Marathon in Montclair

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appetite
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Marathon in Montclair

Post by appetite » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:47 am

Kind forum,

First, let me apologize to retro1302 and cheesehead and the 5 IAC appointments that follow mine: I’m sorry if Colin comes to you with an aching back and bloody fingers. After a 3 day marathon - installing every piece of glass, wrestling with inferior seals, fighting felt, battling vents and generally reassembling an entire bus after a winter of body work - I may have brought the poor guy to the brink.

The three days were a revelation for me, so huge thanks to Colin. His expertise and patience made the experience enormously productive and deeply satisfying. I have lots of odds and ends to attend to, but the bus is weather proof and street legal. The restoration would have been impossible without him.

This bus brings me so much joy that I can blithely ignore the fact that my ears are swollen from sunburn and that I awoke this morning twisted and gnarled. Long live the bus!

Thanks again Colin. I really appreciate everything you gave during our visit. I hope your fingers heal...

James

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retro1302
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Re: Marathon in Montclair

Post by retro1302 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:40 pm

Colin arrived, today, with a sore back and grotesquely twisted fingers, but we were able to complete all tasks at hand and had a good time about it. He was on his way south to Cheesehead, in Maryland, with daylight to spare. It would take a lot to knock him off his schedule. He did say what a great job you did with your bus, Appetite. Best of luck with it.
____________________

1965 Split Camper
1971 Super Beetle Convert
1980 Triumph Spitfire

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Amskeptic
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Re: Marathon in Montclair

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:46 am

appetite wrote:Kind forum,
a 3 day marathon - I may have brought the poor guy to the brink.
James
You did. We started off on Thursday morning all bright-eyed and pain free. I prattled about wanting to take pictures every two hours of the bus coming together.
I remember, I remember liking these cars way back on Thursday.

Here's the starting shot. If you could read my stricken clock, it displayed 10:30AM:

Image


Here, still game, still enjoying the sum total of 55 years on this planet overall, we are about to install the dashboard. I am fastidiously wasting appetite's good time on this Earth with an intense OCD need to organize some wires nobody will ever see, and to use adhesive on the windshield washers, "oh, I don't think I have owned a VW where they work," " I think we need for them to work" :

Image


The pain creeps up slowly. Inserting the glass into the windshield seal is giving me flashbacks to the good ol Bookwus Beetle windshield installation with the Simple Green Papercut Torture. We decide to use lanolin hand cleaner. A much nicer lubricant helps clean up the blood that leaks from under the folded fingernails that have opened up chasms between themselves and the giving-up-the-ghost nailbeds:
Image


The icy cold wind plays with my mood, my patience, my sanity as it relentlessly teases. "Want that paper towel? NO! Go catch it! HA! Thought you had it, huh? Oops, I just threw over your box of screws, look, the cap to the carb spray, AWAY! Let's bang the garage door back and forth! Ha! Wimp! here's one for the back of your neck!" Windshield made it in around 2:30, and we did our due diligence to make sure it was fully installed and seated and it looks GOOD. My fingers said, "who cares, we hurt."
At 4 PM, we have just thwapped-in the rear window:

Image


My fingers have run windshield rubber along sharp-edged pinchwelds all day it seems and I have garrote wounds on my hands from the twine we have been using . My precious little photography plan has been butchered by the very real delay incurred trying to fit the new vent window rubber into the old vent window frame. That was agonizing. The rubber was too big for the channel. The channel was blinded by a wall (that helps to stop the window in the closed position) . Our slow progression accidentally bunched up at the ends of the runs, so we had to pull our painstaking work, and refit with an eye to the remaining length. Did I mention that the rubber was too big and fat for the channel? At fifteen minutes to 8PM, we got the vent window in, and I had a little prayer that this would be the first perfect new vent rubber installation with the finest old vent window I have seen and that it would never ever leak:

Image


Next day, appetite and I have a frank discussion over coffee.
"We're behind."
"We sure are."
"Let's do triage."
"OK"
"What is most important?"
"Everything."
"OK."
We decide that the exterior needs to be weather-proof, so only four more excruciatingly painful large windows, two front vent windows and two roll-up windows. We are not spring chickens, we compare physical damage from the various assaults and realize that we are wounded. Backs, for example. Therefore the window guide felt decides to stick in the passenger door guide a little too far down so we can't get the proper curve at the top where it crosses to the vent window frame.

Image


The BobD sits there all perfect, and I silently cry the tears of a clumsy oaf trying to render something remotely equivalent on my esteemed customer's lovely and higher quality example. The felt refuses to budge with both of us trying to pull it upwards just an inch man, just an inch or two and it will not budge. I compress my lumbar vertebrae anyway. How can I teach anything if everything I touch seizes up in refusal? Appetite has the look of patient suffering "what do you need?" as I incredulously size up these hostile parts. I demand perfection as he hints for us to move along, "there is a lot to do, huh?":

to be cont . . .
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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Bleyseng
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Re: Marathon in Montclair

Post by Bleyseng » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:19 am

Just doing a bus windshield in one day is enough to kill me.....
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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Amskeptic
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Re: Marathon in Montclair

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:29 am

We decide to expand our work beyond rubber seals for a spell, this to keep our morale up. Appetite makes short work of parking light lenses and license plate lamps and tail lights, I install the bumpers.
His X-treme Organization Ziplock Bags are proving to be helpful as they reliably feed us the sundry parts and screws and nuts, the wind then makes great sport of blowing them away. The front doors are subjected to "perfectionist striker adjustments" before the new door seals load them up to an unpleasant springiness that will die down over time as the seals develop a memory. We install the sliding door jalousie and the center left window with a desperately appreciated lack of drama. We install the luggage rack.

Image

But we cagily circle around the Nightmare in Waiting, the left rear window, the window that has to butt against the Last Decent Vent Window with its questionably-dimensioned seal. Appetite has thoughtfully given us an out.
"I did not want to spend the serious money on a sliding rear window, but it IS an option. Had I known that this vent window would be such a hassle . . . "
"I like that vent window, it is in good shape. I just don't know about the seal."
"I like the originality angle."
"Me too."
Here, the bus is beginning to present a nice bus look:

Image


Rain threatens as we run the safety test of the lighting (which passes all tests after we re-plug in the brake light feed wire to the fuse box).
"Well . . . we have saved the best for last."
"Let's do it," says appetite with that far gaze of steely resolve.
"Back it into the garage, we need to be near the wall to shove it in."
As we lubricate the rubber with hand cleaner and baby fresh flavored Vaseline slathered all over the opening, it sure looks like the window is too big for the opening. Our twine is falling out of the groove, the window squirts free the instant we release pressure on it, I am jumping back and forth from the outside to the interior where the great crescendo of finger pain is upon me as we try to "protect our gains!" the famous refrain of this entire visit. While appetite is applying force to the seal where it has landed, I am trying to pull the rubber over the pinch weld with what else? my fingers, and an assortment of screwdrivers and plastic spatulae, and we finally are pushing the glass into the opening with my feet up about three feet from the floor braced against the wall. Slowly, the window finally eases into the opening enough that I can go back inside and try to get the remaining run of rubber over the pinch weld. It will not go. The window is so tight in the opening that the string is jammed and the rubber is jammed, and I have to pry the window outwards-but-only-where-I-am-working to give the rubber room to be pried over the edge of the pinchweld into the interior. The final inch gives us the greatest fight.

In retrospect, it was fun. At the time, I had anxiety that we would not achieve our goals and petty irritation at the wind and various fitment issues, but appetite and I, we prevailed past an assortment of obstacles in a character-building testament to the finest in human cooperation (and you think I over-write).

Last photograph was shot through the windshield of the BobD as I was pulling out. Heck, I could barely turn the key to start with my exhausted and sore fingers.

Image


Drove to the Piscatawecketywey Motel 6 to take a shower to wash off all that hand cleaner and rubber and vaseline and drop into a coma, cuz, very next morning, we had a 1966 Westy to look at:

Image


Retro1302 was very solicitous of my newfound loss of dexterity. I struggled with the installation of a new throttle positioner in the bug while he struggled with Monster-Monkey Too-Tight valve adjustment screws on the bus.

Image


The cold and the wind were still plaguing me and I tried to bring all of my work to the sliding door of the BobD where I could enjoy a little bit of sun warmth. After our tune-up of the bus, we went for a whole family test drive. What a sweetheart the bus is. We had a little Chloe soundtrack, a little Chloe power deficit and lots of early Volkswagen charm. Then I took them out for a little test drive in the BobD, their very first bay window bus drive. You have a great example there, retro1302, enjoy it!

Exhausted, I hit the road to Maryland, south! sun?! finally? Passed out in a Pennsylvania highway department parking lot next to a snow plow. It was supposed to be a ten minute catnap. It turned out to be a five hour drooling brain dead state of unconsciousness that I awakened from only after the temps had dropped below 38*.
So yes, I am in Maryland . . . it is 54* and rainy.
THIS is my life.
Colin :sunny:
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: Marathon in Montclair

Post by airkooledchris » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:23 am

remind me to never attempt installing glass in a vehicle. my lack of patience and general workmanship of a gorilla would make for a lot of tiny glass squares on my driveway.

you guys are champions, no doubt about it.
1979 California Transporter

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Re: Marathon in Montclair

Post by Lanval » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:17 pm

Amskeptic wrote:So yes, I am in Maryland . . . it is 54* and rainy.
THIS is my life.
Colin :sunny:
95 today, 100+ tomorrow. Sunny and clear, visibility = infinite. Somewhat windy.

Enjoy.

ML

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Re: Marathon in Montclair

Post by Amskeptic » Sat May 03, 2014 6:00 am

I am now in Norfolk VA about to do brakes on a early bay. Since this has become the weather blog, it is 57* and cloudy. Looking forward to sunny and 80* in Tennessee. Fingers still botched. 3" of rain in Baltimore and the BobD did not take in a drop. I like that.
Traffic out of Washington metro area was not bad until the 20 mile stop'n'go I-95 + HOV lane jam because of shoulder work with the two outside lanes closed down AT THE MERGE. That means four lanes of us single occupancy cretins and two lanes of those self-righteous car poolers all got jammed into two lanes where they normally merge any way. Epic Friday Afternoon Decision-Making at the Virginia Highway Department . . . "time for some traffic problems."

Interstate 64 into Norfolk VA is a donkey path. The deterioration of our Nation is evident this spring.
ColinAtClosedWreckofAGasStation
NorfolkVA
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

appetite
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Re: Marathon in Montclair

Post by appetite » Sat May 03, 2014 5:45 pm

Sorry to hear that your fingers are still mangled.

Spent the day with the bus pulling together things we couldn't get to. Everything was a challenge. Who would believe that reinstalling sun visors could go haywire?!? Lousy parts (visor clip) and parts crumbling in my hands (that little clip at the end of the visor arm, ugh!). I must have spent an hour just getting the pieces to fit and work properly. Sun Visors!!!

And that wasn't the last of it... The wipers were askew, the side cover plate was ill fitting, I couldn't remove the old striker plate in the rear hatch. The list goes on and on and on.

But then, when it was all assembled (except for the interior - that's a couple of weekends of work...), I took the bus out for its post body-work, reassembly inaugural ride. The brakes pulled to the right, there was some moaning and groaning, but it otherwise performed just fine.

All the wrestling was forgotten. Mmmmm, the sound of my bus on a warm spring day!

James

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Amskeptic
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Re: Marathon in Montclair

Post by Amskeptic » Sun May 04, 2014 6:40 am

appetite wrote: I took the bus out for its post body-work, reassembly inaugural ride.
All the wrestling was forgotten.
Mmmmm, the sound of my bus on a warm spring day!

James
I would say it is like childbirth where the pain is alleged to leave your memory . . . except that I am not qualified to say that.

Glad it is working. That is an excellent bus. Fingers got newly eaten on brake spring fight yesterday and muffler burn the day before. I am going to buy oven mitts and tell customers that I can do whatever I can with oven mitts, they will have to do the rest.
hapless customer: "I am having trouble getting this nut started."
hapless guru: "Finesse it on the threads."
c: "I HAVE been 'finessing it on the threads'!"
g: "Here, let me help."
c: "You just DROPPED it!"
g: "Well, I can't feel anything through these mitts."
c: "I'll do it, give it back!"
g: "Excellent! Good luck with 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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