Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Chicago

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Chicago

Post by Amskeptic » Thu May 31, 2007 9:34 am

Due to the infamous traffic snarls of the metropolitan Chicago region, I tried to sneak in from a nice little 2-lane road, Illinois 176 over to the west side of Lake Michigan. Oh yes, self-congratulation was in order. I could see the lake's marine haze building on the horizon as I puttered closer to Chicago, HA!HA! all those poor suckers crawling on the tollway, HA! PAYING to sit in traffic. . . but no. I was not to be spared. Gorgeous hazy afternoon light, fresh new fields of baby corn stalks, barns, houses, silos, and a long, long, long line of cars just sitting on the road. Okay, so there's an accident or something, it was still a potentially good choice, I tell myself. We crawled and crawled over hill and through dale (while I annoyed the clueless SUV behind me with my special Traffic Crawl Spare The Clutch Technique). But no. I was not to be spared from the ills of this Midwestern automotive hellhole. It was not an accident. It was a fiendishly sadistic traffic light at a three-way intersection. And when I finally saw freedom beckoning on the other side of the intersection "come-on clutch just one more," I confidently shifted into 2nd "let's go and finally feel the breeze!" but no. The timorous Buick La Salle with the chatty hairdos just slams on her brakes when she guesses a yellow light might be coming. Mr. Already Pissed SUV behind me thinks it is probably me who just could not bear to pass through a yellow, and he's leaning on the horn. Welcome To Chicago.

But, my annual Drive Bob D's Bus is here. The finest mechanical example of the late-model bus breed in the country. The last true Volkswagen experience available. The glorious paint, the every fresh part, the tight, rattle-free construction, communicative and responsive steering, the best dang 091 gearshifter (best overall shifter still belongs to satchmo), even the seat horsehair pads are still new and slightly sticky green.

We have a return trip to BobD's to wrestle a new door seal to proper functionality, a trip to the forum's Resident Troublemaker, and a visit with Mr. Blotto before I bail to Ohio and Massachusetts.

Bob and I were talking. These cars are worthy of saving if only as representatives of a time where quality was offered as a gift to people, people? people. . . not just consumer widgets.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

mattg
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Post by mattg » Thu May 31, 2007 10:42 am

Colin

There is no way around the traffic in chicagoland anymore. I remember a time when I could get to the city in 40 minutes from 25 miles away. Those days are long gone. I usually stay off the highways in my bus because even at 65 I am in danger for the 80-90 mph drivers. Oh and on a side note dont speed in construction zones - they have cameras and will gladly take a picture of your license plate and send you a minimum $350 ticket. Safe travels.
I'm all out of ideas and I've tried nothing.

77 Westy 2.0 FI

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Thu May 31, 2007 6:10 pm

mattg wrote: There is no way around the traffic in chicagoland anymore.
on a side note dont speed in construction zones -
I left BobD's at 12 midnight two years ago and it still took a good three hours of I-94/I-80/90 traffic jam to get to state Rte 30.

Thanks for the tip. I will paint some interesting new numbers on my plates and change the state to New Yorsey.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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bretski
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Post by bretski » Thu May 31, 2007 6:21 pm

You are in Chicagoland at a historic time. It is the glorious fleeting month that comes but once every seventeen years...CICADAS!

I was just talking to my dad, as seventeen years ago I came to visit in the midst of this most amazing cacophony--that soon becomes nasty--when the birds are gorged, and the sidewalks become ankle-deep in bugs. :pukeleft:
1978 Deluxe Westfalia - "Klaus"

"transcripts are overrated. hardware store receipts: those are useful." --skin daddio

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Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:42 am

bretski wrote:You are in Chicagoland at a historic time. It is the glorious fleeting month that comes but once every seventeen years...CICADAS!
:pukeleft:
They are beautiful to look at, like some sort of science fiction creature, once again displaying nature's amazing engineering. BobD and I were looking at the wings, transparent yet somehow there was nourishment reaching every one of those cells, and what's with the 17 year (and 13?) cycle what survival purpose does that serve?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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bretski
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Post by bretski » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:00 am

It's an anti-predatory adaptation, according to most. Cicadas are protein-packed, defenseless, and quite tasty. They come out once every 17 years by the billions to mate, lay eggs, and die. As there are so many, the birds feast, then park themselves in front of the couch Al Bundy-style, unable to move. Plenty of the little buggers are then able to procreate and ensure survival of the species.

The next generation spends the next 16 years living underground as grubs, until the orgy begins anew...ain't biology cool???
1978 Deluxe Westfalia - "Klaus"

"transcripts are overrated. hardware store receipts: those are useful." --skin daddio

mattg
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Post by mattg » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:32 am

I have yet to see a cicada yet out in Elburn - 50 miles west of chicago and that is fine with me. I dont think we will have them because I am out in the farmland and there werent alot of mature trees here 17 years ago.
I'm all out of ideas and I've tried nothing.

77 Westy 2.0 FI

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Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:54 pm

mattg wrote:I have yet to see a cicada yet out in Elburn - 50 miles west of chicago and that is fine with me. I dont think we will have them because I am out in the farmland and there werent alot of mature trees here 17 years ago.
Beautiful chorus surrounding us in a ubiquitous envelope hear in the Parkwood/Libertyville area.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Bob D.
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Post by Bob D. » Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:57 pm

Yesterday was Colin's second visit this year to my garage. For anyone who hasn't personally experienced a visit from the Itinerant Air Cooled service, I have to take this opportunity to note for the record how invaluable the IAC service has been for the health and happiness of my bus.

Yes, my bus is a fine example of the breed, but much of the reason is Colin’s careful efforts to help me get it into that condition and keep it that way. When I first got my bus years ago, I was so happy to find a semi-pristine example that I was determined to keep it in top shape by replacing (in pretty much a haphazard fashion, I now realize) every part that showed even the slightest hint of wear, and even some that didn't (preventive maintenance, I told myself). Colin did a fantastic job educating me about the difference between factory original VW parts and the replacement parts available today, and the benefit of preserving original parts through careful maintenance, enhancement or selective rebuilding.

In addition, although I store my bus in the Winter, the rest of the year I drive it pretty regularly in all sorts of conditions. Colin’s suggestions for driving styles, preservation techniques and maintenance habits learned via a half-million miles of bus ownership and the repair of countless other buses--and that he gladly shares during his IAC visits--are priceless contributors to the health and longevity of any bus and IMHO are alone worth the price of admission.

Yes, IAC days are long and pace a bit brisk, ;-) but at the end of every visit I’ve felt like I’ve learned a lot and, no matter its condition at the start of the day, my bus is *always* better for the experience.

My $.02 from the land of the ankle-deep cicadas....:-)
1978 7-Passenger Bus
37k miles
SOLD

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Post by turk » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:27 pm

Colin,
Regarding the survival purpose of the 13 - 17 year intervals of the periodical cicadas. Good question. I got curious myself and so I looked it up and according to "Eastern Forests", an Audubon Society Nature Guide I have:
"The simultaneous appearance of thousands of cicadas during a few weeks overwhelms predators, permitting the great majority to mate undisturbed."

And,

"Unlike cicadas of other genera, Periodical Cicadas emerge in a single locality only once every 13 or 17 years. Each synchronized population is called a brood. Some are large and occupy major areas of the U.S., while others are small and cover less than 100 square miles. Only 14 broods of 17-year cicadas and 5 of 13-year cicadas are known to exist today. Broods that are separated by 4 years tend to overlap in geographic distribution, whereas those separated by only 1 year border eachother geographically, without any overlap."

Maybe this strategy can be incorporated into your itinerary as far as providing for the survival of VWs?
:joker:

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:33 pm

turk wrote: Maybe this strategy can be incorporated into your itinerary as far as providing for the survival of VWs?
:joker:
See you in 2024!
Colincada
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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the sage
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Post by the sage » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:47 pm

Colin,

Sorry I missed you this time around... I am in a full blown restore right now...

Image

I am also getting a 68 Westy next week, so we will have lots to look at next time you are in the midwest...

Safe travels, Sage
1977 Sage Deluxe Campermobile

Visit VW Sage Ad World Today!

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:05 pm

the sage wrote: Sorry I missed you this time around... I am in a full blown restore right now...

I am also getting a 68 Westy next week, so we will have lots to look at next time you are in the midwest...

Safe travels, Sage
You bet. I hope your bus turns out beautifully, like that yellow green engine. Heads and all get dealt with successfully?

I will likely be doing a north traverse of the country later this fall.
Got that Squareback running yet?? My Squareback is fine thank-you.
Colin :compress:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

turk
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Post by turk » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:02 pm

See you in 2024!
Although burying my bus until then sounds like a cool experiment, lets scratch that idea, ok?

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the sage
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Post by the sage » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:34 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
You bet. I hope your bus turns out beautifully, like that yellow green engine. Heads and all get dealt with successfully?

I will likely be doing a north traverse of the country later this fall.
Got that Squareback running yet?? My Squareback is fine thank-you.
Colin :compress:
I have finally moved everything into the barn. That took most of this spring. The engine is done... I built an engine test stand, seeing as I have 10 to build in the next few years.

Schedule of Restoration:

June complete 77 Westy
July Strip down Squareback
Aug Paint and engine refresh
Sept Reassembly Squareback
Sept Double Cab welding

I start the 23 window next spring.

Busy Busy Busy...
1977 Sage Deluxe Campermobile

Visit VW Sage Ad World Today!

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