Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:36 am

Well, I am still in Southern California here on July 1st.

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Bitterly disappointed that I could not resolve asiab3's overheating but very attractive 1969 dual port bus. I nervously kept retreading over Chloe's battles with overheating, and we somewhat sort of painstakingly checked each overheating variable as we went up and down the test track, named aptly enough "Railroad Avenue".

Asiab3 is one of those people that make you feel like you can now retire. He effortlessly grasps everything you try to pedantically impart. I pedantically attempted to impart the whole " 'x' calories of gasoline minus 27% work equals 63% waste heat" as we watched his CHT gauge ratchet up to 440* over and over again. We had 135/132/130/128 compression figures, we put in the cooler spark plugs, we put in the new Dakota Digital sensor ring, we richened the mixture, we leaned the mixture, we advanced the timing, we retarded the timing, we ran with no vacuum advance, we restored the advance, alas, the CHT gauge never displayed any appreciation for our efforts, so we took apart the left spindle to find that the ball joints were long past due for replacement. We re-assembled the suspension with no ball joint boots at all to better drive some more, we raised the fuel level, we spooled out the pilot jet to dump gas in that poor engine, we utilized the LM-1 with a bastardized splitty tailpipe, only to read a nice eye-wateringly rich acceleration air/fuel ratio of 10.8-12.3. and this asiab3 guy executed serviceable-to-outstanding double-clutches, the CHT gauge continued to coldly read hot.

I am not one to just drag people to my last problem's solutions, but here I was, dragging asiab3 to my last problem's solution.
"I did everything we did here to Chloe, and only solved the overheating problem by removing the heads where I discovered that my exhaust valves had cut into their seats."
Asiab3, grasping all concepts with rapid facility, replied, "but my valve adjustments are stable."
And they are. His exhaust valves only show a minor recession as evidenced by a couple of extra threads visible above the adjustment nuts.

I left Newhall with no new ball joint boots, no resolution of the overheating, maybe a repair of the sliding door, and discussions of engine teardowns . . . wtf? The only redeeming aspect to this gruesome mystery is that the engine could actually use a teardown to chase down a fierce vibration both in the fan area and the lower end. He drove the BobD to experience a balanced engine, he gets that these cars can be civilized and smooth. Perhaps he can both double-down on overheat sources and restore civility with a forensic teardown, but it is a big undertaking. I think asiab3 is motivated to make an outstanding engine, but I am still chewing on this mystery that I was unable to unlock.

Thank your parents for me, asiab3, for their hospitality. I enjoyed meeting your family.

At the Chevron in Sylmar, I discovered that my wallet was up and gone. Called asia3b, "nope, it is not here anywhere."
Considered the implications:
*Driver's license and only acceptable identification - GONE.
*Only photo of my dad in 1947 - GONE.
*Photos of Ruth and Emmett at 4 and 1 - GONE.
*Credit cards - GONE.
*Healthcare card - GONE.
*$370.00 cash - GONE.
I called my credit card provider who was hot and ready to cancel my card and mail a new one to my home address.
"But I am travelling."
"We have to send it to your home to prove that you are you."
"Hang on then, don't do anything."
Retraced my path in the morning. I last used my wallet to get an early morning cup of coffee at Panera before the asia3b appointment. I had visions of someone plucking the cash "thanks sucker!" and throwing my wallet in the trash or in the bushes. Called Panera.
"No, nobody has found a wallet, our lost and found is empty."
Decided to drive back to the Newhall Panera anyway, to look in the trash, to look in the bushes, to piteously call out to all, "but I am somebody! I have an identity! I just can't find it!"
The manager recognized me, "yeah dude, I am really sorry about that, but we don't have it anywhere."
"I am from New York, I am stopped dead right here, right here in Panera."
"Oh yeah well I see," he winced, "dude, I know! I am going to call the morning manager."
I was grilling the busboy about trash cans and how frequently do they empty them? when the manager came up with my wallet.
"She put it in the safe, because it had CASH in it."

Southern California has some nice ethical morally upstanding considerate people.

Image
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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asiab3
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by asiab3 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:49 am

So glad you found your wallet!! I grabbed mine before we set sail in the BobD, and couldn't find it after I tore the garage apart looking for yours- and I was about to call YOU! Posting from my phone now, wallet in hand, full report to follow later. I have plans.

Thanks again for the help, it was truly needed.

Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
142k miles with me.
319k miles on Earth.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by Jivermo » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:17 am

Great wallet story! Glad you got it back. Mine came out in a plush seat in Starbucks here in Miami about three years ago. When I got home my cellphone started ringing. It was a guy named Mike who, as it turns out, is a psychologist here in town. "I have your wallet here.", he says. I went back and got it from him...it had 200.00 in cash and all the rest of the stuff that is rough to replace. today, Mike is a fast friend, and we have coffee and talk at Starbucks every Wednesday and Friday morning. Some things end well.

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hambone
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by hambone » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:35 am

That last photo is awesome. God.
Hey are you guys sure nothing is stuck in the fan shroud etc? I have never heard of an engine that won't cool down...could it be a compression ratio issue?
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:58 am

hambone wrote:That last photo is awesome. God.
Hey are you guys sure nothing is stuck in the fan shroud etc? I have never heard of an engine that won't cool down...could it be a compression ratio issue?
That last photograph was taken at 57 mph on the fast-moving 210 Freeway, and I wasn't doing a very good job of driving or picture-taking. That whole evening was too gorgeous . . .

I went through all of the cooling system checks with Chloe, remember the little rectangular head deflectors painted and installed in Austin, Fall 2011?

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Asiab3's deflectors were all accounted for. We checked flaps open, tins all in place, and like Chloe, the engine cooled down rapidly when we coasted down, which suggests a competent cooling system. That is not to say that we have ruled out a cooling system anomaly. I told asiab3 that if his teardown found a wadded-up newspaper or a bird's nest or anything that might answer this vexing mystery, he would have to think about how much further he wanted to go. But you remember your old engine, Hambone? The way it thrashed? This thing involves the entire body shell in a high-speed alternator/fan vibration AND a lower end pressure plate/flywheel or sumpin' vibration. Chloe vibrated too, when you, Gipsie, Ruckman101, and I test drove that rainy October day, and I had the engine yanked out again, post haste, to re-index the pressure plate on the flywheel. Then I re-indexed the flywheel on the crankshaft up at Elwood's. Then you and I found that cast iron pulley to tame the junky generator pulley vibration the next summer when I was in town. This engine is doubly worse.
That harshes my buzz, man.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by airkooledchris » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:26 pm

I imagine it easy to think of a day like that as having not accomplished anything, but it sounds like a tremendous amount of time was taken to properly troubleshoot everything. If it needs to come out and be torn apart, it's well worth knowing that you didn't skip some earlier troubleshooting that could have avoided such an outcome. :thumbleft:

Glad to hear the wallet made it in the safe. Too bad the manager didn't alert the staff to that effect, as without your due diligence you could have been going through a lot of BS when it wasn't necessary.
1979 California Transporter

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Cindy
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by Cindy » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:10 pm

Sylmar! How many times did I write that on an envelope?

Cindy
“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.
Or you don't.” ― Stephen King, The Stand

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by The Quaint Gypsy » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:39 pm

VERY awesome you wallet was found and safe and you have your life back!

If you venture near Temecula, let me know!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by The Quaint Gypsy » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:42 pm

If you venture near Temecula, let me know! But if you are going up near Eureka, my friend in broke down in her 72 bay. AT Honest Engine but they want to charge her 800 bucks a head.... she said. I had a pancake engine once , had the heads rebuilt for 1/4 that but who know what shipping to Eureka is....

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by asiab3 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:54 pm

I'll continue this here, since Colin already gave us a great technical exposition.

My appointment began the day before, with a lazy washing, puller rental, oil change, and tune up so I could have the best chance at demonstrating what is ailing my bus.

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Rust-prevention would also be on my list-of-to-do. But a few hours after the wash I noticed that the low pressure house wash left a pool of water in Buddy's EARLY QUALITY BUS fuel filler door. Usually the coin-op pressure wash rinses so quickly that water doesn't have a chance to accumulate. So I dried up the pool in the fuel filler door and unclogged the drain, right? Yes. Well, no; not in that order. My drill, arm, shirt, shocks, and floor got coated in wonderful Diarrhea Of The Bus. No time to wax the Konis!

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I am glad I got a chance to experience the BobD before it gets five hundred thousand miles. Of course I knew it was coming, and one simply DOES NOT have a rusty license plate frame and bracket in the presence of the BobD!

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Ahhhh- all better. Here they come now!!

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As Colin noted, the cylinder head temperatures were not acceptable. This year when I installed the gauge, I royally tweaked the ring sender. So I tweaked it back and saw great temperatures for months. Happy cruising all over the western united states. I've kept an intermittent road-trip thread here for those who like pictures:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=524552

Recap: I made two trips to Phoenix AZ recently, one in 90* ambients and one in 100* ambients. The first saw floored 4th gear pulls barely passing 400*. The second trip saw some 410* cruises and a 440* up a small hill before I let off. Something is up in this engine. I plan on stripping it down until I find the cooling anomaly or stripping it down to the nuts and bolts. Full indoors NOS-filled rebuild. :study:

So we started with a bit of inspection- noting that someone flagrantly violated two of the three screws holding in the left slider door facade. Which means the painter skipped the whole channel underneath. Rust-catalyze-primed, then Colin thought about paint, then the winds came. Coincidence?? :geek:

While waiting for the cover and channel to dry, we popped the hatch then proceeded…STOP THE PRESS the engine hatch support mechanism was backwards. Those clever German engineers really did make a beautiful car when us lay-folk aren't mucking them up with clumsy reassembly. Now you don't rip your skin off when working with anything east of the dipstick. We discussed the quality of the early buses, the cost-saving-features of the later buses, the concept of letting water in while carefully allowing it to drain, and somewhere in there I learned that my passenger compartment doors have double/safety locking mechanisms. I also learned that the door panels can line up properly with the rest of the body. Well half a millimeter off for wind noise, properly. :salute:

Pulling the plugs revealed the NGKs that are for colder climates. 3 and 4 showed slightly leaner than the right side of the engine. Compression check showed 135, 132, 130, and 128 as noted, (and I pulled those out of memory, THANK YOU,) and lunch quickly disappeared. Bosch W8AC+ in all four now, complete with a non-mangled sender ring, and still no mention of how hard I worked to track down and setup all the correct and working dual port emissions devices. :cherry: I don't know of another bus but Chloe that has them- but even some online vendors didn't want to sell them to me "cause ya don't need 'em and they rob power/cooling/voodo." So my carb has the "shift enhancer" that features a throttle positioner. Colin thinks my Mallory Unilite is causing a high idle hang-up with it's soft advance springs, but I managed a proud eighth-turn of an altitude adjuster to play smart-ass.

Run it smelly rich- 430* CHT
Run it blast-furnace lean- 430* CHT
Run it 10.5 cruise on LM-1 - 430* CHT
Run it 16.5 cruise on LM-1 - 430* CHT

My fingers can attest, that when your tailpipe falls off on Railroad Avenue, one should feel good about that split-moment decision of burning one's fingerprints off instead of letting the black Toyota run over Colin's LM-1.

Somewhere in there we traded in my American crap Gates belt for a slightly longer possibly-crap Continental belt. If it stretches at all it will be too long for my engine, but the removal of a quite a few unnecessary shims took place as well. My "Made in Germany"-stamped alternator pulley had quite the thick coat of paint- enough to warrant cross-hatch sanding down to smooth metal for the belt to ride in. As noted in Colin's comparison to Hambone's engine above, my vibrations were immense. I had to hold back the tears when I witnessed the BobD/Last Original VW Bus engine rev to 4,000 rpm and vibrate less than my engine at 1,000. That seemed like nothing, but sitting on that seat with my legs carefully pretzeled between paper towels and diet coke profoundly changed the way I think about these cars. My 2009 Jetta vibrates more than that. Driving it REQUIRED a tachometer- no way in hell could I feel the engine enough to shift. Well, at least the removal of my pulley paint and shims postposed my tinnitus and skull cracking during deceleration.

Colin and I had a talk in the kitchen over coffee and my much-preferred solidified dihydrogen monoxide. I could hear in his voice he wanted to rip into these damn heads and figure out what is afoot. While I would have loved to witness this spectacle, we tried more tests to see if we could even affect the readings. Dumping fuel in with the choke wire unhooked, pilot jet gushing fuel, and idle mixture richened up, we had a 50mph run of ONLY 400*, until we came back and realized that we had a nice wind factor - 440* that time.

Much was discussed and shown about drainage, rust prevention, and undercoat practices. My bus (fortunately?) did have a THICK coat of undercoating from 1969, which is nice for general rust prevention. A few spots have hardened and made useless sheets of water traps. "Take zem off so ze vatter drains schnell." It's a pain to work with it on fasteners, but it is comforting to know I'm the first person to touch a wrench to certain spots in over 45 years.

Buddy's ball joint boots were hot on my list of things to do- thankfully that list is constantly shrinking due to the quality of technical articles here. Upon removal of the left spindle, I was flabbergasted at the play in my joints. I can guess what the wear limit of .040" should feel like, and I knew without measuring that I was beyond it. Upper measured .050" or .060" (I don't remember) and lower measured .080". No boots- why bother? Reconditioned arms on the way, and a tear will be shed for the first German part to be removed from my bus never to see the road again.

I'm thankful Colin caught my thrifty use of wheel bearing grease before I put too many miles on them, and now I know how to set .001" - .002" without a gauge. Priceless stuff, the experience of someone who lives it. I took exactly one photograph during our days- a testament to how "on your toes" one can expect to be if they have not scheduled a visit yet. I haven't been mentally challenged like this in years, and it was soothing, exhausting, wonderful, and needed.

Here is the man himself- proving that, if nothing else was concluded, we did make a lovely mess of my dad's garage.

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And my elation when I convinced myself that I just might have the self-efficacy to dig and dig and dig to the bottom of my issues.

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My mom (always has been very attentive to Buddy's sounds and shimmies) noticed that our wiggles on decel were reduced, and "that number is still too high, right? " but she just walked away quizzically after asking "and did you actually fix anything?" But somehow my dial micrometer fell right off the cargo floor onto the garage concrete right after she complimented my newly adjusted and lubricated sliding door. That one was all Colin while I did some full-throttle runs down a residential street. Well, I'd be a fool to call myself a mechanic if I threw in the towel without fixing anything on the bus all weekend, so I set about fixing that damn micrometer. It was surprisingly similar to the Swiss watch animations in the commercials, and the camera was not allowing macro photos. So you just get this lovely visual of the perfectly functioning dial micrometer AFTER I bullied gear shaft no. 16 back into line with step-gear yellow and step-gear white. The picture is deceptive- the needle oiler was MUCH more influential than the red loctite. Teak oil on left for scale only. ;)

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Recap of the recap:
Bus is stored at the family garage with no ball joint boots, pissed off CHTs, primed spots, uncovered rusty spots, dirty spots, and a labrador who just can't make sense of the whole damn thing. How come he CAN'T GO FOR A BUS RIDE????

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Thank you Colin, for inspiring me to ask questions, look deeper, work more carefully, and always connect the #4 plug wire when reminded. :blackeye:

Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
142k miles with me.
319k miles on Earth.

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:38 pm

Great write-up up there . . . =D>
asiab3 wrote:I'll continue this here,
Recap: I made two trips to Phoenix AZ recently, one in 90* ambients and one in 100* ambients.
The first saw floored 4th gear pulls barely passing 400*.
The second trip saw some 410* cruises and a 440*
Here is an important diagnostic question, then:

Has the High Head Temperature Saga been evolving in the direction of higher? Or have you had a good solid reduction somewhere in there due to some tweak or another? We cannot have confounding variables colliding here. It is possible, for example, that you have had a slowly developing mechanical issue that would have given you a linear chronic increase in CHTs, except that you cured a vacuum leak, CHTs dropped then increased again, then you repaired a leaking spark plug ring terminal, dropped again but inexorably the temps are going back up. . . Is this an accurate scenario, that you have a one-way background increase moderated temporarily by some of your fixes?
asiab3 wrote: Thank you Colin, for inspiring me to always connect the #4 plug wire. :blackeye:
Robbie
Indeed, and thank-you for taking the blame when it was I who left it off while checking #2 and #4 for "cross-engine comparison". This, only days after shaking the Preval paint sprayer three times in a row, splattering myself every time even with Barb calling out "remember not to shake the paint sprayer."
Colin
(your first photograph actually kind of looks good on your bus as it shows off the Mazda Metallic Autumn paint)
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by asiab3 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:54 pm

To catch potential readership up on our diagnostic questions, here is my timeline:

- Install gauge. CHT temps OK for weeks. Creeping higher and higher, one day temps are too high and I cured a leaky DP boot. CHTs back down.
- Drive for a few weeks pleased, temps creep high again. Removing and flattening the ring sender made the gauge show pleasing temperatures for two months.
- Ambients increased slightly, and CHTs went through the roof. I do not know enough about ambient effects to know how much was caused by ambients, but my midnight test drive this weekend showed that I can EASILY hit 430* with partial throttle runs. I live by the coast, so it's always cool and slightly humid. I only get to really push it when I go inland a bit, which is every other week.

So my trend appears to be occurring with different causes. I have found the previous causes, but not this one. It is possible there is an underlying obtuse mechanical issue that is being masked by the acute issues I have solved. Occam's Razor is looking duller every time I think about this.

Robbie
(The paint is complex, like the VW Taiggrun, but irritating, like a Honda. Even day of road dust alters the sheen considerably. White bumpers are coming, followed by a stripped and shiny engine compartment to welcome a potential engine into the family.)
1969 bus, "Buddy."
142k miles with me.
319k miles on Earth.

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:14 am

Cindy wrote:Sylmar! How many times did I write that on an envelope?

Cindy
433 :flower:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Elwood
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by Elwood » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:11 pm

Hi Colin,

You have a PM (just because I've heard no reply) and a second one from Randy just now came.

Great picts and story btw!


Barb
'69 weekender ~ Elwood

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hambone
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Still In So Cal

Post by hambone » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:24 pm

Do you have another distributor to try?
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
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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