Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:51 am

Imagine hitting the road under cloudy skies with a little misty precipitation, you are swept into the commuter traffic scrum and must stay out of the way of people who might be a little late to work. Typical of almost anywhere. Interstate 84 east of Oregon looks similar to the Henry Hudson Parkway in New York, tightly packed in the landscape. In New York, it is because the real estate is so precious that they don't to waste it on roadway. In Oregon, it is because there is a river on one side and a cliff on the other. So you come up on a tunnel:

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. . . and you pass through it, like any number of tunnels:

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But this is the view you get to enjoy on your itinerant air-cooled commute to Hood River to work on a couple of 1971 White Westies:

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I am not sure I will ever get it all straight, but this engine in the "new" 1971 white westy came from the old primary driver 1971 white westy which now has an engine from the third 1971 white non-westy:

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Here's the engine in the primary 1971 white westy:

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See? Good luck keeping it all straight.


It was a relaxed day dealing with minor issues, things like distributor drive gear position, breather hose routing, a little steering box centering, and hanging out with theSamba's Wildthings who came over to drive the BobD and drive the BobD and drive the BobD, 71Whitewesty and I were chasing him at one point "hey, there he is". On our final test drive, we picked up the kids, and I got a bay window view of a daughter's face lighting up radiantly and breaking into a trot towards the car, "daddy!" . . . then checking herself "who? what?"

We drove on Michelin LTX tires just like the ones I removed from the BobD:

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Currently on my way to Renton Washington for an appointment with Ronin10.
Hambone, we *must* prevail upon my return.
Colin
(the utterly charming 125 year-old Bridal Veil, Oregon, post office where I sent off my 2004 amended tax return under the wire, this visit was sending the airkooledchris CHT gauge back to California)

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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 Greetings From Hood River

Post by Jivermo » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:28 am

Thank goodness that places like this still exist in our country. I am so very over the "out with the old, in with the new" perversion that seeps, like a bayou miasma, through our beleaguered society. Keep those cards and letters coming, Colin.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:11 pm

I am in Renton WA tonight. A terrible day of stop and go traffic, getting extremely antsy to get out out OUT, to my beloved spaces and silences and open road.

The BobD is also getting kicked around.
As of yesterday, a new sharp intermittent knock in the engine at idle.
Someone vandalized the wiper arm covers right off, of course they scratched the wiper arms.
The alternator is squealing a bearing race.
A new vibration in the engine at speed that rattles the gearshift pretty fiercely. Cylinder #3 seems to be loafing.

Must get some time to address these issues. Lordy, don't fall apart just because the odometer turned over.
Colin

this is an original size wiper arm cover:
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this is my new New Beetle wiper arm cover, plucked off a wreck, modified to temporarily fit:
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this is a mountain:
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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 Greetings From Hood River

Post by jcbrock » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:52 am

I like Beacon Rock on the Washington side. I always find it hard to believe there is a relatively easy trail to the top of that thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beacon_Rock_State_Park
'76 Type II Station Wagon - in the family since new!
Corvallis, OR

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:56 am

Yes, you got all that right Colin and it is confusing with all the 71's. It was a great day and I'll follow this up with some pictures in a bit. Since you left it's been a whirlwind of tying up loose ends and packing the bus for a 12 day road trip with the family. No less than 24 hours after you left, we left too. Fully loaded with bikes and boards and are now working our way up the Olympic Peninsula on our way to the Gulf Islands.
I put everything away so fast after you left that I'll have to do the fine tuning you suggested when we return.

Seeing my daughters face change and wave go limp when she saw you behind the wheel of our bus was priceless.
Thank you for coming by. I do have some various photo to post when we have a bit more time but coffees finished and we've got to hit the road to adventure land.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by Jivermo » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:29 am

Oh, the Olympics! My two favorite trails: Hoh River to Blue Glacier, and the High Divide. And the perfect time of the year to be there. Green eyed monster...

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by airkooledchris » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:55 pm

What is the going theory of the vibration/knock developing in the BobD's engine?
1979 California Transporter

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:06 am

airkooledchris wrote:What is the going theory of the vibration/knock developing in the BobD's engine?
Something in the camshaft/crankshaft gear/oil pump tangs/thrust bearing ish . . . .
Colin :blackeye:
(I have been driving too hard . . . it will do it, but there are more forces at high speed that wear things out faster, I have to get down to 60 mph and stay there)
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 Hood River

Post by Jivermo » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:56 pm

Dang!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:49 am

Jivermo wrote:Dang!
Engine plumb gave it up yesterday outside of Seattle, bucking and stuttering like the little episode in Eugene as I tried to make it to skindaddio's house. Coasted it over to a thankfully adjacent Motel 6 and shut it all down ("it all" including me you understand).

Stepped away from the Entire World of Volkswagens.

Became an identity-less mote.

Watched The Weather Channel like a catatonic old man drooling in his wheelchair in the common area of the nursing home.

"Haa!" coughed the catatonic old man rousing his carcass to a standing position.
"Condensor!"

Bucked and stuttered to the Safeway loading dock.
(why to the Safeway loading dock? you ask)
((because it was the last sunny spot closest to the recharge of Diet Coke, that's why)
Removed the distributor and points and condensor.
Just like when I was visiting skindaddio and dingo in Eugene, the points had a big blotch of blackened pitting (not the usual little grey). This time, instead of filing the points, I pulled out the new junky Bosch points, the new junky too-short of a wire Bosch condensor made for a bug or something, the Long-Suffering Dremel, the Chitwnvw Commemorative 300 Watt Voltage Inverter, and proceeded to make a mad scientist laboratory next to the dumpster with snaked wires and fans and lights and flying shards of cheap shiny metal as I forced this new condensor into its new home on the BobD's distributor. Timed the engine and made it back to the Motel 6 with Diet Coke and no buckistuttering.

Today I head off to Boise with a prayer. I hope Ronin10 chimes in with a report on our visit. I will fill you in after I have wrestled my high anxiety back down with a reliable day of driving.
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 Hood River

Post by glasseye » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:48 am

On my way back from Maupin in The Dorper, similar symptoms. Solution? Head straight for satchmo's. Substitution of condensor with a known good from his extensive stock restored perfect running.

I tell ya, the miles-long 8% grade uphill from Lewiston to satchmo's caused some sweaty palms.

Buckety-buckety, snorty snort.
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by Jivermo » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:17 pm

Man, I'm glad that is all it was. That feeling, when the engine begins to act differently, even in an almost imperceptible manner, is a real stinker! Heading back to Miami, coming out of Floyd, Virginia, is where I began to get the slightest hint of a stutter. I shifted it to the "imagination" culprit, a convenient brain dropbox, but my unease continued. Still later, I ladled it from imagination to reality, as the jumping jack vacuum hose began having fun at my expense. Did make the trip quite interesting, as it turned out.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:03 pm

Jivermo wrote:Man, I'm glad that is all it was. That feeling, when the engine begins to act differently, even in an almost imperceptible manner, is a real stinker! Heading back to Miami, coming out of Floyd, Virginia, is where I began to get the slightest hint of a stutter. I shifted it to the "imagination" culprit, a convenient brain dropbox, but my unease continued. Still later, I ladled it from imagination to reality, as the jumping jack vacuum hose began having fun at my expense. Did make the trip quite interesting, as it turned out.
Ayep, it was that condensor, 36 year-old piece of junk! I tell ya! Can't they make a condensor last?
I kept it, in a little yellow Bosch coffin that says "original VW condensor/points". I am annoyed that the condensor ate those points too, good set of points now pitted.

I am camping in the Malheur National Forest outside of Baker City OR. Beautiful grasses and Napa vinery type hills and this unfortunate smoke pall.
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 Hood River

Post by 71whitewesty » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:41 pm

Ok, as promised I'm going to add on to this now that we're back from our 12 day Bus road trip up the Washington coast and Canadian Gulf Islands.
It was such a whirlwind for me when Colin was here trying to balance sponging all the knowledge from Colin and Wildthings, trying to wind work down, taking calls and planning in my head how I'm going to get things done and leave the next day. Sure makes one feel productive when the pressure is on....
There was no risk of keeping Colin late as I had an appt at 6pm and we worked until 5:45pm. I could barely square up, say thanks and wave good bye before being late myself. But all worked out just fine. I was left with a micro adjustment of the timing to do and other then that everything else we started, we finished, quickly.
With twin Westy's to work on there's always plenty to do. Fortunately nothing was in dire need but mostly wanted to work on some of the finer points and it helps to have an expert around for that.
As Colin mentioned, we moved the distributor gear a notch so that it all lines up as it should and my vacuum canister isn't cranked all the way to the manifold. Then we timed, set the dwell and did some carb adjusting. We had it pretty close when he left and I was supposed to move the dist. just a touch, which I have done now and it seems to be running really well. Although I haven't taken it for much of a test drive yet to be sure.
I also replaced the steering box, coupler and drag link on this bus and I thought I did a pretty good job of getting it centered again. Pretty good, but not perfect, and somehow Colin noticed that when we went to town. It was a bit of a blur but we yanked the turn signal, steering wheel and draglink off and then I was underneath trying to figure out which way to turn things and bingo, we got it centered correctly and adjusted the steering box just a bit to take a little clunk out of it.
I learned why my signal housing is loose and we trouble shot why only the bright lights are working. I have yet to get to the relay and tear into it since that seems to be the culprit.
We did some test drives on both the busses and took Colin out to the local hamburger joint for lunch with Wildthings. Then I was graced with the opportunity to drive the BobD back to the house. Whew!! That was an experience and as close as I can imagine to driving a new bus off the lot. I didn't get to test the brute horse power compared to my stock 1600 but more of a savory, holy smokes this thing is clean and tight type of ride!! I did laugh though because as I was driving it, I noticed his wipers didn't settle down on the windshield and they were stuck partially up. I was surprise that it didn't drive Colin nuts, what an eye sore! But then I turned a corner and accidently hit the wiper switch and they did their swipe and then settled properly down at the bottom of the windshield. All was operating as they should, of course.
We also had coffee, drawings and explanations that I could actually understand during the process. All good stuff. I'm already looking forward to getting on the schedule for next year. Gotta love the VW community!
Now for some photos. You all know it's tough to take many when you're in deep concentration and don't want to miss some piece of valuable information, but you've got to take one or three, which is what I did... but also wanted to include a couple from our trip to celebrate what it's really all about. And also of my other VW powered unit that I know Colin got a kick out of....

Wait Colin, I need to get a picture before you leave!

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Heading to Renton. You see that orange thing off to the left in the shadows?

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Any guess as to what this engine powers?

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That's right....this is a VW powered snow cat called a Snow Trac. When I discovered these, I had to have one and I searched the world for it and found this one 5 hours away. Oh yeah, this thing is fun as heck. I've taken it all over where I live and it's a total hoot. If you ever come across one of these, buy it. Very capable machines and so simple. Just like a VW on snow. Simple, practical (sure!), capable, efficient and dependable. I just put my micro VW tool box in it and off we go.

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And it can take a load. 6 adults and 4 kids on our way up to Mt Adams for a campout in the snow.

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This inside, steering wheel and all. Drives just like a car.

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Hope I'm not plugging up Colins website here but thought I'd throw in some photos of our trip and the whole reason why I have the bus, to have a heck of a good time with the family and see the countryside.

This is by no means an epic campsite but sure is handy to have the tent along when the sites are so exposed. This is the Washington coast.

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The key to camping is happy campers and right here in this picture my wife says she's in the lap of luxury. Bingo. We're having fun. Keep in mind that I do all the cooking, cleaning, camp set up etc. Unlike at home....but it works and we all love it.

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We had epic sunsets every night. Our trip was up the Washington coast to the Gulf Island of BC. This is on Galiano Island.

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And why two identical Westys? One's for taking the in-laws camping of course!

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Now I'm hoping I got all the links put in here correctly as I hit the submit button.
Thanks again Colin and safe travels to you. I'll be looking for the 2015 Itinerary!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Hood River

Post by Jivermo » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:59 am

Very neat pics, and that Snow Trac is really a fun looking vehicle.

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