Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:41 pm

Three most-excellent calls occurred in Indiana.

First, I got to introduce a judge to the world of VW wrenching. Please approach the workbench.
In this case, the defendant was a 1976 VW Cabriolet in some real need of intervention due to a troubled youth of neglect and sloppy parenting of the valve clearances. Our adjudication was in the nick of time, barely.
"Your Honor, adjust the valves . . . if it pleases the court, of course."

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The spouse is a manager of engineers, heck yeah, we had our expert witness lined up and ready to work. By the end of the day, the VW appeared well along the road to redemptive reintegration into the society of road-going cars, but it is on probation nonetheless. We do not coddle wayward German waifs. Great to meet you Pearl76 and Pearl76 Spouse:

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Poptoptom and his lovely Ophelia was next on the itinerary. We actually go back pretty far in this Itinerary business. Each visit, we compare notes on our respective accumulation of years.

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What did we do? We drove around marveling at the ridiculous drop in temperatures that my visit brought. It was 53* with a lake-effect fog and a biting icy winter wind. Something in his engine is eating vast quantities of oil that we could find no evidence of losing. I even dumped oil into the decel hose and the exhaust stubbornly burned clean, no smoke! I think we did some push rod tube seals but no WAY does a push rod tube lose a quart every 200 miles. We are monitoring and poptoptom has promised to update us soon (that means by 2018 or so).

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I scrammed big-time down to Squeebles, yes, a real person, down below the lake chill. Squeebles and I did a call where I was to assist in completing an installation of a rebuilt engine and helping to break it in. Scary, as usual.

Squeebles is a crackerjack intelligence and we got along just fine touching upon all of the solutions to the world's problems. After solving them, we decided to start the engine. Couple of leaks, OK not a biggie, except for the RTV splushed around the oil pressure sender threads. but that banging back and forth of the crankshaft sure got my attention. So did the steady oil light at idle with 20-50W oil in the engine.
Do we have a wear limit .006" bunch of banging?
No.
Do we have a slightly greater than the wear limit .010"?
Noo.
Do we have a SomebodyScrewedUp oh, let's say .012"?
NOoo.
Good Lord, do we have a missing shim sort of .018" (three times the limit)?
NOOOoowoooo.
What on Earth what? TWENTY FIVE THOUSANDTHS, is it that bad?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
We have a .030" end play, a Five Times The Wear Limit end play.
This is unacceptable.

I am again sorry and utterly dismayed. These stupid errors are miring some really good people in such stupid bullsh*t, such a waste of time, such an avoidable nonsense, and the deliverance of hard-earned money to these sloppy professionals is an insult.
But!
T'was excellent meeting you, squeebles, and your kids, and the slithering denizens of your garage
(that is not an insult either, they are slithering denizens).

Last Indiana call was Andrewtf and his bus, Big Emma. Big Emma is on-deck to perform an epic journey with his daughter and significant other. Our job was to begin a serious appraisal of the condition of this bus. It appears to be a good candidate. I left his house to trek on up to Chicago but some nasty storms were brewing with lots of lightning and thunder and wind, so I thought to stop at Panera Bread to catch up on you all. While catching up with you all, I get a PM, "you left your jack, your 10mm socket, your 3/8ths ratchet, your short extension, your long extension . . . . "
Good grief!
I told him that I was going to have to come back and get them. Then it began to clatter a racket of hail. The Panera girl was wailing in panic at the thought of her Pontiac Sunbird getting dinged out there in the parking lot. I joined her with my own Chloe Keening of Despair. As I drove back to andrewtf's house in the howling wind and sheets of rain and continual lightning, I could not believe how the roadscape had changed, limbs and leaves and trails of gravel and sand and huge car-grabbing puddles. Picked up the tools, "hey, you could stay here if you want," andrewtf helpfully offers. I said thanks, and drove to Chicago where I collapsed strategically in a closed down mall parking lot at 3:00AM , happy to have avoided horrendous Chicago traffic and ready to sleep sleep sleep until I awoke, unbothered by mall customers who long ago decided never to visit this place ever again.

Elsewhere I have mentioned that I have been unlucky in campsites this Itinerary. Yeah, my campsite here in the closed mall parking lot? It was just across a skimpy chain link fence that was apparently the border to a concrete paving project that commenced with jack hammers at 6:00AM.
Colin :geek:
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 Greetings From Indiana

Post by zabo » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:41 am

While catching up with you all, I get a PM, "you left your jack, your 10mm socket, your 3/8ths ratchet, your short extension, your long extension . . . . "
...and i think your flathead turned up under the floormat in my bug.
I like it—nice ol screwdriver. :)

Maybe it's time for an itinerant intern to manage the tools and scout out the prime urban camp sites.
60 beetle
78 bus

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:19 am

zabo wrote:
While catching up with you all, I get a PM, "you left your jack, your 10mm socket, your 3/8ths ratchet, your short extension, your long extension . . . . "
...and i think your flathead turned up under the floormat in my bug.
I like it—nice ol screwdriver. :)

Maybe it's time for an itinerant intern to manage the tools and scout out the prime urban camp sites.
It's time for a nurse. Throw in a pad and a pen.
Colin :blackeye:
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 Greetings From Indiana

Post by andrewtf » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:40 am

Colin...... you work too hard.... I live in Illinois.

First of all..... Big Emma and I thank you for both education and the imparting of wisdom. I now feel no fear (ok - maybe still a little bit) of just jumping in progressing thru a task I should become familiar with. In the back of my mind I can hold onto the crumb that if I really screw something up, I only have to wait a year for Colin to return with magic wrenches and copious amount of grease to save me.

On a short side note..... I did get several hints during the day of how cluttered and unorganized my garage seemed to be. But after seeing hippiewannabe's garage, I feel much less self-conscious about it. Hopefully next year, I'll have the other car out of there to offer a bit more wiggle room.

As for the leaving of tools, the most amusing and potentially disastrous aspect was.... Colin packs up and torches out of my driveway with hopes to barely outrun this major approaching storm (tornado warnings, flood warnings..... typical late spring Midwestern thing). I went into the house to attempt to get the first and second layers of 40 year old bus gunk off my hands (traces of which are still present - after 6 days) and feed the dog. Coming outside about 5 minutes later to the first big 'ol drops of what would turn out to be an almost 8" overnight rain to move Big Emma which was sitting half in and half out of my garage. I hop in, fire her up, put her in gear and move forward to feel a very strange lurch, quickly followed by a nasty metal on metal "urrrgggggggcnk...." and then a ....." Clang-thud...... ting.. ting,,,, ting......". The jack was still under the bus from one of our last tasks of rebuilding a portion of the shift linkage. Nothing damaged except my dignity, but that was offset by the fact that no one was around to bear witness (no pictures - so it didn't happen). Thankfully we were able to get everything back to the road weary traveler because I sure as hell wasn't going to mail a jack anyplace!

One of the best parts of the entire experience was that my daughter and her boyfriend (the ones to embark on the epic journey) called from Germany the next day to talk all about what we did, what I learned, what they need to and want to learn, etc. We probably talked for an hour. They were more excited than I was. " Does Colin think Big Emma is up for the challenge..." " Can Colin teach us ....this..." Can Colin teach us ....that..." " can we..... should we....." "How much time can we spend with him next year"....... The anticipation in their voices was heart warming. We talked about their possible trip schedule, routing (goal = a year's adventure from Illinois to Alaska, all the way down the west coast to Chili and somehow back to Illinois), timing.... To me, it means that when I can no longer do it, someone will be here to care for Big Emma as much as I do...... probably more.

So next year - Colin - this may be a far grander experience for you than this time around. You'll have to dance around not only my dog, but my wife (she was out of town for this one) and deal with the inquisitive mind and hands of Sven and Emma.

I'm sorry my brain was too involved in maximum bus absorption to take any pictures.
Andrew

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Jivermo » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:43 am

Yeah. The Itinerant Guy left a long sleeve shirt here in Miami with some VW pics on it. My wife asked me if it was mine. "Nope, but I think I know."
Knowing that I might see him in Pennsylvania, I took it up there in my pack. Of course, between the beer and canoeing, the shirt was forgotten, and he went on his way. I carried it back with me, and dug it out on a flight where the cabin temps were good for keeping meat. Nice shirt. It's now on it's way to one of his future stops, via UPS. It's the Itinerant Shirt. Sheesh.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Squeebles » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:51 am

Thanks Colin for the time and help. We did indeed solve a lot of the world's problems and you all should be noticing improvements in your lives soon, if not already.

The slithering denizens he is referring to are 3 big black rat snakes - two of them sidled right up to us, in flagrante delicto even. They are more than welcome in my garage, allies in the fight against rodents that want to shack up, crap/pee and make babies in the precious bus.

As Colin wrote, the ending of the day sucked, with poor workmanship from so-called professionals sabotaging the operation with truly terrible work. But the engine is back out and will roll again shortly, one way or another.

The lesson from the day is an old familiar one that I should have learned by now, if you want to do it right - do it yourself!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by dingo » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:45 pm

Man thats some hardcore urban camping....dont the Quayles have some leafy acreage you could crash in ?
'71 Kombi, 1600 dp

';78 Tranzporter 2L

" Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by asiab3 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:58 pm

Slithering denizens?
Flagrante delicto?

Forget the Bentley, I'm off to buy a dictionary....

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

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by wcfvw69 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:59 am

asiab3 wrote:Slithering denizens?
Flagrante delicto?

Forget the Bentley, I'm off to buy a dictionary....

:study:
Robbie

Right!?!?
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Squeebles » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:43 am

A quick update from here in Indiana.... after a few weeks while the engine was returned to the mechanic to repair the endplay issue (they did), i have got it in the bus and actually driven it! I forgot how much fun it was to drive, it has been so long!

The other major issue with the work done by the shop were several oil leaks, around pushrods for sure and some other spots. They fixed those, but there seems to be another source or sources of pretty heavy leaking. They used sealant all over the place, including between the cases, which looks terrible. About a drip every 3 seconds while running. No leak while not running. It is on the fan side, and runs down the back of the fan shroud and also the back of the block itself. I don't think it's the seal at the fan, because then i think it would be spraying all around the compartment.

Any guesses where to start on this one? I am thinking oil filter mount and oil pump. I want to get at those without dropping the engine if i can.
But first I am going to drive it for a while. I have had enough of working under the bus, I need to actually sit in it for a change.
1977 VW Bus, 2.0 FI

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Jivermo » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:16 am

My oil gallery leak was in the same area...I see you have a bus, but I don't see what year. Mine is a '78 type 4 engine. You don't have to pull the engine to get back there. I pulled the fan housing with alternator intact, in order to pinpoint the oil leak. Colin had informed me that this could be done, and that it could be angled out of the engine compartment. It took about an hour, and it was certainly better than pulling the engine. Of course, depending on what you discover, you may end up pulling it. But, maybe not. Good luck.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Happyfolk » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:02 am

Jivermo wrote:My oil gallery leak was in the same area...I see you have a bus, but I don't see what year. Mine is a '78 type 4 engine. You don't have to pull the engine to get back there. I pulled the fan housing with alternator intact, in order to pinpoint the oil leak. Colin had informed me that this could be done, and that it could be angled out of the engine compartment. It took about an hour, and it was certainly better than pulling the engine. Of course, depending on what you discover, you may end up pulling it. But, maybe not. Good luck.
Jivermo, my bus came without thermostat & flaps. I found a complete set and need to install. I've been told it would be easier to drop the engine than remove the fan shroud. What do you think? Sounds like maybe it would be easier to just remove the shroud. Did it fit through the engine hatch? Remove rear tins, oil filler tube, ... anything else?
Mike
79 CA FI Westy
Mexico Beige
"Sandy"

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Jivermo » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:00 pm

Colin gave me an explanation of how to get it out, but I searched here for half an hour and can't find it. Perhaps he can give us the link. It was definitely not as hard as I had anticipated. The alternator stays in, and the entire affair tilts forward, up and out. It was very satisfying to do that. Then, I could run the engine for a short time to locate the leak for sure.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Squeebles » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:23 pm

That would be a great solution. It's definitely around there somewhere... thank.
1977 VW Bus, 2.0 FI

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From Indiana

Post by Jivermo » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:32 pm

I gave up trying to find it. I do recall that it was really the knowledge the it COULD be done, that made me go ahead and tackle it. I just went out and looked at my engine. Yes, remove the tins and just take it step by step...it shall be revealed to you. The knowledge that you can leave the alternator in was also a big help. Go for it.

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