Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Amskeptic » Thu May 02, 2013 10:41 am

It is springtime in the southeast. That means:

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It is Volkswagen time once again. My eleventh consecutive summer tour of the United States. Here's what you do.
A) Check the oil . . . it's fine.
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B) Slap some plates on:
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C) Drive. First gas stop was here:
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My increasingly comfort-seeking self was a bit shocked by the return to The Day that all Volkswagens demand. I had to actually *step* on the brakes to retard motion. I had to *pull* on that steering wheel, and I haven't shifted a lick in 2013 save for a brief stint behind the wheel of a Toyota pick-up on February 18th. In no time, the Volkswagen rewarded me with . . . the Day. It is like waking up after a long winter's doze. Had to *pay attention* to everything around me. Had to focus on the cars and trucks ahead of me and had to anticipate their every action, my four wheel drum brakes said I had to. Chloe's plucky little engine was singing back there, well, I hear singing. Others might hear traumatized rending shrieks of generator, but we know better. In due time:
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Miami! The local populace, unchallenged by ice and salt and heaved pavement and cold drizzly spring snowmelt, seems to be in extremely high spirits with their immaculate cars riding my bumper ferociously as I try to find the "correct" lane as I-95 plays games with lane closures and merge points. I saw the sign, "I-95 Ends". I would have photographed it like a dumb tourist, but the frenetic traffic swept me past the terminus and onto Route 1, a "parkway" of people in some kind of rush. Finally pulled onto a side street that had this old bus:
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My Baywindow bus with it's "huge" back window and "large" taillights suddenly looked so modern . . .
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This old '59 or so, had an IRS rear suspension, lifted off a post-'69 Beetle I reckoned, but that is a lot of work to perform before dealing with the rust that Florida delights in promoting:
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Enjoyed a couple of days of Jivermo's late model fuel-injected bus exhaust rehabilitation. Jivermo is another in a long line of reasons I love this business. Good people like old Volkswagens. Dremels and Makita grinders ensued. I was taken aback by this dirt thing under the car? where dirt? kept falling in my eyes? His son-in-law runs a VW restoration shop and did some excellent brazing of the holy holey exhaust system.

The next appointment was exoticdvm's '78 bus not running properly. We conducted a most-thorough diagnosis of the ignition and fuel systems to uncover a bad new condensor. Those bad condensors mimic bad gas. Well, he had bad gas too. A 1/8 full gas tank from November to April will allow most of the volatile vapors to evaporate, leaving us only with an acrid exhaust and poor running. It requires Discipline not to get to lost when two different causes give the same symptoms. The key to the condensor diagnosis was watching the timing light flashes disappear at every engine misfire. They key to the bad gas was watching how the engine refused to run at higher rpm and the aforementioned stale gas exhaust smell eye-watering pungency that clean burning gas does not hit you with.

Florida is beautiful at this time of year. I drove US 41 (the same one that goes through Chicago) across the Everglades from early evening through dusk:
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CHTs were 375* on the highway with little kicks up to 406* at midday on long uphills:
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I live for these evocative moments . . .
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It is the road reflecting in the center of this golden humid Florida dusk just before the bugs splatted Chloe into a cartoon depiction of dead bug mayhem:
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On the way back to Pensacola, I discovered that this bus is actually ticking off only 80% of the actual miles driven. That means, the fuel economy is actually around 20 mpg at 60-62 mph. Drove splendidly, ate a half a quart of oil in 1,416 miles. 20 days folks, til the Main Lap.
Colin
(jivermo, jump on in here)
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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sped372
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by sped372 » Thu May 02, 2013 11:13 am

Thanks for sharing, and nice photos! New camera? I didn't much enjoy driving around the freeway system in Miami and don't envy you for doing it in a bus.

Is that a tic-tac dispenser dashboard knob? :blackeye:
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

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Mr Blotto
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Mr Blotto » Thu May 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Colin - do I spy a tachometer from a Volvo 240 on your dash???

Safe travels this year.
1978 Sage Green Westy - 2.0 FI - SOLD WITH 109887 miles :-(

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by glasseye » Thu May 02, 2013 2:39 pm

Ahh. Life's good when we get "Itinerant Greetings From...." postings again. SO glad to see 'em.

But. About the cylinder head temps increasing on "long uphills" What? Are you kidding?

Uphills? In FLORIDA? :study: Puhleeze.

Speaking of uphills, Frito actually downshifted from 5th to 4th last month on Towne Pass, leaving Death Valley. :bootyshake:
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Jivermo » Thu May 02, 2013 4:01 pm

Yes, after months of anticipation, Colin finally rolled down my driveway and hopped out of Chloe. "Coffee", he breathed. He was running a bit behind schedule, because he had become entangled in the Friday morning Greater Miami I-95 traffic. If Colin can be frazzled, I guess I saw a little of that. I ran off to get a Starbucks venti bold drip, black, in order to get him back in the groove. It did the trick, and we sat down at the dining room table for about an hours worth of Air cooled education. He nursed the coffee, and 4 hours later he was still taking swigs out of that cup! I had my 78 Westy up on ramps, and we got into the nasty business of grinding, chiseling and wrenching off the remarkable German engineered exhaust system, after donning wife beaters, of course. What fun! This was my first time at work with The Master, and I was to learn that Colin has one speed: fast forward, or full tilt boogie. Time is of the essence, attention must be paid, and questions must be answered in a timely fashion. I was being rapidly educated on how best to take care of my air cooled bus, to which I had a undeniable duty and responsibility. I got it. This was basic training and the first day of junior high all rolled into one. I'm 66 and reasonably fit, but this was to be a challenge event: squats, pull ups, sit ups, push ups, curls, lunges...all this and more were to be crammed into this wonderful day under the palms and the brilliant Florida sun. TBC.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Bleyseng » Thu May 02, 2013 4:15 pm

So a new exhaust is/was going on? Sounds like fun removing a rusted on permanently VW exhaust or is/was it the heat exchangers too?
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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dingo
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by dingo » Fri May 03, 2013 12:59 am

Cool ! look forward to some good reports and pics from far afield....
'71 Kombi, 1600 dp

';78 Tranzporter 2L

" Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 03, 2013 7:29 am

glasseye wrote: Uphills? In FLORIDA? :study: Puhleeze.

Speaking of uphills, Frito actually downshifted from 5th to 4th last month on Towne Pass, leaving Death Valley. :bootyshake:
Excuuuse me, Mr. Potatochip Deliveryman, but yes, our very Sensitive and Aware VW buses happen to know things like "topography" and "anemology", they are very tuned-in to Planet Earth. I am pretty sure that was a hill or something. We feel very very sorry for those unfortunate souls lulled into onanistic somnambulance as they levitate over Towne Pass ensconsed in their tinted glass sarcophagii with no comprehension, no regard, no vital awareness of the miracle that their potato chip truck can even move at all, courtesy of their still functional rear axle speed sensor [(made in Checkoslovakia), a miracle right there if you ask me].
:bom: Colin :sunny:
(so Mercedes is actually rebadging the Sprinters as Mercedes once more . . . so much for proletariat potatopushers)
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 03, 2013 7:51 am

Mr Blotto wrote:Colin - do I spy a tachometer from a Volvo 240 on your dash???

Safe travels this year.
Keen eye. Yes, it is a Volvo 264 tachometer designed for a six cylinder application. I have the calibration pot cranked past its stop to just barely hit acceptable air-cooled VW 4 cylinder operation. I am sure this tachometer had no idea that its later life would include a new and sudden increase in rpm readings not to mention some very serious air-cooling of its own when the driver's window is down. Passing trucks make the needle do a woozy veer "is my clutch slipping that bad?". Strangely enough, this delicate-electronics-exposed sun-bleached passing-truck-hurricane-prone, desert-dust inhaled dashboard-impaled tachometer works just fine.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 03, 2013 8:06 am

sped372 wrote:Thanks for sharing, and nice photos! New camera? I didn't much enjoy driving around the freeway system in Miami and don't envy you for doing it in a bus.

Is that a tic-tac dispenser dashboard knob? :blackeye:
Been staring at that CHT gauge in the ashtray opening shot. Tic-tac dispensor? Which one?
Perhaps the rear window defogger switch?

But yes, this is not a new camera, it is my old 2006 WalMart issue "EasyShare Kodak 612" that has no technical support remaining, no new drivers available, two nasty dents on the telescopic barrel, and a developing case of old age inability to focus, with another old age affliction of refusing to speak with a brassy youngster like the Windows 7 currently installed on the laptop. I will use it until it is truly dead. That means there may be some story coming up of trying to fix it in the desert.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 03, 2013 8:14 am

Bleyseng wrote:So a new exhaust is/was going on? Sounds like fun removing a rusted on permanently VW exhaust or is/was it the heat exchangers too?
Nope. That is the beauty of it. We stuck it all back on. No leaks. Some of the flanges could have passed for Titanic boiler flanges under the sea for a century. We did make sure to use washers under the bolts and not to torque to spec. I was even hoping to paint all of these parts, like the BobD, but it would have been like putting lipstick on a cadaver . . . after the dissection.
ColinThatWASGross
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 03, 2013 10:59 am

sped372 wrote:[/img]

Ha ha! I get it.
That is a under-the-influence-of-coffee hand-painted lighter logo. Strangely enough, it always rotates on its own to that position.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Jivermo » Fri May 03, 2013 11:51 am

Most of the flanges were classic Titanic, with a few Andrea Doria thrown in, as Colin notes. One in particular on one of the "U" pipes, was very bad, and offered a concave mating surface to the heat exchanger flange. Colin eyed the culprit and said, "Perhaps we could weld a bead around the flange to raise it, and then grind it down." My son in law, David, was given the task and we did just that. It worked better than expected, and I was able to grind a very good mating surface. As Colin so aptly put it, "Never let this guy loose with a tube of RTV sealant again!" I have no idea what he was referring to.

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dingo
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by dingo » Fri May 03, 2013 12:30 pm

speed sensor [(made in Checkoslovakia),
that country was dissolved Jan 1 1993.......that would be some old new parts
'71 Kombi, 1600 dp

';78 Tranzporter 2L

" Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Miami

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 03, 2013 2:41 pm

dingo wrote:
speed sensor [(made in Checkoslovakia),
that country was dissolved Jan 1 1993.......that would be some old new parts
Misspelled to make sure it didn't get associated with a real country in today's world . . . :pirate:
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 116,898 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 84,465 miles

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