Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

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SlowLane
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Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by SlowLane » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:35 pm

At 0900 on the appointed day, a beautifully manicured Chloe rolls into my driveway and out hops The Man.

We proceed inside for some coffee and to go over the day's itinerary. My wish list: lower control arm bushings, fuel tank swap, shifter freshen-up, speedometer de-squeaking, then some fun with the AFM and tuning.

Before we dig into the day's work we hop into the van and Colin takes it around the block to feel her out. He seems favorably impressed with the engine response, but feels that we may be losing some power and consuming more gas than is necessary due to running rich.

Back at the house, up goes the front end for a look at the control arm bushings. One looks more twisted than the other, but Colin attributes that to the track arm being shorter on that side and not to a failed bushing at all. So we decide not to bother with that work.

On to the fuel tank and shifter: Colin drops the spare tire and starts pulling out the shifter box while I dick around with the blocked spray nozzle on the can of spray paint that I had just purchased. Treat the top of the tank with a film of paint, while making sure the wind isn't blowing towards the VWs. Then under the van to drain and drop the old tank. Tank draining takes a looonnng time, but is greatly aided by putting the return line into the can and running the pump with Colin's magic fuel pump relay jumper. Old tank comes down without drama, seals are swapped (Colin, turns out there was a new sender o-ring included with the tank, but it was taped to the inside of the box) and new tank lifted into place. Bit of fuss getting the tank retaining straps up and onto their studs, but nothing that a little locally-applied violence couldn't solve.

Then I got over-eager and tried to pop the crossover pipe barb into its grommet, which promptly disappeared into the tank. Oops. So drop the tank and Colin uses his coathook-fishing ability to tease it out to the filler hole. Back in business: raise the tank, more locally-applied violence, treat the grommets to some dielectric grease (claims it's good for o-rings) and finish sealing the tank. Nice. Install filler pipe and put the gas back into the tank. Another application of the pump relay jumper and we confirmed that no leaks were springing. :thumbright:

We were making such great progress on the tank that we forgot to examine the shifter rod bushing the first time, but remembered to check it out the second time. To my surprise, my bushing looked perfect, just lacking lubrication. Another use for dielectric grease. Shifter now moves smooth as butter. :cheers: Colin takes a couple of pics for Kubelwagen's reference, but then his camera battery died. Me, I'm no shutterbug, so those couple of close-up snaps of a dirty shifter coupling are all the record we have.

Once shifter and tank are back together, we re-group back at the engine compartment and Colin runs some diagnostics. We are in agreement that the engine is running on the rich side, based on the AFR readings and the tailpipe colour. Plugs look ok: #3 looks lean, and #4 looks a bit oily. We decide to nudge the AFM lean by half a tooth and take her for a test drive. Seems a bit sluggish initially, but smooths out once warmed up. AFR readings have definitely shifted to the lean side. Will need to evaluate when starting from dead cold.

Throughout the day I'm peppered with informative little tidbits about VW design and reasons behind them. The day ends all too soon as Colin packs up the patient Chloe and heads off in search of a campsite for the night.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
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aopisa
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by aopisa » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:15 am

Great job. That's a lot of work in one day. =D>
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Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. - Chuang Tzu

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SlowLane
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by SlowLane » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:41 am

aopisa wrote:Great job. That's a lot of work in one day. =D>
Heh. Colin described it as a "light" day. :alien: It is truly gratifying to work with someone who knows what he is doing.

We were fortunate in not encountering any "show-stoppers" that would have required extraordinary ingenuity. The dropped grommet was about the only bit of drama to the day. I'll have to come up with something more challenging/interesting for his next visit. :joker:
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
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JLT
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by JLT » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:19 am

SlowLane wrote: The day ends all too soon as Colin packs up the patient Chloe and heads off in search of a campsite for the night.
I hope you told him about Del Valle Regional Park, my favorite camping area in Livermore. Nice campsites, flush toilets, showers, and reasonable rates.
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SlowLane
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by SlowLane » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:24 am

JLT wrote:
SlowLane wrote: The day ends all too soon as Colin packs up the patient Chloe and heads off in search of a campsite for the night.
I hope you told him about Del Valle Regional Park, my favorite camping area in Livermore. Nice campsites, flush toilets, showers, and reasonable rates.
I am embarrassed to say that I didn't. He had expressly asked for directions East, and didn't inquire about local campgrounds, so I pointed him in the direction of Altamont Pass Road instead of the 580. In hindsight I ought to have told him about Patterson Pass Road, which is far more interesting, but can be stressful at commuting time.

Del Valle can be nice, but does tend to fill up with loud party-hearty "campers" in the summer.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by Sylvester » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:31 am

SlowLane wrote:
JLT wrote:
SlowLane wrote: The day ends all too soon as Colin packs up the patient Chloe and heads off in search of a campsite for the night.
I hope you told him about Del Valle Regional Park, my favorite camping area in Livermore. Nice campsites, flush toilets, showers, and reasonable rates.
I am embarrassed to say that I didn't. He had expressly asked for directions East, and didn't inquire about local campgrounds, so I pointed him in the direction of Altamont Pass Road instead of the 580. In hindsight I ought to have told him about Patterson Pass Road, which is far more interesting, but can be stressful at commuting time.

Del Valle can be nice, but does tend to fill up with loud party-hearty "campers" in the summer.
I think Colin needs a mobile web cam and a GPS so we can follow him to the meter, and see what shenanigans he is into at any given moment.
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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aopisa
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by aopisa » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:35 am

SlowLane wrote:
I think Colin needs a mobile web cam and a GPS so we can follow him to the meter, and see what shenanigans he is into at any given moment.
I would watch it if the camera was strapped to his head in order to see a Colin Eye View broadcast. :geek:
1977 Westy 2.0L F.I.

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. - Chuang Tzu

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jonyem
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by jonyem » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:58 am

aopisa wrote:
SlowLane wrote:
I think Colin needs a mobile web cam and a GPS so we can follow him to the meter, and see what shenanigans he is into at any given moment.
I would watch it if the camera was strapped to his head in order to see a Colin Eye View broadcast. :geek:
I'd watch that.

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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by airkooledchris » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:11 pm

I loved the Del Valle campground as well, mostly for the amenities. The campground itself isn't all that great, and usually covered in swarms of bee's. We'd go there all the time in the summer to rent pontoon's for the day.

I just can't see Colin camping at an actual 'campground' though. Ill offer up our futon when he's here since he has an appointment the next day just a mile down the road, but im guessing he'll opt for an out of the way dead end spot up in the hills instead.



Thanks for sharing your day slowlane. There haven't been many users of late writing up their experiences and those are always some of my favorite things to read about here.
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SlowLane
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by SlowLane » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:17 pm

Sylvester wrote:I think Colin needs a mobile web cam and a GPS so we can follow him to the meter, and see what shenanigans he is into at any given moment.
I suspect that any such "need" exists far more on our side than on his. By the end of our day together it was pretty clear that his chief need was to escape from suburbia and spend more quality time with Chloe.
Now I'm regretting not pointing him in the direction of the Morgan Territories or Mt. Diablo, though he would have had to endure even more vacuous SUV-littered wasteland to get to the Devil Mountain.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

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aopisa
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by aopisa » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:34 pm

I think he already leads a pretty public life here on this site that some how a Colin Cam would not go over very well.

I used to have a 15 acre field on a river with beautiful mountain views that I would offer as a camping spot and I promised to act like I didn't know he was there. Never took me up on it. He just would appear in his bus at 9 (Squareback last year) and drive off into the night when we were finished. Then again, I have that affect on people.
1977 Westy 2.0L F.I.

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. - Chuang Tzu

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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by airkooledchris » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:50 pm

aopisa wrote:Then again, I have that affect on people.
Anyone ive spent an entire day with is usually pretty eager to get out of town as well. :cya:
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SlowLane
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by SlowLane » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:04 pm

aopisa wrote: I would offer as a camping spot and I promised to act like I didn't know he was there. Never took me up on it.
That's a relief. I thought it was just me...
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by airkooledchris » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:42 pm

the one thing I tell myself that i'll do 'next time' is take pictures.

so far ive never followed up on that. there's too much knowledge to be gained over the day to worry about such things.
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SlowLane
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Re: Colin visits SF East Bay (Livermore)

Post by SlowLane » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:13 pm

airkooledchris wrote:the one thing I tell myself that i'll do 'next time' is take pictures.

so far ive never followed up on that. there's too much knowledge to be gained over the day to worry about such things.
That's for sure. You just don't want to interrupt the flow by stopping to grab the camera and going: "Say cheese".

I'm thinking that setting up a camera out of the way somewhere with an overview of the entire work area and taking a time-lapse movie of the entire day's proceedings would be pretty neat. Say 9 hours compressed into 9 minutes or so.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
- Terry Pratchett

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