Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:52 am

Middle of the winter here, I am like a fat lazy house cat padding to the coffee maker in the morning, a brief saunter through the neighborhood, and suddenly an Itinerant Air-Cooled Appointment scheduled in Miami. Fat lazy house cat had to suddenly wake-up to not only a three day marathon of intense mechanical involvement but an unexpected summer heat wave. 83* and sunny sunny sunny, I tell ya, it was rough, man.

Drove I-10 eastbound to I-75 south then cut over on FL 192 because I clearly forgot what a traffic light scrum that road is through Kissimmee's Winter Playground of garish entreaties to amuse yourself at water parks and miniature golf, then took I-95 on down to Miami. Got barely 15-16 mpg and had some 425* CHTs, but this hoss was rarin' to go, so we broke out in a canter for about 765 miles . . . :

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Miami of course said "hello! we have been waiting for you! Here's a traffic jam!" Unlike December's visit, the car did not play games with me on US 1 in evening traffic. Camped down below the city in Manny's Palm Tree Nursery and enjoyed the warm humid air and late night breezes and hideously twittering exhaust system.

Next morning, I showed up here:

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Now that is a proud gaggle of Westies flocked at Jivermo's Bus Emporium. Coffee! News! An outline of the visit's goals. We are here to make sure that the Westy in the middle can make it to Alaska. Alaska? Yes, Alaska:

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This bus has to get to Alaska so that its owners can get married up there. No pressure. Noooo pressure. Exoticdvm and I had put in a new front main seal and JB Welded the gallery plugs just a year ago and noted "orange RTV around one of the gallery plugs". Well, we had an oil leak slowly develop over the past year. This continuing oil leak was of grave concern for love birds who want to drive across the country and beyond to tie the knot. I was tied in knots already.

Meanwhile, everybody was put to work. Eliana painted bumpers while Jivermo removed the exhaust and exoticdvm removed front wheels:

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Then, exoticdvm sanded brake rotors while Jivermo worked paint recipes and Eliana prepped exhaust parts:

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We did a bearing repack that turned into a full front wheel bearing replacement, because the professional shop that did the last bearing repack over-tightened the r/s bearings and toasted the outboard bearing and race:

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Exoticdvm ponders the predicament:

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Jivermo and I amassed all of our failed Permatex caps. I think that they are doing this to ruin product prematurely. I have already contacted Permatex and threw a pretty good fit only to hear "no, we sure haven't had any complaints.":

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Did I mention that we removed the engine and replaced last year's Victor Reinz seal with a GoWesty Sabo seal, cleaned the flywheel and pressure plate, re-torqued the head nuts and exhaust nuts, replaced the push rod tube seals, re-seated a rocker stand stud, adjusted the valves, replaced the fuel injection hoses and filter, replaced the fuel sender unit with a new improved-but-equally-terrible-judge-of-fuel -level sender, painted the exhaust crossover pipe, rehung the muffler, changed out the transaxle oil to see if any more chunks of transaxle parts were shedding, lubricated the front suspension, and did several "trouble-shooting" sabotages to see how exoticdvm would figure out what was wrong, and take a test drive to see if the engine was holding its oil? Yeah, we did that:

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Do I think the car will make it to Alaska and back? Yes, I do. Exoticdvm is a calm driver and shows the sort of mechanical sensitivity that air-cooled Volkswagens appreciate:

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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whc03grady
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by whc03grady » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:18 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:52 am
Do I think the car will make it to Alaska and back? Yes, I do. Exoticdvm is a calm driver and shows the sort of mechanical sensitivity that air-cooled Volkswagens appreciate.
Plus, they've done it before!
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 Miami Meander

Post by Jivermo » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:16 pm

Yeah...we did a load of work, that is for certain. Colin poured himself in to this endeavor, and we all prospered. The man was all about, squeezing so much out of the day that I felt we were dragging the bus back through the years, renewing so much of her (Valentina), that I felt she began sensing the closeness of 1978, and thought that was a pretty good idea. 8 solid, working hands pitched in to this project, for three solid days, and the amount of work done was pretty staggering. At one point, Colin said to me, “Remind me, never to start the Itinerary with a three day stop, never, ever, again.” Nah, I’m not gonna remind him. It was a lotta fun. I’m looking all over the place now, wondering what tool he left behind.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by exoticdvm » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:43 am

Great recap and what an awesome and super-productive 3-day work session. Huge thanks to Amskeptic and Jivermo for putting in their 110% to help get this Bus from Florida to Alaska and back! We could not have done it without these guys. We're wrapping up the final minor tasks to get on the road in ~1 week. Alaska or Bust! For those who like following VW road adventures, follow along with us on our journey via Instagram/Facebook @birdingbybus

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wcfvw69
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by wcfvw69 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:02 am

Go big or go home, eh? Miami to Alaska in a 50 year old VW. LOVE IT.

It would be cool if they started a road trip thread for all of us 8-5ers to enjoy.
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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sped372
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by sped372 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:42 am

Added you on IG - wishing you the best of luck. When (about) do you expect to be coming through Wisconsin? Might have a driveway spot for you! Feel free to PM.
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

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Bleyseng
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by Bleyseng » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:42 am

And they have heat this time!
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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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:23 pm

Jivermo wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:16 pm
Yeah... I’m looking all over the place now, wondering what tool he left behind.
Heck, I cudda tole you . . .
. . . a 10mm SK combination wrench. The very same one I left at whc03grady's house.
ColinDoesItNotGetBetter?ThisForgetfulness?
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by bus71 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:41 pm

No it doesn't get better. Stop by and I'll loan you my cane for maximum impact on calls!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:06 pm

I left Miami breathing in the good air and swallowing easily all the way up Route 1 to the Great Escapeway, Florida 826 to Interstate 75 to get into my very own Bigly Swamp, the Big Cypress Swamp far from Washington DC.
It was warm, it was clear, it was even starry once I got free of Miami's light pollution. NaranjaWesty had not pulled any stunts on me, I was grateful as we motored across the nightscape looking for panther eyes. 65 mph, 400* CHTs, tires losing their balance by the mile, and an odd twittering at the toll booth.

Turns out the twittering was due to a minor bump to the exhaust system that had occurred when backing out of the driveway in Pensacola a week prior. Who could have known that such a minor little bump had actually snapped each of the exhaust brackets, each and every one? See the hillside across the street? Imagine backing across and tapping that hillside just a baby tap on the tailpipe and muffler on February 12th:

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Well, here is but one shot of the wanton wreckage unbeknownst to me until a twitter attack in Miami the night before showing up at the Jivermo Hospital For Wayward Westies:

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I realized that this was actually a serious situation. Waay back in February of 2016, I had gone to the Weisswurst Guinea Hen N Japanese Rooster Rodeo and taken apart the exhaust system to paint it or something. And while I was there, I dremeled off all the bolt heads on a couple of flanges that subsequently refused to come apart. With great persistence and dogged determination for which I am rightly famous, I gave up trying. Look at the left side of the photograph:

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All painted up, you can see the headless now-stud with just a little rust-through to show that there is some sort of action here at the flange:

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I have driven this car some 25,000 miles with no bolts holding one of the the U flanges together, and a couple of others missing at least one if not two.
"Aye, but I do have my brackets all holding this exhaust system together," I said to myself with all of the confidence of anyone who has never confronted this sort of situation before.
"It'll be FINE . . . maybe."

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The twittering was because the entire exhaust system was hanging by cylinder head studs alone. The manifolds, the U tubes, the exchangers, the crossover pipe and the muffler, all hanging on the cylinder head studs (including my two new Bigsert Timeserts just installed). Without brackets, my headless flanges were at grave risk of separating.

Thus, I repaired to the Weisswurst Billygoat Bigrooster Biggerpig SameAsEverChicken Ranch for repairs:

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I spied a Mercedes. A diesel Mercedes saloon that befits a fine country spread such as this. Got halfway around the property when the front right brake just seized up on us. After some jockeying, we managed to get the car turned around, because it is easier to drag a locked front wheel backwards than shove a locked front wheel forwards, everybody knows that . . . but do they know you can't SEE out a rear window that hasn't been cleaned since 1982 as you hurtle backwards through someone else's FRONT YARD?:

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The sand underneath all of Florida reclaimed the poor diesel Mercedes directly in front of the house:

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So we called the local tow outfit, you know, the guy with a Bigass Ford 350 Duramax Billion Liter Diesel With Real Remote-Control Winch:

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Man this guy arrived in a minute and hooked us up in a jiffy:

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Anything else I can cause trouble with, hey, here's one:

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In fact, other than driving around in a diesel Mercedes, I did nothing but play with a propane water heater and drink beer. Then we all went to bed around 12:36:15AM. I camped under the upside Big Dipper at the east end of the property.
Woke up to see the tow outfit guy from the evening before coming towards me with a friggen pot of coffee!
The Yelp review is going to be fantastic:

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Brushed my teeth and shaved and prettied up NaranjaWesty and looked at the lovely landscape and had a cup of hot (!) coffee:

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Then I drove to the Exhaust Repair Shop, noting that I really had no idea why the chicken crossed the road:

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Spotted the local farmer feeding his chickens, he looked a lot like the tow guy:

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Look at what else was at the repair facility . . .

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You can see the rust tracks from the twittering fresh air pipe-to-heat exchanger, and our new hose clamp-come-band strap:

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I meant to say "Alternator Bracket Still Intact"

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Just a note, I like to keep the muffler clamp bolt from ever bottoming out in the crossover, helps prevent seizure-induced breakage. Use anti-seize on these threads if no other ever:

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Had to make a new new bracket for the left side exchanger-to-fan housing.
The old new bracket was made December 17, 2015 in a parking lot, remember? :

Original VW Bracket broken:

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December 17, 2015 New Bracket:

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New 2018 Super Hillside Duty Bracket, fashioned by sticking it in the garage door track and bending it:

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I enjoy the Weisswurst visits always. Such a smart bunch, all of them. I got to drive a diesel Range Rover all the way down to the other house and back. There is no more precise shift than with a shifter that moves the shift forks directly under the shifter. Bid the biddies and the people goodbye and drove all the way from Homosassa Springs to Interstate 10 on US 19. Beautiful road in the spring sunshine with flowering shrubs and green sprouts on some of the trees:

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... and booked back to Pensacola on I-10 at Cruising Speed because I had to (totally twitter-free):

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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wcfvw69
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by wcfvw69 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:34 pm

Colin,

I appreciate that you take the time to do these posts with excellent photos and descriptions of the work. Nothing is better than watching someone else do a repair correctly on their beloved VW.

I'm looking forward to the start of your 2018 Itinerary and the write ups to come.
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 Miami Meander

Post by Jivermo » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:54 am

Great write up, and fun to read. Jeff’s chicken ranch and car emporium is like a welcome way station on the old Stagecoach Trail, such a great stop to pull in, water the horses, refresh and repair. I gotta get up there and visit that guy, and tilt some beers back.

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sped372
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by sped372 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:24 am

Thanks for the post, this was vintage IAC material.
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

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weisswurst
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by weisswurst » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:35 am

Jivermo wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:54 am
Great write up, and fun to read. Jeff’s chicken ranch and car emporium is like a welcome way station on the old Stagecoach Trail, such a great stop to pull in, water the horses, refresh and repair. I gotta get up there and visit that guy, and tilt some beers back.
Please do Jivermo, we have just installed RV 30amp electrical with a bus campsite next to the pole barn with new enclosed shower/bathroom house on the side of it. (we are turning the area into our little campground for visitors). Hey Colin we got the propane water heater finally lit too!
I am working on turning the rest of the covered and concreted area into my little biergarten too! :cheers:
The nearby springs are nice this time of year since the water is 72degrees year round and are nice for a kayak/canoe day trip.
This offer is open to all the nice forum folk we have here!
-Jeff
"I drink, therefore yes ma'am..."

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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Miami Meander

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:51 am

weisswurst wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:35 am
Hey Colin we got the propane water heater finally lit too!
I am working on turning the rest of the covered and concreted area into my little biergarten too! :cheers:
-Jeff
Well? What on Earth was the problem? (copy/paste this X to the appropriate answer)

( ) not very flammable propane in the bottle
( ) hideous drafts rocketing across the floor
( ) poorly indexed self-starter electrode
( ) totally defective Eaton gas valve
( ) your appliance guy here is a moron

If I ever should get the Lincoln all the way down there, do we call it a biergarten or a HellYeahWeCanFitTheBarbecueInTheBootTailgateParty?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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