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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / My new Project! (9463 hits)
By Jim B 3573 Date 2013-02-27 18:20 Edited 2013-02-27 19:08
Before leaving to pick up my parts car, body, cut down pan and a bunch of pieces, thankfully  I checked Craig's list one last time.  I found what I consider to be a pretty good deal so I bought it instead.
It is a 70 VW, I believe it to be an early Manx body (the owner talked to Bruce personally).  Bruce said it was an early body with a full 10 layers of glass, it has battery compartment and a spare tire well.  Later they got cheap a put less glass layers.  It is missing the Manx tag so I  have no recourse but to call it a look-a-like.  It has a ball joint front end, and a swing axle suspension, the tranny was just rebuild or at least gone over so it is quiet and shifts smooth.  The Old gent I bought it from said it turned 10.7 in the qtr. mile, he ran it three times down the track just to see what it would do.  It supposedly has 1800 jugs and a mild cam but I don't know for sure.  Is there a way to confirm short of tearing it apart???  It is dual port single barrel carb #EMPI  34 P-3.  The motor is #AE500438 and the distributor is I think a Bosh #0231178009 with centrifugal advance.

I need to know how to set it up tune wise?  The plugs were black and sooty and it bogged when I push the throttle down, I had to feather the throttle and rev it up to drive.  I had to keep it revved as I went through the gears.  I Have adjusted the carb. it was way too rich it seems to idle better now, I'm still not sure about timing a centrifugal advance and also the setting.  The book says 5deg. ATDC but that is stock it doesn't account for the 1800 cc or the cam?

My intention is to tuned and get it running as best I can, get it tagged, inspected, and then make  few adjustments like lowering the seats they sit too high.  I would like to then drive it to see how it handles and decide what needs to be done next winter.  I will post pic's as soon as I figure out how.  I have pics taken at 4.3 VGA that is good for e-mail; but this system says they take up too much space????Any advice on posting pics????? 

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By Tom & Kathleen I 639 Date 2013-02-27 19:41
Nice start.  Maybe 10.7 in the 1/8 mile, no way in the 1/4 mile!  Tom
Tom & Kathleen Manxter #16, Kick-Out SS #16 & FiberFab Buggy
Manx Club #1030, CVA, RBC, SCCA
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-02-27 21:18 thats a 009 dizzy. Plenty of articles on how to time it. Like here:

The Pic 3 doesn't really like the 009 dizzy but you can make it work. EMPI carbs aren't the best. Make sure the throttle shaft is tight. Choke needs to be right as well as the idle solenoids need to be working. Idle circuits also tend to plug up with sitting.

Can't tell the motor size without tearing it down.

Motor look slike a late 170, early 1971 motor. Good base to build a motor.

Post pics to photobucket then link them here.
By Brad H 1498 Date 2013-02-28 01:47 Edited 2013-02-28 01:51
Nice looking car, there's a few things I would get rid of, but to each their own. Looks like a very nice car to make you own.

Running 10's in the 1/4 requires around 240whp with a good tranny behind it and a lot less drag from windows, wings and seats that your buggy has.

Set the 009 with the engine running at 2500rpm and set your timing to 28*. this will be your total advance and the only setting you need to worry about with the 009. One word of caution. If it is a current chinese copy of the 009 check it often. They are of poor quality and the advance can vary quite a bit. Your best bet is to find a 009 with "Germany" cast into the bottom of it. They are bullet proof and I've run the same one since 1987. There is also a Canadian made version that is being produced that is OE quality.

The Pict34 carb has an adjustable accelerator pump cam (at least the factory ones do) A set screw on the cam that you can move to speed up or delay the fuel shot into the carb throat from the pump nozzle. Try moving it one way in small steps and see if it gets better. If it doesn't or gets worse move it the other way. But your timing and valve adjustment must be done first.

By Jim B 3573 Date 2013-02-28 14:21
Thank you, there has been a lot of good comments and advice here.
I think the 10.7 must have been in the eight mile like Tom said.  More than likely it was a bit of salesmanship and wishful thinking from the seller.

I did go to the sites and read all the carb and timing instructions they were very helpful and well written.

Brad, your suggestion to set the timing at 28* advance was the best of all. Can I put a protractor on the pulley and mark 28* on the left side of the TDC mark and adjust to that or is there something else I should do?????  That sound pretty simple is it that simple????

I will look for a manufacture mark. on the 009 and if I can't find a Germany stamp I will shop for one.

Again, thanks for all the comments and advice, I'll let you guys know how I make out....

  Jim B
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-02-28 14:44
You have a degree don't need a protractor.

You may want to research the best dizzy for that carb. I do not think it is a 009 (no matter the brand). I think a SVDA is likely the best.
By Brad H 1498 Date 2013-02-28 16:39
They are not "The Best" but I have never had a problem making them work very well with a bit of tinkering. The stock distributor would be "The Best" if you are going ot shop for a new distributor anyway I would look for a stock one IF you plan on keeping the motor stock. 

By Jim B 3573 Date 2013-02-28 22:14
Please understand I was a shade tree mechanic back in the day and have forgotten a lot about tune-ups.  I purchased a timing lite threw it in the drawer and have never looked hard at it or used it until now.  I got it out and low and be hold it has a degree dial on it.  I dialed it to 28* and checked the timing at 2500RPM's , it was out, way out  I set the maximum timing at 28*.  Then I smoothed out the carb to get it to idle, it is still a bit high but O.K.  Then I went to the plunger pump on the carb  It was set at it's max so I moved it a little as Brad suggested.
WOW, what a difference.  I took it for a spin and it is much, much better.  I don't think it is perfect but I'm on the right track.  I was getting cold and had to come in the house.

I want to keep this buggy for a while so I will opt for a stock Dist., I did see a fluctuation in the timing returning to idle.  I think I have an off brand of dist. not the good German one.  

Three more questions:  Should I get rid of the degree pulley it is 6" in diameter, I don't want to short the fan on cooling, what is the diameter of a stock pulley?

This buggy has a remote oil cooler but it is mounted directly in front of the fan air in-take.  It doesn't make sense to me to bring in cool air heat it up by passing it over the oil cooler then using it to try cool the rest of the engine. Should I relocate the cooler?

And third, the choke in the carb is disconnected and I understand that, I have to warm the motor up before driving O.K. that is just an inconvenience but I can deal with that. There are schools of thought that the choke can cause a rich mixture that can disrupt lubrication???  The seller said that the fan thermostat and air damper has also been removed in the fan housing.  Is it good to blow cold air over the cylinders as they are trying to heat up?????  Should I pull the motor and make corrections to these two areas????

I sure appreciative being able to take advantage of your knowledge and experience.

  Jim B 
By LoCashJohn Date 2013-03-01 06:47
Ditch the 6" pulley and get a stock diameter degree pulley.  There are many to choose from on the market and you get what you pay for.  Spend a few extra dollars and get one with engraved or laser etched marks.  While many folks will tell you all aluminum pulleys are junk, some are better than others.  For lower cost models, I like the SCAT brand with laser etched marks.  If you want the best check out Berg, Completion Engineering, JayCee Enterprise or Autocraft.

Unless you live in a REALLY COLD environment, remove that oil cooler from the fan inlet.  If the previous owner/builder left the stock VW oil cooler inside the shroud (unlikely), it should be enough for a mild motor like yours.  If the stock cooler was removed and a "remote cooler adapter" was installed then this is the only cooler you have and you have to make a choice: Go back to stock or mount this one somewhere with an electric fan blowing on it.  If it's one of the cheap "tube and fin" style oil coolers, they're pretty crappy and not worth the effort to relocate.  If you're going to run a remote oil cooler you'll want a plate style,  They're more efficient and more durable actually.

As for the cooling flaps and thermostat missing from the shroud, there's a LOT of VW's running like that.  Is it a good idea? No, but it's not the end of the world.  There's a lot of debate on that subject so read up and make your own decision.
<a href="http://www.LoCashRacing.Org">http://www.LoCashRacing.Org</a>
More brains than bucks...
By Jim B 3573 Date 2013-03-01 13:08
Thank you for the detailed response, you addressed each of the questions I asked.  Everything you said makes good sense, I appreciate the time you took to respond.  It is really a help to hear and learn from those with experience.  Hopefully one day I will be able to write responses to someone getting started as you guys are doing for me....
I will replace the 6" pulley and look for a stock cooler to put back inside the fan housing.  I will also do a little more reading on the cooling flap and thermostat.  At least I know it isn't an emergency fix that needs to be done immediately.

Thanks again for the help.
   Jim B 
By Brad H 1498 Date 2013-03-01 14:29
Not sure where you live, but, I live in a faily cool climate in Canada. I've run the smaller "power pulleys" on all my motors since 1987 and have never had a problem with them running hot. I run them on my big motors (2332cc) and never see oil or head temps getting anywhere near critical. My oil runs about 190 and head temps about 350. the only engine I've had problems with head tems is on my race engine with head temps about 375 but that is after being stuck in traffic and I'm running CB Comp Eliminator heads with fewer fins. Your smaller pulley isn't an emergency fix either, but I would relocate the cooler immediately. Your assumptions about preheating the cooling air are correct and I've seen engines baked to death with the setup you have. A stock cooler will be fine on your size motor. I run just stock coolers on all my motors.

A couple of things I would add if you want to keep an eye on your motors health are an oil temp/pressure gauge package and a cylinder head temp gauge if you like. I use VDO gauges which are fairly accurate and relatively inexpensive.

Glad you are getting your tune figured out. I would try easing back on the pump cam adjustment. Lean it out until it starts to act up and then bump it up just a bit. You don't want to be shooting a bunch more fuel than nessasary on acceleration. Definitely hook up your choke or you'll risk washing out the cylinders and burning up the rings. You also choke the motors performance considerably and waste a lot of fuel.

By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2013-03-01 15:30 Edited 2013-03-01 16:28
I would just run a wire from the + side of the coil to the choke housing to get that operational. Its a simple, simple fix. You may also have to adjust it since it is likely that they had to rotate it way out of normal adjustment to keep the choke open.

When in its appropriate position the choke coil will close the butterfly. As electricity warms the coil it opens. So if it is at the stockish adjustment point the butterfly will never open. In order to keep it open for the engine to run the prior owner likely just rotated the choke insert way out of alignment.

A stock cooler might be able to be done with the motor in the buggy but you might want to consider dropping the motor to make the job easier. yes..dropping the motor is a little work (its easy...but some work) but it will make getting the old cooler off and the new cooler in sooooo much easier. You don't want to struggle with the switch and have one of the  little cooler seals off by a bit because you will end up with a HUGE oil leak.

My 2 cents on the flaps is that you don't need them. Buggies are so much more wide open then the original cars the cooling flaps were designed for. Is there a difference between running them and not? Maybe slightly. Does it really make any real difference in longevity or performance? likely not.
By Paul G Date 2013-03-01 16:05
I would be a little concerned about not having the cooling flaps in a late fan shroud. The old non fresh air shrouds had something like the open flaps built into them (cooling air was controlled at the fan inlet.) According to some, those flaps in the open position help cylinder head cooling. When you put the oil cooler back where it belongs I would recommend adding back the flaps too. They have a spring that will keep them open without the rest of the thermostatic system in place. My wife's '79 is like that right now, flaps open but no thermostat. I'm not that concerned with a power pulley. I ran one in my buggy for years. I would concern myself with your bad oil cooler setup first.
By Jim B 3573 Date 2013-03-02 01:14
Forum Guy's,

The guy I bought to buggy from ran with it set up the way I have described and I'm pretty sure he ran it hard I just hope he hasn't done it irreparable damage I guess a compression test will tell, I have to get a compression gauge.
I appreciate all your inputs.  I will implement all that you have suggested. You guys make real good sense.

  Jim B  
Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / My new Project! (9463 hits)

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