As I mentioned in the previous entry, getting the tins off was difficult due to the age and lack of care. However, while I new the engine components were tired, I didn’t expect the tear down of the long block to be so difficult.
While there appeared to be a massive oil leak at the engine/transaxle junction, I just assumed that it was from the main seal, as Murbella appears to be having the same issue and with cars that are this old and have not had their engines meticulously maintained, it can be quite common. But once out of the car, while there was a lot of oil and dirt debris on the engine, it didn’t really look like the main seal was leaking. In fact, the camshaft plug also looked pretty solid. If anything, perhaps oil was leaking from the case itself back here.
The main problem with the oil was actually going from the head to cylinder seal, as well as the pushrod tubes. Once the heads were off, you could see how over the years, either gasoline or oil had slowly made their way into the combustion chamber and slowly eroded the seals and drained out onto the bottom onto the push rod tubes. The tube seals themselves, both on the head and on the case, were often leaking and this just added more crud to the mix.
In some ways I’m shocked the car ran as well as it did when I bought it, and that it even got me home half-way across the state. Something really has to be said about the beating these 1600cc stock engines can take and still keep chugging along even though they are extremely tired and leaking.
The carbon build up on both cylinder heads was repeated on the pistons themselves. It was apparent that there was some oil getting past the compression rings as well.
What was really sad was that the #2 cylinder base cracked when trying to remove it from the case. I can only assume that it had some kind of crack for a very long time and just finally gave up the coast as I tried to remove it.
Ultimately, I think the engine was just very very very tired. At least these parts were. Now as I discovered on the drive home after purchasing the car, the odometer was not working. Who knows how long ago it had broken and how many actual miles are on this engine.
It was probably at least 80,000-100,000 past due for a rebuild.
I just wish I’d have been able to save the cylinders. I had not planned on reusing them, but I did intend to keep all the original VW parts on the engine that I could find just in case they were restorable to useful condition at a later date.