Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Beam Assembly, round 1

Got back to work on the front beam today - cleaned out the overspray paint from the bearing surfaces (I should have taken the time to better mask the area) and fit the new thrust washers and seals to the upper torsion housing.

I cleaned the torsion arms of paint overspray (again, should have masked better) and cleaned them real well with steel wool on the bearing surfaces.

I removed the zerk fittings from the beam - removed paint overspray and took the upper fittings apart to ensure that crusty grease was cleaned out.  There's a super tiny ball bearing and spring in them so I had to be extra careful I didn't lose any of the pieces.

The new upper ball joints arrived today - I promptly removed the dust boot, removed the crusty grease, cleaned them out and applied fresh grease and replaced the boots.  They're ready to go now.

The dust cap removal tool arrived but it has proven to be ineffective at removing the dust cap on the hubs.  I'd leave them alone but I know there's an issue with the bearings in the left hub (I can hear them clicking) which means I didn't install them properly so I also plan to replace the bearings in the right hub as well (on the assumption that I screwed up both bearing installs since they were done at the same time).

I've done a fair amount trying to remove the cap and have marked the surface of the hubs (which is super fucking irritating given their cost) and still can't get them off.  I may give in and take them somewhere to get them removed...I can't think of another non-damaging way to get them off and continuing to buy tools that I will probably never use again doesn't seem prudent.

While I'm documenting failures - I've failed three times to install a new steering damper bushing in the pittman arm and managed to scrape some of the paint off of it in the process.  At this point, I have no usable pittman arm in decent shape.  I'm not really going to worry about it until I get closer to needing it - which, at this point, is a couple of weeks away.

The goal for tomorrow is to install the cleaned zerk fittings and get the lower torsion arms installed.  The tricky part of this is getting the preload correct.  After that, I'll look to mount the beam to the car and install the upper torsion arms (easy) then move to the tie rod ends - I'll probably take those apart and re-grease them as well - who knows how long they've been sitting in the box.  I've decided to use the other set of spindles so all I have to do is swap the brake parts over to the clean spindles once I figure out how to get the dust caps off.  The parts need some cleaning before they're assembled but I don't expect that to be too time consuming.

I'm in no real rush to complete the work - it's too wet to drive the car and I've got nothing else going on.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Paint, round 3

I took a look at the finished results of yesterday's work - and found quite a few places where I either didn't get the paint on the primer or the finish wasn't consistent.  I briefly tried scuffing up the 'missed' areas and discovered that I'd be better off scuffing up the whole thing and using the one solo can of paint (purchased a couple of years ago) figuring that it might be a different color.  I had a little paint left in the second can so I used it on the touch ups.  I used the solo can of paint on the beam so that, at least, it'd be the same color while the torsion arms might be a slightly different shade of black.
The lower torsion arms both needed more paint on the inside 'nubs' - so I scuffed them up and hit them with the rest of the paint from the last of the two cans of paint that I recently ordered.

They flash cured pretty quick because the painting conditions were ideal (77ºF, 48% humidity).  I'll get the excess paint off of the inside bearing areas later next week before I attempt to assemble the pieces.

The plan is to clean each of the four torsion arms before moving to the center axle beam part and attempt to assemble it without doing too much damage to the paint.  I'm looking forward to getting this off the table and moving on to the door situation so that I can have functional windows again.  Once that's resolved - I'll work on getting the engine tuned a bit better and running more smoothly.  I'm going to hold off on the rear torsion re-indexing until I've fixed the rest of the things on the car.  I think it's prudent to fix what I know before tackling things that may devolve into another rabbit hole (like fixing the wipers or having another go at 4 way flashers).

Friday, February 23, 2018

Paint, round 2

I dropped the little dude off at school this morning, headed to Harbor Freight for wire wheels and  hit up Home Depot for a few other odds and ends before getting started on the inventory project (finished!).  Once that was done, I got started on the front beam paint.  A cursory review of yesterday's work showed that I probably don't have a future as a painter but I was able to clean up the beam and cover up most of yesterday's mistakes.  The one up side to the way VW originally painted the beam is that there were a lot of paint runs, broken welding sticks and splatter on them - they were far from perfect.  Which is perfect for someone like me to refinish because I can only make it look better than it did.
I did one more coat of primer on the middle section and three coats on the end bits (basically until I ran out of paint).  I waited about an hour and did the top coat.  The paint says it can be top coat painted after 30 minutes but I opted to wait slightly longer (also helped me get other stuff done while waiting).

Overall, I think it will look pretty good - I'm going to leave the parts in the shed for a couple of days - I just have to remember to take them out before it starts raining next week.  Then the biggest challenge: Not totally fucking it up while I install it on the car...
For the duration of this project - I wore a respirator - paint dust, rust and Ospho being ground and blasted everywhere.  I also wore this while painting.  After going through three sets of filters - I'm happy I opted to wear the bulky sweaty mask.  I couldn't smell the epoxy paint at all until I took it off - it works very well!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Paint, round 1

The weather cooperated - to an extent - so I got on the painting process.  It was a bit windy but I made do with the circumstances.

I couldn't get the parts clean enough by using acetone and a rag - the Ospho was crusty in some spots - probably some error on my part in application (too much) so I broke out the grinder and cleaned all of the parts again.

The beam proved to be far harder to clean and paint than I expected - so I cleaned the middle part real well and focused the paint on that area.  I ran out of wire wheels to clean the small spaces on the ends so I'll have to pick some up and then focus on those areas tomorrow and finish the primer process.  The torsion arms and drop arm will be painted with the top coat tomorrow.  I'm hoping that I can also get to the beam but there's a decent amount of cleaning on those small areas before I can primer - which has to be dry before I can paint.  I might duplicate what I've done today and do it in two phases.  I'll let this dry for a few days before I start putting it all back together.  I'm hoping that I can get it back on the car without doing too much damage to the new paint. 

After having done this - I am going to try to figure out a way to get the bearings and bakelite bits out of the NOS beam so it can be powdercoated and then simply rebuild it when it's done.  I'm not much for painting and I think it's going to be a good thing that this is under the car where no one can see it!

I got through four more drawers of parts and updated the inventory spreadsheet and put together a new set of labels and tags to print up.  I should be done with the inventory by the end of the week - and all parts should be labeled.  All of the sale stuff will be in one box and the random parts should be no more. 

Not bad for a day's work.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Waiting on the weather

I didn't get to paint anything today...the weather was colder, wetter and more humid than forecast so I'm waiting until Thursday when it'll be warmer and only slightly less humid.

To pass the time, I tackled cleaning under the passenger's side fender well.  I got it quite a bit cleaner than the driver's side a few days ago.
 Again, I eradicated all of the accumulated dirt on top of the headlight bucket and at the rear top part of the fender.  No rust through - just a lot of dirt.  These fenders, in spite of a few dents, are in rather nice condition.  It'd be pretty cool if I wound up being able to fix a few parts and keep them on the car when it's painted.
I've been thinking long and hard about the CSP Python exhaust - debating whether I should try to modify the VS exhaust that I have or sell it and buy the Python.  It's hard to justify the cost of the Python but I'm more than confident that it'd fit well and sound great.

The car in this photo belongs to a guy I chatted with on Facebook - he's running the CSP Python on his 66 Square and says he really likes it.

The Vintage Speed exhaust, on the other hand, is going to need probably $200 in modifications to fit my car properly - an expense that means that I won't be able to sell it later because it'll be fit to my specific car.  So the question remains:  Do I spend it to modify the VS or sell it and use that toward the Python?  I think the decision would be easier to make if I were actually driving the car.
 It's hard to argue just how well this thing fits with the bumper and the bumper guard.
This visual - albeit of the largest exhaust they make - detracts from the overall look of the car and it loses some of the 'sleeper' style it has with the VS exhaust.

This specific example is on a 160hp car and it's got a much larger pipe system than the one I'd buy.  I don't plan to increase the displacement of my engine beyond what's in it now.

I've tabled the decision until I've had a chance to finish some of the other things I have going on - namely getting the front end done and then addressing the door situation.  Once those are done - I'll deal with the carburetor fine tuning...and I'm hoping that the electrical gremlin was eradicated when I removed the electric fuel pump and safety relay.  The only other 'new' thing on the car is the tach...not sure how that would cause a problem but I suppose anything is possible.  Still juggling too many balls to be changing anything else just yet.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Wishin' and hopin'

The shocks arrived last night - I pulled one out of the box and tried to compress it.  It took all I had to get it to compress about half way so I think they're going to be too stiff...and then I ordered oil shocks.  I'll probably return the Bilsteins.

The paint and tie rod ends arrived today - I was tempted to clean off the beam and get painting but the humidity was quite high and it'll be a bit warmer on Tuesday so I reluctantly left it all alone.  The weather, however, was pretty good for the Evaporust to do its thing.  I got most of the hardware cleaned off and I was able to use the parts book to identify each piece and find suitable replacements from my hardware drawers for the couple of pieces that were very corroded.  And then I remembered: I started an Excel spreadsheet a couple of years ago that documents the hardware, part number and where it's used.  I hand wrote some notes to update that file later - I think the best way to do it is go by the parts book and update each time I work on some part of the car.  After the current project, I should have a pretty solid catalog of the front beam bits entered.

I did a lot of clean up this morning - there was a lot of stuff left out from my 'sell through' dig out - I put it all back and made a lot of space in the process.  The torsion arms and pittman arm are coated in Ospho - so it's all ready for paint now.

When I pulled the front end - I noticed that the front brake calipers had some corrosion on them and since I'm cleaning up the beam and spindles, etc. along with the beam, I was curious about finding the calipers locally - they had to come from something and they're probably not expensive.  Using good ol' Google, I only came up with one possibility - the front brake calipers from a 1992 Pontiac LeMans.
This is what's on my car now (from the kit I purchased a couple of years ago).  Delco Moraine, Made in France and a bunch of random numbers that, from what I can tell, don't mean anything useful when trying to figure out what the calipers are from.  Brakes are a fairly simple commodity - one version can have 20 different part numbers and be used on a hundred different cars/trucks.  It's probably rare that a cast disc brake caliper is made for less than a handful of models.
I did a search on and found this image of the Delco Moraine caliper specific to the 1992 Pontiac LeMans.  I was only able to 'match' them from pictures at this point because there are no dimensions provided.  At first glance, they look to be a decent match.  Another 'up' side to this is that I can get a remanufactured PAIR of calipers with brake pads for $20 + shipping and no core charge.  The other nice thing is that brake pads are $6 per set...a far cry from the $40-50 from CSP.

The reman calipers are available at my local auto parts store - I might just go get one and see if I can get some measurements off of it (or buy a set of brake pads for $8).  It'd be nice to know what to buy for replacement parts from a local source. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

NOS Thrust rings for the beam

Not much action on the car today - although I did receive the front beam thrust rings from T3HQ.  They're super nice and are a welcome sight.

In addition to these - I was updated on the status of my many small parts orders - looks like it'll all be here by Tuesday of next week (the day I plan to paint the beam).  Timing is good and I didn't have to spend a ton of money to get here.  It also helps that I'm not 'under the gun' to get it back together. I'm hoping for a productive week next week.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fixed the beam bracket damage

I finished cleaning up the front beam, coated it in Ospho and put it in the shed to dry.  The torsion arms were pulled out of degreaser and rinsed off - once they're dry, I'll wipe them down in Ospho.  I used a little heat and a few tools to bang out the bent frame head bracket.  It's not perfect but should be a lot better than it was.  After cleaning under the left fender while contemplating the project of painting the frame head - I decided to not paint it right now.  I've got enough balls in the air and it's high time I admit that I'm not all that good at juggling.

I picked up some Evaporust and put a few things in it to test - although I don't think a whole lot is going to happen because it's too cold (needs to be 65ºF to work and it's only 58ºF).  I want to pull the spindles apart but I couldn't get the grease caps off of the I will have to find another tool to get them off without damaging the alloy hubs.  There's a decent amount of surface rust that needs to be dealt with and now's the time.

Tim received the steering box, put it on his workbench and it is exactly to spec...which is a bit puzzling.  We had a chat about it - he's going to open it up and check out the inside to see if anything is off...otherwise he'll box it up and send it back.

Tested out the 47 year old Sachs shocks and, to absolutely no surprise, discovered that they were completely dead.  So I did some digging and bought Bilsteins for the front end - should add some stiffness and improve response.  I also bought three new tie rod ends (not NOS).  I want to make sure I've checked and fixed everything and they're not expensive.  I also bought a set of Timken bearings - as spares - just in case something goes sideways on me when I pull the spindles apart.

New thrust washers from Germany are expected tomorrow, paint arrives on Saturday, shocks and tie rods should be here Tuesday...bearings probably Wednesday.

Next week, I'm hoping to paint the beam and torsion arms (maybe Monday...likely Tuesday) and get the beam back together.  I'll fill in the few remaining days with cleaning various things on the car.  I'd like to get the inner surface of the front fenders cleaned out in the down time.  Little dude is out of school Friday and Monday so I may not get much done over the long weekend but some of it has to be planned around the weather (warm on Monday and Tuesday then rain the rest of the week).  I'm looking forward to the flurry of activity when this front end goes back into the car.  Then I get to do the thing I'm dragging my feet on: re-index the rear torsion bars to eliminate the rear camber.  Once that's done, then I get to work on the windows and, hopefully, get the car over to have the carbs tuned properly.  Should be good to go by the time we're ready to move!

I also screwed around with the layout and color of the blog as well as changed the domain.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Front beam - more cleaning and head scratching

I dropped little dude off at school this morning and hit up the Harbor Freight a few miles away for some wire wheels.  Once I made it back home, I got back to cleaning the beam and made real good progress until I got to the cracks/crevices - there are quite a few places that cannot be reached with a 4" wire wheel.

Today's goal was to get the front beam completely clean and ready for paint tomorrow.  Getting this beam clean was a hell of a lot more complicated than I anticipated.  I've also come to accept that this thing isn't getting painted until next week - partially because of how long this is taking and partially due to weather.  It's either paint tomorrow or wait until next week...tomorrow's not looking good.

I straightened out the giant dent in the bottom seam weld and tried to retain what I'll call grease drains on the bottom seam.  One turned out pretty good - the other one, not so great but better than it was (smashed flat).
After trying (and destroying) a handful of Dremel wire wheels, I found the magic combination of tools to get 99% of the paint off of the beam.  I am mostly happy with the current state of the beam.

I returned the POR 15 that I bought yesterday and decided to try my hand at 2k paint (had to order it).  I was seriously thinking about dropping the torsion arms off for powder coat but they're 4 weeks out on work right now and I'm kind of hoping that I can have this back together and functional in 1/2 that time.  Even if I did go for that - I'd still have to do something with the beam and the pan not much of an overall gain.
Getting all of the little corners and folds was a challenge.

If I look REALLY close I can find a few areas that I missed but I think it looks pretty good.  I'll need to get a couple more wire wheels to finish it off if I want to get super anal about it.
Not bad for a guy who usually doesn't have the patience to do shit like this...

I'm going to coat it in Ospho tomorrow and let it sit for a little bit.  I imagine the paint will show up next week - I've got a bit of other work to do while I wait.

I have the torsion arms to clean up, the frame head needs to be checked and the one mount bracket needs to be straightened up.  I'll also order up some new hardware to replace the super rusty/damaged stuff I've taken off.  If everything goes well, I might tack on cleaning/painting the frame head - which would mean pulling the front brake lines.  Not the end of the world - I did a pretty shit job of bending the brake lines and they're relatively inexpensive.  Once I get going, it's hard to just stop and accept the condition of things.  The rainy weather means that I wouldn't be driving the car right now so I may as well do as much as possible to improve it while I have the time.

So, hopefully tomorrow I can file down the sharp bits, apply some Ospho and get started on another improvement aspect of this build.  I do still need to figure out how I want to install that fuel line from the pan to the tank (with or without an adapter) and how/if I want to start on cleaning up the pan head...then I can paint everything at once.

Many rabbit holes, not enough time...

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Front beam cleaning and evaluation

After a little running around this morning, I scored the POR 15 paint, put the torsion arms and the front beam brackets in a degreaser for a good long soaking.  I do want to check the torsion arms for straightness against my NOS torsion arms before I paint them - just so I don't waste the time/money on something that's not going to be put into service.

I got a pretty good start on the paint removal process - the wire wheel gave up the ghost and I didn't have a replacement.  I'll have to pick one up either tonight or tomorrow to do the bulk of what's left before I move on to other means of paint removal.  I will prep and then, hopefully, on Thursday, paint the parts with the POR 15.
 It's getting there - not quite clean enough to paint but progress is headed in the right direction.
 Now that it's cleaned up - the scrapes on the back side of the bottom show some additional scrapes.  Seems pretty fair to say that this car hit something quite hard.
 I uncovered the beam number - 384743 - behind rust and paint.  I'm hoping that I can paint the beam in a way that'll keep this stamping visible.

Once I can determine that the beam is good to go, I'll clean off some of the welding splatter and then paint it.
 I forget which side this came from but it crumbled very easily.  50 years of service is a long time for a bakelite part - even if most of that time was spent in a garage.  This little car went fishing - a lot - and in some places it shows.

I reached out to Mario at T3HQ and he was able to find the right size in his stock and get them to DHL so that they'll arrive before I need them.
 The upper bushing between the beam bracket and the body under the fuel tank - the left side is obviously the original 50 year old part and the left side is a reproduced original part.  I have a few sets of the new parts so I figured it's a good time to replace these since this is the better looking original part.
 The lower bushing between the beam bracket and the body under the fuel tank.

Quite a difference.
 The upper grease seals for the beam were in surprisingly nice condition for their age - they'll be replaced with NOS parts as I have spares.  I want to make sure that I get the front end rebuilt to as close to 'great' as I can.
The lower seals are also in great shape - although they were a bit stretched out and a bit rubbery.

Again, replacing them with NOS parts to make sure everything is snug and as nice as I can make it.

The steering box went back to Tim for evaluation.  It had about 100 miles on it and it was one of his first rebuilds - he's going to check it over and let me know what is going on/gone wrong.  I'll decide what to do with it once he's finished his evaluation.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The front beam comes off

 I'm back to individual posts while something of interest is happening and photos are involved.

This morning - I removed the tie rods, brake calipers, pittman arm, spindles, etc. and went about removing the front beam.  The last bolt I found belongs on the left lower bracket (on the frame head side) and the frame head is smashed in.  I eventually got the bolt out without much fanfare but I'm now left wondering if the front end is out of alignment.

After several minutes of prying, I freed the front brackets from the rubber collars and dropped the beam to the floor.  I don't think this front beam has been out of the car until today.

The replacement plan is to use newer collars with the caster adjustment and new bushings for the top of the brackets.

 Everything came out intact - took a little extra work to get here but it was worth it.
 I pulled out the grinder and spent about ten minutes cleaning up the torsion arms.  This is the first one I cleaned - not perfect but a whole lot better.  They'll get cleaned real well before paint.

 There are two rather sizeable dents in the beam - I cannot imagine the bone jarring experience it must have been to hit something hard enough to leave these dents.  It's possible that this one is from improper jacking technique but given how light the front end is - I don't find that plausible.
 Verification that this is an early beam - the upper bushings are red bakelite (ended in 64).  All of the seals were intact but hardening and the bearings are good.  The lower right torsion arm has some scoring but it's minor so I'm going to keep it in service.
 Cleaning around the installed bearings is a bit of a chore but I'll get it done tomorrow.  I'm trying to be careful vs. fast and with no deadline, per se, there's no real reason to rush.  I'm surprised any of the paint stays on these things for 50's super thin.
I have another day of cleaning ahead of me before I can consider painting anything.  I didn't think it looked all that bad while it was in the car but this beam was both rusty and filthy.

The bushings and bearings are staying inside so I have to be careful about how I clean the outside to keep the cleaners out of the grease.

Tomorrow is more cleaning, picking up the POR 15 from a local 4x4 shop, and hopefully prepping for paint on Wednesday.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

2018, Week 6

Feb. 6:  I have a suspicion that the rear end camber situation is either partially or completely responsible for the front end handling.  I'm still planning to inspect the front end and make 100% sure that it's in tip top shape.  I have to get in there and swap out the fuel T (or add an adapter) when I bypass the fuel pump anyway.  I like the simplicity of a mechanical fuel pump but there's something 'modern' feeling about the electric pump - not to mention the cleaner engine bay.

Once I pull the tank, I plan to swap out the steering damper and check the play on the steering box.  Perhaps I can also get a feel for why the steering column (rod) is so close to the top of the tube.  If I pull the whole front end - I might swap in the later upper beam bushings to see if that helps the alignment issue with the steering column.  In any event, the rear end needs to be tweaked a bit to help out the front end.

As of now, I have four main issues:

1. An electric/power drain somewhere in the car.  Strong enough that it drains a fully charged battery in 48 hours to completely dead.  Not sure when it started but wasn't a problem before this engine/fuel pump.
2. A super loose feeling front end - possibly caused by a camber issue in the rear end.
3. Not quite perfect idle on the carbs and a running rich situation.
4. Exhaust tip that is both too wide and too short.  Fouling the apron and the left bumper guard.

Feb. 7:  Had a chat with a fellow Type 3 owner.  He suggested that I get a wide-band to help tune the engine and improve drive-ability.  I'd looked at them a while back but didn't buy one because I was running a stock engine and didn't really think it'd be of much help.  Now with running the IDFs, it's probably high time I either get one or borrow one.  I ran the suspicion of the rear end contributing to the the suddenly squirrely front end and the question about the shocks came up.  I'm fairly certain that I tested the rear end settle without the shocks but I'm going to remove the lower shock bolts to confirm.  It's much faster to swap out shocks than re-index the torsion bars and, while curious about what's under the rear fenders, it'd be great to have a simple fix.

If it comes to it - I may deal with the torsion indexing by removing the rear fenders vs. dropping the subframe.  I haven't had much luck doing it in the car in the past - especially when having to do a mix of inner and outer splines to adjust minutes as well as degrees.  I'll jack up the car, level it side to side and front to rear - take an angle measurement once the spring plate is free and make adjustments from there.  I'll get a peek at what's under the fenders - could be good and/or bad depending on what I find.

Feb. 9:  Early in the day today, I decided to tackle the slowly mounting list of minor issues on the car.  I started by getting the dead battery, used oil and short shopping list and heading to AutoZone.  I dropped the battery off, recycled the oil and decided to do the shopping later.  I headed across the street to a shop that 'does muffler/exhaust work' to see about modifying the VS exhaust.  After a few minutes of discussion, the guy tells me that he doesn't do any welding and suggests that I go to the Midas 'the next light down the street'...reluctantly, I go check it out.  I pull into the parking lot and am greeted by five employees (apparently they had nothing else to do) who all gather around the tailgate of the Volvo to look at the exhaust.  After a few minutes of discussion, three wander off to guzzle Monster and smoke cigarettes, and I'm left with what I'm guessing was the manager and the dude who welds stainless.  Welder guy says that probably doesn't have the skills to make the modifications I'm asking about (1.5" narrower pipe projection and 2.5" longer tip).  Then the two guys start up their own conversation about Randy and I'm just standing there, listening to some welding legend, and they talk for a couple minutes longer until I interrupt and ask if there's a secret to finding out where this dude is located.  I get the name of the cross streets and the city - no address or phone number - and decide I've had enough of this scene and go on my way.  I decided that it was fairly pointless to go to chat with Randy without the car so I just went home.

I started on the fuel line project at the engine.  I installed a rebuilt late pump and hose, replaced the fuel filter at the side of the transmission and made sure everything was snug.  I'm not 100% happy with the fuel line routing but it's temporary and I'll reroute it once I can confirm that the fuel pump was/was not the issue.

Once that was done, I then switched gears to the rear shocks while I had the car on jack stands with the rear wheels off.   The photo is of the rear of the car with the shocks 'on' to show the camber situation (and just how mangled the rear apron is, I guess).

I removed the bottom bolts for the shocks, replaced the wheels and dropped the car back on the ground.  I didn't take a photo because the result was bittersweet - the car didn't settle down more than when the shocks were attached.  That means that I'm able to concretely discern that it's not the shocks causing the camber.  The part that sucks is that it's one more vote for re-indexing the spring plates to get the camber fixed.  I am pretty sure I checked this early on but it would have been nice to be wrong in this case.

Once that was done, I moved up front and drained the fuel from the tank, removed the tank, removed the electric fuel pump and the associated adapters and surveyed the scene with the wobbly front end.  With the front end on jack stands, I pushed/pulled on the top of each wheel - neither moved - so I'm pretty confident the wheel bearings are still solid.  The upper torsion bar adjustment is tight and the tie rod ends are snug.  I pulled on the wheel (side to side to simulate steering) and found about 1/4" of play between the wheel being 'turned' to one side (left/right) and the steering box response.  I'm guessing that the steering box needs some adjustment to snug it up a bit and remove the 'play'.  I haven't yet pulled the damper to check it for smoothness through operation.  There is a bit of drag on the front calipers as well (more than what I'd consider normal) - wondering what the deal is with that since all of the brake bits are new/rebuilt.  I may see about getting another bleeding session in for the brakes.  If that doesn't do it, I'll pull the calipers apart and inspect the scene.
 The steering coupler issue doesn't photograph well (or I can't figure out the correct angle).  The angle of the coupler and the angle of the steering box are not the same - I'd say they're off by a good 2-3º.  I don't know if this is the steering box, front beam or the rubber bushings holding the steering column head to the dash.

I guess, in the grand scheme of things, this is minor but it bugs the shit out of me.
The steering column (rod) seems to be way too close to the top of the column tube but I haven't been able to figure out why...or how this happened.  I haven't removed the beam but I did replace the steering/ignition column and the steering box.  The steering box clamp has been triple checked to make sure it's on correctly.

I have another steering box (the rebuilt original) and I may just swap it out with the box that's currently installed.  Perhaps there's some geometry thing going on that I don't know about/can't see.  I've got time and the car is torn apart...and it's going to rain most of next the timing seems good.  I still need to pull the electric fuel pump safety relay - I could leave it in the dash but the five wires hanging down from under the dash visually bother me and it's an easy process.

Feb. 11: Little dude wanted to work on the Volkswagen so we set out for the garage before lunch today.  I took him up on the 'help' and we got started.

 This car has only been in one snowstorm - the one it went through on the way from Illinois to Georgia.

The plan now is to pull everything apart (leaving the front calipers connected to the master cylinder) and clean it up.  I got through most of what's needed to remove the spindles with the brakes.  I'll break down the front beam, clean it up and (maybe) paint it before putting it back on the car.  At minimum, I'll clean it up and replace the bushings.
...and because I seem to refuse to learn this lesson - I pulled the steering box before removing the tie rod ends from the pittman arm.  I'm debating a trip to the powder coating shop to get some parts cleaned up for this project.  The front frame could use a clean up but I'm on the fence about continuing to dig when I'm not yet sure if I've reached the bottom of this hole.

These used to be covered in oil/grease and, ironically, I cleaned them a couple of months before we moved.  I suspect that if I'd left all of that grease in place - most of this rust wouldn't be here.

I'm considering taking it all apart, cleaning it very well and using POR 15 to paint the torsion arms and the beam.  I can't powdercoat the beam so I'm going to have to use some sort of paint.  I can get the POR 15 locally and with the beam out, I could clean up the front end of the car.
I determined that the major cause of the loose steering was due to the steering box.  It had a decent amount of play in it that I couldn't adjust out without causing some binding in the box about 1/2 way into what would be a right turn.  Something isn't right in this box.  I'll get another rebuilt box and see if I have better luck.

I had a feeling this was going to turn into a larger project than I wanted...but I've got the time so I suppose that's a plus.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

2018, Week 5

Jan. 30:  Posted up a bunch of miscellaneous parts for sale in a Facebook group.  After an initial hassle of people asking questions and not buying anything - the sales started happening.  I've sold through about $300 in parts so far - which is not bad.  I may move the parts to other groups to see if I can sell through the majority of what's left (and any other parts I find).

I have done nothing with the car.  Battery is probably dead again.

Feb. 2:  I shut off the classified alerts from TheSamba - I'm done buying parts for a while so there's no need to SPAM myself with email I'm not going to read.

Feb. 4:   I've sold close to $600 in parts thus far...exceeded my expectations by about $500.  I'll change a few things up in the ad - share it to other groups and hope to sell through the rest of it.  I've got a few more things to post but I'm about done.

Follow up conversation with the guy in New Zealand about the engine - he was able to dig into the engine failure a bit more and it turns out that the engine didn't blow - it was the coil that exploded all over the engine.  He said that it was positioned over the #3 cylinder and the way it exploded made it look like the oil cooler was leaking and the sound made him think the engine let go.  His plan is to pull the heads to check them out of an abundance of caution, clean the coil goo off of everything and fire it up again.  Makes me feel a bit better about the engine, I suppose.  Someday, I'll get the car over to the local dude for a tuning...hopefully before we move.

I attempted to start the car today to pull it out of the garage and get into some cabinets so I could list/sell more parts.  The battery is dead - this means there's something attached that's draining the battery and it happens in two or three days.  I had to push the car outside to get into the cabinets and then back in when I was done.

I have neither the desire nor the patience to try to figure out what's causing the power drain so the car can sit.  I wish I'd burned out on this car before I spent a shit ton of money on a new engine and transmission.