Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting the 1956 VW bug home - Part Three: Getting the new '56 bug off the trailer...

Getting the new '56 bug out of its resting place and home was one issue. One that was pretty easy when looking back on it. Getting that bug around our house and back to the workshop was a whole 'nother issue! One not so easy...

Let me paint the picture. We live in a house that has the garage in back. To get back there, you drive the driveway which is the width of your car plus, say, 18 inches on each side. On one side there is a fence. On the other, our house. It's a tight squeeze by any standard. In fact, a few months back, an associate actually ran into the side of our house.

Now, add to this picture an overhang from our roof that gives about 10 feet of clearance. Annnnnd we don't have street parking in front of our place. And, the driveway is on an uphill slant.

Short story. Getting the Budget truck to the back was impossible. Backing in was the only option. I'm not bad at backing a trailer. But I'm not great. So, once I determined backing the truck in to be our best option, EP acted as my guide and I went to town trying to get it aimed correctly.

It took a while. Back in, then back out, then back enough to let cars by, then back out, then back in and let some cars by. On and on. One of the cars I let by was my neighbor, who then hopped out and joined in the effort.

A few tries later and I had the back left of the trailer about 2 inches short of our sprinkler system and the right side of the truck a few inches shy of our overhang.

Have a look:

So a huge thanks to my neighbor, as he found an interest in the project and stuck around to help out. He's a firefighter and quickly devised a plan to use the rope I had as a pulley to lower the car (mind you, a car without brakes) off the trailer. He hopped in to steer and I let it loose and lowered it with the rope. It went pretty smooth and I was able to push him all the way back to the workshop while he was steering. As he said, "Good times!"

At this point, I was a little dirty. Actually, I was a lot dirty.

I had one more logistical problem to work out. In order to get the engine out of the truck, I had to pull the loading ramp out. In order to pull the ramp out, I had to remove the trailer. And the trailer wouldn't go back any further, so that meant moving the truck with the trailer, dropping it somewhere in my 'hood, then coming back with just the truck.

I was tired just thinking about it all.

So, I drove a few blocks to a flat area, left the trailer, then decided to park the truck up the street from our house and roll the engine home. I honestly hope this is the last time I ever have to single-handedly remove a engine from a truck and roll it down a hill...

Looks odd? Here's some video:

At last, I was victorious!

Actually, I wanted a nap...

The last task of the day was to drop the remaining wheels (for some reason, they had 6 VW wheels) at Wheel Works to remove the remaining tires. Then I dropped off the truck, came home, showered and slept.

I'll tell you though. If there was a professional "old-car-bringer-home" person, I'd want to do it. The problem solving involved. The physical work. It is awesome. Anyone that needs help, I'm in!

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