How to repair a 4 cylinder air cooled Volkswagen engine and gearbox



VW combi van or camper wagon.


OCEAN PLASTIC TOUR BUS - VW Camper, or Combi vans are symbolic of the earth movement, made famous by the likes of Joss Stone, Jamie Oliver and BBC Top Gear presenter, Richard Hammond - all great fans of Volkswagen campers. The Volkswagen van uses the same air cooled 4-cylinder boxer engine as the famed Beetle designed by Professor Ferdinand Porsche. Seen here the front bumper mount was rusted so badly that it was decided to remove it and weld in more substantial panels. This was long before we were given use of the vehicle. Copyright photograph Blueplanet Universal Holdings Ltd 2007, all rights reserved. You will need the permission of BUH Ltd to reproduce this picture.



Production of the air cooled VW T2 combi van, or camper wagon, ceased in Germany after 1980. Our van was one of the last to roll off the production lines and is unusual in that it has twin sliding doors and an alternator instead of a dynamo.


The engine and gearbox remained largely unchanged, except for detail improvements in the design and increase in capacity of the cylinders from 1,200 cc to 1,600 cc. There are of course kits to increase the capacity from 1,600cc to 2,200cc. But we are content to stay with the 1.6 litres that is standard for now, and simply upgrade the carb, intakes and exhaust system of our type 2 power plant.




HEADERS - On any other engine these would be called headers, but because each cast iron cylinder has a single pipe coming from a different angle and direction to the other three pipes, there is no conventional cast iron exhaust manifold. Copyright photograph 30 November 2016, all rights reserved. You will need the permission of Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd to reproduce this picture.





ENGINE MODS - You can dress your lump to look good, or you can up the performance with street cams and big bore kits - and then dress it to look good. Fortunately, there are quite a few engineering shops that specialise in the re-manufacturing and in some cases, new builds of the famed VW engine.










CARBS & INLET MANIFOLD - This is our Webber carburettor and inlet manifold. Copyright photograph Blueplanet Universal Holdings Ltd 2007, all rights reserved. You will need the permission of BUH Ltd to reproduce this picture.




OVERSIZE BORES - One way of increasing performance is to fit big bore barrels and pistons. Some kits require that the heads and crankcase are machined to take the bigger parts.



A German aircraft engine conversion from Limbach


AIRCRAFT ENGINE - This little beauty from the German maker Limbach has water cooled heads and fuel injection. It is designed to be used in light aircraft.





We are using the best industrial welding equipment that we could find from R-Tech Welding Equipment. The first thing for our welders to get used to is that the torches are much heavier duty items compared to a lot of other DIY and professional garage equipment and the fittings are superb. We needed production quality equipment for when we produce the AmphiMax and SeaVax machines. We have MIG and TIG machines in single and three-phase, and a spool on gun setup especially for aluminium. You'll see more details of these machines as we move ahead with the project.



















 VW air cooled camper and beetle engine with a stainless steel exhaust systemReplacement engine rebuilds that are fully reconditioned






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