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Update on the Monster 2.8L Type 4 project. As we left off I was having issue with the AA performance cylinder heads. They were leaking at the cylinder to head area and the intake valves were all leaking after less than one hour of run time. I sent the heads back To AA at their request for inspection and repair. They had the heads for a month and told me they found nothing wrong with the heads and they supposedly measured them to check that the seating areas were the same depth on both chambers of each head. They also told me the cleaned and lapped the valves. My engine builder received the heads back this week and checked them. The heads are off by .003" from one side to the other. He removed the valves and they have ridges in the seating face which should not be there on valves that have been run less than a hour. We are guessing the steel the valves are made of is too soft. So I am finished with AA performance products . I would recommend anyone else to proceed with caution if thinking about buying from them. I reported what we found to AA and asked them for a full refund upon the return of the heads but have not had a response from them. I ordered a set of LE200 heads from the type 4 store today. The heads won't be available until May. They are built by Hoffman Automotive. They appear to be amazing heads and should be for what they cost. They should be the finishing touch to make this engine as amazing as it should be. I will let you all know how the engine runs and what power it makes on a chassis dyno sometime in late May I hope. Anyone want to buy a set of type 4 heads cheap? Maybe they can be used as cores for a complete rebuild?

Looks like I may luck out. AA has responded and they want the heads and intakes sent back in response to my request for a refund. Let's see if  I get credited back on my Credit card. Cross you fingers. I will be better off with the LE200 heads, they are supposed to be amazing. The specs sure seem to say so. I have bought a 6500 rev limiting rotor for the distributor so I don't have a repeat of the sticking throttle disaster LoL..

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Last edited by Jimmy V.

When you have an engine that has separate cylinders as our Type 1 and Type 4 engines have it makes it a must that the cylinder heads are perfectly parallel. The measurement I am speaking of is the depth of the head where the cylinder and the head seals. If the depth of one head chamber is different from the other it will cause the head to not lay perfectly flat across both cylinders and then they will leak compression and not seal. In this case one cylinder sealing area was .003" lower than the other. This is fixable by anyone with a good machine shop and some know how. If this was the only issue my engine builder would have touched the head off and made it parallel. The valves leaking and looking like they did was a more troubling issue. We think the valves were made of soft material or the valve guides are not perfectly in line with the valve seats causing the valves to hit the valve seat out of square. They should not have had the ridges worn into the valve edge. So being as we returned the heads for inspection and repair once and were told the heads measured to be perfect and were good to go and they came back still not right, I decided it was time to bail on these heads and buy the LE200 heads that appear to be nothing short of amazing. I should have known from past experience. Good heads make the engine and buy the best heads your budget will allow. That said, I was happily surprised that AA Performance has offered to refund my money upon the return of the heads and port matched intakes. I have to say this is at least a sign they want to make this right and do the right thing. At the end of the day the engine is going to end up better because of this ordeal.

Hi Guys, I was contacted yesterday by Nicole of the type 4 store letting me know that my heads are in the batch being sent to the coating co. Calico. They will ceramic coat the combustion chambers and valve tops and coat the outside of the heads with a black thermal barrier type coating. Nicole also asked me to advise her what cam I was running and the Piston and cylinder size, this info she forwards to Len Hoffman. Once the heads are back from Calico Len Hoffman will assemble the heads and drop ship them to me. All of this will take another 4-5 weeks. I am dreaming of how amazing this engine will be once the LE200 heads are installed. This is the last pc. of the elusive puzzle that is called the monster 2786 Type 4 build. My bi lateral (double) knee replacement is scheduled for 4/19 so it will be possibly be mid summer before I can get the heads back on the monster. Oh well it is good to have something to dream about while I recover.

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My LE200 heads are still 3-4 weeks out so I thought I would make a post to let you all know my Monster 2.8L type 4 engine is still in process.  The project has taken many twists and turns and I am patiently waiting for the heads I should have gotten last summer to start with. The engine is going into a 77 Puma GTE which has a Rancho Pro suby transaxle. It is built with a Rhino case and special Weddle gearing for higher HP engines such as the 2.5L Subaru Impreza engine. I expect this big type 4 to really put out some dependable HP and torque. I have switched cam's and heads in the search of the engine I set out to build. Of course this now $10k engine started out by buying the proverbial good deal which was a used but complete Raby 2056 type 4 engine for $1500.00 proving one of my dad's sayings. The saying being "that $1000.00 purchase will end up cost costing you $5,000.00" I just doubled his saying LOL.. The purchase of the $4400.00 set of LE200 heads (including intake manifolds) from the type 4 store had a big part to play in this end price, but this is what the engine needs to be just right. I am looking forward to screaming down the highway soon. Stay tuned my fellow gear heads and car lovers.

Puma 2.8L type 4 magic hour pic 10-31-2020Type 4 2.8 L monster engine after repair 9f1LE200 heads 1LE200 heads 3LE200 heads 6


How are you feeling after the surgery?  Are you up and at ‘em a little bit yet?  
My brother did them one at a time, but they had him walking within 24 hours for both knees.

WARNING : Long post concerning my health insurance struggles. Don't read if this offends you. It has been healing for me to write about this since I was asked about my now cancelled Knee replacement surgery.

Let me tell you about the saga of my knee surgery. The short end of it is that I am getting it in on both ends by the surgeons office and my health insurance company. My surgery was cancelled. My health insurance denied approval and I first heard this from my surgeon's surgery coordinator telling me my insurance told them that the Doctor hadn't sent adequate proof for need of surgery. This I was told 3 weeks prior to my surgery date. The Surgeon's girl told me they appealed and sent more records and for me not to worry. I never received a letter from the insurance company but I called them checking this and they told me it was in appeals process and the they had until 4/28 to give a decision and my surgery date was the 19th. The surgeons office had been following up every two days having the appeal placed in an expedited condition but having no decision three days before the surgery date the hospital had to cancel my surgery. I figured this is the insurance company's game seeing if someone might give up during the first denial and they would have to approve but it would come by the 28th deadline when I would then get scheduled for surgery. That sucks but not the end of the world. On April 19th ( the date I was to have surgery) I received a notice letter from my insurance company that was mailed a month prior (postal service delays ) giving me notice of the original denial of coverage. It had listed as the reason for denying coverage being that the Surgeon and hospital was not in network with my insurance. I about fell out of my chair , this was the first I had heard about this . The surgeons office thought I was in network as well. I had been told by my insurance and the surgeons office that I was in network when I first started down this road 3 months earlier. After double checking it appears that I am indeed not in network and I have no coverage. I wasn't a happy camper to say the least.

I am not a quitter and have some hope. I found out that because of Covid the health care marketplace enrollment period has remained open instead of being a month in Dec. each year or I would have to wait until next year to get the desperately needed surgery . I was able to contract health insurance through a new provider who absolutely IN NETWORK with my surgeon and hospital. It takes effect May 1st. At that time I plan to get in writing proof that the insurance is in network with my surgeon and the hospital he works out of. I will then start the entire process over placing my surgery date sometime in July at best case. I am self employed and am forced to use the Obama Care system of Health insurance. During this ordeal I spoke with a good friend that works for a large health insurance company. The first thing he said was this: "people are mistaken that health insurance companies care about them or their health, they do not. Health insurance companies care about making a profit only" I guess I always suspected this but now I know for sure. I have had other insane dealings with health insurance in my past. Years ago I was waiting approval for surgery for a herniated disc in my neck. They insurance company who had been taking my premiums and paying all of my covered bills told the surgeons insurance coordinator that they didn't know who I was and that I wasn't insured by their company for over a year.  I asked the insurance company how this can be? They had cashed my premiums and paid my bills, even paid this surgeon's office for my recent visits. I was told that I should feel lucky that they had been paying my medical bills when in fact I had been cancelled over a year ago. I was furious, but I got nowhere, I guess it is true, that you can't fight city hall.  I am all for universal health care. I loved it during my times in the UK. Good luck to all who read this and I pray they have better experiences with their health insurance. Thanks for listening , it is healing to get it out.

I've always been against all forms of government largesse, but after hearing so many stories of how insurers try to shirk their obligations to their subscribers, having dealt with such an issue myself with dental insurance, and being my parents' POA for the last few years of their lives and having several positive experiences with their Medicare Advantage plans, I'm for Medicare for all if it's structured similar to the current Medicare, where the agency tightly regulates their private insurer partners.

Jimmy, sorry to hear about your woes. But thank heavens you found this out before your surgery.

I’ve had a couple of cysts on my kidneys that were discovered when I had an ultrasound of my liver and needed to be monitored. I had these done regularly in both Las Vegas and New York and my copay was $35-$50.

When I returned to Utah, I scheduled one, jumped through all the hoops because I was COBRA-ing my Union insurance (BCBS) until I qualified for Medicare and had the procedure done. I should have been suspicious when the co-pay was $150, but we all know how insurance had been heading the last 20 years.

So, a couple of weeks later I get a check from BCBS for $1800 (no direct pay because they were out of network) and a bill from the provider for $5K.

Because they told me I was pre-approved I told them to take a hike, that my $150 and BCBS’ $1800 were all they were going to get. They stopped calling after a year, when they no doubt wrote off the debt.

I've always been against all forms of government largesse, but after hearing so many stories of how insurers try to shirk their obligations to their subscribers, having dealt with such an issue myself with dental insurance, and being my parents' POA for the last few years of their lives and having several positive experiences with their Medicare Advantage plans, I'm for Medicare for all if it's structured similar to the current Medicare, where the agency tightly regulates their private insurer partners.

I couldn’t possibly be happier with Medicare and my Medicare advantage plan (Select Health)

Just about every co-pay I had with my union Cadillac plan gone down, with the exception of $65 optometrist. (Used to be the same $10 as other docs). Most of my Rx are now free.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled Massive Type IV program.

Last edited by dlearl476

Private health insurance is a shell game. The companies want to cover healthy people only, because that's how they make money. Paying for surgeries or chronic care is not profitable, so they look for ways to avoid doing so. I'd probably do the same in their shoes. So would you.

That's the system we're currently stuck with, and it never made any sense.

There is no logical reason to split the risk pool this way, with thousands of different "insurance plans" pitched to tens of thousands of companies and millions of individual workers. All this does is create confusion and aggravation for consumers and providers, who might be "in network" when you choose them in December but thrown out of network when you visit them in May. It's absurd madness. It serves no one well except a dwindling few insurance executives and some investors.

The way to do insurance is to have the largest pool possible, with automatic coverage and no way to opt out, so that the young and healthy pay even though they don't "need" health care, and that creates enough premium income to cover the old, sick peoples' medical expenses. Basically all civilized countries do this, or something very much like it.

In the USA it's called "socialism" and "communism" and it's been a political non-starter for my entire life. It's one of the three or four key reasons America is not as good as it could and should be.

Here's hoping it will change for the better, and soon.

The saga continues.

   I received the LE200 HAM built heads last Friday, they are a work of art to behold but all is not as it looks. I installed the supposed end all beats all heads this past Saturday and ran a standard 100psi leak down test with my Moroso tester. I was shocked to see over 30% leakage. The intake and exhaust valves both leak profusely. A little bit of soapy water squirted into the intake port created a bubble machine.

I called Len Hoffman at HAM this morning and he was surprised and agreed they should not be leaking and he issued a UPS shipping label, so off the heads came and back into the boxes they went. The heads are going back to Len to be inspected and repaired.

   Just think, most people never check new heads and just install them on their builds. I wonder how many of Ham's heads, start out life like mine , already leaking? Make sure you perform a leak down test when building an engine. I will let you all know what happens next.

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So sorry for you too.... Jimmy...just good that members and any fellow VW real and kit car builders out there....have a heads up on the ups and downs these projects face...from beginning to end.  My project is triple over budget because of nefarious and just careless merchandizers ...and my own steep learning curve on the sorting out the whet from the chaff.Hope this will be the last issue in this build...but sure it won't be..
58' CMC and FAT 2.8 liter Type 4 coming soon AFTER 24 YEARS AND MANY FALSE STARTS On Monday, May 17, 2021, 04:15:20 PM PDT, <> wrote:

[New Reply] Monster 2786 Type 4 build
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DANG, Jimmy! Hope it all gets sorted out properly.

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There was a time when you could open a parts box installing the new part without a concern. Now days you open the box that has been traveling the globe for weeks and have to inspect and often alter to get that part to fit. I just opened a new duel carb kit I bought and there was two globs of aluminum on the intake castings, had I not seen then may very well have broken loose over time and destroyed the motor.

I bought my 69 912 with a grenaded motor. It took me about a year to assemble the various pieces and parts to build another one. One of the last pieces to the puzzle was a pair of NOS factory heads.

When the package arrived, my years of experience in shipping/receiving taught me to open the smashed box in front of the UPS driver which revealed that all the fins on one corner of one of the heads were broken off. 30 years sitting in a warehouse and they didn’t survive a 3 day UPS trip.

I fought with them for about 6 months and ended up getting $70 out of them. The shipping charge.


The day I finally got it installed, after 4 years.  I wish I’d have taken some pictures of it before I installed. It was clean enough to eat off of.


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Last edited by dlearl476

Hey dlearl476 I did know of the connection with Keven Hines being the US distributor of The Puma cars. They imported them sans engine, transaxle, front H beam and tires. However Kevin also supplied the needed parts to finish the car. This of coarse was to get around the government regulations that the Puma didn't meet. I think Carey told me his  father (Kevin) still owns one of the Ali Stinger prototypes that was left over from a failed venture between Puma, Keven and Muhamad Ali to sell a special edition Puma that would be financed and promoted by Ali. Now that is one rare Puma.

I will have my heads back from Hoffman Automotive today. They told me the Ceramic coaters got a lot of the coating were it shouldn't be. They lapped the valves in and sent me a vacuum test with the valves without springs holding 30HG of vacuum. I just wonder why this wasn't caught the first go around? In the mean time the fun just keeps coming. I dropped and broke the skirt off off one of my cylinders, yes I just had to laugh after a few tears. I ordered a new set of cylinders yesterday which will then need to have the height cut down to match my setup. Who said one step forward two steps back? I am way to far into this to give up. One day it will be a good story and a hell of a good running engine.

Boy do I feel that! Stuff happens, instantly sometimes. supposedly shipped a replacement cylinder yesterday, waiting for the tracking number to go active.

In the meantime, I've got to order a dry sump tank, hose, and fittings. Because that's what the customer wants, so that's what he gets. I plugged both the case and the pump and machined a special full-flow cover to work with CB's dry sump setup. All ORB-AN-8 fittings on the pump. It should be pretty sweet.

Carry on, Jimmy, you'll get there.

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