Overview of "Colin meets DoubleNickle"

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DoubleNickle
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Overview of "Colin meets DoubleNickle"

Post by DoubleNickle » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:35 am

I don't have any photographic evidence that this meeting actually took place, but with my head still spinning three days later, I can assure you it really did...

Last Sunday (the 9th) Colin drove up at exactly 8:00am - our pre-arranged time - having ventured out to wine country to assist in the ongoing resurrection of our '75 Rivi -

After dispensing with the usual formalities we retired to the kitchen for fresh brewed coffee and a session with pad and pencil for background info and a "teaching moment". I quickly came to understand that I was in the presence of an Air Cooled VW Zen Master. "Zen and the Art of Motorclycle Maintenance" came to life in my kitchen. While it would have been quite easy for Colin to make me feel like a complete dumb ass - he used great restraint (I think he liked the coffee) and used his natural teacher/student repoir to break subject matter down to simple concepts that even I could understand. A classic photo here would be me with the deer in the headlights stare and the WTF look just before impact. I think if we have the opportunity to get to know each other better - the gloves will come off and I will have to remind him more often that I am a Horticulurist, not a mechanic!

Our first order of business after a quick look at the bus was a new to me Dual vacuum distributor/pertronix install which as Murphy's law dictates didn't go too well. Turns out the vacuum can was good - unfortuneately the centrifugal advance was not. After spending about 30 minutes monkey fartin' around with that, we put the old 009 back in and continued on with the task at hand - which was getting the bus running well enough to take it on the road. A few vacuum leaks tracked down, an S boot inspection and preventative repair, point gap checked, timing done, Air flow meter tampered with (along with more teaching moments) and it was time to break for lunch. The wife made a farm fresh egg Fritatta with garden vegies, sausage, tomoto's, ground cherries and fresh herb bread (and more coffee for Colin) - thinking that he probably lives on cigs, diet coke, beef jerky and an occasional meal while on the road - my wife wanted to treat him to something hardy....

Then - the bus hit the road. For the first time since bringing it home we actually had it going down the road at 55mph! An appropriate photo here would be Colin's feet hanging over the back seat with his head in the engine compartment while I'm driving down the road while he micro adjusts the airflow.... "thumbs up for better - thumbs down for worse"

Much hosing around with trying to get rid of that pesky misfire.... checking things over - tracking down why the brake booster didn't work (one way valve in the vacuum line installed backwards) Doh! MUCH lamenting over the frankenstien wiring that's been done in the past and what to do about that....Another road test - telling me there's a bearing noise coming from the front passenger wheel that I can't hear (still can't), testing coil, rotor etc, discovering back up lights didn't work (tail light assemblies crumbling) another road test, more mumbling about the wiring, a sad lament about the engine being sort of tired and should have more power (Get a compression test done!) and it was past time for Colin to leave.... I think I only made him an hour and half late for his dinner engagement.... Sorry about that! (Not really, I would have gladly kept going!)

When we had said our goodbye's and he had driven off toward the Portland rain, I sat in the bus and tried to make sense of what had just transpired over the last 9+ hours. 3 good IPA's later and a long written list of notes and things to do - a clean up of the shop and the day was complete. I feel a bit like a sponge that soaked up information and over the past 3 days wrung myself out and am ready to go again.

I am a smarter person for the experience. I have a fairly good prioritized list of what needs to be done - I have a bus that starts and drives - I believe I made a new friend - it was a good day.

55
1975 Riviera
1.8 FI

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ruckman101
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Re: Overview of "Colin meets DoubleNickle"

Post by ruckman101 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:50 am

Sounds about right. He always leaves my head reeling. Enjoyed the write-up. Thanks for posting it.


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poptop tom
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Re: Overview of "Colin meets DoubleNickle"

Post by poptop tom » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:32 pm

Sounds like it was worthwhile for you!! (haven't ever heard of a non-worthwhile visit from Colin)

Good luck tackling your new to-do list!!
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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airkooledchris
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Re: Overview of "Colin meets DoubleNickle"

Post by airkooledchris » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:14 pm

Thanks for sharing the experience, even without photo's it's nice to hear these stories - especially from a first timer. Nothing can prepare you for that experience.

While the experience is still fresh in your mind and your still full of "I can do it"-ness, tackle something on the list quick before you start questioning your every move.
1979 California Transporter

DoubleNickle
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Re: Overview of "Colin meets DoubleNickle"

Post by DoubleNickle » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:19 pm

Oh yeah, I will keep going. I've been using up most of my free time working on it pretty much for the past 6 months. I seriously underestimated what it was going to take .... If I knew then what I know now.... I would have probably picked a different one.... it's well beyond the point of no return - besides my son is getting impatient!
1975 Riviera
1.8 FI

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Amskeptic
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Re: Overview of "Colin meets DoubleNickle"

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:53 am

DoubleNickle wrote:besides my son is getting impatient!
Next time ... old man .... I say we put son to work while we crack open an IPA.

You have a car with good potential, but even I have had to take a few days of pondering while driving to understand that P.O. wiring fetish in your engine compartment.

I am very sure we have a bizarre electrical issue with those dual batteries and I think we have a "feedback" or "voltage potential argument" going on when the two batteries do not have the same actual voltage. The start switch on one battery trying to start the engine using the other battery is bizarro. I would enjoy ripping everything out of the engine compartment, and reinstalling only after we have vetted every part and every wire for simplicity, elegance, and functionality.
Fresh 5K rotor in?

Tell your wife I am still fueled by that lunch, good to meet all of you!
ColinInSacramento
(dinner appointment companions were all forgiving, even the ravenous seven year-old)
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

DoubleNickle
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Re: Overview of "Colin meets DoubleNickle"

Post by DoubleNickle » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:53 am

Yeah, the wiring is most perplexing. I shall be paying attention to that at some point soon. Yes, proper rotor installed. (Still has that pesky little misfire)... Taillights R&R'd - yes, even backup lights. New back hatch seal installed. Intake gaskets on the way - different vacuum advance distributor on the way (seller was quite nice, very apologetic and anxious to make it right!). Mac drove it yesterday for the first time - the beginning of the necessary bonding - it went well.... hopefully when we see you again he will be fully invested and ready to do some of the work while we "imbibe" and "instruct". The wife says to stop by next time your in the neighborhood and she'll fix you up again! Happy travels!
1975 Riviera
1.8 FI

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