Monday, April 30, 2018

Leaner and meaner

A nice hot day was best put to use by setting the rubber mat in the driveway to make it more pliable.  After 20 minutes, I was able to get it into place.  The floor of the car looks a lot better when it's covered up and it'll be a little quieter.
Another perspective of the floor mat in the car.  One definite downside is that it fouls the accelerator pedal assembly because it's not stock.  I'm using the later pedal bearing that's self supporting and does not use the bracket welded to the floor (for a few reasons).  The shifter, which is also not stock, does not sit/fit as well with the floor mat in place.  And I've discovered that, at least when hot, the mat slides around with very little effort.
A clear shot of the passenger's side of the car - the floor is riddled with holes and rust through from approximately the same place as the seat rails begin.  I'm not sure if that's going to be covered by the ISP quarter panel replacements or if I'll have to use the pan halves.  I'd prefer to keep the original metal but the rust is ultimately going to make that decision, I suppose.
The driver's side is in much better shape (or at least it appears that way).  Once the dust has settled a bit in Illinois, I'd like to pull the body off the pan and restore the pan completely.  I've done the suspension bits so it's 2/3 done.

In other news:  Knowing that I have a remedial level of knowledge of carburetor tuning, I dug up some information about how to do a basic tune on 40 IDF carbs.  After some trial and error, I was able to get them to run pretty nicely (albeit a bit rich).  I took it out for a quick drive and once off the line, it runs strong.  The 'off the line' part stumbles because it's running rich.  I may try to lean them out a bit tomorrow if I have time.  I think I've learned a little about carburetor tuning and accomplished a little along the way.  It'll be nice if I am successful at getting these to work better.

The steering on the car still feels super loose on the front end.  The fuel tank is near empty and the spare tire wasn't in the trunk but it still felt loose for what was there...I may just be biased due to the very flat feeling in my daily driver with AWD and fairly wide tires.

Soon, it'll be time to tackle the doors...I've got 24 days before we move and probably half that before the car is picked up.  The pick up date will be determined in the next day or two.

Friday, April 20, 2018's not worth it anymore

 I set out to solve the mysterious non-functional horn today.  Removed the column and tested everything - got positive readings when I expected zeros - no matter where things were connected.
 All of the wires are in good repair and none are compromised in the column.
 Checked the soldered joint for the bearing and found that it was in good condition - no surprises.
 I checked the isolator for the steering rod to make sure it was present and in good surprises here.
 While I had the turn signal arm off of the column, I checked the ignition switch securing screw...and found that it did not have any loctite on it so I added some red loctite and reinstalled it.
I dropped the column while trying to get a resistance took a few minutes to calm down after I picked it up off of the floor.
 Checked the steering coupler and the new wire I'd installed to make sure the gremlins haven't gotten to the connection.

I haven't closed any of the lock plates because I'm convinced that something is going to have to come apart again before long.
After two hours of chasing wires, testing multiple connections and checking and double checking routing and connectivity, I gave up and accepted defeat.  Like a frigid trophy wife, they don't do anything but they look good doing it.

What a giant fucking waste of time...

I took the car out for a very short drive - the carburetors are adjusted well enough to get it to run but the car is seriously lacking power.  It's on four tires, it runs and the brakes work...time to leave it the fuck alone and go do something else.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I didn't come this far to only come this far

Made another attempt to resolve the horn issue today...and while I didn't resolve the issue, I at least know what's causing it.

I tested the ground at the steering column head on the connection plate to the negative terminal on the battery and found that I've got an issue with the column grounding to the body.  First order of business was to drop the column so it's not attached to the dash by the two mounting bolts to see if it's the mount/bolts or something else.  Once the column was dropped from the dash and the screws removed - the resistance dropped to near zero.  So somewhere in the handful of pieces holding the column head to the dash the column is grounding and causing the problem with my horn relay.  I didn't have enough time to dig into the details of the mount but I should be able to get to it tomorrow and hopefully get it resolved.

Once that's done, I'll probably circle back to the carburetors and see if I can get them dialed in a little bit more.  The local VW mechanic hasn't returned my call so it might be time for me to learn how to fix them myself.  I can't really do much with the doors because the window felt isn't yet in stock so there's little sense in taking it apart again.  I would like to get the doors back together before the move.  I also found an additional distraction today - the rear seat lower panels.  I'm going to pull them out and clean them if/when I get stuck while working on something else.

I'm down to just over 4 weeks before the move...and who knows if the car will stick around until the end.  I'm still working out the transportation piece for Nigel.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Does it count if I made a solid effort?

The horn fix scheduled for today was, overall, a bust.  I got the wires hooked up, the horns in place and tested it out.  The relay sticks closed - meaning that I can't stop the horns unless I disconnect the battery.  It wound up being handy that I have monkey arms and the back seat was flipped up.  I suspect that it's the ground path because when I grounded it to something else, it worked fine. 

With the help of someone who's been down this path previously, I have a few more things to test out tomorrow when I can get back into this again.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Up and running (bonus: wipers work too)

He's a runner again.  I pulled both carb tops, filled the bowls with gas, swapped to a later style fuel pump (with the check valve) and the car angrily started up.  Took a few minutes to warm up but ran and idled okay.  I do need to get the carbs tuned better and snug up a few front end parts before I can call it done though.  I have a call into the local carb master - hoping that I can get into his shop soon.  I'd heard from another local guy that he's going to retire soon...fingers crossed, I'll get it in before that!

As a distraction, I came across a thread on that discussed the one year only 1967 wiper motor used with the early Push button assembly.  Turns out, two wires changed duty between 1964 and 1967 - and this was why I couldn't get them to work correctly.  I guess if I'd paid more attention to the wire diagram and its details, I would have caught it but functional wipers has never really been that high on my list of wanted items.

If I can't get the car over to the carburetor dude this week, I may take another crack at the doors...if I don't distract myself with installing relays for the headlights, horn and fog lights before I can get into the doors.  I'll at least dig into the horn relay because it would be nice to have a functional horn.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

You'll have no idea how far you can walk until you spread your wings

The car is back together and everything is good to go...but it won't start.  In a strange twist of events, I actually know why it won't start.  The fuel is not getting from the fuel pump to the carburetors.  There is fuel in the hose TO the fuel pump but nothing on the other side (the outlet to the carburetors).  I  tested the pump prior to installation and it pumped as expected (suction on one side and an air poof on the other).  After a few minutes of trying to start, I stopped, swapped  to another fuel pump that was tested...and nothing happened.  The engine turns over but doesn't start.  Only a matter of time before the battery dies trying to revive a dead horse.  I've never had a car try so hard to stay in the garage.

This leads me to believe that it's either the fuel pumps are bad (both of them), the bakelite stand is too thick and affecting the operation of the fuel pumps, the fuel pump rod is too short (I'm only aware of one length) or...yeah, that's about all I've got.  If I can't figure it out at the next 'go round' on Monday, I'll probably just swap the electric fuel pump back into the car so I can get it running, change gears and work on the doors a bit...then circle back to the rear torsions being reindexed and tweaking a few other things before the trip back to Illinois.  I'm am still hopeful that I can drive the car a little before it goes back to Illinois.  We'll see how that goes.

EDIT: I removed and measured the fuel pump rod and it's the correct length (107mm) so that's not it.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Blind squirrel?, meet 'nut'

 I did two things yesterday: Installed a steering damper and polished the chrome on the front bumper.  The first one makes sense because it moves the project of getting the car functional forward.  The second one accomplishes almost nothing, save for the time spent, and can't really be justified from a time/effort thing.

Today, I followed up with more work to get this car rolling...
I repacked new bearings in the left hub, cleaned the brake rotors, installed the calipers, snugged up all of the bolts, installed tie rods (adjusters are still loose for tweaking), installed the speedo cable (sort of - it's not clipped on the cap yet), greased the beam at both upper and lower fittings, cleaned up the grease that squirted out at the seals, installed shocks and tightened the ball joints.  I was originally going to use the new ball joints that I'd bought but during the mock up I decided to use the old ones with no real solid reasoning behind it and they just remained when I tightened it all up.  They're fine but a little rusty...if I don't use them now, they'll just sit in the drawer slowly getting more rusty.

I need to adjust the track/alignment a bit before I tighten the tie rods.  I'm also going to try to get the car to turn over with the mechanical fuel pump and see how that goes.  I am eager to hear this car fire up again after so much time sitting idle in the garage.  Once I'm confident that those things are good - I'll move forward to the doors.  I've got 40 days to get this thing done.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 being nibbled to death by a duck

In spite of potentially having the entire day to work on the car, I wound up with a couple of hours, tops.  I decided to tackle the installation of the steering box and connecting it to the steering rod.

Somehow, the ground wire from the front beam to the steering box is about 1/2" too short.  Not sure how this is possible since it was made specifically for that spot but now I'll have to figure out WTF is going on there.

I didn't get to use the newly powder coated pitman arm because I haven't quite figured out how to get the bushing installed.  Instead of being stalled by something that I'm not likely to work out quickly, I decided to use the old pitman arm to get back on track.  Oh well, shit's time to just get moving.

As far as the front end goes - I think the two sides are even but I guess I won't know until I get it all snugged up and loaded's not that tough to fix if it's uneven.  It looks even when I'm standing in front of it and looking at it.

I'm probably going to be trading my NOS dual circuit master cylinder for some Weber DCNF carbs and manifolds.  It's a good deal so I decided to go for it.  If I get tired of fucking with the IDFs, I'll swap over to the DCNFs which are smaller in size.  If not, I can use them to trade for other parts.  They're a slightly more flexible currency in my opinion so it's hard to lose.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Back on four tires

The car is back on the ground.  This looks like a LOT more progress than it really is.  None of the steering bits are installed (steering box/tie rods) and the front of the car is empty.

I think I may have found the right height for the left side...the steering box and tie rods are not installed, no shocks and the fuel tank/fuel are also absent.  With that weight, the front should settle down about another inch...which should be the right height for the car.
The right side looks a touch too high but it could simply be the photo angle because there's not a ton of room on the right side of the car.  I'll have to hook up the steering bits and roll it out into the driveway to check it out before I snug it all down to spec.

I also discovered that I have a bad bearing on the left side that I'll need to get swapped out so it's coming off again.  The right side sounds good (no sound) so that's one less thing to worry about for now.
Now that the first batch of pan boots have arrived, I've started discussing the second batch...I asked for photos of the second batch because of the age related cracking on the one piece I received.  Another odd discovery:  Three of them have a larger diameter clutch bowden tube opening (14mm vs. 11mm).  As long as they're not cracked real bad I'll finish the transaction.  There are a few other miscellaneous parts in the order as well but nothing terribly exciting.  I'm at a point where I'm being very selective about what I buy and the rest of it will be getting sold off...

Monday, April 9, 2018


The first wave of NOS early pan boots arrived today.  Three of the four are real nice - the fourth is cracking between the two holes.

On the right is the pan boot that's typically sold 'to fit a Type 3'.  It doesn't fit the early car without severe modification.
A side by side shot of the two boots together - the repop boot is considerably larger in size.

When I get in to reindex the rear torsions, I'm going to swap out the hacked up Type 1 pan boot with the NOS piece with cracking - just to see how it fits.
I had about three hours to work on the car today - this is about all I got accomplished.  I tried a few new methods to getting the steering damper bushing installed and they all failed - one of the three bushings that I have went into the trash after several installation attempts. That failure didn't set the right tone for the rest of the time I had to work on the car.

Admittedly, the progress is not impressive...but I'm finding that my desire to work on the car is at what I'd describe as an 'all time low'.  I'm on 'auto pilot' right now because the car has to be running/driving by the time we move back to Illinois.  If that deadline wasn't looming out there - I would just let the car sit because I have very little interest in it right now.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Even salt looks like sugar

Four weeks after dropping the parts off for powder coat, with a communicated one week lead time, I was able to pick them up this morning.  There was a house showing and the owner of the house came by to check things out so I lost a couple of hours of productivity.

I did get a few things done and I'm looking forward to getting the front end back on the ground (maybe next week?).
I got all three of the steering box clamps powder coated and they came back looking super nice.

The shop that I use does really nice work but they're horribly slow - and the lead time they provide progresses slowly into 'wild guess' area of accuracy.  They used to be off by a few days but it's now nearing a process akin to throwing a dart at the wall and then communicating a completely different number.
This little rubber bastard is the link in the chain that will either propel this assembly process forward or hold it back while I struggle.

I may install everything except the steering bits to get the height straightened out before concerning myself with installing this thing.  There's plenty to do before I get too excited about this, honestly.

Tie rods got new ends and replated hardware - roughly adjusted to their previous length.
I got the spindles put back together after I used a tap to chase the threads.

Next step is to put the brake rotors back together with newly packed bearings.

I'm fairly confident that I'm going to have to reindex the rear spring plates to correct the camber issue and hopefully steady the driving dynamic.

I am less confident that I'll get to address the door windows before the move, however...who knows, I've got about 6 weeks left - maybe I'll pull that rabbit out of my ass too.