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    Thread: 1.7L rabbit engine rebuild

    1. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      04-21-2010 01:35 AM #1
      Hey folks i just had a terrible oil engine leak

      White Smokin!!

      No im not burning coolant oddly enough

      So the rabbit is down and im planning an engine rebuild

      Total overhaul


      Remove everything from the engine, do transmission clutch plate replacement

      Most likely doing piston ring replacement also


      Burning oil for sure because its blue smoke now that i drained the oil and refilled it to a proper 4 quart approx level


      The rebuild: Remove head, oil pan, pistons, all engine components down to the bare block

      I may remove the camshaft and crankshaft, undetermined yet if needed
      If i do that i will need to replace the bearings and seals

      Well this car has 150,000+ miles on it and i have no previous owner's receipts of work... though It appears to have sat for awhile somewhere and was in a pine dirty enviornment probally dirt road.

      Oil has leaked from the valve cover onto the intake since I bought it


      Any suggestions you guys have for a rebuild?
      I'll take advice you like to give


      Thanks!


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      04-21-2010 01:40 AM #2
      scrap the 1.7 and go for a difafaunt 1.8 from a 88+ golf/jetta.. you will like its power much more..

    3. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      04-21-2010 01:41 AM #3
      replying to myself to add information...


      Valve stem seals will be replaced also
      Unsure if i need to replace the valves themselves


      I only recently parked it and I will need to move it 4 miles to my garage to dismantle it
      Dismantle should take approximately 3-4 days


      I know a shop near town that does head lathe milling for $75 so thats not a problemo
      always when removing the head do a remill even if it was removed flawlessly without warp


      I have to get my wrecked car out of the garage too... need to salvage it for $200 to somewhere grr... cant anyone use a rare parts car for $200 that starts and drives down the street but has front frame damage!?!

      OK
      So most likely i blew the head gasket, worn valve seals, or piston ring damaged.

      You can guess the general repair work required

      I once did a head gasket replacement on an 88 Oldsmobile in 3 days....
      Problem was i blew up a piston ring instead and that didnt fix the problem


    4. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      04-21-2010 01:42 AM #4
      yeah where you got a 1.8L motor I can get for less than $400 total???

    5. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      05-03-2010 10:01 PM #5
      dismantled engine down to the block and crankshaft
      the transmission work comes after part of the head is installed

      the scoop:

      piston rings flawless
      head gasket flawless----NO LEAK
      piston bore no cracks
      valve damage NULL
      piston impact valve damage -- NULL
      no cracks in head, no damage to head -- FLAWLESS

      oil pan gasket orig
      all gaskets were orig except for water pump housing and waterpump
      ALL GASKETS... some of these bolts were never removed
      so only once was the poor car in need of some "major" service which was the water pump and altenator...
      interesting

      reminder: 150,000 miles

      no sludge in oil pan or engine at all
      just normal typical carbon build and exterior grease from constant oil leaks

      only noticable problem: oil pump filter was clogged with some debris


      i have not removed the valves yet to do the stems, i will get a tool for that tomorrow and begin that laborious task of taking those apart


      white smoke in the cylinder can be oil
      if combusted at 600C it burns white
      just pour some fresh or used oil on your exaust after driving the car a few miles...
      even if it doesnt combust in the cylinder if it gets exausted into the pipe the pipe is extremely hot and will turn it all into white smoke


      since the condition of the pistons and head are in great condition i wont be pulling the crankshaft out to replace those berings

      i have a micrometer or whatever everyone calls it, MIC, ?
      and i have feeler guages and straight edges
      just patience and dedication to the measurement of numbers will lead me to another 150,000 miles


    6. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-01-2010 09:05 PM #6
      today i replaced the clutch kit parts and painted the transmission
      transmission parts replaced:
      clutch friction plate, pressure plate, rear main seal & gasket
      throwout bearing, rod shaft seal, output shaft seal

      painted the transmission a dark blue two coats..

      so the piston rings were done and placed back in with no problem
      plenty of spacing left on the rings
      got those spaced staggered when installed

      head went on.... why this head does not have a dowel pin like most head/blocks is beyond me...
      stupid thing wants to go slide off so im standing there with help lifting this thing with the intake and exhaust manifolds bolted on which is probally about 60lbs


      tomarrow more cleaning around the tranny area and some more painting
      then the transmission goes back on and mounts get bolted
      finally...
      then the block can come off its brace and everything else gets slapped on like magic fireworks!!

      like i said, i will get some photos posted here for everyone to enjoy, i know everyone likes to comment on photos

    7. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-05-2010 10:59 PM #7




















































































    8. Member watchxmexdie's Avatar
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      06-05-2010 11:08 PM #8
      someone is a true americannnnnnnnn! doesn't look bad!

      Quote Originally Posted by crsmp5 View Post
      scrap the 1.7 and go for a difafaunt 1.8 from a 88+ golf/jetta.. you will like its power much more..
      and for this douche..... whats this mean?^^^^^ i'm pretty sure it's Digifant , and we don't scrap 1.7, never 1.7 are too cool to "scrap"
      donald + Mk1 Rabbit = happy

    9. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-05-2010 11:19 PM #9
      pfft american colors
      i painted my last engine dusenberg green...

      red white and blue just make it pop out easier and it looks pretty on the different parts
      no american support here...

    10. Member watchxmexdie's Avatar
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      06-05-2010 11:22 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by rabbitnothopper View Post
      pfft american colors

      no american support here...
      hahahaha good deal i need some crazy ass colors to go for my 1.7 probably black and red.

      my last 1.7 was yellow and purple, and the 1.7 before that one was blue and green. i like 1.7's haha
      donald + Mk1 Rabbit = happy

    11. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-05-2010 11:32 PM #11
      yellow and purple! sweet color choices
      maybe green and purple? make people vomit and get dizzy!!

      1.7 is a good little engine
      wheres your project thread man?

    12. Member watchxmexdie's Avatar
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      06-05-2010 11:58 PM #12
      yeah indeed they are. ehh i have one. but i have been taking my time. i haven't updated it for like a month now. but i have the old 1.7 carb out, and awaiting for a 1.7 CIS engine to put it. thats my to-do list tomorrow update thread. lot 0 foto'ssssss but heres what im working with.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...it-(Slow-Build)!

      engine is no longer in it btw. she is just sitting there all nice and clean. bay and engine was nasty at first, but engine burned oil. so i ripped her out. a buddy of mine (a1steaksauce) is hooking me up with a pretty good 1.7, the rings are starting to go bad. but no biggie im in the process of building a 1.8 but i don't know if i wanna leave the 1.7 i have three....
      donald + Mk1 Rabbit = happy

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      06-06-2010 01:50 AM #13
      Interesting paint jobs. Did you actually rebuilt the tranny or just paint it? I didn't see any cylinder honing happening there. Did you just use the drill and sandpaper method and hope that the bore is right or did I miss it somewhere? Did you replace the rings at all? Again, very colourful painting you've got there. Looks neat.

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      06-06-2010 02:23 AM #14
      What drugs are you on? I need to try them.

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      06-06-2010 04:48 AM #15

    16. Member vwovw's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 08:16 AM #16
      "no american support here... " WOW! then I'll add this, that looks like crap! what a waste of time! for all that effort you could have at least clean the head so it looked new. looks like you know how to paint. well grab the silver can while your at it. btw I bought my completely rebuilt head from a machine shop for $35. most people throw the 1.7 away. anyways good luck with that ugly non American motor.

    17. 06-06-2010 01:03 PM #17
      i didn't hear you mention replacing any of the stretch bolts... like the rod bolts, head bolts, PP bolts.. maybe you did.. just thought i would mention that

    18. Member nairmac's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 01:43 PM #18
      Sounds like someone has been looking for an excuse to paint their engine for quite some time. Hope you can get it running again.

    19. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 04:02 PM #19
      i guess you guys want a list of parts?

      i did not rebuild the transmission because it works perfectly
      why rebuild all the gears in the bell housing?

      yes there are "missing" photos of when i did not have access to a camera
      or maybe the missing photos are because i did not stop to take a picture of before, during, and after and before paint

      but the main project consisted of dismantling the engine down to the crankshaft and replacing all the seals and yes you guessed it, new rings, new seals and everything in between


      why paint an engine? well mainly what is the major concern of oil and dirt being all over everything?
      because its nasty!!


      ok then, ill get you a huge parts list here so you can compare


      oh, yeah.. if you throw away engines like the 1.7 then obviously you have no respect for stock original

    20. Member justin_6649's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 04:21 PM #20
      why would you paint your flywheel white? wouldnt it be harder to see the marks with a light now?

    21. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 04:22 PM #21
      GermanAutoParts:
      Grommet, washer pump to tank
      Gasket, rad thermoswitch
      Rod bearing set
      Seal, oil drain plug, copper
      Block gasket set, 8V
      Nut, 8mm copper w/ flange, exh
      Stud, Exhaust; 8 mm X 46 mm
      Bushing, upper timing belt cov
      Injector insert w/o air shroud
      FI o-ring, large, Viton
      Cap, center of timing plug
      Selector rod, short, 4 spd ***
      Selector rod, long, 4 spd ****
      Shift bushing kit
      Clutch release (throwout) bear
      Brake rotor screw
      Radiator, 525mm pin w/filler
      Upper rad to head, w/o AC
      Hose, radiator, lower
      Hose, pump to head w/o AC
      Hose, pipe to rear head flange
      Hose, flange to valve ***uses
      Bolt, VW pressure plate, 4 cyl
      Bolt, VW flywheel
      Bushing - Rod Shaft
      Oil seal
      Hose, bypass, pump to pipe
      Nut, 8mm copper w/ flange, exh
      Hose clamp, 15-24mm
      Hose clamp, 22-32mm
      Hose clamp, 32-44mm
      Hose clamp, 38-50mm

      Rockauto:
      BECK/ARNLEY 0619172 (061-9172) Clutch Kit
      BECK/ARNLEY 0291021 (029-1021) Timing Belt Component Kit
      BECK/ARNLEY 0523401 Input Shaft Seal
      BECK/ARNLEY 1311951 Water Pump
      BECK/ARNLEY 1435641 Thermostat
      BECK/ARNLEY 0523139 (052-3139)
      BECK/ARNLEY 0322554 Cylinder Head Gasket
      BECK/ARNLEY 0161007 Cylinder Head Bolt
      BECK/ARNLEY 0138036 Piston Ring
      FEL-PRO 25598 Coolant Outlet O-Ring
      GATES 33607 Thermostat Seal
      GATES 28091 Control Duct Hose
      MONROE 901242 Lift Support
      ROL GASKETS VS912 Valve Cover Gasket
      WIX 42133 Air Filter
      WIX 51342 Oil Filter



      ok so there were other parts i got local, some new bolts and nuts etc
      and i got a 30mm hub water pump pulley from the classifieds here.

    22. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 04:23 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by justin_6649 View Post
      why would you paint your flywheel white? wouldnt it be harder to see the marks with a light now?
      so it is easy to see?
      i only painted one side of it

      are you going to be watching my flywheel as im driving down the road?
      paint protects metal..

    23. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 04:24 PM #23
      anyways... im going to go drive my car around

    24. Member atarasi's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 05:00 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by rabbitnothopper View Post
      so it is easy to see?
      i only painted one side of it..
      Phew, I would hope you only painted one side! Don't be upset, I think a lot of people who commented on your thread didn't see most of what you did....only the painting. For instance, you didn't mention any of the machine work. i.e. regrinding the crankshaft or even honing the cylinder walls to ensure the new piston rings will seat properly.

    25. Senior Member Muffler Bearing's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 06:27 PM #25
      oh

      em

      gee
      A Rabbit is not to be wasted on the tentative or weak. Only the worthy are invited, and then only at your own risk. If you have even a modicum of hesitation, DO NOT buy one of these cars. Instead, leave it for a worthy soul who has already matriculated to the sublime ecstasy of what those in the know refer to as a "MK1"

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      06-06-2010 10:00 PM #26
      RE: dismantling the engine down to the crankshaft and replacing all the seals, bearings etc: So I guess you had the crankshaft checked by a machine shop and machined if necessary then you fit oversize bearings so the stroke is to factory specs? Then you would have honed the cylinders, checked the bore and fit oversize pistons again if necessary and replaced the rings? Did you do a valve job when you dismantled the head? I didn't see any pics of the nice fresh valve seats in there.


      Chris

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      06-06-2010 10:03 PM #27
      "are you going to be watching my flywheel as im driving down the road?
      paint protects metal.." I think what he means is when you time your engine after reinstalling your timing belt, with a timing light (which would be shone through the bell housing orifice onto the flywheel) you would have a difficult time seeing the notch on the flywheel indicating TDC if the flywheel is painted white. Again, very good that you did not paint the inside of the flywheel. That would not have been that good a thing (unless you really like the smell of burning paint)

      The inside of that flywheel scares me. Is that rust on the contact surface? Dripped black paint? You can get those things machined. Might be an idea before you try to use that clutch

      Your pistons show a lot of carbon build up around the rings and there appear to be some pockmarks in the cylinders. Cylinder #1 and #4 look like they are scored. Did you check the compression in that bad boy before you tore it down? Looks like it had quite a bit of blow by.

      Did you actually paint the inside of the distributer white? Does it still throw spark like that? I have never seen that done before.

      What is the idea behind the clamping of the cylinder head to the table? Were you trying to straighten it? Or were you compressing the valve springs?
      Last edited by chrissev2; 06-06-2010 at 10:24 PM.

    28. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 11:23 PM #28
      im not sure that checking compression matters when oil is draining into the cylinders
      a leakdown test would prove more effectively where the trouble spot came from
      the problem was blowby and it was because the rings were super worn out
      comparing the old rings to the new rings the old rings were about 2/3 the size and extremely sharp
      i checked each cylinder with the top ring before putting the rings on and they all had plenty of spacing left when the ring was inserted in the top of the cylinder to about 1inch depth.
      i was blowing huge amounts of white smoke out of the tail pipe
      i checked the coolant level several times and the oil was mostly pure gasoline.......
      i believe the problem actually lay in the fact i had an oil pressure light come on
      so i refilled it with 2 quarts without even checking the level
      all seemed fine...
      ran down the highway and suddenly a huge stream of white smoke came out behind me
      so i pulled over to see and saw oil dripping out of the air filter cavity
      i checked the oil level and it was almost entirely empty!
      so i went and got 3 more quarts of oil and some "engine seal repair" oil crap
      poured it all in and checked the level... ok full
      started it back up and WHITE SMOKE!!!!!!!!!!!
      so i drove it home like that ... didnt really care about compression and blowby until i got home


      the cylinders checked to be fine with the best tool for .0001 inch i could find, a micrometer, caliper, whatever you call it
      i honed the SOB with a drill that i measured the RPM to be 1500RPM at top speed with a large drill type hone
      that is why it got covered in oil after the tear down
      i know the hone isnt perfect but i cant afford to take it to a shop and resleeve the cylinder walls...

      the flywheel was checked after i cleaned it with a micrometer also
      i used a wire brush drill socket grinding wheel on it to clean it all off
      there was some sort of limestone covering most of it
      which was also eating away at the bottom of the bellhousing
      it actually wasnt covered in oil, maybe some oil because the little plug that youre supposed to put in there was missing

      i dont need to use a timing light to check timing... because i set it right the first time
      and yes the rust was just contact surface, underneath it was a good looking flywheel
      although i didnt get it machined because i really didnt care a lot about the clutch other than replacing a few things


      i clamped the cylidner head to the table to depress the springs for the valves yes
      under each valve i had a small rectangle of wood that just barely fit under it to prevent the valve from moving
      i did not clamp them extremely hard only hard enough to put the force on the spring to get the keepers into place

      did i paint the inside of the distributor?... no?
      i painted the outer covering and the orange plastic piece yes but the actual sockets for the wires had cloth inside them to protect the contact surfaces
      the inside orange part that contacts the rotor was not painted

      i did a "tune up" replacing a bunch of things about 4000 miles ago
      distributor cap, rotor, wires, plugs, air filter, fuel filter, something else probally...


      oh "valve job"
      i removed the valves and cleaned them gently getting all the scoring off the tips
      then using the micrometer i checked each one for diameter and also checked them on a flat aluminum surface for bend
      after that i did lapping on each valve seat using valve grinding compound and a lapping tool
      they were all pretty much fine, even the valve stem seals looked ok although i replaced them all anyways
      the valve guides? no i did not replace those but i checked for any wobble in them when the valves were loose from the springs etc



      in all guys i tell you that the car runs fine
      it starts right up, no smoking (the exhaust was flooded with leftover residue from the oil until 100 miles it finally burned all off out of the exhaust)
      and best of all i lightened my weight by about 50 lbs by removing oil and dirt/grease off the engine!
      so dont get mad that i didnt do a flawless machine shop 100% job
      because my problem is solved and there is no more leak

    29. 06-06-2010 11:34 PM #29
      im really not sure how long your "rebuild" is gonna last...

    30. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-06-2010 11:52 PM #30
      meaning what? which parts are you questioning the durability?

    31. Member wantacad's Avatar
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      06-07-2010 01:29 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by WackyWabbitRacer View Post
      You're new here but don't be a DORK.....
      Cheers, WWR.
      Quote Originally Posted by rte7x9 View Post
      Don't swap if you can't weld or fabricate. It's not a trivial task just to bolt everything up. There's a lot of nut-scratching involved. Take your time and do it right.

    32. 06-07-2010 07:18 PM #32
      i didnt see new rods bolts on your list.. they are a stretch bolt and need to be replaced.. you really should have got the flywheel resurfaced.. and in the picture your the honing dosnt look great.. i think it wouldve been worth it to take it to a machine shop and have the block hot tanked and honed.. its also good to plastigauge your main and rod bearings...
      Last edited by CanadianCabby; 06-07-2010 at 07:38 PM.

    33. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      06-08-2010 12:19 AM #33
      good points that those are good ideas to check and replace or do at a certified machine shop

      i was of the impression that the rod bolts and nuts could be re-used?
      the chilton manual doesnt say anything about replacing them
      and even if it did how would i get them out?
      and where are replacements?
      because i did not see any replacement rod bolts for sale....

      i didnt know about using plastigauge but i checked with a feeler, limited sizes.. but before slapping the bearings on i test fitted them and checked clearance the best i could
      not that it really does anything as they closed up nearly entirely
      dry i fit two together and micrometered them inside diameter and outside diameter
      i also used "assembly lube" for the cam and rods

      no i dont remember numbers right now anymore as it was only a few minutes worth of checking and looking at the crappy book for information

      yes i need a bently... one of these days i'll get either the 81 or the 80-84 for rabbits..

      thanks for the input and support folks
      i will drive the thing until a hole busts through my floorpans

    34. 06-08-2010 01:02 AM #34
      in car motor rebuilds.. i have done a few to get people by at the vw shop i used to work at. some people just did not have the money to pay for a full rebuild.. i have also done full rebuilds on bugs from stockers to full on drag motors.. Porsche, volvo and many other motors.. ..
      my 84 gti had 212000 miles on it with a broken odo when i got it 6+ years ago... i drove it for a few months and it did not smoke or make any strange motor noises it ran pretty dang good.. the person i got it from had a 60k mile gti trans and new clutch put in it right before i got it..
      anyway i went to install new exhaust manifold gaskets and 2 of the studs broke off.. go figure.. i was able to get one out but the other required that i had to remove the head to get it out..
      the carbon build up on the pistons was so thick i decided to drop the pan and remove them to do a ring/rod bearing job.. the piston rings were seized to the pistons and broke into pieces very easy they were toasted.. the carbon build up was so thick that it still allowed the motor to run with out burning oil. it still had decent compression too.. the rod bearings looked fine no bad wear or anything.. that usually is a good indication that the mains are fine... one of the cylinder walls was pretty hammered from all the carbon down the skirt. the rest were ok still.. i honed the cylinders and honed the crap out of the messed up one until it was almost good. i had the head rebuilt and resurfaced at the machine shop.. it was fine.. cleaned the crap out of the pistons and ring grooves, new rod bolts and rod bearings, new rings, new head bolts, new head gasket.. i have put over 60+ k miles on it since i re did everything and i have wound the pee out of it.. when it goes i will do a aba or 16v full rebuild and swap..

    35. Member
      Join Date
      Sep 6th, 2007
      Location
      Toronto Ontario Canada
      Posts
      656
      Vehicles
      1980 Rabbit "C" two door, 5spd malagda red, 1986 Vanagon Westfalia auto, 2013 VW Golf TDI Wagon 6spd
      06-09-2010 01:37 PM #35
      How is it possible to set the timing without the use of a timing light? I know you can do this on a diesel but with a gas engine I don't understand how you could.

      Most of the bolts that you put back on that engine (including I believe the head bolts) are stretch bolts which means that if you followed the torquing procedures for tightening the bolts, the torques you have set the bolts to will be incorrect. You can buy bolt kits with all of the rebuilt bolts from aftermarket parts companies. They are readily available. A stretch bolt, in case you are unaware, is a bolt that is designed to expand as it is tightened to a certain length. This type of bolt cannot be re-used and must always be replaced. You probably had trouble setting the torques right with your torque wrench and you couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work. Now you know. The head bolts in particular, if they are stretch bolts, cannot be reinstalled using the torque directions as the directions call for additional turns which cannot be made on a bolt that has already been used.

      RE: Chilton: please throw that trash away. Someone else might get their hands on it and wreck a perfectly good Volkswagen. BENTLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      Your flywheel and clutch set up might have a lot of judder in it. This will be due to the flywheel contact surface not being flat as it was not machined so.

      Chris

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