This thread is to try and get me motivated. Had this quite a while and as it’s a keeper it keeps getting put on the back burner (the mrs calls it the great white elephant) so time has come to finally get it finished. This is going alongside a baja I’m building for a mate so it’s not going to be particularly quick. It’s budget re-use parts type thing rather than going out buying all new etc.
68 fastback TLE E Swedish import bought from an add in the back of volksworld – yep it was a few years ago! The extra E badge is for a factory-fit eberspacher. It was the usual exercise in 'creative writing' advert - original paint, no rust, no rot, reliable engine etc. The interesting bit - 1914 f.i. turbo. Had just sold a bay and it was only a couple of miles away so went to have a look. The paint wasn't bad apart from all the wings were covered in silicone contamination with original orange showing up under the scratches, plus the front 2 were fibreglass (very original!), found some rot holes, some obvious bad plating and the engine peed oil on the test drive. They missed their calling at Jackanory. Thought it had potential so got it with 1k off the asking price. Insurance was a bit mental – asked my insurance co. how much it’d cost to add to my policy (usually it’s £30 for a bug). She said I’m afraid it’ll be a bit more than normal: £50. I was expecting a couple of hundred or something – bargain!
The engine’s a 1914 engine with k-jet f.i. and a turbo off a Volvo 240 linked to a slightly modified stock type 3 f.i. intake setup. Not much was known about the engine yet apart from lightened flywheel deep sump, external filter & cooler & chromoly pushrods.
Some thought had obviously gone into the conversion and some bits were done well, but other bits were very rushed/bodged.
The fabricated in/out pipes on the turbo were really well done
The exhaust was a one-off but all pipes were correct length etc
However – it went across the back of the engine so they cut off the dipstick tube to make it fit – no way of measuring the oil! The metering head was bolted to the bulkhead wedged down between the engine and bulkhead with a very sharp bend and some frankly useless pipe to the intake which leaked & was covered in gaffer tape. Fuel pipes were plastic. The only cooling was an oil rad mounted straight onto the boot floor with a blow through fan pointing into the bodywork (stock cooler removed).
So after registering it & pottering it about a few times to get a feel for it I decided to get things done properly. First I raised the front end a bit (it was about an inch off the floor couldn’t even get off drive without planks) then went onto the engine.
First job was to sort was the lack of dipstick Re-cut the exhaust so it cleared the standard type 3 dipstick tube, got it ally coated & made up some brackets to support the motorbike can backbox (this was just hanging off the header giving it stress cracks). Engine was dropped due to flywheel oil seal leak (found a lightened flywheel) & some pushrod tubes. While it was out I painted the engine bay, got the tin powdercoated & removed the useless cooling setup. Never got around to finishing it properly.
Mocal cooler went in under the back seat with an under floor scoop, polo suck through fan linked to an in-line thermoswitch.
Started collecting a few bits like over-riders £25 a set – those were the days, clear lenses, new carpet, couple of nos front wings (early morning bvf bargain - £30 each!) to replace the fibreglass ones currently fitted. Not so lucky with the rear one though – bought it from a well known ‘specialist’ as rust free – utter boll*cks. It was after a couple of days with the welder but I won’t be buying from them or anything unseen over the phone ever again.
Fast-forward 5 years and a dozen or so projects later and thought it was about time to get my finger out. Not enough time and needing a bit of a motivational boost to get it running again I needed someone who really understood aircooled / k jet & turbos so off it went off to Volksmagic. After some advice from Lee it was decided to put the metering head in the inner wing area and remake the induction side of things. All was going well – intake all made and fitted, new s/s intake pipe, new braided fuel lines, until Lee tried to start it to test the new setup. No compression on one side meant something was up. Camera down the plug revealed dead piston. Looks like it didn’t escape the over-heating issue after all.
Got it back and it sat in my mates barn for the next 3 or so years whilst life got in the way. Decided rather than just replace the barrels and pistons, now’s the time to go through the whole engine so it was pulled out and shipped off to Laurie Pettitt. Good news was only the barrel and piston was knackered (got a set for an ace price off beetleragtop on here a few years previously for it). He said the rest was well done with a scat cam and some worked-on heads. Laurie stripped and checked everything, added the new b&ps, changed some bearings, tapped out the sealed off oil cooler holes and some stainless pushrod tubes. Got this back last month so finger now firmly out.
It’s tempting to go the whole hog and fully restore it but not got the time or budget for that at the mo so aiming to get it back on the roads and make it a bit more presentable. Doing the free stuff for the time being so first things on the list are the front bumper mounts which were holed. Got a couple of excellent repair panels off ‘miketype3’ years ago so finally fitting those. My mate Nick has prepped one of the new front wings so that’ll be going on too. Couple of other bits here and there, brake refurb, re-route the oil pipes, engine back in, fit a water-cooled system for the turbo using an ex rally car pump and rad I got off good mate ‘Grimmo’ and a golf expansion tank, then it’ll be back to Lee for final setup.