Overdue Update

Right I know its been a while since I posted anything so time for an update on the engine. Things have been progressing slowly as I was busy with other jobs that needed doing and finding a paintshop for the bodywork.


First job once everything was cleaned ant stripped was to give the outside of the block a light coat of paint. I know theres mixed opinions on whether or not this is a good idea but I felt it worthwhile.


Then onto the new hardware installations. First test fit the bearings to ensure a snug fit and mark their orientation for fitting to the crank.


Then install the new camshaft bearings and lifters , followed by a good coat of cam lube on the lifters.


The conrods were cleaned and checked for balance and damage and new bearings fitted.

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The new bearings were fitted to the crankshaft , followed by the con rods.


Once the internal work was done on the case , a good coating  of case gasket was applied and the two halves of the case were torqued up with some nice new hardware.


Then the oil pump was refitted and a temporary plastic cover put over it whilst the cover was being repainted.



Here we see a test fitting of the cylinder head onto the new 1600cc Piston and Cylinder set , with new chrome rocker clips from Aircooled Tech in Galway and my repainted rocker tins.


I decided to paint the dipstick cap in Cobalt Blue to match the new bodywork colour


Freshly repainted Oil Pump cover fitted and torqued


Main Pulley painted in cobalt blue and first of the repainted tins tested on block.

The next job is to finish the reconditioning of the cylinder heads and the repainting of the engine tinware . The the final engine assembly details can be done and work on the car itself will resume. I hope to have the next update out a little quicker.

The engine is out !

Right a few days have passed and a bit more is done. The body is ready to come off but I’m going to leave it sitting for a while.

As a result I’ve gotten busy on removing the engine , had little trouble get the engine out but since I was mostly working by myself so I got no pictures of the process.



The car is hiding its clare heritage under one of the engine tins


no big surprises under the rocker covers



pretty heavy carbon build up on the cylinders and cylinder heads, a sure sign of rich running in the engine , must review the carburettor setup, and yes, the water is from cleaning not from within the engine


Pistons will be replaced showing all the usual signs of wear around the rings and cylinder walls showing wear too. This is so cheap in the VW engines (€150) that its always worth doing.


Plenty of leaves and gunk in the fins , will need a good degrease and cleaning, maybe some careful blasting as well


Block in the shed ready to be degreased and crack checked.


Based on what Ive seen the replacement list planned includes:
Cylinders & pistons,
All bearings,
Camshaft and lifters,
Pushrod tubes,
Oil Pump ( damaged during removal),
All seals and gaskets

Im hoping to save my existing heads , they currently soaking to loosen the carbon . If the seals still seem decent ill be changing valves & springs , and if necessary guides as well.


Getting ready to remove the body

A few more bits done over the last few days , I have stripped the bumper overriders and irons in the blast cabinet and re primed them.

Next up the windshield and fuel tanks came out along with the last cable and electrical connections between the body and the chassis .Thankfully there wasn’t many surprises in the window channels under the rubber seals

I also have all the attachment bolts removed and I have assembled the body jig and am pretty much ready to remove the body.

Next two jobs are to get the body off and the engine out , progress moving on nicely though

Teardown continues

Well we are making some proper headway now . all the trims and doors are off , fuel tank is out and the seats removed . only things remaining to be removed are the seat belts and last of the instrument parts and we will be ready to begin the separation process on the ghia. Normally one would be advised to carefully label all the wires and ensure you know what goes where but since a) my loom is marked already and b) its getting scrapped because 50 year old wiring isn’t my idea of reliable i can rip it out fairly quickly. More photos to follow soon

The teardown begins

I had three days in the garage to start the teardown process and have put in about 14 hours so far. The transport guy who delivered the car said it start and seeing as I had driven it a few days previous I just assumed it was a flat battery , so with a bit of effort we pushed her into the garage.


But of course all the pushing done , I opened the deck lid , opened the carb wide and she churned over in two or three seconds without any hassle . Guess it always pays to check first.

The first job was to get the boot lid off and the tail lamps. I wanted the boot lid off to check the rot at the bottom lip and the tail lamps off so that I can get all the chrome parts together to price rechroming. The deck (boot) lid is held on by 4 13mm bolts and each taillight is secured from behind with 2 wing nuts


Then keeping in theme with the chrome removal process , the front and rear bumpers were pulled off , each assembly being held in place by four easily accessible 13mm bolts. Always remember when removing parts like this to thread the bolts back onto the part afterwards so as not to loose track of any.


A certain amount of dexterity is useful when removing the rear bumper bolts as access is either from under the vehicle or through the engine bay . Thankfully for me the rotten rear wing provided me with a third access point on the right hand side of the car . Shopping list – Rear wing repair panel – check.


Western European weather sure eats metal


The next day I proceeded to move onto removing the chrome and the glass in the vehicle. The B pillar unscrews relatively easy and providing you also unscrew the quarter lighting opening mechanism , the entire unit lifts out with ease. The track that holds all the glass seals in place can then be unscrewed . This part is 3 pieces on either side and in my case is well worth holding onto . Whilst it looks tatty it is aluminium and therefore can be easily polished, it is also mostly covered when the car is assembled and most importantly a full replacement set is €450 , money which can be spent better elsewhere. We can see this piece on the inside of the photo below.


Door Cards

Well one of the first jobs with the car in the workshop ( read barn) was to get the tattered old door cars out of the way and the carpets too. The door cards were well worn from nearly 50 years of abuse. This brought up the question in my mind of interior colour scheme . I know that I’ve settled on a black headliner of alcantara or similar material and that the carpets are going to be black also. I have yet to decide on the seats and door cards thought. I like the idea of white in the interior also and am considering either white seats or white door cards but definitely not both. The TMI products seem to be one of the best options out there for door cards and after seeing what happens to the pockets over years of abuse I will be getting the no pockets versions ,  but the question still remains black or white. ?



Rollover Jig

Ive been looking at getting a car rotisserie or a rollover jig as they are more commonly known in Europe for some time now . I have every intention of this being a bare metal restoration and the ability to freely swing the body and always work in an upright position was a great appeal. The problem with these jigs is they are expensive. A decent off the shelf one costs about €1000 and its money I don’t have. I spent some time browsing the web and came across all sorts of viable designs from modifying engine stands to wooden designs and many ingenious homebuilt designs. But truth be told my welding skills aren’t great and I wasn’t going to task myself with welding something as critical as the support farme that will hold the entire weight of the car . Then I came across mk2mania , a group of Escort enthusiasts in the Uk who specialise in rollover jigs and customs components for cars. Rick at mk2mania was ver helpful in helping me to select a jig that would not only suit the Ghia but could also be used for a number of future car projects I had in mind . I settled on the Deluxe model which was a veritable bargain and far less than half the cost of the aforementioned jigs. The order has been placed and I look forward to receiving the jig in the coming weeks. Please see the below video if you want to learn more about the jig.


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