Type 4 2 litre CJ Engine Rebuild

Discussion in 'Restorations' started by Norris, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Hi. I'm fairly new to the site. I owned a '68 beetle for many years, but early last year sold it and put the money towards our '79 Devon Moonraker

    I did have a crawl around underneath before we bought it, but then fairly soon afterwards took it to Johnson Autoworks for a service and inspection. Luckily despite my lack of experience it is pretty solid original metal underneath - quite rare for a UK vehicle. Here it is next to my father-in-law's '39 MG TA Tickford


    Anyway on a journey down to Cornwall the engine had a little "episode". It was firing badly and had a bit of smoke from the exhaust. However it cleared up after a few seconds and we continued with our holiday. Later on it failed the MOT on emissions (1979 was the year the tests were introduced apparently) and we had no compression on the 3rd cylinder. It was parked up on the drive.

    We pulled the engine out and I started to strip it down


    I'll bring you fully up to date tomorrow.
  2. It will probably have dropped No. 3 exhaust valve seat, if your lucky it might not have damaged the piston, on the other hand…

    Very nice MG by the way.
    Norris likes this.
  3. This will bee interesting too follow. Hope it’s nothing too serious.
    Waiting for updates. Good luck.

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  4. Looks ok not cracked in oil hopefully a quick fix
  5. Well I was thinking dropped valve, holed piston, cracked head...
  6. ... maybe the piston rings had gone?


    Nope. Apart from the oily crustiness, no apparent damage. I can only assume that the exhaust valve stuck open or something. I've still got to clean up the head and inspect for cracks, but I can't see any other damage.

    Anyway this van's a keeper, it's done a fair few miles, so it's getting rebuilt
    Merlin Cat and paradox like this.
  7. I rebuilt the engine on my beetle many years ago (with the help of a friend who actually knew what he was doing), converting the F-series 1200 engine to 1641cc with a little reworking of the original heads thanks to a local engineer. Having chatted with the latest owner of the beetle, it seems that the engine is reliable, which fills me with confidence, armed with a Haynes manual (!).

    Anyway, before tackling the engine I want to get the tinware cleaned and painted. I wouldn't like to get the engine cleaned and rebuilt and then bolt bent and rusty tinware back on. Time for a splash of POR-15.


    That's most of it. Some more to come
  8. We bought the camper through the VW Camper Company in Banbury. The previous owners had used it for many years to go to equestrian events, but had "outgrown" it. They had bought it from the VW Camper Company as an ex-rental.

    To improve reliability as a rental, it had been fitted with a sump extension AND an external oil cooler. I presume that was when the left hand heater pipe was removed and plates tack welded on the tinware and heat exchanger to cover the holes. It's a tight fit down there, but I'm hoping I can fit both in when I reassemble. If not, I'll probably lose the external oil cooler - I'd rather have the heating.

    The engine was missing the lower plates, which I presume are quite important for the thermostat to work properly. However the point is moot given the state of the thermostat. I'm sure that the cable should be a bit longer than this, and actually connected to the flap lever!


    That could have contributed to the little engine episode :)
    jivedubbin, mcswiggs and Flakey like this.
  9. Lower tins are quite important...there's an ad in the for sale section for fiberglass ones.
    The flaps should fail in the open position so shouldn't effect the cooling.
  10. Thanks. I've managed to get hold of a pair of metal ones: a new RH one from Just Kampers (they occasionally have one in stock) and a decent LH one that's in the to-be-painted pile :)
    Andy76 likes this.
  11. Thermostat cables are cheap enough, VW Heritage etc sell them.

    When you check that the thermostat works, leave it in its bracket to avoid over expansion:)
  12. Any parts that are not serviceable I'll try to replace with new. Certainly I'll put a new set of barrels and pistons in and replace the bearings. Having split a case before I'm not too daunted by the prospect. Although the type 4 engine is a bit more developed than the type 1, they are similar enough in principle.

    I regard myself as a reluctant mechanic. There are a lot of things I'd rather be doing than getting greasy up to my armpits and trying to keep my reading glasses on my face so I can see what I'm doing. Therefore I intend to build the engine once and get it as reliable as possible
    F_Pantos and paradox like this.
  13. I've just had a very informative pm that says it's nigh on impossible to have the external oil cooler AND the heater pipe - certainly with the adapter I have sandwiched between the case and the oil filter. To fit both would involve relocating the filter and using a different adapter. That's a problem that's a few months away yet, and my initial thoughts are to return it to stock specification

    Well you're about up to date now. The majority of the tinware is painted up. However I've got a lot of the fiddly brackets and pipes to do, then I'll tackle the actual rebuild.

    I'm quite impressed with the POR15, although it's a fairly lengthy process: scrape off the oily gunk, scrub it with white spirit and an old toothbrush, wire brush with a drill to remove loose rust & paint, straighten out with wood blocks and hammer, wash it with POR15 degreaser, treat it with metal prep, then apply two coats of paint with a couple of hours between them. The finish looks like thick powdercoat and remains slightly flexible. Hopefully it will last!
    Merlin Cat likes this.
  14. Merlin Cat

    Merlin Cat Moderator

    Is that MG a Tickford as in the Tickford version you could get a Capri in?

    Nice van, your engine will look proper tidy. Are the Banbury VW folk still going? They used to be just outside of adderbury. I would drive by on the way to my dads just to nosey what they’d got :)
  15. Tickford in those days was a coachbuilder. The chassis would have been shipped to them from MG. They are fairly easy to identify by the straight tops on the doors. MG doors dip down

    The VW Camper Co is still going, but for sales and service only. They don't do rentals any more. Apparently the market is saturated for rentals
    Merlin Cat likes this.
  16. One tip I will pass on as a novice, is to buy a load of zip-lock bags and a marker pen. Hopefully I'll be able to put everything back correctly. Every pushrod is individually bagged with a diagram showing where it came from


    Anyway I'd better crack on while there's daylight. I'll leave you for now with a nice clean fan and painted pulley. The string is tied to the vane closest to where the timing mark goes - which the POR15 has filled rather well!

    Merlin Cat likes this.
  17. Fit a spacer between the sandwich plate and the crankcase or use banjo type connections. And I’d lose the sump extension and keep the cooler.

    Just a couple of points on the Type 4 – be very careful not to overtighten the strainer bolt (max 13Nm or 9ft/lb), it should be the first bolt removed and the last bolt fitted. And don’t be tempted to split the pulley from the fan, I hope I’m not too late.
    Deefer66 and F_Pantos like this.
  18. Thanks.

    Yes, too late for the fan/pulley split. Am I likely to get balancing issues now that the pulley has a couple of coats of paint on it?

    Have you got a link or picture of the spacer? Does it allow for the normal heater hose?
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  19. The issue is how are you going to refit the pulley in the original position on the fan?
  20. I tied a string on the vane nearest to the timing mark as a point of reference. It's stayed there throughout the cleaning process. I thought that best as I could see a small balance weight inside the rim

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