Well, nothing but good news.
After discussing my issues with several Samba members, they insisted my problem was a vacuum leak problem. I couldn’t understand it, as I had replaced the distributor vacuum hose, made sure the base of the carb was flat, sealed the carb to the manifold, replaced the silicone boots.
Starting thinking about what had NOT changed over the course of the problem and the only think I could think of was the brake booster hose. So, I proceeded to remove the distributor vacuum hose and the brake booster hose and plug them. Low and behold the bus cranked and idled. Unbelievable. So I went back and reinstalled the distributor hose and it still idled. Reinstalled the brake booster hose and the problem arose again.
The brake booster hose is the only one in the engine compartment I hadn’t changed out yet and it was looking rough around the firewall. Replacement hose was a little difficult to find but found a local supplier for Gates Rubber – Power Brake Vacuum HosePart # 27233. It was 15/32″ and 3 feet long. Luckily they had two in stock as it takes 3 feet from the hard brake booster line into the engine compartment and connect to the check valve and then an extra foot to go to the carb. I also removed the check valve, cleaned it up and reinstalled, BUT TAKE NOTE. In this case, the Bentley manual is INCORRECT.
I’m not sure if the brake booster check valve is original, it appears to be but no guarantees. According to the Bentley, the arrow should face the brake booster. However, in this case, the check valve is clearly marked with the word “MOTOR” with an arrow. The arrow must face the carb. This allows air to flow towards the carb but not towards the brake booster, in case the engine were to backfire through the carb,it will stop the air flow and ruin the brake booster.
So, we are now on the road again and I have driven her around a little and she seems to be doing much, much better. I’m still working on tweaking the carb and need to adjust the choke some. Hope to do that a little more this weekend.