Here's a story about my first engine start in 3 1/2 years.  I hope it can
inspire someone else to get their's running.

My '78 Westy has been sitting for a long time.  Apart from the usual wear
and tear on the inside from age and the UV, oxidized paint and rotten
pop-top canvas, the body has 60k miles and so does the original engine.

I looked through all the old receipts and discovered the engine had been
partially rebuilt in 1989 at 30k miles.  I think this was because the engine
has been sitting for 7 years and had seized.  It was a fairly large bill
that included rehoning the cylinders but I trust that the work was necessary
because I know the mechanics who worked on it were honest folk when it came
to the '71 Beetle I owned at the time.  Previous to the engine work, the
clutch had become glued to the flywheel and had to be manually separated
which led to the engine work.

Anyway, a friend at work offered to help me get it going again so we spent
last Saturday working on it.

I put in a new battery a couple of weeks ago and tried turning it over but
it wouldn't fire.  I knew the tank was badly rusted on the inside but I
didn't know how bad the fuel lines from the tank were clogged.

If you remember an earlier posting, in 1995 I had installed a shut-off valve
in order to change the filter easily, hoping the tank would eventually get
to a state of non-maintenance.  I also installed a re-usable glass filter
before the stock filter because the stock was opaque and hard to see
through.

Anyway, the value was completely gummed up with the black goo.  This just
can't be the remains gasoline.  Is it the coating from the inside of the
tank?  It's like tough molasses.

I managed to clean out the valve in order to inspect it but found that the
seal inside had perished.  If you are thinking of getting something like
this from a plumbing store like I did, it may not last compared to something
designed to handle fuel.

Inspecting the metal fuel line from the tank underneath, it was totally
clogged as well which means tank replacement, sigh.  Wondering if the fuel
pump was still working we hooked up a gas can and rubber fuel line to the
stock filter and removed the air cleaner.

Poking a screw driver into the intake air sensor we could hear the fuel pump
working but didn't know if the fuel line from the pump was clogged or not.
We proceeded remove the hose at the pressure regulator tee, and gas started
to leak out.  Thank goodness is wasn't clogged.  Because the hoses had
dry-rot, they cracked at the edges from the slighest touch and started
leaking on top of the engine.  I now understand what the bone yards have so
many burned out busses.

A quick run down to the parts store to get some more fuel line we replaced
all the perished hose with new hose at the bend before the regulator, two at
the regulator and one at the return line to the tank because it was dripping
on the RH heat exchanger.  We also used this opportunity to poke the air
intake sensor with the line open to force the stale gas into a spare can.

The fuel lines are really long so turning the engine over takes a while to
get the fuel to engine.  Be patient.  The engine wouldn't fire on it's own
and we didn't know the state of the fuel injectors but we had checked the
voltage at the distributor and pulled one of the spark plug wires to check
it for spark before we started.  Another run down to the store to pick up a
can of starter fluid...

The can did the trick: the engine started to fire but we were wondering how
much battery we'd have left after several attempts because it would only run
for about 5 seconds and roughly at that.

More attempts and finally the engine ran with a little help from the
throttle.  It ran rough for a couple of minutes but once it warmed up it was
like it had never sat, except for the noise from the rusted out muffler.  It
even idle'd about right.

Let's take it for a ride!  We moved the gas tank to the inside above the
fridge which is beside the rear bench in the 78 and pinched the hose through
the 1/4 light window.

Taking it for a ride we noticed it was drinking gas like a pig.  We forgot
about the pressure regulator and figured we were pumping gas back into the
clogged tank.  Doh!  If are thinking of taking this approach you'll probably
have to run another line inside and have a brave helper hold your gas can.

We stared at 10am and by 3pm with lunch in the middle it was running.  I'm
so happy.  Now I really need that fuel tank.


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