The AR Engine Rebuild

Not What I Expected

So after I bought Murbella in July of 2017, I realized that I really wanted to keep her a stock survivor for as long as possible, maintaining everything as-is as long as I can.

Basically, that gave me nothing to really tinker with or change, and knowing that I really wanted to learn to tear down and build air-cooled engines meant that I would need to find something else to work on.

I ended up finding a $600 engine about an hour south of here that the seller said was a 1600cc. Well… I was way too new to Type 1 engines and took what he said at his word. Wrong!

My son and I head down to purchase it. Other than leaking a lot of oil and being horribly dirty, it appeared to be a 71 and later engine, with a doghouse 71-74 fan shroud, an alternator, etc. The seller said it had worked when it came off a sand rail. We brought it home and I put it aside for a day or so.

When I finally got got back out in the garage I noticed it was an AR case and after researching it, that it was a Non-US 1300CC dual-relief valve case. Talk about an oddity. It was obviously not 1600cc, but at the same time must have been brought it from Canada or somewhere as it was never in a US car.

Now I should have just started tearing it down, but within a few weeks I ended up getting in my head I needed a whole car and mistakenly bought the 74 1303. The engine moved around on a dolly, leaking oil everywhere for a long time until I could finally tear it down in 2018.

As of March 23, 2019, it is sitting in a bin waiting to be completely cleaned.  It has been all torn down, the case needs to be scrubbed up some more and power washed.

Now one thing I learned in my initial engine research is that the 1300, 1500, and 1600 engines are practically identical. Now at first, I thought his was a 1960’s era 1300 and was going to just sell it on. But with it being a non-US 70’s 1300, and being dual-relief, it can actually take 1600cc pistons and cylinders. The 1300cc part really came in as a combination of 77mm pistons and a smaller 1300cc cylinder head. So.. I can easily make this a 1600cc engine with no problem.


The AR Engine Work

Since I have some other heads and pistons, I’ve decided to just rebuild this as a 1600cc engine long block, using the original cam and crankshaft. I need to get new lifters, and assorted other parts, but I think this may be the engine that ultimately goes into the 74, with me keeping the AE Engine long block and case. I really want to keep the better parts of what I have an sell off whatever else is left over for someone else to work with.

I’m missing a lot of parts to make this engine whole, since the tins didn’t all survive, and other parts were not maintained since it was a sand rail with an exposed engine.

I’ll need to acquire new and preferably cheaper used parts such as:

  • Complete engine tins
  • Alternator or generator
  • Distributor
  • Coil
  • Oil System
  • J-Pipes
  • Exhaust
  • Pulleys and such


I’m thinking that I could just salvage the AE long block for later use/rebuild, and then put the top stuff on this block for the 74 too.  I mean, I don’t need an engine laying around, but at least a short block or just case won’t take up much space, especially if cleaned up and torn down.

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