Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:27 pm

I am in Spokane WA this evening, finally beginning to thaw out from the cold cold foray into Jackson Wyoming on July 10th. NaranjaWesty has just hit 56,881 miles, that is 15,000 miles since I picked it up in Duluth GA on October 27, 2015.

Apparently, I have spooked/revolted the membership here with my dire tales of cleaning out the fuel filter frequently. Please be forewarned that there are more fuel filter clean-outs to come, and they might be part of the story or photograph. They are no different than prior years' tales of having to remove Chloe's engine three times in October 2011 , or having to straighten the BobD's alternator pulley in a rail yard in 2014. This year is not about the generator brushes. This year is not about the Firestone tires throwing steel threads out. This year is not about horrendous wheel balancing jobs or too-small exhaust valves, it is about a gas tank trying to shed twenty year's worth of varnish while I drive long distances across ever more crumbling roads. Although cleaning out fuel filters does not have the drama or story line of battling an engine's difficulties with lousy machine work (in the case of Chloe's skyrocketed head temps), and it cannot compare with disassembling the dashboard on the BobD to reorganize the wires in a more coherent fashion, it is a part of my life right now. It is just another aspect to this year's Itinerary Adventure, and you still have the visits the photographs the challenges of others' VWs coming your way as ever.

For example, Headflow Masters and Mountain Prana. We left off from the last post .. .. .. :

viewtopic.php?f=70&t=13118

.. .. .. heading into Jackson Wyoming with rain and clouds and wind and cold and beauty:

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After being all warmed up in summer mode way back in Minnesota and Iowa and even Gillette Wyoming, the sudden mid-winter-Florida temperatures caught me by surprise. That is a glacier over there:

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Do you think I was not exulting in the magnificence as I pulled over and lay down and performed the task of which we shall not speak?

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Mountain Prana and his hardy gracious spouse live here . . . in the National Elk Refuge Park. I had to interview them inside over a cup of coffee just to give me a little preparation time to deal with the cold, the rain, the wind, the sawdust:

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The 1982 Vanagon with the Headflow Masters engine indeed refused to start as he promised it would not. We jumped into Diagnosis Mode. Valve adjustment, a serious reconsideration of the pulley's timing notch, ignition timing, fuel mixture, and the engine still refused to start. We pulled the spark plugs to find that they were all black and greasy. The compression test yielded 65/60/65/30. Not too frisky, if you ask me. We decided to back off the #4 hydraulic lifter pre-load to "0". That gave us another 30 psi to a total of 60. Everybody jumped in to clean and gap the plugs and ask nicely of Odyssa to please start:

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We barely got her to wheeze to life with those anemic compression readings on this 4,000 mile-old engine. With caution, we stepped back the timing from the previous adjustment of 32* BTDC at idle, so we could re-adjust idle speed and mixture as it slowed. We figured that the shop which had been charged to "fix" the lousy-running brand-new Headflow Masters engine set the timing to this insane setting just to get them out the door (then they closed their doors for good). Unfortunately, the engine was seriously damaged on its journey from Utah (the point of installation) to here in Wyoming. That leaves Headflow Masters free and clear and it leaves Mountain Prana and gracious spouse thoroughly out of recourse. The #2 piston skirt has collapsed likely due to new engine friction plus fatal heat from what must have been 60* + advance on the road. It sounded like a diesel engine.

But the homemade pizza was divine, the coffee was thorough, and the ginger test drive was aborted when awful noises ensued. We barely made it back to the garage where we set out to find what the noise was all about. The noise was all about a rocker assembly disassembling itself from the cylinder head. Here, Mountain Prana makes good:

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Mountain Prana spouse and I set out to make the shifter perform better with a readjustment at the floor and a white lithium baptism of the over-gas-tank bushing, and we set off again on a longer test drive with a nice shifter. I left this intrepid adventurous couple, this continent-traveling serious long-distance hiker couple, swimming in a sea of questions that I could not or would not answer definitively. Tear the engine down? Replace pistons and cylinders? Install solid lifters? Figure out the low compression? They will get back to me on how our adjustments did since I did suggest that reducing the timing by some 30* was going to make the rest of the engine unhappy-but-safe. They offered dinner, a shower, accommodations that I had to decline for reasons of light: camera; see below. They sent me out the door with some parts and a piece of so very excellent apple pie. Good people!

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8:05PM Mountain Time, approaching the Teton Pass:

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The pass slices up the hill from right to left:

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The view became spectacular quickly as I climbed. This is sort of looking back at Jackson:

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Did the whole pass pretty much at 4,000 rpm at 30 mph in 2nd gear at 365* CHT:

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You can see the road I came up, way down there:

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Very soon after cresting the hill, I was in Idaho:

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This field in the evening light was a chrome pastel green gorgeous:

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Looking backwards from the cleaning of the Item Formerly Known As "Fuel Filter":

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. . . . :silent:

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A chilly but beautiful good-bye to the Tetons:

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:34 am

. . . made it to Missoula, too. Missoula and I go way back. Missoula snowed on me in June 2008 when working with whc03grady on Ludwig for the first time. Missoula and I have an uneasy relationship. Missoula cracked my windshield on Chloe because Missoula likes to spread gravel all over its interstates. Missoula enthralls with its long-ago shore line visible around the perimeter of its mountains. I like to envision Missoula underneath the waters of its ice dam lake that created the fascinating geologic features down through the Columbia Gorge.

This year's visit to Missoula was a light day of critiquing the new house's staircase and positing ideas for interior decorating and driving around with mtcamper and his Westy enjoying the sights, avoiding the rain clouds (we couldn't), and reading CHTs. I almost got into a project on his driver's door because the left door handle was not welcoming enough, but we got pulled from that task by others, like adjusting the sliding door upper rollers, compression test, and botching the AFM adjustment again in the effort to make the fuel pump shut off when the engine was stopped. And the rain. And the Pertronix which I duly helped to destroy.

See, his engine has a nasty main bearing knock at some ridiculously low mileage. We narrowed it down to #1 main bearing by noticing a complete cessation of knocking when pulling spark plug wire #3 at the distributor cap. Checked the end play with my limp weird new Harbor Freight dial indicator. A totally reasonable .004". Aha, I thought, it could be an over-advance like what happened with the Road Warrior's Pertronix. The plastic trigger wheel that sets over the breaker cam on the Road Warrior was firing #3 almost 3* before the others (you can check yours easily by putting the inductance pick up on #1, reading the scale, then putting it on #3 and seeing if the timing is exactly the same). I recommended to mtcamper to pull his Pertronix trigger and install it 90* away. Well, the plastic trigger wheel blew apart and the magnets all clumped into a pile of little dominoes. We eventually created an installation tool for the magnets comprising a dowel and duct tape to keep the magnets in their receptacles as we re-inserted the collar that holds the cheesy mess together. Buttoned up the distributor and discovered that the Pertronix was done with us . . . . not a bad time to learn how to adjust breaker points and check dwell, I say. With a 42* dwell on the new points being triggered by Germany's finest breaker cam, we sure did think we heard less main bearing knock. We sure did think so. We drove around again, "sure seems like less bearing thump." "Yes, I think it sounds like less bearing thump myself." Might be, too.

Leaving Missoula for Seattle, I drove into Idaho's mountains along I-90 into a headwind. What were my head temps, mtcamper? About 390* to 410*. If I was on a downhill, they would plummet to 275* then increase to a maximum at partial throttle/high rpm, then drop slowly as rpms dropped. Saw this splitty traveling faster than it ever would again:

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I had to go 70 mph to draw up alongside, then I had to cut in front of it and get passed immediately by the happy pick-up truck driver and passenger giving me the two thumbs up gesture as I slowed and slowed and slowed some more and finally pulled over to cle, rest. I was in some cavern town of 220 souls who looked never to get any sun, ever. The hills were so high and narrow that I can only imagine that winter was even less likely to ever get any sun.

Yesterday, I painted the inside of the outside perimeter of both tail lights. I did this because the new black tail light seals from Bus Depot darken the tail lights. I vaguely recall that the early Type 4 bus factory tail lights had a stripe of silver paint on the inside perimeter.

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I do know that the factory tail light seals were grey for a reason. I painted everything that was anything less than grey:

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. . . and now they look as I remember them to have looked:

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You know there are projects yet to come, probably as the schedule opens up in California and Arizona and especially as I traverse Texas. The heater control valves and pipes, the lower engine tins, the wheels and drive shafts shall be painted, the spring plate bushings shall be replaced, and . . . what else is there? Oh yeah, the gas tank.
Colin :blackeye:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by whc03grady » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:20 am

Amskeptic wrote:. . . made it to Missoula, too. Missoula and I go way back. Missoula snowed on me in June 2008 when working with whc03grady on Ludwig for the first time. Missoula and I have an uneasy relationship. Missoula cracked my windshield on Chloe because Missoula likes to spread gravel all over its interstates. Missoula enthralls with its long-ago shore line visible around the perimeter of its mountains. I like to envision Missoula underneath the waters of its ice dam lake that created the fascinating geologic features down through the Columbia Gorge.
Isn't there a story about tires and Missoula and WalMart as well?
Amskeptic wrote:Did the whole pass pretty much at 4,000 rpm at 30 mph in 2nd gear at 365* CHT.
AT 8,431 ft, that's likely to be the high point of the 2016 Itinerary, beating even Los Alamos and environs.
Amskeptic wrote:
. . . . :silent:

Image
I'll say, . . . . :silent:. That mountain you see there is younger than the T. rex fossil you see in a museum by some 57 million years, younger than the Himalaya by about a million.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by the miz » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:32 am

Wow! Great write up and beautiful alpenglow shots of The Grand from the Idaho side! Seeing Mt. Glory on your "up the pass" shot brought back some great wintertime memories too!
It is a bit disheartening to hear that Mountain Prana's HFM engine saga continues in a somewhat unresolved manner...hopefully that will change.

miz
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by lilpig88 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:36 pm

Thanks again!
Still on the edge of my seat...can't wait for the next update...and then the next and the next...

On a technical note: how/where do you recommend checking end play from the rear with the engine installed? I've tried a few different ways and am curious as to your preferred (perhaps not with harbor freight gauge) method.

-Andrew

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by jcbrock » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:29 pm

I feel like I am circling this year's itinerary but never quite running across it. Missed the WI/MN stuff although I was around the area at the same time. Was in Missoula Tuesday night (huge t-storm at 5 pm) and Wednesday, same day as Colin, but left at 4:30 am. It's hard to believe I haven't seen him pulled over cleaning the fuel filter.
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by Jivermo » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:16 pm

Me? I also like to pull over and rest every 40 miles or so.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:21 pm

lilpig88 wrote:Thanks again!
Still on the edge of my seat...can't wait for the next update...and then the next and the next...

On a technical note: how/where do you recommend checking end play from the rear with the engine installed? I've tried a few different ways and am curious as to your preferred (perhaps not with harbor freight gauge) method.

-Andrew
Pulled off here in Somewhere WA to get out from the incessant 25-30mph headwinds. Ran into a California plated Synchro Vanagon with a 1.8 turbodiesel engine off on some adventure.
"How are you handling the headwinds," I wearily asked the Vanagon pilot.
"Ha, they're great! Tailwinds!"

Remove belt, guard and scale.
Set up your dial indicator on the fan housing with a bolted bracket, or, if magnetic is all you have,
try to stick the base on the tins or alternator face plate.
Punch fan/pulley forward with your palm.
Apply two flat bladed screwdrivers to the "back" of the pulley and using the guard/scale mounts, gently pry rearwards.
Repeat a few times.

Let us know what your average reading turns out to be.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:25 pm

Jivermo wrote:Me? I also like to pull over and rest every 40 miles or so.
Why thank-you. They say don't sit for too long, might cause a filter clog . . . I mean phlebitus.
Colin :bounce:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by Bleyseng » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:55 pm

Glad you made it to sunny 75 degree Seattle just in time for the Bite of Seattle/Mariners game/ Dragondays/SeattleSuperSwapMeet =D>

You should head over to the university village Burgermaster for the huge VW street show and grab some food.
Geoff
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70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by mtcamper » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:33 pm

Amskeptic wrote:. . . made it to Missoula, too. Missoula and I go way back.
If I recall there as post visit wheel bearings a couple years ago and the revival of Siilty the alternator too.
And the Pertronix which I duly helped to destroy.
This was the best thing that has ever happened to this motor. Ran it today and it is much better, Still suffering the scar that the pertronix possibly caused but way less Knocky or thumpy. Thumper my be the Westy's name now... This was a great visit . We really came to some solid conclusions this year with good diagnostics. Now I am just going to get out there and drive. Seeing Naranja really inspired me to get more work done on my Westy. Thanks for the cht numbers on your way out of here, That is basically what I plan on seeing myself. PS I removed and repacked cv's today :compress:

One more thing , the sliding door is now better than I ever could have imagined. I had Savannah out to try it after you left. I will continue to refine it.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:46 pm

mtcamper wrote:
Amskeptic wrote:. . . made it to Missoula, too. Missoula and I go way back.
If I recall there was post-visit wheel bearings a couple years ago, and the revival of Silty the alternator too.
We have a rich history. Backing up on Interstate 90 for a couple of miles to find . . . what were we looking for? The LM-1 probe? Clamp?
And the Pertronix which I duly helped to destroy.
This was the best thing that has ever happened to this motor. Ran it today and it is much better, Still suffering the scar that the pertronix possibly caused but way less Knocky or thumpy. Thumper my be the Westy's name now... This was a great visit . We really came to some solid conclusions this year with good diagnostics. Now I am just going to get out there and drive. Seeing Naranja really inspired me to get more work done on my Westy. Thanks for the cht numbers on your way out of here, That is basically what I plan on seeing myself. PS I removed and repacked cv's today :compress:

One more thing , the sliding door is now better than I ever could have imagined. I had Savannah out to try it after you left. I will continue to refine it.
Today's CHT numbers occurred in a 25-30 mph headwind.
Average 409*
High speed beginning of hill climb 414*
Top of hill at 45 mph 399*
Fuel economy average 15.9

Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by TrollFromDownBelow » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:29 pm

Amskeptic wrote:I am in Spokane WA this evening,...
We were almost close ... I was in Seattle last Thursday...
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FI ...8 completely solid lifters.... now it's both kinda noisy and leaky, but she sure runs good!
hambone wrote: There are those out there with no other aim but to bunch panties. It's like arguing with a pretzel.
::troll2::

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by MountainPrana » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:09 pm

Amskeptic wrote: They will get back to me on how our adjustments did since I did suggest that reducing the timing by some 30* was going to make the rest of the engine unhappy-but-safe.
It's taken awhile to get back with you, things were going really well.
So this was the last update I gave you
MountainPrana wrote: *Hard start mirroring appointment wouldn’t hold an idle.
*After 5 minute warm up, idles good.
*After 15 minutes restart fired right up and idles good.
*drive around runs much smoother, no problem idling when warm
55-60 on the flats while losing power on any type of incline.
After that first day the hard start problem just disappeared and I started driving Odyssa just about everyday, into town and what not. Things seemed good and so I decided to visit my Dad over on the other side of the Tetons. She pulled the pass ok on the way there and on the way back and then the next day drove fine up to an isolated trailhead where we commenced on a 33 mile day hike. Man were we tired when we got back to Odyssa late that night. But of course these things go as they do and for some reason after all the good times Odyssa decided she had had enough and took an hour and a half to get started and then wouldn't idle no matter what I did. I was so confused because I literally had changed nothing since working with you on July 11th. Well we finally did get back and then the next afternoon I decided to look at the valves and see if anything had changed with them. well 3 of them had popped the cir clips and I figured that I may as well remove all of them one by one and bleed them so that I could preload them and not risk the consequence of 0 lash. Got that done and she started right up but would not idle for anything. I finally tightened the throttle cable a scosh to just hold open the butterfly and got her idling that way (the idle screw was backed out as far as it could go but wasn't making any difference). Drove into town this way without any major issues to get fuel and go to the store to get medicine for Molly who has been sick for the last few days after our hike. Then I got stranded at the Gas Station for several hours until I was able to finally get her started by zeroing out the lash again and letting her sit for awhile. Not sure what to do now as I don't feel comfortable with running the zero lash. I re-bled the lifters again today and again she starts right up but won't idle and then when the engine starts to get warm just dies even if I'm holding the throttle open as though the lifters are pumped up and not allowing any compression. I checked the timing after doing the valves and it was good where we had put it with you. Not going above 28 degrees at 3200. Any advice would be sorely appreciated.

Tim feeling back where I started :pale:

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings West of The Rockies

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:41 pm

MountainPrana wrote: After that first day the hard start problem just disappeared and I started driving Odyssa just about everyday,
we commenced a 33 mile day hike. Man were we tired when we got back to Odyssa late that night.
Odyssa decided she had had enough and took an hour and a half to get started and then wouldn't idle no matter what
valves 3 of them had popped the circlips
preload done and she started right up but would not idle for anything.
stranded at the Gas Station for several hours until I was able to finally get her started by zeroing out the lash again and letting her sit for awhile. Not sure what to do now as I don't feel comfortable with running the zero lash.
re-bled the lifters again then when the engine starts to get warm just dies as though the lifters are pumped up and not allowing any compression.
I think I hate your lifters. I ran into another set that wouldn't bleed down. This caused my customer a brain sprain. The stupid little check balls HAVE to release oil or they will hold your valves open! I do not know the current state of hydraulic lifter brands to tell you what to avoid or what to buy, but you need nice pre-loadable lifters, AND they have to work with your camshaft lobes, or they will possibly damage them as they wear-in. Can you narrow down the offending lifters to just a couple, or is the whole set misbehaving?

I am sorry you are going through this. High elevations only exacerbate the problem. keep your battery up, your gas fresh, and your ignition system optimal.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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