Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Amskeptic » Wed May 29, 2013 3:07 pm

The mad dash has dashed. We did 1,900 miles between Pensacola and here in SouthBend, I and Chloe the mellow brown cow with a sly attitude. The first leg of an itinerary always gives me fits of nervousnessness. The first mile has to be traversed. The "what-ifs" and the known issues glow like idiot lights in my mind's eye.

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You cannot ask a 43 year-old car to just up and go all over the country just because you remember when they used to do it all the time. We don't have 1,100 VW dealers with an excellent inventory of German parts any more. As a matter of fact, the last part order from one of our few remaining vendors proved anew that we have irrevocably turned a corner into a new world of hostile indifference to quality. "We are sorry to hear that your parts arrived damaged, we need to file a report with the carrier," gave way to utterly indifferent silence when told, "the parts were damaged before you even put them in the box, what do we do now?"

So I asked this 43 year-old car to up and go all over the country anyway. I put the winter-beater, the 21 year-old "new" car, into the storage unit - "bye air-conditioning, sure gonna miss YOU." (little did I know how wrong I was) :
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Changed the oil in Chloe and adjusted the valves. There's one, a left side Yuma Swap Meet Used Head, pressed into a service that it could not imagine whilst whiling away the hours in the box crammed next to its mate on the trailer hitched to the Ford Explorer. "Can you believe this? I think we have done more miles in the last year than we did in the first two decades? What is up with this guy?"
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For me, of course, it is easy. I get to sit in a seat and press a pedal. I wonder if the exhaust valves resent the accelerator pedal. Then again, no I don't. This was the view for the first day of travelling, an eagle stare at the Dakota Digital gauge:
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Spent a day with cheesehead once again wheedling her to switch to fuel injection and stick a quiet exhaust on her Raby engine. We did a performance test the ol' 50-60 and 50-70 time trials. Her engine gave us exactly the same times as the BobD, 7 seconds for the former and 15 seconds for the latter. Not in 3rd gear though. That is where horsepower helps, and I saw no reason to not utilize some rev capability. 50-60 in 5 seconds flat. I will try that with the BobD, now that I know the stock rev limiter back there will shut off the juice at 5,400 rpm at 69 mph in 3rd gear. Cheesehead and I are going to experiment. We are going to install my Road Warrior's ex-muffler on her Raby engine and we are going to do time trials again and we will report on any CHT changes as well.
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Catskills in the spring!
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Fresh greens and yellows life coming back to life, and visiting people I love who did not hold against me the abrupt exit to Pensacola on February 19th at 10:00AM. Are you kidding? They erupted into a Rennaissance after I left, the kitchen I photographed in December is now pow! getting a remodel, and Amy joined the ranks of Toyota Prius owners and get this, let me drive it with only 36 miles on it? Average fuel economy so far? 51 mpg. Hugged them goodbye, and tried to convince Chloe the cow to please go up to Plattsburg NY to visit the folks quickquick before I had to get to western NY. Chloe waited until this:
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. . . and buckets of subsequent 42* rain to go all starterless on me. No starter. I sat there in the driver's seat just looking at the rivulets coursing down the windshield, " you didn't do this, Chloe, I know you wouldn't do this, not now, Chloe, start, come on, start."
No, didn't say Chloe. Chloe just sat there. Now, I am a wimp in the cold and rain, yes, but that is because I *do* go out in it. I was under that stupid old car getting absolutely drenched, and the adjustable wrench found the terminals and the starter indeed turned the engine over. You just know that at the next gas stop I had already forgotten that the starter wasn't responding to the ignition switch, right? Right. The new 30A Bosch hot-start relay that I installed at a drive-through bank window started trying to start the already started engine while I was putting away the tools, just intermittently trying to clean off the teeth on the rapidly spinning flywheel. What kind of crap???? Ripped that horrible piece of modern plasticky crap off the car and installed the old old old hot-start relay from the Road Warrior that had given me a good six or seven years, green copper terminals and pecks from countless rock hits, why, it is under the car as we type, just doing its thing.

Visited Cindy and the kids, played catch with the ten year-old soul I held one minute fresh into the world, walked with Cindy in the night under the full moon to the canal under the silhouettes of trees just recently leafed, and watched a video from spring of 2003 of her daughter age four (now 14!) and me playing "waitresses", serving her stuffed bears with a great deal of fumbling, " do you think they'll notice that these aren't the blueberry pancakes they ordered?" "Juice!" "Coffee too!" "OK, juice and coffee!" I just spilled the coffee!" "Use that dress to mop it up, we are SO sorry." And I am, too.

Mr. Officer Man pulled me over within 30 minutes of almost escaping over the border into Pennsylvania.
"You don't have an inspection sticker."
"I was trying to get over the border into Pennsylvania."
"Well, I am sorry I screwed that up for you, but I have to write a ticket."
"How much is it? Is there a surcharge?"
"Well, you know New York. They got to pay the overhead."
"Don't I know it."
"No really, I don't even get health insurance."
"YOU WHAT? IN THIS JOB? NO HEALTH INSURANCE? THAT IS AN OUTRAGE!"
"I get paid $13.00 per hour, I can't afford to buy it for myself."
"WHY? WHY? What, like your job doesn't have unique risks?? Meanwhile, Albany is looking to pass beneficial legislation for the highest bidder. "
"Oh man. Look, get out of here. Get to Pennsylvania."

And I did, on a pretty, cold day with an evil headwind. Look it up, Salamanca NY via future Interstate 86 to I-90 to Erie. Gorgeous countryside and lakes and farms and the worst road surface quality this side of Detroit.

Lake Erie above the trees, almost looks like a cloudbank:
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I am allowed to park wherever I want to take photographs as I see fit, even the onramp to I-90:
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"What are you doing?"
"Overheated, waiting."
"I don't see any coolant!"
"Air-cooled."
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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airkooledchris
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by airkooledchris » Wed May 29, 2013 4:10 pm

Ive had that exact same problem with a hot-start-relay before, where after firing it decided to just keep endlessly cranking. Took the key from the ignition and it just kept going anyway, so I had to quick run to my battery toggle switch (main/deep/off) and turn it off.

The next one I installed so it was inside the engine compartment and away from rocks/dirt/water, but it never worked so I go without now.
1979 California Transporter

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glasseye
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by glasseye » Wed May 29, 2013 5:20 pm

Amskeptic wrote: I am allowed to park wherever I want to take photographs as I see fit, even the onramp to I-90
Damn straight. Pictures is pictures. :salute:

Good to see you on the road properly. Awaiting with delight your next posts from AdventureLand. :bounce:
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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whc03grady
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by whc03grady » Thu May 30, 2013 7:58 am

Amskeptic wrote:[T]he last part order from one of our few remaining vendors proved anew that we have irrevocably turned a corner into a new world of hostile indifference to quality. "We are sorry to hear that your parts arrived damaged, we need to file a report with the carrier," gave way to utterly indifferent silence when told, "the parts were damaged before you even put them in the box, what do we do now?"
These cars are victims, I think, of their own popularity.
As soon as it became cool to accessorize one's phony weekend-hippie uniform (present company excepted, of course; I assume anyone carving time and money out of their life and wallet for an appointment with Colin is probably talking the talk and walking the walk) with a period VW bus, the philosophy of the parts market shifted from Keep Your Volkswagen Alive Forever to Keep Your Volkswagen Running Just Good Enough That Your Friends and Neighbors Will Think You're Cool/"Weird". Which means parts no longer have to last for tens or hundreds of thousands of miles; they only have to last long enough to get the vehicle to the next midlife crisis's driveway when the current midlife crisis's wife finally tells him to get rid of it. Such is the fate, I suspect, of 60% of the ACVWs (and >75% of the buses) on the road today.
My $0.02.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Jivermo » Thu May 30, 2013 8:35 am

The parts issue is quite relevant to all of us who want to keep these air-cooled wonders going. Sites like this, and the Samba, are terrific tools for us to use in our constant search for info and decent spare parts suppliers. Colin and I discussed some of this during his Miami call in April. We had a new reproduction rear shift rod coupler that we had to beat upon in the vice in order to get the slop out of the piece. The inserts were made of some type of black plastic as opposed to the quality hard rubber of the original. We did, and it works, but I'm certain that in a couple of years I'll be fiddling with another one. Also, we had to re-use the original cross section screw and metal insert, as we could not get the repro one to "bite" and tighten up. The Chinese made junk is maddening sometimes.
Hey, Colin...next time you're through the Catskills-you could crash at my cabin near Hancock, NY. It's on the Pa. side, and it's in the woods and on a lake-which is your style, I imagine. You could park by the lake and sleep in your Chloe, with the lake breezes blowing through.
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poptop tom
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by poptop tom » Fri May 31, 2013 6:19 am

Thanks for the visit, Colin! As always, an enjoyable day. Hope your back heals quickly.

No pics from this visit (Colin may have a couple), but it seemed to be a productive day!

After a cup of coffee and some catching up, Colin and I took a look at the back tailgate. Mine was
closing with a hitch, which was easily fixed, but then Colin wanted to make to make things perfect as far as alignment of the door
and its proper closure was concerned. We did the best the door would allow us!

We then moved on to the slider door. The German seal I purchased from OEVeedub (7 years ago?) would sometimes stick out at the
back of the door when closed. Aggravating because I'd use a paint stirrer to shove it back in when necessary. :scratch:
After lots of debate and research, we decided that the seal was put together with one side glued on backward. We removed the seal (glad I didn't glue that one in!), did some precision cutting and gluing, and reinstalled. Much better! haha! Colin decided he didn't like how that slider door lined up when closed, and we went through every proceed possible to raise the back of the door up just a tiny. A newly made shim added to the other two at the lower track didn't do it for us. In the end, we decided to move on and just leave well enough alone. We did find that I'm missing the plastic (nylon?) block that goes along the slider track. I'll order and install one of those soon!

From there, we debated over installing my new hoses from the wiper switch down to the tank, etc., but we decided to take a look an oil leak I've had since shortly after installing my rebuild.
Lots of carb cleaner spraying and cleaning on the underside to try and get some idea of where this mystery leak is coming from.
I have Dakota Digital guages with an OP setup using 42 Draft Designs hose and hose connection as part of the setup. The hose going in the case (oil pressure sender hole) was slightly leaking, so we accessed that (what a friggin' PITA that was with the tin in place; we even removed the distributor).
This process warranted us to "make a tool" out of a box wrench (poor wrench). Torch, Vice, hammer and SawzAll makes tool making easier! :blackeye: FYI - this tool will be patented and will be Colin and mine's retirement income fund! LOL
So we pulled all the components apart, cleaned, and reinstalled.

Timed the car.

Ran it for a few to get the oil warmed and flowing. Looked for a leaks. Nothing too obvious. A bit from the fan housing, which Colin thought could be residual oil from the OP hose leak. We also saw a tiny bit off one edge of my oil pump. I will monitor what I find or don't find.

We were ready for a test drive. Colin didn't like how the clutch and tranny were acting. He had a clean shirt on at this point, so I was directed to climb under the car and try to make a few turns of the cable wing nut. Things were a little better for Colin, and he decided we could take it for a drive. A quick trip down the highway doing some acceleration tests, and then braking tests, ended our day!

We ended up with one 5 minute downpour of rain that made us scramble to get my bus inside the shop for continued work, and Colin's closed up.

Thanks again, Colin! Always a pleasure! Talk to you soon.
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:09 am

You should all know that poptop tom and I do not fool around. We have had Enough.

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That sliding door seal, the one where the edge of the seal sticks out at the front edge of the door, I have noted several times in my travels, and always have I given a pitying smile to the hapless confused owner who "installed it backwards". Not this time! Sure, yes, it was installed backwards, but good grief! the seal was still looking all wrong right way around.
"Let's cut it and put the front edge where it belongs," says Tom.
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I am timorous, "what crap new adhesive will bother to keep the thing together?" We decide to experiment with tire vulcanizing cement on an engine surround seal remnant I had recently bought from "one of our vendors". Tire vulcanizing cement seems to work in all of its blue beauty. We cut that new seal. We made a new miter joint bevel. We glued and pressed the front edge of the seal, now "upside down", to the rest of the seal. And now the door closes upon a "flap" as it should:

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Done! Looks good. Tom With The Steely Resolve and i move on to other projects.

Yes, the oil leak appears to be coming from the oil pressure sender unit hole and the other end of the aftermarket hose that goes into a tee for the pressure gauge sender and the idiot light sender. Do you suppose this leak has something to do with the fact that Type 4 engine oil pressure holes have straight threads that require a copper washer as opposed to the old Type 1 engines that have taper threads that do not require a copper washer?
So, yeah sure I *have* the factory 22mm deep socket to remove a factory sender from a Type 4 engine. I do NOT have a 9/16" deep socket that can fit over a whole hose. Tom With The Steely Resolve spies a custom 13mm "offset" wrench that clearly got on the wrong end of a torch once-upon-a-time and eyes a 9/16" combination wrench. He looks at me and asks, "you work with oxy-acetyline"? Who me? Oh, sure. I fiddle with faucets and dials like Mel Brooks trying to make Frankenstein and ptdoof! we have fire and a captive 9/16" wrench in the vise. I cannot see through the bright flame against that poor wrench. When I get the bright idea to remove the end of the torch, I see that the wrench is almost ready to drip in two. "That's hot enough," I say brightly. Bashed it with the hammer. One curve down, one to go. After the second curve, we test fit it to the oil sender hole. Wrench is too long! Tom asks if we should torch the wrench until it indeed does drip in two, then suggests the Sawzall. This yields:
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You may think it is chaos, but it is in fact a deeply designed tool fabrication plan:
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And thank you very much, it worked fine. I await an update on the oil leak. We deserve success. And Tom, keep an eye on that clutch release. Here's a reminder of the reminder > $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

The afternoon had some dramatics going on in the atmosphere:
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You may think that I did not ask that bird to pose right there . . .
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It was my pleasure to camp that night in the midst of an American Ruin, a sad testament to the churn of capitalism. There I was, beside a dangling flapping facade "Custom Tarp" next to "Gina's ails" and a collapsed roof over "Paint Ball", brushing my teeth and sponge-bathing with a little Tide in a Motel 6 ice bucket. Roughing It In The Ruins in the middle of the parking lot at close to midnight outside Gary Indiana. The wind was throwing trash and bending over little trees that had taken hold in the heaved asphalt. The city lights lit up the fast low clouds until Real Lightening showed all of us a thing or two about "electricity". A few times in the night the rain blasted down in torrents that reminded me of the hurricane in San Antonio in 2010 (in the BobD that time where I heard a weird sound that was the culvert filling up and flooding the street to the hubcaps). Chloe, thankfully, kept the interior "mostly dry".
I woke up in a lake. Washed the undersides with a quick drive around in circles and grabbed a cup of coffee at a gas station.
"Hey wow, look at that bus! What year is it?"
"1970."
"Wow! What does it have, a 1600?"
"Yes, it has to work too hard just to keep up, like the rest of us."
"Hey, you're political! I like that!"
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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hambone
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by hambone » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:06 pm

I've never ran a hot-start relay, what am I missing?
I would scoff, but knowing of "dwell" saved my life.
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it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

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