Today was all about breaking down the long block and then cracking the case for full inspection of the guts.
As I was pulling off the oil deflector I realized that yes, there is no gasket under it nor is there gasket on top of it.
With no gasket, and just the metal, there’s a very probably change that oil has been leaking past this seam for years and is the cause of so much grime accumulation on the top, the front, and then down the side of cylinder 2.
Now the part diagrams I have found show no gasket there, but they just show the plenum upwards. I am definitely going to put the normal two gaskets there coated in some kind of sealant dressing.
Cylinder Head 1/2 – Cylinders – Pistons
All but 1 cylinder stud nut came off easily, the other taking the whole stud out with it but I was able to heat it up and get it off.
The pushrod tube sears are shot and have been leaking for some time.
The head has its internal air deflector tin so that’s a good thing.
On the surface, the head looks fine.
There’s a lot of carbon and both exhaust ports (the outer ones), especially on Cylinder 1 are showing signs of burning really hot.
Now the FI engines run hotter than your typical Type 1 carb engine. And the exhaust valves are actually 30mm and are prone to extreme heat.
Given the heat differences, it is not surprising that they look like this. While I haven’t confirmed it with anyone else, I’m willing to bet that if you have a 75-79 FI engine that there’s far more engine maintenance that should be done on a far more regular basis, especially as it pertains to the heads and especially the valves.
I am not sure if these valves can be salvaged, or if it will be wise just to purchase new ones. Unfortunately, the only place that seems to carry them also has outrageous shipping and is a vendor I tend to avoid due to the shipping costs.
The pistons and cylinders are the ones she was born with. The dished surface is an indicated of an original piston from this era, and I’ve seen it before on the AR engine I bought years earlier.
I have been told that frankly, these should just be thrown away and there’s no point in trying to resurface and re-ring them.
Now I have never actually seen such carbon build up in the cylinder on the pistons below the rings. Apparently this is a sign of how much hotter these run and perhaps, I really should look at the oil and such.
Of course, since I bought her in 2017, I’ve changed her oil every 1000 miles or so out of habit. And she’s not driven much. This all could have been from before I bought her. Who knows.
The pushrods were pretty dirty, oddly in the center and towards the lifter (to the left). These will all soak and be have solvent ran through them until they are clean.
On the whole, the heads are really dirty reflecting the state of so much other parts.
The rockers are pretty bad. They’ll all get broken down and soak in solvents. Part of me would like to just put solid shafts on since I had the old wavy washer setup. Not sure if I have an extra set or not.
Cylinder Head 3/4 – Cylinders – Pistons
The 3/4 side was far worse breaking down, with many cylinder studs coming out instead of just the nuts coming off.
The valves are worse here, with cylinder 4’s exhaust and intake valves showing extreme signs of heat for worse than any other cylinder.
What’s odd is that this the heat closest to the cylinder temp sensor, and I’m wondering if that is not functional. These higher temps should have clearly been dealt with by the ECU but it is like it was ignored. I’m putting a new sensor in, so hopefully that will make a difference.
The pistons are more or less identical in condition to their opposite side companions.
They clearly exhibit a lot of carbon build up, as well as likely oil leakage along the bottom of the cylinder at the case seam.
The pushrods are more or less identical to their opposing side companions.
It would be hard to tell which is which side even, though cylinder 4 exhaust rod is way cleaner, and I am wondering if this is a result of the higher heat seen at the valve. The oil would theoretically be a lot hotter running back down to the case here.
The pushrod tubes and seals are toast but I already knew that.
Oil Pump Removal
The oil pump removal went pretty smoothly, with that special tool making it easy to pull it out.
The nuts were the special sealing nuts but the rubber o-rings had long separated and were crushed against the studs.
With the plate off, it was obvious how bad the gaskets were. The outer gasket (above) long ago gave up the ghost and it was brittle. I have never seen such a dirty oil pump, and I broke down some way abused engines.
The metal surface of the pump is in bad shape.
The pump is the original VW pump the engine was born with and I am really thinking that all of these gaskets are originals.