Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Update on Little Blue...

I picked up Little Blue from Paul last Friday at noon. When I drove home, I noticed a certain lack of wanting to roll while stopped - as if something was hanging up in the wheels somewhere. When I got home, a quick check of the wheels lead to the discovery that my front, passenger side wheel was extremely hot to the touch compared to the others. I assume the problem is there. On Sunday night, I jacked up the front end using my newly purchased floor jack (soooo much better than the small bottle jacks I've been working with) and took both front wheels off (which you can do at the same time as the front end is so light). Spinning the hubs didn't really tell me anything, but when I took the hub cab off that front, p-side wheel, a bunch of black filth fell out. Again, I think that wheel is the issue.

Finding nothing obvious (Paul said he checked the front brakes and they were fine), and parked a little in front of my neighbor's garage, I put the wheels back on. I took it for a short spin and there didn't seem to be any resistance anymore. I have parked Little Blue since and, this weekend, will do a more exhaustive search for the problem and see if it still exists.

I made an appointment at a place called, The Garage, in Petaluma for next Tuesday, should I need expert advice. I am skipping out on Paul for 2 reasons: The first is that this place is right down the street, minimizing any damage vs the 20+ mile drive to Paul's. The second reason is I really, really want to see what VWs they are working on at The Garage, as they always have quite a collection in front of their place and I've noticed most VWs around town have "The Garage" license plate frames. Got to check out the local VW scene...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cool vintage VW pics from flickr

Monday, July 28, 2008

Another random bus in Sausalito...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Interesting commentary on bus prices...

from SF craigslist...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Big Blue Self-Portrait #2

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bus for sale just down the road...

I went and looked at it from afar. Tempting...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Holy crap! That's Rell!

I was driving Big Blue through Sausalito a few hours ago and saw a nice bus parked on the south side of town. I looked a little closer and I was shocked to see our old friend Rell (from Vintage Surfari) - the VW that started it all! Rell is in Sausalito all the way up from Orange County!

I turned around and snapped a few pictures with my crappy cell phone. I missed the chance to get a picture of Rell and Big Blue together. It was good to see Rell still out on the road and making it so far north! Good to see you Rell!

Little Blue's Owner's Manual

This is Little Blue's original owner's manual, found in the driver's side door pocket. It was stuck shut with mold. I was able to pull apart some of the pages, but it's pretty much toast...

A random Sausalito Bus

I came across this bus parked down the street from work last week. An Adventurewagon, I believe. I always liked that they have space on top to store your spare tire. This one was a little tired, but I like that it was a deluxe model at one point (evident by the chrome on each side and around the air vent in front, and the extra pads on the bumpers).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Little Blue Update

This is not Little Blue.

Little Blue's issue seems to not have been the carburetor, but the accelerator pedal. The linkage on the side was worn down and therefore out of alignment. Paul has worked it out! Also, he changed the points and condenser and will be upgrading the rear brakes from Brazilian parts to German on Thursday (while changing the original brake lines from 1963!).

We should get Little Blue back on Friday, ready to rock!

Cool VW bug posters

Found at this site:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Little Blue - carb update

Google's street view of Paul's shop.

After work today, I brought Little Blue to Paul's (Valley Wagonworks in San Rafael). I rigged up the carburetor with rubber bands placed on the back of the linkage to provide resistance to the gas pedal. With this rig, I was able to make it the 10 or so miles up the highway to Paul's without too much trouble - although my top speed was about 45 on the 101 north (followed a good amount of that time by a bright orange vanagon! They are always there when you need them).

Paul immediately went to work on it and was concentrating on the actual gas pedal. He was heading to his buddy's place next door to weld something on the linkage when I left. I felt bad about waving the white flag on this, but always appreciate having Paul on my side.

I'll update the blog tomorrow when I hear what Paul has found.

Little Blue's Commute: Monday afternoon update

Little Blue sleeping out in front of work.

This morning, I took Little Blue out on her first commute, which she didn't like very much (I still feel odd about referring it her as a "her"). I have 2 standing problems now:

1) After all that work adjusting the carb this weekend, and getting it running nice, today she doesn't want to idle at all. She dies at every light. This wouldn't be a problem except...

2) The accelerator cable is still sticking all the way in when I give her gas beyond a certain point. I had to reach down a few times on my way to work and pull the pedal back with my hand as the engine is racing...

I also noticed a bit of fuel coming out of the bolt that the cable hinges on. That may be the entire issue right there. Perhaps I didn't install the carb correctly or the carb is bunk. Either way, it's really a dance of sorts to drive it right now.

So basically, I have problems at the low end (idle) and high end (sticking pedal). But, while doing 35 up a hill, she runs like a dream...

I checked The Samba for advice and even went out at lunch to try to at least get some idle going. Failing, I have decided to throw in the towel and take her to Paul to work on. I won't have another chance to work on her until August 9th, so I'm handing it off. I'll drive her to Paul's tonight were EP will meet me. I told her I'd be the one either stalled at the end of the block or doing 90 past the shop.

Back to commuting in Big Blue in the morning.

While there, I'm having Paul go over all the basics; valve adjustment, points, oil change, check brakes, etc. My hope is when she comes out the other side, no other work (aside from some new rubber on the doors and figuring out why I have no driver's side low beam) will need to be done.

Video of picking up the 1963 VW bug

Seems hard to believe we've had Little Blue for month. After driving it home, it pretty much sat waiting on a rebuilt carburetor. Here is some video from the weekend we picked it up (see original pictures about the trip here)...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend work

I don't have any pictures, as Elizabeth went to visit an old friend and took the camera for the weekend. But, work was done. I picked up the rebuild carb for the'63 bug from Bryan at Viking Auto in Novato on Saturday. After a eating a rather large burrito next door to Viking, I headed home, backed the bug into our garage and got to work. I took it as a chance to switch the fuel line and filter I did a few weeks ago, since I picked up some metric German hose from Viking. My friend, Peter, stopped by and hung out while I finished up, and then helped me push it back out for a test start.

Peter started the bug while I stood guard at the rear with a fire extinguisher. It started right up but was rough. Good news was there appears to be no fuel leaking. I didn't know how to adjust the fuel/air mixture, and it was obviously running rich and sounded bad. I figured we'd back it into the garage and later in the weekend, I'd get a chance to tune it.

That's when a neighbor walked over. I've seen him out there numerous times working on his BMW bikes. He introduced himself, Mike, and said he used to race VWs back in the day. He took my flathead screwdriver and, within about 2 minutes, had the carb adjusted and the VW sounded great (I had also failed to remember to plug the vacuum tube, which made it run a little rough as well). I was glad to meet Mike and will make an effort to swing by his garage from time to time to say hi. He seems to know his stuff and, well, I don't.

After that, we did a bit of a shakedown. Took it out for a ride and stopped and filled the tires with air as they were low. There was one start up where the gas pedal stuck down sending the RPMs sky high before we (actually Peter) turned the key off. We checked it out and could find nothing that it would stick on. It did it about 2 more times in our shakedown. Once home, Peter took off and I called it a day.

On Sunday, I decided to concentrate on a few of the small things on the '63. First, I oiled the gas pedal linkage really well, but figured if it was sticking, it had to be due to the linkage at the carb. I played with it for a while and thought I had it. Then I took it down the street to wash it and vacuum the insides - something I hadn't done since we bought it. I know it has a low-end paint job, but I'm surprised how nice it looks all shined up. The insides looked nice cleaned up and I took the opportunity to throw the after market floor mats in the trash.

Little Blue has only one headlight when on low beam, so I took off to NAPA and was lucky enough to find that they had 1 in stock. back home, I swapped the headlight, tested it, and still there is no low beam. I'll check the fuses later this week. Also, I replaced the passenger side windshield wiper which, for some reason, was in the trunk when I bought the car.

I took it back out on about a 20-minute ride in the farm land to the west of us, hitting Marin County and then turning around. Once on the ride back, the pedal stuck down again (I am getting good at clutching and reaching down quickly to pull the pedal back). I got it back home and gave the engine a chance to cool before working on it more.

Later, I went to work on the accelerator cable at the carb again. I think the spring was getting caught up, and worked on getting everything aligned and moving correctly. I didn't take it out for a spin after that, but tested it every way I could and it never stuck again. I'm going to take it to work tomorrow, so I'll see if it does it then.

Sadly, Big Blue sat there all weekend watching the goings-ons. I tried to get to the woodwork for Big Blue's doors, but walked back into the garage and the end of the day today to get started and ended up cleaning the garage for a few hours. I am ordering some needed parts for Big Blue (heater boxes, heater tubes) and plan on having a Big Blue weekend soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

VW wasteland in Colorado

This picture came in from my brother. Taken near Nederland, CO, this VW wasteland looks as if it may be a part picking place to keep other's alive. At any rate, it's an interesting sight...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

VWs of Michigan

We spent the 4th weekend in northern Michigan and, for an area that loves cars, there were very few VWs around. Here are some we saw:

Near South Haven, Michigan.

In Northport, Michigan.

The bug below was a '67 and was for sale. I was shocked at how clean it was (indicating that it may be new to the Great Lakes region, as they use salt on the roads in winters). For $5595, it seemed really over-priced.

My dad checking it out. Note: Michigan only requires a rear plate.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Paul and Valley Wagonworks

I haven't been in to see Paul at Valley Wagonworks in San Rafael since I dropped off some beer that features a Split Window VW Bus on the front, but I wanted to get this posted. First things first, Paul is a hippie. He makes no effort to hide the fact. He is laid back, willing to take a break and talk to you and may offer you parts for free if you are into it. His shop is a shrine to VWs and the Grateful Dead. His office is decorated with pictures of his family and travels - all featuring VWs in the pictures.

After calling Paul a few times and working out that I could drop the not-running Big Blue off at his place, I trailered Blue up to his shop on a Sunday when he was closed. I found a spot in front of his shop and was ready to drop it off the trailer when he walked out. It was the first time I had seen him but he was instantly a friend. He got the engine fired up (proclaiming, "It's a good day to die" as he crawled under the bus as it sat on the trailer) and even hopped in to drive it off the trailer for me. He parked it in a red zone, but told me not to worry, that it was "his" red zone - that he had painted it there to be able to park his buses there.

Paul worked on Big Blue for the next 3 weeks, getting it going and getting it safe. I think he would have worked on it for a few months had we not asked for it back. Since then, Blue and I stop by every once in a while. Sometimes when we need things and sometimes just to say hello. The great thing about Paul is he's happy to see you either way.

Paul's shop is always full of some interesting VWs or Porsches. He'll work on water cooled, and some of the guys I know who drive water cooled VWs swear by Paul. I know a bunch of air cooled guys who consider him a friend, not just a mechanic. You can count me in that group.

Here are some pictures from his shop:

  © Blogger template por Emporium Digital 2008

Voltar para o TOPO