Chaos in Carleton, MI

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drober23
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Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by drober23 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:39 pm

The day started with Chloe puttering down my driveway.

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My pipe dream had been that the bus would be running when Colin arrived, and that we would spend the day doing all sorts of improvements. This did not come to pass.

The engine found its way into the bay on Thursday evening, and the final exhaust bits were fastened in on Friday evening. Then when I went to start the bus I was greeted with nothing. So, I switched the two spade connectored wires on the starter and got it to turn over. But not the slightest hint of an offer. Hmm....

Traced it down to the double relay pretty quickly. Then I remembered to plug in the AFM fitting. This had to make it go! No luck... After a few more feeble attempts I resigned myself to having Colin help me get it started in an embarrassingly short period of time in the morning and went to bed.

Fast forward to Colin's arrival. We had a nice chat in the kitchen about a few things. He reveled that the pre-schooler he met on his first visit here was now 13. Then we discussed the no-start problem and our course of action.

After the first few minutes, we tried starting it. No fuel pump and no offer. Colin poured a little fuel down the plenum, surely this would bring it sputtering to life for a moment... but no! The battery was getting a bit tired, and since we were in a barn quite a ways from the house we had to bring in auxiliary electrical reinforcements.

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So, time to make sure we have the basics in place. Pulled the middle wire from the distributor and turned it over. "That's a great f***ing spark!" says Colin. Hmm, we got spark. But still no fuel. We despaired that the Double Relay might be toast. Extensive testing (with the two of us struggling to read the numbers off the double relay to know where to apply the voltage) later, we decided the relay was fine. Then, Colin had an "AHA!" look about him and checked the connector to the AFM more closely.

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Three of the pins had been pulled out of their place due to the ham-handed treatment I had subjected them to. So... I pulled the little barbs up on them and pushed them back into the connector. Put the ignition on and swept the wiper on the AFM a bit and the fuel pump started! Woo hoo! It was certain that the bus would now spring to life. But NO!

Hmm, we got spark, and fuel now. There is probably air... Gotta check the timing! After some gnashing of teeth, we decided we knew where #1 was and he set the timing. Still no start! Hmmm.... actually starting to progress to Grrrrr.... Pulled off the distributor cap again and noticed the distributor rotor was able to move because it was not seated deeply enough. This solved the timing problem and we got it re-timed. Shortly after this it started and he tinkered with the mixture enough for us to drive it out of the accursed barn and into the beautifully sunny day that was happening without us (and next to the dome).

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Now that fully half our day was gone, it seemed like a good time for lunch. After lunch we attacked the pesky heat distribution cable. The one on it had broken, but it was not the correct one anyway. The replacement I had purchased was also not the right one. We raided one from a '79 deluxe that I am not prepared to treat as a parts bus. Colin took several pictures of this, and may have more to say about it. I will leave this to him.

We ended up having to remove the tree on the pipe that takes the heat to the dashboard. A spring is attached to the lever arm to help pull it into position. We raided that from the same "not a parts bus" but had NO CLUE where it was supposed to attach. We decided to drill a (small) hole into the back of the tree and attach it there.

Now it was time to do some AFM tuning. The bus had not been idling the best for a while now, and I had suspected trouble from vacuum leaks. I was not disappointed. The big one was in the brake booster circuit. The hose leaving the engine bay had been hacked several times. It also had the automatic only tiny little barb that feeds a tiny hose and what turned out to be a non-functioning check valve. In what turned into an epic bit of drama, we removed the entire hose from engine bay to the metal brake booster line from another "not a parts bus". This filled me with grief, but I will replace it on the '79 standard sunroof bus eventually.

Putting the hose into the '75 Westy was pretty easy after the fun of taking it out. It seemed to make a big difference, but after further review there still seems to be a vacuum problem in that circuit. We blocked it off for now, and I will pursue that on my own time.

So... time for a test drive! Colin wins the race to the driver's seat and we head off to gas station (I only put in a gallon or so at home). We get to the gas station and Colin is poking with things there, so I ran in and got a pop. When I come back out, the bus is not running. Good... time to put some gas in it. But not so good... it had stalled dead and refused to restart. The bus acted like it was out of gas, but filling it did not cause it to start on the next crank. I felt the fuel pump, it was pretty warm (nice bath temperature). Colin asserted that it might be dead.

Turns out it was just mostly dead. After a few minutes it started up. Colin's theory is that there was so little fuel in the tank, and we spent so much time idling, that it heated the fuel up so that it could no longer cool the pump. The cooler than ambient temperature pump that I felt upon the return home lends credence to this theory so that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Visit time was quickly drawing to a close. He insisted on taking a hatchet to the steering wheel!

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The steering wheel was loose, and the hatchet was the closest thing to take the button off with. He tightened the steering wheel and adjusted the screws on the horn ring. He also took about 2 minutes and cleaned up the shifter stop-plate placement nicely! Another few minutes lubricating the sliding door made a world of difference and he was off!

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It turned out to be a hugely productive, if not more than a bit unorganized on my part, day. The bus felt good when I took it out on the road (repair talisman extra fuel pump in tow), it shifts nicer, and the sliding door works much better. Thanks again for continuing to offer this unique service!
DJ

'75 Westfalia, '79 Deluxe
(plus more busses than sense)

In a time of chimpanzees I was a monkey

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airkooledchris
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by airkooledchris » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:56 am

Thanks for the great writeup WITH pictures. There's way too few of these from the members themselves!
1979 California Transporter

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Amskeptic
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:36 pm

airkooledchris wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:56 am
Thanks for the great writeup WITH pictures. There's way too few of these from the members themselves!


Did you see the singlecab hiding behind the bus we were trying to start?

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This is the tinworm, exposed after peeking underneath the crinklecoat blue:

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I suggested not a thing about making it look prettier or fixing anything up. I was all about Stop Further Rust.
That those things are astronomical observatory dome halves in line with the basketball backstop, and them over there's the solar panels just above the charging station for the car:

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It is great having a functional keyboard once more, but I have lost my amber/white wireless status light. Whatever shall I do?
Colin

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

TrollFromDownBelow
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by TrollFromDownBelow » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:27 pm

Awesome write up by both of you! And yes, I admit, I'm not a picture taker....would like to blame it on Colin that he keeps me too busy to take pics, but the real reason is, I'm just not a picture taker in general...
1976 VW Bus aka tripod
FI ...8 completely solid lifters.... now it's both kinda noisy and leaky, but she sure runs good!
hambone wrote: There are those out there with no other aim but to bunch panties. It's like arguing with a pretzel.
::troll2::

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Amskeptic
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:13 am

One of the more fascinating moments out at the geodesic polyhedron dome house with electric car charger and solar panel array and telescope house, was the heater distribution cable on the '75 bus. Well . . . I found it fascinating.

Somewhere around 1975-ish, VW decided that they could add an additional feature to the distribution of heated air.

Prior to 1975, the front footwell heat was tied in directly with the rear footwell heat. You had either full defrost, or everybody front and rear gets to try to get warm.

In 1975, VW came up with the devilishly simple trick of cutting out an inch of cable sheath on the front footwell flap's lever so you could shut off the defroster and direct all air to the front footwells only. Your passengers would be out in the cold as it were while you got all the heat for your feet and your feet alone.
"Daddy, I'm COLD."
"We all are, kid," but you'd be lying.

What this inch of "cable sheath missing" does, is allow the the front footwell to remain open as the dashboard lever cruelly chokes off the passenger compartment flaps because the front lever is motionless while the gap in the sheath is taken up. Only after the gap is closed, does the front footwell finally have to close to allow the defroster to work. Ha HA you little brats.

Here's the crafty gap that a lot of people think is a "broken cable":

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This is the end that doglegs into the front flap lever. In order for this system to work correctly, you have to make sure that the little spring is attached to the lever so it defaults to your warm feet.

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We had to take out the heater tree and drill a small hole for the other end of the spring:

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See, Daddy knows his priorities.
"Daddy, I'm COLD back here!"
"Well, I have to FEEL my FEET to operate the BRAKES and clutch, kid, so suck it up."
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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drober23
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by drober23 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:04 am

Hey TrollFromDownBelow,

I am not a huge picture taker either. My last visit was not chronicled properly, so I made a point of stopping to take pictures when exciting things were happening. it was hard to pull away, even for just 30 seconds, to do it but now I am glad I did. Make it a priority for your next visit and you will be pleased with the results!

We had a couple things on the "check after a few miles list". Here is an interim report on them:

1) CHT temps. The bus seems to run 10-20 °F hotter at highway speed. Top temps were in the 420s. The big change was swapping out the extractor exhaust for a stock muffler. I love the quiet that the new muffler brings, but am not happy about the higher CHT. Just for fun, I swapped the offroad tires to the Orange '79 Deluxe Sunroof and put the Continentals from it onto the Westy. The combination of stock exhaust and civilized tires makes for a much quieter and comfier ride. I will probably get some new "non-offroad" tires for it before my big trips this summer

2) Brake Booster Circuit Vacuum Leak: Upon inspection, the hose that goes from the metal (undercarriage) vacuum line to the booster itself looks good. However, the connection of that hose to the booster is very loose. I suspect this would cause a variable vacuum leak, which might puzzle someone troubleshooting the AFM functionality. I have tightened this connection, but not driven the bus yet. More later,
DJ

'75 Westfalia, '79 Deluxe
(plus more busses than sense)

In a time of chimpanzees I was a monkey

Heliconman
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by Heliconman » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:41 am

Thanks for the write up and pics DJ and Colin,

We need to hire Colin for a visit on our bus. One thing I can say DJ is that its a good thing you have all those "Not a parts Bus" Buses! Hope to see you next month. Not sure I'll be any more organized when we have you here in Minnetonka but there should be some decent BBQ for dinner. Thanks again for the pics. Ive missed seeing DJ and his family and projects since moving away 3 years ago.

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Amskeptic
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:23 pm

Heliconman wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:41 am
Thanks for the write up and pics DJ and Colin,

We need to hire Colin for a visit on our bus. One thing I can say DJ is that its a good thing you have all those "Not a parts Bus" Buses! Hope to see you next month. Not sure I'll be any more organized when we have you here in Minnetonka but there should be some decent BBQ for dinner. Thanks again for the pics. Ive missed seeing DJ and his family and projects since moving away 3 years ago.
So, where are you? I am in Portland Oregon . . . presently.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

Heliconman
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by Heliconman » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:23 pm

Hi Colin,

I'm now in a suburb of Minneapolis. I am thinking for next year.

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drober23
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by drober23 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 am

Thanks Jim!

Got the pics replaced so other folks can see them now. Photobucket kidnapped my offsite images. Grrr...
DJ

'75 Westfalia, '79 Deluxe
(plus more busses than sense)

In a time of chimpanzees I was a monkey

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Amskeptic
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Re: Chaos in Carleton, MI

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:18 am

drober23 wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 am
Photobucket kidnapped my offsite images. Grrr...
No kidding. Ransom.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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