It used to be easier. Once upon a time you could just about walk into a VW shop in the morning, buy your parts sight unseen and assemble a stock engine that afternoon that lasts 100K miles. I suppose you could try that now, but you'd probably grenade the thing on your first weekly grocery run, assuming you could develop enough torque and/or horsepower to move the car. Parts quality amounts to financial Russian-roulette and absolutely sucks out loud. All hyperbole aside, venting about parts issues does make me feel marginally better, but I'm done with complaining and it's really time to get on with a progress report.
The real problem is my postage stamp sized garage. I need an honest to gosh workshop, really. Somewhere to significantly spread out. Having two cars on the skids simultaneously is just one car too many. 2016 involved trying to fix one of them and my efforts resulted in abject failure. Failure is opportunity, but opportunity doesn't arrive until there is something called time--and until recently time has been in extremely short supply. But I'll first detail the failure.
I started the engine mockup. I found some new motivation and really got a kick out of what was happening. After Painters Grinding clearanced the case for the counterweighted crank, it fit great--but that was only part of what I wanted to accomplish. Since the engine was now a "stroker motor", this meant that I was going to need some cylinder base spacers to correctly set the engine dimensions and compression ratio. I'm went for 8.0 to 1 with this 1500 engine. I determined initially that the spacer size needed was 3.85mm. Since the "stroker crank" takes the pistons into the case the same amount, I quickly determined that a similar amount of case material will need to be removed from the internal case webbing so the piston skirts clear. As I measured things, I found that A LOT of material would need to be removed. Maybe so much that the webbing at the flywheel side of the case would become quite thin and need some welding. Ugh...what to do with that?
Stock VW rocker assemblies use spring washers and wire retainer clips to hold the rockers on the rocker shaft. I wanted solid shaft rockers because of the additional valve spring pressure of the heavy duty springs due to the mild cam. Additionally, swivel feet or elephant feet rocker studs don't necessarily fit without changing the rocker geometry to a point where angles are extreme and promote unnatural wear to valve train components. Also, custom length pushrods are often required to help restore a more natural rocker geometry. All of this has been discussed endlessly everywhere, but I've not had to deal with it much until this engine. Suffice it to say that much time, money and colorful language were required to bring things into line and the efforts were well worth it. The 1.1 to 1 VW rockers are custom, Porsche elephant feet valve adjusters were used, solid rocker shafts were used, and custom length heavy duty aluminum pushrods were built. Lots of fun.
Now...this is supposed to be a Type 34 blog and I realize that I'm going on and on about a Type 14 and my travails with it, but it's still a Ghia and it's in our family. I decided to only run one blog and if I spend an appreciable amount of time on the car, I should probably document that somewhere. In addition, Winston is only one model year newer than the Nautilus so a lot of little oddities are shared across the two Ghia types. Besides...I can't work on the Nautilus until Winston is complete. Need to keep peace in the household and should be able to have at least one Ghia roadworthy. I will be back to building the Nautilus very soon. Finally and importantly, lessons learned on Winston may have applicability to engine work on the Nautilus. I'm once again very motivated for both projects!