In a way we're mostly 'amateurs' on here. I hate the word 
too, as well as calling my VW-thing a hobby, I haven't found 
a word for it yet that I can live with, if that makes any sense. 
After a while VWism takes on a much deeper meaning and we're 
all becoming some sort of engineer, inventing, using and testing 
our little improvements or techniques to bring our babies to 
the utmost original condition. For me it's something that 
started when I was 15 and my mom found out I had four VWs 
stashed away somewhere. I've read all I could in the 16 years 
that followed, and I have hands on experience on many different 
kinds of aircooled VWs, from stock to high performance, as well 
as Porsches. Over time one reads some here and there, and learn 
as you go. This list is a great medium to exchange the different 
experiences, talk about them, and expand our knowledge even more, 
yet sometimes, and I have that a lot, we're very anxious to 
share something, and the subject is not very clear anymore, still 
we type up a post, quickly send it off, and a few minutes later 
it could trigger some unfriendly remarks. It happens, we're 
amateurs, and it's allowed, and can be rectified easily. I am very 
much a person that would rather say nothing than to give wrong 
information. This brings me to the VW parts industry, the 
professionals, we're too easy on them, they just don't seem to 
learn anything. My girlfriend got me the March 2002 issue of 
VW Trends, and they have a column called Nuts N Bolts or something 
similar, and there is this guy writing about his Karmann Ghia, and 
he writes that he read on the Gene Berg Ent. website that they 
measured 25% blowby after a 5 minute dyno-run of an engine with 
94mm cylinders, and he asks VW Trends if the 94s are really that 
bad or if there was just something else wrong with the engine in 
this test. The answer is, wait, let me get the article, VW Trends 

"As far as the 94mm P&Cs go, while the barrel is admittedly thinner 
than it's stock counter part, and there will be a little less engine 
life than if you used the stock 85.5mm barrels and pistons, if 
you keep the timing to no more than 30 degrees at full advance, 
and the CR to a livable level (We would suggest no more than 8.5 to 
1 with today's fuels), you can achieve good engine life with them" 

Luckily they are not saying Gene Berg Ent. is incompetent. What 
I don't get, and it saddens me, WHY won't the magazines, AND the 
VW parts industry, take on a scientific, well thought out approach? 
It's in the interest of everyone to have VWs live a long life, 
and to keep customers happy. Mahle makes just as much on a set 
of 90.5s as on a 94mm set. Why not advise this guy to go for 
90.5s? Why make him believe that "you can achieve good engine 
life with them"? Why let him waste his money? I've been there 
and done that, I have fried engines with ALL the chrome you 
could get. Thank you EMPI, thank you BugPack, thank you retailers, 
thank you very much for not telling me this is for SHOW use only, 
that I can't even drive it onto a trailer as soon as I start 
using your products. I even had a 88mm slip-in (they're sooo 
convenient!!) set on an engine once, it didn't even run long 
enough to synchronize the carbs. Thanks again! I spent fortunes 
on it, in Holland, where this stuff is imported from the US, 
parts like that are expensive. $200 for a $49 EMPI extractor is 
nothing. I think that a magazine such as VW Trends, or HotVWs, 
has the responsibillity to inform VWists in a correct manner, 
and should have qualified personell looking at technical issues 
before it gets printed, and becomes gospel to thousands accross 
the world. 

BUT, on page 20 there is an article on Type 4 head rebuilding, 
Headflow Masters repairs a head for Jake Raby's Project, and 
I'm impressed by the workmanship. Kathy Jacobs, the writer of 
the article, writes as if it was an article for the NY times, 
unbiased and to the point. 

Oh well, enough rambling for today :) I hate being so pessimistic :) 
It's my birthday btw, have one on me :) 


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