Sigh... I am really lost and frustrated. Would appreciate some advice.

Rebuilt/blue-printed my '79 SB w/ FI several years ago ( only 2-4K miles ago ) w/ a retired VW mechanic; everything new if it was marginal, my heads but rebuilt, crank reground. Right after rebuild, she was sluggish. One piston had no pressure. Dropped motor and replaced it. Same thing again. Dropped it and replaced all pistons this time w/ different manufact's ( one size larger ) than stock.

Still, the car has never felt like she has enough power at higher speeds ( 60-75 ).

She is used maybe 10-15 times a year for usually around town and every so often on a 30-40 minute highway run.

The other day, I drove at around 65 mph for 30 minutes and she felt great. Then on the way back, toward the end of the trip, I noticed she was very sluggish and barely able to go over 50mph. I milked her home and the engine was making an unusual noise. The engine compartment was HOT! and the oil smelt like it was burning.

Within the last 200 miles, I changed the oil, reset the valves, timed her, changed all the fuel lines/filters. She purred at idle.

I have noticed that when I first start her, she makes an 'extra' metallic, tapping sound for the first 3-4 seconds and then that disappears and she sounds fine. Also, when I have her in the garage and I push the accelerator, she will accel and on the way down, I hear an extra dull metallic sound..

I have had this problem for a few years - each year thinking she is running righ only to have something like this happen and I ralize that something is not right ! I have been getting more and more frustrated.

What do you think ?
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The tapping sound on a cold start sounds like worn lifter bores, just a guess though. Not many people actually check them during rebuilds. Have you checked for intake leaks yet? If you're hot, I'd start there. --Ryan
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How does one check for leaks?
1971 SB going through dramatic, arduous, costly, and time consuming modifications (currently: kaputz).
1969 Manual Beetle stock daily driver
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