Nathan and Sam spend a few evenings turning the long block they just finished reassembling into a turn key engine. Follow along as they get it ready to run.


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Watch as Sam and Nate finish getting this 1600cc engine put together and ready to run.

Nathan and Sam spend a few evenings turning the long block they just finished reassembling into a turn key engine. They start by installing as many original, cleaned up pieces as they can and over the next couple nights, they add more new parts along with as many old parts as they can reuse. Along with a new intake manifold, carburetor and distributor, Sam was fortunate enough to stumble upon a new, but discontinued EMPI Baja "over the top" exhaust system in the warehouse at work. So he and Nate install those, along with a slew of other old and new parts.

Video Transcript

Hi guys, I'm Sam, and I'm Nate, and this is our garage, and this is Nathan's engine. We are going to start getting it more assembled, not finished because none of the car is finished, but we want to get it at least running to make sure everything else is good before we sign off on anything. We're going to get everything mocked up; we'll get it put into the car that way we can start it, and we'll use the transmission as basically an engine stand. Now that it's a Baja, that makes things a lot easier because you can just slide on in, we can slide it in, slide it out, no big deal. So, that being the case, we're going to take this long block, put in some spark plugs, put on some cylinder shrouds, and we'll put some new oil cooler seals in our oil cooler. We'll put that in, put in a generator stand, oil filler, fuel pump flange, we'll just start mocking things up. Heck, we even got a new exhaust to put on, maybe we'll do that too. Well, I say new exhaust, it's actually a discontinued exhaust, but it's new to us anyway. Yeah, we're going to get to work.

First things first, paper towels. These are steel, those are aluminum. Anytime you're going aluminum to steel, what's that? This is anti-seize, anti-seize thread lubricant.

Intake things now?

No, not unless you want to drop something in the intake.

That's true, yeah.

Leave those in, grab the spark plugs, give them just a light coat, 22 foot lb, there are our torque specs for our spark plug.

I mean, that is another thing that I don't typically do is torque down my spark plugs. I just tighten them until they're tight.

Well, it is good practice to use a torque wrench for when I'm building engines in the future.

We've got some cylinder shrouds which have been trimmed; we don't have to have all the extra stuff and things, things and whatnot. Shoot, let's take that one off because I got ahead of myself. We got to put the oil cooler on.

Take off the tape?

No, yeah, let's replace our seals first, not do this over the engine. We're going to make sure to keep our Hoover bit, we got to get some new oil cooler seals. We flush this thing multiple times. There's two more going to go in the case, but yes. See what the 6 mm studs torque spec is.

The um, um oil cooler nut?


It says five.

Five foot lbs.

Five, and then M6.

Yeah, five for M6, yep, that sounds right, there we go, there. Lower now, these are 14 ftlb, we need two more of our seals, and then we got some new hardware. Oh, and then guess what?


We forgot to put the Hoover bit in. Oh yeah, I forgot to put the Hoover bit, that's my button. I'm going to take the blame on that one. So why don't you grab washer, nut, washer, nut, washer, nut of our new hardware.

Big ones?

Yep, those are going to be 14t lbs, but first things first, I'm going to pull these off and put them back on proper with our hoover bit.

That's good, all right, get tight, get tight.

We have the original Volkswagen fuel pump spacer, and even though Nathan's not a fan of mechanical fuel pumps, it'll work for now. We'll get some grease for our fuel pump drive rod and just to prevent that thing from get up locking up inside the engine case.

I mean, who knows, maybe if the mechanical fuel pump runs good, I might keep it.

Now we can put that cylinder shroud back in.

Yeah, so do that, and then do this, yes. Now, now we have the tin on and the oil cooler, huh. All right, so what's next?

We can set the fan shroud in place, so let's grab four screws just temporarily to hold in our alternated backing plate.

Oh, do we put that in after?

That we can put that in now, but we have to put on the gasket at the bottom, and then we can tighten that up.

Oh yeah, this thing, huh. Do you, um, we put the gasket in on this stuff too?

No, metal, please don't put the gaskets, you remember which way that goes in?

It goes in pointing, oh, it's C's right?

And which way they point?

That way, right?

Yep, C's pointing down. Put that gasket in first, just so we can make sure that's right, there we go, thank you, and then four washers, four nuts, 14, 178, 170, another part courtesy of Kyle. Thank you, Kyle. Mm, I have a factory German alternator stand, it's just Nathan didn't want to clean it up and use it, so it's like you have one from Kyle, like alright, fine be that way. It's a brand new one, it's, you brand used, yeah. Uh, you set it already? Yep, but I’m gonna unset it because I'm doing this.

Check that first spec on that, oh, that's super tight. There we go, alright, do that one, alright, and the last one. Yeah, from here we can kind of just go, if it's not falling off, then it should be good. Um, probably about the last thing we can do now is the stock oil filler is probably one of the best oil fillers merely because it works so good for excess crankcase ventilation. So before we ever hook that up, let's just get started by hand, make sure everything's keyed in and tor on this thing, or or just tight, good and tight, you work straight in, hold on, and camera is too hot and powering up. Well, why you cool off camera.

Alright, how you feel, yeah, good and solid, tighten enough, two good and tight enough. Uh, I think we, I think we don't have any oil in, did that one too, yeah, look at that. These guys hang out for now, that guy will go in there eventually, but you have to pull the fan shroud off back to do that, to put the intake in, but we'll get there. From here we can do exhaust, um, let's get our four exhaust gaskets on. And I don't have my favorite exhaust nuts for now, but these will do the job. It's not on there for a long time, it's just on there for a good time.

Alright, so you got those, and those washers, no, this is backwards, right, oh yeah, like that, huh, yep, maybe, yeah.

Alright, these things are fun cuz everything's kinda got to slide in to each other, slide in and around, let's get this guy hung off first. I got mine, you got yours, oh yeah. I mean, look at that. Alright, washers, nylocks, even though they're going to melt out, but you can do the front, I'll do the back. I don't have, or do I, actually let me double-check, I might have some lock nuts in here. Well, Dad does the exhaust, are you taking those off, what are you taking those off, no, I'm putting them on, take them off, oh, I got four coppers, are we going to have eight or no, I've only got four right now, use what we got. I grab some more, at work, along with the rest of the stuff we need to grab cuz obviously we ain't got all the parts we need. All the parts your bug will ever need, jbugs.

Alright, also, these are going to be on to what, uh, 14 ft lbs.

Oh, Dad, what, uh, what do we do with those if we don't have the heater boxes?

We get block off plates for em.

Oh yeah, so like just come.

So we go through and make certain that we have a list of everything that we need.

So what's supposed to be set to?

14 ft lbs, 8 mm.

Can I do it?

Let me get this first one. Alright, get the rest, and then when you get to the back ones because these are 13s, you got to switch over to a 13, and those bottom ones are tight, boom.

It, it looks like an excessive amount of exhaust for a flat 4, but yeah, so it's basically just a 4 into one, huh, it's exactly a 4 into one, no basic about it, it is. Yeah, one, two, three, four to one, so it should sound pretty good then, huh.

Alright dude, now we can go through and make a checklist of what we don't have, huh. Yep, oh let's see, um, we don't have the alternator, alternator. I think we should have a coil, we have a strap, we need definitely need an alternator. We've got an alternator, we've got a pulley, we've got a nut, we've got shims. Okay, I'm sorry, we have an alternator pulley, we have alternator shims, nut, spacer and all that stuff there, we've got the fan and all that stuff there literally so the only thing we need here is the alternator. Also, we need an alternator belt, we need a fuel pump, fuel hose, and fuel filter, yeah. Obviously, we need a carburetor, air cleaner, yeah, uh, breather hose.

Well, I want a stock-looking air cleaner.

The stock is oil bath. What we don't have oil bath air cleaners, uh, you just got the little Chrome wings with the little mesh. Mm, yeah, like that, to go upside down, right? Yeah, 'cause it's oil-filled coils. Let me go through my list now.

We're back for a little bit of work, try to get some of this stuff buttoned up. I don't have a whole lot of time tonight or the next couple of nights, but yeah, we're going to do what we can when we can while we can. Yeah, so I think tonight we'll work on getting our intake manifold in place, mhm, up to here, possibly get our alternator in place which honestly, at that point, we might as well pull off the fan shroud. Got these two screws right here on the sides and that one on the back if you want to loosen those guys up, we will probably swap those out to nuts to make it a little bit easier later.

So now we're going to be very cautious around that. Yeah, 'cause here, do on with this, there we've got our gaskets in place and casting, put that on, help put on some boots with some clamps.

All right, let's get our bolts on there, we got special bolts for. Oh yeah, these, yep. Did you already get two for your side? I got four total. Okay, oh yeah, the star tool righted. It's just a 12 point, so that means that we need a 12-point, right? Yeah. Does that just make it harder for people to steal it? No, just makes it easier to get a socket into it 'cause it's got more clearance around the edges. So you might have to use a box end wrench. Let's get this intake manifold centered up, not fully snug yet, line it straight up more or less.

All right, let's get our heat risers in place. All right, uh, you want to get a 10 mm wrench and socket or whatnot? We got these two rear bolts. We got two 10 mm to tighten. You got one on top, one whether use a ratchet extension or whatnot.

Uh, I'm just going to say that's an 11.

You maybe right. I don't know 'cause these are empty, yep, they are 11, my bad.

See, a little bit more what we're doing here. Sorry, guess we can put the fuel pump on. Grab some grease, bottom of our fuel pump flange 'cause that's always important, huh? Yep, and those 13 mm, nut some washes, there you go. Thank you. Wipe the grease off my hand. These should be torqued to 14 foot pounds, but they're a little bit tight because of the angles and the dangles. Yeah, it's going to be a bit different, so guess what, don't have the crow feet yet. Yeah, a wrench should work just fine, huh? Those things where you just kind of get a feel for it, you're like, getting tight. Note the arrow, fuel comes in the top and out the bottom, which of course, that also reminds you that we still have to flush out the fuel line in the chassis, yeah, mhm, that's good, yeah. Tighten bolt for intake manifold, 14 ft-lb, click click, good and tight, mhm, boom, right.

Yeah, what else did we have to put on before we put the, oh yeah, that's about it, alternator, yeah, the alternator, our new alternator, yay, not generator, so it's better, it's not generating, so it's alternating. Alternative cover off, make sure that we don't lose the keyway, there we go. So what goes in between the alternator and these plates? Air, and I do have the original, well, these are actually out of my sand rail, thermostat flap. We're going to soak these in vinegar and get them all cleaned up, and then we will, uh, get these installed once we actually do the final install for this engine. We got some testing to do in the meantime.

Yeah, this is all for mockup, yeah, just for testing and getting it running, huh? Yep, we're not painting everything and making it all pretty the first time out. Yeah, I remember people were horribly upset on my Super Beetle. There's a vent here at the bottom; you want this hole at the bottom, and if you have a hole that also goes to the bottom, this is so that air can be drawn through here, air goes in there, through here, and out here to cool the alternator down. Yeah, because you don't want it to get really hot, huh? Same thing with the generator. Why like so, so all that stuff's at the top and that's at the bottom.

Let you just loosely tighten it for now, no, just tightly tighten it. Yeah, I know, just I'm trying to get this one, okay, then tighten this one, alright, it's good now, this one, alright, good. Now the fun part is determining how many, if any, spacers we need on the backside. Now this actually has a couple of spacers in here prior 'cause, oh yeah, we're going to need a couple of spacers, two. I could have sworn there were three before, but we'll try two and see how she does. Yeah, I think there were three actually. Yeah, need one more at least on top of the pulley right there, just grab one more's probably throwing it off. Once that's tight, should be good, or that excessively jumped down, huh? That sounds right, beautiful, perfect, three shims just like it was originally. Hold the fan, I think it's tight enough, should be good and tight. Make sure I feel air, that's good, it's working, no wobble, good German fan, that's what you get.

Test number two, does it scrap? Not a peep. Oh, come, you got, alright, alternator still kind of, and we'll figure it out in a second, let me hold that up, that sounds good, that's better. Alright, I mean, it is pretty darn heavy, yep, and when there's not something holding it in, drop that around the fan shroud, make sure you got that bolt on the outside of that slot, is yours in? Yeah, is it, that's there, and our groove there, hold on, let me check our engine tin up front, no, we're out, oh this is, bit this one, listen to that spinning, no noises, all I hear is like air, a slight wine, like now we'll get our strap in place, oh no, nope, I found it. Yeah, this is looking way better now, huh, could have put this on beforehand, a sweet sound of nothing, stop blocking the camera's view here, give me a jbugs screwdriver, useful, huh, oh yeah. Close to that, that's what and still, and look, has a mouse.

Before we get anything else in here. I guess let's get that carburetor in, oh yeah, the carburetor, we can put the air filter, huh, I wish I had plugs for these because we don't need that stupid solenoid. So this is a solenoid, it just shuts off a port in there so that when your ignition's shut off, it disables that. Ideally, I'd like to plug these; we're going to disable it by going like this, disabled, and now this port is blocked off, no longer an issue.

Will you grab me an all 16, all 16, that be an adjustment wrench. Okay, all 16, I, I'm blank there for a second, I'm tired, alright, alright. We've only got a few minutes left before we got to go. Yeah, I mean, we could mount the carburetor and stuff, we're going to work on, yeah, air filter too 'cause that's like one of my favorite things. We're going to go, actually, before we do anything, we're going to make sure that everything here is in a position where we can't drop it into the intake before we pull that paper off, yeah, huh, go like so, and what size are these, probably 13s, yeah, looks like it, huh, this might be 12, and you know what, if they are, probably one of my few ratchets that actually works well, as far as my wrenches go, my ratchet wrenches, oh, that's nice, so that's handy, hopefully, get in there, yeah, 'cause that work on the 67, that was a pain in the butt, huh, wait, oh, what is this for, that is a breather that connects to our breather port over there, oh yeah, yeah, huh. So does it really matter, um, where that is, or does it have to be in a certain spot? Ideally, I like to run them in the back, yeah, word.

First things first, you're getting ahead of yourself, yeah, we got to tighten these bolts, yeah, I don't know if we can get a ratchet on the back one, but we can try, don't seem like it, nope, alright, worth a shot. Hose that you seem to be so concerned about, I'm not sure if this works really well either, well, yeah, go there, trim that down, of course, we also got to have to get our spark plug wires through there, so maybe I'll do that preemptively. This is looking so good now, alright, accordingly, for that, that work right there, yeah, just means that now we need to put the clamp in. Get that tuck right there, and that should be right about there, yeah, yeah, going to stick that guy in there, hold that like so, alright. Probably should be running like probably Wednesday, maybe, huh, might be able to if we had all the electronics and everything else, which don't me, uh, no, we don't. I'm just going to finish bolting this thing on, then we got to call it a night.

Alright, guys, we're back again, we're going to try and finish getting everything mocked up, ready to go on this engine, a couple of basic things really quick, yeah, like just the pulley, wires, distributor, fuel line, now the carburetors do take a little bit larger fuel hose, and this fuel hose is a little bit larger than I would normally like to run on these fuel pumps, but it will work as long as you use a clamp. I've got this old spring-style clamp left over from a motorcycle at one point, so that fits well, awesome, that goes on there, good, so we've got there, that, let's get those spark plug wires out of the way.

Speaking of spark plug wires, I brought in some wire clips, can you get them in or no, probably right here, probably not, see, get the outside one, no, seem a bit stiff, huh, yeah, they're supposed to be, yeah, so you don't come up, huh. Arrow indicates travel, looks like we're going that way, no, let's just leave that hanging for now, yeah, oil pressure switch, thread that in and tighten that down, doesn't have to be super crazy tight, but doesn't have to be tight. You got that one in, no problemo, got one, you apparently you can just take a 38 drive, stick it inside, and let's the wires out of the way, that's good, and just like that, that pops in. That's cool. Almost there. Looks like it, it doesn't have to be all the way tight, just when it's tight, it's tight, it doesn't have to be threaded all the way bottom down, it's just when it's tight, it's tight. That's tight, alright.

So are these two shorter than the other ones? Are these for what? Shorter of the, um, for, right. Stick one in there, stick one in there, they seem like, actually doesn't matter anyway because I bought some 90° boots and fittings and spark plug wire crimps so that I can put on 90° terminal ends because it just looks silly when you have all your wires pointing up like this, when they're going that way.

You slide them, that back pulley half, then almost got it, uh. What are you doing? It's the back side, right? If it's the back side, which way should the pulley be facing? That's a good point. There we go, keyway. Oh, funny how that works, hold on, hold on. No matter what you do, you want to have at least 10 shims, we got one, 2, 10, 11. Since this is a new belt, we're going to assume that it's kind of tight, so we're going to go with, we'll go eight on the inside and we'll go three on the outside. Hold on, dude, this is not a race. You probably want a belt on. Now that all by those and those and that, and our flywheel lock is still on, yes, I do have our flywheel on, but I want to go back and reset that now that I got a proper set of calipers. Alright, tighten that down.

Uh, we have a belt tension or something, right, or this just? That's what the shims are for, do before it gets too tight, is it tight, tight, snug, alright, stop. If our belt is too loose, which it is, pull that off, we'll pull some of the shims off the inside. This will stop that from turning, so if you go that way a little bit, stop, alright, now put that in there, put that around the shroud, and put them in the other way. I'm going to start putting our distributor in our clamp, get it set in place. Now the Pertronix distributors do come with an o-ring on them, I like original style German O-rings, so I swap them out whenever possible, and these are definitely going to be tight the first time around. Putting our distributor in, we'll pull off our stand, and new O-rings are always so tight when they're going in. Yeah, you're not squared up on there, somehow. Make certain that we key properly on that, which we are now, throw, well, hold on, let's make sure the belts on all the way. It wasn't for a second. Alright, now throw your shims on. Make sure that the shims are all in place before you put on your washer or your spacer, rather, and the nut. Alright, now tighten down the nut, and hopefully, that time it will work. It should be good to go.

New O-rings, pain in the tush, don't want to beat on the distributor shaft, you want to beat on the distributor body, I don't even want to want to beat on it, but I need to beat on it. There we go, that's tight, now that's really tight. That should be good. Yeah, alright, dust shield, and our rotor, and distributor vacuum can out the front somewhere. Number one would be right over there. So that should hopefully be tuned right, or we still have to time it. Yeah, time it, once turn, that's one, 4, 3, 2, or if you go backward, one, two, four, two. Make sure we push all the boots all the way in. This is three, huh, which is top right, yeah, top, and three, top, four, four, bottom. Now you see why I want to get 90° fittings for the spark plug wires, 'cause these things just stick all the way up there like crazy, and they just look silly. Yeah, I mean, looking silly does not prevent it from running, but also correct, then this one, which is going to go like that. Yeah, but first things first, that this is our negative side, and this is our positive side. Are you positive? Yes, I am positive, why, because I actually wrote positive on it, and negative on it, so I would be able to see.

Vacuum line to our, actually, for the now until we get it tuned and timed, that can stay off. Uh, last wire for our coil is, is right there, coil wire. I mean, you still have other wires there, right, well, for the coil, we need the. When we actually go to run it, we'll need more wires, but for now, oh yeah, we're just about there. The only thing left I can see that we need to do is, is some fan shroud plugs. They come with regular sheet metal screws, but I find self-tapping screws are just so much easier to deal with. There we go, yeah, good and rough, good enough. We're that close, like I said, we still have to set the end play, yeah, properly, which is that push, right, no, we got to pull the flywheel off, reset the endplay.

I don't trust plastic calipers, so I had bolted on the flywheel, I couldn't get an accurate measurement with plastic thing, with plastic calipers, on my shims that I have lying around here, as far as my micrometer, so I'm going to pull it off, even though this was actually torqued.

Look, look at that clutch, huh, yeah, is that a brand new one, or? Uh, yeah, that was brand new, out of the sand rail.

Setting our end plate, no seal, no shims. We'll put on our flywheel, and you want to grab the 36 mm, wind that is tight, not torqued. Does not have to be torqued. Strong enough to push it or pull it. Well, actually pull off the alternator belt, zero, 64, and zero, 64, so 64,000 of play, which is honestly a lot, but this is an aftermarket flywheel.

Camera is too hot, that's why. I don't know why you're so hot, I know it's not even that hot, apparently they're not used to Arizona yet, alright, now that we put our cameras in the freezer to cool them down because, even though it's not that hot, these GoPros just run hot, probably an oversight.

Alright, so we still have 64,000ths of play. This is a used block; it's also an aftermarket flywheel, but I know nothing about as far as the manufacturer, so I normally wouldn't run more than three or four shims max. I'll show you what math we're doing. So we have 0.064 inches of play times 25.4 equals 1.625. Now, the maximum end play from Volkswagen is 0.13 mm, so we'll subtract 0.13 to equal 1.4956 worth of shims, which rounds to about 1.5 mm. This is a used shim stack as well, so we've got 1.5 mm worth of shims. We're going to go stick this in the engine. Uh, hold on, actually, I can't do that; I got to pull this off. Get our shims in. Flywheel seal installer tool, there we go.

Because, unless we have a battery, we can't start it. Alright, you got the flywheel, mm-hmm, slap it on, yeah, right there, boom, put it up. And is there a certain tightness that's needed, or just there is? Uh, now let's see, yep, I can hear it, but I can't see it, which is exactly what we're looking for when it comes to end play. You want to hear it; you just don't want to see it. And there we go, we got about 4,000ths of play, which is good, huh, perfect. That's what we're looking for. Volkswagen said what, 3 to 5,000ths basically is what we're looking for, and that's what we got.

Alright, and we want 225 foot-pounds, and this thing was divided by nine. Hold on, let's do some more math. So we go 235 divided by 9, it's 26 foot-pounds, 26.1 times 12 equals 315 inch-pounds of torque on an 11 mm. Remember that, 315 quickly, quickly, come on, I got to roll, I got to be out of here in like 9 minutes. Down, up, and around, huh, oh, I think there we are, boom, torqued all good and tight. Alright, let's spray down that flywheel again.

Be sure to grease your pilot bearing inside the gland nut. We'll put in our alignment tool that, with our pressure plate. There we go, alright, get your six bolts, boom, look at that. Uh, basically fully assembled engine now, huh. Yeah buddy, we have essentially a turnkey engine at this point, just add gas and electricity. Yeah, gas, electricity, you got to tighten your fan belt, oh yeah, that too. Gas, electricity, and tighten the fan, and semantics, semantics, yeah, just some things. We get that timing set once it's running, once we're ready to rock and roll and ready, it run probably tomorrow. Spin it around 360, keep going because you got to get that belt centered on there.

Sorry for this overly long video that was a whole bunch of nights packed into one, sorry for the lack of a proper outro, we ran out of time, but it's all worth it because she's a runner. Yeah, but we'll get to that in our next video. In the meantime, as always, thanks for watching, and life's full of good people, if you can't find one, be one. Later, guys.

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