70E3DA1D-CF7D-4CB7-B442-D3DDCC6661EAA lot of people have asked me the details about my speedster so I thought I would start a new thread. Let me start with a disclaimer: this is what I have found that works well through my experience  

I will start with the engine. I have a 2276cc. I’m running a doghouse cooler set up and a setrab oil cooler with a fan up front behind the horn grill. I used 1/2 SS lines to run the oil from front to rear. Cooling is the most critical part of these engines. 
I decided to go with a dry sump for several reasons. First, you make more power. The crank isn’t cutting through oil every time it rotates. This adds about 15 hp. Second, it takes care of the dreaded oil sloshing into the heads, which can starve the engine during long corners. Third, more oil capacity. I built a 8 quart sump in the spirit of the original Carrera cars. 

To make decent horsepower the engine needs to breathe. I have 42x37.5 heads that are port matched to the intakes. I’m running 44idf carbs with the CB update kit (38mm Venturi). I have a 1 5/8 exhaust that runs into a 2 1/2 flowmaster. 
I run a magnaspark distributor with a cdi 

I run an Engle 125 cam with 1:1.1 stock ratio rockers and super duty aluminum pushrods. I have had terrible luck with chromoly pushrods and would never recommend them. Plus they are really loud. 

I’ll stop here and open it up to questions. I’ll probably talk about suspension next. Thanks 

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What's your relationship with Hagerty?  They are obviously aware you track your car.

How do you handle your insurance for track days?

Nice set up you have on your car - it looks great.

Curtiss, this will be interesting for me to follow, as I've been on a similar path.

I've done HPDE and autocross with my Spyder. I had over 40,000 miles on my type1 which was equipped with a 2165cc Raby motor. In an ineffective attempt at reducing blow-by, I also did a dry sump conversion. The rings were worn out, but I took care of that last summer. I also sent the heads out and had them redone.

Motor is 78 x 94, Mahle pistons, CB forged crank and I-beam rods. Headflow Masters(Adrian Audirac) 44x37 flowed, welded and port-matched heads, welded manifolds also. 52cc combustion chambers, and 10.2:1 static compression.

Webcam 86B, Pauter 1.5:1 roller-rockers. Chromoly pushrods. I had the opposite experience as you, the aluminum pushrods mushroomed, so were replaced with steel. High seat/spring pressure on the valves did the aluminum pushrods in.

It has 1 5/8" primaries to twin mufflers, then a merge to a single center 3" outlet.

I installed a Megajolt distributor-less ignition a long time ago, and added a new hidden crank trigger on the backside of the crank pulley from thedubshop.com.

The performance is great, it feels better than when it was new with the added free-revving of the dry sump. Also, I notice the engine stays very clean, no blow-by anymore(good case vacuum and Berg sand seal). I never had any oil pressure issues before, but now I have ZERO worry about oil starvation. 

I bought an 8 quart aluminum tank from Speedway Motors, and run it a little over half full. If you add the capacity of the filter, cooler, and lines it holds about 7 quarts.

I have a lot of fun at PCA DEs at Lime Rock Park and doing a couple autocross events per season. I need stickier tires, it is very easy to overdrive the street "touring" tires.

Have you checked out Vredestein Sportrac5's for your need of "stickier tires?" They're "Dry only" and several SOC owners (myself included) are quite pleased with their performance. Let me know if you're interested and I'll forward the info as to their ONLY source in the US of A. 

 

DannyP what size wheel are you running?  If you have 15x5.5 there are tons of 205/50 you can get. I use Bridgestone RE-71r because they don’t have to warm up to be sticky. Very good for autocross. 

The weak link in the Spyder chain is that you can only run 15x4.5" wheels up front, with unmodified fenders. 

There isn't very many choices for that wheel, just the Sportracs, if you can even get them. They're on my list.

Last edited by Carlos G

DannyP, do you know exactly what pushrods you were using?  I ordered a set of the Aircooled.net heavy duty aluminum pushrods.  They are supposed to be good to 500 psi spring pressure.

Also, our cams have the same duration, but you are running a ton more lift.  I opted for less lift to reduce the wear on the valve guides.  There is very little flow difference on ported heads at .500 lift and .600 lift. 

Next topic: Suspension upgrades.  (I have narrowed IRS and a Balljoint front end)

A little background first.  The stock wheel spring rates for the VW bugs are 100# front and 100# rear.  The front wheels carry about 350# on each wheel.  So if you hit a bump the spring will want to move 3.5 inches.  The rear wheels carry about 550# each, so 5.5 inches of travel.  This is way too much travel to be effective for "sporty driving."  If you look at the way a track car is set up a mild set up is for about 2 inches of travel.  A very aggressive set up is for about 1 inch of travel.  A good resource is swayaway.  I am running 27 mm torsion bars in the rear, which gives a wheel spring rate of 222#.  That means about 2.5 inches of travel.  I wanted 2 inches of travel but i wimped out at the last second and ordered 27 mm bars instead of 28 mm bars.  This set up (222 pound springs) is still street-able, but you definitely feel the road.  

The front is where things get tricky.  There just aren't a lot of options out there.  Swayaway makes a stiffer set of torsion leafs, but they are only 15% stiffer.  So you would end up with 3 inches of travel.  That said, an alternative had to be found.  I ended up converting my Bilstein B6 shocks to coilovers.  Now the gates were wide open to infinite spring rates.  This set up uses a 2.5" ID spring, which is one of the most popular sizes.  A few notes: I had to slightly clearance the inside of the upper torsion arm and open up the shock mount hole (ball joint) to get everything to fit, but it does.  If you are starting from scratch, there are smaller diameter coil overs out there that would likely drop right in.  I'm running a 140/250 progressive (variable) spring.  So rather than a linear response, it gets stiffer as it is compressed.  This takes some of the beating out of your backside when you drive on the streets.  

Now the interesting thing about variable springs is when you set the car down the "softer" side of the spring compresses first.  So for my car it basically totally compresses the 140 pound section.  So why not just use a linear spring?  When you hit a pot hole, the softer part of the spring quickly goes down and back up.  So the jolt is softer.  When you are driving on a track the spring is primarily running on the stiffer 250 pound section giving great flat cornering.

I have the run of the mill 3/4" sway bars on the front and rear.  I am also running a rack and pinion, which makes a mountain of difference.  If you have the dough, this is the best upgrade you can do to one of these cars.  

Napa Paul posted:

Have you checked out Vredestein Sportrac5's for your need of "stickier tires?" They're "Dry only" and several SOC owners (myself included) are quite pleased with their performance. Let me know if you're interested and I'll forward the info as to their ONLY source in the US of A. 

 

I have the link. It's on my to-do list. But some things are on hold for now.

curtissb posted:

DannyP, do you know exactly what pushrods you were using?  I ordered a set of the Aircooled.net heavy duty aluminum pushrods.  They are supposed to be good to 500 psi spring pressure.

Also, our cams have the same duration, but you are running a ton more lift.  I opted for less lift to reduce the wear on the valve guides.  There is very little flow difference on ported heads at .500 lift and .600 lift. 

My lift is .550" at the valve. I don't know what aluminum pushrods they were. I sent them back to Jake and withing a week a new set of chromoly came via Fedex. Free. For a 5 year-old engine. THAT'S CUSTOMER SERVICE! 

My little 2165 revs well, and has torque, 147 ft. lbs. and 172 hp. I'm not changing a thing.

After 45k, my guides were in good shape, so not a ton of valve wear, the 86B has shallow ramp angles.

curtissb posted:

The rack and pinion kit

Also on my list, but I am unsure it will fit on a Spyder yet. I am concerned about gas tank clearance.

Suspension stuff: Koni adjustable front, 2" shortened beam, custom 16mm bar made by me(came from an early 911, I fabricated end links and bushings).

Rear end is swingaxle with custom tubular trailing arms(way longer tham Bug, mid-engine Spyder) and QA1 double-adjustable coilovers w/275 pound springs. Greg at Vintage uses custom-valved Bilsteins and 250 pound springs. No bar in the back, but I have downward limiting straps to prevent positive camber from happening. I also have the bearings under the spring seats, and corner-balance the car on scales.

Love your suspension mods Curtiss, I'd love to drive that thing.

Excellent setup, @curtissb

I've got the 28 mm rear torsion bars and stock torsion leaves in the front-- stock width. Koni's all 4 corners, 3/4 sway bars, and a Golf rack and pinion. I've got 6" rims and 195/60 (Sportrac 5) tires.

I'm not wild about the front end. I've looked hard at going to coil-overs in the front, but the ultimate solution is to somehow get to a properly designed A-arm set-up (I'm not wild about Mendeola's). I still think a Mustang 2 setup, adapted to our width and using VW hubs would be perfect, but this is not my area of expertise.

I now know of 3 guys who are dry-sumped-- you, Danny, and me. I'll never go back.

You guys seem to be growing in number, have you installed cylinder head temp guages and do the temp numbers show an advantage to the cooling of no. 3 cylinder?  Just wondering, I love the dry sump concept just never had it and I don't think it would do in my subie   

I know what you mean,  I have a cylinder head temp and a tranny temp guage with a warning buzzer as well.  It is surprising what you find out about what is normal temp range. 

I installed a 220 degree “idiot light” so I can at least be aware when things are heating up. I have also calibrated my temp gauge. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS. My temp gauge is at 240 degrees at about the 11:30 position. This is why I cooked my previous motor. I thought I was fine running in the middle of my gauge. Like Gene Berg says, gauges are good if they give you good information. 

calibration procedure: get a can and fill it half way with the oil that you use. I used an electric hot plate to heat the oil. Don’t tell my wife, but I used her very expensive fast read kitchen thermometer to test the temperature. I pulled my temp sender (extend the signal wire from your engine bay) and placed it in the oil. Just turn your ignition on and you can watch the temp gauge go up. I put a piece of masking tape on the face of the gauge so I could mark the temperatures I was interested in. When I was done I used a paint pen and marked my gauge. 

I'm having some issues with temperature in my Subie in my Beck.  My VDO oil gauge indicates about 220, and it ain't even summer yet!  I noticed that they only installed a large single fan on the radiator but Cary said that it was sufficient. I'm thinking of puling my clock out of the dash and installing a water gauge.  I'm wondering what the WATER temperature will be... Also, I need to find out where the sending unit is located on the engine.

Meade

I think you should look into EngineGuard from Australia it will tell you what is going on.  If you decide to look into it get the two sensor unit and you can install it on the two heads or one for one head and the other for the tranny. 

IaM-Ray posted:

You guys seem to be growing in number, have you installed cylinder head temp guages and do the temp numbers show an advantage to the cooling of no. 3 cylinder?  Just wondering, I love the dry sump concept just never had it and I don't think it would do in my subie   

I really don't think the dry sump does a whit to cool the engine or the oil. The dry sump does two things: it ensures a continuous supply of non-foamy oil AND it prevents windage(or sloshing of oil wrapped around the crankshaft). The reduced sloshing frees up a couple HP because of decreased air resistance to the spinning crank.

If the dry sump oil tank is designed properly, the oil return swirls down the wall of the tank, becoming liquid and removing any air in the oil.

I put my dry sump in specifically for crankcase breathing and vapor reduction. It was a failed attempt to reduce blow-by, but that could only be fixed by new rings and cylinders.

The engine MAY run a little cooler due to the reduced friction/sloshing/foaming.

I understand about the windage adding a few more hp.  My thought was if you put more squirters in I guess the crank might be cooler but not the heads necessarily.  

Only Stan put the 911 piston squirters in. I did not. The dry sump setup does not automatically mean piston squirters. The dry sump is a bolt-on and does not require complete disassembly. 911 squirters and Hoover mods do require a case split and some machining(and cleaning!). They are two completely unrelated things.

I always assumed that you would do the squirters if your removing the oil bath and Hoover mods seem like a given for any large engine displacement IMO.

The dry sump itself does not help with cooling, but it does give more oil capacity. A good dry sump setup also has an external cooler on a thermostat (exactly the way Porsche built the four cam engines) which does keep the engine cooler. 

IaM-Ray posted:

I always assumed that you would do the squirters if your removing the oil bath and Hoover mods seem like a given for any large engine displacement IMO.

You know what happens if you assume.

curtissb posted:

The dry sump itself does not help with cooling, but it does give more oil capacity. A good dry sump setup also has an external cooler on a thermostat (exactly the way Porsche built the four cam engines) which does keep the engine cooler. 

Correctomundo. Already had the full flow/external cooler/filter setup.

Adding Autocraft dry sump suction piece was kind of easy. All the studs were easy to replace with longer ones(Cast aluminum part is THICK), except the one that holds the pickup tube. I may have thrown a wrench or two that day, but I got it. An open-end wrench broke, and the piece that broke off went into the engine. Of course it did, engine was upside-down on the stand. I got the piece out with lots of patience and a telescoping magnet.

DannyP posted:
An open-end wrench broke, and the piece that broke off went into the engine. Of course it did, engine was upside-down on the stand. I got the piece out with lots of patience and a telescoping magnet.

A few years ago, I just had to have a twin-plug setup. I had sold myself on all the advantages, which are mostly for engines with a substantially bigger bore than the standard 94 mm Type 1, but I wanted this. Badly. And when I want something, I generally don't stop until I've accomplished it or ruined something valuable in the effort.

I had a guy make scrap metal out of a $1000 set of CB Super-Pro heads trying to machine in the second plugs. Undaunted, I started over at ground zero-- bought a set of Rev-Master 049 twin plug heads, and had them CNC ported by Rev-Master Automotive (who I'm sure subcontracted them to DRD). I got them exactly a year after I had embarked on this fools errand, and I spent another 6 months and many more thousands of dollars getting the long-block together. All that was left was dressing the engine.

It was late in the spring, too late to be doing this little project-- but I was hard at it in the garage, determined to get this thing on the road by the 4th of July.

The second set of plugs in a set of 049 twin-plug heads are accessed through the rocker box. The process involves taking off the valve-covers. In the bottom of the rocker box are two little plates, and under the plates are holes where the plugs can be accessed. It's a slick set-up, and the plugs come into the chamber at a good angle (instead of being badly canted). Anyhow, the head is spot faced around the holes, and the plates seal to the head with two tiny little screws and a bit of flange sealant. It's kinda cool, if a bit Byzantine. 

On this particular evening, I was running plug wires. I had the engine completely dressed otherwise, and this was the last task on the list. The engine was on the stand, and I was removing the plates to get access to the plugs. I had the 3/4 head pointed straight up so I could see everything better. I removed one screw, then the second-- and I saw it happening

i  n    s  l  o  w    m  o  t  i  o  n.

You know what happened. We all know what happened.

I dropped one of the size very tiny screws right down a pushrod tube. It was a perfect shot, and I couldn't do it again if I was being paid for it. I could hear it rattling around as it went down the hole. It seemed to take about 30 seconds to find paydirt, and sounded like it was taking the scenic route, bouncing off everything along the way before it stopped.

I thought I was going to throw up. I contemplated suicide, looking for a hook to throw a rope over.

But I was in luck! I could see the little chunk of micro-hardware by shining a light down the pushrod tube. It was laying on the lifter, leaning against the base of the pushrod. I tried to get it with a magnet, but the screw was steel, the pushrod was steel, and the lifter was steel. There is also considerably less real estate inside a pushrod tube (with the pushrod installed) than one might suppose. I needed a cleaner shot.

I very carefully loosened the rocker adjustment like it was the detonator to a nuclear bomb, and ever so carefully pulled the pushrod up in the hope that the screw would fall into the pocket of the lifter. I was looking with the light (held in my mouth) while I gently pulled the pushrod. I lifted ever so gingerly...

... and the screw teetered on the edge of the lifter, before bouncing its way into the bowels of the engine.

My shoulders slumped. I breathed a heavy sigh. I did not yell, or swear, or rage. I just walked over to the door and shut off the light and went inside. I contemplated why I thought I was anything more than an ape with tools. I went to bed and looked at the ceiling. I pondered taking up heavy drinking. I went through the 5 stages of grief. I castigated myself for the life decisions that had brought me to that point. I decided I truly hated cars in general and this car in particular. I bargained with God. I thought of boxing up the (nearly complete) engine to be 100% torn down to find a ridiculous little piece of micro-hardware. I thought about skipping town and hitching a ride on a freight train. I contemplated hauling the whole thing in for scrap. 

I pictured that screw getting sucked up the pick-up and happily grinding it's way though many thousands of dollars worth of softer metal. I envisioned the discussion I'd have with my long-suffering wife explaining why her special needs husband needed to inject another few grand into the garage art out in the shop. I pictured my father never laying eyes on my mother, and contemplated what a happy place the world would have been if they never met. I imagined the shame and anger of missing an entire season of driving-- all because I just had to be the cool kid with this twin-plug nonsense, and because I'm blessed with an ego unencumbered by intellect, fingers the size and shape of bratwurst, and a brain the size of a walnut.

About 4:30 AM, I got dressed and went back out, ready to face my Waterloo.

I slowly turned the engine to level. I rocked the engine around on the stand like I was mad at it (not that I was, or anything). I was attempting to rattle anything that might be squatting up on a lifter boss or in some other hidey-hole loose. I prayed that the Lord would grant me mercy, and somehow help me get this thing out or allow me to die in the effort.

... and then I started sweeping the entire sump with a magnet, which was no small feat considering the pickup leaves about 1/4" of space around it.

After a minute or two of graceless sweeping, none of which I was entirely sure was even touching the tip of the magnet to the bottom of the sump, I pulled out it out.

And there it was-- right on the tip, like a little beacon of love. The only thing missing was the sky opening, and the hand of God Almighty reaching out to touch my flaccid finger like Michelangelo's "Creation" scene in the Sistine Chapel. I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing, and the sun broke over the horizon at the very moment of rapture.

I was spared.

I went inside. I didn't touch one thing on the engine that morning. I made a big breakfast, I went to work. I lived to fight another day.

 

Last edited by Stan Galat

Hope you feel better now, Stan. BTY , my car has a dry sump system so maybe I'm   # 4 in your list. 

My number two Son, Jesse felt the ire of the dropping screw for the first time in his life while helping me with the Soob Frankenmotor install in the Speedster. The oil filler tube is fixed onto the top of the right side valve cover by two small screws. While making sure he had the right screw he dropped it right down into the valve train. A probe magnet found nothing available and nothing was in sight. He said "  I'll get it just leave me alone". I took the BSA out for a short run after telling my Wife not to bother Jesse in the garage. I came back about 1/2 hour later and the bugger is sitting with his feet up having a cold one in the garage and smiling. He couldn't pull it up and out so he loosened the two valve cover screws, pulled the valve cover out a bit ( there's about 1/4" clearance to the frame rail otherwise you pull the engine to get the covers off ) , found the screw and pulled it out the bottom. I let him ride the BSA that day.  

Also, if one carries 12 litres of oil instead of four or five would that imply that oil change frequencies would decrease in proportion ? 

Last edited by David Stroud IM Roadster D
David Stroud IM Roadster D posted:

Hope you feel better now, Stan. BTY , my car has a dry sump system so maybe I'm   # 4 in your list. 

Also, if one carries 12 litres of oil instead of four or five would that imply that oil change frequencies would decrease in proportion ? 

One would think so, David. As 911's are also dry sumped, does anyone know what the factory suggested oil change intervals are?

@Stan Galat wrote- "...and I saw it happening

i  n    s  l  o  w    m  o  t  i  o  n.

You know what happened. We all know what happened... 

What a well written piece- your story had me re-living yours and every "oh CRAP!" moment I've had to endure (and I've had a few!). You know, I've never told you this before, but now that we've met I feel I can say that for an ape your command of the language and your prose always amazes me! 

Have a great self-isolated evening everybody!

Yoda out...

 

I change it every year. It's not the miles I'm concerned with, it's the age and acidity of the oil.

If I were driving it every day, I'd change it on a 5000 mi interval. Seriously. There's a lot of oil in there.

My mind went round and round and round the pushrod tube with you Stan, that was quite a descriptive ride on that screw nearly like watching Honey I shrunk the kids  

Stan, that was one of the most entertaining bits of writing that I have read in quite a while.  You will be doing the world a disservice if you never write a book.

Almost made getting up early to work from home worth it.  No , wait...  That's crazy talk.

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