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Building a daily - final components
Now let’s cover the remaining details so that you can build the best daily driver possible.
Here is another one you’re going to get 1000 opinions on, here is mine. I shoot for 7.7 on all bus motors. I might go a little higher on others, but usually not over 8.3. Keep in mind, where I come from it’s hot as hell plus I want to run on the cheapest gas I can. You can go higher, but then you’d have to be smart about your octane. Compression is horsepower, horsepower is energy, energy is heat. It’s a fine balancing act when you don’t have a radiator to shed the heat. I do build Friday/Saturday night cars with 9.5 to one, but they only run premium and you must always watch the temp gauge. What I’m trying to say here is figure it out, don’t just bolt stuff together. I am finding a lot of new heads have to be flycut to get my compression ratio up to 7.7 to one. Do what it takes to figure this out as it’s important to the life and power of your engine.
You’ll need to know your deck height (the distance from the top of the piston to the top of the cylinder when the piston is all the way up - do it for each cylinder) and the cc of the head. Then, with the bore and stroke it can be calculated. All I can say is I usually run a min of .060 deck height and am not a big fan of head gaskets of any kind on a daily driver.
At this point we should have a something out to the heads.
There are a lot out there, but I am a bang for the buck kind of guy. It’s hard to beat the trusted 009 with electronic ignition and real blue coil. There are better things out there, but it’s hard to go wrong with the 009. The other thing to think about here is if you have some random ignition and it breaks, are you going to be able to walk into any parts store and get another one? I think anybody with a VW has an 009 laying around to get you home. Same with the coil. Wires are up to you. I like the bosch stock wires or something of that nature.
Again, there are all kinds out there. This is what works well for me. Stock 1600 with an 90 cam. You can run the stock carb or a set of Kadrons or something like that. 1600 with an 100 cam. I would run the 40IDFs or the new 36DLRAs. A side note on the 36s, they come with a venturie that is too big. They work well, but only with the small vents. If you are ordering a set, get the smaller vents at the same time. 1776 or 2007 with at 110. The 40IDFs or the 40DLRAs.
Get a good header, that means a 4 into one with a merge. The merge then goes into a muffler with a smooth transition. There are some out there where the merge goes into the side of a muffler that’s not so good. All I can say is, think about getting from point A to point B with other people merging in. If you hit a wall guess what? Not so good, is it? So follow the path of your tubes, look inside your tubes. Is the merge designed to keep the flow going? After the merger does it hit a wall and have to go left or right? Or is it a nice turn? Again, there are a lot of headers out there. Think about what you’re buying.
I am a big fan of having your engine full flowed, a deep sump, external filter and a mesa oil cooler. If you don’t want to do that, at least have gauges on the car so you can tell if you’re getting into trouble before you’re in trouble. The three gauges I run on every motor is; oil pressure, oil temperature, and a tach.
I run the dog house style internal oil cooler, so that means all the tin that goes with it, plus the wider fan. Run the rest of the tin as well if this is an engine that goes in an engine compartment (not a baja or open engine deal). I am asked all the time about cool tin - the tins that go under the cylinders. There are two types. The little square ones or the bigger cool tins. Here is what I do. If you’re running heater boxes and the tin that goes between the heater box and the case, just use the little square ones. If you’re not running heater boxes and those tins I just mentioned, then run the larger cool tins. General rule here. If you’re engine is in an engine compartment, you shouldn’t be able to see the ground anywhere. On a type 3, you can’t help it as this engine compartment did not seal off the top half of the motor from the bottom. With the help of some local friends we have sealed them off and it did help with the temperature.
So there you have it, you are now ready to piece together a reliable daily driver engine. Price out the parts, then add some to that for things you didn’t think about (like flowers for you wife since you’ll be spending so much time in the garage). Good luck!
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