Rebuilding a Porsche 914 (VW Type 4) Engine

I want to share the process of rebuilding my air-cooled 914 engine. The engine started life as a 1.8 liter fuel injected powerplant that was converted over to Weber carburetors before I got the car (this was a common conversion 'back in the day' because mechanics 'knew' carbs and complex fuel injection systems were complex to diagnose).

Once I got the car, I did an amateur 'freshing up' on the engine after a valve spring broke. I knew very little, but managed to, with the aid of a friend, replace the pistons, cylinders and cam, and have a local shop do a valve job.

It ran well enough, but was never super powerful and it had pretty poor throttle response due to the haphazard combination of parts. Over the years the oil leaks had "matured" leaving more puddles on the garage floor.

So, with no other projects on the table, I pulled the engine out around Christmas time, thinking that I'd just open it up, put some Permatex sealant on everything, and put it back together.

But, the internet is a dangerous place, and lots of information that wasn't available 10 years ago was lurking in the dark corners of cyberspace just waiting for questions like "rebuild 914 engine". Before I knew what happened, I found forums, pictures and shops that specialized in parts and "combos".

I eventually settled on trying to copy a package made by Raby's Aircooled Technology. Complete engine kits are also available, but I really wanted the challenge of figuring out and doing lots of stuff myself. I got what I bargained for!

Choose a chapter from the menu on the left to follow along while I rebuild the venerable Volkswagen Type IV!

1973 Porsche 914


All pictures and text copyright 2008