crisis averted

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Birdibus
IAC Addict!
Location: Inland SoCal
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crisis averted

Post by Birdibus » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:04 pm

Colin saved me from disaster in so many ways this week that I can't hope to remember them all. Most importantly, he saved both my buses from a likely firey end, gas dripping next to the coil in one, and a gallon of gas in the oil in the other bus. He came to my rescue by finding a brake booster at a VW yard that was functional, but he had to expend quite an effort and endure brake fluid baths for the cause. The more he helps me, the more I realize how ignorant I am and poorly prepared for the task of buying used, and even new, parts. Pitfalls abound for the unwary, so many little bits and pieces auxiliary to 'the part' that one must know about, so many people willing to charge high prices for incomplete, abused, and deteriorated merchandise. I am deeply appreciative of everything Colin has done to pull back my buses from the brink of crisis. I will try to do better to take care of my vehicles. I am saddened to be told I am not a car person and want to prove otherwise.

The lower brake fluid reservoir of the 71 bus broke at the neck when Colin removed it from the master cylinder. With astute foresight, Colin had already procured an extra reservoir when he picked up the booster at a yard in Hesperia. He also procured a number of small rubber and plastic connector bits vital to our project, and concocted a make-do replacement for rubber fittings (which had deteriorated to black goo) in the upper brake fluid reservoir by wrapping the outlet nipple with electrical tape. We made a trip to the next town in Colin's bus to buy a master cylinder, (oy vey, more money I must spend). I feel very unaware that I did not know this might be required.

I taught Colin a new trick, or at least he let me believe so, and that is to clean bottles with small openings or internal crevices with rock salt and a small amount of water or alcohol, (other liquids I suppose), and shaking the slurry as a liquid abrasive . Unlike using sand, if any salt becomes lodged it is easily dissolved. This would not be a good method to use in tanks made of metal I would caution to add, lest salt cause corrosion to the metal.

Colin assembled and installed the brake booster, master cylinder and upper reservoir. All my cleaning efforts to date proved futile since he was now dealing with gunk that had been hidden behind the booster. I heard muffled noises of distaste as crumbs and goo rained down upon his face. I filled the fluid reservoir, and it took nearly a quart of fresh fluid. I learned Saturday that brake fluid is hydroscopic (is that right?), that it attracts water to itself once the seal on the bottle is broken, so one must never use old brake fluid. You will introduce water to your brake system if you do, and all your expensive and vital brake parts will rust.

more later
71 bus, 74 westy

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Vdubtech
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Location: East Syracuse, NY
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Post by Vdubtech » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:11 pm

Hygroscopic, not hydroscopic. :flower:

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Amskeptic
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Re: crisis averted

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:24 pm

Birdibus wrote:I taught Colin a new trick, or at least he let me believe so, and that is to clean bottles with small openings or internal crevices with rock salt and a small amount of water or alcohol,

I learned Saturday that brake fluid is hydroscopic (is that right?), that it attracts water to itself once the seal on the bottle is broken, so one must never use old brake fluid. You will introduce water to your brake system if you do, and all your expensive and vital brake parts will rust.

more later
Most importantly, it was fun. Both cars have good hearts, like rumpled Clumber Spaniels, and the '71 is a very fine fresh car that could be brought to a nice state of function without too much investment. The '74, when running properly, has a nice smooth willing engine (even if it gave us quite the scare when oil was pouring out the tail pipe and it was running on two cylinders).

Your little rock salt trick was indeed a new thing for me, and it is now in my future repertoire of tricks.

Thanks for dinner and the tour of the estate with the Birdibus Keystone Kiln.
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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Sylvester
Bad Old Puddy Tat.
Location: Sylvester, Georgia
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Post by Sylvester » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:55 am

Pictures! I demand proof!
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue, I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace. Where never lark, or even eagle flew. And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod, The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

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