Itinerant Air-Cooled Southern California

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Southern California

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:51 pm

My little travelogue abandoned you all with a thoroughly empty interstate highway as I entered the LA metro area. I fortunately had a little time to acclimate to f-r-e-n-e-t-i-c LA by virtue of the fact that my first call was in the Santa Clarita Valley at asiab3's house to work on NY Cynthia's 1968 bus. Camped out across the 14 expressway up in the hills a bit, showed up and was met by NY Cynthia and her Manhattan-based boyfriend. We had coffee and I put'm to work:

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Look at this dashboard! Odometer where you can read it while underway. That is a *green* oil pressure lamp. That is the way all VWs were until 1970. They even have stripes strafing the critical warning lamp real estate. And these were the new Super Big Warning Lights introduced with the new bay window bus. Well, we know that people just did not respond to green, so in 1970, it was changed to red with the word "oil" smack in the middle of it. Anyway, a nostalgic little shock for me:

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We actually wasted a good deal of the day trying to fit the new stock muffler whose width missed by an inch:

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Only much later did I discover that the fresh air style muffler actually did come one inch narrower for early bus engines, and this one waiting for us at asiab3's was one of them. We finished the day by reinstalling the aftermarket EMPI exhaust system. This is the What Was That All About? portrait:

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The next day, Robbie was able to be there and we decided to get into other serious things, like timing, carburetion, brakes and wheel bearings:

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The brakes were acting a bit odd, and we found that the linings had been poorly arc'ed to the drums, so they were overheating in very localized spots. We sanded down the linings and decided to see if we could re-bed them with gentler braking for a while:

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We were acutely aware of the need for cleanliness betwixt brake shoes and wheel bearing grease and drums and spindles, and these guys did a solid job. Robbie did attempt to foist some off-brand grease on our poor pupils, but they held out for the good stuff:

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The good stuff (Valvoline Full Synthetic) had its own little surprise, a big hollowed out ball of pure air in the middle of the can:

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Greg and I preparing for a repack after cleaning the bearings very thoroughly:

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Meanwhile, I didn't even get to work on asiab3's bus with that gorgeous little engine there:

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His distributor cap is more correct than anything I have run on Chloe:

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I really enjoyed working with these guys, and Robbie, I appreciated the new back-up generator and the new pulley which we installed at the very last instant of the end of the second day, now with 1,200 miles on it already. Those youngsters, they drove down to San Diego from Newhall in a convertible bug for a party after this grueling Itinerant Air-Cooled day. I ain't working people hard enough . . .

Elwood appointment I will add to this thread later, but the laptop battery is getting low out here in Wyoming.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Southern California

Post by asiab3 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:57 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:51 pm
Elwood appointment I will add to this thread later, but the laptop battery is getting low out here in Wyoming.
For the readership, a teaser from my point of view…

After a full day's work, I showed up at 7:15pm with a brand new starter and a hungry appetite. There was beer, pizza, more beer, a few Volkswagen buses, and one Mexican Volkswagen Jetta. The work on Elwood commenced early early in the day, but the part I witnessed and contributed to continued on until around 11pm, when Elwood fired up before Colin could release the key after a four-month sit. Damn, does that bus have some stories to tell us. I hope I get to listen more one day.

There was a roasted starter, a fuel line spewing gas, and a bowden tube that elicited this conversation, from Colin and I:
"Is it stuck Robbie?"
"Well, everything is, so, uh, yeah?"
"…The cable, in the bowden tube… Can we move it by hand?"
*hhhhuuuugggghhhh* "No."
"Can you hold it while I push?"
"…Can't push a rope…"
"1-2-3-…" *pop*
"Ok Robbie, feel how the broken bowden tube is now sawing at the cable?"
"Yeah, let's just flip it over and hope it doesn't snag again. The cable only moves an inch or two."
"My god, you ARE brave."

I left around midnight, with a goodbye to some kindred VW spirits, and a reminder that I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Got home at 5am, and took a nap before another eight-hour work day.
Robbie

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1969 bus, "Buddy"
http://theroadtells.com
"I would not do this again on a short time frame, the country is just so vast and beautiful…" - Barb/Elwood

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Southern California

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:47 pm

Elwood (Barb) has not been able to interact here on the forum as much as she would like, because her circumstances thwart her efforts. Computer problem$, internet provider problem$, rent, hot water, health, it all add$ up. I would love to jump in and help her get internetted because I think contact with her fellow VW aficionados can only do a soul good.

We set up an appointment right in-between NY Cynthia and tommu, but I moved the schedule around so I wouldn't have to strafe the Los Angeles freeways with a 48 net hp 1600 going back and forth.

Big mistake. Mr. Confident here was just so sure that he could get our beloved Arctic Circle Elwood running without undo effort, that I scheduled her for my last day in LA, AND I crammed Scott Las Vegas in ahead of the Eclipse Sojourn.

Hello Barb:

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Elwood tried so hard to rouse himself from a winter's sleep, but stopped cold on the second crank. You know why? Because Elwood's starter said so. To the last gasp, this starter tried to keep going. We disassembled it and I loved that Barb was fully up on the operation. She has been around Volkswagens all of her life, she knows "yeah, the solenoid screws will loosen.":

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But Elwood's starter was well and truly done:

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And I am in a jam! I NEED Barb to be mobile before I leave SoCal. Barb needs to be mobile. NAPA up there in the mountains can only get a starter by "tomorrow afternoon". So, I called Interstate Parts where I can't talk with Jim anymore because Interstate Parts is getting all "official" and I have to speak only with a moderator phone voice that doesn't quite get the gravity of the situation.
"We have a used starter. You'll need to give us your core."
"I don't think this qualifies as a 'core' any longer."
"Bring it anyway."
"I'll need a haz-mat bag for this thing."
"Well, you don't know for sure."
"I'm pretty sure."
"We close at 5:30."

It is 4:20. I think I have the luxury of an hour to get there. Did I consult my new online maps program? No. I did not. Had I done so, "50.6 mi. About 1 hour 21 mins" and that is with a modern car on these hairpin curves.

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I drove that poor bus hard down the mountain. Used every inch of roadway, hammered the brakes hard on curve after curve, utilized engine braking up in the 4,000 rpm range, and still, progress was slow:

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Outside of the main drag of Hemet, I still have to get to I-215 up to CA-74 through Manifee, and damn if it isn't already 5:15. There is no way. I call asiab3 who I know is at work until 6:30. I tell him my predicament. The phone drops out. The re-call is "we're sorry, all circuits are busy." Robbie calls back and asks if I need an automatic trans starter or a manual. I am about to snap at him, "this is a SIXTY NINE, a SINGLE PORT, WHAT DO YO . . . . " "the automatic will be self-supporting if you need that." "Oh, yeah, right, um, let's just do a nice little manual, where are you going to get a starter, you are in SAN DIEGO, how can you possibly . . . ?" "Let me call you back." I decide to keep running pell-mell towards Interstate Parts, I need Barb mobile, Elwood must run, poor Chloe, damn it's hot, geeze . . .
Robbie calls me back, "I have a new starter in my hand, see you at about 7:00-7:30."

Can you friggen believe it? I was almost in tears. I drove slowly poorChloepoorChloe back up that winding 4,000 ft climb not one hour after I tore down it.

Robbie sure as heck pulls in with a Jetta FROM SAN DIEGO pretty much on-time and, fortified with pizza and beer from the local pizza shop that was due to close in ten minutes when we arrived, HE installs the starter. Elwood started so quickly that you can only imagine that Elwood is chomping at the bit to drive. After a little clutch cable nonsense and some fuel hose, we drove Elwood for a just-awakened victory lap around Idyllwild. It is a great car, it is the Volkswagen experience, like Neal Ruckman's bus, Bertha, you can sense a dignity beyond us mere "owners."

Sure and then Robbie has to drive home at what, 11:00PM? "gotta work tomorrow". Thank-you, Robbie.

I crashed out here, safely above any ol morning marine layer:

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Way up in the San Jacinto Mountains:

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And here is the trip down the hill into Banning, it is like landing in a plane 5,000 feet down in just a few miles. Can you see the ribbon of I-10 down there?

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Those are the mountains I just came down from as I headed to Las Vegas:

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I drove CA 62 past Joshua Tree up to US-95. Enjoyably hot, too:

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The desert!

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NOW you can follow this post to:

viewtopic.php?f=76&t=13419
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 80,070 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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