Sunday, August 31, 2014

“We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”

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
  • 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
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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Too many monkeys with wrenches

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...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Groundhog day

Fixed the brake bleeder.

Bled the brakes until I had clear fluid and no bubbles.  Again.

No pedal.

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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Why should things be easy to understand?

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 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 isn't one of those days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another sign of things to come

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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The fight continues

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.

I'm way too close to give up now...

“Know that everything is in perfect order whether you understand it or not.”

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
  • NOS seat cams
  • Three NOS panel screw covers

Monday, August 18, 2014

Expectation is the mother of all frustration.

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.

"The shortest distance between two points is under construction"

A few things were accomplished yesterday:
  • 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...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

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'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.

And again.

Then the contact broke.

Ahh...  Problem solved!

Sort of.

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'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.

Friday, August 15, 2014

“And the man who dreamt of flight has tripped and fallen in a hole.”

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 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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

“Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat.”

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.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Exhaust every possible option to reach a milestone

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 brakes, new exhaust.  It's getting good!

Monday, August 4, 2014

A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.

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.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.

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.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

If there is no struggle, there is no progress

 Early on in the day, I got distracted by an ugly choke on the left side so I replaced it with a NOS unit.  The old choke fell apart when I pulled it off the car and went to set it aside.  Then I noticed the loose wires on the chokes.  So, I pulled out my wiring stuff and fixed the wires to original style spade connectors and got rid of the blue insulated shit ones that were on the car.
 I pulled the glasspak muffler system that came with the car and installed a later (65) NOS muffler and some good used small heater boxes.  All I need to do is buy a 46mm wrench to tighten up the big nut between the small heater box and the muffler.  Everything went in pretty easily.  I can't wait to hear the car turn over with a stock exhaust again.
I took a photo of the new CuLayer tail light bulbs-this is from approximately 25-30 feet behind the car.  I think they're going to work out perfectly.  I'm very happy that I found them.

I wound up changing the axle boots, the fuel filter, installing cotter pins in the outer tie rods, fixed the headlight issue (although I still have a ground issue on the right side), NOS muffler, heater boxes, installed a NOS choke, fixed the license plate light wire (it was broken), replaced some semi-hacked looking wiring, and took a serious look at the back seat and the seat belt situation.

I'm hoping to get up early and knock out a few more things from the list.

When I attempted to bleed the brakes, I discovered that the brake fluid was contaminated by the rubber gasket from the reservoir cap (not sure Type 3's ever had these stock...).  The fluid was dark grey and the reservoir is very mucked up.  This likely means that the master cylinder that's in the car is going to need a rebuild because it's probably full of little bits of lid seal.  It was nasty.

I couldn't get the reservoir clean so I think I'm going to just pull the master and swap the front lines so that they're 'proper' for a dual master and figure out a way to install the reservoir from the 67.  I need the aluminum lines and I'm not sure I'll find those locally...which means more waiting.

I also need hose clamps because, in spite of what 'many' will say, the woven German hose still should have hose clamps.  I'm not one to take a chance on the hose staying in place without them.  I thought I had the right size clamps but they turned out to be too big.