More to come has arrived. Some of these projects will be distilled into the Technical Forums so I don't know how much to explicate all this minutiae. For example, you really need to know this little gem of German engineering. You late model bus people have a distribution lever for the heating system. You want cabin heat? Push the lever up all the way.
In the old days, you had to a) pull over, b) get out of the driver's seat, c) open the sliding door, d) move the kids' legs, e) slide the heater levers under the rear bench to open the rear foot wells, f) then close the sliding door, g) go back to the driver's seat, h) pull a knob sticking out under the seat to turn on the aisle heater, i) then kick the front footwell lever up. There. Now you have "cabin heat".
Late model bus people can shut off all the cabin heat and send it to the defroster by pulling that same distribution lever down. Early bus people merely have to execute instructions a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, in reverse.
The distribution box at the front of the Big Heat Duct, and a little daisy chain cable at the front footwell lever allow this amazing new convenience introduced in the 1973 model year, back when I was 13-14 years-old. Here is the brilliant-but-maddening trick that the engineers pulled off on us. You only think you are a pulling a cable when you pull down on the distribution lever. You're not. That very cable is anchored! to the exterior of the distribution box. Yes, it is:
Here's the first look at the inside of the wye after forty years (ya like that shift rod? Yeah, how it is centered in the hole?):
Assembled distribution box. Cable is installed with dash lever UP and distribution box lever pulled BACK and fiddle the evil clip over the edge of the lever to clamp the sheath. Have "fun":
Rear insulation blanket likewise installed with plastic ties because the button snaps were terminally rusted:
Enjoyed a gloriously smooth drive from Moriarty NM to some local road south off of I-40 to avoid Albuquerque. Joined up at I-25 southbound in Socorro. Camped here along a power line trail that was seriously washed out. Took a night walk under the quarter moon. The most-frightening sound of breathing/snorting greeted me in the bushes off the trail. It is a good thing, folks, a good thing to exercise the fright or flight reflex in its purest animal incarnation. I flooded with adrenaline. Suddenly, my thoughts were GONE. My hearing was acute. My eyes scanned for the merest movement in the dark. My muscles were quivering. The hair on my neck stood up (sure, neck fuzz, that'll scare the mountain lion), and I had a thought.
"You! Too naively trusting of nature! This nature thing is for keeps! You're a late-night snack now!"
I could hear rustling and another breathe/snort event.
"Damn, they're surrounding me. I will look like a dumb ox circling wildly as they lunge!"
Then my prefrontal cortex finally kicked in (it has a slow processor these days, an Intel 80486 in an Intel Core i9-7980XE world),
"Opposable thumbs! I have opposable thumbs!"
I picked up some nice rocks and threw several just off the path in a progression to make a facsimile of a primate crashing off over there, in that
direction, over THERE, nothing to eat here. Sure . . . the lion probably just locked its hungry gaze on me throwing rocks - "this monkey sure is dim-witted, will it make me stupid if I eat it?"
Made it back to the car all hyper-vigilant and made a note to my body, "nice job, you still have your millions of years of engineering under all this bitching about the rain and lousy sneakers from Walmart." This was good to know. There is something vital in getting the heck scared out of you:
Next day, south of Socorro, I decided that I could finally paint. I had so much touch up to do. Front bumper, all exterior dings, a scratch on the passenger door sill, a few touch-ups on the sliding door, and check out the bubbling along the driver's door edge.
It is such an event to mix up the exterior color. Found this spot:
With fast-moving shade and sun, I was able to get an "acceptable" sort-of match that went orange in the shade and punched up yellow in the sun:
Sawed into the door edge with a razor blade, "I shall attack until all rust has a border of VW phosphate grey."
No. I shall not. The rust had spread under the paint, but it was not new rust. It was old rust that had been stopped by the inside-the-door application of rust-catalyzing primer down at the French Guinea Hen Holiday Farm Animal Spa in Homosassas FL in December 2015. Therefore, I merely sanded it down and hit it with primer just in time:
"Just in time for what?" you ask . . .
Yeah, the rains found me. The next photographs were all in a 50 mile span:
You, too, can enjoy 373* CHTs at 65 mph on a 93* day ...................................................... at 12 mpg:
I couldn't care less. This lovely lovely automobile has been a flawless companion during my cross-country freak-out flee:
Mile after mile after mile, it has not hiccoughed in the slightest since the fusebox freshen, I am riddled with guilt just running this thing down:
Those poor hitch-hikers in Truth Or Consequences. Their eyes opened wide, they jabbered with each other, one sauntered over to the pumps to make small talk with me followed by a "we're going to Albuquerque, man, it would be so cool if ..." " Sorry, I am going south to Las Cruces." "oh, yeah, hey, uh, drive safe."