IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

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71whitewesty
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IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:20 pm

Well my head is spinning still from Colins visit today and I'll try and get some of this out while it's still fresh.
3rd appointment with Colin
I have two 71 white westys. One I normally drive and one I dragged out of a field and have been fixing up to have as a back-up. They are basically identical twins and bone stock. (I also have a 71 white tin top waiting in the wings to be fixed up)
When you're going to cart your family around the country in an old Bus, you better have a back-up, right? :joker:
Lots of engine changes since the last visit. Lots of detail here I could add about each engine but I'll skip it for now. The engine I'm using right now is the HFM long block I ordered. This is the 2nd one after the first one failed during break-in. This one seems to be great so far and I immediately left on two long road trips with the family. The first trip was about 900 miles after 300 miles of breaking in the engine. The 2nd trip we just came home from two days ago. It was a killer long road to Glacier Park, 13 days and 2291 miles. That story I'll have to tell later but basically an epic family adventure in the bus.
By the way, after one comes home from 13 days on the back roads, one has a lot of catching up to do. It doesn't help when one (me) gets the damn date wrong that he thinks Colin is supposed to arrive! I was all set to go a day EARLY! Where the hell is he?? I know he's on time...?! After a couple PM's Colin "reminded" me he'll be there at 9am on the 10th....not the 9th. I have some rescheduling to do for work. I still had to run out for a couple hours during Colins visit but otherwise I was trying to stay focused on absorbing as much info as I could. It all worked out fine.

I am amazed at what we accomplished today.

I have been banging my head on these issues and spending money on lots and lots of parts and time trying to fix what we worked on today.

In no particular order,
We adjusted the steering box as well as could be (it's old and needs a rebuild ultimately). Fairly simple and straight forward, especially when you're the one turning the steering wheel and Colin is doing the adjustment on the box. We did this last year and just tuned it up a bit more. It works well but has a bit of a clunk in the middle when you turn the wheel back and forth.

We tuned the HFM engine. I was having trouble with this and it seems as if my vacuum retard pulls too much..? Colin may have a better explanation but with some timing and carb adjustment, it seems to be running really well now. I also learned that I need to keep the oil level to the high mark of the dip stick. I generally kept it somewhere in between the marks but will have to change that habit.

We went over a long block I have with 3k miles before a valve seat fell out of #4 cylinder. The heads are currently at HFM being repaired. This was not an engine or heads from HFM but a more local shop that has since closed it doors. So no more warranty on that one. So I sent heads to HFM and waiting on them to come back so I can put this one back together and get it in one of the westys.
We notice some scoring in cylinder #4 and discussed this in detail. Checked endplay and determined it could be shimmed up a bit more. Discussed appropriate ways to torque heads and seal cylinders to the case and of course many other details on 8mm vs 10mm studs etc....

This was huge and I will post some pictures later. We fixed the dimmer relay on Bus 2 so now I have brights! I had no brights on the last 2 trips. I ordered 2 new relays and tried what appeared to be a decent old used one. None worked. I figured the problem was elsewhere. We checked the contacts on the blinker switch, we grounded out the relay, nothing. We couldn't figure out why that wasn't working and I would have never ever figured this one out.
Listen up.
I ordered two new relays. I cannot find the 2nd right now but I will. Those suckers were make wrong!! Meyle brand "Germany" was one and the other I believe "Pacific" think. They were a bit different looking but same cheap plastic cover and basically a shitty looking part inside. We had to run a JUMPER wire inside the box to get the right spades the power. Colin will have to tell you exactly and I need to put up some pictures to show it. I don't want to take the one Colin "fixed" apart right now until I have something else of better quality that works to replace it with. HAS ANYONE BOUGHT A NEW DIMMER RELAY LATELY AND HAD IT NOT WORK? It seems to be the way they are made and I can't believe that these would work for anyone. Crazy but true.

We also I believe figured out my electrical gremlin in Bus 1 but I'm beat and I've got to hit the hay. This part will take a while to tell. Let me add on to this tomorrow. I can't just tell you what the problem was, I need to tell you how I went about trying to fix this myself, it was insane.
Please excuse any spelling/punctuation errors. I'll clean it up later.

I learned a lot on this visit as always. I hope to retain at least a portion of it.
Thank you Colin. Your service is invaluable to me.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Jivermo » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:46 am

Thanks for your report. I like your writing style. Sounds as though you had a full "Colin" day, learning, laughing and scratching.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:01 am

Went to Washington to visit Bob's Paint Land. Bought six cans of kustom-matched Savanna Beige Real Paint so I can do more touch-up on Chloe.

I had visited Bob's Paint Land on October 5th, 2011 with pj for one can of kustom-matched Savanna Beige on my second day of Chloe ownership. Got the receipt right here. That turned out to be the best can of paint I ever bought for Chloe. It was the paint I used for touch ups where everybody could see it, and it actually lasted until the day before yesterday. Thinking fondly of the time I spent with pj and Dolores when I first picked up Chloe, I called pj and he invited me over for a visit. Then I went to Hood River to see 71whitewesty with his, get this, '71 white Westy. Yeah, and another '71 white Westy.
A very photogenic driveway, if you ask me.

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To photograph the photographer one must photograph:

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I was minding my own business trying to keep these magnificent air-cooled Volkswagens alive and well when . . . . . . . :

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....... this, this, this water-cooled vaayaan filled the view out the rear window. It was merely the kid shuttle.

I should tell you that every visit to 71whitewesty's house ushers in a new round of almost terminal confusion. Trying to keep twins apart is hard enough when it doesn't involve the aromatic effects of carb spray. This guy makes it more difficult still when he swaps engines around like some restless interior decorator switching pictures on the wall. Anyways, I started tearing into the dashboard of that 1971 white Westy when I was supposed to be tearing into the dash of this 1971 white Westy, and only by the grace of the VW gods did I find that I actually had good reason to be tearing into the dash of that one, because it DID have an anomaly with the emergency switch making the fuel gauge needle dance . . . but only when the ignition was off. Did I mention that that we were supposed to attempt generator light diagnostics? Oh, we did, too. We diagnosed a "light bulb out". No less confusing was the poor starting and punk electrical system diagnostics on that Westy. After more time than it should have really taken, we discovered that the engine was missing:

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So, on this 1971 white Westy, we discovered that the replacement dimmer relay was expecting to have voltage supplied to a certain #30 terminal, when in fact, all 1970 and 1971 buses do not use that terminal, they have an internal "buss" to the relay coil. We added a wire from 54 to 30 and plugged that thing in and it works, so there.

Enjoyed a smooth mellow test drive with the Adrian Type 1 Engine Overhaul Number Two, and bid farewell for points east. The Columbia Gorge is a gorgeous evening experience, and I wish I had more photographs, but .............. :

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....................... my very own punky electrical system in the Kodak EasyShare camera threw a low battery warning and shut its fool self off right when I was photographing the most magnificent sunset shot of the John Day Dam or something.

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It was a pleasure to meet up with you again, and next year I shall bring my Bus Branding Iron to help keep all of those 1971 white Westies straight, that's right folks, there is even yet still another 1971 white Westy, triplets they are, but I thought it best to keep it simple here.

Gorgeous evening drive up the gorge. I barely got this chance to say good-bye to Mt Hood in the outside rear view mirror before the road crested . . .
Colin

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

71whitewesty
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Re: A visit to see the twin 71 White Westys in Hood River, O

Post by 71whitewesty » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:45 am

It was a good day Jivermo.
As with any of these visits, the best pictures get missed because you are deep into something and can't be bothered with taking photos, but I took a few.

Similar picture as last year but this time with Cloe and an engineless Bus #1

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Colin and I having a shoot out

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This is Bus #1 with no engine in it and an electrical gremlin I was hoping we would figure out. The dash had been in and out a few times and so had the fuse box yesterday. I just need to stick the screws back in and put the heater levers back on.

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This is the engine bay on Bus #1. In my efforts to track down my electrical gremlin which I believe was either a bad ground or a worn cover on a old wire that is shorting something out, but I couldn't find anything.... I replaced the battery, pos and neg cables, trans ground strap, regulator, starter and even the generator...all to no avail. It would generally start but you'd get one or two "clicks" when you turn the key and then 2nd or 3rd try it would start, batt always would seem just a bit low though, I tried a total of three batteries.
With Colin we talked about resistance in the old wiring and it might be time to put a hot start relay in there. I was resistant as the wires to do that. I've never had one and believed that if I keep on my elect grounds etc in good shape I won't need one. I just want it simple and stock. So we started on this mission as the last project of the day. It was getting close for him to wrap it up and I fully expected that I would get closer to figuring it out but would most likely still need to trouble shoot after Colin left. Well I think we got it. It now makes more sense to me. We had a mysterious drain that was a head scratcher. I suck at electrical work. I hate electrical gremlins. This gremlin nearly ended my first trip of the summer 4 weeks ago. I had just put the new engine in and got it running pretty well and made it 30 miles out of town and I couldn't get it restarted after a quick break to check on things. I knew it was an electrical problem and not the engine. Just then a AAA tow truck randomly drove by (no cell service either!), he turned around and had us loaded on the truck in about 15 minutes and we were back home a bit over an hour after we left. If was an efficient pick up to say the least. On that drive home in the truck I decided that this trip wouldn't be the same taking another car. So the minute we had the Bus unloaded I went to town taking the engine out and I put it in Bus #2 and we had that one up and running two hours later. Repacked everything from one bus into the other and we were done around midnight and left early the next morning and had an incredible trouble free trip. I'm still driving Bus #2 until I get the heads back for Bus #1.
Should I just tell you now what the drain was? It seems to be the F4%$ing stereo! Don't ask how that thing just decided to take a turn for the worse but it did. I never use it anyway. As Colin and I talked about, it's tough to really hear your radio when you're driving on the freeway. You have to turn it so loud that it basically sucks. I actually prefer to listen to the bus and talk to the passengers. So we clipped that wire off and I think we have it how. Symptoms were weird, with the key OFF and hazards ON, the GAS gauge would also pulsate with the emergency flasher?! figure that one out....Didn't seem to be a problem with the key ON but obviously there was problem somewhere. My Gen light also wasn't working and Colin fixed it, still now sure what he did there but it works and I am stoked! I still need to get an engine in there an drive it and make sure but I think we have it figured out.
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Now back to the dimmer relay. Take a look at these photos. Let me know if anyone has used either one of the these relays and if they had success with them. It seem they are made wrong and will not work. As mentioned above, we had to basically jump the power to another spade using a short wire tucked neatly inside the relay box. I have the Meyle brand in there but the Pacific one didn't work either and I can't find it now to compare but maybe someone can see the diagrams on the outside of the boxes and decipher them to see if they are the same....having an internet issue and will post them in the next post....

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:16 am

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Beware of these dimmer relays. I hope to find someone that's tried one of these and see what their experience was.

And straight up, this advertising of Meyle is deceptive as it gets. Is that even German writing? This is bullshit by any measure. Love the inspection quality sticker.

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Here's the part #.

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and original one that doesn't seem to work either. I'm going to take it apart and see how the inside looks.

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This is the HFM long block in Bus #2. I put the ugly blue pulley on as a last ditch effort to get the timing right. It's running well and no oil leaks etc. 3k miles on it and so far so good. It runs nice and smooth and I hope this baby lasts a long time.

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Ok and the reason why we all put up with our old and sometime finicky busses and hire Colin to empower us with the knowledge to keep them on the road...? To create awesome memories and adventures. Here are a couple of teaser shots from our 2291 mile trip through Glacier and beyond that we just got back from a couple days ago.

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Keep on Bussing!!

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:04 pm

Here's my follow up after taking the bus for a long familiar drive today.
It's running excellent! So good, more power, better idle, just perfect as far as I'm concerned. Starts immediately and just runs perfectly. Each IAC visit has produced a great running bus. It is such a pleasure to drive a great running bus vs a pretty good running bus. I'm ready to hit the road again.

The steering has a noticeable stiff spot as you pass through the center line of steering. The clunk seems to be gone but wonder if I should back it off just a tiny amount? It's not bad but it's noticeable.

Upon closer inspection my brights aren't exactly working right yet. The brights are on only if you hold up the indicator lever. When you let it off it goes back to normal lights. Maybe the cheap new part isn't "switching sides" with the metal blade thing? I'll have to look further into it. I'm tempted to just find a good original one and see if that fixes it. At least I know it's in the relay. Should be an easy fix.

I bet the drive down the gorge was nice. Departure time was perfect for a good sunset and I bet your mileage was good with that tail wind.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by dingo » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:36 pm

pry open those relays and inspect contacts for corrosion or other interference in conductivity

as i discovered, 71 dimmer relays will fit into the female at 180 deg off, and cause mayhem, ..so visual is required
'71 Kombi, 1600 dp

';78 Tranzporter 2L

" Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Jivermo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:15 am

Love Polebridge, and the campground at Kintla Lake. Glacier is a special place.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:13 am

71whitewesty wrote:Here's my follow up. I'm ready to hit the road again.

A) The steering has a noticeable stiff spot as you pass through the center line of steering. The clunk seems to be gone but wonder if I should back it off just a tiny amount? It's not bad but it's noticeable.

B) brights aren't exactly working right yet. Should be an easy fix.

C) I bet the drive down the gorge was nice. Departure time was perfect for a good sunset and I bet your mileage was good with that tail wind.
A) Just a smidge back, maybe 3* at the screw.

B) Remember how we couldn't get that little thingy to go down the other side of the "mountain" unless I moved the copper plate in that shockingly sloppy pivot? Then it would do the switching? And I did about four successful switch actions and we slapped the cover on? Yeah, I bet the copper plate has shifted in the SS Pivot.

C) It was gorgeous, but your pictures are stunning.
Colin

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:20 am

Well as usual I'm last to the party but I just happened to notice this reference to the faulty new dimmer relay on the samba.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=632699

Even still I decided to order a couple original ones and see if they work any better.
I also readjusted the steering box and it's good to go now.
Bus is still running great and my heads should be back next week for my other motor.
Hope the trip is going well for you Colin. I'm liking all your shots from Oregon.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:50 pm

My Bus 2 has been sitting a few weeks due to being away and then the weather. I've put about 6,000 miles on it since your visit. I hooked up the heaters and took it for a drive today. It started and ran sooo well. Just smooth, perfect, it feels so good and I was smiling the whole drive. Heat seems to work pretty well in this bus too. Looking forward to your next round!

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:02 pm

71whitewesty wrote:My Bus 2 has been sitting a few weeks due to being away and then the weather. I've put about 6,000 miles on it since your visit. I hooked up the heaters and took it for a drive today. It started and ran sooo well. Just smooth, perfect, it feels so good and I was smiling the whole drive. Heat seems to work pretty well in this bus too. Looking forward to your next round!
Me too, your buses are the quintessential Campmobiles . . . they are lucky to be out on the road making memories for your family. Get the spare Westy road worthy!
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:35 pm

I have both busses up and running now. New heads on Bus 1 and I've put maybe 300 miles on it so far. Bus 1 is running good but I know needs a bit of fine tuning still. That electrical issue still might be there but really not sure yet. It will still just "click" maybe 1 or 2 out of 5 tries turning the key. I'll be tinkering with Bus 1 this winter and making sure she's ready for anything.
We are taking Bus 2 on about 1000 mile trip over Thanksgiving...with heat.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:42 am

Sure looking forward to the 2016 visit.

Fair warning though, that electrical problem is still there. Once the winter weather was behind us I started driving Bus 2 so I could put some miles on it and make sure it's ready to go. Well I put about 3 K on it, mostly shorter trips but a few 100 mile trips. It runs great but starts weak.
Until I drove home from the Woodburn Vw. It started sputtering real bad about 40 miles from home. I checked points and let it cool a bit, it was in the high 90's, started it up and made it home but had the same issue. It won't start now. I think the condenser is fried but I haven't messed with it yet.

I won't go into detail on this post because I'm camped out down by a river on the southern oregon coast at the moment in Bus 2 but it reminds me of last years troubles, exactly. It's not in the motor because this is a different motor and the problem is the same. I think it's somewhere between the ignition switch and the wires to the solenoid.

Bus 2 with the HFM motor is still running fantastic with almost 15k on it since your visit.

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Re: IAC Visits The Twin 71 White Westys in Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:17 pm

71whitewesty wrote:Sure looking forward to the 2016 visit.

Fair warning though, that electrical problem is still there. Once the winter weather was behind us I started driving Bus 2 so I could put some miles on it and make sure it's ready to go. Well I put about 3 K on it, mostly shorter trips but a few 100 mile trips. It runs great but starts weak.
Until I drove home from the Woodburn Vw. It started sputtering real bad about 40 miles from home. I checked points and let it cool a bit, it was in the high 90's, started it up and made it home but had the same issue. It won't start now. I think the condenser is fried but I haven't messed with it yet.

I won't go into detail on this post because I'm camped out down by a river on the southern oregon coast at the moment in Bus 2 but it reminds me of last years troubles, exactly. It's not in the motor because this is a different motor and the problem is the same. I think it's somewhere between the ignition switch and the wires to the solenoid.

Bus 2 with the HFM motor is still running fantastic with almost 15k on it since your visit.
Whilst you camp, establish all parameters to this problem. "Runs great but starts weak" needs a full courtroom style detailed exposition.
"Started sputtering real bad" are we talking hesitation or backfires? Inspect carefully the breaker points to see if they have a burnt contact surface and pitting perchance.
ColinCampingAtGrandRapids - (concrete rapids)
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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