I’ve started a new project for my bug this winter.  I think I’ve committed to building a new engine.  It’s a costly project, and to save some money where I can, I’d like to be able to re-use some parts from an engine that I acquired.

The issue that I’ve been having with the donor engine is the fact it’s not run in many years, and has been subject to the elements, like sitting outside uncovered, ever so gently rusting….

Figure 1 – just a tad crusty



Care must be taken when heating hardware that goes into the magnesium case. Magnesium has a bit of a problem of catching on fire when it’s heated.

After the pulley and all the engine cooling tin was removed, it was time to remove the cylinder heads.  The only way I knew to remove them was to remove the 8 nuts, and strike the head with a rubber mallet directly to the fin edges.  If you do not strike the fins on edge, you risk breaking a fin. “Not cool for an air cooled engine!”

I had no luck removing the heads as they are completely corroded in place.   I needed to find a new technique.  I stumbled across a post over at “The Samba” entitled “Removing crusty heads“.  As the title sounded promising, it  showed a home-made tool for removing the heads from a 36hp.  I figured I could build same for my 1600.

Figure 2 – 36HP tool as seen on The Samba


I happened to have all the stuff I needed, so I started to building a set.  I altered the design a bit.  The original design (above) would use a wrench to turn the nut, causing the length of the threaded rod to increase.  In my design (below), I fixed the nut at the cylinder end of the tubing.  I welded a nut on the head end of the all-thread, like a very long bolt. This will allow me to put a ratchet (or air ratchet) on the tool and hopefully pull the heads off with ease. (ha-ha!).

The welding is a little crude, but I think the tool will work ok. I slapped some gold paint on the tool because,  who doesn’t love gold paint?  If they work out, I’d like to be able to use them again in the future.

I’ll let you know if the engine continues to fight me.

Figure 3 – New Build – shown completely “cranked down” (head hopefully removed by the time they are cranked down like this)