Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:31 am

I did not mention that the entire New Mexico experience has been complemented by winds. All of my $7.99/can painting exercise$ have been rendered almost u$ele$$ by winds that $tole at lea$t half of the content$ of my $pray can$. My last visit in Los Alamos (pmaggiore's) was informed by a wind warning. Being experienced in such things, we did his transaxle oil change exactly like I did my own transaxle oil change, with a plastic bag-wrapped motel ice bucket. The wind only managed to steal away a few paper towels, so HA!

After the last portrait of the exceptionally contented Golden Retriever, pmaggiore, jtauxe, and me, I drove down off the caldera. There were some off-camber curves down the hill from Los Alamos, and you just know the wind sat in wait to let loose on the side of the BobD right when the curve does a sickening dip and toss. Thank goodness for the excellent engineering in these Volkswagens that maintains directional stability even when the suspension goes from full rebound to full jounce in the middle of a curve:

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Took to US 84 north into a gale of dust and whipping tree branches and insistent shoves against the front of the car. It was like a sadistic flight simulator "see if you can land a Piper in a microburst downdraft". It was beautiful and dramatic. The sky was opaque tan, like I was in a Middle East haboob. The orb of the sun was perfectly visible as a round disk, filtered by the dust. Everything was bathed in a cold strange shadowless light. I had to floor the accelerator to make any headway on the unexpectedly busy highway. I am sure that other motorists had no idea that I was working overtime in my final flight simulator test. Then, as part of the test, the CHT gauge started to climb.
406* - too bad BobD, we have to keep our foot in it.
413* - damn, BobD, you are making me have to consider backing off.
420* - what is the problem, BobD? I ain't stopping in this gale.
423* - I stopped in the gale.
The engine was idling perfectly, everything looked OK, what is the problem? I told the engine "deal with it" and hopped back into the wind. Every time I floored the accelerator, the temps would freeze at whatever number the gauge was at. This is good, the "power enrichment" was enriching, but at partial throttle, the numbers would climb. Finally found a nice National Forest road, found a campsite, noted with dismay that the ambient temperatures were actually pretty chilly. Went back to the perfectly idling engine and stuck the timing light on. 4* BTDC at idle, 28* BTDC at 3,200 rpm, aha! no vacuum advance! A split vacuum hose at the throttle body. Trimmed it, re-installed it, 40*BTDC, we're good! Went to sleep and froze but good all night. (37* at 5:00AM)

Hit the road in the morning thinking that this split hose cannot be the sole reason for those CHT temps of the night before, "a stupid loss of vacuum advance is not capable of skyrocketing head temps at full throttle because there is no vacuum advance at full throttle". Engine felt a bit peppier, but as importantly, it was a beautiful new clear wind-free vista in gorgeous New Mexico, you could see snow-capped mountains way off to the right, the base of the Rocky Mountain chain leading into Colorado?

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Yeah so the winds picked up again around 11:00AM. 406* again. 410*. Blah. Pulled off into a ranch driveway outside of Dulce, New Mexico. Way at the horizon, those are the same mountains from the above photograph a couple of hours later from a different angle:

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Found that every single small vacuum hose was cracked. These head temps were not because of loss of vacuum advance. They were because my current AFM adjustment is so close to the edge of "almost too lean" that these little cracks made it "definitely too lean" especially at partial throttle. After replacing all of the little vacuum hoses, I could not get the head temps to exceed 371*

Another example of Check Your Vacuum Hoses. Mine were all firmly seated. Mine all looked good at first inspection. Mine were all cracked. What is unbelievable to me is that they were responsible for a 50* temperature spike. Man, sometimes you have to live your advice up front and close . . .


Will be at my Bluff Rock Campsite tonight. Weather report calls for . . . . "high winds".
Colin

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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 Battles To Utah

Post by airkooledchris » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:36 pm

Im not sure that I have ever noticed a cracked vacuum line. were the cracks along the middle/body or close to the fittings? did you just flex them back and forth to find the splits?
1979 California Transporter

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:30 pm

airkooledchris wrote:Im not sure that I have ever noticed a cracked vacuum line. were the cracks along the middle/body or close to the fittings? did you just flex them back and forth to find the splits?
I have plastic lines that are all good. The hoses on this engine are just little connector deals and they were all split under the fabric. Two sizes, 4mm and maybe 4.5mm. All split.

The wind here is unbelievable on my Bluff Utah rock. The BobD is getting peppered with sand and gravel. I hate this stupid ol' planet tonight. Gorgeous like Mars, but like Mars nonetheless . . . car is buffeting like we're tooling down the highway.
Colin

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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 Battles To Utah

Post by brandt » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:37 pm

I figured you'd be up there in that campsite. About the most exposed spot one could choose. It's been windy for days, tomorrow looks the same and warmer.

NOAA/NWS:
Overnight Mostly clear, with a low around 62. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Tuesday Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. Windy, with a south southeast wind 10 to 20 mph becoming southwest 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph.

See you in the morning. Coffee will be ready. I'll be getting set up starting at about 6am and hope to have my act together by the time you get here.

Brandt in Bluff, UT
78 Westfalia - Red (was green)
78 Westfalia - White (was green)
77 Westfalia - Yellow (Burnt)

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by whc03grady » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:15 pm

Image
What's going on here? Two faces appear to be Photoshopped in? Notice the blurring, the borders.
Maybe I'm up too late.
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 Battles To Utah

Post by ruckman101 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:28 pm

Goodness! Digital desecration.


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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by Randy in Maine » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:54 am

I have fond memories of Bluff, Utah from 1980. I learned what a "Navajo Taco" was there.

Not likely to be cold and rainy there though.
79 VW Bus

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by brandt » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:45 pm

Colin came to Bluff. I don't think he cares much for the sand infused wind storms of the Southwest. Thankfully the little garage I use kept us fairly sheltered.

A pretty big day. I'm just going to put my report in this thread as it has "Utah" in the subject.

I took exactly one photo today - of a puller on an eccentric bushing or some silly thing... But one from a few weeks ago.

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Today's visit-

78 White bus - troubleshoot hard starting. Realized several less than six month old vacuum hoses were really cracked at the ends. These are the small ones. 4.5mm or so, the black braided ones. Then figured out a cylinder was not fully firing and after replacing the spark plug cured it of that. Colin tweeked the AFM a bit more. We determined the gas was just old enough to not work that great. A huge improvment. I had stop plate adjustment on my list from last years visit but Colin determined that the spring retainer? plate? is worn.

77 Yellow Bus - Determine state of engine after fire nearly 3 years ago. I aquired the bus a few months ago. We couldn't get the engine to turn. So not as great as I had hoped. Colin says he's going to take this bus on next years itinerary. I can't wait!!! We looked at what was left of the fuel hoses. Black braided sheath but no reinforcment nylon ingrained in the rubber. Junk hose nearly killed a fine original example.

78 Red Bus - The main event and my main bus. I had the bus up on jackstands and wheels off before Colin showed up. New Ball joint Boots and tie rods were on the list. I had both Bus Depot and Bus Boys ball joint boots. There was a difference between the boots. Bus Boys a bit thicker than Bus Depot and also thicker than stock. We decided to do an experiment and put the thinner Bus Depot ones on the bottom joints and the Bus Boys on the top joints. But when we got to the second side a Bus Depot boot tore while putting it on with just my fingers. No sharp burr or tools or anything, just ultra thin rubber. I'm glad Bus Depot doesn't make condoms. Really, with all the labor involved with ball joint boots why can't a new boot just be decent? I'd gladly pay more than the $2 per boot to have something that will last. So the experiment now has just one lower Bus Depot boot and three Bus Boys. I'm betting that lone Bus Depot boot will be the first to go. My ball joints and the boots that were on them are original and have 191,000 miles on them. I was worried how worn they could be but all checked out to just within spec. Good news there! Added zerk fittings to the joints, too. Anyways, lots of pullers, a mess of tools on the floor, and we went to about 8:30pm. Colin set off to drive through Monument Valley where we can only hope he dosen't hit a horse/cow/sheep/ or rez dog in the dark. Oh, we discovered an eccentric bushing was 180* off, the notch pointed rear. So monitoring that. Test drive felt great. Colin tweeked the AFM on this bus a bit too and seems to have cured some bucking/hesitation! Running better than ever!

A Great day.

Brandt in Bluff, UT

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by ruckman101 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:41 pm

Bus whisperer. Great to hear. Quite the fleet you got going there.


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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:24 am

ruckman101 wrote:Goodness! Digital desecration.


neal
he hee, good eye, Mitch. I was waiting to see who would call me out . . .
=D>
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 Battles To Utah

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:25 am

Bluff is a lovely little burgh, safely tucked below the howling howl howl! winds. Yes, I did pick the worst spot to camp, but as you all know, I am loyal to the familiar.

I look forward to the evolution of your fine fleet of Volkswagens, and sense that they have the spirit, the spirit of road adventure, waiting for you to tap into. You have no idea of how relieved I was to enjoy a day out of that wind working on your VWs. As you might recall, I was darkly intimating that our ball joint boot job would be "hopelessly ruined" if the "abrasive dust blasted into them" and might we "shut the garage doors", etc, but it was a lovely day with just some puffs to remind me of the prior three days.

Brandt is a solid mechanic with a well-tuned mind, and he has been introduced to the truth of "bigger hammers really do expedite the task at hand." I think we did a fine job with the zerk fitting fitments. The oddity of the backwards camber eccentric I guess we must file under some prior "inadvertent error". Brandt, remember when I noted that the BobD's tie rod boot appeared cracked? Heck in this desert wind, that went right up to Emergency Repair Highest Priority, and I planned to take care of it the very next morning.

I camped in the Valley of the Gods, the better which to yell at them for the wind that got pretty nasty yet again. This was a fine red dusting rather than the coarse gravelly sand-blasting. It was gorgeous at dusk, and I don't know about you, but the lines of the VW's scoops and roof here are actually handsomer and softer than they ever look in the daytime:

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Greeted the day here:

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I found a nice turn-around just to the right of this shot, and thanked the valley gods for holding off the winds:

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Was about to do my morning ablutions when it became apparent that I had accidentally become the tourist photo-op of the Valley Of The Gods:

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First a motorcyclist from Vancouver did a u-turn and came back and parked near me.
"God, I had to come back and take a picture of that BUS, that is BEAUTIFUL."
"You are surrounded by millions of years of planetary history, and had to take a picture of my old car?"
"Me and my dad used to camp in a VW camper, this brings back memories."
We chatted about Canada, tar sands, road conditions, truckers, bugs and gravel, touring the Southwest, and eventually he left, and I got back to the morning gargle tooth-brushing. But no, now we have a red metallic Chevy Impala.
"We had to look at your van, it is so pretty parked there, it is like an advertisement, can we take a picture?"
"Sure."
Now shirtless for the morning shave and lathered with my Pantene Shampoo + Conditioner "shaving cream", a black SUV comes piling in. Two Koreans get out.
"Ha HA, that car so beautiful. It is beautiful how old it?" I am trying to wipe down my Pantene Shampoo + Conditioner lather when the first guy comes up to me and puts his arm around me.
"Take picture!"
His companion has a huge lens sprouting off his Nikon and is snapping a picture of his friend befriending a desert hobo still holding a razor and a rather browned wash cloth.
"Now you take picture of me! and this man!"
They swap positions, I am still shirtlessly trying to tidy up.
"Smile! No, you! You smile!" he instructs me. I try an acceptable Pantene Shampoo + Conditioner-tasting "smile".
"Where you from?"
"Look yourself," says his companion, "this man from New York too!"
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, you New Yorker too!" says the one.
"We from Queens!" says the other.
"I live more upstate than that, I come from West Shokan, I believe our reservoir supplies your drinking water. I don't miss your cab drivers way out here, you know, how they greet you with a cheery 'good morning, please, merge ahead of me'."
"HAHAHAHA, they don't talk like that! They say "GET THE F**K OUT OF MY WAY, HAHAHAHA."

By the time our conversation ended, the winds had returned in earnest, so I gave up on my poor cracked tie rod boot and hit the road south through Mexican Hat and Monument Valley. Is this subduction that causes such a curve in the sedimentary layers? :

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Day is beginning to look pretty and somewhat windless:

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Perhaps I can find a spot to do my cracked tie rod boot? Not here. This is off 160 westbound outside of Tuba City. I had just about committed to getting to work when a dust devil came barreling in and the winds just ramped up on me. Got stuck backing up. A local piece of sun-bleached plywood detritus got the BobD back on solid dirt, but the clutch was not happy about that little rock-it-out slipfest:

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"To heck with it, I am going to Flagstaff, to the National Forest where I did Chloe's clutch clevis!"

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Brandt? The original 34 year-old tie rod boot was p-e-r-f-e-c-t. It was merely the undercoating that had given the look of crumbling cracked rubber. So I disassembled the tie rod and sanded and rust-catalyzer-primed and painted the clamps, the bolts, the ends, and the tie rod tube itself:

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. . . . and merely cleaned the boots:

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. . . . and wondered anew about what we have lost and why we have lost it in our manufacturing prowess as I recalled that Bus Depot boot just splitting while Brandt tried to slip it on the ball joint.
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 Battles To Utah

Post by brandt » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:13 pm

Glad your boot is not in need of replacement. But that cotter pin looks kinda rusty.

Sunrise in Valley of the Gods is always a delight.

You left your small blue box of drill bits here, on the new parts table. I can mail it.?

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:39 pm

brandt wrote:Glad your boot is not in need of replacement. But that cotter pin looks kinda rusty.
Cotter pin looks kinda "rusty"? HAHAHA cottah pin painted with lust catarizing plimer. It actually still had the gold cad plating in its middle where it was protected from the elements. I will reuse these German cotter pins until they snap.
brandt wrote: Sunrise in Valley of the Gods is always a delight.
Who knew it was tourist central at 8:00AM? I thought I was out a good ways. It is a feast of evocations and colors, I love dusk out here in the southwest, but my camera has a very small window of exposure capabilities before it plays "macular degeneration".
ColinOutsideSedona
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 Battles To Utah

Post by brandt » Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:28 pm

Ok some late images from last weeks visit.

Before Coin arrived my boys helped take off the wheels.
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This was the only photo I took while Colin was actually here. This is his real arm and hand, not a stunt double. Here he deftly demonstrates how to keep the puller from spinning.
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And the finished product. Passenger side. I realized tonight when I got under the bus to take this photo that I don't have the rubber caps on my bleeders but do on the zerk fittings. How embarrasing!
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Drivers side. Anywhere I go I have to drive on dirt roads and just look at the dust building up on the new tie rod.
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Here you can see the difference in the tie rod ends, fixed vs. adjustable. One of these you can put an allen wrench in so it doesn't spin the other you can't.
Image

Happy Bussing!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Battles To Utah

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:59 am

brandt wrote:Ok some late images from last weeks visit.

Before Coin arrived my boys helped take off the wheels.

Happy Bussing!
Coin did not arrive. It departed in droves . . . . :joker:

How is it driving? I am still amazed at the backwards eccentric.
I enjoyed our day after the drama of getting there.
ColinBuriedInLATraffic
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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