Sunday, November 29, 2020

“I realize today that nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself.”


The JayCee filter bracket arrived today - comparing it to the FastFab piece that's virtually identical, this one is of significantly higher quality.  The finish is better, the machining is much more precise and there are absolutely no burrs or sharp edges.

I pulled the oil filter thermostat from the bracket, opened up and assembled the drill press I bought several months ago and drilled two holes in the top section to mount the JayCee unit (shown to the left).  I don't have the right clamps for the drill press so the two holes are not even but the general premise is that with a very slight modification, I can use this bracket to mount an oil filter.  I was able to re-use one of the existing hoses - I measured and ordered the second hose.  I'm going to work on getting this part right before I distract myself with the oil cooler.  I ordered up some modified versions of this bracket to test out as well as button head bolts to get a little more space between the bracket and the tin.  And I ordered a welded fan from Gene Berg.  Once everything arrives I've got enough to keep me busy for a while without the engine.  

Need to follow up with the parking cable dude to see what's going on with him - I thought I'd have them by now.

The engine builder has a few delays in his schedule - I will deliver the engine right around Christmas and it'll be done by the end of January.  Plenty of time to get other stuff done as long as I don't get frozen out of the garage.  Plenty of time to figure out some of my wiring issues.  I'll keep moving forward as long as I can.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.”


Today involved installing the master cylinder guard piece on the pan, cleaning up a few random things and then removing the engine to get to the breather stand.

Close up view of what I saw when looking down the now open top end of the engine. - there's a bunch or weird shit in there - I think it's powercoated paint flakes/chunks that have come off of the breather tower.  Whatever it is, it doesn't belong in the engine.

Here's where the day ended - engine out, alternator, pully, & fan removed.

It seems like every step I take forward it met with a strong amount of resistance.  I have to keep moving forward, find new paths to success and try to find a reason to persevere.  Some days, it's really fucking hard to keep going when all I experience is abject failure.

The engine is going back to the builder to be torn down, cleaned and put back together.

I don't have a timeline and I'm not terribly concerned about it at this point.  I've got enough other stuff to keep me busy while I wait for this to come back.  I'm going to focus on getting the rest of the car on 4 tires with everything functional.  Now that my main goal is gone - who knows how long the rest of this will take.

Friday, November 27, 2020

“But the truth was for me, making the wrong choice had become an art.”


This one has me at a loss...I was installing small things on the engine - preparing to start it up in a few days and made it to the breather tower.  The top was a tad bit loose so I grabbed the tool to tighten it up a little bit.  Upon starting - I heard/felt that 'grinding sand' thing and stopped.  I put my finger in the hole and pulled out a finger covered in very fine sandblasting sand.  So, this part was sandblasted, powder coated and not cleaned prior to installation.  I've had this engine for 2 years since it was rebuilt and I have not run it at all.  The builder is local and we're going to have a conversation about 'what happens next' since I cannot, in good faith, run this engine knowing there's sand in the breather tower.  I don't know where else it may have traveled.  I am beyond aggravated at this point.
Ironically, I figured out how to run the hoses to the oil cooler and almost ordered them today.  I'm taking a tiny bit of satisfaction in having not ordered them.

I don't know what's next...other than not starting the engine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

“I am a clown...and I collect moments.”

Well, the goal of getting the car fired up before the snow fell was missed...although the way the weather's been lately - it might change drastically and give me  another chance.

The second set of hoses that I ordered arrived today and I was eager to get them on the car and revel in my success.
The fit and finish is excellent on the hoses - but my ability to measure correctly AND properly route the hoses fell short.  I didn't pay attention to the 'in' and 'out' of the cooler and that led to crossed lines that I don't want.  I have an idea or two about how to fix that but I'm waiting on another fitting before I can call it a success or failure.

I'm close - so close, in fact, that I may just run the engine in this configuration until I can determine the best route for the new hoses. 
This is the part that I am not particularly excited about and will switch once the recently ordered fitting arrives.   I will move the input to the right side and the output to the left side (it doesn't matter which side is which on the cooler) to untangle the lines and make it easier to run clean lines.

It was a mistake - but not a complete failure - and I've been able to utilize what I bought and make it better.

I'll find success soon enough if I can focus and be patient.

Friday, November 20, 2020

"The will to conquer is the first condition of victory."

Had a few minor setbacks over the last week.  I ordered Setrab fittings and the place I ordered from was out of stock.   I wound up figuring out a better/less expensive solution - those fittings came in today and I dry fit them.  I ordered the last two hoses yesterday - if past experience proves accurate - they should be here Tuesday.  I think I found the best layout - reducing the number of connections and creating the straightest, shortest run.
Today - I ran four new wires to the dash - one each for the oil pressure, oil temperature, tach signal and cylinder heat temperature.  Since I'm not installing the heat system (no heater boxes), I ran the wires through the center heat tube to conceal them - this allowed me to run them from the dash to under the rear seat.
And this is where I learned that the maximum number of additional wires that can be stuffed into a stock grommet with the positive lead to the battery is six.  Two for the hard start relay (to take voltage off the ignition switch) and the four that run to the back of the car.

I should be able to knock a lot of little stuff off of the list of things to do before I have to face the task of drilling out the threads on the subframe.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

"Just keep swimming..."


The second hose arrived today - quick fit has proven out that I've likely figured out how to measure the hoses correctly.

I also received a Fast Fab oil filter housing that I completely forgot that I'd ordered.  The thought was that I could plug that into this location and see if I can use these hoses to make the connections and get the engine ready to fire up but the mount holes are M8 and the bracket has M6 holes.  I'm not 100% sure about the oil cooler yet so I haven't committed to removing the bracket and enlarging the mount holes.  As far as the oil cooler is concerned - I'm in no rush to get it installed because it's highly unlikely that I'll need it for a while.  I'm a few electrical connections and an exhaust away from being able to turn the key and fire up the engine so that's my main focus...get it running.

I ordered the new parking brake cables and should see those at the end of next week.  I ordered new brackets to hold the parking brake cables on the IRS trailing arms and a few other miscellaneous VW specific parts while I was paying for shipping.  A few new fittings to get from the thermostat to the oil cooler are also on order...I was hoping to have this all together for this weekend but I don't have enough information to be able to do that but I should be in great shape for mid - next week.

The starter stud was installed but I will have to swap it out at some point because it's on the edge of being too short - the aftermarket starter has a thicker mounting flange that I didn't account for when I ordered the new stud.  I'll order new studs with the next round of hardware now that I've found a local supplier that has what I need in stock.

I'm very close to being able to get the engine going in the car - the weather just needs to hold out for another week or so.

UPDATE: I returned the FastFab oil filter mount.  There were some quality issues that I wasn't okay with, the piece was extremely heavy, the passages were small and they don't come with fittings.  The Jaycee version of this piece looks to be better made and comes with fittings.  I listed and quickly sold the random AN -8 fittings that I bought two years ago - thinking I'd make my own hoses.  

I worked out a decent way of getting the hoses from the thermostat to the oil cooler by using fittings.  Given the relatively expensive nature of stainless hoses, I'm waiting until I have the fittings to figure out if I like the way it'll fit together, check it again for hose length and then I'll order the hoses.  Maybe next weekend is the money shot...lots of parts coming in for what seems like it'll be the 'last push' to get this car running.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

“Do not let all the mundane concatenations in this world be for naught"


Pedal assembly installed - needs a little tweaking to be perfect.  One more thing to take off the list.
The stainless braided hose with fire sleeve I bought after taking a chance and ordering it - hoping I'd measured correctly.  Good news is that I know how to use a tape measure and the hose fit.

So, I took a chance and ordered up the second hose - when that one comes in, and if I'm victorious again, I'll work out the last two hoses and keep moving forward. 

The goal here is to get a couple of things done each day - so far, I'm on track.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

"You wake up every day and you solve it again.”

Looks like I'm nearly back in business, yeah?  Well, the truth is much less 'real' - the right rear trailing arm is not installed, yet.  I built the trailing arms for both sides, installed the left side and as I was installing the right side, two of the bolts for the cover plate went on just fine until about halfway and then I felt a 'pop' and half the threads and the bolt came out of the hole.
Here are the offending bolts - so close.  I ordered a time-sert kit so I can, hopefully, fix the trashed threads and continue working on getting the car back together.  I have a pedal stop to get painted tomorrow and then I can install the pedal assembly.  I'll move on to the gauges and dash bits soon.  I'm going to keep moving forward on other things until I can resolve the stripped threads.

I have some wiring to connect and an oil change to complete - put gear oil in the transmission, get oil filter lines, etc.  Still marching forward.

The company that made the parking brake cables has been contacted about making up a set for IRS - I should be able to get a trial piece to check for fit in the next two weeks.  Parking brakes would be a big next step.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Moderate steps in the right direction

One more time I spent more effort and time on something that should have been simple.  Should have been easy. Should have been the shortest part of what I had to get done. 

But it wasn't - I spent 30 minutes trying to get the rear transmission mounts to fit without modifying them in any way.  It took some figuring out but I did prevail.

Transmission & clutch installed!
The last piece of this puzzle - I got the engine installed as well.  I have a couple of things to work out but it's going pretty well.

One change I decided to make - temporarily eliminate the oil cooler - I'm going to install a remote oil filter but I am not going to screw around with the oil cooler.  Once I get through the bulk of the other things and I have some time left, I'll circle back on the oil cooler...the short term target is to get the car running, test fit some random shit and then next Spring, I'll clean it up.  This test fit process will help determine the future of some of the things I'm planning.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

This problem will take care of itself


In my haste to get the pan mounted, the seal got screwed up and I wasn't able to get the upper bolts for the front beam installed.  I had to remove the bolts to the pan, pull it up, reseat the seal and mount it back to the body while making sure the front beam mounts lined up.

The weather has been good the last week or so and I had some spare time so I got back on getting the car back together while I can.

I quickly recalled tonight that I really fucking hate the shift coupler cover - it took longer to sort of get it installed than it did to install the transmission and subframe.  Dumbest fucking design's not water tight, the seal (even when installed properly) is mediocre at best.  I decided to be okay with the way this came together and move on.  When I've got more time and patience, I'll circle back and fix this clusterfuck.

Got the riv-nuts installed for the oil cooler - studs are ordered and should arrive soon.  For now, it's mounted in a way that'll allow me to proceed.
The entire front end is installed, brakes, front beam, brake line, steering box, etc.  A few tweaks and it'll be properly dialed in...I can quickly finish this up and get the front end on tires and on the ground.

The plan for the rear end is to send the spring plates out for replating - I'll use the first set that I fucked up for fit and make sure there aren't any other obstacles.  I really want to get the engine installed and started up before the frost hits long-term.  There's a chance I might be able to make that happen.  One step at a time.