Friday, November 28, 2008

Big Blue's back (and slower than ever)

After $2200 work of work to the engine, Big Blue seems slower than ever.

I took it in to The Garage, in Petaluma (not my normal shop) as it had sucked in the 3rd cylinder's exhaust valve. Blue had a valve job done - new heads, compression shims added, new pushrod tubes, etc. I was pretty confident the shop knew what they were doing. They had done some work on Little Blue in the past and seemed knowledgeable.

Also, had them put on a stock exhaust (2 exhaust pipes rather than the single pipe that was on there). On The Samba, someone told me that stock should have been the 1 pipe exhaust, so that may have been an error. My old exhaust had leaks and had been hit the week before going into the shop, adding a rather large amount of backfire.

The shop insisted on putting an .009 Dizzy in there with the Ignitor, although I kept the old dizzy in case the .009 is a disappointment. (I know, somewhat, the pros and cons to this and am happy to experiment first hand.) I'll probably put the old one back in soon to see if there is a difference in power.

I posted the info to The Samba and have been getting a good deal of feedback. You can follow the conversation HERE if you are so inclined.

My top speed is 55 on a flat road with the pedal all the way down. I seem to need to have the pedal down to the floor almost all the time to maintain speed. I didn't really have to do this before. And, unless I am nuts, I remember cruising that same road at 60, 65 before.

My hill climbing is worse than ever. I was going 35 up a hill on the 101 in the dark last night! This same hill I used to take at 60 at the bottom and might be down to 50 by the top. I threw on the hazards as it was the first time in driving Big Blue in the last year that I was scared I'd be rear ended.

I'm going to do some testing of compression and then call the shop to talk through any options to get more power, or see if there's any more adjustments we can do. I just want more hill-climbing power.

Below is the final paperwork regarding the work done. As always, you can click on the image to get a bigger image...



Something is definitely wrong. Don't take no for an answer. Bottom line, you took them a slow bus and the returned a slower bus to you after you paid them over two grand! Stick to your guns and make them fix it!


Hey Brett -- hope you can get all the kinks in Big Blue ironed out. Going slow sucks! We've been there done that! If it makes you feel any better, I spent $3300 at the mechanic in Miami before we started our road trip, and we broke down within days! Seemed like they barely did anything to our engine ... we wound up seeing 5 or 6 different mechanics within the next month on the road - experiencing multiple problems and breakdowns. It took a long time and a lot of bucks to get Valentina running soundly. Patience my friend, speak with the shop, consult the Samba ... and a lot of spare change.

Ludwig's Drivers

Normally I'm sympathetic to ACVW mechanics as they generally haven't seen a new (i.e., unmolested) V-Dub in thirty years now, but to the guy who said 009 distributors and dual-tip exhausts were factory VW equipment, I say two strikes, yer out.

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