IAC in Sequim, WA

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jonyem
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IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by jonyem » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 pm

To help you all, Sequim is pronounced Skwim (like swim, with a not-so-silent K)

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A little background first. I bought Lucy the Bus back in 2006, drove it a few times, had a break down (ran out of gas) and parked it. The only time it's moved since then was around the yard to be able to mow the grass.

For a few days leading up to the visit, I had one eye on weather forecasts. I don't always trust them, but I only had a 10' x 10' canopy to keep the rain off – so I looked for a little hope. As the day got closer, the weather looked worse and worse. It rained the day before, and most of the night. Woke up to dark grey clouds, hanging low, ready to drop more precipitation. For me, I don't like to work in the rain, but the cool temperatures are what I prefer. I knew from my IAC forum study that Colin did not share my favorite weather.

I kept an eye on the lane leading to the house for the BobD, and somehow he snuck under my watchful gaze. Needed to time it right so I could get the boiling water in my French Press coffee maker in time to get the going right. We made our greetings and I got a jolt of excitement of the idea that my bus was going to be in better shape than it was the day before. To start the day we talked about the work ahead, and what to expect. He asked about my experience (very very little), tools in my possession (not much) and what I hoped to get out of my bus (daily driver). OK, good start.

Then he went and filled my brain up with facts and figures and quizzed me along the way. Math was my least favorite subject in school, and has always been a huge problem for me, so he must have thought I had some sort of strange facial tick when I was turning those vastly underpowered gears in my brain, trying to find the answers. I'd have better luck trying to eat runny Jell-o with chop sticks wearing hockey gloves while riding the tea cups at Disneyland than trying to do math in my head. But he pressed on, diagraming the plan on the legal pad. (You can be sure those pages don't leave my possession.)

After a round of theory, we headed outside to get to work.

Valve adjustment was first on the to do. Discovered that I have hydraulic lifters, but with some solid hardware. That had me scratching my head, but after a few other discoveries, it started to make sense. Got through the valves, and then went on to do a little timing scale repair, set the timing and then adjust the carbs. Funny thing, both carbs are right handed ones. Didn't notice it before, but there's a sticker on the left carb that says 'Right', and sure enough, the adjustment screws are on the wall side. Wasn't too hard to adjust them, just interesting. Somewhere in there we (or I under Colin's direction) set the points and checked the dwell. My memory being what it is, I can't remember the order we did things.

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We went back inside to go over more numbers and facts, concerning how to re-route the fuel pump wiring to the voltage regulator, and away from the coil. A project I will get to on my own down the road (proverbially, of course). Then we turned our attention to brakes, and he gave me the run down on what we'll be doing. We went over the plan and headed out into the improved weather. It never really cleared up while he was here, but the grey got lighter and a little warmer.

Took the wheels off to inspect the brakes. There's some surface rust under there, but it's not bad. The pads on the front were changed not long before I bought the bus, and the hardware seems to be in really good shape, so no changes in the front. We got to the back and spent some time trying to get the hubs off. That took quite a little while. During that time Colin was trying to get the parking brake to work. During the back and forth of tugging on the cable, I managed to rip a big gash in my left pinky, and managed to bleed in the drum, and then my deck, and the kitchen. Because I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, was really only running on coffee at the time, I felt pretty faint and needed a sit down. Took a few breaths and went back out.

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We spent quite a bit of time on all the projects, and the day was getting late. Adjusted the brakes, put the wheels back on and got her ready for a test drive to the gas station to top up and put some much need air in the tires.

Along the way I was forced to remember something I should have brought up earlier. Some previous owner had messed up the #3 plug, and put a helicoil on it. And not very well, might add. Well, about 3/4 of the way to the gas station it blew out (but not before we remarked on how well the engine sounded, and I was super excited about the progress made). So the plug blew out, we pulled over and Colin did some forensics. After it cooled enough he tried to get the crappy helicoil back on, but to no avail. So we limped on to the gas station on 3 cylinders, got air and then made the trek back home. Along the way Colin spelled out two scenarios to take care of the head. Do a timesert or have it machined. I figure the head's already been MacGyvered already, so I plan to take care of it for real, when I can. We got home and wrapped up the visit.

At one point during the day, Colin told me that I have some work ahead of me, but that my bus is in great shape, and it needs to be driven. He repeated that statement a few times. It needs to be driven. That made the day.

We talked a bit about what I have ahead of me (which I've decided is pulling the engine and rebuilding it). And there was talk of next year. And I look forward to that when it comes.

Along with the engine rebuild, I need to take care of rust, and some other mechanical items. I'll do my best over the next year to get it all done, so that by the time Colin's next visit comes around, it will be the wrap up to get her back on the road as a daily driver, and best of all, my camping vehicle.

Thanks for learning me Colin.

Jonathan
Late 1973 ASI/Riviera conversion.

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poptop tom
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by poptop tom » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:17 am

Damn, wish I could view your pictures!
Glad your visit went well and nice progress was made - always a relief to feel better about our buses!
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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sped372
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by sped372 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:55 am

Looks like a nice solid bus. Thanks for sharing and get that thing rolling!
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
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BumbleBus
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by BumbleBus » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:20 am

Nice write-up! Thanks for sharing! I also have a helicoil in my #3. Going to be keeping a closer eye on it now. Good luck with your repairs & pinky healing.

:rr:
'72 Sierra Yellow Campmobile

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BellePlaine
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by BellePlaine » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:15 am

Are you sure that you want to rebuild the motor just because your helicoil blew out? If it was me, I'd consider spending way less and get one of those TimeSerts for failed helicoil thread repair.

This is what you'd want...

http://www.timesert.com/html/bigsert_sparkplug.html

You need kit #5141 and insert #51405.

Good luck. Nice write-up.
1975 Riviera we call "Spider-Man"

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Amskeptic
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:16 am

BellePlaine wrote:Are you sure that you want to rebuild the motor just because your helicoil blew out?
What he meant was, "I plan to remove the heads and have the spark plug threads carefully repaired." That qualifies as HUGE ENGINE REBUILD for a novice. The disappointment was palpable as the bus just got up and decided to get us home on three cylinders + one blow hole.

Joneym has a very fine mind and some great little perspectives kept coming out as we chatted it up out on the desolate damp heath with the clouds and the rain and the wet grass and the chill the mist the grey the damp. Enjoyed meeting your family, Joneym.

The drive back to Portland included such an excellent crazy rally on US101 with a nutcase Ford F150 towing a trailer. See, what happened was, I was driving along minding my own rainy wet cloudy dripping chilly business when this MOron passed me on a short stretch of drizzily foggy straight and cut in a little bit tight when he saw oncoming headlamps. HE HAD A TRAILER, and he cut in like he forgot that he was towing it. I had to hit the brakes. Now I want to punish him. How does a VW bus punish a Ford F150 on a fast winding road? Just by keeping up. Whoa. That'll teach him, relentless headlamps blasting 55 Big Watts of Sylvania Sealed Beams. So he decides to pick up the pace. I am watching his driving technique. You know what? It is actually pretty good. He is setting up the corners and nailing apexes with very good precision. He has to note that the Sylvanias are still in his rear view mirrors. So he picks it up some more. He passes a Buick Lucerne or something and expects to pull away forever from those tormenting VW Bus headlamp lowbeams, but I get a chance (on a downhill of course) to pass too, so my headlamps show up in his mirrors again CarrieTheBusIteration is back behind him. Now we have to use the road carefully. There are some wicked hairpins that require looking ahead for oncoming traffic before committing to the line in the corners required for our velocity. Now normally, a little snit with a fellow motorist dies down and everybody moves on, right? Not us. We have evolved into a driving team, a caravan through the rainy misty shiny snaking roadway through the tree canopies at an excellent clip and settled in for almost 70 miles of this to Olympia. There is a communication going on. He has proven himself to me to a precise alert driver, and I have proven to him that an old VW bus can keep up with him with the handicap of his very dizzy trailer. When he pulled off at the gas station, I followed him in to the pumps. "Hey!" he yells over at me. "What?" "Good thing there weren't any RVs out there, huh?" "Yep."
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 00,000/7 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Gypsie
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by Gypsie » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:21 am

I second BP's notion.

Get it back on the road so you can enjoy it fer a spell. Do your planning and prep for a rebuild.
So it all started when I wanted to get better gas mileage....

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jonyem
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by jonyem » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:22 am

BellePlaine wrote:Are you sure that you want to rebuild the motor just because your helicoil blew out? If it was me, I'd consider spending way less and get one of those TimeSerts for failed helicoil thread repair.

This is what you'd want...

http://www.timesert.com/html/bigsert_sparkplug.html

You need kit #5141 and insert #51405.

Good luck. Nice write-up.
I don't want to rebuild the engine just because of the helicoil, I want to rebuild because I'm going to have the heads redone, I'll be replacing the hydraulic lifters, need to refurb/replace some tin, need to replace my fuel sender and I'd like to have an idea of the condition of the tank, replace the rusty exhaust, etc. etc. etc. So if I'm going through all that trouble, why not do a rebuild?

But, I'm probably going to take the TimeSert route for the short term, as a rebuild may be out on the horizon at some distance.

Thanks for the TimeSert info and overall feedback.
Late 1973 ASI/Riviera conversion.

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jonyem
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by jonyem » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:28 am

Amskeptic wrote:
BellePlaine wrote:Are you sure that you want to rebuild the motor just because your helicoil blew out?
What he meant was, "I plan to remove the heads and have the spark plug threads carefully repaired." That qualifies as HUGE ENGINE REBUILD for a novice. The disappointment was palpable as the bus just got up and decided to get us home on three cylinders + one blow hole.
Yes, the idea of pulling the heads off is a big undertaking with my limited experience, and I'm planning on doing that when I can. But I'm starting to think why not just go all the way? So in time, that's the plan.
Amskeptic wrote:Joneym has a very fine mind and some great little perspectives kept coming out as we chatted it up out on the desolate damp heath with the clouds and the rain and the wet grass and the chill the mist the grey the damp. Enjoyed meeting your family, Joneym.
Thank you for the kind words, my wife Casey and step-daughter Judi enjoyed meeting you as well. We're all looking forward to a visit next year.
Late 1973 ASI/Riviera conversion.

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jonyem
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by jonyem » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:30 am

Gypsie wrote:I second BP's notion.

Get it back on the road so you can enjoy it fer a spell. Do your planning and prep for a rebuild.
I'm liking that idea, very much.
Might try to get some miles on it with a TimeSert and get to planning/prepping for a big winter project.
Late 1973 ASI/Riviera conversion.

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Bleyseng
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by Bleyseng » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:32 am

What happened to "Sunny Sequim"?
Timesert is the way to go to fix this for now. This is why most of us go to brand new AMC heads, toss the crappy valves and hardware and have those rebuild for really excellent heads.
Geoff
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Gypsie
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by Gypsie » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:25 am

jonyem wrote: I'll be replacing the hydraulic lifters,
Exercise caution here. I did the same without changing the cam and within 500 miles had a cam lobe ground down to round. there is a mixed response about what could have happened here but the general consensus is that the new lifters were Capulets and the old cam was a Montague so there was bound to be a beat down. Plan on changing both. Stay in the stock cam market, IMHO.
So it all started when I wanted to get better gas mileage....

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jonyem
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by jonyem » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:57 am

I didn't say it out loud, or type it in the thread, but I was planning on changing the cam too.
Late 1973 ASI/Riviera conversion.

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ruckman101
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by ruckman101 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:50 pm

Great write-up. Sorry about the blood. I, too, would chime in on the side of heli-coil, then planning for the rebuild. Run it.


neal
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jonyem
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Re: IAC in Sequim, WA

Post by jonyem » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:41 am

I would like to run it a little this summer, especially due to the fact that I've not driven it much the past few years. Once I have a plan for the rebuild (and rust repair, and… and…) I'll start tearing down. Ideally, this would be a winter project carried out in a nice warm garage/shop at my in-laws.

So, probably TimeSert for now, new/redone heads later.
Late 1973 ASI/Riviera conversion.

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