a carb. You have to have compressed air and a nice rubber tip on a blow nozzle. That is the only thing you want to use to clean out all the passages. Never use wire or drill bits to clean them out. Just use compressed air and some carb cleaner in a can after you have soaked it for a day or 2. If it still looks crusty, then soak it again. Time is your friend on this part. Remember, Clean, Clean ,Clean.
I actually had to soak this carb 3 times to get it all the way clean. After soaking, I use a solvent tank and wash off the carb cleaner and then use compressed air and solvent clean or carb cleaner in a can to do a final rinse and cleaning. Here are all the parts cleaned and ready for assembly. I like to lay everything out so I can see it easily and then I notice quickly if I have forgotten to put something back in.
 Here is the rebuild kit. It's not much t look at and you will find that the carb kit you get will actually rebuild several different carb so you will have extra parts that don't pertain to your particular carb. This kit I got had a ton of extra parts because they didn't have the kit I needed so I was given all the spare parts the shop had and was guaranteed I would have all the parts I needed for my carb. It turned out to be right and I actually have enough parts left over to rebuild at least 1 more carb. I scored on this one.
 Again, I like to layout all the parts from the rebuild kit so I can see what I have. Be sure to keep the instructions from the kit. They will give you the particulars on how to initially set up your carb so your engine will start. You need your engine to start before you can fine tune it! I think I almost have 2 of everything here. 
 In this part I am only going to rebuild the upper part of the carb. Part 2 will have the rest. Here I am installing the choke plate. The screws were crimped on the back side and I find that putting loctite on the screws is better than trying to recrimp them. I haven't lost a screw down an intake yet. (Knock on wood!)
 I am installing the choke diaphragm here. It's kind of like a jigsaw puzzle with this to get it to work out and function correctly. If you don't have it right it won't work so when it works, you got it.
 As the choke moves it will push the diaphragm. Remember to install the spring before you install the diaphragm cover.
 There is a plastic piece that goes in next. In this picture it is upside down. Just flip it and install.
 Here it is installed. Make sure the rod sticks through the slot. It's impossible to screw up.
 If you own a bug in Utah at least, You will end up adjusting your choke a couple times a year. To set it up initially, I line up the marks on the housing and the top of the carb in the middle of the marks. You will end up tweaking it in the winter and then again in the summer.
 Time to flip the top over and install the needle and seat valve. Make sure you follow the instructions in the rebuild kit so you get the right washer in. There are different thicknesses for each carb. It just screws into the bottom of the top of the carb.
 That pretty much takes care of the top part of the carb. Not much to it. Here is whats coming next. We will tackle the bottom of the carb and put it all together in the next posting. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pulling a Baja motor

I spent the morning powder coating some gas pump parts for my Dad and when I got home my thermometer said 103 degrees. I figured that was plenty cool to pull the motor out of the baja. I pushed it into the garage and kroiled all the rusted bolts. The motors come out of a baja bug easier than they do a regular bug. The reason is you don't have to jack up the car to get the motor out. After you pull the bumper off you can just pull the engine straight out the back. The only real snag I ran into was all the rust. It seemed like every bolt I tried to get off was rusted on tight. Here are the pictures that show the progress. I had to put some newspaper down to cover up the oil on the floor from my other bug. I thought I had all the leaks fixed but not quite. Darn it, the engine may come back out this winter to fix the leak. Here is what I started with.
 The bumper was rusted on so I had to pull the wheels off to get to some of the bolts. As you can see, it finally did come off.
 This is the reason the bug was parked in the first place. I think it was run low on oil and ended up throwing a rod. These holes are on the top of the block forward side.
 A more close up view shows how bad it is. This block is going to the scrap yard for sure.
So to pull the engine you unhook the wires to the alternator, oil sensor, reverse lights, then disconnect the fuel line underneath, disconnect the heater cables and ducts, pull your throttle cable out of the doghouse so it doesn't hang up and then put a jack underneath the engine. Then it's only 4 nuts and out comes the engine. It should only take about 20 minutes unless all the bots are rusted on. On bajas you can just pull the jack and engine straight back and then it will look like this. 
 You can see the clutch on the engine. I am going to transfer that over to the other engine and hopefully the exhaust also.  I am going to try to get this on the road as cheap as possible. The exhaust looks pretty rough so I will evaluate it as I am cleaning it up. Hopefully it will work so I don't have to spend any money there.
 The trans looks OK from what I can see. The throwout bearing is smooth and should work just fine. I will change the aft seal in the trans while I have the engine out and also the front seal on the new engine. I keep some extra of those so I already have them.
I wish the body on this bug wasn't so rusty. I can't see putting a lot of money into it because it is so rusty. I think I will get it running and driving good mechanically and drive it in the winter so my other bug can stay inside the garage. This baja should go better in the snow and I won't care about all the salt and crap on the roads that will get on it. In the summer when I am driving Ed I may even spend some time practising my bodywork skills on this bug. I should get plenty of chances to cut and weld in new panels, but then again if I can find a better bug for dirt cheap I may just transfer over the baja kit and go from there. Time will tell.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Adding more storage space!

Well, last weekend the family packed up into the bug and the van and went to kaysville for the no show. That's an all vw and antique bicycle/car show that is held every year. We can't all fit in the bug so it takes 2 cars to get there. My dad met us there also and we had a good day checking out vw's, bikes and enjoying the sunshine. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the show.

This bike is very unique with the side car and the engine.
Lots of buses and trucks showed up. I drooled all day over them.
Here's our bug at the show. It's always fun to have a car in a show. It wasn't the nicest but not the worst looking at the show. All air cooled vw's are invited so we had a good time.
This bike is super cool. The owner made it out of many different parts and some cool engineering. Made me think of a future project to build. Just need to find an old bike to start with.
 Very cool double cab with an even cooler kid posing.
 Here's Dixie and Ellie. Check out Ellie's cute VW shirt. I don't know what Isaac is doing in the back ground of this picture. He seems to sneak into most pictures when he's not the one taking them.
 This was the best part of the show. We found a roof rack in great condition that was for sale. The price was right so we bought it. It looks awesome. I have always wanted a roof rack. This one fits perfect and it was just luck that I found it. Dixie says that now I can strap Ellie's stroller on the roof rack and take all the kids to the car shows while She enjoys a day without them.

I am looking for some antique gas cans and coolers to put up on the roof rack. If you have some you want to get rid of let me know! Maybe even a surf board would work.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cleaning an oil bath air cleaner

Well, I decided to show how I go about cleaning a Volkswagen oil bath air cleaner. Not just changing the oil in it but actually cleaning the coconut hair that's inside the top part of the air cleaner. Most times the oil in the bottom of the filter barely gets changed and the coconut hair rarely if ever gets cleaned. Here is how I did the one on the baja and it worked great. First, start off by cleaning both the upper and lower portion of the air cleaner with solvent. If you don't have a solvent tank, you can use kerosene or gas but be careful.
 Here you can see how gross the coconut hair is. The engine I pulled this from was blown and the car has not run in over a year. That meant the gas was bad and turned to varnish and that had penetrated into the air cleaner.
 After cleaning it in solvent I get a 5 gallon bucket with hot water and a degreaser. I used some stuff we have at work, but laundry detergent or dishwasher soap works just as well. Let it sit for a few hours and soak. Make sure you give it a shake every 30 minutes or so to break loose the crud inside it.
 after a few hours, I rinsed it off and put it in a bucket of Jet fuel. I used jet fuel because it is plentiful at my work, but some kerosene or diesel fuel will work just fine. I let it sit for another hour or so shaking it occasionally.
 I pulled it out and rinsed it off with some hot water. I then put it in the sun and let it dry out completely. You can see the difference in how the coconut hair looks. It is much better and ready to be installed on the carb as soon as I get it rebuilt. Actually I am going to paint this air cleaner. The one on my other bug was in such good original condition that I run it like it is but this one has more rust than I like to see so I will sand it down and paint it.
Here I am pulling the carb apart so I can soak it in carb cleaner overnight. I will show the rebuilding process on the next post.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting started on Tugger!

Well, the time has finally come to start some work on the baja bug. This is the bug Isaac thinks he will drive in high school and he's named it Tugger. Isaac has been pressing me all summer to work on it but the time never was there. Finally most of my other projects are done and I have some free time so we decided to start working on it. Here the family is ready to go to work. Dixie had a salad social to attend so she was MIA. I am sure she would of liked getting her hands dirty working on a bug but maybe next time.
We are going to use the carburetor off the engine that is currently in the baja, but it needs to be rebuilt. I figured that's a good place to start. We removed the carb and I will rebuild it tomorrow. I love the little oil bath air cleaner on this engine so I will clean it up and most likely use it on the new engine.
 We removed the air cleaner, unhooked the wire to the idle solenoid, unhooked the throttle cable and pinched the fuel line to keep fuel from leaking.
Ellie was the boss while Isaac and myself did the work. Steven got distracted by Lego's and we lost him in the house for most of the time. Ellie is yelling something at us but we couldn't understand her.
 Here Isaac is taking off the back nut from the base of the carb.

 Almost there. One nut left and it will be off.
The front nut is in a pretty tight spot so I got that one off.
Isaac is starting to pull the carb off the intake manifold.
 Isaac got the carb off but we still had the wire for the electric choke hooked up. That's what Ellie must of been yelling at us for. We just need to listen more closely I guess.
 Well, that's all we had time for tonight. I will take some pictures of the carb rebuild tomorrow. Hopefully this carb will be an OK match for the 009 distributor that is in the engine that will be getting put in.

Here is the engine that's going in tugger. It's a 1600 dual port that should be a good little engine. It has the alternator conversion and in this picture it has a header system, but that will be changed out for the exhaust that is already on the baja. Maybe tugger will be up and running for winter so I can drive it instead of ed. Ed acts more like a snowplow.