Itinerant Air-Cooled Sleepless In Seattle

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Sleepless In Seattle

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:42 pm

Just finished a two day marathon with Susan Dolvin, the well-connected VW enthusiast with a beautiful '66 splitty Dormobile camper. It was after the first part of the day devoted to tune-up tutoring that things got interesting. My back went into a crippling spasm from the prior day's Beetle wheel/drum toss-onto-the-counter (so we could pack the bearings) in Maupin. As the day progressed, it was threatening to lay me out. The test drive showed a terribly sticky gearshifter. We adjusted the clutch cable to make extra sure that it had enough travel to release the clutch disk. While jacked, the gear shifter was as light and smooth as butter. Well, that adjustment made a nasty vibrating noise when I stepped on the clutch fully, and the sticky shifter even worse. I assumed we needed to pull the engine to have a look at the clutch. A sticky shifter, after all, is often indicative of a clutch that is not releasing. My back said, "oh yeah? oh YEAH? YA THINK YER GONNA PULL AN ENGINE, HAH?? PULL THIS!" and new spasms tore through my sacro-illiac joint.

Got the engine pulled at 5:30 PM or so, and whoa baby, the release bearing was being smeared at a ridiculously non-concentric spot and the release arms were bent all to hell. New pressure plate time. Free play was .007" and I said, let's fix that too. By this time I am moving like an 84 year-old man.

Next morning, we had her neighbor's spare pressure plate (imagine! across the street! a replacement part for a 40 year-old car!) ready to go. She had to schlep a fair distance to get some shims and a front seal while I filed each and every flywheel gear tooth to make the starter more apt to engage and I also wasted precious time discovering that the new starter bushing was too long and the new starter sprayed sparks only.

By 4:00 PM we were setting end play to .0035" lotso flutzing around, got the clutch back in and had the engine running by 6:15 PM. But wouldn't ya know, we couldn't get the car into gear. Shut off the engine and it was smooth as butter. We sat there in the cab. I'm thinking, "she must think I am an idiot, a smooth-talking idiot." So I promised her that I was taking the engine out again, NOW, and that I would have it going by midnight. Told my back, "look! I'm sorry, you know it, but we have to do this."

Had the engine out in 40 minutes, clutch looked FINE. Ahhhh. But my test fit of the clutch disk on the input shaft showed a jam up, clutch disk was therefore not allowed to release from the flywheel surface. Apparently, the last clutch job someone had bashed the input shaft splines hard enough to flatten out the grooves. Filed each and every spline with my triangular file. My back said, "I will smite thee a cripple for evermore if you don't stand up." I replied, "let's get the engine back in, shall we?"
Poor Susan is looking at me with that startled concern of "is this guy OK?"
I was chattily cheerful as we put it back together, "these cars shift so beautifully when the clutch works right." ". . . I'm not certain your average mechanic would have caught these mashed splines." (am I tempting fate for a fall, oyyyyy, or what??).

At 11:00PM my back has basically said OK I won't cripple you, but you won't ever feel your legs again. We start the car and the clutch action is beautifully light and positive and the gearshifter is smooth like buttah.
"Let's test-drive!" say I. BY THE TIME Susan has pulled it out of the driveway, the GEARSHIFT IS STICKY CREAKY. "Note to self, I hate me," I swore under my breath. Susan is trying her very very very very very best to maintain a) a civilized dialogue with this baldish charlatan, b) a sense of logic with all of the blather I had spewed about clutch travel and torque effects on the synchros and pressure plate dynamics and dimensions, and c) a sense of humor somehow as her pretty little favorite Volkswagen was subjected to this cruelty. We drove it back to the parking space and jacked the car to have a look. Friggen gearshift is smooth as buttah. "OK you little bitch," I furiously hissed at the undercarriage, "give it up or I'll drink all the damn gas right out of your tank and light a cigarette under here."
Up topside, I am smoothly explaining to my harried customer that I will find the problem. Her eyes say, no you won't. I told her to start the engine and shift into 1st and "only pretend to drive away" with the ebrake on. I wanted to see if the gear shift was jamming under driveline load, and I wanted to give her a chance to run me over if she felt like it. My back was definitely thinking a nice tire massage might be just the ticket.

Gearshift jammed right up. The nose cone mount was collapsing under take-up. These reduction gearbox buses have transaxles that drive backwards, so the reduction gears can drive the tires forward. That means all driveline torque loads are opposite to us IRS buses, the transaxle pushes down on the nose cone mount when the car goes forward, us IRS buses have the more intuitive pull up on the mount when you let out the clutch. Her gearshift rod was jamming as the transaxle dipped down.

I did not get to replace that mount and give her the smooth shift I wanted so bad I could taste it. But it was a sweet car with all of the VW charm in spades.

Susan? I am beat, but my back is feeling just better enough to almost be able to sleep.
Colin :pale:


Image
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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hambone
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Post by hambone » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:09 am

Fate is a sticky pickle. You take care of that back.
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

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satchmo
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Post by satchmo » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:19 pm

Sounds like you need a visit to the 'Doctors' in eastern WA at the 'Backs R Us' clinic. We are waiting (well not really...I'm in San Francisco and need to get me and my bus back up north for the rendezvous this weekend) to apply whatever poultice is needed.

Good luck, Tim
By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by immitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is bitterest. -Confucius

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soulful66
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Post by soulful66 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:22 pm

Take it easy on that back Colin.' Best Regards,
John
'72 westy 3TC
'73 westy 1700 dual solex
'79 westy 2000 F.I.

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deschutestrout
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Location: Maupin, Oregon
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Post by deschutestrout » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:32 pm

Sounds like you need a break, buddy. Change your intinerary and crash in one of our Deschutes-side cabins for a couple of nights. We can even do a float down the river. Just a thought...yer-a-werkin-tu-hard (sorry to steal your'a writen' style Hambone :geek: )
"You're not always obligated to paint an outhouse." Ruckman 2011

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hambone
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Post by hambone » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:20 am

Those cabins are very nice. I'd like to pick yer brain sometime if'n you don't mind, would like to set up a smaller version somewhere in the Cascade foothills I'm tired of sittin in a cube...but I don't really know how to make it happen! Mebbe I'll pay ya a visit once yer tourista season dies down.
Unless yer keepin yer trade secrets safe. :cherry:
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:30 pm

satchmo wrote:Sounds like you need a visit to the 'Doctors' in eastern WA at the 'Backs R Us' clinic. We are waiting (well not really...I'm in San Francisco and need to get me and my bus back up north for the rendezvous this weekend) to apply whatever poultice is needed.

Good luck, Tim
That ileosacral joint pain has not died down, it wants to sublux whenever I apply torsional loads. Sciatica symptoms as well, numb all the way down to my foot. What exercises keep that damn thing glued together?
ColinCrip
(I have a customer who wants me to visit in Battle Ground WA I would have to do it on Sunday September 9th and push you and Dr. Hallster back. Is this possible?)
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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hambone
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Location: Portland, Ore.
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Post by hambone » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:49 pm

sorry to steal your'a writen' style Hambone
I stole everything I know from Woody Guthrie. Bound for Glory...
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

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