Disassembly Tips

by Richard Atwell
(c) Copyright 2005-2011


Can you pull an engine in 30 minutes? I can't. I can drop one fairly quickly if everything is disconnected but otherwise it always takes longer than expected. I've tried using exaggeration to speed up the process but it just doesn't seem to help like it does on the internet. :-)

Some parts on the bus cannot be removed unless some other part is removed first. This tech article aims to expose those obstacles and others. I've highlighted the critical blocking items in yellow where applicable.

Retorque Head:

After you install and run your engine it's a good idea to retorque the heads but it cannot be done without removing some parts first:

  1. Remove intake and fuel system
  2. Remove the top cylinder tin
  3. Now you can retorque the bolts with the pattern shown below:
head torque pattern

Remove Cylinder Head:

I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody suggested removing a cylinder head from the engine with the engine installed in the bus. It's almost always quicker to remove the engine (although you will lose access to the underside unless you use an ATV jack or engine stand to raise the engine again).

  1. Remove heat exchanger and hot air tubes
  2. Remove intake and fuel system
  3. Unbolt oil cooler bracket from fan shroud
  4. Remove top and bottom cylinder tin
  5. Disconnect thermostat cable
  6. Remove impeller fan
  7. Pull fan shroud forward
  8. Remove the front deflector tin between the oil cooler and cylinder
  9. Remove the tin on the other side for that head
  10. Remove valve cover
  11. Undo valve adjusting screws
  12. Remove rocker arms and push rod retainer
  13. Remove push rods
  14. Remove push rod tubes
  15. Remove under cylinder deflector tin
  16. Now you can pull the head

Here's a photo of the front deflector and under cylinder tin pieces that make head removal nontrivial:

engine without tin defletor tin screws

Note: you can remove the cylinder with the heat exchanger attached but I don't know why you would want to do it that way. Of course, installing the head with the heat exchanger already mounted makes sense because you can ensure the best fit between the exhaust port and manifold on the bench. Mounting the heat exchangers with the engine already in the bus is no fun because they are so heavy.

Remove Firewall:

To remove the firewall on a Type 4 engine...

  1. Because the intake is in the way you will have to selectively remove parts on FI and carb models to achieve clearance or...
  1. Drop the engine at the engine support bar using the carrier clips by 4-6" to lower the forward (breast) engine tin.
  2. Pull the firewall out at the bottom and pull down

Here's a photo showing the lowermost part of the firewall that hits the breast tin:


Replace Rear Shift Rod Grommets:

There are 2 shift rods grommets on the rear shift rod and 3 on later models starting part way through 1977 with VIN 217 2053 839 (unless the dealer performed the upgrade to an earlier model).

  1. Drop the engine and transmission

Here a photo to demonstrate how long the rear shift rod is: it is a lot longer than you might think:

72 shift rod

Note: the frontmost rear shift rod grommet can be replaced if you disconnect the front shift rod and pull the rear shift rod out of the front of the shift rod tube but the rear (or middle and rear) grommet must be replaced after removing the shift rod from the rear opening.

Masochism 101:

You will regret attempting the following. These tasks are not impossible, just frustrating in the extreme and best done with other parts removed first:

  • Replacing the fuel filler hose with the engine installed. You can access the filler with the "paint can lid" removed but there is simply no space to maneuver the fuel filler pipe and too awkward to reach from the access hatch.
  • Replacing the shift rod ball in the transmission nose cone. You can pull the nose cone off after disconnecting the shift coupler but I would only attempt it on a lift.


03/05/05 - Created
09/07/11 - Fixed broken photos, added translate button, updated footer
07/15/19 - Google update: new adsense code, removed defunt translate button