Author Topic: VW 1.6TD JX Engine fuel issues 1984 Vanagon + Sleeveing  (Read 748 times)

April 29, 2019, 09:07:29 am


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VW 1.6TD JX Engine fuel issues 1984 Vanagon + Sleeveing
« on: April 29, 2019, 09:07:29 am »
Hi All,
I'm new to the forum but not to Diesel VWs so i say Hi Y'all :)
Grew up in a family with a VW workshop in So Cal so ive been tinkering and taking them apart as long as i can remember. my first daily driver was a 1983 1.6TD that i put nearly 150,000 miles on myself ::)

so on to the present i've been living in Germany for the past 4 years and finally a good old IDI 1.6TD at a good price came my way and i couldn't refuse it.
A 1984 high roof camping equipped Vanagon (or T3 as they call them here). It was sold to me as "non running" but it did start and idle (sort of).

The story was that the PO inherited the car from his father (who apparently did a lot of work to it) and he blew the engine on account of him not having a clue about cars and overheating the engine going up a pass somewhere in Austria.
He then had the van taken to a repair shop and they replaced the whole engine, but the mechanic tinkered and messed with the new engine for a year and a half and still couldn't get it to run right. The POs patience ran thin, argued with the workshop, got his money back and just dragged the van out of the shop as it was and sold it as it was. (And that's where i come into the picture)
In my logical thinking is if the workshop was to drop another engine in the van they must of had a well running good engine before they installed it and that the problem is probably fairly simple.
It was only running on 3 cylinders and RPM would not move past 2.5K+- (on ear say.. no tach) but it had enough power to drive it onto a trailer. My initial suspicion was probably a bad injector so i cracked all 4 injector lines at the injector one by one to see who was the culprit and sure enough the #4 (nearest the flywheel) was dead, making no difference at all in noise or RPM when the line was cracked open. As i have plans to give the engine a new set of injectors I replaced the #1 injector with the #4 injector just to confirm the injector was bad (yes i know its bad to reuse heatshield but its only for testing  ::).
To my horror the injector from the bad cylinder worked fine in the #1 and the #4 was still not firing. in desperation i moved the timing back and forth a bit to no avail and still couldn't figure it out. pulled off the head cover, check the valves all looked fine. After a few hours sitting in the corner alone in my self pity wondering how much $$$$ i would have to pour into this engine just by chance i got a glimpse of the fuel In line and noticed a large "OUT" written on the head of the banjo bolt... After nearly tearing my hair out trying to figure out the problem it finally was clear that the shop the PO had taken the car to had switched the Banjo Bolts around. i put them as they should be and started her up in within a min she was running on all 4 cylinders.
I feel sorry for the PO who sold his beloved over the incompetence of the shop he took it to but i guess i just got lucky.
So the van is running now but it needs a lot of tuning and setting and Here is where my questions come:

1. Now with all 4 Cyls running i crack the fuel lines again at the injectors and with Cyls 1-3 there is a good RPM drop when i crack each one open but when i open #4  the RPM drop is hardly noticeable although engine sound changes considerably (looses the loud typical diesel CLACK for the #4) Power wise it feels like it is properly running on all 4 when under load. My question is, is it normal that some cylinders "work" more than others (at least at idle).

2. The van smokes black like there is no tomorrow when under WOT (wide open throttle), Injector issues? Timing? Injectors on the car don't look to particularly healthy (looks like they where taken apart with a pipewench!?!) New injectors+Heatsields on the way.

3. Yes the timing is WAY OFF i think the timing is way to far ahead from where it should be. Unfortunately the dial tool i would normally use for this is 6000Miles away from me in SoCal any tips for Hillbillying it?

4. Max fuel nut has been moved from stock position, most likely from the shop that couldn't get the thing to run right, the original "Clamp" is still wrapped around the thread so i assume that is roughly where it originally was set to.

Thanks! :D

« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 09:28:51 am by BajaVWCamper »

Reply #1May 16, 2019, 03:02:21 am


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Re: VW 1.6TD JX Engine fuel issues 1984 Vanagon
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 03:02:21 am »
Hi All just thought i'd post an update.

decided to take the risk and pull the head off and by golly i'm glad i did. ::) the cylinder walls are pitted quite badly.  Water probably got into the engine once upon a time and rusted it up quite bad.

so no way out other than boring the cylinders.

I cant believe the previous mechanic ignored or did not notice this. (the engine was rebuilt recently and they obviously had the thing open as it had a new head gasket.)
A Huge no no any competent mechanic would know.

Any one in central Germany on the forum that can recommend me a good machine shop in the Rhön-Schwinfurt area?

Reply #2May 22, 2019, 09:35:26 am


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Re: VW 1.6TD JX Engine fuel issues 1984 Vanagon + Sleeveing
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 09:35:26 am »
Took my block to a machine shop and i'm gonna get the block sleeved as the last oversize was still not enough to clear the pitting in the #3 Cylinder.
gonna end up paying 500+€   ::) but its my only option as i can't seem to find anyone near me with another engine block. Considering the Price of a boring and honing here in Germany (250€ for that alone + 250€ for a piston set)  probably doesn't save me much money if i bough another block.
I'm getting it sleeved to STD. So old pistons new rings and off it goes.

My question is does anyone have experience with having a VW 1.6TD sleeved? I'm getting it done professionally. Just worried about any durability issues using them. No special hi Power engine or anything just a bone stock 1.6TD JX.
I've came across a few posts of people wanting to sleeve but eventually got another block as its was a cheaper option (10 year old posts, probably was cheaper then)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 09:37:15 am by BajaVWCamper »

Reply #3May 28, 2019, 08:01:28 pm


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Re: VW 1.6TD JX Engine fuel issues 1984 Vanagon + Sleeveing
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 08:01:28 pm »
You know the pistons from a KY block will fit in the 1.6 quite nicely.
 It's a 1.7 block so I know there would be enough metal removed to get rid of any imperfections.
 Get standard size pistons instead of first over.
 The 1st overs are 80mm,.. 2.5mm bigger than the biggest 1.6 bore.
 I love my 1.7TD.
 Being in europe,.. these should be easy for you to find.
 They didn't even offer the KY block over here.
 Pretty much needs a head gasket for a hydraulic block,
 one for a 1.9.
Because the pistons are most likely too wide for a 1.6 head gasket.
Tornado red, '91 Golf 4 door,
with a re-ringed, '84 quantum, turbo diesel, MD block