Sam and Nate get to work installing new push rod tubes and seals, then drop the heads, rocker assemblies and valve covers in place to complete this longblock rebuild.


JBugs Video Blog, VW Lifestyle, VW Tech Tips

Watch as Sam and Nate get this 1600cc longblock engine rebuild completed.

Now that the cylinders are set in place, Sam and Nate get to work finishing up the donor engine for Nathan's Baja Bug. They install new push rod tubes and seals. Then, they drop the heads in place and once the heads are torqued down, the original aluminum push rods are dropped in followed by some stock rocker assemblies. Sam walks Nathan through setting the valve lash, and then the valve covers are snapped on. By the end, the engine is back to the spot where they first picked it up, but this time, in much better condition!

Video Transcript

Hi guys, I'm Sam.

I'm Nate. And today, we are going to be hopefully finishing the long block.

We're going to get all the push rod tubes in, push rods, get the cylinder heads on, get our rocker assemblies on, uh, basically just get everything on the top end of this engine so that this head is sealed. And then we'll flip it around, do the other side, at which point then we will be done with a completed long block, which then we can take and turn into a turnkey engine. But that all starts by getting the heads put on this guy on this side. Oh, also, as far as heads go,

Kyle was kind, and he gave us some of his old race car heads.

Yep. So I talked to his engine builder, and number one had a little bit of a leak. He pulled this head off because this cylinder leaked down to about 80%. He said these heads have 49cc combustion chambers,

Which is way better, huh.

Yeah. Combine that with our 0.065 in deck height, that gets this engine bumped up to 7.9 to 1 compression ratio. Much better. Obviously, you can see that these things are used, but there's probably less than, gosh, probably four or five hours on this cylinder head from being brand new. Got that engine rebuilt with some new heads, and then he actually went through and, uh, relapped this valve. And we checked it, we poured some water in the top side, let it sit for about 10 plus minutes, and there was no leaks inside this cylinder. So that's good to go. We're going to throw some push rod tube seals on all of these push rod tubes, and then we're going to coat them with some more Permatex Aviation sealant. We're going to stick those in, drop the head on, and get this head torqued on.

Well, let's get to it.

Put the seals on the tubes.

This seal kind of popped up a bit right there.

It's fine. It'll get push both the head on. Got them both on. All right, now it's the fun part. All right, one cylinder, two head.

Oh, here you go. Oh yeah, boom.

Now, did that grab those push rods one at a time, one more time, and rotate them back and forth.

Push rods or push push rod tubes, say, can go grab the push rods. Yeah, this is looking awesome.

Now, now it's looking like proper in.

Yeah, now, now it's looking more complete, huh.

All right, now we have to grab eight washers and eight nuts from our bag of hard. Now, we've already got two right here.

And I'm guessing that we're going to have to clean all of them off, I'm guessing.

Yeah, we'll give them a quick shot with some brake clean, got a little oil that we're going to squirt on the studs, on the washers.

Hey, boom, there you go.

So we don't drop anything inadvertently down a push rod tube. We'll do this one at a time, coat up a little bit of oil, and drop it on.

Yeah, give it a drop of oil.

You got four more out there. Now,

Don't want to drop that in there, huh.

Exactly. Once you got those on there, our torque wrench, we need to do to 7 foot lbs, and we go 1, 2, 3, 4, and then we go 5, 6, 7, 8. We follow that top sequence over there, inside out, bottom first, and then the top. That way, we're going to compress all these push rod tubes in place. And we will set our 1, what, 7x12?

7 x 12, 7 x 11 is 77, so then just add another one. That's 84.

Since this is an inch pounds, we're going to go to 85, inch pounds 85. Then just keep on turning that one and then that one and then that one and then that one. Keep turning until it goes click.

Getting a bit tighter.

As we watch these guys, these guys are going to compress. You can't, oh, you can kind of hear it. There you go. Do that one, jump over here, and do that one.

All right, so you got all eight of those done. All right, what's 23 x 12? Well, what's 10 x 12? 120. 240, and then 3 x 12 is 36. So 240, 276. How much is it?

23 x 12?



Like I said.

So then, how would you set 276? Oh yeah, so just twist until it's like about there.

Now we're going to go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Why don't you grab your chart out so you can see your chart. There you go, bottom one, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Just follow that pattern. It's the most important thing, and these are going to be considerably tighter. Going to take more effort.

Should be fine though.

There you go.

That was easy enough.

While he's doing that, I'm going to oil up our push rods and drop these in.

Also, put some oil on our O-rings on our rocker assemblies. So we got 1, 2, 3, 4.


You got all those. You got the outsides, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Got that, okay, so 1, 2, 3, 4. Boom, all good.

All eight good, all right. Original rocker assemblies, cleaned off, sprayed off, blown off. We'll set these guys down.

Look at that. I'm guessing that we're going to go get the new harder for this one.

Yep. Well, first things first, we're going to loosen up all of our valve adjustment screws. On something like that, cuz they probably torqued down pretty good, but you can try. Got it?

Think got it, got it.

All right, let's loosen those nut. You can adjust them and then flathead screwdriver and unscrews them.

Like completely take them out?

No, not completely, just back them off until they are flush with the ends. So we going to get some, get our hardware kit.

Lock ones or no?

What we need, lock ones, those are like nylocks, but yeah. And these are 8 mm nuts on the engine, are usually 14 foot lbs, yes. Little drop oil on those washers, and let me look up the torque value on rocker shaft hardware. Pretty sure it's 14 foot lbs, but let's double check. Rocker shaft nuts, 14 to 18 foot lbs, yep. So spin those on.

14 to 18?


And then that times 12?


So, 18 or 14?

I like to go 14. Tighten those guys down. Now, as you tighten it, you're going to see some of the valves are going to compress, some are not going to, but while we're doing all this, we want to make certain that all of our push rods are in place in our rockers. So we'll go through, and we'll set these valves and cycle it over to number one top dead center and on the compression stroke.

Yeah, I, I cannot turn that.

Ah, shoot, we're fighting that drive gear. Hold on.

Oh yeah, huh, cuz it's like sideways, and it's taped in there.

Distributor drive gear starting to fall out. That's where number one exhaust is open, number one intake is open.

Come here, cuz intake, exhaust, intake, exhaust, huh, cuz exhaust ports are right here, and the intake.

So that's number one. Now we got to grab a 6,000 feeler gauge, and we got our flat screwdriver, and we got our 15 mm right there.

So what are we looking for?

6000 of an inch. You tighten those down until 6000 just slides in. Screwdriver. All right, loose, another touch, a little bit more. All right, now hold the screwdriver, tighten that up. All right, there you go.

We got one set, huh, yeah.

So that's got nice drag, feel that.

Oh yeah, it feels good. It's like when 3D printing, you have to like set the, um, build plate with the little thing. Basically like that. Want a good feel, but not too tight or not too loose. It's about right there, feels good, yeah. Should be good for there. We go. It's like, all right.

Now we can do the same thing on number two. However, we have to get to get the number two to top center. And make sure the drive gear doesn't pop out again. And so the thing is now is the firing order is 1, 4, 3, 2. So we've got to turn this around a whole bunch, yep. There we go. All right, now we'll do that. While you're doing that, I'm going to start packing up. Do you want to use these valve covers here, your Originals, OG's?

Yeah, I, yeah, I want my originals.

Okay, you don't want to paint them or anything? Do you want to paint these, or is it going to call it good right now?

Probably going to take a while to paint them and stuff.

Yeah, so you just want to use these?

Yeah, yeah, just not painted, using the way they are.

Yeah, okay. I mean, it's potentially original Volkswagen paint, still in decent condition, huh.

Decent, yeah. Need to spray down some brake clean, and then we'll wipe these guys, gaskets, with some as well.

Boom, that's good. I think, yeah, boom, there you go. How's that done?

Awesome. All right, and we got more Permatex. Grab that.

Put the sealant on that stuff?


Oh yeah, sealant, sealant on everything, huh. I'm guessing that that, that um, we just coat this side, put it in that, and then you put again, mhm. This stuff is good, huh. I don't get all over the push rod tubes. It don't clean off. Yeah, boom, look at that. Now, other side, all right.

Have at it. Nice, smooth, even coat.

It's like painting almost.

Yeah, paint on that sealant all right. And on the new rocker assembly, you just want to use the complete assembly that Kyle gave you, or?


All right. Uh, it's missing some screws, so we'll pull the screws out of yours.

Is about that a good consistency?

Yep, we got a nice even coat. Grab a little bit more from your can, and then just do one more even coat all the way around. Start with the bottom, like right there, and then drag that way. That is about ready to go in. Pull it up, give some little coat on those, coat on our springs, on our rocker shafts. All right, snap that bad puppy on. Yeah, put that away before you drop that. Easier to paint it, huh. Yeah, hold on. Grab that, and just move around, shake it around. Now clip it on.

Is it easier with this screwdriver? Yeah, that's probably a good idea. Boom, there we go.

Guess what, buddy. Boom, that's one side, one side done side.

Yeah, look at that. There's pork plugs in there?

Not yet, cuz we still have to rotate the engine over a couple times, but we are going to take some paper towels and stuff them in here, and in there, and in there, just so that nothing gets in there. So hold on.

That's one side. One side done side. Let's go over here. Everything we just did over there, we going to do over here.

Got last one.



Long block.

You've got your first long block assembled, buddy. Uh, we got to find that flywheel. Nathan, with that,

We're basically done with the long block now, huh.

There's no basically about it. We are officially done with this long block. Nathan, you have done your first top end on a VW 1600 engine.

I'm super happy about that. It's awesome.

Not only that, but corrected me a couple times when it came to the going to the torque sequences and stuff. So, like I said, I'm not a professional engine builder.

Me neither.

But he might be one day.


So, we'll stay tuned for all that. We've got some new heads that bumped up a compression 7.9 to 1 compared to 6. 6.4 to one. Not that good.

Thank you, Kyle, 1153 racing. Thank you, Mike, from Desert Dreams Motorsports, Mike Dew, for getting those heads, uh, relapped, and put together for us. This engine's just about done, Nathan.

Mhm. I'm super happy with it. Like, honestly, it's fully assembled, it's fully assembled, fully assembled long block.

If you were to buy, uh, for instance, one of the empty long blocks, this is essentially what you would get, minus this pulley, of course. Yeah, essentially, this is an empty lawn block, and then you take all of your accessories and bolt it on that's what we've got right here.

So on that note, life's full of good people

If you can't find one, be one.

Later guys.

overall rating:
my rating: log in to rate