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My VS speedster came with limited info from the PO. I started thinking about maintenance and ran into a few questions about oil type, fill amount, and valve lash specs, and I think I found these can all vary somewhat depending on the build? I would also appreciate any specifics in identifying the motor and transmission. I'm very green on antique German cars.

I've got some heavy duty SAE 30 Diesel oil, or I can get off the shelf at Autozone with a ZDDP supplement add in. I hesitate to enter an oil debate, it would be great if someone could indicate if the Diesel oil is sufficient or if I need to get another oil with ZDDP supplement, I can't find Brad Penn locally.

Ok to fill to top line of dipstick in this motor, I believe I don't have a sump? And does the pan have to be taken off to clean a screen during oil changes?

Is the standard .004 intake/.006 exhaust valve lash ok?

I plan to get the maintenance manual but want to do a quick oil change and valve adjustment so i can take it out this weekend.

Here's a gallery of the motor and transmission:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/qG2c54h3LGMRHrcr9

Last edited by silverghost
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You can't tell displacement from the exterior of the motor, only way to do so is cc a cylinder and measure stroke.  That said, you have genuine Weber IDF carbs (a great thing) and that would indicate a larger engine build.  We user there carbs starting with a performance eversion of the 1915cc and clear up to a 2332cc.  I find them too large for a smaller displacement motor unless it is just a crazy compression spec or something out of the ordinary.

Distributor is an 009 mechanical advance with standard points and condenser. Bosch blue coil.  Mechanical fuel pump.

Transaxle specs will be a guess as well, however we can see that it is a swingaxle and you can measure the bearing carrier to see if it s long or short axle.  It has a billet side plate on the ring gear side, which is usually an indicator that it is "pro-street" specifications, but that too is just a guess based on our builder, it could be stock with a billet side plate.  You can check your tire size and speed vs. RPM and calculate your R&P size, I'd assume stock gears 1-3 and calculate your 4th also (likely 0.89 but could be 0.82 or others)

The .006/.004 valve lash, in my opinion, will be a little loose if you have chromoly push rods.  That spec is for stock aluminum push rods.  Use a magnet and determine which ones you have.  If you have chromoly use .002 as your adjustment spec.  I actually set mine to a loose zero, but that is also easy to Eff up so I don't make that recommendation to anyone without experience anymore.

Oil: I won't get into an oil debate, there is no point,  but I ONLY use and recommend 2 oils (Beck owners will find additional examples in the owner's manual based on client experience, but personally I only use 2 different oils).

My #1 choice (Brad Penn) is no longer available in the same formula as it once was, so my new top choice is Driven DT50 (formerly Joe Gibbs).  However since that is not stocked many places, my #1 "off the shelf" oil is Valvoline VR1 Racing non-synthetic.  We run 20w50 unless we're doing something special in cold climate and we drop to a little thinner.

As for full level, that is debatable also, but we do NOT fill to the top line.  I find that most motors will force out a cup or so when you do so, so we recommend filling to 1/2 - 2/3rds between the lines.

Just my $0.02

Oh and one more quick note, take a close look at the fuel inlet on the passenger side carb.  It is hard to tell how close it actually is to the back side the carb, but that side of the carb rotates the same as the linkage side and you don't want your rubber hose touching there, it'll eat its way through eventually and when that happens you get to see how quickly fiberglass burns...

Yours may be plenty far enough away, I just can't tell in the pic.

As Carey stated Valvoline Racing is readily available - Walmart/Trak/O'Reilies/Advance/Amazon.

Stock engine refill is only 2.5 quarts.  You say no added sump but do you have a remote cooler (perhaps with a spin-on filter)?  Remote cooler is typical on a larger engine and it could add up to a quart capacity. You can measure what you drain out as a guide.  I don't see any indication of a remote cooler/filter.  Does have an oil breather - good.

If a remote filter then the screen could be absent.  Removing (replacing) the sump drain plate is troublesome as acorn nuts are torqued in inch pounds --- not foot pounds.  Over tightening and you'll strip the studs in the engine sump! You can get billet sump plates with a normal drain plug to perhaps save removing the entire plate next time.  (Noticed your steel one has the drain plug).  You will need the new small copper washers for the acorn nuts or it will leak.  These might be in an oil change kit.

The VS signature curly red wire to the alternator looks like it's rubbing the carb linkage? 

Last edited by WOLFGANG

@chines1 Thanks for the tip on the fuel hose. I checked and it wasn't touching but I'm going to make some more room for it, it's close.

Regarding the push rods, do the heads need to come off to test with a magnet?

Not sure how to do the bearing carrier measurement, I'll do the gear/rpm measurements to get an idea of the R&P size.

Is it a type 1 engine? Type 4? Someone mentioned they thought it might be type 4 which seems like it might be a newer design.

@WOLFGANG I haven't seen a remote cooler but I'm not sure where to look. Like I said, I'm really new to the air cooled world.

The curly red wire is touching the carb linkage. Any tips on how to reroute it so it doesn't? I could also wrap it with rubber splicing tape, it would be a wear item but the pressure is so light it might only be once in 20 years.

I'm going to hold off changing that screen until I know more. I might drop some new oil in and just change it again in a few weeks when I fully understand how to do the screen and acorn nuts.

Last edited by silverghost
@silverghost posted:

@chines1 Thanks for the tip on the fuel hose. I checked and it wasn't touching but I'm going to make some more room for it, it's close.

Regarding the push rods, do the heads need to come off to test with a magnet?

Not sure how to do the bearing carrier measurement, I'll do the gear/rpm measurements to get an idea of the R&P size.



No problem.

No, just pop a valve cover and you'll see the push rods against the lower portion of each rocker

Google long vs short axle and there are a ton of pictures, length difference is about an inch, and it really doesn't matter unless you need brake parts or wheels.

@silverghost posted:

Regarding the push rods, do the heads need to come off to test with a magnet?

Just remember, the pushrod tips are ALL STEEL. So make sure you check the pushrod itself for aluminum vs. steel. It is easy to make a mistake here.

Also, the BEST way to check the oil level is on a warmed up engine, either at idle or a few seconds after you shut it off. That way, no matter what extra oil plumbing you have you can get a true reading of RUNNING oil level. And as Carey said, a touch below the top mark to about half-way between the two marks is a good place to be.

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