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Re: T3 Rebuild Longevity 160K

I applaud your long term ownership and envy the longevity of your car.  Mine 
have all rusted out before I could tell how long the engine was going to last.

>> be willing to reveal what brand parts you used?  I've been burned by cheap 
>> engine parts before and when looking for advice its very hard to find anyone 
>> with alot of miles on their rebuild and I beleive the proof is in the 

There is one part that you can get really burned on, and that is cheap lifters.
I call myself frugal, but my best friends call me cheap.  On my second 
rebuild I decided to replace a lot of things and bought a set of cheap 
lifters.  They were marked "Made in West Germany" (no other markings), and 
5000 miles later it was clear that something in my valve train was wearing 
because every time I checked the valves (which I was doing often to keep 
track of things after the rebuild) I found that all the valves were loose.  
That is just backwards of the way it is supposed to be.

I called Berg and actually talked to Gene.  He explained that there were 
lots of places in the world that made lifters for our VWs, but only two 
sources produced the right metallurgy.  My lifters were too soft for the 
cam.  I removed the lifters, which I found to be more worn than the 
originals, and took one of the replacements and an OEM (used) to work and 
checked them out on a Rockwell hardness tester.  Gene was dead on!

The two sources for good lifters are Eaton (two piece plus snap ring) and 
genuine VW OEM.  Gene sells genuine VW.  Note that VW may have these 
manufactured in many places, but this just means that they take care to make 
sure that they are done right.

BTW, there are only a few places that make cams, but they all do it right, 
so they are not a problem.

>For the most part, I don't attribute the life of the rebuild (160K to 
>date) to the parts used during the rebuild, but to A LOT of TLC. TLC not
>only includes maintaining RED (the T3's name, it's yellow in color!)

TLC has a lot to do with the longevity of anything.  Have you ever noticed 
that once someone you know has decided that they don't like something 
anymore it seems to break soon afterward?  Sort of becomes a 
self-fullfilling prophesy.
You know, "Look at how poorly made that old pile of s**t is!  I barely 
kicked it and now it's broken."

On the other hand I don't think my car minds being driven all day long at 70 
mph.  I use used parts wherever I think it is prudent, and I try to get full 
use out of all my parts.  I rebuild brake calipers, wheel and master 
cylinders, generators, starters, speedometers, engines, transmissions, and 
seats rather than replace them.  In the beginning there was a learning 
curve, now I can do most of it without consulting the manual except for torques.

Oh, one last recommendation.  I am absolutely, positively sold on Silicone 
brake fluid.  I have been using it for 17 years.  I have put it in over 50 
cars.  All my cars have had it for 17 years.  The decrease in the rate of 
brake parts needing rebuilds is almost 100%.  There are two down sides: it 
is expensive, and it needs to be installed with some care to do a good job.

       Melissa Kepner                                    Jim Adney
       jadney@vwtype3.org              jadney@vwtype3.org
                             Laura Kepner-Adney
                             Madison, Wisconsin

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