The 74 Super Beetle and the AH Engine, Part 2

By late January and February I was somewhat mobile again and back to work. I decided to deal with the freezing temperatures and try and get the 74’s brakes replaced and then move on to the 79’s brake disc upgrade and front suspension replacement.

This was when I discovered the truth about the real condition of the 74.

Now I knew it had not been well maintained, but it looked ok and my magnet tests seemed be be sound.

I was so very wrong.

Horribly directly rocker arms
The discovery of how filthy the rocker arms were left me in shock.

Since I had the car up on stands I decided to finally check the valves. I had not done so earlier in September due to my knee being really bad and my general avoidance of getting down on the ground at that time.

Let’s just say popping the valve covers off was an eye opener.

I had known how sludgey and bad the oil I took out of the car after I purchased it was, but even that did not prepare me for how filthy the rocker arms and valve springs were.

In fact, it was almost impossible to adjust the nuts and screws due to the decades of oil and filth. Some would not budge at all.

Filthy rocker arms.
Rocker arms soaking in mineral spirits and being scrubbed up of decade’s of oil and other deposits.

The rocker arms were difficult to remove due to the deposits but eventually both sides came off and I spent multiple days soaking them in mineral spirits and cleaning them off.

I had to apply heat to the nuts and screws to finally get the most stubborn ones to come out so they could all be cleaned.

One rocker arm done, one more to go!

They cleaned up very well but it took some real scrubbing effort.

I’m actually shocked the car drove as well as it did.

I got the rocker arms all cleaned and reassembled and returned to their respective cylinder heads. Once the valves were adjusted I got the engine running very well and decided to focus my attention to the brakes.

Little did I know what I would discover doing that work.

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