Remember that when Dr. Porsche designed the VW engine it was designed for about 1.1 liter displacement and 25 or so horsepower. At that level of output the rods might have lasted forever. As I recall the valves could also be a problem. Market demand kept them upping displacement and HP in order to make performance more acceptable.
The British motorcycle industry did much the same thing. The majority of their engines were pre WW2 500cc designs with bearings designed for 25 HP or so. By the end they were 750cc and a claimed 50+ HP or so with basically the same designs and bearings. Norton took theirs to a final 850cc as I recall. Reliability went to hell if the performance was actually used.
If you think the VW was bad, do you remember the Renault Dauphine? It made the VW look good! They sold a bundle of them till the word got out. 20K or less between engine rebuilds as I recall.
I also remember the family 48 Plymouth, a flat head 6. In 1952 we drove it to NY. By the time we reached there it had a rod knock, requiring a rebuild. Most pre war engine designs were grossly under bearinged by modern engineering standards.
My uncle had one of the first VW vans made, apparently brought back from Germany by a GI. The year it was manufactured the engine was 1100cc and 28 horsepower as I recall, totally inadequate for freeway use.
Automotive engineering standards have changed drastically compared to what they once were as have performance and safety standards.
Now lets get back to bikes and accessories ;-)
--- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, "Ben" <benben44@...> wrote:
> I was going to just drop the "off topic" discussion I had initiated. However, since more than 24 hours has gone by without a post to this group, maybe I can stir things up.
> There was a part of the VW engine story I left out. While I'm sitting there with the VW engine in pieces, my friend grabbed a connecting rod (not #3 of course because that was trashed....PPD). We went over to his shop where he had a Volvo B-18 engine torn down. He picked up one of the Volvo rods and held it up besides the VW rod. "Notice that the bottom end of the Volvo is twice as big as the VW. You might also be interested to know that the Volvo rod is forged, (not cast), out of the best steel in the world. You almost never have to replace a rod when you overhaul a Volvo!". (It was SOP to replace the rods when doing the VW).
> I wasn't around in 1936 or whenever it was that VW engineers (Dr. Porche?) thought it might be a good idea to put a full tank of gasoline right in front of the driver with little structural support. By the 1970's when all of this happened, Pinto's were going off all over the place and VW had manufactured a record number of what was obviously by then, a piss poor and dangerous, design.
> The point of all this is that the more I came to appreciate quality, the less I found myself working on my cars. With my new found free time I wandered into a bike shop one day and discovered the show case where they kept the jewels (Campy groupo). Now I'm a complete sucker for eye candy.
Actually dealers have to become Civia dealers. Only authorized dealers can order. Another reason to support your LBS. The minimum is not high so get your friends together and encourage your LBS to stock more IGH bikes!
I know that two years ago College Cyclery in Reno was able to order me a Civia Hyland Rohloff without becoming a full dealer. Maybe because there was no authorized dealer in the area. The shop does use QBP as their primary parts supplier for most items. They also got me a Surly Big Dummy last year w/o becoming a full Surly dealer and per the Surly web site there is a Surly dealer in Reno, Bicycle Bananas.
--- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, Aaron Goss <aaron@...> wrote:
> Actually dealers have to become Civia dealers. Only authorized dealers can
> order. Another reason to support your LBS. The minimum is not high so get
> your friends together and encourage your LBS to stock more IGH bikes!