Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

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brotha bran
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Location: Maine and Washington
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Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by brotha bran » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:36 pm

First things first, I must apologize for having taken a total of zero photos during the nine hours Colin spent here on Monday. As a someone who is partially a photographer by trade, I am deeply ashamed, but I'm sure anyone who has been party to a stop on the Itinerary knows full well that "Oh, I should take a photo of this", is probably the last thought running through your head. I apologize, but ever the Chicago Cubs fan that I am, I am fully seasoned in the phrase "well, there's always next year." I'll also apologize for my tendency to ramble. I realize I may lose a good portion of you after the 37th paragraph...

Now, I cannot explain how humbled I am after Colin's visit. This was my first visit from him, but it certainly won't be my last. I'll be anxiously awaiting next summer. The amount of knowledge that just got dropped on my brain is immense and I am still taking it all in and beginning to connect dots a little more clearly. Lets begin from the beginning, a great place to start I'd say.

I've owned an ACVW since 2004 when I purchased a 1976 Transporter that I knew very little about. I drove it during the summers only, and barely put any miles on it, and subsequently paid little attention to the rust that was eating away at it, and the mechanical issues that were developing. I changed the oil, but as far as tune-ups or anything else went, she was essentially neglected :silent:. In 2009 I began tearing into it and I'm half-way through a full-blown restoration. But that '76 is a long, long story for another day, with many twists, turns, and a whole lot of embarrassment thrown in for good measure.

My original reasoning for signing up this year for a visit was to get a little hand on some of my tasks for the '76. But after purchasing a 1968 Single Cab in March, and having a summer with almost no time available to devote to the '76, I determined Colin's visit would be best spent working on the new Single Cab. I had a short but lofty list of potential jobs to tackle: all new seals in the cab doors/windows, fix my sloppy shifter, and teach me how to do a full-blown tune-up.

Colin said: "I'll be there between 9-9:30.", and as I sat looking out the window as the clock ticked towards "Colin you're late!", I spied a beautiful early bay pulling into my driveway at 9:30 on the damn dot. I greeted him with a hot thermos of dark roast coffee and we sat down for an hour of knowledge dropping and quizzing. I revealed my embarrassing secrets of being far more versed in my modern VW TDI engines instead of my '76 Type IV and newly acquired '68 Type I. The shame shone through, but Colin pressed and led me to the promise land.

We went out to begin the tune-up and discovered the first wonky bit: I have a mostly stock 1600cc engine except for a rogue distributor. Apparently the previous owner had installed a DVDA, which I was promptly informed was meant for a '73, and was likely not playing well with my H30/31PICT carb. We started the tune-up with a valve adjustment, and discovered that I had likely done something wrong when I first adjusted the valves about 2k miles ago. Very tight...way too tight on some of them. So I did it the right way and everything went to .006" where it should be. We hooked up the dwell/tach and the timing light and found that my Pertronix was pushing my dwell to 54º (two degrees past the 52º limit). That was explained and noted. We moved on to timing, marked the 28º + vac advance marks on my pulley in the correct spots. We disconnected my retard because it was pulling the engine's timing down too far. Adjusted timing to 28 @ 3400.

On to the carb! My throttle screw was apparently mal-adjusted (as harsh as Colin could word it, he says). We fixed that, adjusted it out to no contact + .020". It smelled rich so we adjusted the mix to 1/4 turn past the optimal spot, then the idle speed to 1000 RPM. Colin spotted that my throttle spring was weak, and causing it not to return fully, resulting in a faster than ideal idle. My head was beginning to spin with so many degrees and numbers and exhaust fumes, but his simple discovery of a simple solution to one problem brought me back to reality. These engines aren't rocket science, but you certainly do have to know how they work and why.

After sitting in my cab and checking the shifting while I worked away at cleaning up from our tune-up, Colin found that my idea of "sloppy shifting" was a very kind way of putting it. Indeed, he conjectured that I may be missing my stop-plate altogether. The damn thing wasn't even pushing down to go into reverse. We pulled the shifter and found said stop-plate just sitting there, not doing its job properly for no good reason. Out comes the shifter, the spring, the stop plate. Clean, Clean, Clean! Colin struggled to free a pin (I'm losing my descriptiveness here) on the bottom of the shifter. It wouldn't budge. Plan B: Re-install and hope for the best for now. We did, with cleaned and greased parts. It works! Well, it certainly works better than it did. I can find gears now. No more ker-klunk when I downshift to 2nd. No more grrrrrrrrrrrinding when I accidently hit reverse instead of 2nd.

Test-drive time! I saw double-clutching in action. My single-cab had probably never been happier, being driven by someone who really knows how to treat these vehicles. I only hope I can put his advice into action when I get behind the wheel from now on. We discovered a slight hesitation around the 30-40MPH range, a problem that'll hopefully be solved by the correct distributor.

Back at the house we wrapped up the afternoon by fiddling with my horrendously rattling doors. Everything was out of adjustment, so we brought it back as close as we could. Now my double-latch mechanism is actually...latching twice like it should. And the doors aren't threatening to fall off completely when we hit a bump. Excellent! A more thorough overhaul is in order down the line, but for now we're as close as we can get to it being normal again. We shimmed my '68-only wiper system so that my wiper arms didn't fly off the pins altogether, using some handy HVAC tape. I'll find a more permanent fix soon. We installed new pedal seals/boots, adjusted clutch free-play to 1", adjusted brake pedal, adjusted front brakes, lubricated the center pin, and finally called it quits around 6 p.m.

After a brief recap quiz of the day's events, I paid the man his hard earned money, shook his hand and promised to do all I can to keep this beautiful SC from incurring any more neglect. If Colin says I have a responsibility to history by owning this vehicle, then I'll damn well do my best to keep it in tact.

A big thanks to Colin for sticking with me even if I came across ill-prepared and less than worthy of my beautiful Single Cab. Even if we had not actually accomplished anything, I think the $440 would've been money well spent just in kicking my ass into gear. :salute:

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jonyem
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by jonyem » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:28 pm

Sounds likes day well spent. Would love to see some photos of your SC.

Jonathan

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brotha bran
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by brotha bran » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:37 am

Here are some photos from earlier this summer...

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poptop tom
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by poptop tom » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:48 am

Nice review andgreat progress!

Is that an old Indiana plate on the back of your SC?
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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jonyem
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by jonyem » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:15 am

Great photos, and a very nice looking SC.
History on wheels.

Jonathan

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drober23
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by drober23 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:09 am

Nice write up, and nice single cab!

Colin seems to do a very nice job of gauging his clients, then approaching them from their level.

There is no need to apologize for whatever your level may be.
DJ

'75 Westfalia, '79 Deluxe
(plus more busses than sense)

In a time of chimpanzees I was a monkey

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Sylvester
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by Sylvester » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:21 am

An Indiana plate on the SC? Those Hoosiers are everywhere!

Great write up and nice pictures brotha bran! That is a smooth looking SC!
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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brotha bran
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by brotha bran » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:23 am

Thanks guys. And as for the Indiana plate, that's a negative. I believe this thing has been in the northeast all her life, even though it doesn't show.

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hambone
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by hambone » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:33 am

What causes reverse to not get "locked out"? This '73 I'm working on seems to have the same symptom. Shift coupler helped a lot though, but not entirely.
Stop plate looks OK, although there is some wear.
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poptop tom
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by poptop tom » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:45 am

brotha bran wrote:Thanks guys. And as for the Indiana plate, that's a negative. I believe this thing has been in the northeast all her life, even though it doesn't show.
My bad. It looked like one of these!
http://www.in.gov/bmv/2832.htm
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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Randy in Maine
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by Randy in Maine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:59 pm

A visit from Colin is money well spent IMO.

Although,when he comes to visit me he works me like a dog with precious few breaks and at the end of the day I am 100% tired out.
Ironically I am paying him to do that to me.
79 VW Bus

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Sylvester
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by Sylvester » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:29 pm

Randy in Maine wrote:A visit from Colin is money well spent IMO.

Although,when he comes to visit me he works me like a dog with precious few breaks and at the end of the day I am 100% tired out.
Ironically I am paying him to do that to me.
Kind of like a personal fitness trainer. Or a Marine Corps drill instructor. It is going to hurt you now but you will appreciate it later on, suck it up and press on!
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.

vdubluvah
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by vdubluvah » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:29 pm

Ah yes... nice write up. I had a similar exhilarating visit, minus the thermos of coffee :thumbright: . And I must say, I am glad I was not the only one sore and mentally numb after a day from the itinerant. Nice pics of your SC!

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Amskeptic
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Re: Colin comes to Maine! And helps me...adjust.

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:12 pm

Beautiful old Maine village rambling house made of real wood. Heck, the enormous garage had a wood floor. Beautiful!
I loved that '68 singlecab. It was so responsive, with the best steering of any early bay I have driven.
You *shall* bring it to a state of true honest old Volkswagen glory!

I drove all the way to Connecticut that night, scraping brake drum the whole gritted-teeth time . . .
I got pictures, but I cannot access them (yet) behind the sarcophagus of my old Compaq Presario.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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