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Piles square---build thread, (finally)

Posted: Sun May 08, 2016 11:47 pm
by Piledriver
Finally decided to start a "build" thread, even though it has been a series of upgrades/mods/fixes over 7(?) years.
(pics will go here once I locate them, many are meatspace photos of the "develop the film" type, this was ~pre-iPhone)

I will be adding pics/links as I find them again.

This is an attempt to put it all in one place as a guide. (or perhaps a warning to others :lol:)

While visiting family, I found a relatively straight 73 square sitting at a junkyard//used can lot around the corner from my Daughters place.

My Grandson needed a car at the time, so I set it up for him with CIS, replaced everything in the brakes, shift coupling/bushing, etc. He paid for the car and new parts, I had all the CIS gear from my 914, which I had upgraded to CIS-E or M fuel meter (sans computer) so it was a known working CIS-basic setup.

The biggest part of the work was actually building a cooling system for the engine, as all it had was the fan, housing and top tin, with a T1 intake hammered down on it so those weren't even really reusable. The lower tins (that make sure the air gets to the engine) were MIA. Locating the parts was the chore.

Amazingly, the engine had good even compression, didn't smoke or burn oil, and didn't leak, and actually ran fine for the two minutes I dared drive it from the junkyard to its new home. It hadn't and didn't melt, even with a partial cooling system, amazingly.

Yes, it also had a hole in the engine cover the carb came through.

This setup ran great, he drove it for ~6 months and then it just stopped.
He lived about 90 miles away and it took a week or so before i could get down there...
Found the CIS meter totally rusted stuck at full bore.

The rubber breather tube in the fender at the filler neck was krunchy//broken, and the lower bit was shaped as and effectively was a water scoop when it rained, went straight into the fuel tank and the rest... progressed as you would expect.

He told me it had "smelled like gas for months so he never filled it up." Oh well.

In the meantime, he needed a car NOW, bought something Japanese, and moved on with his life..

It languished for awhile and eventually ended up in my yard, where it languished for a couple more years as I had too many projects already, but I had called "dibs" on it.

One day a trucker decided to change lanes on top of my 914... Even used his turn signal, but he kinda forgot the 53 foot flatbed (fortunately a very low-deck flatbed or I would not be typing this).
Fixable (still haven't) and it could have been a LOT worse (only 3 bent fenders and some torn off engine mounts), but I found myself with no aircooled ride.

That would not do.

So it begins...

Re: Piles square---build thread, (finally)

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 12:30 am
by Piledriver
So I had found myself in need of a reliable aircooled ride, with a 73 square that had been sitting for ~2-3 years under a tree in the back yard, and a 400++K mile T4 1700 out of the 914 that suddenly needed a home.

The prospect of fixing the T3 motor IIRC never even crossed my mind, I drive ~20K+ a year, and demand a motor that will last more than 150K before major service, and that I can service on my schedule, not its, without issues.
that == nothing T1 based in my experience.

The only bummer was I couldn't figure out a save way to physically fit the CIS back due to the T4 layout/size in the T3.
(CIS airbox too big to fit anywhere in the engine compartment).
...but that leads to a later chapter.

I freshened up the 1.7L motor, popped in a new cam/lifters with a used Web73 from Sandeep and Raby lifters, as the factory 1/2 cam thrust bearing lip was MIA and sthe stok cam/liftes were about 300K miles past their use by date... stuck some usable used 1.8L German OE P&L on it (old rings, chemdipped pistons/rings+ deglaze and then w/240/600 plateau finish, seated ~instantly) with some fresh heads Len Hoffman rebuilt for me , intended for a 2013 I still haven't needed to build yet.

The OE main bearings are still in there. I did swap in a low mile crank/rod setup off TOS classifieds for $25.
All clearances were in new spec range (high end, but still good).
(can provide far more engine detail if anyone cares, it was still a mostly used parts build)

So the t4 swap begins.

Bolting it in:
Note:Mock up with a spare, empty block...
Doesn't matter if it has a connecting rod exit wound in it.
The ONLY sane way to go.

This was actually the easiest part, a T4 motor (with factory cooling) arguably fits back there better than the original, and I'll merrily argue it if needed.

I grabbed some spare bits for a Bay bus and had at it for the rear support, even with a garbage grade MIG welder and a welder (me) that was even worse it was deemed 'good" in an afternoon and hasn't fallen off yet.
(IIRC I did reweld these with my sons Lincoln MIG later on)

Some Vanagon outer mounts were grafted on to prevent rocking, as the bay bus setup is designed only to hold the engine UP, they had a mount on the bell housing to prevent rocking and no room for it in the T3. Yet.
This is a late car with IRS, so no frame horns, rear mount was ~mandatory, or at least the sanest way to go then.

Re: Piles square---build thread, (finally)

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 2:32 am
by Piledriver

Nate had already started his build by now, and posted up a design for a t4>T3 cooling adapter, which was where I started.
It needed some tweaks, but it worked, I had to cut the bellows down and used huge, reusable zipties to keep the bellows attached on both ends

(to be continued)

Re: Piles square---build thread, (finally)

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 8:39 am
by raygreenwood
Cool! You have been threatening to get to this one....almost half as long as I have been threatening to get my 412 on the road :-). This will be fun! Ray

Re: Piles square---build thread, (finally)

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 10:20 pm
by Clatter
'Bout Time!!


Seriously, been waiting a long time for this!

Just don't have it end up like my build on TOS..
One pic with a caption "I installed a washer"
Another pic "Then I put on a nut"
Another pic "Went and got my wrench"
Another "Tightened it down"

:lol: :lol:

Re: Piles square---build thread, (finally)

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 7:52 pm
by squeakie
i love reading everything Pile writes and this is awesome. there is a certain flare... and everything in one place!
(my square is a '73 also so we are almost like brothers from different mothers)