So we’ve had several weeks of 90°F and higher days that were so humid you wouldn’t want to spend much time out in it. Especially out in a garage.
I tried off and on to work on the engine and diagnose the starting issues but finally gave up as sweat would pour down my face.
The weather finally took a change for the better this week and I got back out there.
Using a checklist I pulled of of a VW resource guide, I went through everything that I suspected could be a problem.
The coil was fine. The plugs were fine. And the fuel was fine.
I ended up pulling plugs to check gaps and those were acceptable.
I ended up pulling all of the leads off and pulling the distributor out and then resetting them all.
I suspect that the distributor gear was not making perfect contact with the shaft end of the distributor.
The whole process started over again and still was doing nothing.
On a whim I decided to randomly change the orientation of the timing on the distributor and all of a sudden I actually had progress.
In fact, it seemed to almost start and then I realized I had oil pouring all over the floor! I had forgotten to put a clamp on the oil pump output (to the filter) and the hose came off the barbs and was spewing oil all over the muffler.
Grabbing what I could, I cleaned up as much of the oil from off the engine, concrete, and pedestal. I used the opportunity to clean up the hose and put a clamp on. Since I was getting decent oil pressure I removed the simple gauge I had installed and installed the stock idiot sensor by itself.
And then something happened that made this old fat Polack proud! The damn thing finally started.
Now it started rough of course, but it started and as I cranked up the RPMs and adjusted the distributor a bit I was able to get it to idle somewhat until I ran out of gasoline in my source can.
This has been the most progress I have made in weeks!!!
There’s still so much to do but I feel so good now that I know it least cranks and runs a bit.
I’m going to get some cleaner and soap and water and try to clean up the mess I made all over everything before I attempt anything else.
Once that’s done, I am going to work on getting the timing more accurate and the carbs at least idling and then put it through a true break-in cycle to seat the piston rings. The 1/2 valves seemed rather chatty so I may make sure they are all adjusted a bit and at tolerance. Then again, it could be just the fact that the valves are all new as well as pretty much everything else.
All I can say is… progress has finally been achieved.