[T3] Clutch question

Keith Park topnotch at nycap.rr.com
Fri Aug 29 18:17:36 PDT 2014

Whew!  im tires just reading all that!  Isnt it amazing how so many things
can add up over the years when incompetents work on these cars?  and what a
relief it must be to the car and the owner when the all get worked out
properly!  good Work Jim & Sarah!

With such a nice solid car, hopefully she's good to go for quite a while
now, these cars are quite reliable when everything is right,


Topnotch Restorations
topnotch at nycap.rr.om
71 Squareback  "Hothe"
65 Squareback  "Eggcrate"
65 Notchback  "El Baja Rojo"
93 RX7  "Redstur"
87 Golf  "Winterat"

-----Original Message-----
From: type3-vwtype3.org [mailto:type3-vwtype3.org-bounces at lists.vwtype3.org]
On Behalf Of Jim Adney
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014 6:00 PM
To: type3 at vwtype3.org
Subject: Re: [T3] Clutch question

Sarah has left the building. She headed out at ~6:30 am this morning 
(Friday) in the hope of getting together with a friend who will be 
back in Columbus, OH this weekend. It's about a 10 hour drive, plus 
she loses an hour due to a time zone change. Columbus is where Sarah 
grew up, and her parents still live there.

We spent 3 rather intense days working on her car, Marigold, and we 
think we have all the engine and clutch problems ironed out. I 
figured this was the time to let you all know what we found and what 
we did.

The clutch:

In the process of taking out the pedal cluster, we found that the 
angled plate that's supposed to be under the pedals was missing, one 
of the bolts holding the cluster in place was only finger tight, The 
brake pedal return spring hadn't been installed, and the cluster 
itself was marked with the typical junkyard yellow paint pen as being 
from a from a '74 VW, probably a Beetle. It had the long throwout 
arm! We replaced that with a '71 Type 3 cluster that I had, 
transferred over Maragold's nice new pedal pads, connected the brake 
pedal return spring, adjusted the pedal stop plate, and put in a used 
angled floor plate.

We pulled and inspected the clutch cable, but it was fine, so it got 
reinstalled with fresh grease.

At the engine end, we kept the throwout bearing and spring center 
disk, and replaced the 3-arm diaphram PP (pressure plate) with a good 
used OE 311 Luk multi finger PP that I had.  

The clutch now works smoothly and softly. Sarah is amazed at the 
difference, and it really IS surprising how much that extra 1/4" of 
clutch arm length changes things. In the process of looking over this 
problem, I discovered that aircooled.net has replacement throwout 
arms for both early and late transmissions in several longer lengths. 
Made for people with stronger PPs, these might also be good for 
anyone who wanted an upgrade to a lighter clutch pedal.

With the engine out, we pulled the flywheel just to check the main 
seal. It was the late, red version, was still plyable, and looked 


I pulled the distributor just so I could take it apart, clean it all 
up and make sure everything was working properly. When I got it 
apart, I could see that both anchor pins for the mech advance had 
been bent over flat, from someone installing a long screw where they 
shouldn't have. The mechanical advance was still working, sort of, 
but the calibration was completely lost, so we replaced that 
distributor with a correct '71 MT distributor from my stash.

Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and put the drive dog on that 
distributor backwards, so this gave us fits and cost us an hour and a 
half later when we tried to set the valves. Eventually I discovered 
my mistake and that got fixed, too.  


The thermostat was missing, but the linkage was there, but bent. So 
we removed the RHS tin and removed the linkage to straighten it. 
Since that was off, we removed the rocker assy on that side so we 
could go thru the entire head torque sequence on that side. With the 
rockers out of the way, out of idle curiosity I pulled out each of 
the pushrods to inspect them and found a shiny wide wear bar on the 
#2 intake pushrod. So I felt up under the cylinders and found a large 
dent in that pushrod tube, right next to where some gorilla had long 
ago removed the thermostat and bent the linkage.

We had previously noted that the RH underside had a LOT of oil on it. 
The dent was in a place I couldn't see, so I probed that dent with a 
pin until I found a hole.... So we removed that head, cleaned off all 
4 pushrod tubes, replaced one, and reinstalled the head.

In the process of removing the thermostat, someone had bent the 
linkage rod and dented the pushrod tube. This eventually caused a 
rather large oil leak. Fixing that will save Sarah quite a bit of 
grief and oil.

We installed a good used thermostat and adjusted the linkage. I 
should have sawed a screwdriver slot in the end of the flap rod, but 
didn't think of it in the heat of the struggle.

There was no sign of mouse nest on top of the RH cylinders. That area 
was quite clean. We also removed the spark plug cover plate on the LH 
side and felt around there as much as possible and found nothing.

Fan housing:

While the engine was out, I figured it might be prudent to check 
those pesky fan housing screws that always seem to back out at the 
worst possible times. We removed the pulley, pulley cover, rear fan 
housing half, and fan. We found 2 holes in the front fan housing 
half, where someone had tried to use long bolts as jackscrews to 
remove the pulley, but they were rather small and we just left that 
as is.

Then we checked those 2 screws (you know the ones.) The right one 
spun with no effort, but the left one seemed tight. I tried to loosen 
and retighten the left one. It broke free and then spun freely. It 
had been epoxied in place.

Leaving the front fan housing half in place (because removing it 
would have required taking the thermostat linkage all apart again) I 
drilled and tapped the case for 15 mm long, M6 LOCKING Heli-coil 
inserts. Then I installed some long M6 screws. The screws were a bit 
too long, but we added washers under the heads in order to get as 
much thread engagment as possible. The bottom washer was a 
Belleville, which fit perfectly in the recess there. This should be a 
real and permanent fix.

I could see that the oil return thread on the fan hub had been 
rubbing on the fan housing, so, before putting everything back 
together, we loosened all the attaching screws, and I used my 
alignment pilot to center the hole in the fan housing with the crank 
bore in the case. After doing this, the fan seemed more eager to go 
back into place.

There were lots of other little things we did, but the only other one 
worth mentioning was the replacement of the rubber bellows that 
connects the dipstick tube to the filler pipe on the engine. 
Marigold's was "crunchy" and cracked down at the engine end. I think 
it had been too close to the aftermarket exhaust pipe from the #2 
cylinder, so it got baked.  The tubes didn't quite line up correctly 
anyway, so I was able to bend the filler pipe to line up better with 
the car body and also be farther from the exhaust pipe.

Replacing that rubber connecting bellows cured another oil leak.

After putting the engine back in the car, we set the valves, dwell, 
and timing. Sarah found that all 4 valve adjusters for #3 & 4 were 
backed all the way out, so I added .032" shims under the LH rocker 
stands to restore the valve geometry and allow decent valve 
adjustment. Since this was true for all 4 valves, the seats in that 
head must have been cut down extra deep.

After pressing Marigolds fuel pump primer switch for a minute or so, 
the engine started right up, but the idle speed was way too high. 
Oddly, the engine did not lope as it should when the idle skyrockets, 
so the TVS was out of adjustment, which seemed odd, since I thought 
we had checked all those things at the Invasion. I adjusted it and 
got the idle speed to lope correctly. Then we had to find out why the 
idle speed was so high.

Finally it became clear that the AAR was misadjusted so badly that it 
was wide open even when warm. We pulled it out and adjusted it down, 
and the idle was back to normal. 

With that fixed, there was still a sort of intermittent background 
"growling" noise that we couldn't find. Using a screwdrive to listen 
around the engine, it seemed to be coming from the generator, and 
with the generator removed, it seemed like the noise was gone, so I 
took the generator apart. The bearings were bad, especially the one 
near the pulley, so I replaced both of them.  

With the generator back in place, the noise was still there, but 
seemed reduced, but the belt seemed really slack and I thought I 
could see the belt shake in time with the "growling" noise, so we 
moved 1 shim from inside to outside and tried again. This reduced the 
belt slapping and maybe some noise, but we could still hear, or even 
better, feel that sound. That sound remains a mystery. I called Dave 
Pallo to get a description of the sound his failing fan made, and 
that was completely different, so I don't think the fan is the 
source. It may be some loose tin on the underside of the engine. I 
don't think 
it's internal, because I don't hear it when using a long screwdriver 
anywhere on the engine case.  

Whew, that was a LOT of work! But also a lot of progress. We did 3 
hard days of 
work on Marigold and I'm pretty sure Sarah is as tired as I am, but 
Marigold is 
in much better shape now.  

So Sarah and Marigold are on their way back to Ohio.  We wish them 
both a safe and uneventful trip home. We look forward to seeing both 
of them at the next Invasion and hope Sarah will visit us again 
someday, hopefully for less work and more play. Sarah was good to 
work with, and Melissa and I both enjoyed having her stay with us.

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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