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Cobbler's's Talbot Express - More Gear Linkage repairs

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So I ordered new wishbones, bushes, balljoints for this sucker to cure the suspension squeak, which arrived today.

 

I ended up taking the van to work instead of the bike this morning what with it pissing it down, and guess what? suspension was totally silent. Seems that jet-washing all the crud out of the wheelarches must have cleaned the shit out of the bushes and quietened them down.

I'm sure the noise will come back though (or that's what I'll tell myself) cos I'm still going to fit the new tackle this weekend once I've done the lifters.

 

Anyway I was particularly pleased that I drove instead of rode in, as I got 20 minutes kip on the warm comfy rear bench waiting for the gaffer to turn up late and unlock to let us in. The rear heater is excellent!

I'd have been freezing my plums off doing laps of the carpark on my pushbike to try and keep warm otherwise.

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I just spent half the day fitting the new lifters etc etc. I took a load of photos and stuff which I might put up at some point but I'm pretty gutted right now.

 

With a nice new set of lifters all adjusted up perfectly has confirmed my fears that the engine is actually knocking it's fucking arse off and is shagged. The old lifters seemed OK when they came out.

 

I was kidding myself thinking it was anything else, really, but I thought that if the noise I heard when I looked at it really was "bottom end" then the thing would have kicked a rod out of the block long before now as it's done 400 motorway miles without getting significantly worse.

 

Anyway, now I have a few choices:

1: Recon engine costing £1600

2: 2nd hand "good" engine at maybe half that.

3: Have a go at rebuilding this one myself. I would need to build a shed in the garden to do this. I've rebuilt an engine before and it didn't end well, but I did that outside my nans house on top of her bin.

4: Cut my losses and sell / break it

 

Now I really like the van so I don't think I'll sell it. It's a cracking shell so it'd be a real shame to break it for parts, but right now I can't afford £1500 for an engine and frankly I don't fancy taking my chances with a 2nd hand engine unless I can hear it run because I'm not that lucky.

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Bastard, I am gutted for you.   I dread the moment with mine because I know how much these things cost to renew and how hard it is to find a good engine no matter what you spend.   Des of this parish did have a good motor for sale not too long ago - see if he still has it.  

 

Can you store the van somewhere, would be a shame to have to cut out so soon?

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Ah fuck man.  This is shit news. Is there no more reasonably priced lump thats a tried and tested "conversion"?

 

I know its not ideal but it'd keep it motoring.

 

Other than that, wait for a sunny week and give the rebuild a go.  Theres literally nothing to lose I guess?

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The van is taxed and tested etc so it can stay on the road outside for now, there's no rush to do anything with it really. Once my other van sells I'll be able to afford an engine, but I'm just wary about spending all that because I'll have invested about a grand more than the van's worth and TBH I don't hear great things about any of the reconditioned engines! The one that's in it is a fairly recent recon FFS! the silver paint on the block is still shiny and everything.

 

Bits to rebuild this myself would probably be £500 or so by the time I'd bought new oil pump, a new cam, etc etc etc, plus £250 for a shed to do it in, and then there's the cost of machining on top, plus the risk that it'd be shit.

 

I did the other "easy" conversion on my other van which is a mk3 golf engine, but to swap this one over to that I'd need a new manual gearbox as they won't fit an auto, plus a shitload of [email protected] vw bits that would end up costing me £500 or so and tbh the flat 4 and auto box are what make this van what it is, so I'm 100% set on keeping it stock.

 

 

Anyway here's a video before and after. If you listen, you can tell that the valvetrain has become quieter! but there's still a knock which is really bad at 2000rpm under load. It goes quiet on overrun.

 

Before:

 

 

After:

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Bloody hell. Sorry man.

 

WW is right, keep the thing moving. The second you take a car off the road - the chances of it ever returning are at least halved.

 

I can offer nothing other than good luck. With a good Golf engine it'll probably last forever, and one of their Achilles Heels is sorted forever.

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You know what, I'm such an optimist that I'm going to change the oil and recheck all the clearances tomorrow and run it for 15 minutes to make sure that the new lifters are getting pumped up properly. Then I'll probably continue to sulk when it's no better.

 

 

Stick a load of magathick oil in.  Worked on Roadkill.  Well, it quietened the knock on a Willys flatfender anyway.

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I love this van for it's auto gearbox and lazy engine, changing the engine for anything other than another waterboxer would be shitloads of work and I'd have to convert to a manual box, and I really don't want to do that. Sure, it could be faster and more economical, but it would lose what makes me like it!

I've got a 2.0Gti t25 in my mums garage that is a great van, but I don't enjoy driving it anywhere like as much as I do this one!.

Unless a very good 2nd hand engine comes up that I can trust (or is incredibly cheap) then I'll just get this engine re-rebuilt and plonk it back in.

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I love this van for it's auto gearbox and lazy engine, changing the engine for anything other than another waterboxer would be shitloads of work and I'd have to convert to a manual box, and I really don't want to do that. Sure, it could be faster and more economical, but it would lose what makes me like it!

I've got a 2.0Gti t25 in my mums garage that is a great van, but I don't enjoy driving it anywhere like as much as I do this one!.

Unless a very good 2nd hand engine comes up that I can trust (or is incredibly cheap) then I'll just get this engine re-rebuilt and plonk it back in.

I'd recommend to have a look/get in touch with the german T3 clubs and forums. They all speak English and as VW people they are quite nice.

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Anyway, now I have a few choices:

1: Recon engine costing £1600

2: 2nd hand "good" engine at maybe half that.

3: Have a go at rebuilding this one myself. I would need to build a shed in the garden to do this. I've rebuilt an engine before and it didn't end well, but I did that outside my nans house on top of her bin.

4: Cut my losses and sell / break it

 

Now I really like the van so I don't think I'll sell it. It's a cracking shell so it'd be a real shame to break it for parts, but right now I can't afford £1500 for an engine and frankly I don't fancy taking my chances with a 2nd hand engine unless I can hear it run because I'm not that lucky.

 

Worth attaching an oil gauge direct to the engine to see what you get.

My eldest son has one which has run 12 month with buzzer of doom disconnected.

 

My youngest son had cylinder head studs rusted and nut broke off, obviously let all the water out.

Decided to do it properly, bought rebuilt engine from VW Heritage, as you say £1600.

13 months later, chocolate camshaft lobe.

Out of guarantee, but they sold me a cam half price.

We fitted the cam, made a balls of it due to rushing, and finished up selling it on.

 

So, 1. This is best solution, and should* last longer than ours.

       2. Cheaper but even more of a gamble.

       3. We struggled a bit getting the two halves together, ( never done one, it was middle of the night and I went on holiday the day after).

          If you go for this take your time.

          We did ask a local independent VW guy to do it and he declined.

       4. This is the option we took, mainly as I was away 3 month so my son bought a Mondeo estate to tide him over and liked it

 

There is no best answer, but better to do No 4 now than fail later along the line as we did.

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Bastard, I am gutted for you.   I dread the moment with mine because I know how much these things cost to renew and how hard it is to find a good engine no matter what you spend.   Des of this parish did have a good motor for sale not too long ago - see if he still has it.  

 

I do, a 1.9, and I've even replied to a message about it. 

Not sure going from 2.1 to 1.9 would be a great idea, it's only a small difference in size but going 1.9 to 2.1 makes a big difference. I rebuilt one recently, not easy these days, used to make one phonecall to order everything needed, now it's hours of searching the net, phoning liars and rejecting chinese crap, I wouldn't have much confidence in a £1500 'recon' as I'd guess a few corners will have been cut, you're best fixing it yourself, maybe it's not too bad and just needs a set of shells.

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Decided to do it properly, bought rebuilt engine from VW Heritage, as you say £1600.

13 months later, chocolate camshaft lobe.

Out of guarantee, but they sold me a cam half price.

 

The VWheritage engines are £3k now! Jeesus

 

I do, a 1.9, and I've even replied to a message about it. 

Not sure going from 2.1 to 1.9 would be a great idea, it's only a small difference in size but going 1.9 to 2.1 makes a big difference. I rebuilt one recently, not easy these days, used to make one phonecall to order everything needed, now it's hours of searching the net, phoning liars and rejecting chinese crap, I wouldn't have much confidence in a £1500 'recon' as I'd guess a few corners will have been cut, you're best fixing it yourself, maybe it's not too bad and just needs a set of shells.

 

I'm torn about what to do. a 1.9 probably isn't the way to go as I bet it won't run all that well on the 2.1 injection system, and also I'm not even sure if the inlet manifold would fit? or are they just a smaller bore?

 

Anyway, I quite like the idea of rebuilding it myself. Get myself a new shed in the garden, set up a nice workbench and just steadily go through the thing in the evenings after work and do things "properly" and not replace stuff that it doesn't need - like you say Des it might just need big ends and a crank grind which is probably only a couple of hundred quid in bits once I've done gaskets etc etc.

I've built an engine before  for a Mini and despite "doing my best" with it, it picked a bearing up within 10 miles. I was younger, dumber and used my nans wheelie bin as a workbench so I probably did rush things. I can take my time with this as I don't need the van as my only mode of transport, I've got 3 other cars to use instead this time!

 

Or I could get a £1500 recon engine - I agree with you that if they are going to actually replace everything they claim with new then there's not a lot of cash left in the pot to throw a lot of love at it: http://www.theengineshop.info/acatalog/Water-Cooled-Transporter-T25-2100cc-Injection-025100031DX.html

 

The other alternative is I've been given a number for "A bloke called John in Stoke" who has built about a dozen air cooled engines for my mate. I could take the engine to him and get him to see what it actually needs and just do that rather than throw a load of new bits at it.

 

 

 

Won't the Subaru flat 4 go into these without too much ballache?

Not a turbo mind,just a 2.0 sport should provide enough go

 

AFAIK they don't fit onto the auto box, but even if they did I'd need to buy adapter plates, make engine mounts, make a new engine harness, replumb the thing etc etc and it turns in to a way bigger job than I can do on the street outside my house!

 

 

 

I've just finished my morning brew, I've had a poo so I'm just about to go out and give it one last ditch attempt.

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Get another engine in unknown condition i.e. priced accordingly and have it rebuilt by someone who cares not a recon factory. It may cost a bit extra but you will have years* of trouble free motoring.

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Ahh, what a bastard, gutted for you. What actual engine is it (I haven't read full thread yet, sorry) and is there another VW car perhaps that had the same lump? Just trying to see if there's a way you could find a good running car to raid for the engine.

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Yo Kobbl4rz, this really sucks massive cuttlefish bollocks 24/7 for cash money, I feel for you. I was infected by your enthusiasm for this thing which on the face of it would tick all the 'DO NOT WANT' boxes for me, but it was making me want to have a shot in it and allow myself to become converted. Thinking about it, a half-capable injected 2.1 engine to push it along and an autobox, doing away with an unbearable bendy long gear linkage, sounds like the way to go with one of these and could make it into something i could get with.

 

Theres no way I could stomach £3000 for a recon engine - as you say I just could not be sufficiently certain that there was no chinesium in it, or brazilium/Mexicanium or other shonky materials, even if it did come form VW Heritage, the story above of someones camshaft going south after 13 months would put me off immediately. I reckon a DIY sort-out is your best option as you are clearly capable of making a sweet job of it.

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Get another engine in unknown condition i.e. priced accordingly and have it rebuilt by someone who cares not a recon factory. It may cost a bit extra but you will have years* of trouble free motoring.

 

There's nothing wrong with a good recon. It'll cost a bit, but there are some decent specialists out there who can sort it. Personally I'd not use The Engine Shop - a mate of mine who used to refurb Beetles reckons The VW Engine Company in Deptford are excellent, but it's still done down to a price. If you're specific about what you want doing, they'll fit new rather than recon - adds to the price but it might be better value. 

 

And obviously it'll only be as good as a wasserboxer ever was (i.e. not especially great) but I suppose at least it'll be original.

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Well I just redid the clearances and dropped the oil. I reckon there was ever so slight sparklies in the old oil, so something's not right. No big chunks or owt though.

With new oil and stuff it still sounds shit, I was being blindly optimistic telling myself it was the lifters when clearly it sounded fucked. I'm usually a mega pessimist about stuff so I decided to turn my frown upside down.

 

Honestly bollox it's ace with the auto box, it drives an absolute dream. If the engine didn't sound like I skeleton wearing a massive rolex having a wank in a filing cabinet while falling down a fire escape I would comfortably just jump in it and drive all kinds of miles to places and get out feeling refreshed and invigorated, my brown van is proper tiring to drive long distances for some reason.

 

I quite like the idea of rebuilding it myself TBH but I'm not sure if I would trust it long term. But there is a great appeal to just plodding about in a shed with nice cleaning bits of engine and measuring stuff etc for a few weeks.

 

I'll give a few rebuilders a call tomorrow and get a feel for them.

 

I've also heard good things about "The VW Engine Company" but they're like £2200 with the vat vs £1490inc for TES. That's like the step from "fucking hell thats a lot of money but I could just about stomach it" to "Jesus wept man" but I will get them on the blower and see what the score is.

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If you read the various recon engine threads on any of the VW forums you will go out and shoot yourself.   

 

TES have had mixed reviews, it is true, but so have ALL the others including the £3K ones.   All I can tell you is TES did me a gearbox about 5 years ago and I have had no trouble with that so far.   At least it is all done in-house by them rather than being farmed out - like chucked in the back of a Sprinter and whisked off to Eastern Europe or Malta or somewhere.   Not saying that's bad, but how can you do quality control over a telephone?   

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I'll give a few rebuilders a call tomorrow and get a feel for them.

 

 

 

I know it's a different story, but when my lovely Mercedes 190e shit itself - I toyed with all sorts of schemes.  Buying a breaker, buying an engine, buying a 'top end', killing it with fire - and eventually I spoke to a specialist.  Under absolutely no circumstances was anything other than the original engine going back in according to him, and he lovingly built it back up from spares that he'd acquired over the years and new parts where necessary/not worth mingebagging over.  

 

I was pretty certain I was going to end up putting a second hand engine in it, but for the same price as a 170,000 mile engine with unknown provenance and other issues (plus installation) the lion kept its heart and the car is still storming along now.

 

Again, good luck!

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Sad news. Is the three speed auto restricted to the wasserboxer then?

Yeah, the auto gearboxes don't have a removable bellhousing so they'll only fit a flat four engine. The manual boxes have swappable bellhousings so you can fit normal I4 engines out of golfs and whatnot, or as suggested above you can get a south african spec bellhousing and put big audi motors in.

 

 

 

Can you buy a recon bottom end and throw all the OK bits from yours into it? Might that be cheaper than a whole recon engine?

 

Yeah that was one thing I was gonna ask tomorrow, my heads are probably sound, they aren't scabby old ones and haven't been on long. There's got to be savings to be had there. 

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