Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:13 am

I start the day grey with that Pacific Ocean cold-sink overcast chillishness as I dodder out of the bus into the path of a mystified Mexican driving a way overladed Ford truck. "That's a high center-of-gravity" I observe as he veers and counter-corrects a few times. My entire being shifts into winter-mode and I want a cup of hot coffee, strong, and several boxes of doughnuts. Instead, I slink through Starbucks for a quick shave using that excellent Skin Stripper Anti-Bacterial Slime Soap dispensing dribblingly from the sink. I put a paper towel bib over my shirt and rake the blade across the stubble as I apprise the new evidence staring at me in the mirror, I am a young Old Man now as opposed to the old Young Man of yore. Shaving done, I brightly ask the Starbuck's "barrista" (new hire) for a "refill" (four day old paper cup leaking at the seams a bit) "tall" (small) cup of "Aribicabicaba" (strong)"Would you like anything to eat along with your order?" (hell no, that stale frozen/thawed sugary crap?).

I arrive at the Ritterhome to find a beautifully arrayed VW Operation in full swing, complete with plastic bags labelled infinitesmally "screws for the fan housing". We are to dress the engine and install it, then we can tune it and test drive into the sunset happy happy happy.

I love this shot of his engine. It looks strangely purpose-unidentifiable, just a 1930's art mechanico-deco Object, vulnerable in this up-ended condition, and I want to re-organize it and get it installed in its home:
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We dive in and replace the long-ago-hydraulic-but-recently-doing-business-as-a-solid- #2 intake lifter, and reinstall the pushrod tubes and rocker assemblies. Here is Ritter installing pushrod tubes vertically, hopefully the last time this engine will be in such a posture. It finally has a full complement of truly hydraulic lifters, and we look forward to a smooth and quiet middle-aged engine with its newly settled-down end play and fresh front seal and graphite ring and a fresh release bearing, 228mm clutch disk and 228mm pressure plate to go along with its 228mm flywheel:
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But! Once again, we have tripped into the Obstacle du Jour, a common occurance in this 2008 Itinerary, where the love and the enthusiasm of the current mechanic-in-training far exceeds the current circumstance of an engine that has Suffered In Its Past. Like a few other engines I have visited, the lovingly attended parts by the current owner, have evidence of great prior violence. The day crawls down to straightening and hammering and bending and orienting and fitting engine tin whose fresh fresh new paint just splinters right off as we try to get screw holes and captive nuts to align with each other. Such a damn shame. How do we pre-prepare Itinerant customers for these sorts of unknowns? The rear tins were so savagely bent and distorted, that Ritter could in no way have known that they were impossibly out of alignment. It was a difficult undertaking to restore compound curves using the bench vise as an anvil and a 2x4 as a dolly. But, the tins finally were acceptably close in fitment to each other:
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We were visited by an enthusiastic groupie who was charming company for the well-rested Itinerant, but perhaps a little less charming for her responsible field supervisors (please note that I am familiar with children and their energy and curiosity, I am not at all nonplussed by their participation or desire to participate):
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Much later in the day, our demoted groupie was now the Water Girl and she was diligent to our hydration requirements. The engine finally arrived at a state of Reasonable Assembly, carefully put together with all of the tenderness it had clearly missed out on in its prior life:
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BUT! We have an Appointment II to get it in the car.

Next day is tractoman, with another engine that must leave its engine bay in a 1975 orange Westfalia with orange plaid interior (I like these orange Westys):
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This little bugger pulled a surprise on us as I showed tractoman the Nicest Way To Remove A Type 4 engine. Like, why isn't the engine clearing the input shaft? Because the input shaft is coming out with the engine! WTF? That thing is free to slide back and forth right out of the transaxle. Investigation yields that this is an 091 gearbox mated to an 002 215mm clutch bell housing. Uhh, someone dint put a circlip in there, Drrrrr? After shoving the input shaft back into the transaxle, with only the 3 to 4" clearance between the engine and bell housing to stuff my hand through, we got the engine out. We decided to do our front seal/endplay/graphite ring/clutch disk/release bearing replacement underneath the car where the shade was. I was getting all dire with tractoman on re-installation issues likely to loom, like a visual alignment of the clutch disk instead of that centering tool, the aforementioned loose input shaft, the stud that backed out of the case, the wobbly floor jack piled high with lumber to hold the transaxle at the angle we wanted, but it sort of fell in while I was harranguing. (!) Nice!
Then we timed and tuned:
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Nice car! Good steering! Smooth engine! Balky shifter! Fixed that! Good intelligent company!
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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dtrumbo
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by dtrumbo » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:43 am

Amskeptic wrote:Image
That looks like the prototype of the jet-pack we were all supposed to be wearing by 2008 to get from point A to point B. :lol:

Beautiful daughter Ritter! I tend to notice beautiful little girls even more now that I have one!

I also notice nice, original color buses like Mr. Tractoman's!

Like Z says, it's fun to see faces to go with the names!
- Dick

1970 Transporter. 2015cc, dual Weber IDF 40's
1978 Riviera Camper. Bone stock GE 2.0L F.I.
1979 Super Beetle convertible.

... as it turns out, it was the coil!

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Ritter
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by Ritter » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:11 pm

Hey, I got a write up! When time permits, I'll post up some "before" pictures of the oily, dirty mess that was my power plant.

We're on for day 2 tomorrow!
dtrumbo wrote: Beautiful daughter Ritter!
Thanks! She's a lot of fun.
1978 Westfalia 2.0 FI

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misszora
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by misszora » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:38 pm

Ritter wrote:Hey, I got a write up! When time permits, I'll post up some "before" pictures of the oily, dirty mess that was my power plant.

We're on for day 2 tomorrow!
Can't wait to see them!!!
Miss Zora - '77 VW Riviera Hard Top Campmobile
Dharma Bug - '69 VW Bug
The Vandejo - '74 VW Westfalia Poptop (former mom)

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tractoman
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Post by tractoman » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:02 pm

OK, I'll recap our day.
I saw the blue New York plated bus in front of Starbucks at 8:00am. Great I thought, he's only a couple miles from my house, I better hurry home and get ready. Well after waiting and being patient, at 9:30 the phone rings, "is your house off blah, blah, blah street", I assist the mapquested traveler to the proper destination and provide a cup of coffee. We review my list of crap to be done, I take the how well do you understand L-jetronic fuel injection quiz, and out we go to get busy on extraction.
We did in fact get tricked by the telescopic input shaft, but not for long. We did use some spare lumber to support the gear box since the jack was too short, and we did leave a crater in the driveway before the final piece of plywood was positioned to span the soft spot created by the jack. I did learn some short cuts, but the best part of the day was that the bus cooperated fully with all of our requests.
My bus likes to get love and love it got. Nicely hand crosshatched pressure plate and flywheel by Colin and me. New clutch, crank seal, throwout bearing and O ring. Properly bent bowden tube, repaired brake booster hose that had a very obscure problem that Colin found, remapping of the AFM and spring tension adjustment, proper vacuum hose connections which had been that way for a very long time, reset the dwell, timed for max centrifugal advance, steering gear adjustment, and of course the tin man with his oil can. "I didn't know those red things came off" I said as Colin oiled the door hinges in a very special way. Well worth the price of admission and nice to hear the feedback on the bus as I think it's pretty nice too. Colin, let me know what you make of the bizzaro steering shaft coupler when you've had some time to digest it all. I also think I have a set of vice grips you left behind. I will be willing to exchange it for the circlip you snagged off my input shaft while I wasn't looking...
:joker:
Thanks,
Mike
'75 Westy

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tractoman
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by tractoman » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:26 pm

Amskeptic wrote:But! Once again, we have tripped into the Obstacle du Jour, a common occurance in this 2008 Itinerary, where the love and the enthusiasm of the current mechanic-in-training far exceeds the current circumstance of an engine that has Suffered In Its Past. Like a few other engines I have visited, the lovingly attended parts by the current owner, have evidence of great prior violence.
Ritter, sorry to hear of your troubles, but glad we were bumped to this week from the heat furnace of last week. I'm sure you'll be on the road soon. I even offered my not so bad clutch to Colin to take to you but realized you don't need two 215mm clutches for your rig, just one 228mm. Your daughter is indeed a little cutie, she reminds me of my 5yo. daughter. We should get a coastal camp trip set up sometime, we're just down the road in Sonoma. As you can see from the photos, I had no time to paint my tins. I am jealous of your pretty engine. Good luck on round 2 with Colin, ding, ding, ding.
Thanks,
Mike
'75 Westy

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static
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Post by static » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:32 pm

So who gets him next?

And when will the Bay Area gathering of worshipers gather?

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tractoman
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Post by tractoman » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:35 pm

I thought he was with Ritter today but it looks like tomorrow. He must have been hopped up on all the diet coke we sent him away with. I did my business yesterday. He's off to the desert to tickle the ivories for awhile after Ritter.
Thanks,
Mike
'75 Westy

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Ritter
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by Ritter » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:14 pm

tractoman wrote: Ritter, sorry to hear of your troubles, but glad we were bumped to this week from the heat furnace of last week. I'm sure you'll be on the road soon. I even offered my not so bad clutch to Colin to take to you but realized you don't need two 215mm clutches for your rig, just one 228mm. Your daughter is indeed a little cutie, she reminds me of my 5yo. daughter. We should get a coastal camp trip set up sometime, we're just down the road in Sonoma. As you can see from the photos, I had no time to paint my tins. I am jealous of your pretty engine. Good luck on round 2 with Colin, ding, ding, ding.
Well... As a mechanical novice and first time VW owner, my biggest obstacle is figuring out what the F things are actually supposed to look/perform/sound like. And that's something you can't get from a book and makes Colin invaluable. Funny enough, I blew it and ordered a 215mm clutch. Oops.

Definitely better weather this week and far less smoke. Makes me happy.

My girl is almost 5 as well. It's a fun age--things just keep getting better (until the dreaded teens, so I'm told).

A Bay Area camp-out is definitely a must. I started a thread about some time back it in the camping forum for maybe mid-October out at Dunes campground. Maybe it needs a bump.
1978 Westfalia 2.0 FI

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misszora
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by misszora » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:23 pm

Ritter wrote: Well... As a mechanical novice and first time VW owner, my biggest obstacle is figuring out what the F things are actually supposed to look/perform/sound like. And that's something you can't get from a book and makes Colin invaluable.
I am 100% with you on that. Lots to learn BEFORE Colin arrives and then you continue to learn after he leaves and things really begin to sink in. Took me a few days to get used to the fact that he wouldn't be driving up to my house in the morning - 3 times WAS the charm though. :king:
Miss Zora - '77 VW Riviera Hard Top Campmobile
Dharma Bug - '69 VW Bug
The Vandejo - '74 VW Westfalia Poptop (former mom)

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tristessa
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by tristessa » Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:04 pm

Ritter wrote:A Bay Area camp-out is definitely a must. I started a thread about some time back it in the camping forum for maybe mid-October out at Dunes campground. Maybe it needs a bump.
Probably needs a bump.

And y'all might want to brainpick with Covelo (Hans) when he gets home from the trip he's on right now in the Puget Sound & BC areas. He and his SO have some property outside of (obviously) Covelo that looks like a nice spot for camping in the pictures I've seen .. as long as it isn't too hot. I'd love to do some Bus-camping down there with you guys, but unless the timing coincides with a trip Home to visit my family and in-laws .. we just can't afford it, both in gas and unpaid-time-off-from-work.

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chitwnvw
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Wine Country CA

Post by chitwnvw » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:13 pm

tristessa wrote:And y'all might want to brainpick with Covelo (Hans) when he gets home from the trip he's on right now in the Puget Sound & BC areas. He and his SO have some property outside of (obviously) Covelo that looks like a nice spot for camping in the pictures I've seen ..
How much property? Can they do a Maupin type of thang?

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covelo
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Post by covelo » Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:15 pm

We had a wonderful bay area get together there last year. It's 35 acres of mostly poison oak with a private fire road for camping. We're always up for another one of these camping events later this year or next spring. (Right now it's too hot and smoky to have a good time there).
‘80 Vanagon Westfalia - 54,400 miles
'91 Toyota Pickup (4WD long bed) - 199,960 miles
1987 Alfa Spider Veloce - 166,400 miles
2017 VW E-Golf - 5,600 miles

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chitwnvw
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Post by chitwnvw » Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:24 pm

covelo wrote:We had a wonderful bay area get together there last year. It's 35 acres of mostly poison oak with a private fire road for camping. We're always up for another one of these camping events later this year or next spring. (Right now it's too hot and smoky to have a good time there).
Plus the poison oak. Yuk.

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covelo
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Post by covelo » Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:36 pm

chitwnvw wrote:
covelo wrote:We had a wonderful bay area get together there last year. It's 35 acres of mostly poison oak with a private fire road for camping. We're always up for another one of these camping events later this year or next spring. (Right now it's too hot and smoky to have a good time there).
Plus the poison oak. Yuk.
Pretty easy to avoid actually. If you stay out of the steep hillsides, there's no problem.

Some pictures of last year's gathering, via Bob Lake:

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‘80 Vanagon Westfalia - 54,400 miles
'91 Toyota Pickup (4WD long bed) - 199,960 miles
1987 Alfa Spider Veloce - 166,400 miles
2017 VW E-Golf - 5,600 miles

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