Itinerant Air-Cooled Election Season

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Itinerant Air-Cooled Election Season

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:27 am

I have been horrendously absent from this Itinerary Forum over the past 18 days. Every time I have fixed to update you all, I would accidentally hit the Google News button on my browser and circle the election process like a moth dancing around the porch light. It has been an addiction, a sickness, a compelling fascination, it has been the car accident that I just have to look at, the precipice that beckons me to its edge, transfixed by the pebbles that fall so far when I slip a little.

Then I would wade into the blogs under the articles and get sucked into the maelstrom of comments, and I would have to respond to the more "egregious" comments . . . sure, like I might help the Republic withstand this assault against our core values? Then I would find that I had run out of time to post of my visits and travels. Promising to buckle down, I would once again buy a cup of coffee, get internet-ed, and prepare to update you all on my visits and travels, but that Google News button would call me forth once more into the sound and the fury and the vapid idiocy of our insidious decline into the debasement of our noble experiment in Democracy.
Really. Did you see the apology that some high school civics teacher had to send out?
"I formally apologize for assigning the debate as homework . . ."

As mentioned in the Mission Statement here, I am a citizen first and a hobbyist second. The current election season has inflamed my civic conscience, and I wonder if there is work that I need to do in this realm. Though supremely lazy, I keep feeling little pricks that suggest no option but to participate where I can to save this country from the profound stupidity that is in danger of passing as "normal" these days. It is not normal. I have been blowing my schedule all over the place to engage my fellow citizens in conversation no matter the time constraints. Some of these conversations have veered into dangerous territory, where emotions are triggered and communication is almost impossible. But I will be damned if I am not going to challenge the idiocy without any check back to reality of facts and rationality.

This summer has had some magnificent moments of figuring things out. There were engines that were not going to start until the reason for their inability to run was discovered. The discovery process required a new set of eyes, new questions, and most of all, a structured inquiry. As mentioned to many over the summer, it is as valuable to discover what the problem is not, as it is to discover what the problem is. That allows us to narrow down the bewildering array of possibilities. Sometimes, we had to look at a functional running engine to get a clue.

Same with our great Nation. We have a brilliant government and a strong Constitution, yet the country is not running well. I have to ask people why they feel the need to disparage our government and tinker with its structure when the problem is not the government. The problem is not the government. We can look at other countries to see what works, yet we choose not to. In our mechanical metaphor, perhaps we are suffering from a lousy ignition system and maybe bad gas. No need to overhaul the engine. Not yet.

This election season, which has assaulted and diminished our decency, has illuminated nothing new under the sun. People have always thought the things that are being said, the locker room talk is nothing new, the racism, the ignorance, the xenophobia, the false witness, the dasdardly claims, nothing new here bubbling up from the depths of human consciousness. The "shock" is that it is now at the surface where we can all see it. Maybe now we can fix the thing.
Colin
( I shall get to the write-ups on Blake412 (it was not a Volkswagen 412 as I was to find out, but an old address number), Globespotter, and yesterday's most interesting discovery on Manaman's Vanagon )

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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 Election Season

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:29 pm

Yeah bleah bleah "save the Nation" blah blah blah. I really do not remember exactly what we did at Blake412's house. It was a half-day appointment. There were doughnuts and coffee and a friend in the garage. The engine had a seriously recessed valve, and we determined that the recently performed upper engine overhaul did not address the root cause of the recession, and it was receded all along right through the rebuild, based on the position of the valve adjusting screw in the rocker arm. We left off with the rebuilder promising to re-rebuild it with new Len Hoffman heads, free labor. I remember reassuring the spouse that these are not only appreciating assets in the family portfolio, but fun companions too.

Drove straight to Florida after the appointment. I got as far as here. Beautiful late night walk through spider webs and moonlight to the accompaniment of a howlingly lonely dog:

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Somewhere around Lakeland Florida, I decided that a four-wheel alignment was due. A WalMart parking lot sufficed. I drive a dusty dirt road followed by a pavement run to help define the road contact edges on the tread sipes to display camber issues. I have always run my front suspension with positive camber to complement the rear's negative camber. Then, my 5,000 mile front-to-rear tire rotations balance out the inside wear bias of the rears and outside wear bias of the fronts. Not Naranja! I have been too busy taking my nationwide fuel filter cleanout tour to address the actual suspension settings on this chassis. This car has been wearing the insides of both the front and the rear tires, thus rotations have been useless for balancing out the inside/outside tread wear.

Got the entire rear perched on the floor jack and used the bottle jack to lift each front wheel in turn. While at the front, I loosened the upper ball joint nuts and rotated the eccentric bushings approximately 1/8" outboard, which yielded 1/2* more positive camber for each front wheel. Being young and sharp, I remembered to re-tighten the ball joint nuts :

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The rears were more problematic. I read the full-weight-on-the-ground camber, and decided that I needed a solid 1/2 to 3/4* less. Jacked up the car and read the unloaded camber, which was now pretty much at 0* The car was perched on a single jack point at the center of the torsion tube, yet I had to apply some serious torque to loosen the diagonal arm/spring plate/wheel bearing housing bolts, and to twist the diagonal arm whilst attempting to read the gauge:

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That rig (everything is rigged) is what I came up with. A channel lock plier pried against the diagonal arm with the handle jammed into the pavement such that when I lowered the spring plate with the bottle jack, it would twist the arm for me. Changed the right rear camber from 0* to 1* positive whilst unloaded, which yielded an on-the-ground reading from initial 1 1/2* negative to final 1* negative, and changed the left rear camber from 1/2* positive to a full 1* positive. That changed the on-the-ground reading from 1* to 1/2* negative. Yeah, well, tightening the big bolts AND banging the wheel bearing housings to maintain the correct toe changed camberous things, OK? Currently, the tires seem to be wearing more on the outsides now.

Continued my dive south to Homosassa Florida to pay a call on Farmer Jeff. But my laptop battery has said that it must wait until tomorrow. ... to be continued
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 Election Season

Post by zabo » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:20 am

so the rear alignment didn't work out?

ive developed a creaking sound from the rear. especially noticeable when going over speed humps. i suspect those outer WW torsion bushings we installed:(

And yes this election is enthralling. im especially amused by the unwavering support trump is getting from the so called evangelical christians on the far right.
60 beetle
78 bus

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Election Season

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:30 am

The potential failure of my rear wheel alignment, zabo, has not yet been determined. It just appears that the left rear wheel has a different setting from the right. I am using this "disparity" as an experiment. I am convinced that the rear alignment is a critical part of the engineered-in self-correcting behavior in the wind, particularly the toe-out. I know that I have ruined it. I am trying to find my way back. Currently comparing right side wind gusts to left side wind gusts, but the vagaries of road camber throws me (trucks have wallowed out "ruts" in asphalt roadeways, so I have to wait for concrete sections and the wind to cooperate).

You should NOT go assume that the replaced spring plate bushings are the CAUSE of whatever creaking you are experiencing in the rear suspension. That has a bad vibe to it. Why not realize that the inner bushings have not been replaced and are obviously still not helping out? I hope I mentioned to you that replacing the outers only was not a final solution, it seems obvious, but perhaps I need to be more specific with people. If there are two bushings supporting each spring plate and they both wear oval over time, replacing just one of the two will temporarily improve things, but you really have to get to the inners, yes?

Meanwhile, on the way to the Globespotter Appointment Hosting Homosassas Hen House, a three-truck-two-tractor mowing crew along US 41 South diligently showered NaranjaWesty with rocks hard enough to dent the sliding door, the b-pillar, and a few nice rock scratches along the passenger door. I stopped them at an intersection.
"Am I allowed to pass you all while you are going down the shoulder?"
"Sure."
"Excellent, let's take pictures of what just happened . . . " :

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The driver of the offending mower gave me a business card and I called a lady in Texas who nicely suggested that I send her two estimates and she will cut me a check for repairs. Poor NaranjaWesty.

Globerspotter and Ashraper were doing farm chores when I pulled in to the compound the next morning. I don't think thirty seconds passed before we were in a heated political discussion between the pigs and the chickens. Like I said, I am crazed during this election season. Enjoyed our conversation! It is good to share ideas and thoughts! Yeah, but what about the bus? It is a 1977 Westy, and Globespotter drove it down from Canada for the appointment (and maybe some traveling). It had the feel of a nicely broken-in pair of shoes, a definite road-going bus. We ran through the tune-up procedures (note to self: you're out of shape):

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We lubricated the clutch Itinerant Air-Cooled-style (as in, disassembled pedal pivot, clutch clevis, and r&r'd Bowden tube), checked and adjusted brakes, and what the heck, let's replace the transaxle oil, "transmission seems kinda noisy" . . .
THIS is what came out with the drain plug. Every time I get near Weisswurst, terrifying transaxle travails transpire:

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I am pretty sure that those are needle bearing rollers that have left the employ of some gear. Yet, the car shifts. And Weisswurst has the famous Currywurst Vanagon that spit out its synchronizer keys in pieces and it still shifts . . . . :shaking:

Well, I was just about to update you all and Photobucket has crashed. I HATE Photobucket. They roped me into paying for an ad-free environment and they shill crap all over the page regardless. Now I can't access any of the photographs. The ads sure load up just FINE. I HATE them.
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 Election Season

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:42 pm

Photobucket has deigned to grace my browser once more after 11 hours and 51 minutes of "rest".

Now then, where were we before I threw a Hissy Fit? Oh yeah, the Globespotter appointment with that unusual drain plug with all of those serious looking pieces that apparently did not seem to matter. I got a PM from Globespotter after our appointment.
"Drove well to Pensacola, smoother . . . "

I drove south into the deeper parts of Florida's luxuriant foliage. Had a dangerous conversation with a Trump supporter at a Panera coffee stop. Her young son was watching almost agog. I thought to be on my very best behavior, my most mild-mannered offers of information. She would have none of it. Literally spitting out scorn for Crooked Hillary. Upon my request for an example that went deeper than just a headline, she told me I was raising my voice to her.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I was just wondering if you could give me an example that I could research."
"What?"
So much for my raised voice, eh?

Made it to here, thank God thank God:

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Spent a deliciously slow day here, taking in the blue sky .. .. .. :

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.. .. .. the birds:

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.. .. .. the frog croaks:

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the:

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Would not tell me if he/she was for Trump or Clinton. I did not press the issue:

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Decided to remove the front carpet and wax the floorboards:

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But this time, I added the critical step of dusting the floorboards with genuine talc talcum powder so the carpet backing will NEVER AGAIN stick to the floor:

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Then, I had to repair the left jalousie window handle. The screw (an interloper from decades past) had let go and that allowed the plastic knob to strip out its splines.

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I drilled the spindle and tapped it:

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Then, because the drill was out and all, I drilled out the right frame rail under the passenger side floorboard and tapped it:

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Used the same seatbelt anchor that held up the left rear bumper back in Los Alamos:

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Adjusted this $10.00 genuine old Volkswagen horn:

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And stuck it on the new bracket under the right floorboard to become the new Stereo Surround Sound Horn Complement.

Pulled the wires off the original horn. The hot black/yellow wire (12 volts any time the ignition is on) went to new relay #30 with a little jumper over to relay #86. Then I ran two red wires from relay #87 to each horn. Finishing the circuit, I installed the original brown wire at the horn to relay #85 and made two local (yellow) grounds from the horns to their respective brackets. As far as the horn button is concerned, life just got a whole lot easier. All it has to switch is a little relay coil.
We have a nice serious slightly sour stereo horn blast now, the better with which to awaken the Zombie Distracted Cell Phone Drivers:

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By now, evening had come upon me, such peace out here:

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Woke up to voices at 6:30AM. Loud rap musician singing about his member. A red laser pointer danced across my rear window and tracked up the ceiling. Then it came around the side of the car and was tracking across me. I pretended to sleep as I clutched my GumOut Eyeball Melt Sauce. Very slurry speech, some laughter, and the smell of smoke. Then I heard car doors slam shut and a car peeled out on the gravel. As I opened the sliding door, I saw smoke curling up at the left side of the car. They had set a paper fire almost under the left rear corner of NaranjaWesty. This beautiful peaceful spot . . . profaned by lost souls in their restless search for amusement.

Took a calm-down walk, removed the cabinet doors and waxed the inside surfaces. Then I re-glued the paneling that had begun to de-laminate ever since Death Valley. In the below photograph, the right side has been waxed so far:

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Hit the road for my Vanagon Mystery appointment in Naples. Was dysphoric with realization that my fear and loathing of the human race had been amplified by the dawn's early visit. Did not know that the evening would bracket the morning . . .
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 Election Season

Post by zabo » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:20 am

trump/snakes/screws/horns/arson/cliffhanger... :study:
60 beetle
78 bus

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Election Season

Post by Globespotter » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:17 pm

Thanks to Colin's discovery of my extra transaxle pieces that apparently are not required to operate the vehicle, my bus now has a name - 'Enigma'

Of course because it is an enigma:

noun, plural enigmas; Chiefly Archaic, enigmata
[uh-nig-muh-tuh] (Show IPA)
1. a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation:

My explanation to Colin was "It's a Volkswagen." That seemed enough for me, although Colin's furrowed brow dictated to me that his logical and technical mind thought otherwise.

Hell, every time I fixed an appliance in my youth I ended up with all kinds of extra screws and things and the machine still ran fine. My logic was that in the good old days they over-engineered things.

Colin didn't mention the Generator light wire that was not connected - that he insisted meant that my battery was not charging. My trip from Toronto to Florida tended to indicate that the battery was charging fine, but Colin connected the wire and made sure the generator light was working. I guess it might have come loose at some point, but I also think that VW's in general (and the Enigma specifically) don't really need all those bells and whistles that the manual says are required :)

Enigma DID drive well all the way back to Canada, the only glitch being my passenger wiper decided to get loose and flop around on the last day.

That's pretty damn good for almost 3000 miles of almost constant driving with a 40 year old vehicle.

That's why I love vintage VW's, and even Colin seemed to see Enigma as a well loved and dependable vehicle.

Thanks for the tips, the education and the camaraderie.

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