I have moved my posts concerning the Puma I bought a few weeks ago to this forum page and have stopped posting on the Classified page that this was started on. 

 Update. I have the engine out and will drop it off at my guy Bill Westerfeld of Westerfeld Enterprises  in Harrison Ohio right out of Cincinnati. He is a well kept secret and a wonderful all around great resource to go thru an engine an put right all that is wrong and make the modifications asked for. He works fast and is fair with the price. He was the head engine builder for Drews Offroad which is now the Dunebuggy warehouse before he went out on his own. Bill also rebuilds Porsche engines for street and race. He was a big builder of formula Vee race engines back in the day. Dunebuggywarhouse.com is by the way are a good source for all things classic air-cooled VW .

Puma GTE 2110 20Puma GTE 2110 21Puma engine out to rebuild 2Puma engine out to rebuild 1


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Original Post

I recently purchased the Puma From and gentleman in NJ. He hadn't had the car long himself, less than a year. The engine specs given : 2110 with CB 044 ultramag 44/37.5 heads 8.5:1 CR. Berg 297B cam. 48 IDA Webers port matched intakes. described to run healthy with no issues. I intended to fly up from Indiana to NJ to inspect the car. That wasn't feasible with the virus going on. The guy selling the car is a bona fide car nut like many of us and I took the chance to buy the car without inspecting it. after receiving the car my initial drives revealed an engine that didn't feel like it had 40 HP when it should be putting out in the 140-150 range. I pulled the plugs and checked the compression. 12 &4 had 80-90 PSI and 3 had 60 PSI which is not good at all. I squirted some motor oil into 3 and checked compression again and no rise so I suspect a valve issue. I relayed the info back to the seller who thought the engine was tip top, he refunded me $1000.00 to compensate which was very fair and ethical. Thanks Dennis your a straight shooter. 

 I pulled the engine Friday afternoon and am going to take it to my Engine builder as as stated. I will have him rebuild the engine and get rid of the stage 3 pressure plate for a stage 1. I will have the engine full flowed and possibly have the case cut to handle 94 P&C's to bring the engine out to 2276. I will have the CR set to something higher than 8'5:1. I have a feeling it may have bee mistakenly set up to something lower than 8.5. I did pull the carbs and manifolds to check out the heads and the ports. They are indeed CB 044 ultra mag cnc oval port heads so that is a good sign that the engine is built with some nice parts. 

 What gets me is, someone built this engine to breath big and installed  1.375" dia headers with a patched together restrictive muffler that is choking the engine off. I have ordered an A1 exhaust system to go on the engine after the rebuild. It should be a 150-160  hp engine easy when finished. Once back from the builder I will run this engine the rest of the year. I have a plan to have Cary convert the car to Subaru power this winter and place the now sorted out type 1 screamer up for sale.

Not sure for other changes yet. I need to go thru everything. I am not sure why the real has coil overs and it still isn't stiff. I would think the torsion bars would be enough. The trans is 4.12 R&P and heavily strengthened with HD side plate and gusseted. This with the stage 3 pressure plate makes me think someone was setting it up for drag racing. If I go Suby the trans will be upgraded to a Rancho pro Suby  build. 

Puma engine out to rebuild 5


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Hi @Jimmy V.- Interesting engine combo- heads and carbs that should make power to 6500 or higher, coupled with an exhaust that won't go much past 4500 rpm.  Berg doesn't list a 297B cam (at least I can't find it in any of the print catalogues, price lists or their website), but they do list a GB 297E, which is listed as a Genuine Engle W110. The GB 297 is the same specs (W110) ground on a slightly smaller base circle to clear the Berg crankshaft counterweights. Even the cam isn't particularly well matched to the heads/carbs- but I think you know all this, so bear with me.   

Yeah, at the very least it will need more compression, more duration/valve lift and a bigger exhaust to make the most of the displacement.  Bigger pistons and cylinders are always a plus as well. Do you have a cam/rocker combo in mind? What size primaries for the A1?  This header chart is a good guide to match tubing size to rpm peak and displacement. Again, I think you have a grip on this but someone else may find it useful-                                                                                                                                    header tubing size

This has the potential for more than 150 or 160 hp...

As you said, the stage 3 pressure plate and gusseted case do suggest drag racing aspirations. Did the former owner say anything about it having close 3rd and 4th gears?  That would make sense if he was goin' racin'... Al                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


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Thanks Arden,

 Ok I just spent the afternoon with the engine builder. After I left I kicked myself for not taking pictures. He had a super nice 356 engine he just finished on the engine stand and a cool Manx Dune buggy on the rack. I also saw a few 911 engines and some hot type 1 engines in different stages of completion.  After looking at my engine he recommended getting rid of the 48 IDA's and building the engine to run 44 or 48 IDF carbs. He said the IDA carbs are designed for racing and don't have much if any mid range transition circuits. They are made to be all the way open or all the way closed. I listed my set of 48 IDA's on Samba with manifolds and air cleaners for $700.00. The carbs came off the running engine and appear to be in good working order. I am going with 48 IDF's. He thinks like me and recommended going with a set of thick walled 94 P&C's to bring the engine disp. from 2100 to 2276. He is going to full flow the case, and in short build a 180HP dependable screamer. Downside is he is backed up and said it may be 6-8 weeks before the engine is finished. That's fine. I will clean up the engine compartment and get the shifter lined out. It shifts but feels mushy if you know what I mean. I like the tight crisp shifts of the vintage Speed shifters. More to come as time goes by.

Jimmy are you going to do the oil passage drilling hoover mod on that engine?

I am going to have the block full flowed to run an external oil cooler and filter, if that is what you are asking. The engine will be a first rate professionally assembled and balanced engine built to put out 180 Hp. Once the engine is fully disassembled I will know what we have that can be used again. So far the engine appears to have a set of nice heads. The rest to come when my guy gets to working on the engine. As I have said, I have a new 1 5/8" A-1 sidewinder exhaust being shipped to the builders shop for this engine. I have decided to go with new 44 IDF Weber carbs and sold the 48 IDA's yesterday. The 44's will be shorter and therefore make more room for velocity stacks and proper height air cleaners. My guy tells me 44's are the correct size. He said I could get 15 or so additional HP with the 48 IDF carbs but at the cost of some low and midrange power and drivability. So I will listen to the expert and go with the 44's.

Whatever you do to this car, we're going to need lots of pictures. This being such a cool and unique car, we want to see everything.

Whenever my engine sheats the bed, the new one or rebuild will include those hoover mods.

I have not heard of this modification. To do something like this I would need to have access to research and tests showing that this actually worked and didnt cause oiling issues in other critical areas. My guy would be doing it if it was worth the effort, I will ask him if he has heard of this. Does Pat Downs offer and recommend the modification? Sometimes it is just as simple as Don't fix it if it ain't broken. Steer me to the results of how this has improved others engines. I am open minded.

If you read up on this change if I remember right it was done by a pilot who was building airplanes and realized that oil starvation could occur remember these engines were made and had 36 hp initially
also in the type 4 Engine this modification is done at the factory or maybe I should say this is standard procedure on that engine 

Last edited by IaM-Ray
@Jimmy V. posted:

I have not heard of this modification. To do something like this I would need to have access to research and tests showing that this actually worked and didnt cause oiling issues in other critical areas. My guy would be doing it if it was worth the effort, I will ask him if he has heard of this. Does Pat Downs offer and recommend the modification? Sometimes it is just as simple as Don't fix it if it ain't broken. Steer me to the results of how this has improved others engines. I am open minded.



I will tell you right now, Jimmy, that some engine builders won't open their eyes enough to consider these modifications, as the engine does run without them, most people don't realize their value and it costs even more money to do in an already competitive market. The typical response- "we've been building engines for 30 years and don't see the point" (Competition Engineering of Arizona when a member asked them about Bob Hoover's mods in 2017?). They'd written the idea off before experimenting or even seriously looking at the concept; the fact that people who have actually incorporated the mods in a build see the benefits AND VW took the time to incorporate these ideas in their type 4 engines means nothing to them.

Gotta go make dinner.  Al


It's not that "some" builders don't want to do it-- it's 99% of engine builders who don't want to do it.

The reasoning goes: nobody is going to drive their car 100,000 mi, so why do something with a chance of ruining a $1200 case when it won't make any difference until 15 year from now.

I found a machinist who agrees with the idea. He's in an extreme minority.

I still have a feeling there is more to the other side of this story. It sounds way over my ability to do the mod myself and appears to have many opportunities for even a pro to make a little mistake that would and could cause more trouble than the intended benefit. Your mileage may vary.

Last edited by Jimmy V.

Put it this way: If I'm going to split the case, I'll do the Hoover mods. I haven't split my case yet. They aren't that hard though, Mike Pickett did his all by himself, and quite successfully I might add.

The mods were track tested in the '60s by just about all the road-racer guys running VW engines (think Formula V but I think several other classes as well). It doesn't do much for hillclimb and drag race cars, which these days is most of the racing market. And as Stan says, most of the non-racing hobbyists don't put near enough miles on their engines to make it work as an engine builder's insurance measure.

But it's clearly a best practice.  

Update to the Puma Project. The 2110 engine is out being rebuilt and enlarged to 2276 with a set of thick walled 94mm Mahle forged P&C's with total seal rings. The builder Bill Westerfeld found the engine to have 3 of the cam lobes worn badly and hardly opening the affected valves. I assume this may have happened from not running oil with ZDDP added not sure but I have seen my fare share of flattened cams. He has all the parts ordered and in his shop and he started work on the engine last week. He ordered most if not all the parts from CB Performance. New CB 44 Webers, Engle 120 cam. full flowing the block, valve job on the CB 044 Ultra mag heads. Balance all moving parts. The 82mm counter weighted crank and Porsche 356 rods will be re-used. The crank has been dynamically balanced with the flywheel. The Compression Ratio is being set at 9.5. The engine is scheduled to be finished this week. Bill will break the cam in and adjust the carbs. The A-1 1 5/8" merged sidewinder exhaust has arrived at his shop as well. 

 While the engine has been out I have been doing some work on the car. The accelerator pedal (roller ball) was almost impossible to get my foot on because of there being no room between the chassis center hump and the brake pedal, I have wide feet as well. I hated the red plastic roller ball accelerator pedal as well. I wound up removing the pedal cluster which was easy enough to get out. I have a nice aluminum accelerator pedal that is designed to work with the roller ball that was taken off my Speedster during the Subaru conversion. The conversion utilizes the Impreza drive by wire pedal. I installed the pedal and did some reshaping of the brake pedal and the clutch pedal to make more room for my foot to access the gas pedal. I then spent 4 hours trying to install the pedal cluster back in the car. I was learning the hard way that you can't let the clutch pedal fall forward while you are trying to get the cluster in it's hole because the clutch cable will fall off the hook and you will need to start all over. I did have a new clutch cable and accelerator cable which I installed since I was already in there. The pedal cluster is a bitch to get back in if you haven't done it before. I couldn't get the front bolt to start in the threaded hole in the side of the hump. I gave up around midnight Saturday and after some rest got the thing back in Sunday morning and am very happy with the results. I will post some pictures later today. I will remove and replace the firewall material in the engine bay this week. Once I have the engine back I will install it and run it in the Puma to break it in and have some fun. The engine should scream.

  The 2056 Type IV engine I bought form Chris Sutton should arrive tomorrow. I plan on having it rebuild as well and I will swap it into the Puma to see How it feels. I may keep one of the engines if I like it and sell the other, it not I will sell them both and have Carey convert the Puma to Suby power.  More to come soon.


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Looking good!

I've got a question, @Jimmy V. You refer to "Mahle thick-wall 94s" in your post above and a couple other times.

I've been looking all over, and I can't find any information on Mahle thick-wall 94 cylinders. AA makes a thick-wall 94, which requires a BUNCH of machining to even be usable (no stud holes, long cylinders, etc.) and JPM (Johannes Persson Motorsports) in Sweden makes what are probably the premier 94s, which are made with the best iron available, and the thickest walls possible. For a long time, the Mahle cylinders have been the way to go with 94s, but they're thinner than Mahle 91.5s, and way thinner than AA thick-wall 92s.

The AA thick-wall 94s don't really bring anything to the table once the stud reliefs are cut in, and the JPMs are halfway to LN Nickies in price and require a very good machinist to make them work.

The longblock Vintage Volks is building for me has AA thick-wall 92s, as (at the time) they were the thickest VW cylinders available in any size. If Mahle makes a thick-wall 94, I'd love to have some information on them, as I was just about to pull the trigger on the JPM 94s for Project X.

Last edited by Stan Galat

PS. The 2276 Type 1 that is being built has 1.25 ratio rockers running with the Engle 120 cam. The heads should breath great and the cam should let them really bring the power from 2000 RPM,s on. The engine builder said this isn't an engine you can lug (not that it's healthy to lug any Type 1 engine) along in 3rd or 4th gear at 1500rpm and mash the gas. He said if you do this the engine will fall flat on it's face. That is fine with me. I understand how to drive a type 1 and know how to keep the rpm's in the power band. The engine won't be for grandma to putt around in. I noticed a video of a Spyder build being driven recently posted that I was cringing a little as he was up shifting really fast and lugging the engine. It's not good to do that to these engines. Alas, they no not what they do sometimes. IMHO of course.

I was gonna ask the same question as Stan about the Mahle 94s.....

Last summer I rebuilt the top end of my 2165(78 x 94) Raby type1. New Mahle forged pistons and cylinders went on(after pistons were balanced), and the heads were sent out for guides and valve job. 

I used "B" pistons, they are for any increased stroke up to 82mm(I think). They worked great for my 10.1:1 engine for about 35k, I ran them for another 5k miles with ever-increasing blow-by.

@Jimmy V. posted:

 I noticed a video of a Spyder build being driven recently posted that I was cringing a little as he was up shifting really fast and lugging the engine. It's not good to do that to these engines. Alas, they no not what they do sometimes. IMHO of course.

Guilty as charged, but with an explanation: I was trying to make the engine run hot on purpose to see if it would (apparently it won't), and see if it'll fall on its face at low RPM (no to that either). Also I don't like my brakes enough yet to go ripping around the neighborhood.

Stand by for the next video.

Last edited by edsnova

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