Sunday, March 08, 2009

It has been an interesting month in the "Buggy World". Back about the 7th of February, I pulled the spark plugs out to do a compression check on the VW motor. When I pulled one spark plug out, it pulled out the heli coil in the head (a heli coil is an insert that repairs a damaged spark plug hole). Compression on two of the cylinders was 120 pounds (good) and on one was 90 pounds (not good) and I was unable to get a reading on the damaged 4th cylinder.

I placed a call to the man that we located thru our friends who rebuilds VW engines. "Bring it on up on Thursday and I can check it out" was his reply.

Thursday, we headed off to Fort Mohave (2 hours north) with the buggy in tow. When we got there, Norm (the guy) pulled the bad plug and it came out with no problem. When he looked at the plug, it was badly fouled by the carbs. He said that one option would be to run the motor until it died. I decided to have him install a new motor and try and rejet the carbs.

The motor was installed by Sunday, but it was taking a while to rejet the carbs. It was decided to pickup the buggy on Friday (20th).

When we drove up to get the buggy, it ran really good on the streets around Ft. Mohave. Back to Blythe.

So, new motor and time to go to driving. I took the buggy over to Ehrenberg, AZ. I got up to 76 mph driving on the interstate. So far, great running motor. I came home and parked on the patio and a few friends came over. One pointed out a few drops of oil on the concrete. Checked the motor and found that the rear of the engine case was broken and was damp with oil. Back on the phone to Norm. He said that if I was not happy, he would build up a new motor for me. He had purchased this motor from one of his clients. He said to check back in a week and see how it was progressing. But, in the mean time, drive the buggy and see how the new jetting in the carbs was working.

When we went out into the desert, the buggy ran well on the flat. When I tried to climb some hills, the carbs flooded and the engine started to miss. Not great power to play on the rough in the desert. I tried various trips into the desert and put on about 150 miles trying everything out.

The new motor was ready for install on Monday March 2nd. So, back to Ft. Mohave. When I arrived, I asked if Norm would mind if I assisted him in the engine transplant. Time to get greasy. A few hours latter, back to Blythe with new motor and the carbs back to stock. Time for further testing.

I reinstalled the back bumper and created an oil leak at the filter. Off with the bumper and over to a machine shop to have it "modified" (bent). Back home, reinstalled and no leaks. Now, off to the desert. I tried a few of the hills that I had had problems with and everything seems to be running okay.

Now, it will be time for more field trials.


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