Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

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Amskeptic
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Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:51 am

Hi. I suddenly realized that I am very very far away from my selected Eclipse spot, and I have 800 miles to go.

So the asiab3 / NY Cynthia photos/post has to wait.

The Barb/Elwood photos/post has to wait, and boy did Robbie save the day on that one
(that's one Millennial who scares me with his unbelievable can-do effectiveness gonna put me out to pasture)

I did a fast photo dump update on ScottInLasVegas' post, because there it was, he posted, bada-bing-done.

Yesterday, I got so damn stranded outside of Mesquite NV, and had NO idea it was going to be some kind of record hot day.

Started off easily enough. It was lovely majestic quiet let's put on some new hubcaps scored at Wolfsburg West:

BEFORE:

Image


DURING (note that the new hubcaps are too tall between the edge and the inner part that nestles in the wheel thus fit very questionably)

Image


AFTER (note that you can hardly tell a damn thing but that I am substantially poorer now):

Image


Generator brush replacement time! I have already done these several times, I am pretty good at the mirror deal to get the lower screw started into its terminal, not a big deal, right?

Image


Yes, I sanded the commutator with 800 grit, yes I cleaned it, yes, I pushed the brushes back and forth to make sure they slid properly in their holders, and yes, I pushed down on the brushes with a little piece of wood while revving the engine a bit, and no, the generator light would not go out. "WTF?" I asked, and I recall something like, "damn it's hot out here."

As I removed the lower brush for a quick look, the spring bit me in the finger. I pulled the spring smartly to get it past the point of pain, and guess what? The spring sproinked off the post and immediately unraveled. Note: this is the lower brush assembly, the PIA assembly, the Mirror Only assembly, this is so not good.

For the first time in thirty years, I pulled out my John Muir "How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive" manual, because I needed a conversational field-tested personal experience answer and I needed it now.
"Don't hurt that brush spring because you'll have to pull out the damn generator."
AYFS?
"Some lady writes that she wrapped a copper wire around the spring and installed it still in the car."

The spring must be coiled at least 180* tight before you can stick its keyed inner end onto the post. You have to see the generator to understand just how awful this predicament is.

So, I set to work trying to wrap up that hideous little spring with baling wire. Tried and tried. No way.
(noted that I am actually well and truly stranded on the road after maybe six hours of run time before the battery goes flat)
Then I tried to drill a hole with a slot in a hotel room card. The hole had to be exactly small enough to keep the brush spring coiled tightly. The DeWalt drill battery was flat. Used the inverter to charge it a little, keeping in mind that this battery charge is all I got currently.

Wound up the spring with a small screwdriver in the middle and wrapped the brush holding tab around with a visegrip. Spring stayed coiled all the way over to the generator. Damn, it's hot. As I mirror-guided the coiled spring up into the recess of the lower generator, I had to interpret the directions through the mirror. The plastic hole suddenly went all oval because the slot was weakening it too much, and the spring began to unravel.

Multiply this by three attempts and one modification (using two plastic room card hole thingys for strength - ah no).

Began to plan the removal of the generator, understanding full well that even with a generator out on the towel, it is still going to be a horror show to wind up and install this spring. Consult your Bentley for a good representation of the lousy work space. Began to protest deep in my stomach, "I don't WANT TO!"
Sat on the sliding door sill to think hard.

MUST GO NOW, I am LATE for the eclipse, but will update the above visits and what happened here.
Obviously I got back on the road, some eight hours late, but did you know it was 106* out there? Me neither.
Colin

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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wcfvw69
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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by wcfvw69 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:16 pm

I changed that lower brush and spring in my generator with it mounted in my bus. OMG! My head still hurts as it was so awkward to TRY and do things backwards while looking at a small mirror. I got it done but it was a simple slice of hell for sure. I can't imagine doing it where you did with that heat on top of it.

Oh hell no..

BTW, didn't you have the generator out for a bearing a month or two ago? Is that when you noticed the brushes were worn down and probably didn't have a new set on you? If that was the case, I bet you were really hot.
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: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:12 pm

wcfvw69 wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:16 pm
I changed that lower brush and spring in my generator with it mounted in my bus. OMG! My head still hurts as it was so awkward to TRY and do things backwards while looking at a small mirror. I got it done but it was a simple slice of hell for sure. I can't imagine doing it where you did with that heat on top of it.

Oh hell no..

BTW, didn't you have the generator out for a bearing a month or two ago? Is that when you noticed the brushes were worn down and probably didn't have a new set on you? If that was the case, I bet you were really hot.

You HAVE to tell us HOW you got the spring in, you HAVE to.

Replacing brushes is a typical ten minute maintenance procedure for me. I decided to replace them only because I am tracking down some weird "brightening" of the lights that Hambone tells me is voltage regulator. My old brushes still have life in them, this was an experiment to allegedly enhance the commutator/brush experience.

I am in Wyoming. Chloe has knocked out 500 miles today and we are at 6,750 feet or so in the western Rockies. Must drive late into the night because generator brush spring catastrophes have wrecked my schedule to beat the hordes of Eclipse Chasers (mostly Californians it seems). You all go to bed, when you wake up, I will be north of Cheyenne.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by wcfvw69 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:59 am

Amskeptic wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:12 pm
wcfvw69 wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:16 pm
I changed that lower brush and spring in my generator with it mounted in my bus. OMG! My head still hurts as it was so awkward to TRY and do things backwards while looking at a small mirror. I got it done but it was a simple slice of hell for sure. I can't imagine doing it where you did with that heat on top of it.

Oh hell no..

BTW, didn't you have the generator out for a bearing a month or two ago? Is that when you noticed the brushes were worn down and probably didn't have a new set on you? If that was the case, I bet you were really hot.

You HAVE to tell us HOW you got the spring in, you HAVE to.

I remember winding the brush spring up so I could install it but not the exact details of how I did it. As I mentioned, installing it and the brush was horrible and I felt lucky when I got the spring and brush back in place.

I agree, the brush change is doable. It's when you have to change the brush spring that it turns it into a special kind of hell.
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: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by asiab3 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:48 am

Amskeptic wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:12 pm
You HAVE to tell us HOW you got the spring in, you HAVE to.
A few years ago, SGKent and I were talking about "video chat consultations" for helping people with the trickier parts of VW work. I tested our theory on my mom, who had a wonderfully intact belt but a generator light that would not go off… Two hours into it, she sends me a picture of BOTH springs removed from the generator, and I agreed that maybe video chats weren't the best for rookies…

This was my solution.

Image

Note that the fan shroud is raised two inches, and I had a spare generator ready to go if/when we botched it……

Robbie

(Hey Colin, see that shiny spare 38a generator back there? Hope it gets to see the road one day! ;) )
1969 bus, "Buddy."
100k miles with me.
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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:18 am

asiab3 wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:48 am
Hey Colin, see that shiny spare 38a generator back there? Hope it gets to see the road one day! ;)
That generator is on stand-by. My hideously mangled lower brush spring was impaled to my toolbox with a small flat-bladed screwdriver and subjected to a wind-up with a pair of visegrips. When the coils bound, I crushed the spring on the outside circumference with a pair of needle nose visegrips CAREFULLY indexed to have the inside flat exactly vertical and the brush end exactly horizontal. Then I had to negotiate the visegrip/spring into the lower opening of the generator through the belt runs, position the mirror, find the post, get the stupid spring to index with the post even though the visegrips were banging into stuff, and the sweat dropping off my brow was not helping.

The new brush could not be pushed down with this mangled spring, so I put the more-worn of my two original brushes back in so the spring could sort of push it. Can you believe it? Three steps forward, fifty three back. Now we have 800 more miles on this mess, and it is working fine.

Eclipse traffic has been not only dense, but DENSE. My God, there are people who should not have driver's licenses, much less kids, much less an SUV wagging behind their lumbering RV. I moved my viewing spot 120 miles west due to a weather forecast. I will be near Powder Springs pop 412.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by Bleyseng » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:17 am

I cancelled going to Eastern Oregon for the eclipse as it's a 95% one in Seattle. Fight all that traffic, nope.
I changed the brushes by undoing the 4 bolts that hold the generator to the fan, undid the strap, fan belt and rotated the damn thing so the lower brush was accessible. Is this a 38amp gen? I have a spare 30amp one sitting on the shelf.

I finally located a real German gen pulley that had some real problems on the mandrel. I welded some new fill metal and flat filed it (2 hrs) until it was like new and now the Ghia has a proper gen pulley instead of that pos chinese crap one that exploded once already.
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by hippiewannabe » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:17 pm

Bleyseng wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:17 am
I cancelled going to Eastern Oregon for the eclipse as it's a 95% one in Seattle. Fight all that traffic, nope.
Gosh, I hope you see this in time to change your mind. 95% is not 95% of the awesomeness of totality. It is 5%.

You must be in totality to be in darkness and look up and see the corona. You've fought traffic before, and you'll do it again. This is one time it will be worth it.

I drove 700 miles to see this, pray for clear skies!
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is today.

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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:39 pm

hippiewannabe wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:17 pm
You've fought traffic before, and you'll do it again. This is one time it will be worth it.

I drove 700 miles to see this, pray for clear skies!
Dang tootin'

I told Chloe that this is why she exists. Chloe did not mind and trotted 1,184 miles since August 16th to get here, with some real heat in Mesquite Nevada (106*) and some real hills outside of Salt Lake City, good grief, 2nd gear on I-80?

This spot outside of Shoshoni Wyoming is magnificent. I found a place that has no humans or human dwellings in sight, just sky and country. The internet is better here than at any McDonalds in Los Angeles metro.

Where are you, Don?
ColinGlorying
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by hippiewannabe » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:03 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:39 pm
hippiewannabe wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:17 pm
You've fought traffic before, and you'll do it again. This is one time it will be worth it.

I drove 700 miles to see this, pray for clear skies!
Dang tootin'

I told Chloe that this is why she exists. Chloe did not mind and trotted 1,184 miles since August 16th to get here, with some real heat in Mesquite Nevada (106*) and some real hills outside of Salt Lake City, good grief, 2nd gear on I-80?

This spot outside of Shoshoni Wyoming is magnificent. I found a place that has no humans or human dwellings in sight, just sky and country. The internet is better here than at any McDonalds in Los Angeles metro.

Where are you, Don?
ColinGlorying
Wyoming sounds like the perfect spot, but hopefully Columbia, South Carolina works. My niece lives here, and we have a mini family reunion going on. She lives in the outskirts, with reasonably dark skies, so I'm optimistic.
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is today.

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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by BusBassist » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:04 pm

Well, having grown up in Salt Lake City, I can vouch for 2nd gear on I - 80. My dad had a 1970 bus and was a professional drummer playing a lot of gigs at the ski resorts and I would often go with him. It was a cat and mouse game between 2nd and 3rd gears all the way up Parley's Summit on I-80.
Late 73 Bay w/a transplanted 914 Engine.

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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by asiab3 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:19 pm

BusBassist wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:04 pm
Well, having grown up in Salt Lake City, I can vouch for 2nd gear on I - 80. My dad had a 1970 bus and was a professional drummer playing a lot of gigs at the ski resorts and I would often go with him. It was a cat and mouse game between 2nd and 3rd gears all the way up Parley's Summit on I-80.
So you went from one cargo-heavy instrument to another? At least you folks had good cars dedicated to the arts. :) The last time I ever saw my grandpa was at my brother's rock show- I hauled ALL the band's gear plus Grandpa to the show, and he didn't even mention the old '78 or '79 he used to camp in. Luckily we didn't have any mountain passes…

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Excellent first post :pirate:
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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by BusBassist » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:17 am

Glad you were able to have a nice bus history with your Grandpa.

Besides my dad, there were two other musicians in SLC who had buses. They were great musicians and very cool characters: one played bass and the other drums. In the mid 1980's my brother (who is also a drummer) bought a 1975 bus and he and I drove all over Utah playing gigs - and yes, we did climb up the ski resort canyons many times in 2nd gear.

Last week I drove my bus to the shipping depot to retrieve my bass in its trunk from being shipped from an out of town gig in Wisconsin. Am very glad to say that the trunk slides right across the back and middle seats.

And to keep the drums/bass/bus habits of my SLC roots, I also have hauled drums in my bus -
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Re: Quick Little Update Of Yesterday

Post by Bleyseng » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:00 am

hippiewannabe wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:17 pm
Bleyseng wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:17 am
I cancelled going to Eastern Oregon for the eclipse as it's a 95% one in Seattle. Fight all that traffic, nope.
Gosh, I hope you see this in time to change your mind. 95% is not 95% of the awesomeness of totality. It is 5%.

You must be in totality to be in darkness and look up and see the corona. You've fought traffic before, and you'll do it again. This is one time it will be worth it.

I drove 700 miles to see this, pray for clear skies!
Nope, threw my back out moving the floor sander out of truck. I still spent all day sanding the new addition's Tatajuba hardwood flooring before crashing on the floor with back pain. We moved into the new room and the wife is soo happy now. We'll walk up to Seattle highest point and look at the 95% which is good enough for me.
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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