"[E]scape via a bus is far less expensive and more promising in terms of birds and bees than being encumbered with a bucket-seated, thirsty-engine GTO or Scat-Pack Dodge. Admittedly, however, flower symbols and curtained windows seem to attract the police as readily as racing stripes."
- Road Test magazine
"The Volkswagen Station Wagon came out best in terms of size, finish, quality and ease of handling," the magazine said. "But, for sheer load space, the VW couldn't hope to match the Ford, Dodge or Chevy Vans. VW was also at a distinct power disadvantage, with an engine less than one-third the size of the optional V-8s available in the Detroit-made vans. For everyday driving, though, our staff still preferred the VW van over the rest of the group."
- Motor Trend magazine
"More a way of life than just another car, the VW bus, when completely equipped with the ingenious German-made Kamper kit, can open up new vistas of freedom (or escape) from a humdrum life."
- Motor Trend magazine
Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
VW buses are for hippies! Hippie buses! And they are dangerous!
I was trying to think about the first time I was interested in a VW bus, although I'm sure I called it a van back then. I think RELL was the first bus I was ever in. Growing up, my parents were pickup truck people and left camping to the boy scout trips.
Odd that I don't recall ever seeing one enter my life as a kid. Perhaps this has more to do with my parents' 80s republican leanings than the Michigan winters.
In college, VW buses were strictly for the deadheads. These people shopped at a head shop downtown East Lansing called In-flight, a place that specialized in Dead clothing, frisbee golf and the trading of "bootleg" tapes, although you couldn't refer to them in the store that way. They had dreads and wore tie-died t-shirts and played hacky sack and they never talked to me. Except Tommy, a forced roommate one summer who was about as deadhead as you could get. It shocked me a few years later to run into him clean cut and may have shattered the notion that being a deadhead wasn't just a "stage".
The hippie style was never much of a culture that I was attracted to, although I did have a tie-dye and did have some Dead CDs. Being a person who camped at that time, I was drawn to classic 4 wheel drive vehicles like my 1971 Toyota Landcruiser and, later, Jeeps - my parents still has the '85 CJ7 that I drove for a while although it is losing the battle against rust. And a 1986 Grand Wagoneer I had sold to... a dread-headed deadhead with a tie-dye t-shirt.
Somewhere in my life, the roadtrip became the defining way of travel for me. Chugging along at 55 mph is nothing new having taken to those old 4x4s. And Michigan was ripe for roadtrips back when gas was $1 a gallon. My highschool friends and I headed all over Michigan one summer having created a Putt-Putt golf tournament/league. We would travel for hours for a relatively bad course, as getting there and getting into trouble was more the goal than winning the tournament.
The next great adventure came when I made fishing my life. It was inspired by my friend Crazy Al, who seems so zen-like about life, that it is hard not to be drawn into his singular vision of catching fish equaling happiness. I believe he has a hat that says as much. For the next several years we would drive cross-state to meet a dams, landings, docks and ponds to fly, ice and topwater together. All of this time on the water meant many miles of pavement.
Awhile after college and in need of a car, I had a opportunity to purchase a bus from an old girlfriend's dad, but scoffed at the price. The last time I had seen it the top had popped up from the wind and the bus was open to the elements. I can't recall the details of the bus or the price, but it seemed too high at the time.
And then came vintage trailers. I was drawn to Airstreams, but quickly moved on to Shastas or old Spartans - never owning any but drooling over ones in horrible condition on the internet. My only venture into that realm was a ill-fated trailer bought in Indiana for $150. I trailered it back to Chicago with the intention of fixing it up, but never did and eventually gave it away. My real trailer experience came from a visit to the Shady Dell in Bisbee Arizona. Elizabeth and I rented the Airstream, because you should, but really, I was drawn to the Spartans and oddball ones they have there. Staying in the Airstream, fueled both Elizabeth's and my interest in a trailer. It seemed that Elizabeth caught the bug as much as I had, having her own dormant roadtrip addictions.
Living in Northern California and camping at least twice a month, talk moved from trailers to RVs and then, eventually, somewhere in between: a VW bus. As someone said recently, the VW bus is the backpacker of the RV world.
It was around here that we took the trip in RELL, a 1973 Bus that you can rent south of LA. Before RELL, I'm not sure I understood the whole camper interior-thing. I just knew "those people" in college slept in them and camped in them and hit the road in them. And that, while roadtrip has been engrained into my blood, the vehicle had not. After RELL, it clicked for both of us. The perfect camping mobile.
I'll admit a few things here: The hippies were right about a lot more than mainstream America cares to admit. Those deadheads in college were onto something. There is something cultural about the VW more than other cars. Car & Driver magazine called the VW bus the ultimate "negative status symbol... [p]lain as a brick, simple as a lawnmower, slow as glue, cheap to buy, cheap to run, and cheap to fix." Some people question the power of the VW. I would offer that no car in the world has had more power.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Welcome to 40 years of hard work and well-taken notes. Most of these came from Monty's notebook (image above). The early records were from the owner's manual and some were from random receipts found in the glovebox.
Here's Big Blue's mile by mile history:
- 6 (7/12/68) - Delivery inspection at Humphrey Motors
- 381 (7/18/68) - Engine oil and transmission fluid changed, dealer inspection
- 2936 (8/6/68) - Oil Change at dealership
- 6124 (10/3/68) - Lub and service at dealership
- 9272 (12/11/68) - Oil Change at dealership
- 12070 (2/4/69) - Lub and service at dealership
- 15716 (4/10/69) - Oil change at dealership
- 18070 (6/2/69) - Lub and service at dealership
- 20743 (8/5/69) - Oil change at dealership (Humphrey Motors)
- 25261 (2/4/70) - Oil change at dealership (Wes Behel Motors)
- 35674 (9/2/70) - repack front wheel bearings / oil and transmisson fluid change at dealership (Wes Behel)
- 57000 (8/27/71) - packed front wheel bearings
- 59815 (9/14/71) - Adj points and changed oil
- 63075 (10/22/71) - Adj valves, points, plugs
- 64000 (11/16/71) - changed transmisson oil
- 67200 (12/16/71) - Adjusted valves, points, timing, changed oil, valve cover, gaskets
- 70192 (1/25/72) - Adj valves, pts, replaced fan belt, new shocks, adj brakes
- 72614 (2/17/72) - Adj valves, new points & condenser, new plugs, changed oil - Burned exhust valve on #1. Pulled Engine and replaced all exhust valves, replace one cylinder & piston (not domed type) had crankcase bored & aligned, heads surfaced (to fix cond. created by heads being loose)
- 72642 (3/1/72) - Engine back in - fresh oil.
- 72960 (3/8/72) - Adj valves, change oil, checked transmisson oil (O.K.)
- 90727 (3/31/73) although he marks as 72) - New clutch-disc, pressure plate, throw out bearing. All studs, adj plugs, pts, timing, changed oil, gaskets, filter, air cleaner OK, installed gas filter, changed clutch return spring, instaled tachomter
- 91523 - Lubed front end. Filled steering box
- 93750 (7/21/73) - Adj valves, pts, filled transmission case, set timing, rep plugs w/ 175T
- 95600 (8/19/73) - Adj valves, gaped plugs, cleaned air cleaner, rep oil filter, cleaned screen & took out mag drain plug (mag have been blocking oil pump pickup)
- 96374 (8/26/73) - Adj valves, points, adj auto choke, adj timing. Engine runs 15-20 degrees cooler w/o magnetic drain plug removed at last tune up!
- 96441 (8/28/73) - Put shins on #3 & #4 head, adj valves, set timing
- 97806 (10/20/73) - Changed oil, filter, adj valves, new points & cond. Cleaned plugs, set timing
- 98037 (11/14/73) - Engine back in - 2 new heads, case inserts on left side valves adjusted, R&R pistons & Barrels, installed new rear main seal, new generator (almost new)
- 98365 (11/27/73) - Adj valves (changed oil filter, changed screen, pts okay, changed transmisson oil, cleaned and gapped plugs
- 98550 (12/19/73) - New generator & not so new regulator installed. Seems to have fixed problem. temp steady at 210 F
- 99157 (1/5/74) - Adj valves
- 100,000 miles - Jan/Feb 1974
- 100240 - Adj Valves, pts & timing. Changed oil, cleaned screen, changed filter. Clutch ok. New Plugs.
- 103965 (8/17/74) - Adj valves, gapped points, timed it
- 102255 (6/22/74) - :ubed front end, checked brake linings, new valve cover gaskets, adj valves, gapped plugs, timed it, checked transmission fluid (ok) changed oil, filter, gaskets, checked air cleaner
- 105450 (10/16/74) - Lubed front end, replaced front bearings (rep seals and brakes ok), removed and repacked CV joints & rear wheel bearings. New velvet touch lining & drum. New Battery ($47.00).
- 105939 (11/23/74) - Transmisson fluid ok, adj valves, changes oil, filter, gaskets
- 107765 (1/15/75) - Adj valves, cleaned and apped plugs, new pts, new condenser, new cap & rotor, changed oil, gaskets, filter
- 109836 (3/29/75) - Adj valves, transmisson fluid ok, new plugs, gapped pts, timed it, new shocks, lubed front end, adjusted brakes
- 110000 (4/14/75) - 4 new tires ($120.00) Last rear tires lasted approx 32000, Last front tires lasted approx 24000)
- 110740 (5/29/75) New clutch cable
- 111262 (6/29/75) - valves: All now reset to .005., new vavle covers, gaskets, oil change, filter, gasket, cleaned air cleaner, adj points & timing, tightened shocks
- 112652 (8/16/75) - Adjusted valves
- 114136 (9/11/75) - points okay - adjusted timing
- 116380 (11/6/75) - New Bosch regulator ($13), Fixed dim light problem
- 118392 (1/11/76) - Generator bad (bad pulley) - removed engine to fix this and have #1 & 2 side fitted w/ case inserts (1 lower stud stripped), new rings, new (nearly) piston & Cyl, heads surfaced, valves capped, new muffler. temp now consistant at 210-215 @ 55mph
- 118525 (2/14/76) - Changes oil filter (not gaskets), lubed front end. Tightened shocks
- 119015 (2/19/76) - Adj valves
- 120494 (3/21/76) - Adj valves, points, timing
- 120634 (3/26/76) - Enlarged main jet (x116 which was already approx 120) to 125 to try to lower operating temps. (Temp constant at 210-215 @ 55mph level & through hills on Eureka trip, 3/27 - 3/31)
- 123913 (5/20/76) - Adj valves, new valve cover gaskets, adj gap timing, changed oil, filter, gaskets, new screen, changed oil in air cleaner
- 124900 (6/22/76) - Crack in crankcase: replaces with 1971 case, new pistons & Cylinders, larger oil pump, new camshaft & bearings, including mains, heads surfaced & valve job, 1971 cooling
- 124900 (6/28/76) - New Holley carb & extractor, muffler (815.00 job) New mech adv distributor, greased CV joints, lubed front end
- 125081 - NEW ENGINE
- 125217 (7/7/76) - Adj valves
- 125730 (7/29/76) - Adj valves
- 126990 (8/31/76) - changed oil, filter, gaskets
- 127650 (9/22/76) - adj valves to .006
- xxxxxx (10/24/76) - New left rear tire
- 128476 (10/11/76) - tested compression - 1/175 2/160 3/170 4/170
- 130180 (11/10/76) - New generator - 30 amp ($45), new regulator (38 amp $15), new clutch cable
- 130480 (1/5/77) - Adj valves. Changed oil, filter, gaskets, adj points, timing
- 131132 (1/23/77) - Changed transmission fluid. Adjusted brakes.
- 131500 (1/30/77) - Installed battery isolator ($34) and 95 amp commercial battery ($50)
- 134261 (4/8/77) - Oil pressure problems. Tightened bottom row head bolts - Adj valves snug .005. New points.
- 134896 (4/27/77) - Lubed front end - front end inspected - no work recommended at this time
- 135127 (5/2/77) - Packed front bearing, replaced master cylinder.
- 135263 (5/6/77) - 4 Pirelli 185-14 S.B. Radials & 1 tube ($237.41 including mounting, balancing, new stems)
- 135704 - Trip to Baja 1977
- 137600 (6/2/77) - New generator & Reg (Both 30 amp) ($96) New L.R. Tire ($53)
- 137918 (6/3/77) - Adj valves (snug .005). Adj points, timing
- 140832 (7/12/77) - Replaced starter & solenoid - just an extra Steve had. Tightened head bolts to 21lbs. Adj valves. Adj points, timing, changed oil, filter, gaskets. 4 new plugs.
- 141562 (8/2/77) - Adj valves. Pulled engine. Front end brakes: turned .070 ($2.00) new shoes ($6.00), heads surfaced, seats faced, new exhust valves, #3 piston broken, new piston & cylinder ($22). ALL NEW RINGS ($20). All new valves ($17), surfaced new plugs. New clutch disc ($20) & throw-out bearing ($6)
- 141809 (8/26/77) - adj valves to normal .005. Adj points, timing, changed oil, filter, gaskets
- 143000 (9/17/77) - Adj valves, points, timing
- 143700 (9/24/77) - Adj timing
- xxxxxx (11/5/77) - 2000 miles past last tuneup. Adj valves, adj points, timing, new dist. cap & rotor
- 142905 (12/2/77) - approx 2000 miles - hooked up speedometer at 142905
- 143150 (12/13/77) - New points & condenser
- 143710 (12/25/77) - Adj valves, adj points & timing. Changed oil, filter, gaskets. Checked transmission oil & filled
- xxxxxx (3/15/78) - approx. 6000 miles. Adj valves. Adj clutch, points, timing, cleaned distributor, cleaned & gagged plugs, changed oil, filter, gaskets
- 145100 (3/27/78) - Hooked up speedometer +500 miles
- 146350 (5/5/78) - Installed new alternator & regulator
- 146544 (5/20/78) - Adj valves, adj points and timing
- 148572 (8/1/78) - New clutch cable ($10.10)
- 148638 (8/5/78) - Adj valves, adj points, timing. Ingition wires: All 1k-1.5K ohms. Condenser ok. Ignition test 1/38 2/42 3/40 4/40
- 148695 (8/12/78) - Points failed, new points. Cond, 145T plugs. Lubed front end. New muffler installed ($27.00), voltmeter ($20)
- 149008 (8/26/78) - Changed transmission oil, engine oil & filter & gaskets. New isolator ($29.00). New distributor cap, rotor, new v-belt, skidpan installed ($25.00)
- 150000 (8/31/78) - New odometer/speedometer fixed. This odometer now reads 110,000 miles low. One qt. synthetic oil added. New curtains.
- 152033 (9/16/78) - Adj valves. #1 OK, #2OK, #3 both little tight. #4 int. was .003. #4 comp - 175 cold. Dwell & timing ok.
- 153035 (10/14/78) - Adj valves. Timed to 10 degrees BTBC.
- 153113 (11/14/78) - Lubed CV joints & rear wheel bearings. Scraping noise possibly outboard bearings (wheel) rotating in housing (had been hearing a scraping noise) Lock tightened races & replaced. Adjusted rear brakes.
- 154817 (2/4/79) - Adj valves All ok. Adj points and timing
- 155008 (2/11/79) - Changed oil, filter, gaskets, filled battery, cleaned air filter
- 156851 (5/7/79) - New steering dampener
- 157178 (5/20/79) - Alternator failed. Adj valves. New alternator & regulator. New fan belt.
- 158082 (6/25/79) - 4 new Blistern shocks ($144.00). Filled steering box, lubed front end. New Plugs. Adj valves. New points, cond, cap, rotor.
- 161425 (10/11/79) - Adj valves (#1 ok #2 ok #3 little loose adj it #4 ok) Adj pts & timing. New oil filter, gaskets, changed oil. Cleaned air filter.
- 164131 (1/26/80) - Repacked front wheel bearings. Adj rear brake
- 164550 (2/9/80) - Adj valves - all ok. Adjusted points, cleaned distributor, adj timing
- 168345 (6/1/80) - Adj valves. #1 and 2 little tight. New pts, condenser, cap, rotor, changed oil & filter, new plugs
- 169221 (6/21/80) - Adj valves. All ok except #1, a little tight. Changed transmission oil
- 170515 (7/12/80) - Adj valves - all ok. Disconnected left-hand heater box
- 174555 (10/11/80) - All valves OK, adj points and timing, cleaned air filter, changed oil, gaskets & filter
- 175450 (12/4/80) - new cyl heads, new exhust, new oil line, 8 valve adjusters, new piston rings, clutch disc, bearings, ignition wire, oil pressure switch, engine gasket
- 175450 (12/24/80) - Major rebuild. All new parts, dual ponted heads, new master cylinder, clutch - $1800!! Temp solid 210F
- 175525 (12/26/80) - Rt rear inboard bearing seal failed. Replaced both bearings and seals
- 176299 (12/28/80) - Adj valves (all set to .006)
- 177500 (1/12/81) PCPW adj valves, changed oil and filter
- 178098 (1/17/81) - Check valves - most seemed a little tight. Checked because oil temp up to 210 on last trip to Sacramento. Had been in the 180-190 range before.
- 1179900 (3/4/81) - PCPW adj valves, changed oil, not filter. Cause of oil temp increase due to low oil. Check oil with engine running. Adj Points & timing.
- XXXXXX (3/10/81) - Temp still 210!!
- 180341 (3/28/81) - Removed pressure relief spring. Measured 2 1/2 "relaxed" at 1 3/4, 7 PSI. Stretched to 3" & then 15 PSI at 1 3/4"
- 182743 (7/17/81) - Adj valves - all set to .006. Changed oil and filter (new filter Fram PH2825, 3 1/2 quartz oil)
- 183072 (7/1/81) - New Clutch Cable
- 183590 (7/17/81) - Temp @ 210 + 10 (when pretty hot outside). New Plugs -145T.1 Gapped at .6m (as received). Cleaned air filter, new distributor cap, pts, new rotor, DID NOT REPLACE condensor.
- 186281 (9/27/81) - Adj valves. Adj points & timing, changed oil, filter, gaskets, V-belt.
- 188222 (11/22/81) - Adj valves. Tightened CV joint bolts. Play seems OK. Timing, pts & plug gaps all ok.
- 190425 (2/27/82) - Rear steering dampener. Lubed front end. Adj valves. Compression feels weak. Changed oil & filter. Checked battery.
- 193776 (6/30/82) - Replaced battery ($64). Adj. valves. New pts, cap, rotor (did not replace condenser). Changed oil, filter, new plugs
- 194675 (7/6/82) - Replaced exhust gasket on #1
- 194900 (7/10/82) - Replaced coil and condenser (coil was bad)
- 195450 (8/1/82) - New clutch cable, 2 new rear drums & wheel cylinders & linings (44+44+13+approx30). Repaired left rear CV and wheel bearings, 4 new tires and valve stems ($312.00)
- 196379 (9/8/82) - New accelerator cable, new clutch cable. Had mounted previous one incorrectly (broke at front end)
- 197535 (10/82) - New front wheel cylinders, new linings, new drums, lubed front end, bleed brakes, changed fluid
- 197657 (11/19/82) - Replaced left front inner bearing w/ old bearing (bearing damaged when removing it from axle)
- 199750 (2/17/83) - Drained oil, new filter, new pts, cap, rotor. adj valves. New plugs. Cleaned oil filter.
- 200,000 miles - spring 1983
- 203300 (2/5/84) - Adj valves. Changed oil & filter, gaskets & cleaned air cleaner. Cleaned pts & check dwell timing. STILL BACKFIRES.
- xxxxxx (3/24/84) - Still backfires. New points. New muffler.
- 240597 (5/9/84) - replace muffler, seal right heater box
- 204886 (9/9/84) - Adj valves. Cleaned pts (looked fine) adj gap (was at 60 degrees) & timing (was at 12 degrees BTDC) to 50 degrees & 10 degrees. Changed oil & filter, gaskets. Adj clutch, brakes, rotated LF & LR tires
- 205770 (10/6/84) - Adj valves. Filled transmission fluid; did not change. Lubed front end.
- 210828 (8/15/85) - Tune up by Steve Weiss. New plugs, points, changed oil & filter (20/50)
- 212339.4 (9/5/85) - Smog Test
- 212772 (9/11/85) - Passed smog
- xxxxxx (12/6/85) - 4 Michelin tires (reinforced sidewalls)
- 220400 (12/6/85) - 4 new tires ($275.00)
- 219300 (1/18/86) - Removed rear wheel, new shoes, needed L
- 221585 (3/8/86) - New right hand brake cable, tightened CU joints - left side, loose, very loose on axle side (1 bolt broken off in axle). Removed both rocker arms & torqued heads to 23 ft lbs. #3 stripped head on removal. All plugs out. New plugs. Got a plug into #3, not real tight, though (6 weeks later plug stripped completely out)
- 223900 (5/27/86) - Rebuild completed (Exch heads, new pistons & cylinders, camshaft, clutch disc & bearing (kept pressure plated, recond rods). Completed job cost $850.00, nearly 50,000 miles since last rebuild ((12/80) 175450 miles). Use 20w/50 oil, adj all valves to .006
- 224250 (5/31/86) - Installed regular oil pump. Changed transmission oil, changed crankcase oil & filter (20w/50 Castrol GTX). Adj all valves (all tight!!)
- 224525 (6/7/86) - Installed fan on oil cooler. No change in temperature (still 210 degrees at 55 mph)!! Adj valves - all ok.
- 225512 (6/12/86) - At Alfonsina's (started trip @ 224600) Adj valves valves. No oil burned, temp hit 240 degrees thru Central Valley)
- 227171 (7/7/86) - Adj valves, changed oil, filter, gaskets
- 229266 (8/30/86) - Adj valves, changed oil & filter, replaced remainder of oil line. New points, new gas filter, checked battery, added brake fluid
- 229325 (9/4/86) - R&R engine - put on new exchange heads ($175.00)
- 229542 (9/12/86) - Adj valves
- 230500 (9/28/86) - Adj valves
- 233883 (1/17/87) - Adj valves, new cap & rotor
- 234627 (3/18/87) - Heads rebuilt (valve job) All new CV joints, new rear brakes, cylinders, drums turned ($650.00)
- 234976 (5/19/87) - Adj valves
- 229325 (9/4/87) - R&R engine. Put on new exchange heads ($175)
- 236581 (11/1/87) - 4 new shocks ($140), lubed front end, filled battery, brake fluid, both emergency cables have now been replaced, adjusted left brakes only, pulls slightly to the left now
- 238547 (9/10/88) - Adj valves, change oil filter, gaskets, cleaned air filter, gaskets, cleaned air cleaner, checked battery, Dwell okay, engine cold (hadn't run for 2 weeks, all plugs in)
- 239387 (1/22/89) - Adj valves
- 239500 (2/5/89) - new battery
- 242762 (5/27/89) - Getting ready for Alfonsina's. Adj valves, drained oil, replaced (filthy) screen, near left rear wheel bearings, new steering dampers, lubed front end, adjust emergency brake cable, new cap, rotor, points, adjusted all brakes, bleed brakes, new accelerator cable, new fuel filter
- 245493 (9/2/89) - Trip to Alfonsina's went great! Valves all okay. Changed oil, filter, adj pts & timing
- 249656 (9/3/90) adj valves, changed oil, filter, gaskets, changed fan belt, new pts, cap, rotor, timed it
- 249738 (9/9/90) Installed 2 shims to each side #3 & 4 rocker arm. Adj valves
- 251086 (12/8/90) - Adj valves
- 252183 (6/9/91) - adj valves. Cahnges oil filter, gasket, cahnged fuel filter. Dwell & timing ok, Cleaned air filter. New brake drums, lining, wheel cylinders (all wheels), new intake manifold boots, new steering damper
- 252281 (6/21/91) - Brake work - replace shoes, intake boots, gaskets, front drums, rear wheel cylinders
- 254082 (7/8/91) - At Cabo San Lucas for the 7/11/91 total eclipse. Engine temps of 250 reached on drive. 2 qts oil used on trip to date.
- 256092 (8/31/91) Back 7/15 from eclipse. Bus ran great! 1 oil line began leaking 1/4 mile from home! Lots of 250-260 temp. 19 mpg avg for the entire trip. Making car smog legal.
- 257545 (9/7/92) - All valves okay. Changed oil, filter, gaskets, changed fan belt, new fuel filter, filled brake fluid
- 258826 (8/12/94) - Failed smog inspection
- 258827 (9/4/94) - Getting ready for Reno '94. Adj valves, adj points and timing, changes oil & filter
- xxxxx (9/14/94) fan belt broke. Drove 3 miles got quite hot. Adj valves.
- 259333 (7/19/95) - Adj valves. Ran engine 3 min, all plugs out, new alternator pulley & belt, new muffler, new pts, cond, cap, rotor, new steering dampers, new coil, when installing condensor & points, be sure cond screw is not touching points spring, otherwise it will short
- 260095 (6/30/96) - New spark plugs
- 260095 (7/5/96) - Smog Check
- 260728 (8/29/97) - Reno Air Races Bound! Adj Valves. All set to .006
- 261327 (9/5/07) - The Van Emsts buy Big Blue!
- 261327 (9/26/07) - 4 wheels blasted and powdercoated
- 261327 (9/26/07) - 4 new tires ($357.77)
- 261327 (11/2/07) - new brake shoes rear and front, brake hose, rear wheel cyl, front wheel cyls, rear brake drums machined, replace transmission fluid, change engine oil, adjust valves, clean oil sump screen, new gaskets, clean air cleaner, new points, adjust timing, idle speed, fule mixture, adjust brakes, clutch, new wiper blades, fuel filter, fuel hoses, new driver's side mirror, new ignition switch, new battery.
- 262525 (2/18/08) - Reseal oil cooler hoses, changed oil, adj valves. Replaced boots at intake manifold, new spark plug and ing wires installed. Runs at just under 210 degrees going down the highway for a while.
- xxxxxx (4/29/08) - front right wheel bearing went out. Paul of Valley Wagonworks fixed it on my way to work. 20 minutes out the door.
- xxxxxx (5/4/08) - adj valves (Brett's first time) - all were tight. Reset all to .006. Temp is climbing on the longer highway stretches - sometimes up to 240 degrees.
- xxxxxx (6/13/08) - in response to a odd noise, checked valves 3 and 4 and all was fine. Adjusted slightly (a little tight) and resealed valve cover with axle grease. Bus running around 210-220 down the road
- xxxxxx (7/13/08) - adj valves, slightly tight except #3 which was tight even after trying to adjust it. Getting about 22 mpg on highway. Took about 1/2 quart of oil.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
We found some more Monty-items in the fridge. There was an envelope full of passes and tickets from all the RC air shows that he went to. We have yet to hear those stories, but I'm sure they had a good time.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Well, a few months after it came back from powder coating, a month and 1/2 after getting the hardware to put it back together, and 4 days after getting my cast off, Big Blue is once again sporting his back bumper. Only now, it looks gooooood!
When we paint the bus, we will have the splashguards painted to match, but for now, here's how we roll...
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
On Saturday, I got Big Blue back from Paul and we packed up and headed to Rio Vista, a small town on the Sacramento River, Northeast of the Bay Area. We had been invited via email by a VW guy named Joe. We went not knowing what to expect.
After battling rain and high winds that pushed Blue all over the road, we arrived to Sandy Beach County Park to find both some awesome VWs and some great VW owners. There was another ’68 there, a ’70, a few vanagons, including a Syncro and a diesel. We met Brian the Lion, Chris and his family (who came with an old Shasta trailer), Joe, who seemed to be the ringleader, a couple bohem-hippies with the diesel vanagon (and good bean soup). A few others came in through out the night – 1 on a BMW motorcycle, another in a kick-ass custom Chevy van, another in a giant RV.
Even though it rained hard through the night, we all ate well (Chili and a fried turkey!) and sat around the fire trying to stay warm. It was good times and good to met some people in the VW world. We look forward to camping with the same group in April.
We also were able to stop by 2000 Laguna St, Concord, CA, where, in either '68 or '69. California Road Runner Campers was located and where Big Blue went from panel van to camper. It is now a motorcyle shop.