2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

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2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 25 Sep 2015, 17:18

Recently picked up a late t25 project from the forum (cheers SteveW!).....& it's my first vw! I bought on body condition over mechanicals and it ticked a lot of boxes for me - I've done bodywork stuff in the past (complete 1275gt mini resto) but I didn't fancy a major rot-fest again so I made sure I found a project without any major body issues. Don't get me wrong - there is body stuff to do but nothing horrific (that I can see at least ;) ). Van has sat for 5 years so plenty of mechanical bits to replace and sort out.

The day it arrived:

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After a month of cleaning/painting and generally tarting about:

Image

It came with quite a few spares including:

1x 2.1MV engine - apparent good engine
1x 1.9DG engine - apparent smoker
1x unknown (no engine number) - apparent smoker
1x 1.9DG engine (fitted in the van) - have had it running (just!) - but very smoky & oil pressure buzzer going off!

Engine-wise, all a bit knackered and unknown. I started stripping the MV to do a head seal refresh with the intention of "chucking it in" and getting it running but managed to shear a chunk of the engine casing by bracing against it to undo the crank pulley bolt. Moment of madness......can't believe I was such an idiot, but it's done now....nothing I can do about it (I'm nearly over it ;) ).

So not knowing the condition of any of the engines I decided to look at the "unknown" engine - heads off & checked the stroke which turned out to be 76mm. High compression pistons so assumed to be a 2.1DJ?

Anyway - I've decided to concentrate on this engine & stripped it down to the following:

Image

Damaging the MV was probably a good thing (in a way) with hindsight - it's forced me into doing a proper rebuild. I want to keep the WBX engine - it's a VW afterall so it'd feel wrong to fit a scooby engine this early, especially as it's my first VW.

First complete engine rebuild for me so plenty of learning to be done. I've done quite a few head rebuilds but nothing deeper so I'm at the bottom of the learning curve on this one. Ultimately I want to make sure I do this correctly as I've bought the van as a project that I want to drive my family around in one day so I want to make it as reliable as I possibly can. Slightly scared about the costs/availability of some parts and what I've read about reliability of some rebuilt engines though......

Putting this up here so I can document progress and ask plenty of daft questions. There seems to be a wealth of information on here and some very clever peeps....hoping to tap into some of that knowledge.

Cheers! :)
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 26 Sep 2015, 12:35

Right - first questions.

Looking at the crank - I'm planning to get this checked out by an engine builder local to me but essentially I'm assuming the following:

If the journals are measured and within the spec stated in the Bentley manual then I guess I can install with new std shells? Journals look good to my untrained eye - no scoring/gouging/damage

If the journals are measured and are out of tolerance then I guess it's regrind time? Is this a case of getting the journals ground to the next available shell size? (Brickwerks sell a 0.25mm undersize set - would these be correct?)

I've seen talk of line-boring. Why do engine cases get line-bored? Presumably this is required if a bearing has spun and damaged the case? (I notice that you can buy shells both undersize and oversize - presumably for this reason).

Apologies for the novice questions - any help greatly appreciated. Just want to gen up a bit before chatting to the engine guy......

Ta! :)
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby ghost123uk » 27 Sep 2015, 08:59

All the answers you have given to your own questions above are correct :ok

Are the heads OK crack wise?

Van looks good by the way :ok (Mind you, I have a white tin-top with Velle wheels too, so I'm biased)
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby Paul Weeding » 27 Sep 2015, 19:10

Line boring a case is required not only if there has been a spun bearing, but also if there has been a bearing that's started to shuffle... Also the centre main is a split bearing, so the case can take a pounding especially if the crank has warped/bent

The tolerance is very tight on the case... I don't know the wasser specs off the top of my head, but the type 4 is 70.00 - 70.04mm anything more than that, and the case needs a line bore
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 28 Sep 2015, 08:36

ghost123uk wrote:All the answers you have given to your own questions above are correct :ok

Are the heads OK crack wise?

Van looks good by the way :ok (Mind you, I have a white tin-top with Velle wheels too, so I'm biased)


Good stuff - thanks for that. Reason I ask is I've seen differing statements on "reconditioned" engines.....and I understand there are varying levels of rebuild that get described as reconditioned (in some cases "refresh" is probably a more accurate description ;) ).

I've seen an eBay advert for reconditioned engines (and threads on the forum relating to the amount of work that gets done for the cost!) that state the case gets line-bored regardless but I've also seen other engine re-builders state they are less likely to re-grind and will hold out to use a really good (in-spec) crank where possible. The latter makes the most sense to me - why machine something which is still in spec? Peace of mind? (might be a naive statement there!)

Heads look OK under first inspection - I've cleaned up between the valves and cant see any cracks.......I have got the issue of a couple of busted exhaust studs to sort out though

Wheels are F0rd Granada Scorpio - which I think really suit the van - they came with it, the van needed new tyres anyway so I thought "why not?" :)

Image

Paul Weeding wrote:Line boring a case is required not only if there has been a spun bearing, but also if there has been a bearing that's started to shuffle... Also the centre main is a split bearing, so the case can take a pounding especially if the crank has warped/bent

The tolerance is very tight on the case... I don't know the wasser specs off the top of my head, but the type 4 is 70.00 - 70.04mm anything more than that, and the case needs a line bore


So essentially any damage or out of tolerance on the case bearing seats and it'll need a line bore? Makes sense. It was really only the statement I've seen about line boring as a matter of course which made me question it.

Going to take the crank/case halves to an engine builder local to me and get him to give it the once over and perform any remedial machining. :)

Thanks for the replies guys - appreciated.
Last edited by sherlylock on 24 Nov 2015, 10:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 28 Sep 2015, 11:29

Next up - question about con-rod bolts

2.1DJ uses single use stretch bolts for the big ends......which are discontinued, hard to (if not impossible) to come by?

What options do I have here?

I'm sure I read on an engine builders website (might've been GoWesty?) that they use 1.9 rods to make use of the non-stretch bolts which are still available. Any disadvantages to this? I've got a spare knackered 1.9 DG I could split down for the rods.....

Also seen comment that some people re-use these bolts, just torqued up for the second time and not stretched again (obviously).
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby tforturton » 28 Sep 2015, 12:05

You need to speak to Silverbullet.....
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 28 Sep 2015, 19:10

tforturton wrote:You need to speak to Silverbullet.....


Cheers, have dropped him a PM :)
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby bigherb » 28 Sep 2015, 19:14

sherlylock wrote:Next up - question about con-rod bolts

2.1DJ uses single use stretch bolts for the big ends......which are discontinued, hard to (if not impossible) to come by?

What options do I have here?

I'm sure I read on an engine builders website (might've been GoWesty?) that they use 1.9 rods to make use of the non-stretch bolts which are still available. Any disadvantages to this? I've got a spare knackered 1.9 DG I could split down for the rods.....

Also seen comment that some people re-use these bolts, just torqued up for the second time and not stretched again (obviously).

The 1.9 and 2.1 use the same stretch bolts, I think you are confusing with using air cooled standard bolts. But Gunzl have new stretch bolts.
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 28 Sep 2015, 20:06

bigherb wrote:
sherlylock wrote:Next up - question about con-rod bolts

2.1DJ uses single use stretch bolts for the big ends......which are discontinued, hard to (if not impossible) to come by?

What options do I have here?

I'm sure I read on an engine builders website (might've been GoWesty?) that they use 1.9 rods to make use of the non-stretch bolts which are still available. Any disadvantages to this? I've got a spare knackered 1.9 DG I could split down for the rods.....

Also seen comment that some people re-use these bolts, just torqued up for the second time and not stretched again (obviously).

The 1.9 and 2.1 use the same stretch bolts, I think you are confusing with using air cooled standard bolts. But Gunzl have new stretch bolts.


Yeah quite possibly - I've done a lot of reading recently so may have confused things slightly - and I haven't got first hand experience of tearing down a 1.9 WBX

Stretch bolts are listed on Gunzl but there is no "add to cart" button so I assume still out of stock (I read a thread on here recently that they weren't available) :(
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 29 Sep 2015, 08:02

Gave the heads a really good clean between the valves and (no) surprise surprise - cracks!

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Camshaft has also seen better days......

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Odd pitting on the surface - has this worn through the case hardening?

Next stop - splitting the MV engine to see what the internals are like on that and to see if I can salvage anything from it :(
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 14 Oct 2015, 22:01

Rebuild coming along at a snails pace :(

New con-rods purchased from VWHeritage (all because I can't get new bottom end stretch bolts)
New camshaft bought from Mecatechnic (France)......not arrived yet but a 2 week waiting time was mentioned when I ordered.

One case half has had a first pass clean - to get rid of the major dirt and detritus. Good couple of hours spent to get to this state. One thread needs replacing - one of the pushrod tinware fixings. Helicoil kit has been ordered.......

Image

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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby silverbullet » 14 Oct 2015, 22:26

Buying new conrods actually works out cheaper than new bolts and having the big ends re-sized and little end bushes replaced...
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby sherlylock » 15 Oct 2015, 08:21

silverbullet wrote:Buying new conrods actually works out cheaper than new bolts and having the big ends re-sized and little end bushes replaced...


Yeah - thanks for that heads up on those - much appreciated. (I made it sound like a whinge in the previous post didn't I?) ;)

What's the best stuff for dissolving the carbon deposits inside the engine casing? I've been using "Gunk" and a stiff brush/toothbrush which has been fairly successful but I need to get some of the more stubborn stuff off......
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Re: 2.1 WBX engine rebuild noob....

Postby silverbullet » 15 Oct 2015, 09:33

Brake cleaner. Wear nitrile gloves & specs and ventilate your workspace.
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