Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by Amskeptic » Thu May 19, 2016 8:06 am

I have been under the weather for too long. Poor Washington DC denizens have been under clouds and rain for something like 16 out of the past 18 days. I was there. I know. Drove up to Pennsylvania to get out from under the persistent low, but the persistent low decided to follow me. Enjoyed a cloudy rainy day with ChipWrecked (I love the name, but discovered that it comes from some history at the gambling tables) and his 1972 Bus With A Question:

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The question was, "why is this bus not running well?" We embarked upon a mission to find out while I eyed with no small alarm the deteriorating weather. You can see that the garage is at the bottom of a hilly driveway, and I still remember the flood of Mohawk NY:

viewtopic.php?f=68&t=11946#p206339


But we had engineerin' here, a nice slotted gulley drain at the bottom of the driveway. We did not however, have a Volkswagen Gutter Deflection System. It piddled down the back of the car until we made two caulky-like dams inthe gutters with little spouts to get the rainwater down the side of the car where we were not working. Nonetheless, Squeegie 2016 happened.

This is a dual carb bus, I love 'em, but they bristle with little failure points that can make us hapless mechanics scurry about like little idiots, especially if we are talking it up. I sure was. I was talking and talking, "teaching" they tell me, but the object of my little lesson was not cooperating. How can you teach if the actual results are in direct opposition to the stated results? My discussion of retards and retarded, for example, was veering ever closer to the personal.

Eventually, the pedagogue was as lost as the pupil.

Then I saw the failure point, the detail that made all prior ministrations for naught. Right quickly I re-asserted my commanding authority and commanded my game customer to please remove the left carburetor/intake manifold:

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Yes, the left intake manifold central idling nipple had a hole in it. Don't know how, we speculated that maybe the spark plug wire allowed a chronic deterioration of the metal (naw-that's retarded)? Anyways, I was treated to an absolutely first-class welding job on that little nipple, pedagogue became pupil and pupil became mentor, and we got the left carburetor and intake manifold back on the engine. Then we drove it (after attempting to firm up the grub screw on the shift coupler so we could, like, find a gear?). Poor thing is a tired thing. But it at least runs smoothly enough and no longer stalls. I see a bright future after a long slog for this car.

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Hopefully drove north to clear the Persistent Low Pressure System parked over the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The condition of the roadways was deteriorating apace. NaranjaWesty's interior fitments protested over the pot holes and heaves and sharply displaced concrete slabs. Took yet more air out the tires, I think we are down to 33/42. Engine has been running well, transmission not so well. Try as I might to shift carefully, the synchronizers just don't have the grip I need to match the slider to the gears' dog teeth when cold. A friggen $46.00/gal StaLube transaxle oil change gives me maybe 500 miles of better friction, but as soon as the bearing metal and little bits of magnesium (wearing off the nose cone I bet) discolor the transaxle oil, things get slipperyer and I get that morning crunch into 2nd. And we are only at 50,000 miles . . . . :pale:

Bashed into Montclair NJ and was given a sunny day with appetite. Thank you, Lord God Creator Of The Universe, but jesushchrist did You have to crank up the biting wind and plunge the temperatures into Itinerant WhineBaby territory? We changed his transaxle oil allegedly the first time this century. Brown and bubbly (anti-foam additives long gone) and a decent sized palm tree of gear shards on the drain plug, but most-beautiful was his synchronizer brass particles. "That's bass boat gold rat thar." We decided that it is time to get a rebuilt transaxle while the getting is sort of still sort of good.

I had upsold appetite on a proper 205Q dual advance distributor for his dualport 1600. It was written all over his invoices since 2006. With great hope for super-smooth factory engineering, we installed this $$$ rebuilt di$tributor only to find that the centrifugal weights were sticking on the return to idle and the timing range was grossly too great. If we adjusted the centrifugal timing to 28*BTDC at 3,500 rpm, we got 16*ATDC at idle. The carburetor that once upon a time could not allow the idle air screw to be open enough to get a smooth transition to the main, now could not get enough idle air with the screw backed all the way out, AND we have a anemic almost bucky acceleration. "We're adjusted like a trampoline on a hovercraft," I told appetite, lost in metaphor.
Rebuilders need to step up their game. We customers WILL check the timing range/curve, we have the big ol' internet at our backs.

His kids charmed me. It is a joy to watch these new human creatures gain traction and knowledge and vocabulary.
"What is the name of your Westy?" I asked the five year-old.
"It doesn't have a name."
"What is the name of my Westy?"
"I don't know."
"It is named after the color 'orange'".
"What is the color 'orange' in Spanish," appetite coached.
"Naranja!"
Kid pronounced it flawlessly, better than I ever have.

Next day was cold again and back to cloudy. Visited skip and his '76 Westy. Skip is some kind of talented. Re-did all of his wood in the interior:

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I snuck a shot of the white headliner up front, because that is where NaranjaWesty is going. Note the Mexican steering wheel. It sits higher up for those of us who need extra room for our poorly articulating knees ( we must all heckle skip mercilessly to rehabilitate that knee. if you don't rehab, no bus for you! ):

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We had some questions about the state of tune. Wasn't running on all cylinders, #4 was dead at the distributor cap test. Slapped his Harbor Freight compression tester on it. 76 lbs? Uh-oh. Went to #3 which was contributing just fine. 62 lbs?? No way.
Stuck my compression tester on #3. 120 lbs. Stuck it on #4. 110 lbs. Moral of the story? There isn't one.

We drove his bus around the neighborhood and got on it a little to help clean the spark plugs. Drove pretty well. Skip! Flex that knee, the road awaits you.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by Amskeptic » Thu May 19, 2016 3:44 pm

BLEW out of New Jersey, so pent-up was my need for nature after all that Maryland/Washington DC/Pennsylvania/New Jersey rainy traffic and little skids at the red lights in the rain and glare and splash and psychological pressure brought upon by bright SUV headlamps staring in the rear view mirror as I tried to glean New Jersey's road signs at wet shiny dark dusk.

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Gently did I seek and negotiate a path through the holes and heaves of maintenance-deferred streets to New Jersey Route 4 at rush hour. Took a last picture back from the Palisade Along The Hudson. Bye-bye traffic. Bye-bye sirens. Bye-bye, "hey! whatsamatter you?" Bye-bye toll collectors:

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Such an amazing thing, an amazing thing has happened. Two days without rain (during daylight hours). Giddily, I drove down a rail bed in the sunshine here in Connecticut, put on these criminally negligent cut-offs for the first time in two weeks, and giddily did I jack up the front of the car only to watch the jack plunge down in the sodden soil (even with rail bed gravel!) and tip sideways. ANd I jacked up the car again, and it slew sideways yet again. NotSoGiddily, I walked the rail bed towards the Interstate 84 overpass and found just the ticket, a beautiful 4 x 8 chipboard, AND I jacked the car up successfully:

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We had things to DO.
Adjusted for the very first time, this steering box . Lubricated the long-suffering front suspension with 20 pumps past first indication of grease squirting out past the seals. That makes this the second front suspension lubrication in the past 9,000 miles. Good. Checked my rust-eradication program under the car. The battery box area looked absolutely fine, an amazing thing, the right front suspension looked pristine after all of this rainy driving:

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The problem child left front suspension looks to need another application:

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Front right wheel bearing was just waiting for me. It had to. The caliper bolts were rust-welded to the steering knuckles and the sound of the bottom bolt releasing would have pissed off any weisswurst tom turkey in the vicinity, had there been a tom turkey in the vicinity. That is rust mixing in with the cheap grease:

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Everything was cleaned with great reverence:

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Those are German SKF bearings, exquisitely smooth and nice, a VW front wheel bearing seal with a robust seal lip spring, a clean and crisp clamp bolt, a smooth keyed washer, even the brake union retaining u-clip was cooperative and springy, OEM German!

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These are the new brake pad shim plates, all the same exact configuration. There are supposed to be mirror opposites:

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Only the right outboard and left inboard could be installed immediately. I had to punch the cut-outs to make my own left outboard and right inboard shims. Caveat emptor . . . My pistons, free of shims for at least the past twenty years, thankfully were still aligned correctly, as seen by their tell-tale mark on the brake pad. I did have to scrape off that sticky gross useless "disk brake quiet" from the backs of the pads from the last job where someone had decided not to reinstall the shims, "you don't need 'em!" (at least until the return visit from the irate customer). That stuff is hideous and lazy and it rips the boots the next time you try to remove the pads:

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If tomorrow is nice (three days in a row???), I shall adjust the valves, torque the exhaust manifolds, perform a compression test, check the dwell/timing, and see if my CV bolts are still secure, adjust the clutch free play, and paint some more headliner with this non-hardening Ivory Satin plastic paint.
ColinItsOnlyCloudyAnd66*
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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skip
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by skip » Thu May 19, 2016 4:51 pm

Tomorrow is suppose to be 75* and dry. Your artistic photos sure make my bus look good. Gotta get my photos together.
Complexity is the enemy of reliability.

76 Westfalia
74 Type 181

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by wcfvw69 » Thu May 19, 2016 11:20 pm

I love these road side maintenance posts. I've stated this before. Why? Because when I feel lazy and know I have things to complete on my VW's, I remind myself I'm not starting the project in a field somewhere off the road. I confess and admit that I do curse you a bit as I start or finish whatever I'm working on. If Colin can be so meticulous with his maintenance out on the road, there's is no reason why you can't do this or that in your garage..

Bottom line, these posts of yours provide motivation and for that, I thank you.
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 NE

Post by jimbear » Fri May 20, 2016 10:23 am

Thank you Colin for finally getting around to posting again. I was going to start having to look elsewhere for entertainment during my short breaks from grading and doing school stuff. Love the roadsiderepairscumfreshenups! Best down time entertainment out there; inspiring, informative, and always entertaining.
'74 Hardtop Westy
Pretty much stock engine setup

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by SlowLane » Fri May 20, 2016 10:24 am

Amskeptic wrote:and paint some more headliner with this non-hardening Ivory Satin plastic paint.
Why is it that once again I am reminded of a certain Einstein quote on the topic of Symptoms of Insanity? :flower:

Great post. Love how well those Original German wheel bearings cleaned up. But how is water/rust getting in there with the factory seal in such good condition? Figure it's from years of sitting with temperature cycles "respirating" damp air into the wheel hub space?
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom."
- Terry Pratchett

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by ChipWrecked » Fri May 20, 2016 2:36 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
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Poor thing is a tired thing. But it at least runs smoothly enough and no longer stalls. I see a bright future after a long slog for this car.
Silent Slim was of no assistance as he watched from above. His bony self remained smug as he stayed dry in his lofty vista.

Today, with his grimace intact, he beckons me to continue on.
Colin boldly stated, "You're too retarded for a retard." I was left dumbfounded and ashamed.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 20, 2016 5:54 pm

ChipWrecked wrote:
Amskeptic wrote:
Image

Poor thing is a tired thing. But it at least runs smoothly enough and no longer stalls. I see a bright future after a long slog for this car.
Silent Slim was of no assistance as he watched from above. His bony self remained smug as he stayed dry in his lofty vista.

Today, with his grimace intact, he beckons me to continue on.
Hello ChipWrecked,
Now I am embarrassed and ashamed. I forgot to introduce the forum members to your skeleton friend up there in the loft of the garage and I forgot to tell them all how Silent Slim got so very slim after he made some remark about the pancakes in front of the family chef back in 2004 was it? I thought the pancakes were simply scrumptious . . . :pirate:
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by Amskeptic » Fri May 20, 2016 6:28 pm

I camped atop the chipboard right there on the gravel rail bed under the moon. Interstate 84 truck traffic rushed past down at the overpass, but it did not bother me. It reminded me of how much I anticipate the desert night camp-outs where the trucks pierce the night with their amber-light-festooned trailers.

Today was sunny again! What was supposed to be a quickie left wheel bearing repack and installation of new brake pad shims, turned into an all-day consideration of rage's effects on automobiles. I have seen rage on automobiles. I can see exactly the moment when somebody gives themselves over to frustration, on these cars especially. I have seen the bent engine tins, the scarred paint, the bashed bell housings, and today I saw the rage of the last person who somehow came to work on NaranjaWesty's left front hub for reasons I will never know. What I do know, is that the inner wheel bearing must have cocked and grabbed the steering spindle, and our hapless tempered mechanic went ape. I saw bash marks on the lip of the dust cap circle:

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I saw gouges in the steering knuckle and a bent up brake dust shield and painful-to-see smashed threads:

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What kind of bad day was that guy/gal/chimp having? You know you can make things worse in a hurry when you give yourself over to fury against precisely engineered machinery . . . this bearing cage was egg-shaped and chewed:

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See the dip in the cage?

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I had to gently clamp the cage with the channel lock pliers while I pinched 90* away to re-establish some proximity to round, then file the chew gouges on the bearing, on the dust shield, on the steering spindle, and most cautiously, on the bearing race seat. Too much filing, and the bearing could rotate on the spindle; not enough, and the bearing could catch/cock all over again and I would have to be the chimp to get it free. Had to use a new elring wheel bearing seal (see the skinny little new spring? and the 1/4mm skinnier housing?), because the old one was mangled. I don't know how the spring got so killed, but it was stuffed in there wearing the numbers right off the spindle spacer and somehow the seal managed to keep it together over the past twenty years with only a little weepage:

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Poor car, this car has been subjected to all kinds of human failings, crashes, hidden shoddy short-cuts, dumb ideas like fiberglass under the windshield, but most apparent to me, this car has been subjected to people with not enough time. That is why I took four hours to repack these wheel bearings, install two brake pad shims, and cross-hatch the disk twice over for good measure. And I remembered to garnish the job with a decorative little blob of Ultra-Copper RTV right over the speedometer cable and e-clip:

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Remember what the "well-maintained" BobD left outer wheel bearing looked like when I did NOT put a little caulk over the speedometer cable?

May 23, 2014 Main Lap Prep II
http://www.itinerant-air-cooled.com/vie ... 7&start=15

That one was my little f**k up, my dumb mark against history. If you drive in the rain, you must do your due diligence . . . :

BobD's Sorry Little Wheel Bearing
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So, I shall enjoy these newly smooth front brakes as I drive to the drozdenko/ethan/zack call tomorrow morning. It promises to be lively.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

appetite
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by appetite » Sat May 21, 2016 5:23 pm

Hi all,

Good visit with Colin. We mapped out a tentative plan for a transmission, took care of some odds and ends and tried to get the timing on the bus squared away.

Swapping in the 205Q might have been a solution looking for a problem. The idle is rough, especially at deceleration and coming to a stop. Colin: I sent you a PM, essentially asking if it is OK to bump up the idle speed without messing up all the adjustments we made.

I gotta get the bus out on the Parkway to see how it runs at higher speeds.

James

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by EskimoTom » Sun May 22, 2016 2:03 pm

Where does one order the shim pads? I didn't reinstall any.
Eskimo Tom, counting down the days.
1971 Camper. Sportmobile. "Rusty"

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings From NE

Post by Amskeptic » Sun May 22, 2016 2:32 pm

appetite wrote:Hi all,

Good visit with Colin. We mapped out a tentative plan for a transmission, took care of some odds and ends and tried to get the timing on the bus squared away.

Swapping in the 205Q might have been a solution looking for a problem. The idle is rough, especially at deceleration and coming to a stop. Colin: I sent you a PM, essentially asking if it is OK to bump up the idle speed without messing up all the adjustments we made.

I gotta get the bus out on the Parkway to see how it runs at higher speeds.

James
PM sent, James. We can reverse the operation and get a refund/repair/replacement on that distributor. In the mean time, we have only one place to bump up the idle. The big brass screw is already pretty much maxed out. We would have to carefully turn in the screw on the throttle lever, the one that rests against the choke fast idle cam. It would be nice to get properly functional distributor timing.
ColinInMaine
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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