Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:20 am

Sylvester wrote:
When you go to help Lanval II and Nathan, have them write up the work you all do and take some pictures!

Hmmm.... usually when I pay the money, other people do the bidding. Nonetheless, request noted.

Mike



Went to Irvine again. Nathan@el, one of my loyal patrons, needed a little talking-to regarding the joys of elevation changes upon the fuel mixture. His Vanagon had soldiered on down the CA99 Inland Empire Expressway with a high-elevation leaned-out mixture, and we wanted to see if any damage had occurred. With his report of a "knocking" sound, we approached our diagnostic with some trepidation which I fanned with looks of consternation to better impress upon our young lad the importance of always restoring mixtures as you descend back down to sea level.

First place you check is the valve adjustment. A California Vanagon with a catalytic converter nestled next to the left valve cover is an exercise in irritation. The valve cover bail just cannot go down far enough, it crashes into the converter. Nor can it go high enough to free the valve cover, it hits the upper cylinder tin. So whaddyadoo? You pry the bail clean out of the head pivot holes and watch it spring free with a snap, and wonder how you are going to put it back together.
I let Nathan@el check the right side valve adjustments while I wrestled and pried the left bail back on the cover with a combination of screwdrivers, pry bars, teeth and fingers and a hammer there was a hammer in there somewhere.
His valves were all pretty good save for anomalies on #1 exhaust which had lost a serious six hours, and the intake on #2 which had gained 3.

Then we checked the timing and found the idle timing perfect at 5*ATDC as displayed on the timing scale ..... but this engine does not have a retard diaphragm, so it *must not be timed to any ATDC specification* !! The advance was therefore a punky 21*BTDC at 3,400 rpm. That might explain the laggard performance/fuel mileage. We brought the timing back up to 28*BTDC, and the idle timing settled in around 4*BTDC or somesuch, and readjusted the mixture without the help of my currently useless LM-1.

Drove the car onto the highway and brought it up to 65-70mph to listen to the "knocking". Barely got a little one .... inside the interior. You tell 'em what it is, Nathan@el.

Now, who's the boss? Our petulant prior customer, the pedantic professor, shows up in his RatRide Vanagon. Oh, has he been *smarting* at the notion that this little baldish itinerator charges him money to bark orders at him to do tasks. And, as soon as I saw him, I barked orders at him again! The nerve! "Hey Lanval, show Nathan@el how to do the brakes on the right while I replace the left side in peace."

He gets right into the BossMan groove.
Look at him stand menacingly while poor Nathan@el meekly cowers at the right axle, it was chilling I tell you:
Image

Then he put on his horsewhip gloves, I was almost crying over on the other side of the car, "what have I unleashed??"
Image

Well OK .... in fact, it was both a relief and a joy to see him patiently and calmly and thoroughly instruct his automotive arts student on the finer points of self-adjusting Vanagon brakes, and he showed superb retention of the day before yesterday's brake tutorial:
Image

Then we went to Gina's Pizza and Nathan@el and his girlfriend came up with an excellent order of spinach and sun-dried tomatoes pizza. A wide-ranging conversation with some excessive aggressiveness out of the Itinerant Has-Been (Has-Been? Yeah Has-Been Didn't You Just See Your Student Become The Better Teacher, Yeah, You Did) regarding the interplay between the dynamics of southern/northern culture vis-a-vis class consciousness and elites vs populists politics since when was it, Lanval, Jamestown? Had to be there.

I promised them I'd be out of state by midnight, to get back into the sorely needed quiet of desert moon (the traffic in LA metro rattles my mind), but I only made it as far as Barstow where I doggy-paddled out of the raging rapids of I-15, and drove 3.2 miles of dirt path due west into the silvery silence.
Colin
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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nathan@el
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

Post by nathan@el » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:03 pm

I promised them I'd be out of state by midnight, to get back into the sorely needed quiet of desert moon (the traffic in LA metro rattles my mind), but I only made it as far as Barstow where I doggy-paddled out of the raging rapids of I-15, and drove 3.2 miles of dirt path due west into the silvery silence.
I was wondering how far you would make it Colin! Barstow is a good place to stop though. I've done my fair share of camping in that area myself, at sport climbing mecca New Jack City.
Drove the car onto the highway and brought it up to 65-70mph to listen to the "knocking". Barely got a little one .... inside the interior. You tell 'em what it is, Nathan@el.
Well, as Colin already related, I was concerned about my engine after taking a long, hot trip up to Lake Tahoe and back. I leaned out my mixture at 7,000 feet because I was having some flooding issues, and failed to readjust the mixture when I got back closer to sea level. Near the end of the trip, I swore that I heard the engine knocking--maybe I was already on edge due to the day's earlier antics, or maybe I was just tired and delusional from driving all night. Either way, I didn't feel completely comfortable adjusting the mixture, and was sure that I had messed something up.

Also, to add some background to this story, a little more than two years ago I threw a rod in my original engine, because it was running lean as hell and I was not experienced enough to realize that at the time. So, I guess I'm a little paranoid about these things now.

In any case, the "knock" that I heard was indeed a new noise, but we determined it to be emanating from the new skylight that a buddy and I installed in my 1980 Westy (without skylight) a few months ago. So that was great news.
His valves were all pretty good save for anomalies on #1 exhaust which had lost a serious six hours, and the intake on #2 which had gained 3.
Was number one exhaust off by that much?! I didn't think it was THAT bad, but maybe it was. I guess I can only hope that my counting was off last time I did the valve adjustment.
it was both a relief and a joy to see him patiently and calmly and thoroughly instruct his automotive arts student on the finer points of self-adjusting Vanagon brakes, and he showed superb retention of the day before yesterday's brake tutorial:
Many, many thanks to my good friend and Vanagon mechanic extraordinaire Lanval, who helped Colin and I out with replacing the rear brake shoes, as we were running out of time at the end of the day. We managed to replace both sides in about an hour, which I thought was pretty good! And, it was just in the nick of time too, as the old shoes were pretty much worn to oblivion.

And, I'm glad that you got some photos Colin. I always intend to take some pictures during your visits, but it seems that I get so busy that I always forget to actually do this. I also appreciate that all of your photos show the "good" side of the bus (the side that was actually repainted with high-quality paint after somebody rear ended me). :cyclopsani:

We also discovered that my upper ball joints are in pretty dire need of replacement. Hopefully I can get that taken care of in the near future.

As always, an enjoyable and successful IAC visit! I'm glad that we got to get some pizza and beer this time. Until next time! (October?)

--Nathanael
Orange 1980 Vanagon L Westy
~190,000 miles on body
~20,000 on engine

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Sylvester
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

Post by Sylvester » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:11 pm

I am impressed! Two great write ups and lots of pictures! All we experience in our daily interactions with these vehicles, and with Colin's visits teach us all, and I like stories so when I see alot posted from an IAC visit, it shows the breadth of talent Colin has, an the proof there is nothing you can't do when you put your mind to it. When I tell others no only do I drop my own engine, but I fix issues with it myself, they remark they could never do that. Great write up, gosh who is next?
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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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

Post by Lanval » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:51 am

I'm next, ya crazy Georgia Peach!

OK, this was the plan. Get off work and head over to watch Colin and N finish up, so we can go get some pizza.
As I'm getting out some tools to fix a few things on my own van, I also pulled out the Ol' can of gumout and PB blaster to help on the brake. Problem was, too many brakes, not enough time. And once Nathanael got the drum off, it was clear that the driver's side would have to be done... but how, HOW do you do two rear brakes in an hour?

You can see cracks in the brake pad, and look at the one on it's side. Plenty of width at the bottom of the brake pad, nothing, NOTHING left at the top. Oy.
Not to worry, though; I still had my bag of USA packed brake kit parts. (I note the bag actually claims the parts are from the US and China)

So Nathanael went to work on the brakes. I tried to keep him on the path, with occasional questions posed to Colin to remind me of the process of rear brake building.

Colin started on the other brake after us, and finished before us; he took the opportunity to show us what the van could look like.
See you in October Colin!

Mike

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

Post by Sylvester » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:16 am

Crazy Georgia Peach, I like it. So Colin is off to New Mexico, how do the deserts of New Mexico compare to Nevada? I cannot imagine camping in a desert, after all these years camping in the North Georgia Mountains. The closest I have been was in a tent in Eqypt and Kuwait, but that is not the same.
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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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

Post by steve74baywin » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:26 am

Sylvester wrote: The closest I have been was in a tent in Eqypt and Kuwait, but that is not the same.
I'd say it would be hot in New Mexico this time of year, however it has been hotter in middle USA than southern USA.
I slept and worked in a tent in Egypt. The tents were air conditioned.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

Post by ruckman101 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:10 pm

I was in New Mexico in the fall. Great time of year as the heat wasn't disabling, and I love the smell of roasting green chiles in the air.


neal
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Who's The Boss Now?

Post by vdubzen » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:54 am

new mexico is mostly high desert country, the heat is here, but the humidity is very low compared to the east coast. albuquerque is a MILE HIGH CITY. take that denver,lol. los alamos is about 7500'. we are in monsoon season right now so the rain comes and goes. makes for some beautiful sunsets. cant wait for october for busses and balloons and the balloon fiesta.
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