Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Big lumps of metals and spanners.

Moderators: Moderators, User administrators

Locked
mm289
Posts: 312
Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 22:00
80-90 Mem No: 9111
Location: Dover, Kent

Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by mm289 »

Hi,

when we bought our van I knew it needed some attention to the engine (hydraulic lifters sticking leading to knocking etc) and we got it at a price that means this is "in budget".

Anyways, diagnostics now done and even after flushing oil, refilling etc we still have some lifters sticking and at least one not pumping up. In addition it looks like exhuast valve on no.4 is burnt out/leaking (all the tappets were adjusted ~ 3+ turns so may have a problem in waiting on other valves as well).

Engine is an Elite VW recon installed in 2006 but with only 10,000 since then (lack of use probably causing the sticking lifters)

I have read all the wiki's/posts etc including the "don't try and repair just buy a recon" warnings but still want to do a rebuild because:

- rebuilding engines isnt a new art for me, and this has to be easier than my last one (289 cu small block Ford V8, perfomance cam, dual plane intake, big valve heads with tubular headers and 4 barrel carb )
- if I buy a recon I am shelling out £1200+ for someone elses workmanship and I will still never really know what is inside (new/refurb/old)
- if I rebuild myself I can check what of the Elite engine is "good", and renew where necessary and have an engine I know will last for a long time.

So given I am mad/brave/foolish* (* delete as appropriate) I just wanted too know what are the main gotcha's on this engine and how do I avoid them?

From the wiki's my starter for 10 is - head bolts snap!!!!! Don't take off the heads - oops guess I will fail on that one then

So, please add your advice below - anything goes, tips, tricks, parts recommendations etc. If I get enough info (and someone tells me how) then I will record the rebuild and create a new wiki post.

Cheers,

Ian Hulley
Posts: 12649
Joined: 11 Oct 2005, 08:08
80-90 Mem No: 1323
Location: Wirksworth, Derbyshire ... or at t'mill

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by Ian Hulley »

If it's only the tappets and valves then don't split the crankcase. Headstuds should still be fine.

Ian
The Hulley's Bus
1989 2.1DJ Trampspotter
LPG courtesy of Steve @ Gasure

User avatar
..lee..
Posts: 733
Joined: 04 Jun 2006, 22:13
80-90 Mem No: 4478
Location: llanelli, s wales

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by ..lee.. »

the barrels can stick in the heads and there`s a special tool to fit and remove the piston pin. being a gynaecologist helps.
it`s a big round cage and there`s too many animals in it for my liking. To help address this ring lee on 07977 765818.

mm289
Posts: 312
Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 22:00
80-90 Mem No: 9111
Location: Dover, Kent

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by mm289 »

Thanks, had seen these had wet liners, bit like my old hillman imp IIRC

Guess it is probably worth getting the complete seal kit from Brickwerks so i can replace all the liner seals if they get disturbed as well as pushrod tubes?
'89 Autosleeper Trident
2.1 DJ
Member 9111

User avatar
..lee..
Posts: 733
Joined: 04 Jun 2006, 22:13
80-90 Mem No: 4478
Location: llanelli, s wales

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by ..lee.. »

if the heads are comming off. i`d do all the seals, you dont want to be going in there again for a long time.
it`s a big round cage and there`s too many animals in it for my liking. To help address this ring lee on 07977 765818.

billy739
Trader
Posts: 2367
Joined: 20 Oct 2005, 10:00
80-90 Mem No: 1541
Location: gloucester

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by billy739 »

dont touch the engine till its all priced up! and you know what bits you want and who has them


if the heads are coming off i would go for big end bearings, piston rings and 4 exhaust valves at least

mm289
Posts: 312
Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 22:00
80-90 Mem No: 9111
Location: Dover, Kent

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by mm289 »

granted but, how do you know what you want until you have a look inside

I am assuming some valve issues if it has been running with the lifters too tight, worst case scenario would be couple of new heads (CSP do some fully built ones - ever used them?) I read on US forums that exhaust valves are the weak link in "cheap" heads and as this is a recon engine guessing all 4 should be done anyway

Pistons/barrels/big end will not be known till it is stripped would be my working assumption, although compression on the other 3 was good at about 155psi +/- 10 psi

or am I missing something.....
'89 Autosleeper Trident
2.1 DJ
Member 9111

Eta-Beta
Posts: 145
Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 14:58

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by Eta-Beta »

And by time you've done, it can work out similar cost to put a better made more modern waterboxer engine in by subaru. The Vw engine will keep eating your pennies,with one fault after another, when there newish there fine, when done a fair mileage or recon, they seem to be troublesome.
T25 Vanaru EJ25

Eta-Beta
Posts: 145
Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 14:58

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by Eta-Beta »

If its from elite, you will be lucky if anything is correctly refurbished, heard reports that they only replace what's needed , and are fitted with parts from salvaged engines.
T25 Vanaru EJ25

billy739
Trader
Posts: 2367
Joined: 20 Oct 2005, 10:00
80-90 Mem No: 1541
Location: gloucester

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by billy739 »

if stripping the engine , big ends, rings , exhaust valves are a good idea anyway.

will be a pretty good rebuild that will last without splitting the case.
if the big ends are bad then you will prob need to split the case and check the mains.

also a new oil pump wont go amiss.

if you replace just the heads this can put stress on the bottom end so do what you can as a matter of course.

price up all the bits ,know you can get everything
then strip it , checking for oversize ect , when your happy it CAN be rebuilt then you can order the parts

mm289
Posts: 312
Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 22:00
80-90 Mem No: 9111
Location: Dover, Kent

Re: Rebuilding 2.1 WBX DJ - what are the "gotcha's"

Post by mm289 »

I hear you on the Scooby , but this is my first van - hoping it will be one of many to come. Saving the Scooby for when I do a T25 pickup unless I end up going for a '56 Ford F100 Flareside first. Fancy it as a company vehicle with signwriting etc

In the mean time I want to get into something a bit more straightforward and hence the WBX rebuild :

Thanks Billy, thats kinda where I was going with the exception of the big ends so I will look out for those. Seen a lot of engine parts available out of Germany via CSP and Ahnendorp and as I live 5 miles from the channel they are actually probably nearer me than Brickwerks etc

Also lots of info on the US forums especially Shoptalk so been doing my research. Trouble is, there doesn't seem to be a well documented blog/wiki that actually takes you through a WBX rebuild step by step and points out the options/pitfalls. Might end up having to document this one and see if the mods want it for the wiki here.

Rebuilding the engine from a technical pov isn't the issue, its just much quicker learning from everyone elses mistakes rather than making your own , keep trying to convince my teenage son of this but doesn't quite register somehow :

So keep the advice/tips/tricks rolling in everyone and you might persuade me to do a full pictorial on a WBX top end rebuild:)
'89 Autosleeper Trident
2.1 DJ
Member 9111

Locked