I guess it’s safe to say that the engine is about 99.9% complete now. I need to finish the carb rebuild, add the sled tins and hose from the breather to the oil filler and that’ll be that. Three and a half months of cold weekend nights in the garage, watching Breaking Bad (for the 3rd time) and escaping the real world for a few hours each night. I’m happy with the end result. I’m confident that I could easily get a good return on my investment to this point if need be. Of course, for me, my time is free….my wife may disagree. lol Hindsight being 20/20, here are my tips thus far for anybody else starting a project like this. And this only covers the engine build, cleaning, etc.
1. Take lots and lots of pictures. Not only to admire your progress, but it’ll also help you when it comes time to put everything together.
2. Take lots of notes. I document everything I do, not only with pics, but lots of notes and diagrams.
3. Tools! Have the right tools for the job.
4. Patience! Temper tantrums, cussing and fist banging will ensue! Be patient…know when to walk away from the project for a while.
5. Budget. Know your spending limits. Don’t get in over your head!
6. Don’t throw anything away! What may seem like junk to you may be gold for a fellow VW enthusiast.
7. Aftermarket parts….Everybody will have their own opinions on aftermarket parts, for me, I’ll walk the fence. Buy your parts from reputable sellers, there are plenty out there, I have a lot of them listed on our web site. I keep track of every part I buy, where I bought it from and how much I paid for it. Hopefully this will help somebody else. Regardless, try to get your hands on as many original parts as you can. Nothing beats a working original part!
8. Do as much of the work as you can, but be smart enough to know when you’re out of your league and seek help when that time comes. When in doubt, don’t second guess yourself. There are plenty of books and web sites that have the answer you’re seeking. Take the time to look it up!
9. Have fun! For me, working on this project is an escape. A way to submerge yourself into something that you have total control of, even when the garage is freezing cold! lol
10. Be realistic. I’m in this for the long haul. I allotted 3 years for my project Beetle. That’s a realistic goal for me because I won’t have the time, money and knowledge to do everything myself. I’ll have to spread it out over the next couple of years, but still do as much as I can, when I can.
There….10 easy tips to get you on your way. Feel free to add your own input in the comments!