It dawned on me last night during an email exchange that Nigel and Ferris have yet to be in the same place at the same time...Nigel is in the garage and there are pieces of Ferris here but the two cars have not been assembled and adjacent. It's a lot like trying to get Dave Grohl and Courtney Love together for a photoshoot.
Once I rectify the issues with the pan for Ferris, I'll be looking to start bolting things together. I'm itching to start putting that pan together.
One more shipment arrived today - again most parts for fellow Type 3 people.
311 405 615B
A set of NOS front drums for the 64/65 model year.
A set of NOS drum hub caps.
311 405 341
Deka 10k bolts for the front drum brake spindles (short version).
311 405 343
Deka 10k bolts for the front drum brake spindles (long version).
311 255 149 A
Protection plate for heater box
A mystery hinge that's supposed to fit a Type 3. The part number indicates that it's for the lower right but this picture of my spare door says that's not quite right.
I posted up a thread on TheSamba.com and so far the answer is that the new hinge is a conversion hinge for the later doors. It makes sense but doesn't really solve my issue. So I'll keep looking.
The weather warmed up today and I was hoping to scuff up the surface on the first coat of Rust Bullet that I put on the spindles and steering arms a while back. Once they were scuffed up, I planned to add a second coat today and then apply the final coat of Black Shell tomorrow since the weather is supposed to remain warmer than normal.
The whole plan fell apart when the Rust Bullet started coming off in flakes while lightly sanding the caliper brackets...and then it happened on the steering arms and on most of the flat surfaces of the spindles. I either didn't properly mix the coating or it was applied too thick (due to the cold probably). In any case, I wound up removing it all from the steering arms and one of the spindles before deciding that I wasn't making progress. So I've opted for a 'Plan B'.
Plan B is to drop the stuff off for media blasting and powder coating along with a few other items and pick it all up and then assemble as time allows. There's no real deadline, per se, and I would like to get it all done so that I can get the brakes bled and back to functional.
I found a shop in Chicago that I'd like to try out. I'll start with the brake parts and some other miscellaneous pieces. I don't know when I can make it happen but at least I know where I'm going to start.
A few months ago I bought front wheel bearings in anticipation of this brake changeover.
I pulled one of the bearings out of the box for the first time since they arrived and discovered that I definitely did not get what I paid for...I specifically paid more for German bearings and wound up with Brazilian bearings which are nowhere near the same quality.
Might be high time I checked everything with a fine toothed comb since it seems that people, in general, can't be trusted. I may simply be late to this party and it's time for me to 'catch up'.
I opened the other box and it too has a Brazilian bearing.
I found a Type 3 parts book half way around the world that has at least half of the pages that I'm currently missing. The price is pretty good and by the time it arrives I will have completely forgotten that I paid for it so it should be a nice surprise.
I'm hoping that the other pages I'm missing will be included.
A box I thought may have disappeared showed up today after I made a several phone calls and spent a lot of time on hold. I've discovered that the postal service has terrible fucking hold music.
Nearly all of the parts in this box are for a fellow Type 3 owner undergoing a restoration on a very early car. Three of the parts are pictured and one (a spring) is not. The first two parts are correct while the third part was incorrectly shipped. I'm expecting the correct part to arrive in a couple of weeks.
Below are the other three parts:
311 129 71 A
Bracket -Return spring
to Eng. No. 65 745
After cleaning off the second set of spindles, I prepared the parts for Rust Bullet. Rust Bullet is tricky to apply when it's cold. It is thicker than I expected and it starts to cure within minutes so it has to go on fast and completely cover the area without applying too much to the area. The first coat was okay but I'm hoping that a second coat and then a final coat of Black Shell will yield the results I'm after (no rust). This isn't the 'official' restoration so it doesn't have to be perfect just yet.
I'm going to take the pieces to work where they can cure in the warehouse during the week. It's typically over 60°F so they should cure quicker. I may take the second can of Rust Bullet with me to apply the second coat and the black shell to apply the third and final coat. The warehouse is large enough that the fumes won't get crazy strong if I apply it outside and then bring the parts inside to cure. If I can do that and then have them ready for next weekend's assembly-things will be on track, so to speak.
The weather warmed to the upper 40°F range today so I took advantage of it and spent a couple of hours disassembling and cleaning the old front drum spindles with the goal of getting some RustBullet on them prior to assembling the front end and installing the Airkewld disc brake kit.
With perfect timing, I received the lower NOS LEMFÖRDER ball joints today so I now have a full set for the front end...ready to go. Things are falling into place, I'm prepared, have all of the parts to reassemble the spindles and I'm optimistic.
Everything went as planned and the spindles are in the laundry room drying after degreaser with SuperClean, a wire wheel to remove stray paint residue and then a final bath in SuperClean. Then I located the bolts and planned to test fit the new bolts I bought.
And this is where an important lesson was learned: Turns out there are two types of front drum spindles for the early Type 3. The right spindle is the early version.
The early set isn't listed in the parts book - I found them in the Technical section on the 1500 Club website. The spindles that were on the car are technically from 63 - I guess I shouldn't be terribly surprised since I've found a few other things that are carried over from 63 on this car. The drum spindle I'm used to seeing uses an M10 x 1.5 x 40mm bolt for the ball joints. These newly cleaned spindles use an M8 x 1.25 x 40mm bolt (which I don't have). I couldn't seem to find a properly shouldered 10.9 bolt in this dimension so...
Fortunately, I have another set of front drum spindles and they're now soaking in SuperClean to begin the process of being cleaned prior to paint.
The weather is only allowing me two days to get this done - tomorrow is the last day it'll be over 32°F for quite a while so I'm going to try to get the other set cleaned and painted before the temperature drops. Once the paint cures, I can put the front end of the car back together, bleed the brakes and hopefully have it road ready.
Jim came by tonight and, finally, the car is running-carburetors are synchronized, idle is stable, backfiring is gone and it's ready to roll...not a moment too soon as it's supposed to snow on Saturday night. I'm hoping to get the brakes another quick bleed and take the car for a spin on Saturday and have it back in the garage in advance of the snow in the evening. Then I can remove the front brakes and plan the installation of the Airkewld kit over the Winter and, hopefully, the small section that will allow for the proper mounting of the dual reservoir. I plan to practice my tubing bending skills in an effort to eliminate the adapter and run 8mm line from the reservoir to the master cylinder. I don't like extra connections, janky fittings and things that are made more complex by not doing them the right way.
Victory is very, very close and I'm hoping that I can achieve the second of my three 4th quarter 2014 goals. The first one has been achieved, the second is 'in the bag' in 5 weeks and this, the third goal, is so close I can smell it.
In other, slightly related, news: I swapped a T5 fixture for an LED fixture that I got an irresistible deal on.
This is a photo of the T5 fixture from about six feet away. The light is adequate but slow to illuminate in cold weather, which is about half of the calendar year. Total energy use is 58 watts for the fixture. I thought about installing can lights and then using LED bulbs but figured there had to be a less involved method to get better light.
This photo shows the LED fixture installed without the final wiring being completed. The internal reflector and light cover are not installed here. I decided to turn the fixture 90 degrees for better light spread and prevent an opportunity to hit it with the cabinet doors. I have to come back and extend the conduit in the attic by about 12" so that I can finish the installation this weekend. I think the output will be slightly brighter once the internal reflector and the light cover are installed. Total energy for this fixture is 50 watts, so there's not much savings in this particular fixture since the T5 is not High Output like the main garage.
I would like to replace the T5 HO fixtures in the main garage but will likely wait for LED prices to come down slightly before doing the conversion. In the main garage, each bulb uses 54 watts, or a total of 108 watts per fixture x 4 fixtures = 432 watts. If I use this same fixture and replace the T5HO fixtures, I'll save 58 watts per fixture x 4 fixtures equaling 232 watts. In addition to this-I'd like to install motion sensors to turn the lights off in the event I forget to do it, which I'll admit, has happened a few times.
Jim came by and attempted to sync the carbs although after a few short minutes it became apparent that something else was wrong. The left choke was very hot to the touch and wouldn't sync with the right carb. After a few adjustments, it was discovered that one of the linkage bits (can't figure out what the hell its technical name is) was sticking and not allowing the carb to settle back to idle - it was also the source of the backfiring. When the car was able to idle, however, it was nice and smooth. The engine sounds very strong.
I found a spare carburetor and pulled the top off of it-it's going to soak overnight to get cleaned up and then we're going to swap it out with the one on the car-hoping that this is the last real issue with regard to the engine. My parts hoarding comes to the rescue once again. I had extra parts and a gasket kit at the ready for the re-installation.
At some point in the near future I'm going to pull the front brakes off the car and swap in the Airkewld kit I bought last year. I made the decision to help out a guy I've never met fix up his 65 Variant S by selling the brakes to him. It'll be good for both of us; he will get parts he needs and I'll get rid of parts I don't need. I decided that this is also when I'll swap out the speedo cable for the correct/shorter version and fix the speedometer so that it'll stay put in the dash hole (it moves around freely right now).
I started cleaning the spindles but only managed to get one done before Jim arrived. I'll have to wait until next weekend before I can get back into them again.
I also discovered some oddities with the under dash wiring so it feels like I'm going to have to find some heat shrink to cover the exposed spade connectors. I could swear I heard a wire sizzle but I didn't see anything upon inspection. Maybe this can be a Winter project and I'll swap the fuse panel for a 12 pole while I've got it all apart. I can also properly install the headlight relay and pull the random wire I've got in place for the push button assembly that's no longer being used. I'm hoping that there's a limit to the under dash electrical gremlins
It's supposed to snow tomorrow soon...so the car likely won't make it back outside until next year which is kind of a bummer.
Not much has happened with the car recently. Most everything is on hold until I get past my certification this week. Nearly everything I have is going toward making sure I obtain that certification.
In the odd moments when I cannot commit to studying at work, I dig around for a random part or two. Most of the time I find nothing as my range of 'needs' is narrowing more and more. I'm exercising far more restraint lately in an effort to buy only what I need to finish the two cars-less of the 'buying and selling' piece as it's very time-consuming. I have many other sands that fill the voids left by the larger rocks of responsibility.
Blah, blah, blah.
All I've found recently is the VWOA wiper arms for the 64S that use the pinch clamp vs. the set screw in the original design that strips out against the wiper shaft. I also have a right side clamp in NOS condition...just have to find a left side (they're marked on the arm) and I will let go of my NOS original wiper arms.
After repeatedly bashing my head into the wall of my own failures, I decided to contact Jim, the guy who rebuilt my 1500S engine and ask for help. I was seriously stumped as to where to go or what to do next. I knew the 'fix' was going to be something simple that I'd overlooked in my haste to get the car put back together under a constricted timeline. Between my dissatisfaction with my certification progress and the constant wall of 'issues', it wasn't in the cards for this car to do anything but continue collecting dust for the rest of the year.
Fortunately, part of that changed today when Jim arrived...we did a 'once over' and I explained everything that led up to this point. Every part that's been changed, every adjustment, every obstacle.
Remember that part about how I knew it would be something simple? When I pulled the distributor and replaced it with an adjusted NOS ZV/JCU 4R3 distributor, I apparently didn't seat the drive lug into the shaft on the engine.
Rookie mistake #1. Yes, there are more.
So now, the car would fire but not start...review of the chokes showed that they needed adjustment. The weather is cold enough that the carbs need them now. So they were adjusted. Again.
Rookie mistake #2. I'll continue.
Car starts but the carbs are out of adjustment so it is kind of pissed off until it warms up a little. It's going to need some additional adjustment to get them just right. I may 'hire' Jim to come back and do that since I know jack shit about carburetor adjustment and will probably find a way to set myself on fire while attempting to do it.
While we were discussing the distributor issue, I mentioned the brakes...he takes a look and can't find any leaks anywhere. Pedal test and his assessment is that the plunger rod is too tight-preventing the master cylinder from allowing enough fluid in to sustain pressure. In the interest of not wasting his time, I tell him that I'll adjust it later (I did) and let him know how it turns out. The brakes will need to be bled again but they should be good after that...in theory. This will have to wait for another day because I don't have time to do it tonight. But-I am motivated to try it and see if I can get a proper pedal out of it.
I tested out the 12 volt light bulbs once I got things cleaned up a bit and it turns out that everything functions exactly as I hoped it would and I retained all of the functions as they were on the 6 volt set up, while using one less wire in the process.
I still need to address the tachometer issue and figure out why the speedometer won't sit right in the dash (I think the tangs are too short) but that's a simple fix for a later day.
As a wrap up to the night, I installed the rear seat from the 65S (Icarus) since it was in substantially better condition than the one that was in the car (the seat bottom was sticky and whatever it was refused to be removed by any means).
I spent far more than I'd hoped and it took a lot longer than it should have because I tried to fit the fix into an impossible time line...lesson learned.
I didn't get to drive the car because it's not quite right and the brakes are still not up to the task of stopping the car...I'm hoping that I can do that at least once before it snows.
Minor update today. I swapped the distributor with a NOS ZV JCU 4R3 with properly adjusted points. The ignition wires are new, spark plugs are gapped properly, timing is set properly. Battery is fully charged, fuel is flowing to the carburetors.
Car won't start.
I'm rather frustrated with this car.
So now I'm going to have to start from scratch: Change the rotor, attempt to start, change the condenser, attempt to start, check the plugs and timing, attempt to start, check the wires, attempt to start, ad nauseum. Eventually, I'll get it to start but I know it's going to be time consuming.
In other news: I found most of the parts I need to begin to the process of changing out all of the brake lines/parts. I should have the last pieces in the next week or two...then I just have to figure out when to make it happen.
The little movie in my head plays a race between two apathetic turtles in a foot race: one is named "the car runs!", the other is named "the car stops". Neither one is terribly interested in running the race or crossing the finish line so they just stand there and look at one another.
It might be over for the year unless I can find some time in the next couple of weeks.
I queried a couple of other VW people to see if there is a consensus about what I should do next with this car given the issue of the brake system failing to maintain a pedal.
As suspected, the consensus-and my decision-is that I will pull all of the brake lines and replace them with new parts. Hard lines and soft lines will all be replaced. Otherwise, I will spend days/weeks/months chasing problems like the monkey around the Mulberry bush. To that end, I placed a few orders last night/today to ensure that I have all of the pieces I need to replace the entire braking system. I found the proper front and rear pan grommets for the main line from front to rear today.
All that remains is finding the location where 'desire' and 'time' intersect.
I've always heard that you have to take the good with the bad and just roll with it.
JB came over and we jumped right into the open issues. After some thought the past few days, I decided to pull the Mexican VW rubber coupler from the steering system and replace it with one of the newer square Febi rag joints. CB Performance used to sell the Mexican VW rag joint couplers (I bought two) and then they disappeared from their offering. They appeared to be a quality part so I didn't readily understand why they were discontinued. The Mexican VW rag joints are defective and the mounting holes don't line up properly-in addition, they warp themselves-creating the irritating gap. Turns out that the the gap in the steering wheel and the angle issues at the coupler are largely gone now that JB replaced the Mexican VW part with the Febi part. Problem solved. Easy win.
While JB worked on the coupler issue, I rewired the headlights with the new bulb holders and replaced the bulbs. (broken one on the left/newer design, sturdy one on the right/old design) Easy win.
In addition, I pulled the wiper system and replaced the grommets with the correct size-they went right back in and everything looks just as it should. I replaced the ashtray, glove box and cable controls and knobs. Another easy win.
Pulled the side marker lights to fix what appeared to be bad bulb contacts. I discovered crunchy seals that basically shattered into a dozen pieces when I pulled them off the car. Replaced them with NOS seals and fixed the bulb contact issue. The photo shows one of what remains of one seal. Another easy win.
Next on the list was the brakes. Took a stab at them as they couldn't be avoided much longer...I pulled the pedal cluster and then pulled the old master cylinder and replaced it with the one that was in the car when it arrived in Illinois. JB and I bled the brakes. Lots of air, no leaks. Firm pedal 1/2 way which is good enough for a test drive. But once again, 20 minutes later, the pedal went to the floor. No leaks, everything is tight...reservoir level doesn't change. Bled the brakes two more times and now have 1/4 pedal. Not great but not a total failure...far from acceptable though. We didn't swap the front discs as there wasn't going to be enough time with all of the other things to get done. That decision turned out to be a good one...
Next we installed the fuel tank and put 2 gallons of fuel in the tank. No leaks.
Then I tried to start the car. Nothing. Cranked it a few times. Smelled what seemed to be burned wire. The two wires to the tach were super warm...I REALLY hope I didn't fry the tach. JB pulled the tach wires and we tried again. Nothing.
Tested for spark at the wires and found nothing. So I pulled a few plug wires at the distributor and found that they were not completely inserted into the cap. Swapped the wires with new Bosch wires anyway. Nothing. We have fuel and air but seemed to be missing spark.
I pulled the distributor cap to check the rotor and discovered a burnt smell and noticed that the points had fried themselves to a black plastic blob (wire sheathing). Swapped the points with new parts but ran out of time before adjusting them to spec...so the car went back into the corner until I can find time to work on it again.
I'm probably going to put a different ZV JCU 4R3 distributor in the car since this one probably has a fried condenser as well. They're kind of difficult to work on while they're in the car.
Just for the hell of it, I have a Bosch 12 volt coil on its way in to swap out with the one that's in the car. I don't know if it's fried but I'd like to have a back up in any case.
Solved a few problems and found a few more to take their place.
The car was pushed back to its side of the garage while I work out what I'm going to do next. If history is any indication, swapping the distributor to correct the points issue is only going to bring another challenge.
I don't know when I'm going to have time to work on it again so it may be a while before anything notable happens. I've never had a car fight so hard to stay in the garage.
JB came over last Sunday for a couple of hours to help make some progress on the car.
We attempted to solve two issues:
Bleed the brakes via every known method.
Eliminate the gap between the steering wheel and turn signal arm and fix the 'warp' at the steering coupler.
TL;DR: We did not accomplish our goal.
The brake bleed started off on the right foot. We did a bench bleed-removed air from the system, gained about 2/3 pedal which was fairly firm. 20 minutes later, the same pedal went to the floor...no pressure. There are no leaks at the wheel cylinders, hard lines or at the master. There's no brake fluid inside the car (rubber mat is out) and the fluid level in the reservoir is not changing-which would indicate a leak somewhere. There's just no pedal.
We switched off to the steering column and trying to resolve the issue of the gap between the column and the steering wheel. The system isn't terribly complicated but the only thing we managed to do was make the gap larger.
So, victory, for now, belongs squarely to the car.
Friday we are going to start from scratch and go over every little detail to ensure that all bases are covered. We have a lot more time so I'm hoping that we will prevail in at least one area. The plan is to pull the 'new' master cylinder and replace it with the one that was in the car to determine if the issue is with the master cylinder or if it's somewhere else. We are going to replace the four outer hard lines and if necessary, replace the inner line as well. The front disc conversion is going to be replaced by an Airkewld disc brake kit with Wilwood pistons. I'll likely put the EMPI kit in the classifieds as I don't plan to use it on a future car.
Redesign #58 has been executed on the garage work space. I put the cabinets up on a stand that was built mostly from reclaimed/random wood scraps and better utilized the space. I found a few additional parts that I will post up for sale in the classifieds.
Turns out I installed the wrong grommets for the wiper assembly-which is why it was such a bitch to install. I now have the proper grommets and the wiper bearing covers as well. They're not easy to find-I've been looking for quite a while. One set for now and two pair for the finished restorations.
There were quite a few other parts in the box as well but the screws and the wiper parts are what will get me closer to where I want to be.
I spent some time in the garage yesterday in an effort to accomplish...something. Since I tend to be overly ambitious when I plan out my 'list', I decided to not plan anything and just go with it. I got the generator, NOS chokes, turn signal relay and headlight relays installed and then I did some light cleaning before stopping a couple of hours later.
Haven't touched the brakes.
I figured out, later, that I didn't quite install the wiper shaft seals correctly so I'm going to have to go back and do that part over-good thing I didn't put the glove box, vent controls, etc. back in the dash. I want to make sure everything works before I install the rest of it.
I bought some Gates Barricade fuel hose and have to install that, buy a battery, and figure out the brake situation before I can drive the car. I'm getting close-one tiny task at a time.
So now, the updated list:
Tail light bulbs License plate bulb Hatch cargo light bulb Chokes Generator, strap and seal 12 volt outer fan shroud Coil Starter with 6 volt teeth Voltage regulator 67 only 12volt wiper motor Horn Electronic signal flasher Headlight relay
Battery Dash bulbs Sidemarker bulbs Headlight bulbs Turn indicator bulbs
In theory, I'm a battery and a brake bleed away from driving the car again. I should be more excited than I am about the relative 'closeness' of being able to drive the car...but I'm just...not.
I had an online chat with Greg Skinner about the push button dash assembly in regard to a diagram for it. The inner workings are a bit of mystery to most and a rather large source of frustration when they stop working. VW did, as Greg reminded me, replace the push button assembly rather early in life and in the middle of a model year. The push button assembly was ended mid-April 1964 at VIN 0423139. There had to be good reason for its replacement and I can only surmise it was because of its inherent complexity...one that the Germans, who tended to over-engineer many things, found to be too complex and fragile.
So in my quest to upgrade the electrics to more modern equivalents, I searched many threads, read a very wide array of potential contributors to my 'desire'...now 'need'...to use modern electronic flashers/relays while retaining most of the original features not found on later cars. With the help of another, more knowledgeable individual, I believe the issue has been solved. The only way to really test it out is to hook it up and see what happens. I'm hoping to do this very soon.
The 4 way flashers were another thing I intended on installing since I am under the dash and most of the guts are out. As mentioned previously, I bought and intended on using a 9 pin flasher...then found the idea of using a DPDT relay and two standard flashers (lots of wires and connections but easy to find replacement parts) before Greg mentioned something in his reply to me that, I have to admit, was so simple that 1/2 through reading his reply I thought "Why the f**k didn't I think of that?" It's the Jokon 4 way flasher accessory. It's still a load sensitive system which won't work with LEDs but if that modification was made necessary, I would modify the Jokon relay and not the wiring on the car. I found one on German eBay and bought it. It should be here near the end of the month. I will have the parts and diagrams for all three options so I just have to decide which one makes the most sense at the time of installation.
The car will still be sitting, waiting, so there's no rush. I'm burned out on working on this car right now. I'm focusing on little things that I tend to ignore vs. attempting to tackle large scale tasks.
The best thing to do when I'm stuck is take a step back, contact more knowledgeable people and collect opinions about how to resolve issues.
I've got what's likely to amount to my last parts order for a while, coming from Germany in the next 10 days. In that order are the studs for the transmission mount for Ferris-which will allow me to get the rear sub frame assembled and start to put brakes on the axles, assemble a front beam, etc. If I can get a little more space in the garage I can start to assemble Ferris.
The roof rack has been put to use...although not quite in the way I expected.
I am at a fork in the road with regard to progress on the car so I decided to 'detach' and start pitching old parts that I'm not going to use. Ever.
Banished from existence are 9 pairs of heater bellows (under the seat), 2 sets of heat exchangers with various amounts of damage, 2 back seat frames/seat springs and a 5 gallon bucket of random shit that's so rusty that it should have been tuna cans long ago. I hate realizing that piles and piles of stuff that I've held on to for so long isn't really usable.
There are a few more random items that have to go but I managed to get a lot out of the garage. Putting the second engine together is going to free up quite a bit of space so I'm now aiming in that direction.
The starter, hard start relay and ground strap are installed. I'm going to spend some time working out what has turned into quite the challenging wiring change before I do anything on the car. It's got the original wiring harness and 99% of it is unmolested-I'd like to keep it that way-so I have to dig into how to best accomplish what I want. I bought a 9 pin flasher relay but I may not wind up using it given that I'll just have to make changes if I use LEDs in the signals. I'm exploring the option of using a few electronic flashers but that's going to require an extensively detailed wiring diagram that I've only just begun to piece together.
I have some wiring to figure out on Nigel before I go much further forward so I'm taking a break. My certification course, in week one, is quite intense. I have over 200 pages of material to read, absorb and test out on by Wednesday before I can proceed to the next week's work. It's only 8 weeks long and I'll be focused on that until the course and testing are complete.
...and this is why my parts hoarding process will never end. I find stuff like this while trying to find something else.
I received the rebuilt generator and pulley today as well as my parts order with the flasher relay, a correct speedometer cable (shorter) and a new breather hose to replace the crumbling piece that's in the car now.
In addition, I bought two sets of NOS 12 volt chokes so I can put the Ferris motor back together. I'm a starter away from firing that engine up now. It's looking a lot like I'll be able to fire up both motors at right around the same time. As I lose momentum on the car, I swing over to putting stuff back on the Ferris motor until an ordered part arrives.
I was looking for techniques to 'solo bleed' the brakes on my car and stumbled into a Camaro forum along the way. I then found www.speedbleeder.com which are brake bleeders with an internal check valve. I think I'm going to figure out the front caliper bleeder size and buy a set. The rear bleeders are tiny and I doubt they have them...but I'll check anyway just in case. It would be nice to redeem myself after two failures in brake bleeding.
Another conversation today brought up the topic of 'bench bleeding' the master cylinder-a term this brake bleeding noob has never heard before today. It's supposed to ensure that the master cylinder isn't dry between chambers and that all air is out of the system at that point. It's also supposed to make bleeding the rest of the system easier. Yet another technique to try out in an effort to get a solid pedal.
I didn't do shit today but I did learn a few things...that's progress in my book.
I feel like I've just crawled out from under a rock.
Spent another two hours working on the car tonight. Pulled the exhaust, the intake bellows, the outer shroud and replaced it with a 12 volt version. Replaced the intake bellows and the exhaust. The generator I was going to use is not functional so I ordered another one and it should be here Friday or Saturday. The only thing that's really left after that is the starter replacement and that shouldn't take long to swap. I'm now looking at the optimal size battery for the space and looking at the Optima line. Looks like I want a group 41/42 size battery which isn't easy to find.
I found the wiper parts and, oddly enough, have the one part that kept me from installing the replacement pieces so I can get back on that at some point. I'm looking to have this car at least running on 12 volt by the weekend if all of my orders arrive as expected. It's a real pain in the ass working on a car when nearly every part that I don't have requires an order to ship to me vs. having a place to go pick it up. Slows things down quite a bit.
I adjusted the brake pedal lever and got the pedal within spec (1-2mm of play) but the brakes are still super weak. That's about all I did with the brakes today. I'm still contemplating my next move. Something is out of whack but I don't want to make it worse. I had a chat with a guy at AutoZone and he suggested bleeding the brakes at the lines on the master cylinder to make sure there are no issues with the master cylinder...might be worth a try while the gas tank is still on the garage floor.
I'm starting a certification course this week-it's going to limit my garage time quite a bit over the next two months...but somehow, I've got to get the car running and out of the garage and into storage before it starts snowing. That's the new goal. Get it fully functional so that I can send it off to storage for 6 months.
I spent two and a half hours in the garage today-working on the 12 volt conversion process. All of the bulbs are swapped, the old wiper assembly is out and the new one is almost ready to go back in - I discovered some broken pieces upon removal and these will halt the assembly process until I get them replaced. The wiper motor assembly came out fairly easily once I removed the ashtray, glove box, heat control sliders and drain hose cover. I pulled the original 6 volt horn and it turned out to be rather clean on the inside face. Once I get it all pulled, I'll post up ads for the parts...I've got quite the array of bulbs as well.
While the dash is apart, I'm going to replace the flasher unit with 4 way flashers so that part is now on order. It should show up at the end of the week.
I pulled the brake pedal rod to adjust it but didn't get it back in as I stuffed the boot and have to pull it back into shape. I couldn't find anything to use so I just stopped before I did any damage.
I have to pull the muffler to get the shroud replaced-which will then allow me to install the generator and close up the engine bay work.
I bought a small piece of flat steel to mount the solid state voltage regulator a little further from the side wall of the car. The two main power supply wires are within 1/8" of the side wall of the car and I didn't feel comfortable with that small gap. As long as the connections are solid and I get a good ground everything should be fine.
The front brake reservoir project has found new life-I bought a test piece of 6mm supply line at AutoZone which I will use to practice the ultimate bend route for the reservoir to master cylinder and reduce the hose required. I may have figured out a way to eliminate the adapter but I'll have to put that theory to the test prior to getting too excited about it.
The starter is next on the list for replacement. I thought I'd have time to get to that today but with the brake pedal rod distraction, I lost the time to get to the starter.
I spent a little over two hours in the garage tonight. I started the 12 volt conversion process and, with a few minor stumbles, managed to get a decent amount accomplished.
Here's what got done today:
Tail light bulbs
License plate bulb
Hatch cargo light bulb
Generator, strap and seal
12 volt outer fan shroud
Starter with 6 volt teeth
67 only 12volt wiper motor
Electronic signal flasher
Turn indicator bulbs
It doesn't look like much. I've pulled the 6 volt regulator and generator but didn't get their 12 volt equivalents installed yet. I'm sure that with another 2-3 hours, I can get quite a bit of this list done. The dash wiper mess is going to take a couple of hours on its own. I'm pulling the whole assembly and replacing it with a rebuilt unit. The one that gets removed will be rebuilt for Ferris, when and if, I ever get back to working on that car. I've also got to focus more on the car vs. organizing random shit in the garage when I go out there.
Soon enough, I'll put the 6 volt stuff up for sale in the classifieds so that I don't wind up adding it to the collection of random shit I'll never use. Once I find the right parts for both cars, the rest of this stuff has got to go. I don't need 6 sets of heater bellows or four sets of heater boxes. I'm not quite sure why I've kept some of this stuff but it's time for a lot of it to find a new home.
I wound up pulling quite a few parts off of the engine for Ferris, which wasn't really the plan, so I now need to make sure that I get the replacements ordered and installed so that investment doesn't go to shit. I'm planning to install the rest of the pieces and heater boxes so I can start the engine and let it run a little. It's been sitting for far too long now.
Returned home yesterday evening from a work trip to Japan to my infant son having what we initially thought was explosive, room clearing gas...after a doctor's visit this morning, it's stomach flu. So now we get to run full blast through the minefield that is contagion and try to not step on one of the landmines that will share the affliction with one or both lucky parents. Needless to say, little work will be conducted on the car.
Last Sunday, I went to the local show, sans Nigel, and found two of these 2 wire clips. I sold the old seat belt from Nigel for $5 and that's pretty much where the sales ended. I feel like I'm selling ice cubes to Eskimos when I haul my Type 3 shit out to swap meets around here.
The swap area was light, the attendance was sparse and it was hot. Beats the shit out of the rain we got 2 years ago. Nevertheless, I had a good time. I never really go expecting to sell a lot-sometimes I'm surprised, most times I get exactly what I expect.
Short of a 12 volt battery, I have all of the parts for my 12 volt conversion...this I know I can do without fucking it up (unlike the brakes). I had a brief discussion with another 'car guy' and he suspects that the brake bleeders might be faulty and allowing air back into the system. In any event, I have to adjust the brake lever plunger so that I can take that off the list of 'possibilities' I'll hit the FLAPS and pick up a battery soon...
Bled the brakes until I had clear fluid and no bubbles. Again.
I'm moving on to more productive things so the car is back in its corner.
I've gone through nearly 2 gallons of brake fluid at this point. When I get back from my trip, I'm going to put the gas tank back in the car and drive to a shop (it's close and I have a functional e-brake) and let them bleed the brakes. I don't think this is my 'thing'.
Sometimes the best thing I can do is know when to stop.
Today was to have been the day that the car went back on the ground after a successful master cylinder transplant...but that didn't happen.
The master cylinder has been replaced, the dual reservoir was installed and new lines were run. I'm not 100% happy with the new lines but they'll do for now. I've had some time to contemplate the routing and I know which way I want to go-I just have to get the line and lay it out. I can get better coverage with steel line and improve the bend radius once I get a couple of tools. I'll likely save this for the restoration process unless I wind up having to take the brakes apart again.
The issue keeping this car on jack stands is that I cannot get the brakes to bleed. Pedal goes right to the floor. I checked the pedal distance to the plunger and it could use some adjustment but that's not going to solve the problem. There's a lot of air in the system and I'm having a hell of a time getting it out.
To make things a bit more challenging the very expensive power bleeder sprung a leak on me right as I started the process. There's now more brake fluid on the garage floor than in the car. I'm thinking a vacuum bleeder is the way to go since the pressure bleeder isn't doing the trick...but that means buying something else and waiting.
I attempted the 'gravity bleed' method but that was pretty much pointless. Being solo, I can't do the 'two man bleed'. I'm going to try replacing the seal on the power bleeder before I give up completely. Fingers crossed, it'll work. If not, so be it. I'll put the tires back on and drop it on the ground-move it to its side of the garage and call it. I've got a family to spend time with and a business trip early next week so the car can wait...it doesn't seem to be in much of a hurry to get back on the road anyway.
Some days I'm pretty happy that I bought this car...today isn't one of those days.
The one piece I thought would be hard to find: The 1967 one year only wiper motor is now in the mail on its way to me. I thought I already owned this piece but I have a 68 two speed wiper motor. The 67 wiper motor will allow me to use the rheostat on the pushbutton assembly without any additional switches. I'm attempting to slightly modernize the car without making too many permanent changes to it in the process.
I believe this concludes the parts collecting for the 12 volt conversion to be undertaken in the future.
Tomorrow night, I'm hoping to have solved the brake fade issue once and for all with a test drive around the house on our newly paved roads.
I received my parts ordered to adapt the dual reservoir to the dual circuit master cylinder as well. I'm on the fence about how to best mount the dual reservoir while attempting to retain the stock appearance. I'm considering using a piece of a 1967 Type 3 and welding it in place as it is on the 67. Only a few would notice that the reservoir and the little hump are not stock...I definitely don't want it hacked in-wherever it winds up.
The rear brakes are back on with new shoes and some new hardware. I used most of what was on the car because it was still good stuff.
The drums are torqued down, cotter pinned and ready to go...although I didn't install the tires as I did one last brake bleed and discovered that there is a tremendous amount of fade in the pedal in spite of the fact that there are no leaks in the system and the rear shoes are adjusted. The fluid is clear and no bubbles were present in the bleed. I'm going to try one more bleed with slightly higher pressure to see if there's air stuck somewhere. If that doesn't work, then the master cylinder is going to get swapped.
A little more tweaking and the leaks have stopped. The plan is to check after work today and then put the rear brakes back on the car, time permitting. Final bleed on the brakes and back on the ground he goes.
The alignment needs to be set and the wheels need to be balanced. Other than that, things should be in decent shape once I get the engine to turn over...I've got a few ideas to execute before I throw my hands up in the air and admit defeat.
I ordered the missing parts to do my 12 volt conversion. I posted a question about the pushbutton assembly on The Samba and it appears that with very minor modification, the conversion should work just fine. I find that to be good news as I was under the impression that the pushbutton assembly wouldn't dig the conversion (although I'll admit I didn't really know why it couldn't work).
The ground issue is going to need some attention so I'm also going to start looking for the obvious issues first and hope I stumble across the problem more early on than late in the game, so to speak.
Received some parts in the mail yesterday:
Good used reflector to replace the cracked one I have now.
NOS 66/67 pop out window hinge (swap knob and voila! early hinge)
NOS sun visor clips
NOS silver beige finger cups
Four headlight screws (for Euro buckets)
Two late gaskets for the small heater box/muffler connection
Very little progress coupled with a healthy dose of stasis.
The rear seals have both been replaced but something is still leaking. I waited a full 24 hours before replacing the seals-letting the excess gear oil drain out (the garage smells great, btw).
I installed the plastic on the driver's side door and the door panels...but not before I cracked the top one in half. And I lost one of the screws and one of the white caps. While sitting in one place without moving. And the replacement Z arm rest is bent...which I didn't notice until it was installed. I lost two of the washers while attempting to line up the crooked Z arm rest on the mounting holes. And then, to top it all off the top plastic trim is broken. I figured that out when the two right clips wouldn't seat. After screwing with it for a few minutes I realized that it's not the clips, it's the plastic. And I forgot to put the spring over the regulator shaft before installing the top trim panel. It's been a great night overall. The car is still up on jack stands, the garage reeks and I've added quite a few broken parts to my collection. More NOS parts to the rescue!
I'm pretty sure there's a ground issue in the car somewhere which is causing my lighting issue. The only problems I have are the front turn indicators and headlights. Everything else is working just fine. I checked all of the wiring against the wiring diagram and it's all wired exactly to the wiring diagram and it all powers up-it's just not very bright or consistent (which is why I think it's a ground issue). The front indicators are backward-no matter how I wire them-the running light is SUPERFUCKINGBRIGHT while the turn indicator is super dim-so dim that you don't notice the turn indicator is on when the running lights are on as well. So the choices are to A) Chase down the problem while swearing in five languages or B) convert the car to 12 volt which will force me to look at each and every connection, bulb and wire along the way. Never mind the fact that 12 volt batteries are cheaper, bulbs are easier to find and there's some serious convenience in having every car in the house running the same system. In addition to all of that, either the 6 volt battery died or my battery charger died. The battery wouldn't charge beyond 6.3 volts and the charger shut down on its own after a few attempts to start the car. So even if I get the axle seal issue solved, I still have to start the car.
At this point, I don't think this car is going to make the short trek to the local VW show. The rate of issues/time I have to work on it/days before the show = slim chance.
Replaced right side front indicator housing with NOS unit and NOS seal
Installed formal ground from housing to vehicle
Rewired connections from headlight bucket to indicator housing
Pulled passenger's side rear brake shoes and hardware
Pulled the passenger's side rear axle seal and replaced with new parts
And that's where I left off. I didn't really have much more time but the left side wasn't done because the retainer needs some additional work before being installed. I should be able to get to it tonight. I'm planning another round of brake bleeding as a final follow up. Hopefully, today will be the day I can drive the car. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
In other news, I'm seriously considering a 12v conversion on this car. The fan housing with the generator cradle is already 12v size and I have all of the parts to do the conversion with the exception of the bulbs. I also think it would be much easier to have both cars on the same voltage, parts-wise. My only real concern is the push button unit and the wiper control. I'm sure the light switches will be fine as they merely pass current. I'll have to keep the car 6 volt for the immediate but a conversion is looking rather inviting.
Rear disc brakes are also looking more and more interesting...
Replaced both rear wheel cylinders with new TRW/Brazilian wheel cylinders, pulled and cleaned the adjusters since they were stuck and started the process of putting the rear end back together....then the next thing happened.
The driver's side axle started dripping gear oil from the transmission. The axle boots don't leak but the rear axle seals sure do! I was just at the point of torquing down the axle nuts when I noticed some fluid seeping out of the adjustment hole...turned out to be gear oil.
"Well, that's just fucking great!" was my comment as I stood up and ended the work. I've got to get this car back together as it's in the middle of the garage...and I refuse to be defeated by a car.
Two times in a row now...15-20 minutes from finishing up the car and putting gas in it and something else goes wrong.
I'm starting to think that this car doesn't want to go back together.
I left the car alone, ran some errands and returned to find that the passenger's side is now leaking as well...it's possible that I overfilled the trans gear oil but I didn't put that much in (less than 1/2 qt) and I know that the car lost at least that much when the old boots were in place.
I returned to finish installing the seat belts and figure out why the turn signals on the front of the car are so dim. I checked the wiring and grounds to the fixtures and found nothing wrong-everything matches the wiring diagram. In one replacement of the headlight assembly, I shorted out the contact so the fuse burned.
I replaced it.
Then I promptly did it again.
Then the contact broke.
Ahh... Problem solved!
I'll tackle this later.
Stuff that actually got done today:
Finished installing the front seat belts
Installed two new rear wheel cylinders
Successfully bled the brakes. Clear fluid, no bubbles. Questioning the master cylinder, however, and I may wind up swapping it out with my new unit. I suspect that the one on the car is a Type 1 master cylinder. The brakes work but not as well as they should. Especially now.
Smashed my right index finger and broke the nail in half while removing the left headlight assembly. The one place I would never consider the possibility of smashing my finger and I accomplished exactly that. No photos-it's ugly.
Installed electronic flasher for LEDs then discovered that the front turn indicators are very dim-I'm suspecting the ground because swapping wires gave the same result on a different filament. Bad ground is all I've got to go on...
Discovered that the license plate light is so dim that you'd have to be within 12 inches of the car to actually see what the plate number is if it's dark outside. I'll get to that shortly.
Broke a screw in the right front turn indicator housing. Not a big deal because I have three NOS units with a proper ground. If the LEFT one goes that's a different story.
Contemplated rear axle seal replacement. Decided to pass for now due to mounting frustration and likelihood that I'll lose my shit if something else breaks. I may attack it tomorrow or one day after work. I REALLY want to drive this car to the show next Sunday but I don't think it wants to go. Either that or it's looking for an earlier restoration.
Prepared the plastic for the door. I didn't put it on the door because I got distracted by thinking that I really should just gut the door and rebuild it with new felt and scrapers. Fortunately, I don't have outer trim or scrapers so I let that go for now. The thing that should have been done today will get done later.
I also did a voluminous amount of swearing and pacing.
I'm off to read up on the rear axle seal replacement process...it's not terribly hard, if I remember correctly, although none of this has been 'hard', per se. There's an element of challenge to replace the current broken thing without creating a newly broken thing in the process.
If the gear oil was overfilled, the extra fluid will leak out overnight and I can prop up the axles with more jack stands and replace the seals-preventing a ton more from leaking out during the swap. I've got extra cover plates so I'll build them up and just prep for a swap-hoping that it all goes well.
Lots of little distractions but I did manage to get a few things accomplished.
Removed the door panel on the driver's side door to lubricate the window regulator since it was hard to roll the window up and down. Discovered this wax paper covering the opening. I thought VW always used plastic.
Wound up pulling the regulator, cleaning it up and installing a new clip (the real problem here), along with lubricating the rail. Window works great now. Also replacing the window winder handle and the Z arm rest when the panel goes back on the car tomorrow (after I buy some plastic to install on the door opening).
I was wondering where all of the clips to the upper trim piece went...and now I know.
Bleeding the brakes and at the last one, I noticed that it was crooked when I loosened the bleeder, it snapped off.
So I was 15 minutes from finishing the brakes and being able to drive the car...now I have three hours of work ahead of me in replacing the wheel cylinder. There's no chance I'm going to get the rest of that bleeder out of the wheel cylinder.
And while I'm at it, I might as well just replace both sides.
The brake fluid that came out of the bleeders was in nasty shape. Too bad I didn't get the whole system finished!
Pulled the NOS tach out of the box, assembled some wires and in the dash it went. The only thing I don't like about it is the lighting pattern in the dark.
The dash looks much better with that clock hole filled.
In addition, I swapped out the 65 exhaust with the VW logo'd 64 and earlier exhaust so I wouldn't have to Mickey Mouse a cover for the fresh air/preheat tubes.
I'm hoping to get some time tomorrow to finish up and take the car out for a drive.
The one part that's holding up this whole brake job thing was just shipped today...after I asked the seller for a tracking number. It's been a week and I should have the part by now. It's scheduled to arrive on Friday. Would have been nice to receive it earlier-you know, when it should have arrived (today/tomorrow) but my priorities are no one else's so now I just have to wait.
The 67 only Type 1 brake reservoir showed up (along with some other parts) and I am happy to learn that the pipes, nuts and bushings are a perfect fit to the Type 3 67 only reservoir.
I'm now waiting on the NOS fluid tubes to arrive before I can install the new braking system.
I also found some repop band clamps for the air elbows I bought some stainless steel band clamps that are about 3/16" wide and will cut the ends off and use them with these clamps for the elbow connections. Once that's all installed (or I short cut and just use hose clamps), I'll fire up the engine with the new exhaust.
I should be able to drive the car around next weekend...new brakes, new exhaust. It's getting good!
I ordered up the parts I think I'm going to need to finish up the two open items on the 'to do' list so that I can drive car more than four blocks.
Most of it should arrive before the weekend, although I'm not sure I'll have a lot of time to get it done this weekend due to other plans cemented several moons earlier. I'm pretty sure I'll have the muffler situation worked out and the gear oil in the transmission will be filled. The brakes are the only open item on the list...and they're what I'd consider a 'big' item since they have to be dialed in before the car goes anywhere.
I made the mistake of buying a part from a seller with whom I've had at least one previous disappointing experience. I figured that experience may have been a 'one off' and to give them another shot. Turns out, my gut instinct was correct...and I wound up with another disappointing part. Lesson learned. Time to move forward.
After yesterday's setback with the brakes and lacking the 46mm wrench to tighten the muffler nuts, I decided to spend some time today working on things that would yield a more positive result.
I mounted the rear reflector housings and reflectors. Turns out that the little picks I bought at the FLAPS worked great for pulling the seal out from behind the housing.
One nice distraction with the rear bumper being mounted is that I can't see just how jacked up the rear apron is...I know it's there though.
I also mounted the chrome trim piece on the muffler pipe. It felt good to open up that NOS package and put the part to use.
Also nice to see the exhaust exiting on the proper side of the vehicle.
Found some short elbows since I'm using a later muffler. They're the wrong color but they're correct for the muffler. Downside is that I have to block off the fresh air pipes at the end since the car has early tin (64) and there wasn't a provision for the preheat pipe until 1965. I think I'm going to buy some pinch clamps for the rubber connector for now. I have NOS bands but want to hang on to those until I mount the correct muffler.
Mounted a new bellows boot with NOS band clamps. It's amazing how much easier it is to put correct parts on the car vs. fighting with aftermarket shit that doesn't fit properly.
I bought a small spool of wire for the tach but didn't get it installed as of now.
Two orders will go in today for parts needed to finish the brakes and the muffler install (clamps).
I didn't do anything with the interior or the seat belts. The rubber floor mat is super brittle and that leaves me with no where to mount 1/3 of the front seat belts. I've already decided that I'm going to have a seat belt mount welded to the rocker when the car is prepped for paint because I don't want to put a weird hole in the floor (not to mention the inherent weaknesses of the floor for a seat belt mount).
I've got some investigation due for the rear seat and seat belts. I've got too many rear seats so I plan to go through what I have and keep three at the most. I think I have five rear seats right now. It's just time to thin the piles to a respectable level.
I hope to keep the work level going and get a few things done during the week...although I'm at the figurative mercy of the many people from whom I've ordered parts.
Found the original 67 only supply tube from reservoir to master cylinder, original German style hose in the larger 7mm size (supply tube is 8mm, IIRC), and I'm waiting to receive a repop 67 Type 1 dual reservoir. I know the cap will fit and I'm hoping that the pipes that come from the bottom are similar enough that I can use them on the Type 3 reservoir. If not, I may temporarily rig up the Type 1 part so that I can get the brakes back to fully functional until the proper part is located. I've got my 'feelers' out there looking for the correct parts...but they never seem to show up right when they're needed. I'll find a solution-it's just a matter of time.