funny how one job quickly leads to another

5-minute job

Much like the proverbial ‘quick 5-minute’ job, I often start one job only to find out that it invariably ends up with me doing a few more associated jobs thrown in for good measure! As well as wanting to get the interior covers/layout sorted for the rapidly approaching trip to Ninove, Belgium, I’m also aware that the new 1600cc engine is also due its 500-mile service.

When I was last speaking to the guys at Resto Classics about getting the job booked in, I was discussing with them about potentially upgrading the exhaust to get more benefit from the twin carb set-up, as they had advised me earlier that with the current stock set-up, the exhaust would be restricting the exhaust output, and this would, in turn, be affecting both the engine performance and fuel economy (MPG), not too drastically, but enough to make a difference.

Home at last! My new 1965 L289 (Blue White) over L512 (Velvet Green) camper
Home at last! My new 1965 L289 (Blue-White) over L512 (Velvet Green) camper

Exhaust change

Having discussed this with them, it would make sense to upgrade the exhaust before getting the engine serviced, that way the ignition etc. could then be set-up for the new exhaust, rather than having to repeat the process if I got the new exhaust after the engine had been serviced.

All of this was fine, so I decided I would get the exhaust upgraded before the trip to Ninove, so after reading and hearing of various recommendations on different VW forums, I gave the very helpful Dan at Vintage Speed a call to discuss the best options for my camper. As mine is not some mega BHP performance engine, but a fairly stock 1600cc engine with the addition of twin carbs, plus the fact that I run original heat exchangers, the decision was fairly straight forward. It was going to be a Vintage Speed 1960–1967 Bus Sport muffler, Standard Tail Pipe for engines up to 125 HP, so more than enough for my humble little 1600cc engine!

Vintage Speed 1960–1967 Bus Sport muffler, Standard Tail Pipe for engines up to 125 HP
Vintage Speed 1960–1967 Bus Sport muffler, Standard Tail Pipe for engines up to 125 HP

Vintage Speed

Superb looking, 100% 304 stainless steel muffler, tailpipes and headers, with built-in M18x1.5 nuts for Lamda sensor when tuning carburettors. So with the exhaust ordered, this is when one job of replacing the exhaust began to grow into me getting a few there little jobs sorted at the same time!

new fairly stock 1600cc engine with twin carbs
new fairly stock 1600cc engine with twin carbs

For those with good memories of earlier posts regarding the engine lid locking mechanism, you might remember that my rear valence was a new replacement one from Autocraft Engineering, and as such, it was still in primer. Unfortunately, primer is porous and permeable to water/moisture, and the valence had begun to show signs of surface rust and look a bit unsightly. The really eagle-eyed among you might have also spotted that the rear valence seal was also missing, which helps separate the cooler engine bay area from the hotter engine zone under the engine tin wear. This is not a good thing for an air-cooled engine!

Sealed tight

So whilst I would be replacing the exhaust, I would need to remove the rear valence to get proper access. With the rear valence removed, it would make sense to get it rubbed down and get some protective top coat put on it. Then I might as well also order in and fit a new rear valence seal rubber, then the new exhaust would need different length fresh air hose fitting!

See what happened there, it’s magic, one job quickly turned into four!

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