Thursday, June 30, 2016

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.”

Took the car out for a brief drive after work today...Kelly hasn't driven a manual transmission car in 6 years and we wanted to see how much she remembered.  It went okay - she stalled the car only twice and the distractions of the slightly wandering steering probably didn't help on the concentration front.  I think a few more opportunities and she will have it down...

The car was slow to warm up (and I didn't wait long enough) so it died a couple of times out of the driveway.  I think the idle is a tad too low at the current adjustment so I'm going to have to bring it up a bit.  Should be a little easier since I bought an inexpensive tachometer that I can hook up at engine.  I'd guess it's right around 700 RPM right now so it could stand to go up another 100-150 RPM which would help with the warm up process.

I discovered that one of the fuses was out of the fuse box tonight.  I couldn't figure out why the left side bulbs didn't work and it turned out that the fuse was missing.  Not sure how that happened but it was an easy fix.  I also corrected the right front running light ground.

Still need to address the horn connection, wire up the wiper motor, fix the turn indicator canceling and get the left side turn indicator in the gauge to function properly.  A few little things that shouldn't be too hard to get functional again.

The steering is also super loose and I'm not 100% what is causing the issue.  The car has a newly rebuilt/tight steering box, a new 'donut' coupler, new steering damper, new tie rods, new ball joints...all of the connections and typical 'wandering steering' culprits have been checked.  I guess I could swap out the steering box but I'm not 100% sure that'll fix it.  Really odd that I can't locate the problem.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Nothing to see here...move along.

The local ACVW show was a bust...there were 9 swap spaces.  No exaggeration - short of a solid ten.  I didn't take any pictures because there really wasn't anything to photograph.  It rained off and on during the two hours I stuck around chatting with Lou - he paid for a swap space hoping to offload the rest of his shit.  I found out later that he didn't sell much of anything.

I walked the swap space in less than ten minutes, walked the 'show' part in another ten minutes and spent the rest of the time shooting the shit with Lou.  I can't say I'll go back out to this show next year.  Last time I attended this show was about six years ago and it wasn't much better.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A day of progress

It's hot today - near 90°F.

After a bit of a rough start to the day, I got back into tweaking the things I fucked up a few days ago.  I took everything back to 100% stock settings and the car fired up and ran - slightly rough.  I had to adjust the idle a bit to get it to continue running.  The idle is still low.

I've got a few weird things going on with the engine...the carbs are in sync, timing is set, valves are adjusted, point gap is good, fresh oil, new 93 octane fuel...but the engine will hunt a little after it warms up.  The only thing I know that contributes to idle hunt is a bad vacuum signal.  I did the suck test on the distributor and it works properly.  The hose is brand new German Continental.  The car runs fine, accelerates without hesitation, doesn't backfire or stumble.  Just the idle hunt...I've never run into this before so it's alien territory.

Once I put about 10 miles on the car, I returned home, removed the roof rack and washed the car - I've never washed this car - so it was nice to see it come clean after sitting for nearly a year in the garage covered in dust.  The roof rack is now suspended from the ceiling in the garage.  All of the window seals are shot so I expected to find water inside the car.  The hatch seal isn't on the car and the front trunk seal is crunchy...The car didn't really leak inside like I expected so that was a pleasant surprise.

The front steering is still a bit off - the steering wheel isn't centered (alignment shop screw up) and it wanders a little too much for my taste.  There's no real delay between the wheels moving side to side and the action from the steering wheel but the car tends to wander on the road at speeds over 30 MPH.  I checked the top control arm adjustment and it's nice and ball joints, new tie rod ends, new steering damper.  It's possible that my perception of how the car should drive vs. how it actually drives are not the same.  My V60 RD has very wide tires, the car itself is wide, it weighs twice as much as the Variant and has almost six times the horsepower.

I'm going to one of the few local VW shows tomorrow - I thought about driving Nigel but I'm not quite happy with the driving mannerisms just yet, it's pretty far away and it's supposed to rain.  The rain bit wouldn't normally deter me but I never hooked up the wipers when I converted to 12 volt.  It's one of those things that I keep telling myself that I need to do then wind up doing five other things instead.  In addition to that, there are a couple of odd noises while driving that I need to figure sounds like I'm dragging a grocery bag under the car (I'm not - I checked).  I don't know what's up with that yet.  I'm thinking about taking the camera and making a video of a drive around the 'hood to see if I can capture the sounds.

Along with all of the other stuff, I sold off two of my early ignitions that I'd kept for parts - one was broken at the front, the other at the rear...working on selling off a few other pieces as well.

I tried to sell the front beam that I stripped down bare but the shipping cost is too high so no one will buy it.  I think I'm going to use it to test my painting skills (they're weak) and as a clamp to disassemble the steering boxes that I have.  It's time they come apart and I figure out how to rebuild them.  In the same vein, I scrapped three rusty heat exchangers today - I pulled a couple of spare parts off of them and put them at the curb.  Within 20 minutes they were gone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor."

A while ago, I found the rear right backing plate...I recently found the rear left backing plate.  I prefer the NOS parts because the used parts I've purchased all suffered some damage that was a pain in the ass to fix.

I have late backing plates on the transmission for the 65 but those will stay on that transmission through the course of the build.  Nigel, however, is going to be as correct as my ability to find the right parts.
Original battery cable for the positive connection with the connection for the voltage regulator, starter and it has the grommet to go through the body already installed.

This part was not cheap but it looks like it was worth it!
Contact plate for a Koln ignition column.  At one point a while back, I had several of these and sold the spares thinking that I'd never need another one...until I wound up with a second Koln column which I didn't think would happen.

I bought this as a replacement part, not a spare, so it'll be put to use nearly immediately after the housing and arm are painted.
This is one of those parts that almost never comes up for sale:  NOS gasket between the 'wrap' turn indicator housing and the lens.

These will go into my stash of parts.
Used but nice condition set of blue dot knobs for the vent controls.  The outer left knob was chipped on the underside in shipping but I'm fairly confident that I can glue it back together some late night after a beer when there's nothing else going on.
Probably the last set of these cupped window cranks I'm going to buy.  They're about a 7/10 overall.  The knobs turn well, not severely damaged.  One arm has pitting on the reverse side (can't see it when installed).  In otherwise real nice condition.  I think I've got five sets of these now...probably a good time to stop.

An ignition switch for the early cars - this one is a bit of an oddball.

I thought I was going to get this and use it for parts but immediately realized that several of the parts are different and can't be interchanged with what I've currently got to fix.

I may know of someone who has a use for this so it won't go to waste.  This will probably turn into one of those 'lessons' I learn later: it's some super stupid rare ignition and I should have kept it.  I'll cross that bridge when/if I get to it.

For now, I'm going to focus on putting parts together to form a car vs. buying parts.  If I make some progress, there will be a post.  No post = no progress.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Flying like a cannonball, falling to the earth, heavy as a feather when you hit the dirt

I got some time to tinker with the engine tonight - I checked the valves again and, somehow, made them I'll be revisiting them again maybe tomorrow.  I used the distributor as the guide for TDC but I now suspect that the distributor is off by a couple of degrees.  The car will run but it's not happy about it.  It's a good education for me - I've never been real good at setting/adjusting the timing and it's about time I learned to get it right.

I did swap out the odd carb linkage lever so both sides are the same and correct.

Car: 2
Me: 1

Sunday, June 19, 2016

"Holdin on to a scene but they're just memories"

Monthly update: No progress made.

I need to pull the fuel tank and check/adjust the steering box but I just haven't had time - spent every free moment working in the yard trying to wrap up that list of projects.  I think it's 95% done now so I should be able to get back to tweaking Nigel and then drive him around a bit.

Things to do:
  1. Pull fuel tank and check steering box for play
  2. Adjust rear brakes a bit, replace trim rings and hub caps
  3. Adjust shifter slightly
  4. Adjust the idle
  5. Test the tach to see if I fucked it up (long story)
Seems simple...but it'll probably take me another three months to do it and then I'll be complaining about having this car for 3 years and never driving it.  This Winter the car is going into storage so I can park the Volvo in the garage.