By Thomas B 2944 Date 2017-03-26 15:29
Hi All from Maine,
Just got my crankcase back from the machine shop and I am doing the prep work for assembly. I am removing the oil galley plugs to be able to thoroughly clean the oil passages according to Eric's VW Bug Pages. I purchased the EMPI plug kit and have found that the 1/16th plugs (4 req.) do not come with the kit. So first question is, Why??
In Eric's procedure he tell you to remove the 4 smallest plugs (1/16th) located at the rear, left side and front of the engine. My question for those that may have traveled this way before, Is there a REAL plug at each of those locations? I have drilled the one located on the front of the engine but can't seem to lift a plug out of that opening. I used a 6mm-100 tap with correct drill bit. Could I have drilled to close to dead center that I completely removed the plug or is there still a plug there that I just can't seem to identify. Don't want to damage the case at this point.
I am using a 6mm bolt/nut/fender washer and socket to remove the plugs. So far this seems to be working very well. Maybe I need to use a different pulling method to get these small plugs out.
It's Spring and Buggy time again.
Thanks to All,
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2017-03-26 19:18 Edited 2017-03-26 19:21
Went back to the problem this morning, right after posting above, and answered my own question. I had drilled the plug out as I had suspected but popped the remainder of the plug out with a dental pick, great tools to have on your work bench. Upper left of picture below. Should have used a smaller size drill and tap. To get the 1/4 plugs out I ended up changing to a 10-32 screw with a 10mm socket then used an 8-32 screw with the same socket for the 1/16 plugs. I used a 6mm-1.00 screw with a 15mm socket to get the larger plugs out.
Now I will need to find the 1/16 inch plugs so that I can get the holes tapped. I can then finish cleaning the case and painting it.
Thanks to all who contemplated an answer.
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By Michael T 1299 Date 2017-03-27 21:42
Good job of inspecting and a good logical and methodical approach. Thinking about the details like you did help you end up with a successful result.
By Thomas B 2944 Date 2017-04-12 00:36 Edited 2017-04-12 01:11
Good evening to All,
Thanks Mike for the word of encouragement. Sometimes I post and don't hear from anyone which makes me a bit nervous. Maybe I did something wrong and no one wants to say so. Thanks again Mike.
I thought I would update with my results so far on the crankcase. The oil galley plug installations and the inevitable cleaning/painting have come to a positive end but not before a major scare that I lost sleep over for a few nights.
During the tapping of the final 3/8 NPT I noticed a, what I called, crack inside the threaded hole that started at the beginning and went completely through the threaded portion of the hole to the bottom. I think my heart stopped at that instance. The crack was very straight and you could catch a fingernail on it. I shut the lights off and went upstairs to get my mind off it. I couldn't believe it. The drilling and tapping had gone as expected. I had take the precaution of constructing a small aligning jig to help hold the drill bit straight in the hole. (Picture) I was concerned that turning such a large bit by hand could wedge itself in the hole and crack the thinner metal around it. In my book it didn't make sense that it had cracked. I was so upset with myself that I didn't want any reminder of it. So I never took a picture of it. Sorry!
The next night I had my son look at it with his younger eyes and he felt that it may have been formed by the tap some how. So working off his assessment I sanded around the outside of the hole with some fine abrasive paper but could find no crack on the outside. I decided to thread the plug in and snug it fairly tight, thinking that its taper would act as a wedge thus opening the crack, it didn't open. When I removed the plug I noticed that the sharp edge of the crack had sort of "mushroomed". Armed with this information I came to the conclusion that the crack was actually just the leading edge of the thread cut made by the cutting edge of the tap. All is well!
Next came the cleaning. I had cleaned it with solvent and a fine stainless steel wire brush but just couldn't get it clean. Through an internet search I came across Bob Hoovers posts where he described in detail his cleaning procedure. His cleaning called for bathing the crankcase in very hot water and soap. I used car wash soap but I would imagine dish soap would also work. My setup used a propane burner and a large washing tub. It worked like a charm and with a lot less elbow grease. I recommend the procedure highly. Thanks Bob! (Pictures)
In Bob's blog he also described his crankcase painting procedure in which he would bake the paint on. After blocking off non-painted surfaces and giving the crankcase a light coating of Rustoleum Flat Black he oven bakes the paint at 170 degrees for 4 hours or using a kind of "Easy Bake Oven" using a 100 watt incandescent lamp for 12 hours. I'll have to get back to you in a few years to be able to tell you how well the paint holds up, but it looks good now.
I have one more minor machining procedure to do next and I will be ready to start assembly. I need to cut a small notch in the camshaft bearing boss to accommodate the double thrust bearing. I'm not going to say anything more as I don't want to jinks myself at this point in the investment.
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