Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

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Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:03 am

New Mexico! Gorgeous and a bit run-down in a way I like atop some gorgeous countryside. Pulled off the interstate at a Nowhereland exit and came across a sign that said "Canoncito Navajo Reservation" and meandered up the dirt path, hey I've been here before, to the water tank/windmill and decided to try the countrycarwash:
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The windmill kept up a creaky little stream of water with way too much local mineral content.

The carwash dude looked a little cranky:
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Arrived in Sante Fe at dusk and headed up to the volcanic caldera of Los Alamos as the light was failing. As always, it is a dramatic approach through beautiful landscapes. By the time I was snaking up NM502, the city lights of Los Alamos were up there above me in the darkness of night. The engine was feeling very punky at this elevation (7,000ft +) and I was barely able to maintain 3rd gear. Now that I know the area, I headed right through town and out the other side up up up in the night to my favorite campsite overlooking the city. Then the BobD released a poisonous cloud of vapors and expired right at my parking spot. Dead. Opened the engine hatch and was assaulted with burning PCB toxicity and I knew right away that it was the Pertronix, no real Volkswagen part would let go in a such a plasticky stench. Pulled out the original condensor with the correct short green wire, rummaged a set of points for just such an occasion, and turned in for the night with a cross breeze through the car and the sound of wind in the pines and a moon a moon a moon in the trees with silhouettes of grand geolic formations and twinkling lights down below. Woke up to an early morning moon:
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Walked up the hill to loosen up a bit and noticed that a wrong turn last night would have been a long trip to the bottom:
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Pulled the offensive Pertronix unit:
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Carefully and laboriously set the them here known as Breaker Point thingamajiggers to a loose-ish .016" and checked the dwell at 43* and set the timing to 30*BTDC @ fast rpm. These points shall be ignored until the car fails to start or something, we're at 81,095 miles.

Went to the jtauxe homestead to help jtauxe install an engine from the "other bus" into Bluebird, the right hand drive dual cab pick-up. But first, as usual, we had to just marvel at the physics found in this here Universe, today's was The Atmosphere. As we sat and digested this unbelievable array of business cards with notes on the back (? later...), I spotted his deluxe big Earth globe cradled in its stand and thought to ask "from here, what would the atmosphere look like on it?" Well, of course his answers came back in kilometers and millimeters while I am thinking in fathoms and shaftments. We decided that the atmosphere would be about as thick as two business cards on that globe.
Yeah, so the business cards, right? What? Every possible operation written all over the backs of business cards. I picked through them. "Consider which distributor to use" "Select oil pressure sender" "Install intakes" "Install exhaust". But you know, in the final analysis, it only gets done here:
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Notice how nicely VW set the engine in the chassis for a lower center of gravity:
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And here, it is running:
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Piece of cake wasn't it, jtauxe?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 101,475 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by steve74baywin » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:23 am

Did you get to take it for a spin? Have you ever drivin a dual cab?

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:39 am

steve74baywin wrote:Did you get to take it for a spin? Have you ever drivin a dual cab?
I used to battle LA freeways with an overloaded dual cab weighed down with huge cast iron Packard V-12 engine blocks and long swoopy Duesenburg fenders and whatnot when I worked for my uncle. Great car, hard life when he drove it across the country to Hershey PA's swap meet.

I have driven Bluebird a couple of times over the years, the righthand drive is totally disconcerting-but-far-out-man.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 101,475 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by Sylvester » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:34 am

So jtauxe, what all happened?
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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jtauxe
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by jtauxe » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:49 pm

This was a productive visit. It's funny -- I've been working on these buses since 1983 and am still learning stuff, thanks to Colin, here.

I had been preparing for this visit for almost a solid 2 weeks, having removed the two engines I wanted to swap, and cleaning the "keeper". Man, cleaning an engine is a bitch of a job. :( I had also done a lot of the "basics", like replacing oil cooler seals. That's about as deep as I got.

By the time Colin showed up, I had the keeper on the engine stand, all torn down to the long block. We started by refitting the exhaust headers, checking the torques on everything, and putting the thing back together. Tins, new intake sleeves and gaskets, a couple of pushrod tube seals (I may do the others later) valve adjustment, new oil filler alligator boot, and off the stand it comes. Then we get to the front end, set the crankshaft endplay (I MUST find more shims!), new clutch and pressure plate...

Then the engine went back in the bus. Colin took off to find a campsite in the burned forest (well, not ALL burned), and I spent the remaining light adding the rest of the tin and hooking up the FI system. I added fresh gas and and way too much oil (OK, I was getting tired).

The next morning, Colin kindly came back and we finished the job, spending an inordinate amount of time wrestling the new exhaust parts (heater boxes and eliminator muffler) into place, which involved much cursing of the Danes and the anonymous muffler manufacturer. But it eventually all came together, and after switching out a wonky distributor, we got a running bus.

What a joy to have the pickup start (this was always a challenge), idle (also a previous problem), and run. Wow.

So, all in all a big success. Now I have to get the other engine (the odd duck that came in the pickup) stuffed into the '77 Westy donor bus and get it running the best I can. That bus will be up for sale soon after that.

Thanks, Colin, for helping me finish this up in good time. This morning I drove the bus down to Santa Fe airport (about 50 miles) and all went well. I am hoping that when I come back from travel tomorrow night, it will run smoothly back up "The Hill" to Los Alamos. That last 1000 ft of elevation gain is a real test!
John
"The bus came by and I got on. That's when it all began..." - Garcia/Weir/Kreutzman
http://vw.tauxe.net

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by Sylvester » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:33 am

Say Colin, what kind of trip is it from New Mexico to Colorado?
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 New Mexico

Post by jimjxsn » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:16 pm

Sylvester wrote:Say Colin, what kind of trip is it from New Mexico to Colorado?
Hi Sylvester,
Colin is due here in the morning. It is about 350 miles from Los Alamos to my house south of Denver. Any way Colin chooses to come he has a couple of passes to go over but nothing too bad.

I think Colin must be close because the temperature has cooled off today with a forecast of thunderstorms tomorrow. :geek:
'76 sunroof bus
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by Sylvester » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:04 am

jimjxsn wrote:I think Colin must be close because the temperature has cooled off today with a forecast of thunderstorms tomorrow. :geek:
Yup, rain in the afternoon. Colin need to come back to Atlanta sooner, we need the rain and Lake Lanier is five feet low! Take some pictures and tell us how it goes today.
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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chachi
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by chachi » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:14 am

...
1974 transporter panel, 2.0 dual solex
1991 vanagon NAHT, RJE 2.3

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by Sylvester » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:10 pm

chachi wrote:interesting, my dad has a '30 packard and has been going to hershey for as long as i can remember. i wonder if they crossed paths once upon a time, there's not a lot of those guys around.
Got any digital pictures of it?
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 New Mexico

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:02 pm

chachi wrote:
Amskeptic wrote:I used to battle LA freeways with an overloaded dual cab weighed down with huge cast iron Packard V-12 engine blocks and long swoopy Duesenburg fenders and whatnot when I worked for my uncle. Great car, hard life when he drove it across the country to Hershey PA's swap meet.
interesting, my dad has a '30 packard and has been going to hershey for as long as i can remember. i wonder if they crossed paths once upon a time, there's not a lot of those guys around.
Phil did sporatic Hershey between 1969 and 1979.
Ask about whether or not he ever ordered water jackets or hubcaps or running board rubbers for Super Eights, my specialties while at Hill&Vaughn 1980-1983.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 101,475 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Sylvester
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by Sylvester » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:33 am

jimjxsn wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Say Colin, what kind of trip is it from New Mexico to Colorado?
Hi Sylvester,
Colin is due here in the morning. It is about 350 miles from Los Alamos to my house south of Denver. Any way Colin chooses to come he has a couple of passes to go over but nothing too bad.

I think Colin must be close because the temperature has cooled off today with a forecast of thunderstorms tomorrow. :geek:

How did it go? Any rain with the visit?
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 New Mexico

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:03 pm

Sylvester wrote:
jimjxsn wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Say Colin, what kind of trip is it from New Mexico to Colorado?
Hi Sylvester,
Colin is due here in the morning. It is about 350 miles from Los Alamos to my house south of Denver. Any way Colin chooses to come he has a couple of passes to go over but nothing too bad.

I think Colin must be close because the temperature has cooled off today with a forecast of thunderstorms tomorrow. :geek:

How did it go? Any rain with the visit?
Lovely visit with jimjxsn and his evolving bus, I have photographs yet to be uploaded.

It has rained every day since I hit New Mexico. It has rained E.V.E.R.Y. . D. A. Y. here in Colorado. Every. Day. It is raining now. Monsoon, baby.

I will probably break the drought in Texas. On my way to Texas right now in fact ... unless I go to Montana to give another go at whc03grady's caniption-causing bus woes.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 101,475 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Sylvester
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled New Mexico

Post by Sylvester » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:52 am

Amskeptic wrote:
Lovely visit with jimjxsn and his evolving bus, I have photographs yet to be uploaded.

It has rained every day since I hit New Mexico. It has rained E.V.E.R.Y. . D. A. Y. here in Colorado. Every. Day. It is raining now. Monsoon, baby.

I will probably break the drought in Texas. On my way to Texas right now in fact ... unless I go to Montana to give another go at whc03grady's caniption-causing bus woes.
Colin
So where did you end up going? Texas or Montana? Or can I guess simply by looking in the weather map and finding which has storms? Ever heard of Bad Luck Schleprock?
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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