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Ryan
Mike, the #3 retard is not in the distributer cap, it's the way the distributer shaft is ground. In fact there is no way it could have anything to do with the cap since it doesn't affect timing at all. Also, I'm under the impression that when the doghouse shrouds came into play, the #3 retard was removed. I've heard this from many sources. You can't even buy a 'new' dizzy today with this feature. Also #3 runs hot because of the design of the fanshroud, not oil cooler location. Heads get much hotter than the oil, an average of 150F hotter. Even hot oil would cool the heads.
If the vavles were set incorrectly, you'd hear some god aweful clacking when turning it over. Not likely since you don't mention this. The distibuter drive pinion however can be installed any way you want and therefor is worth checking.
The wooden dowel method will is a 50/50 shot. You'll either find TDC compression or TDC exhaust, one right, one very wrong. The only true way to find TDC compression with the engine assembled is to crank it over by hand and watch the valves for the piston you're checking. Put the engine at TDC according to you crank pulley. Rock the engine back and forth 15-20 degrees or so in either direction. If both intake and exhaust valves move at the same time in opposite directions, you're on the exhaust stroke - wrong one. --Ryan
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space_age_cesar
Well, I finally conceded and had my Bug towed to my favorite bug mechanic and he did some quick checkouts (i.e. valve adjustments, timing and the like) and we couldn't find out what was wrong that evening (Jul 28). So he does a compression test this morning and i call him to see if he had made any progress and as it turns out, #1 checks fine, 2 and 3 are at 110 and 80 respectively, and #4 is compressing about, oh...nothing. So... I'm gonna wait until I get back from my trip to deal with fixing it. My question is this: Based on your experiences, what would be more cost effective, getting a rebuild kit or or brand new engine and tranny? I know it's hard to make a judgment based on what little info I can give on the condition of the pistons, but I'd still appreciate any counseling you can give. Thanks to everyone for the help you all have given me and as it turns out, everything I had done to my car was spot on, 'cept I didn't have the tools to run a compression test. I'll see y'all in a while.
1971 SB going through dramatic, arduous, costly, and time consuming modifications (currently: kaputz).
1969 Manual Beetle stock daily driver
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Ryan
It's really impossible to say without knowing the condition of the rest of the engine. Do you even know what gave out yet? Could be a dropped seat, broken valve, or blown piston/cylinder. I'm a fan of rebuilding when you know the condition of your parts. That way you know what is good and how it's been treated during it's life, since you drove it. --Ryan
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sup73bk
You could get a small block and then just bolt your heads on. They are okay right. Sorry about your engine.
1972 1302S
dual 34 icts,Pertronix Points,Corbeau Seats, GT Exhaust, Lower front and rear sway-bars, Strut tower bar, Jacob's Elec. Ign., Empi Shifter, Front Disc Brakes & SS Brake Lines

1973 Squareback (1776cc, dual 40mm)
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