It has been a couple weeks since I’ve updated about the Wagovan, and truth be told that is because I did a bunch of work and then didn’t test it... that way I could tell myself it’s problems were fixed. Well...

As of last writing the Wagovan had a couple problems. The first is the exhaust smoked like hell, though that appeared to be lessening as I drove it more and more. The bigger issue is it didn’t like going at partial throttle for very long. If I played that game, it would cut out, backfire, and die.

Cheapest != Good enough

Once I started digging into it this, like so many of my automotive disasters projects, the cause was... complicated. There was an ancient OEM fuel filter in-line, the fuel pump appeared to be the wrong one, and I hadn’t done my usual of doing a full base-line tune up on the car because... well I’m trying not to do that anymore. Others have, rightly, suggested the float on the Weber may be to blame, and I agree, but I don’t want to remove the carb again if I don’t have to.


So. First off I replaced the 1.3L el cleapo fuel pump with the factory correct 1.5L el cheapo fuel pump. I would like to say this solved the problem, but it did not.

Again, seemed to make it WAY better, but it did not solve it.



So next up was a full tune up. Plugs, wires, coil, cap, and rotor. The wires and cap looked to be in good shape, but everything was so cheap I figured “why not?”.


The plugs came out surprisingly easy and looked great. Maybe a little hot, but not bad.


While I has everything stripped, I figured I would do the valve cover gasket as it was weeping. Two nuts and that sucker was off. However, this left me with a dilemma: with the valves exposed and the plugs out, I should probably go ahead and adjust the valves.



I decided to compromise by spot checking the valves. If they were in spec, I’d leave them be.

They were not. Crap.

It wasn’t a bad job, to be honest. Much easier than my only previous experience with such on an air-cooled VW flat-4. Unfortunately all the intake valves, about half of the CVCC valves and about half of the exhaust valves were out of spec.


That done, the wires, cap, and rotor were easy replacements with no real signs of wear.

The coil, however, was actually broken! Success! I found a broken part! Looks like it had taken a couple hammer blows in the past and the insulation on the HT terminal was partially gone. Also the king lead itself was... wrong. So... RESULT!


“While I was in there” I also lightly adjusted the clutch cable, though it could use some further tweaks.


I also adjusted the throttle cable to a different setting. Before, at “full throttle” on the pedal, the carburetor was just starting to open the secondary throttle plate. Now... well I don’t know what it is doing because I didn’t re-test. It is as good as it is going to get so... I guess I just have to live with it.

So... did it help?



I’ve driven the Wago to work the last two days and it has done just fine. A little weirdness here and there, but overall fine. Unfortunately with the new throttle cable setup I can’t reliably recreate the previous scenario, as it was a function of throttle position and time. I would just try doing the same merge/ drive as first introduced the symptoms, but that road is closed until May because... reasons.


So I guess I just... drive it?

What else is on the TODO list?

Well... I should go ahead and check the timing. My intent was to do that last night, but I couldn’t be bothered. My revised plan is to do it tonight right when I get home.


Also I really really really need to fix the horn. I don’t use my horn hardly ever, but not having one makes me realize how often I almost use my horn.

Also it still smells like burning after a long drive. I am still ignoring that.

Mostly I just need to drive it.