Itinerant Air-Cooled Maupin III

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Maupin III

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:17 pm

So, about the refresher, the breather from the road, that was to be the Deschutes River RendezVW. . . . .

I was transfixed by the spector of this poor Vanagon Westfalia arrival dangling from the end of a tow truck like a caught fish. . . and indeed, it was caught in my sights. "I wonder if it needs a razor blade?" I mused to myself. After a properly discreet ambulance chaser lawyer interval, I shambled over to offer condolences. Overheated? Head gasket? Gushing water? Straight from the cylinder head? Hmmmmmmmmm. Maybe take a look at it in the morning? I remember telling tristessa that I was hoping it was just a plastic pipe crack or sumpin, because head gaskets do not open up like that.

Next day, both tristessa and I showed up like a pair of buzzards at a roadkill. Just poking around, it looked like a head gasket all right, but the quantity of water was startling, head cracked in half? I saw a black sealish looking thing dangling, and asked tristessa to hold it up while I cinched down the head nuts which were amazingly loose 5 ft/lbs 12 ft/lbs and only three near 20 ft/lbs, waterboxers like 37 ft/lbs. Well, that was stupid. Later we discovered that it was naively hopeful to waste the time hoping that a little tightening would help anything.
We slowly backed into a little disassembly and easily got to the point, as happens with any mechanically-minded 12 year-olds, where our curiosity was going to get this thing torn down in a hurry. By noon, the cylinder head seal was free as was the cylinder head and that seal was blown to shreds. Shreds. We canvassed the gathering like homeless vets, "excuse me, god bless, but do you have a waterboxer cylinder head perimeter seal?. . . . . oh you don't? well thank-you anyway and have a nice day." We considered a bungee cord cut with a groove. We considered a fuel hose sliced open length-wise. We considered perhaps this was a hopeless task, but it was sunny and the Vanagon family had Plan B lined up. Then as I was looking at my passenger side rubber wheel arch mat with a 16 year Ultra-black RTV patch that is fine, I thought let's slather the shredded seal and give it a 24 hour cure if we cannot find a seal down here in Maupin. We drove up to the local car parts place where the proprietor was also the tow truck driver who brought in the vanagon the night before. How surprising and disappointing that Maupin (pop 488) did not have a 1.9 or 2.1 waterboxer overhaul gasket set. . . . . .
Back at the Vanagon, I am looking at this shredded cylinder head seal that is supposed to fit securely to the case water jacket perimeter with a deep channel, and it looks insanely stupid to try to fix it. Cooling systems do run with 14 psi pressure, that pressure will blow the thing out in a jiffy, particularly with the daunting hill as their only escape.

I tried to create a RTV seal template on greased cardboard with the black Ultra slowly tarring and feathering me, I was so sticky that I couldn't get my finger off the seal without it lifting and sliming all out of position. Finally, I told tristessa that I could only pull this thing off if I set it on the case and blobbed RTV directly on it. The Shreddo-seal sagged at all the torn spots and the black Ultra slowly gooped toward the ground. . . . but wait! I have ZBlair Green Clothespins for my Squareback headliner! Saved! I just need to clamp the seal all around the perimeter! Yay! not.

The stupid clothespins grip so tight that the seal + Ultrablack just squirt off the case/water jacket perimeter. I am a tad irritated. But tristessa comes up with an ingenious DoubleGreen Clothespin Clamping Reduction Technique of clamping the handle of one clothespin with another, to reduce the pinch to a perfect "just-so". That is what saved the day:

Image


You can just see the 12 clothespins or clamps or whatever, all delicately propped against each other holding the curing seal in place.



The head also needed a dose of Itinerant Scissorhands razor-machining since it had over .003" warpage across the surface (twice in a very short run actually).

Image


The owner, Gary, was looking at me like a drought-stricken farmer might look at a blue sky, the green festooned globbed seal made the engine look like hair-curlers at the opera, and frankly, I was on the edge of feeling stoopit. I blobbed another layer of Ultrablack RTV on the encrusted seal after finally removing the green clamps, and told Gary and fam that I would come back at 7:30 PM to install the head, then in the morning do a final torque and reassembly and they could hit the road at noon IF Gary and I flogged the Vanagon up and back down the hill successfully.

We did an initial fill of water at 9:30AM and spotted two leaks. One was right near the head. . . . but it was just the water inlet's gasket. I used a HEAT RISER gasket for a Type 1 engine wallowed out with a razor blade, ugh ugly, but it worked. Then it leaked out of this nasty plastic "H" pipe under the water reservoir. Tristessa was being called off the job to get his day going, so with no pride left, I just decimated a Diet Coke can with a pair of scissors and wrapped the H pipe crack with Ultra RTV again and a hose clamp off a BMW. Gary had been softened up by now, broken down really, and his glazed hopeless eyes registered no surprise with the pile of Diet Coke can shards, busted experimental gasket remnants, stuck-together green clamps, tools and great glued paper towel piles, and my twittering promise to have his "repair" done by noon.

The stupid cylinder head is NOT leaking. I do not hide my surprise. Tow truck guy comes by and he is skeptically putting together the Plan B to tow the Vanagon to Bend. I say, "Wait!" Gary starts the engine and I gingerly place the radiator cap on and slowly build pressure while bleeding the cooling system by milking the hoses. Seems to run OK. Mystified myself, I invite Gary on a test drive up the hill with a promise that the hill will allow us to coast all the way back if it blows.

Well. Up the hill. Down the hill. All is dry. Vanagon runs. Pretty good.
Then they drove it home:
Image

I am still mystified. . . . . but onwards to whc03grady's bus which got a brake adjustment (after we cleaned and lubricated the star adjusters) after a hilarious extended effort to "jack the vehicle up" in the soft grass.
Image

Back on the road, a lovely weekend behind me, all of those good people and their good buses and a re-ignited fire inside of me to keep these cars going with both cool competence and warm spirit in a community I like better still.
Image

Image
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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IFBwax
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Post by IFBwax » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:00 pm

Colin.. you were a magician!!!!! You and Hal kicked that leak's butt.
The best navigators aren't sure where they're going until they get there. And then they're still not sure.

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:13 pm

IFBwax wrote:Colin.. you were a magician!!!!! You and Hal kicked that leak's butt.
You know? I have thought about this thing a bit. I think the Vanagon took pity on us. The heat riser gasket alone should have obstructed the right head's cooling flow enough to blow. . . but it didn't. The coke can RTV was given less than 15 minutes to cure and should have oozed on out under 14 psi coolant pressure. . . but it didn't. The intake gaskets broke in two places and were Permatexed on. . . and it went up the hill under full throttle with a hot engine and just friggen behaved itself. . . Anybody a Wet Westie member? I want Gary's email address.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Westy78
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Post by Westy78 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:31 pm

You never cease to amaze me sometimes Colin. It's the ingenuity that gets me. Some of those things I would have never thought of.
Amskeptic wrote:Anybody a Wet Westie member? I want Gary's email address.
Colin
I am. If you want I can put word out on the WW list to get him in contact with you. Or you can join the list yourself here.....

http://wetwesties.type2.com/join.htm
Chorizo, it's what's for breakfast.

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zblair
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Post by zblair » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:34 pm

:alien: So glad the clothespin clamps helped. That alien is about their color too. :cheers: Colin, you really need to be keeping track of all of these acts of magic you perform.
1971 T2 "Grateful Phred"
1986 300ZX "MC-Z"
2009 Prius "Amesan"

"Love something? Serve it."
~Roshni Mitra

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:37 pm

Westy78 wrote:If you want I can put word out on the WW list to get him in contact with you. Or you can join the list yourself here.....

http://wetwesties.type2.com/join.htm
Please have him contact me here or email amskeptic@mindspring.com. I hate it when the yahoos at Yahoo demand that they be allowed to share my info and pester me at will.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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glasseye
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Post by glasseye » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:57 pm

Great posts, Colin. Where you find the time and energy to shoot, post and write in addition to your day job is beyond me. Those car-to-car shots are beyond great, as are your sensitive portraits. Congratulations on a life lived to the max. =D> =D> =D>
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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Westy78
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Post by Westy78 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:49 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Westy78 wrote:If you want I can put word out on the WW list to get him in contact with you. Or you can join the list yourself here.....

http://wetwesties.type2.com/join.htm
Please have him contact me here or email amskeptic@mindspring.com. I hate it when the yahoos at Yahoo demand that they be allowed to share my info and pester me at will.
Colin
Done. I sent him your email and an invitation to join the discussion here.
Chorizo, it's what's for breakfast.

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LiveonJG
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Post by LiveonJG » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:03 pm

Colin,
It was great having you there this year, hope you're back again next.

Here's a better pic of the Great Clamp Experiment:
Image
Glad to hear it worked!

-John
Keep it acoustic.

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:10 am

LiveonJG wrote:Colin,
It was great having you there this year, hope you're back again next.

a better pic of the Great Clamp Experiment:
I really want to visit next year, perhaps more broken-in to harmonica improv . . in C sharp.
Thank you for that much better shot, I'd like to subsitute this one here for the one further up. Any copyrights, usage fees, royalties, web host rentals? Yaa talk to Tony or Vito, theyd be happy to take cara youse.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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spiffy
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Post by spiffy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:47 am

I don't have me one of them C# harps :scratch: Maybe it just came out that way.... :geek:

If you want to get a set on the cheap, guitar center has the full set with case for around $20. I am going to get some minor key harps very soon, that would be a cool sound.....the dark and brooding harmonica.
78 Riviera "Spiffy"
67 Riviera "Bill"

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zblair
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Post by zblair » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:12 am

Colin, I've got a C harp somewhere in our house. If we can find it (in the attic) then you may have it. :colors:
1971 T2 "Grateful Phred"
1986 300ZX "MC-Z"
2009 Prius "Amesan"

"Love something? Serve it."
~Roshni Mitra

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LiveonJG
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Post by LiveonJG » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:42 pm

spiffy wrote:I don't have me one of them C# harps :scratch: Maybe it just came out that way.... :geek:
OK, I'll fess up. Saturday night Stephan and I thought it would be funny if we said we were playing in C, but actually play in C#. You grabbed your C harp and got ready to blow then uttered "That's not C".

It was one of those funnier in concept kinds of things, but not by much. :joker:

A set of minor harps would be nice.

-John
Keep it acoustic.

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spiffy
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Post by spiffy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:12 pm

I remember that moment, glad you guys got a laugh out of it AND decided to inform me via said laughter. No harm done, I haven't seen my ego in years...at least I think so...wait!! Nope, false alarm.
78 Riviera "Spiffy"
67 Riviera "Bill"

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