Thanks to everyone who has emailed, commented or offered help regarding our recent engine woes. We’re waiting on the machine shop and thinking hard about improvements we can make the next time around – the list keeps growing.
Lot’s of the suggestions had to do with cooling, and I would have to say that the engine never ran hot – even in the jungles, deserts or climbing the Andes (and we’ve been cross-crossing the Andes for almost a year.) Still, we’ll take the expected care when putting everything back together to ensure proper cooling.
The most reasonable consensus is that we’re getting dirt in the motor. The air filters aren’t that great and the extra scoops are sucking in extra dust. I have to agree with both of those. What to do about it is a little difficult, though.
I always hated the scoops – I kept them thinking that the extra cooling wouldn’t hurt. Well, the cooling didn’t hurt, but maybe the extra filth did.
At the time, I had borrowed a MIG from a friend of a neighbor (thanks, Doug!) for the weekend and had done about all the welding I could stand. There was an A/C cut into the roof, an extra gas tank on the driver’s side, all sorts of holes and things to patch up… and I’m no welder. It was a long weekend – I dug up some more photos to remind myself why I didn’t just weld over the scoop holes (last 6 pics below). Anyway, now that it’s a bit too late for that, I think I might just cut up some sheet metal and screw on some flat panels to cover them up. We’ll see how much cleaner the engine compartment and carb filters get.
I’ll also look around for some oil bath filters and might try to rig something up there as well. Can’t hurt. But, this might have to wait for Chile or Brazil. Contrary to popular belief (mine, anyway) finding VeeDub parts in Argentina is extremely difficult. We’re now being told that there are no new bearings in town – kinda critical.
I hear it gets easier to find parts in B.A. (i.e. closer to Brazil) but in the rest of the country, they are pretty rare. Nobody imports ACVW’s because of the extremely high import duties levied to try to ‘encourage’ residents to buy new cars manufactured in the country (like Citroen & Fiat!) I hear there is a $5000 USD ‘tax’ to permanently import an outside vehicle. Likewise, the VW parts that are available are extremely expensive – so we’re getting nothing new and re-machining it all. Hopefully it will be good quality work and will last (at least until Brazil).
Until the machined parts are ready and we find bearings, all I we can do is wait. We’re checking out the parks and museums, and continuing to clean things up…