Air-Cooled VW Engine Building Video

You won't find this information in any shop manual!

This videotape takes you through the Volkswagen engine building process from teardown to machine work to assembly of the longblock. Use the engine building secrets of the pro's on your engine! Check out some video clips and pictures from the tape. Here are some of the subjects covered in this video:

Case Evaluation The first step in building your engine is case evaluation. If you are planning on trying to re-use your old VW engine case then you must know where to look for problems like cracks and pounded-out main bearing saddles. This video shows you in detail some of the reasons why you should consider using a new case for your engine.

Crank/Rod Assembly All cranks and rods must be checked and reworked if necessary by a competent VW machine shop. Here you will see some of the problem areas to look out for, but this section is really about the proper fitting of parts more than anything else. There is no such thing as a "burn fit" when mounting the rods, for instance. See for yourself how a rod should rotate on the crank, and what to look for if it's not right.

Building the Short Block Here is where a lot of people get into trouble. For instance, if the main bearings are not lined up correctly then they can easily be pinched, which can damage both the crank and the case. Learn the foolproof way to set up your crank and bearings before dropping them into the case. Other tips include installing the cam gear with the proper lash, setting end play, correct sealant use, etc.

Heads The heads are the weakest area of the air-cooled VW engine. In this section you'll learn how to disassemble heads and lap valves. Problem areas covered include cracks, valve keeper assembly and valve guide checking. Measuring head volume for setting compression is also demonstrated.

Cooler Seals Did you know that the VW factory made at least 4 different Type 1(upright) coolers? In this section you will learn how to correctly mount any cooler on any case with the correct seals. This is the first time this information has been presented like this anywhere.

Top End Install In addition to the standard piston/jug installation procedures, there is coverage of deck height setting for compression calculations. There are also a lot of detailed closeups on distributor drive gear installation and valve adjustment.

Final Assembly This covers selected items like clutch/pressure plate mounting, generator/fan shroud setup, fuel pump installation, etc.

This video is two hours long. It took over 400 edits to put together, and it's fully narrated. There are a lot of close-up shots. The paperwork included with each video defines the target street compression ratio and how to calculate it, breaking in the new engine, etc. In the paperwork is a section on VW engine building tips, written by Clyde Berg. Clyde made this contribution on his own time, because of his interest in helping you build a better engine. His participation does NOT constitute any kind of endorsement of this video by Gene Berg Enterprises.

The only engines shown in this video are the Volkswagen Type 1 & Type 2 1500-1600cc motors, but much of the information is relevant to Type 3 and early Type 1 VW engines. The price has been lowered to $30 + $4.95 S&H.


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