Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:22 pm

. . . as in, "no longer Midwest-bound" but rather here, here in the midwest with a failing generator bearing.

I'm sorry, Michiganers, but I was happy to leave your caved-in interstate slabs. Does it not sting to read that I was actually grateful to hit the Ohio state line on I-75 southbound for an immediate relief from being banged and tossed and clunked and sprayed with chunks of the roadways by the trucks in front of me? Ohio? Singing the praises of Ohio's roads? They were not better roads, but they somehow are more successfully patched than you Michiganers' penchant for splicing in billions of concrete repair patches that never meet the elevation of the surrounding roadway. My final stinging indictment is that Michigan's roads were sooo bad, how bad were they? they were sooo bad that they knocked the damn hour hand off my 18 year-old Walmart-issue travel clock that endured a head-on collision with nary a loss of function. At least Detroit was pretty here and there:

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You ask how this brilliant composition was composed. I'll tell you. See, I was parked at a stoplight and this General Motors Generic SUV was in front of me, and the rear window was unusually reflective, as was I, so I took a picture just as the light had turned green:

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Outside of Toledo, I stopped at a dirt road feeding to a gravel pit or something, and I waxed the rear of the car, the rear quarter panels, the bumpers, and one wheel, before the afternoon rains reliably found me. The flag was enjoying the final few minutes of sun, flapping all proudly back there with compelling wind-driven waves marching across the stars and stripes:

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This is Indianapolis:

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Indianapolis has the worst color contrast imagineable between the lettering and the bricks on its stadium-that-celebrates-the-Colts. The name of the stadium is "Lucas Oil Stadium". Just as well that the contrast is so terrible, I say:

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The reason I was going through Indianapolis was to get to the capitol city of Illinois. Here is the little capitol in Springfield with its little "pewter" dome. Heck, even Charleston has a gold dome, people:

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I was complaining to Mr. West, the next customer, about the little pewter dome and the recently discovered fun factoid that Illinois has the second worst roads in the Nation, just behind Michigan. It's close, actually. Illinois knocked the hour hand off my clock once more on an especially brazen F-U Your gas/highway Taxes Go To "Administrative Salaries" pothole in the middle of the interstate. He offered a moving and spirited defense of Illinois' roads and state capitol domes as he offered a cup of coffee. His bus needs work. It really does. It seems daunting in the entirety, but I have a better sense of the process now, and he will do fine with a little multi-channel planning. The rust is galloping along, but there is a VW logo on the windshield. The automatic transmission stopped slipping with the addition of a quart or so of ATF, the valve cover leak only took three tries:

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Mr. West is an entrepreneurial business owner and has a keen quick mind. I used to. The day's conversation was sprawling, and the day's project (make this bus stop being so friggen weird) was a success. You do NOT want a brake booster leak with an automatic transmission oh my, such weird lunging and fighting. we tamed it by just blocking off the brake booster hose leading to the centermount carburetor. Did I mention that you do NOT want a brake booster leak with an automatic transmission and a centermount "progressive" carburetor. No kickdown! The centermount had no provision for allowing the kickdown to do its thing. We had a challenging wrestling match with the wiring. Totally bollixed by the prior owner , we had noooo alternator light, no fuel gauge, no oil pressure light, and some orphaned wires behind the fuse box. At the engine end, we had the oil pressure light wire plugged into the voltage regulator, the coil wire plugged into the black test plug connector, the coil was wired backwards, it goes on. He'll do fine, but there is a lot of work in front of him. We said our good-byes at about 7:30PM, and he asked if there was anything I needed. "Why no, Chloe is running fine, thanx" .. .. .. SEE? :

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.. .. .. at 8:30PM, one of Chloe's generator bearings gave out in some little Illinois town. A racket of rumbling and popping sounds, I really thought I was hosed. Took off the belt and ran the engine, it was thankfully quiet ( as in "maybe it is actually the camshaft gear spitting up teeth" ). Put the belt on SooperSloppy to give the bearings some rest, right here, in fact, at a sleepy intersection of IL-29 and IL-10:

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I rumbled and rattled to I-55 wondering if I should call Mr. West, and definitely planning to call locoqueso. Took it apart at a truck stop to look for metal shavings, powder, extreme hot spots, anything that might suggest that it will grenade. Removed generator pulley off the generator and sort of hopelessly helplessly hopefully squirted 20-50w oil on the rear bearing knowing full well that it is a sealed bearing, stupid:

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Taking the generator out and swapping out bearings is a full day for me, am I ready for this? Who knows if my Jblair630 spare bearings are any good any way? Put it all back together by 1:00AM, and the noise was still there, threatening me, mocking me, testing me, tormenting me, poor Chloe really has been flogged for too long on this trip, and I gently told it, as I flipped the engine hatch down, "deal with it."
I guess it did.
Yeah, so I am thirty minutes driving time from locoqueso. We have an appointment tomorrow, July 1st, and I might broach the notion of tearing my engine apart in his garage and borrowing his truck for a trip to the machine shop if I need to to press the old bearings off the armature/end plates, but I have to find my spares first. Meanwhile, weirdly enough, with the floppy floppy belt, the generator seems to have settled down from a ballsy rumblini with dangerous popping sounds to merely a yowl.
Colin

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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wcfvw69
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by wcfvw69 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:11 pm

Great update Colin. As always, I enjoy your pictures and story telling.

Question, didn't this generator give you issues a year or two ago? I remember posting a link for you to the woman in the Philippines selling NOS armatures for the Bosch generators. Is the bearing crapping out an original or a craptastic Chinese one?
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 Midwest-here

Post by andrewtf » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:11 am

Sure missed you at our house this year... and we may have had the garage space you contemplated.
I would have probably been right in the line of proper geographical assistance.

I should get my bus back from the shop in about three weeks so next year may be a legal pad sized, 3 coffee, 4 diet Coke list.

On the upside, we are spending the Week in Puerto Escondido, Mexico with Sven and Emma. Lots of heat, cheap beer, cheap Tequila - and cheap everything else. Great company and a rejuvenating visit. The wanderers send an enthusiastic wave.

We tackled (or are trying to tackle) a few Big Emma tasks. Sven and I have replaced the TSII and things run much smoother. Lost one of the little copper washers in the bowels of the beast (or in the dirt), but we fortunately had a spare. Replaced the solar panel control module. We have been trying for 2 days to replace one of the sway bar clamps which had long ago lost its securing tab and was just sort of hanging out under the bus. The crappy Brazilian one was even crappier than we expected and there is no way in hell it will fit around the rubber bushing. We decided to resurrect the original one as it is 100 times better (and the right size) even after the abuse it had endured. It had failed due to the little 'wings' that hold the securing tab apparently bending out and allowing the tab to find pavement. We lacked the tools to rebend these little ears with any accuracy so we went to a small shop and some kid (16 years old maybe) got out his mega hammer, cold chisel, broken vice grips and a piece of scrap steel to use as a form and just beat it, on top of an old stump, into the geometry we needed with impressive umph and artistry. And then refused any sort of payment. Today we'll give it another go - except I think one of the new 'ears' is too wide for the securing tab to slide over - so we may need another visit to our metalsmith.

Travel safe ol' VW guru.
About this time next year..........

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by ryankschulz » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:52 pm

Colin, I have an OE Bus generator if you want it. Let me know on Monday. Stoked about my appointment. Mentally prepare yourself to fight my Westy, I mentally prepared myself today by giving it a bath, and vacuuming out one years worth of filth from the interior.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:31 pm

The night before I visited locoqueso, I stayed at a Motel 6 in Rolling Meadows IL. My God, we have a bumper crop of American citizens who have just let go of all public consideration as they wallow in the drama of their lives. There was a woman dragging suitcases and boxes out to the poor little Toyota RAV4. There was a tall man with pants just about to fall off glued to his phone.
Woman walks by me,
"What an a$$hole. I can't believe him."
Man walks by me,
"Women are crazy."
Then they start screaming at each other.
"The doctor SAID THEY CAN MELT INSIDE YOU."
"That's a bunch of bullsh*t, I never heard such bullsh*t.",
"Well I KNOW I CAUGHT SOMETHING FROM YOU, YOU A$$HOLE!"
"You couldn't of caught nothing, condoms don't melt in your butt."
"YOU AREN'T NO DOCTOR, GET OUT OF MY CAR."

Oh, it went on and on, and the graphic nature of their continuing discussion precludes any further transposition, yet you can be sure that the small children walking back to their room from the pool got an earful. I remember only that I hoped to never know, or run across such thoroughly upset people, and I prayed that they were in a wholly different wing of the motel.

At 12:30 AM the wall shuddered under the impact of the door slamming in the room next to mine.
"Why don't you just LEAVE. LEAVE. GET OUT. JUST GET OUT."
Yeah, guess who . . . . I hate being startled awake.
At 5:15 AM, a major thud thuds against the wall, bam! Awakened again.
"GET BACK IN HERE, YOU'RE NAKED. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? GET BACK IN HERE."
At 5:37 AM, it is the sound of "make up" sex pounding against the wall with that now very familiar voice screeching to the gods. The early morning light surrounding the curtain tells me that this night's sleep is pretty much shot. I try to force myself to sleep. And I must have dozed off, because it seemed like only minutes later that I heard,
"GET OUT, I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN, I DON"T CARE IF YOU'RE NAKED OUT THERE! I HOPE THEY CALL THE COPS!"
but it was 6:55 AM, time to visit locoqueso and his gorgeous taigagrun Westy, Wilson.

Locoqueso has kept probably the very most thorough records of any Itinerant-Air-Cooled customer, and we were able to check all the way back to 2008 with ease, the fact that Wilson had never had a front wheel bearing repack on our watch. Well, now Wilson has, and locoqueso knows precisely how to do it, too:

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Mysteriously, I have no idea where the day went. But it went, and I cleared out of there around 8:30 PM with my new departing salutation, "may the Republic still be standing the next time we meet", pretty tired after no night's sleep the night before.

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I was most-devoted to getting as far away as possible from upset or boistrous people in the metropolitan scrum of Chicago celebrating our Nation's birthday weekend. But, there were fireworks going off all over the place, so I finally pulled behind a big box of cinder blocks and followed a service road towards the sounds of bullfrogs and crickets.

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Camped at the above, yes I did. It was so severe. At night, when I arrived, there were sounds of bullfrogs and crickets and blessedly absent florescent lights, so I thought it was going to be country-like. Woke up to this geometric severity hell, took a severe little walk around this mall perimeter, came back and finally finished waxing the bus because I was hopeful. I was hopeful because I did not see "clouds" lurking to rain on my simple joys like they have been all over the country:

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There were so many little projects lined up that I did not know where to begin. Adjusted the brakes that have been choked up with the dust of innumerable interstates and traffic light slows and stops. Stared at the oil under the engine, the oil from a front seal that doesn't think much of wobbling flywheels. Halfheartedly wiped it off.

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Listened to the generator (and watched the fan belt flap almost as freely as that flag I photographed two days ago) which seems noisy rumbly, but no worse than the day before, so we'll give it another day, just another day so I can get to ryankshulz's amenic bus in Bartlett. I hope we can set it straight.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:43 am

So, yes, we did get to the ryankshulz anemic bus, and we did find an issue that might have some bearing on anemic performance.

http://www.itinerant-air-cooled.com/vie ... 76&t=13378


After the ryankshulz call in Illinois, I had to book to Wisconsin to visit with Voltzwagen and his lovely Taigagrun Westy. But what about the generator, the generator that sounded like it was about to spit bearing balls all into the rapidly rotating armature? Well . . . . this is how I spent July 4th, our Nation's birthday:

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I have one cheepchinese bearing (scarfed off the last generator job in the national forest above Los Alamos) at the fan end, and one good German Original Bearing (procured in Austin Texas years ago) at the belt end.

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I also decided to use the end plate off another generator given to me by I Can't Remember But Thank You. I love this old technology with real metal and phenolic and serious robust quality. Unfortunately, even these bearings are not all that good, and the end plate allows a bit of movement of the bearing, but let's see how long it lasts.

Hit the road through the countryside of northern Illinois to Wisconsin. We all enjoyed a tail wind:

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Such beautiful countryside in the evening light, I was all tourist mode with my camera staring at everything while my fellow motorists erroneously concluded that I was going slow because of "picture-taking":

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I love the way the horizon gets further away as you head west. The northeast is like a shoebox diorama compared to this countryside. Don't know why I love silhouettes so much:

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Amber stripes of grain:

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Let's not forget how hard I work at avoiding civilization with my photographs. I try, I really try, to avoid power lines, vehicles, industrial buildings, street signs, trash, and inadvertent evidence that people actually inhabit this country, but sometimes, well, I just have to give it to you:

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And here is just a house, just a house in Baraboo Wisconsin on a summer morning, but it is a playful bit of architecture nonetheless:

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Voltzwagen and I had a fine day working on his bus while his little daughter gravely informed us of her plans for the day at frequent intervals. The rain found us in the afternoon and blasted the garage and Chloe with pelting reminders that Climate Exists as we attempted to install a Hot Start Relay under the bus. My big #30 terminal supply turned out to be real junk, as they would de-laminate in some totally odd way as I attempted to crimp them on the power wire to the relay.

Apparently, I did not take one photograph of our day. I only remembered that I had a camera here:

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Now in Minnesota,
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by wcfvw69 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:33 pm

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds ... ton=Search

Here's a couple of NOS bearings. I've used both sellers (Elizabeth and Dave). Both are super friendly, helpful and ship blazing fast. I'm sure one day China will catch up on the quality of its bearing manufacturing. Right now, I avoid China bearings like the plague.
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 Midwest-here

Post by blue72beetle » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm

Woah Colin, I figured you'd be anti-hot start relay. Can I solicit your opinion on the subject?

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by tommu » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:43 am

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Now in Minnesota,
Colin

Running a little rich?

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:36 am

blue72beetle wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Woah Colin, I figured you'd be anti-hot start relay. Can I solicit your opinion on the subject?

Yes, here is my opinion:

Whatever works.
Colin :flower:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:37 am

tommu wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:23 pm
Amskeptic wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:43 am

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Now in Minnesota,
Colin

Running a little rich?

Yeah, not bad. About .00032 mpg
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Midwest-here

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:40 pm

The last midwest call was to our good friend djmiller in Mankato MN whose dad showed up at the miz's house last year, and whose Vanagon had given me a diagnostic challenge (see below):

http://www.itinerant-air-cooled.com/vie ... 70&t=13111

This lovely 1982 Vanagon was surrounded by the kids when I arrived, and the hopeful owner. It did not idle well. All of our vacuum leak checks showed no signs of leakage, especially the brake booster block off test, the one that I hoped would be the smoking gun. We inadvertently found the problem when refreshing the leaky cold start valve gasket. See, we thought it was the cold start valve gasket, so we removed the cold start valve and disdainfully dissed the gasket for not gasketing very well. Ready for our triumph, we started the engine with a good cold start valve gasket and discovered that no, the engine really was not that much happier. For some reason, I exchanged the brake cleaner vacuum leak test sauce for some nice n' volatile GumOut vacuum leak test sauce, and boy, it sure showed a convincing uptick in the idle when we sprayed the cold start valve gasket again. But it could NOT be the cold start valve gasket, of that, we were confident. So, yeah, it was the Intake Plenum Itself, right at its seam. The update PM report:
"I put some JB Weld on the seam and it idles good now."
This folks, is what victory reads like in my universe.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,220 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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