Sunday, April 30, 2017

Still moving forward...

Today's work was to get the alignment set and put the gas tank back in the car.

I started by figuring out the 'center' of the steering since this box was rebuilt and the centering ring was off a bit.  I wanted to figure out if the steering wheel needed to be moved or if the tie rod ends needed adjustment.
A while back, I bought this 'toe gauge' off of Amazon after reading about another Type 3 owner's experience with it in setting the toe in on the front axle.  About a year ago, I had the alignment set at a local shop but I wasn't 100% sure they'd done it to spec.

I spent some time doing set up and making sure I'd adjusted everything properly before taking my measurements.  Once I was confident with set up I took measurements and converted into degrees...which wound up being totally unnecessary since the alignment spec book that I found online shows the acceptable range in inches (front to rear of tire).  Anyway, the front end is within spec. so all I had to do was move the centering ring on the steering box shaft and re-center the steering wheel.  Just in case I've skipped/missed something, I'm going to wait until I've driven the car a bit before I put the horn back together.

I replaced the lower rear hatch seal and cleaned out the channel for the rear hatch seal.  I've got an ISP seal that I've been fitting to see how to go about installing.  Ordered up some adhesive for the seal and by mid-week, I should be confident about the installation.  The rear axle nuts are torqued to 265 lb/ft. (slightly over spec) because that's where the next hole lined up with the axle nuts.  Cotter pins are in.

The gas tank is back in, and tomorrow, I hope to check the thermostat adjustment because I suspect that it's causing the engine to run hot.  Nothing else has been touched so it should be running okay once it gets some fuel.

Fingers crossed, I'll get this car fired up today or tomorrow.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jumping the hurdles instead of tripping over them

I squeaked out some time to do a second brake bleed and got the car back on tires.  A little while later, I pushed the car into the driveway and gave the car a good wash and a fast wax.  I used the power washer  and was pleasantly surprised to find that the car doesn't leak.  I don't think I've ever washed it with anything other than the hose in the past.

I still don't have parking brake cables but the rest of it is good to go.  I'm hoping to have the time to do a very minor alignment tweak tomorrow, pop the tank back in and fire the car up.  It's probably going to need a bit to get it running proper but it shouldn't be much.  I really want to be able to drive this car around and I'm close!  I'd like to test out the brakes, make sure the alignment is good (after I've messed with it) and check the thermostat to make sure it's working properly.

I'm close to driving it...real close.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

who gets the job of pushing the knob...?

All of the progress for the last three days has been 'behind the scenes'...I've always been bothered by the fact that I don't have an inventory of my parts or really know where they are beyond 'somewhere on the property'.  Being that I worked in inventory control for so long, you'd think I'd translate those skills to my own stuff - but like the car mechanic that drives a total shitbox, it hadn't been a priority to improve the situation.  The situation where I attempted the brake installation and have had to order just about everything in spite of my rather extensive collection of me to fundamentally realize that it was time that I take an inventory, create locations and get this stuff organized.

For the past week or so I've been cataloging all of my parts, their condition and cost along with a location (to put like items together for starters...).  I'm well over 600 lines at this point and I'm about 1/2 way through the parts.  There's a decent amount of stuff that I won't get to for quite a while, if ever.  I'm learning a bit along the way - having to look a lot of it up in the parts book - and discovering parts that I don't need (too early or late for my car) and parts that I have purchased a few too many times.  My upcoming engine build has already influenced how many early parts I decide to keep - I'm already letting go of early parts I won't use.

The goals for this project are akin to the layers of an onion.  

Layer 1: Identify what I've got and where it's stored.  This is proving to be the thickest and toughest layer to penetrate.  In the process I'm also creating labels and bagging/tagging parts so it's taking longer than it might if I wasn't being so anal.  I've also spent hours rearranging the garage to consolidate the storage areas for parts.

Layer 2: Group items together by location on the car - not necessarily by part group - so that when I go to put the car back together, I'll have the parts for a given area, like the doors, together.  I also think this will allow me to more readily identify parts that are missing or in excess.

Layer 3: Sell excess or non-applicable parts (this will happen parallel to Layer 1's evolution)

Layer 4: Identify and seek out the 'missing' parts (if there are any at this point).  I know of a handful of parts that I would like to find but that's about it.  I'm already skipping opportunities to buy/squirrel away parts that I've already got.  Hard to do - although I need to get some control over what is slowly growing too large.

I may get back into the brakes tomorrow - I need a break from all of the computer work for a bit.  Maybe I can get the brakes done, start the alignment and at least get the car washed...I would love to take it out for a drive soon.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

For three days in a row...

Fender hardware...I was so excited when I saw it go up for sale that I didn't pay enough attention to the boxes.  They're all the same part number but made in different eras.  So the contents are slightly different.  The two that are the same will go on the front fenders (because you can see the hardware) and the two that don't quite match will go on the back.

I also picked up a NOS grey rear armrest - super soft, a couple little dents in the surface but otherwise really nice and not crunchy!  Totally forgot to take a picture of it...

I got both of these for $10 so I kind of had to buy them...I spent about 20 minutes trying to clean the caps after my wife took over getting the 3 year old to sleep.  The one that looks like Darth Vader's helmet isn't much cleaner now - I think it's stained forever by whatever happened.

Both pumps are very dirty but don't look like they have a lot of wear on them.  I'll probably clean them up and sell them off.

I was able to get some time in the garage late tonight and I got the brakes through the first 'bleed' session.  I've got a pretty decent pedal now but I think I can get it to be a bit better with at least one more session (maybe tomorrow?).  Once I get a decent pedal out of the brakes, I'm going to switch to the front wheel alignment and use my fancy new alignment plates.  Once that's done, I'll hook up the horn (new horns and relay) and put the steering wheel back together.  Then roll the car into the driveway and wash/wax it before putting the fuel tank back in and firing it up.  I suspect it's going to need some tuning before it can be driven (and I'll need to install the Georgia plate).

Progress is getting made, however, and I am pretty happy about it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Uncertainty is the normal state.

In fractured sessions, I painted the reservoir strap and mounted it with the original lines that I have now mangled to shit.
All of the feed lines are installed, brake fluid is in the fill and has made it to 3 of the 4 calipers.  The brakes are not bled yet - I need to get more fluid to do so - but there's blood in the veins and nothing is leaking.  The true test will be once the calipers are bled and pressure is applied.  But, for now, I'll take the 2nd place trophy and go to bed happy with where I am right now.

I am tempted to try to align the steering box a bit better on the beam but there's also a part of me that just wants to bleed the brakes, get the car back on tires and work on the alignment.  Then install the parking brake cables...and work on the engine tune.  Those goals seem a bit far away but I'll keep chipping away at this until it's done.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

probably not even worth reading, honestly...

This update has the smallest level of forward movement I think I have ever posted.

I trimmed down the late divider panel piece to hold the dual reservoir, removed the rust, sanded it down, painted it with whatever paint I had available, found some small M3 hardware and mounted it.  The left side was left a little long so help with alignment of the panel.  The weird hole on the right is the difference between the late divider panel and the early panel (the hood release cable is in a different place).
I ordered a new Dremel bit to oval out the hole for the feed lines because I wasn't able to get the grommet and the two feed lines into the factory hole.  I have new feed lines cut from brake line stock and anticipate being able to minimize the amount of soft line involved in the set up.  I'll hopefully be able to paint the reservoir strap tomorrow and get the feed lines connected.  Being able to feed and bleed the brakes will be the next step.  The last thing to happen will be the parking brake installation.  On that note, I've been in communication with the cable shop about the fabrication of the new parking brake cables and it's slow long as I can keep moving forward - I'll focus on that part.  I'd be super happy if I could get the car outside and wash it this weekend.

Friday, April 14, 2017

One step at a time - the turtle marches on...

Doesn't look like much...but both the brake pedal rod and the clutch are adjusted per spec.  I adjusted the bowden tube but the 'hang' thing is still there.  I'm going to take a video to see if I can get some input from others about what it might be.
Banjo bolts installed on the calipers.  Only time will tell how well this set up works but I'm eager to start the trial.
Worked a bit on getting the dual reservoir installed.  I didn't get it installed but it's close.  Another hour or two and it'll be installed and ready for use.  I have to mate the two lines together, enlarge the hole to add a grommet and fill and drip the brake calipers.
I think this is a decent first pass at the brake lines. When I pull this apart to restore the car, I'm going to bend the bracket so that it's at a 90 degree angle which will pull the hoses closer to the spring plate.

I made some good progress today and I'm hoping that I'll be able to make a bit more later this weekend.

The alignment of the steering wheel and then using my fancy new alignment tools will be the end of it...then a test drive.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sitting on four jack stands, this car made forward motions in progress today...

Today was rather productive - I got the floor bracket off the pan without making any additional holes and mounted the pedal assembly.  One thing I learned about the early pan is that it's got a smaller opening for the clutch lever than the later cars.  This was discovered while I was trying to figure out how to get it back in the tunnel with the late pedal bearing bracket.  The late pedal bracket limits movement a bit more - increasing the challenge of installation.  I got it in, the brake pedal is adjusted and, as far as this bit goes, it's done here.  I'm back to installing the clutch cable at the transmission and then making some adjustments.  Nice to have some progress!
 The shorter banjo bolts arrived tonight and they fit perfectly!  This has been a lesson in brake fittings that I didn't expect, both from a time and financial aspect.  It cost me about $60 to learn, which is about $60 more than I expected to spend.

These are stainless steel so I have to be careful to not apply gorilla strength and snap one.
 The standard banjo bolt on the left, the Goodridge bolt on the right.  It's a bit shorter than I expected but it fits properly so that's all that matters.

I may order up another pair of the banjo bolts - but not stainless (for strength).  I just hope these don't leak!
Box and part number for reference (if I lose one or break another bolt)

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true

The pedal assembly came back yesterday and I'm very pleased with the result.  The later pedal bearing bracket has been cleaned, bushings replaced, zerk installed, painted...
Just above the heim link lever arm bend on the bearing bracket is where it was ground down to clear the lever.  The discussion with Scott leads me to believe that this might be the cause of the weird 'hang' issue that I was experiencing.
The bracket was ground down in the pocket to allow for better acceleration.

With the late pedal bracket - I can remove the pedal bracket mounted to the pan and I won't have to replace it on the new pans.

I'm looking to get this installed today and work on getting the brake pedal rod adjusted properly.  It would be nice to check this off the list.

After attempting to find a suitable replacement or the ability to fabricate something - I found a shop in California that fabricates custom parking brake cables, among other things.  I called them up and had a chat with one of the guys about what I'm trying to do.  He suggested that I send in a cable with the adapter pieces and they'd review and provide a quote.  I sent the box yesterday and will probably have an idea on cost next week.  I'm sure the original kit parts would work okay but I am trying to get away from less stable, low quality conversion parts.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Happy Birthday to me...

First thing I did: mocked up the replacement feed lines to the master cylinder.  I agonized over this way longer than I should have to get here.

A couple of cable clamps and a slight bit of additional tweaking and it's good.
 Once I'd sorted the feed line bit, I moved inside to install the parking brake cables.  I installed the right side cable - then discovered that it'd be easier if I removed the parking brake I popped a clip, pulled the securing pin, lifted the handle and the engaging gear fell into the tunnel.  If you look real close, you can see it, it's between the cable and the shift rod - the little nub sticking out.  I'll have to go get a 'magnet on a stick' to get it out.
So...this is  a photo of the piece that has vanished from not only the tray of parts that remain to be installed but the garage.  It's a simple piece machined to extend the parking brake at the pan.

I've sent a message to CSP in the hope that they have a spare they can send out soon...meanwhile, I'm looking for alternatives.
This is what it looks like installed - using the original 311 609 721 parking brake cable sheath.  It's kind of a loose fit so if I have to replace it with something else - I'll see about getting something that's a better fit.
The fit isn't great - I'd prefer to find a parking brake cable that's the correct length to replace this mess of 'adapters'.
Another view of the installed parking brake.
This is the right rear caliper mocked up - can't really do anything until the engaging gear is in place in the parking brake lever and I have either found, fabricated or received a replacement for the missing piece.

Not a terribly productive day.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Banjo bolts, Camp Jordan and the future of 4 wheel disc brakes.

Last Friday, I removed the caliper from the car and put it in the vise.  After digging around on the 'net trying to find a way to remove it without using a drill, which would have caused chips that would need to be extracted from inside of the fluid passage, I came across a guy who sacrificed a hex wrench and turned it out - using the wrench.  I tried that and, with quite a bit of bashing on the hex wrench, I was able to get it out with vise grips.  It turns out that the bolt was too long and bottomed on the inside of the caliper well before it was snug on the washers.  The replacement bolts are also too long.  I found another set of shorter bolts and they'll show up mid-week.  I'm $50 into banjo bolts so far and have nothing to show for it but a little bit of experience.  I just hope that the bolts that show up this week will work.  This brake job is taking forfuckingever and I'm losing patience.  I don't expect that the correct banjo bolts will be the end of this brake job because I fully expect something else to go wrong right after I fix this current issue.

The pedal assembly is finished and will be headed back this way - probably arriving at the end of the week.  Maybe I can dig in and get some garage time during the day and get some of this put back together.  I'm missing the feed line (I'll be searching for that once this post is complete) but I think I can find something in a short amount of time since there's nothing special about it.

Saturday, the whole family drove up to Camp Jordan, Tennessee to check out BugaPaluza.  Weather was super nice and the gathering was pretty nice.  There were only a handful of Type 3's but for a local show, there was a lot of people in the swap spaces.  I saw a few things that I could have bought but they weren't things I needed so I left them there.  Below are pictures of the cars that got my attention while I walked through.  There were close to 100 cars on display.

A late Squareback
A 65 Variant S on what appears to be Beetle wheels
A 65 Notchback on 17's
A super rusty 66 or 67 Fastback on BRMs (the other trendy wheel for the year).
Late Fastback on 8 spoke EMPIs
58 or 59 Speedster - no clue if it's a kit car, I didn't really check it out that closely.  The top didn't look to fit quite right so either it was a reproduction or the whole car was a kit car.  I'd be talking out of my ass if I pretended to know how to tell without taking it apart first.
Ghia on Fuchs - this year's uber trendy wheel to have on a VW.  Easily 70% of the non-stock cars were sitting on similar wheels.  I think I missed a great photo op.
Split window single cab
Very clean Thing
Split window single cab
Nice split window bus
Early Beetle on, yeah, Fuchs.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I count my time in dog years

I ran over to the hose shop at lunch yesterday to get two new hoses made (slightly longer) and installed them loose to get the fit just right.  After screwing around with it for a few minutes, I figured out the best approach and snugged everything up.

Based on this photo - when I get to the restoration of the car I'm either going to replace the two lines with one line and fabricate a support or I'm going to straighten the bracket between the two hoses.  I think it'll be a cleaner installation.
And right when I was feeling good about the progress - the banjo bolt on the left side snapped well before it was tight.  I think it was a bad part - the bolt was not tight at all.  I checked the depth of the passenger's side caliper and the bolt should not have bottomed out.  Since the hose shop is a minimum of an hour trip every time (not including the time I spent standing around waiting), I ordered new banjo bolts and crush washers online.  The local auto parts stores around here have jack shit for metric fasteners available.

The current challenge is going to be removing the broken banjo bolt from the caliper...and then I think I'm going to see about getting the fluid reservoir installed with the lines to the master cylinder.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

On and off...

A happy bit of timing happened yesterday...while thinking about the best way of dealing with the clutch cable 'hang' on the heim link system and the desire to change the bearing bracket - I came across a post by Pedal Werks (Scott Stuart) on Facebook...Scott rebuilt my pedal assembly a few years back and I converted to the Classic Bug Parts X-Celerator Speed Wheel a while back after receiving the rebuilt pedals.

For a couple of weeks, I was trying to figure out why the car wouldn't accelerate as well as I would have expected...turns out that the bearing bracket needs a small modification to allow for 'full throttle'.  I thought about making the simple modification myself but then remembered that I want to swap to the late bearing bracket to eliminate the floor-mounted bracket when the new pans are installed.  And I have a bag full of brake pedals to get rid of...and I wanted the Classic Bug Parts Clutch Pedal Shaft Upgrade to be drilled/tapped to 1/4-20 in the event I can't figure out the weird hang issue on the heim link.

I wound up calling Scott and we chatted briefly about the items I wanted to address - he mentioned that the heim link lever would sometimes hang on the bearing bracket and would require minor grinding...and I suddenly realized that the 'hang' is probably the clutch lever bracket rubbing the bearing bracket.  In the end, I wound up shipping it all back to Scott to complete the work and send it back when he's done.  This will also buy me some time to finish the brakes (and remove a distraction).

I received the NOS Hella headlamps yesterday - they're a slightly earlier version of the lights on the car and the lenses are different as well.  They are in very nice condition and will be a good addition to my collection of parts that are highly unlikely to be used.

I also scored a 67 only brake fluid reservoir dirt cheap from a car being parted out in the US, a random assortment of parts coming from Sweden and a few NOS parts from Germany.

Once I get the brake system sealed back up, I want to roll the car outside and give it a proper wash - sort out leaks and figure out which seals to replace sooner vs. later.  I also think it's high time the car get washed and waxed so the dust has a better place to land.