On pressure testing, baby

Guys nobody sent beer and I’m really disappointed in your search and rescue beer capability.

Anyway, today took a lot longer than expected, but it always does. So maybe I should expect that. Whatever, onwards!

I replaced the oil pump. As stated earlier, I was getting amazing pressure when cold, and okay pressure revving hot, but crap pressure idling hot. I haven’t gotten this new pump up to temp yet to see if it’s better than stock, but if it is AT LEAST as good as stock, I’ll keep it and sell the stock (and therefore verified good) pump on ebay. They go for insane prices, sometimes much higher than the $80 (with gaskets) I paid for this aftermarket one. You can’t even find any active or completed ebay listings for a stock (type 4, not modified type 1) oil pump, and prices in stores for remanufactured ones are upwards of $250 plus a $40-50 core charge. For awhile it looks like they spiked to over $300 even used.

I always start a disassembly with these little organizer bins for bolts and nuts. They’re $4 at Harbor Freight and are actually amazingly durable


Then, I assumed the position (sitting on a box as a stool, engine hatch open) and started disassembling the fan shroud. It’s either this or drop the engine.



Removing more parts


Here’s the CB Performance oil pump. It’s a modified Schadek type 1 oil pump, with a longer crank key and clearance machining so it doesn’t foul on the cam gear bolts.



Oil pump removed! After removing the four nuts holding it on, you have to loosen the case stud bolts above and below the pump, or it will never come out. It’s an interference fit when the halves are put together.



Comparison with the new pump.


You can see the longer key


While cleaning off the old gasket, I hit Major Snag #1. The razor blade I was scraping the gasket with bounced out of my hand and INTO THE ENGINE, underneath the crank bolt. Thankfully it’s an aluminum block, because otherwise I would have been screwed, and would have needed to drop and split the engine. In a townhouse without a garage, that is no es bueno.


New oil pump going in. Before putting the cover on, I spun the engine by hand and verified that the oil pump gears turned.



While I was down there, I installed the Fumoto oil drain valve that’s been sitting on my outdoor table for honestly two months.



Note for those that may stumble upon this: if you buy the Fumoto brand valve, you have to use a grinder or dremel ever so slightly to remove maybe 1-1.25mm of material off of the top of the valve housing. The oil drain bolt on the VW Type 4 is recessed into some pretty beefy aluminum housing and it fouls and won’t tighten all the way down if you don’t.

Now, no pictures of Major Snag #2, because I was panicking. You may notice above that I neglected to mention packing the oil pump with grease, so it wasn’t primed. After the 1.5 hour reassembly process (including filling with oil, and pre-filling the oil filter), I cranked the engine over without the distributor, and failed to see any oil pressure. Cue me freaking out and trying everything under the sun to troubleshoot this no oil pressure problem. After looking over the oiling diagram I posted earlier, I came up with two options: remove the oil sender and pour oil down there to prime the pump, or overfill the oil and jack the front of the bus up to flood the pump.

I tried the first option, but the sender I installed is NPT threaded and was refusing to come out. So I tried option #2, but I modified it a bit so I took the oil filter off and put a new oil pan underneath, and cranked the engine over without the spark plugs in. After what seemed like way too long (30 seconds to a minute of cranking time easy, in increments) oil started spuring out into the pan. So I reinstalled the filter, and was happy to find the bus building oil pressure even while cranking. I reinstalled the distributor, static-timed it (still need to really time it tomorrow), and it fired up with excellent pressure even before the spark really caught. There was a moment of small panic when the engine wouldn’t fire, but I had forgotten to plug the fuel pump back in.

By the time all of this was over, the sun had fallen. I didn’t want to bother the neighbors because it was after 2030, so I finished up the only other silent project on the plate for today, the carburetor linkage.

The carb has been working just fine (barring some cold-bloodedness, but it’s a progressive carb with 16 inches of intake runners, so that is expected), and I’ve been getting a consistent 17MPG. But I had to bodge together a linkage because the one that was on it was set up for a passenger-side throttle cable, and mine is in the stock driver’s side configuration. The throttle cable has been sticky and inconsistent, and I’ve had the linkage hang up on things. To get it to return to idle speed, I had also bodged up (not pictured) a 14″ spring going all the way up to the ceiling of the engine compartment!

Those of you with weak stomachs and an intolerance for buzzbox welding, look away now:


The kit I bought, because it is actually designed and engineered instead of whacked together, has pretty much solved all of my throttle cable issues that I could test for in 20 minutes on side streets. It also doesn’t bind, so I can finally fine-tune the idle settings. The speed screw actually does something now!



(blurry, sorry)

And, as what I hope to be a sign of good luck, the mileage on the odo after running around the block a few times.



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