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Tech guides

Bus engine basics

Posted on February 15, 2013

To the uninitiated, the engine bay of a Bus can be an alien environment, full of strange-looking oily bits, but it is really very simple, once you know your way around… 
The flat four VW engine is a pretty straightforward beast. After all, it did originate in the 1930s, and its design altered little during its extended lifetime. In general, it…

Carburettor overhaul

Posted on July 13, 2012

Many poor running issues can be traced to the little dirty component on the top of your engine. Here’s what’s involved in rebuilding a stock Solex carburettor.
This is how you go about re-commissioning a stock Solex carburettor. VW used a very similar part right across its air-cooled model range and, while there are numerous variations on the theme, the principle…

Setting ignition timing with a strobe

Posted on June 15, 2012

Following on from our static timing guide, this article shows you how to do it with a timing strobe, which is a whole lot more accurate. 

Ignition timing is somewhat of a tricky subject, not because the act of checking ignition is difficult, but rather because there are just so many variables. To start with, VW and Bosch produced more than…

Static timing

Posted on June 13, 2012

Ignition timing may sound like a rather complicated matter but it is really very simple. Get it wrong though and your engine will suffer
It cannot be emphasised enough how important correct ignition timing is for the VW air-cooled engine, not only in terms of smooth running, but also in relation to engine longevity.
The ignition timing is controlled by the orientation of…

Checking spark plugs

Posted on June 8, 2012

One of the best indicators of your engine’s health is the spark plugs. Keeping an eye on them could help prevent more serious damage 
Now this might seem like a ludicrously simple job, but here we’re looking at more than just unscrewing the old spark plugs and screwing in new ones, for the condition of your spark plugs can tell you…

Replacing your VWs points

Posted on June 6, 2012

Your air-cooled VWs contact breaker points work fine when they’re set correctly and it’s not hard to do, but they’ll cause all manner of grief if they’re not!

Checking and adjusting the points in your air-cooled Camper or Bus engine is a tedious job that people generally put off until their car won’t start, then get annoyed about because they could…

Check your fan belt

Posted on May 30, 2012

Did you know the fan belt on an air-cooled engine has a specific tightness? Too tight or too loose and you could be in trouble.

One of our pet hates with technical features is statements like ‘check this or that and adjust if necessary.’ Great if you know what the adjustment should be, but no use whatsoever if you don’t. The…

Adjusting your VWs tappets

Posted on May 29, 2012

There’s not much that needs regular adjustment on a VW engine, but the valve clearances do. It’s easy once you know how.

Adjusting the tappets on any air-cooled VW is a relatively straightforward procedure, but it’s one that many people either fear or simply don’t bother doing. Once you’ve got your head around the process though, you’ll find it comes as…