Monday, December 20, 2021

"Freedom itself demands discomfort."

I guess it's time for a 30-day update, lest I forget what has happened over the last 4 weeks.

The house buying/selling process has been tedious, to say the least.  The buying part was dragged out for several weeks because the seller is going through a divorce with some additional drama attached.  She's apparently incapable of making decisions quickly so 7 decisions that should have taken her a day or two at most - took three weeks.  We're now just waiting for the clock to tick down to the end of the year when the closing date approaches and we can move forward.

The selling process was much faster - fixed a few things, forced ourselves to finish a couple of small projects, rented a truck and filled a 10x15 storage space with stuff mostly from the garage and basement.  A little drywall patch here, some paint touch up there...and we listed the house a week later than we wanted but it went up.  And 20 minutes later, we had our first showing scheduled.  Between Thursday and Sunday, there were 16 showings and an open house.  We're closing on this house on the 14th so we've technically got 2 weeks to get our shit together and move out.

Needless to say, I haven't done anything with the car in spite of the rather mild weather this Winter. I'm hoping this pattern holds at least until we're moved - then it can snow all it wants.  But we'll likely experience our first blizzard the day we're supposed to move.

Two weeks of holding pattern, Christmas, NYE, NYD and then a move - a lot going on.  When the dust settles a little, I'll get back to the car.  I'd guess by February I'll be back to doing something with the car.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

“I was not proud of what I had learned but I never doubted that it was worth knowing.”

 I started working on getting the Bluetooth distributor installed today but I did not finish it.  I need to get the proper advance curve into the distributor, reset the carburetors and then I should be good to go.  

In other news - there's a 50/50 chance we're moving in January - and the process of buying a house is super fucking tedious and time-consuming.  Inspections, offers, counter-offers, requests for information, waiting for other people to make decisions.  We might know something by Thursday - whether the seller tells us to fuck off or tries to lowball us on the requested repairs - we will have news.

The car was going to go into storage for 5 months but this house buying process has put a halt to that because it won't be necessary if the house purchase goes through.  I haven't worked on the car all that much because most of my free time has been consumed by getting the current house ready to be sold.  Soon it'll be cold enough that I won't care what condition the car is in and I'll just stop working on it until Spring - regardless of where we live.

It's going to be quiet around this blog for a while as the pieces slowly find their place.

Friday, October 29, 2021

“Let us celebrate the stupidity of our endurance.”

I know, I know...what the fuck?  It's been raining quite a lot lately and that's slowed my progress on tuning the carbs.

To dig my heels in at a really weird time and place and opt to step it up a notch and go with a Bluetooth-enabled distributor.  What a weird thing to add now...well, yeah, indeed.  Welcome to how I got to this place.

So, I'm going to install this thing and see if the app can tell me anything new.  

The plan to enlarge the garage has hit a rather large obstacle for now.  We're either going to do it at a later date, not do it and pay for storage for the VW or move to a different house with a proper garage.  Those are the three options on the table.  For now, the car will go into storage over the Winter.

I should have some time to work on this tomorrow - I'm looking forward to seeing what happens...

Thursday, October 21, 2021

“My money is in the hands of strangers.”

 A little tweak here and there and the car's slightly rich and the idle is lumpy but it runs fine.  I drove the car around the neighborhood a bit while dinner was in the oven.  The steering box needs to be adjusted to eliminate play in the middle but it's otherwise good to go.

I'm going to have to play with the tuning of the carburetors to get them dialed in better to drop the idle and get them leaned out a bit more.  Once I'm closer, I'll hook up the wideband and see what's got to be tweaked.

Headlights need to be adjusted and the ground for the dash lights needs some attention - they flicker.

Timing is decent - the temps dropped 20°F in the last two days.  I might have it close by the time it has to be put away for the Winter.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

“It is only in our decisions that we are important.”

I bought gasket material, made the gasket and stopped that leak.  The coil arrived on Friday and I put it in the car.  I finally found my multimeter - with dead batteries.  You'd think that in a house that has a ton of toys and remotes and gadgets everywhere that I'd have two extra AAA batteries but you'd be wrong.  Once I got fresh batteries - I tested the coil's fine.  Yeah, fucking noob error on my part - not testing the coil before I bought another one.  Not testing the coil before pretending to know what the fucking problem is with the car.  I've become so impatient with the car and getting it running that I just buy a replacement part right off the bat and that's an expensive way to get a car running.

Nevertheless, I installed a new oil filter and fresh oil, hooked the battery back up and the car fired right up.  The fuel pressure was a tad over 3psi - which is strange because I could have sworn that it was under 3psi last time.  I spent some time getting the fuel pressure right and then tried to sync the carbs.  The exhaust was smoking a bit, the engine was vibrating a lot and the idle was super high.  I got them synced, turned the idle down to 1,000 rpm, and set about getting LBI out of the carbs.  I managed to get the exhaust to stop smoking completely and almost got LBI sorted out but now the idle isn't consistent so I may be dealing with a combination of idle mixture, jets, and timing.  All in, I spent about 2 hours working on the car today - after doing yard work for the better part of the morning hours.  I was tired before I started working on the car.

Tomorrow is a busy day so I am unlikely to get any time to work on the car, so Monday after work is the day to get this thing sorted.  The next two weeks are decent with weather so I may still pull this one out of my hat. I just need to get the idle sorted well enough that I can drive the car and hook it up to the wideband and figure out the rest of it.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

“Healthy is a heart that still feels pain. Once we’re numb to it all, it’s over.”

 Oil has been drained, plugs replaced, carbs installed and silicone gaskets installed on the oil strainer.  I need to get gasket material so I can make a new oil filler pipe gasket and a new oil filter.  The immediate goal is to stop the oil leaks - change the oil and see if I can get the damn car to fire up again.

I decided to skip the thermocouple for the CHT this time around because I will most likely have to pull the top tin to get it installed.  I don't have the patience for that shit right now. 
The coil is scheduled to arrive on Saturday and I'm hoping to have everything else ready for its installation so that I can drop it in and fire up the car.  Once it's running, the tuning begins as long as the snow isn't falling.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

"The burned hand teaches best. After that, advice about fire goes to the heart."

Jim came by and we checked and double-checked the carb settings - no joy.  The engine simply didn't start.

The fuel pressure regulator was set and it's currently just over 2.5psi. It may/may not need additional adjustment but it's not that big of a hassle.  First hurdle is to get it running again.

After going through every possible scenario, we decided to pull the plugs and see what's going on - all four are black and wet.  We quickly surmised that there is no spark - and then I remembered that I'd just swapped the coil.  Bosch blue coils are notoriously mediocre in quality control and this one is likely bad.  I haven't tested it out of the car but it (and the fuel pressure regulator) are the only things that have changed and the coil being bad would explain why this engine went from running like shit to not running at all.  Another coil will be swapped in, plugs replaced and I'll try again.  The one 'up' side is that I can install the thermocouple for the CHT and then I'll get to see how well that works.

We both have other things to do today so this is where we left off - everything is torn apart - waiting on a coil and plugs.  I disconnected the battery since there's no need for it and it reduces the odds that I'll zap myself on the coil screwing around with the carburetor.

Seems like everything is a learning experience now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

"There is no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do"

The exhaust is back in the car although the heat shield is now rubbing the body in a new place.

I've decided that this exhaust is going to need to be fully welded and flanged - I have a couple of the slip fittings that aren't fitting as snugly as I'd like - so flanges are the way to go.

For now, though, I'll stick with what I've got and focus on getting the car running correctly.

I got the fuel pressure gauge installed - it's registering at just over 3psi - just a hair too strong. The fuel pressure regulator arrived and was hastily installed to test for leaks.  The car now doesn't start because the carburetors need to be reset (again).

Once I get the car running and the carburetors in sync - then I'll start fumbling my way through the wideband tuning...if I get to that before it starts snowing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

“If a victory is told in detail, one can no longer distinguish it from a defeat.”

I dropped the two pieces off at the welder this morning before work.  We had a brief chat about what needed to be done and I told him that it was for a wideband bung and he seemed to get it.  For the record, I did not specifically call out that I wanted him to drill the hole in the elbow and weld on the bung.  And, being the literal guy he is, no hole was drilled and the bung was welded on.  I picked it up after work from his house via his wife.  I laughed when I noticed it.
The tack welds on the two pipes at the collector were welded all the way around and eliminate two exhaust leaks.
Welds from CSP
Welder closed it up all the way around - had I known this - I would have dropped off the other three pieces off as well.
I looked it over - and just decided to dive in and go for it.  I held the muffler in place with my body and ran a 1/2" drill bit in my tiny Amazon purchased drill press until it stopped.  Then I opened up the little box of random bits with the Dremel and ran several until I figured out what worked.  And then I did that for 20 minutes and I was able to get the sensor threaded into the hole.  End of story.

That was it for today.  Tomorrow is another day!

Monday, September 27, 2021

“Smooth and smiling faces everywhere, but ruin in their eyes.”

I drove an hour to the last VW show this year - there was a pretty good turnout overall and there were two Squarebacks on display along with a super original 1973 Fastback.

I spent a couple of hours hanging out with some friends in the swap area and walked around to check out the cars.

On my way home today - I got a call from the welder who said that if I dropped my exhaust off at his house tommorrow morning - he'd get it done tomorrow.  First thing I did with the car when I got home was remove the muffler and the collector.

First round will have the bung welded into the muffler elbow and close up the tack welds on the collector for 1 & 4.  Once I figure out where to source the flanges - I'll have 2 & 3 pipes welded to the collector and eliminate all of the air holes/gaps.  Can't help but over-engineer the things that go on this car for some reason.
The Weber fuel pressure regulator arrived today and the shape of the top looked familiar - turns out it's made by Malpassi and is the same 'top' as what they use on the Filter King.

Not sure if I'm going to use this or wait for the Malpasssi Filter King to arrive - kind of depends on a few other things.
Fuel pressure gauge arrived - nipples for the T are arriving tomorrow then (assuming the gauge is accurate) I'll know the fuel pressure and can use this to get it down to the right spot.

While working on the car last Saturday, I found a wet coil but there wasn't anything I could do about it at the time.  Yesterday, I released the clamp and found a crease on the side leaking oil.  I have no idea how that happened but it has since been replaced.

I should have this car ready to go the day it snows like a motherfucker.

Friday, September 24, 2021

“Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why.”

Over the last week, I've screwed around with the hood lock/release trying to get it adjusted well enough to work.  The early hood lock has two pivot points and is, historically, a giant pain in the ass to adjust properly if it's ever messed with/removed.  Well, I fucked up a while back and removed it and it hasn't worked correctly since I took it out.  I've left the spare tire tray out of the car and become some level of proficient at releasing the hood from under the car without a jack.

I have a really nice later version of the hood latch - it's got one pivot point and the later versions are much easier to adjust and get working.  I removed the original and dropped the newer one into place and got two of the three mount bolts in before I noticed that the screw that secures the hood pull wire is obscured under the top plate.  I didn't want to cut the car, so I pulled it back out and screwed around with the original lock until I could get it to work.  Took about an hour but I finally got it.

I swapped out the fuel pump to another style - it wasn't as easy to install and took some fiddling to get it installed but it's in there and working.  I started the car and as I was backing out of the garage, it started pouring rain - so I pulled back into the garage.

I decided to have a look under the car and have come to the conclusion that I'm not 100% happy with the routing of the brake lines.  They'll do for now but I'm definitely going to get different hoses made and route them around the inside of the shocks - the lines will be at least an inch shorter and it'll be further away from the spring plate.   I don't know what I was thinking with this routing. Iterative improvements and all that...

Tomorrow - I will reset the carburetors, sync them and see if I can get LBI with the new fuel pump.

Next week, I'll be getting a fuel pressure regulator that'll be set to right around 2.5 GPM - I think a slightly lower fuel pressure will work better - Weber carburetors like lower pressure.  And, because I sometimes like to 'learn' the hard way-I bought a replacement Malpassi Filter King because the previous one sat in a drawer for over three years and after deciding I didn't need it - I sold it a few months back.  Experience and knowledge aren't the same thing.

Found new LED bulbs for the side markers - now all of the external lights are LED and they're nice and bright with great color.  I'm very happy with the lighting.

Let's see what happens tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

“I'd come to realize that all our troubles spring from our failure to use plain, clear-cut language.”

A very small update: my attempt to find Lean Best Idle and sync the carbs was not entirely successful.  After a few adjustments and tweaks - the idle remains unsteady and I wasn't able to find LBI.

I have determined that either A] The idle jets are too big and/or B] The fuel pressure is slightly too high.

The engine is running rich and despite my efforts to lean it out - still rich.  Thus the two conclusions above.  To remedy this - I have ordered a fuel pressure gauge and a fuel pressure regulator.  Once I can either reduce the fuel pressure (if it's too high) or confirm it's correct - I'll go chasing after the idle again by swapping in smaller jets.  Learning how to tune Weber carburetors is a lot like calculus - you only learn it if you need to...

Little dude was out offering moral support for about 20 minutes - he says he still likes this car and is anxiously awaiting his turn to ride in it.  That benchmark is when the seat belts come in - and maybe now waiting for the fuel pressure regulator (next week).

Everything that has to be ordered takes a week...every new issue that requires a part equals a one-week delay while we wait.  We have a few things to do while we wait.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

"Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines"

I only had about an hour to work on the car today - I spent some of that time installing the newer plastic lower sill trim clips and the lower trim after I cleaned it up.  The plastic clips are MUCH nicer.

I used the rest of time checking the toe-in on the front end and found it's within spec.  The steering wheel isn't centered although I'm not 100% sure I put it back on correctly when I fixed the horn.  I think it'd be a good idea to pull the fuel tank and make sure the pitman arm is aligned properly before I snug down the tie rod clamps.

I haven't figured out the front seat belts quite yet but I haven't really tried yet.  The rear seat belts arrive on Thursday.  I think I'll find the motivation to get it sorted out once the rears are in hand.

I need to get back into the engine-related issues - synchronize the carburetors and set the LBI.  Sort out the welder dude so I can get the bung installed and fix some of the boogered welds.  Then I get to dive into the wideband tuning.

The last show of the season is this Sunday - I'm going to go and hang with a friend in the swap space for a few hours.  I wish my car was in a little better condition so that I could drive it but I'm just not there yet so I'll wait for next year.  Maybe by then, COVID will be less of a 'thing' and the shows can grow a little.

The weather is changing quickly - I think I'm running out of time but I think I'll make it.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

“And it's always better, isn't it, when you discover answers on your own?”

There are three things to notice here:

1. The car is not in my garage/driveway.

2. It's on the side of the road.

3. The steering wheel isn't centered.

The brake hose shop finally got the brake hoses correct - I picked them up and headed home.  Once I got home, I installed the brake hoses and started the process of bleeding the brakes.  I got them bled quickly and found a pretty good pedal after a couple rounds at each caliper.  The rear seat belt situation was figured out - and I realized that I didn't have rear seat lap belts so I ordered them.  In the meantime, I might temporarily install the non-retractable 3 point belts in the rear.  The front belts are not yet installed but I've got a means to get that done pretty quickly.

So, the picture - the rear locking bolts were installed, the wheels were put back on the car and I decided to take the car down the street.  About two blocks away, I had an odd feeling at the rear of the car and pulled over.  A quick walk around the car revealed that I'm a complete dumbass and didn't tighten the lugs on one wheel.  A call home and my wife and son brought the jack and the lug wrench - a couple of minutes later and the car was back in the garage.  I need to do some alignment fixing- to both clean up the alignment and straighten the steering wheel.

Still a few things to clean up/fix but the car runs decently but very rich and I have a few things to knock out on the project list and I'll get to a few of them tomorrow.  I'm planning on trying my hand at tuning the carbs a little better and getting the front seat belts installed.

The rabbit hole will open up once I get the wideband bung welded on the muffler and I figure out how to use the wideband and tune the carbs.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

“One always has exaggerated ideas about what one doesn't know.”

After spending way too much time last night pondering all manner of stupid options to get another concave washer quickly to stay on track - I decided to say 'fuck it' and go to sleep instead.  In the morning, I did some digging with specific reference to the EMPI race axles (no inner stops - so they 'float' between the two CVs) - I learned that I don't need the concave washers at all.  Turns out, giving up for the night was the right call.

"Experience" is the enemy of sanity sometimes.

During some downtime at work today - I called the hose shop to see what kind of nonsense I'd be unraveling on Saturday.  Not only did they find my order this time around but they said that the brake hoses will be ready tomorrow.  Instead of wasting a Saturday morning, I'm going to head over there after work and hope they got it right this time.

When I got home from work today - I pulled the axle that was installed yesterday, removed the two concave washers, cleaned both axles and installed both of them on the car.  What a super messy/shitty job... I stopped short of installing the bolt locks and the super small clips.

I was going to install the rear seat belts now that I have a solid plan for getting them (lap belts) secured but realized that I no longer have them - so I ordered a set for the back seat.  It's just money, right?

I hope to be installing brake hoses tomorrow after work, doing a quick 'garage' alignment and take the car out for a quick spin 'round the hood.  I have to figure out how to keep the kid in the car so I might install one of the old 3 point belts in the back until the lap belts show up.  I'm not going to drive further than I'm willing to push the car back so we won't be going too far.  And it's running rich so it may not run all that well anyway.  I've really got to get better at carb tuning...oh, yeah.  I bought a wideband!

Once I'm convinced that the car is in good enough condition - I'll put the bolt locks and all of those tiny clips on the CVs and start the process of going through the car with a fine-toothed comb in preparation for a longer drive.

Might have a solution for the wideband bung as well...progress is elusive but I'm gaining ground.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

"One must imagine Sisyphus happy"

Not much to report - one of the two axles is installed so far.  I somehow lost one of the concave washers for the other side so I had to stop.  I did a lot of cleaning up and have not found it.  It'll be a one week delay if I don't find it because I'll have to order one.  

Maybe the brake hoses will be done by then, eh?

Not much else has happened - I took a few days off of working on the car while I waited for parts.

I'm guessing I've got about two or three weeks left before the weather turns against me.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

"I'm not quite sure what level of reality I'm supposed to be operating on."

Getting up to date: Parking brake installed and adjusted, interior panels are installed, rear seat back installed, driver's seat installed, interior vacuumed out.  Once the brakes are bled - hopefully, it's still warm enough out to put the tatters of the floor mat in the sun so I can put it in the car.  If I do that and skip the 'in the sun' bit - the mat will explode into several pieces and I'll have to toss it in the trash.  Either way, it's coming off of the shelf it's been sitting on for the last several months.

I stared long and hard at the seat belt situation - there are a few ideas swimming around in my head - the front seats are going to be the hardest to resolve because the shoulder mount is too low on the B pillar for the system to work smoothly - I may have to figure out some sort of interim solution until I figure out the future of this car.

I received the secondary order of parts today - spent some time trying to figure out the best place for the bung on the muffler for the wideband - I'll likely remove the muffler and drop it off at a shop for that work to be done.  I may clean up the torsion cover and see if they can weld some covers on and then I'll paint them.

There's something weird going on with the transmission - it'll shift into 1-2 just fine but 3-4 are hard to engage - I'll try adjusting them once the car is able to be mobile.  I'm fingers crossed hoping that the trans builder used the correct hockey stick...this is what happens when the wrong hockey stick is installed.  I hope it just needs some adjustment because I am NOT down with pulling the engine and trans to swap hockey sticks...again.  Same builder did this on the Swing Axle trans they built and I specifically called it out when they built this one (and I sent the correct hockey stick to them).  Time will tell but I hope like hell that I don't have to take all of this shit apart again.

Speaking of time - the 2nd set of axles are due to arrive on Tuesday - fingers crossed I'll have a chance to get them assembled and installed by the weekend...although that may not matter because...

...first thing this morning I drove 30 minutes over to the shop that I chose to make my brake hoses and asked about my order.  The initial response was that I'd have to call the same two people who have been left two voicemails and, as of yet, have not replied to me in any way whatsoever...and there was no way to ask them today because they don't work on Saturday.  I asked if there is a "will call" order shelf and, as if a light bulb went on over his head, the counter guy told me that he'd check it.  And he found my order on the shelf in a sealed box.  He opened the box so we could see what's inside: the hoses appeared correctly made and the correct length - my hopes were rising for functional brakes today.  Then I looked at the female fitting and discovered an inverted flare fitting.  Wrong fitting - they're supposed to be ISO DIN bubble flare.  The male end was correct - the female end was not.  Guy at the counter assured me that they'd expedite the order for the fittings and get them done by next weekend.  The brake hoses will be the dead last thing I install on this car before I can drive it.

In the meantime - I'm going to do a cursory alignment on the front end, fix the hood release (it's stuck shut right now), figure out rear seat belts and make a decision about how to resolve the front seat belts.  At the rate things are going - it'll be done before I get those brake hoses.

I may go through the parts stash and start selling off stuff I'm not going to use if I've got more time between getting the car ready and receipt of those brake hoses.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

“You don't have to stay anywhere forever.”

A few things arrived today - shocks and the LM-2.  Upon opening the wideband - I realized that I'd need a longer cable and a stainless bung for the exhaust.  I ordered both on Amazon and they'll show up on Saturday.  Not that I'll be ready to fire up the wideband over the weekend but having the supplies on hand is a step in the right direction.

The wideband is going to be quite the rabbit hole...
Got the kid involved in the process of installing the shocks.  I wound up having to modify the bushings on the shocks to get them installed but they're now on the car.  I will probably pull them off the car to stiffen them up - but for now, they're on the car.
Both calipers and parking brake cables are installed and I should be able to get them adjusted/functional tomorrow.

I called the hose shop - I talked to two people and they had no clue when the brake hoses would be complete or where my order was in their system, so I'll probably have to drive over there Saturday morning to figure out what the fuck is going on.  And then take my shit to another shop to get them made.

Nearly a week after I ordered them - the axles are showing up as 'in transit' - which means they'll probably show up mid-late next week.  Everything adds a week...I've still got some interior bits to install so I can fill up my 'spare' time doing that while I wait for the cable for the wideband and the brake hoses.

Monday, September 6, 2021

"The hidden harmony is better than the obvious."

Today's progress:  I turned the car into what appears to be a complete car.  Right side fender, tail lamp, and the hatch panel cover (after hours of careful gluing together) - all installed. I tested the lights (everything works like it should) and torqued the rear axle nuts down to spec and installed the cotter pins.

The right-side caliper and the right-side parking brake remain to be installed but there's not a huge rush since I'm waiting for brake hoses and axles.  Tomorrow can be the parking brake day and if I've got the patience, I'll get to the interior. There are a few other bits to get done in the meantime (like figure out the seatbelts!) but it's coming together.

Started the car and ran it for a few minutes - the engine timing is off slightly and it's running super-rich - I suspect that once I find a good AFR, I can get the engine running right - easier to do when the car is running/driving.  Once the car is mobile - a lot of things will get easier.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

“It is possible that longing for something is better than actually having it. I’ve heard it said that satisfaction is the death of desire.”

Pulled out the rear cargo door panel out of storage and discovered that the vinyl is pulling off of the board.  The board is broken but I decided to push forward and glue the vinyl back down so I can put it back in the car.  It'll work until I'm ready to dive into a complete restoration.  It's one less part on a shelf and one more part on the car - that's a win in my book.
Right side door is completely put back together, the inner rear fender area is cleaned and painted and ready for the fender to be re-installed.

I'm hoping to get the right rear fender back on the car tomorrow (along with the rear bumper) and the exhaust support brackets.  If I can get the right rear fender on the car - the interior panels can go back in the car.  Lots can happen once the interior panels are back in the car.

Shocks are coming, brake lines should be done soon and I'll know what's up with the axles by Tuesday.  I think that's all I'm waiting on to get this show on the road, so to speak.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

"Your patience will be both appreciated and rewarded"

Progress today included tearing apart and rebuilding the driver's side door - the window regulator support has four tiny spot welds - two of them have popped off and they're no longer supporting the arm.  I took the door apart, cleaned everything and dug out the two sets of window regulators I squirreled away some years ago.  After I spent nearly 90 minutes cleaning them up - I discovered that of the two left-side pieces - one was on the verge of self-destruction (the aluminum press fit spring holder/pivot was pulling out of the spring steel bracket) and the other one was broken in the exact same place as the original regulator.  I thought about pulling out the welder but decided against it in the hope that I could simply make progress elsewhere.  So I put the door back together and moved on to something else.  The window works okay - it doesn't bind - but I know it's not 100%.  I'll have to save this for another day.

The other progress includes - the left side fender is back on the car - the left side parking brake cable is installed, I've ordered Koni Red shocks for the rear and the clutch is adjusted.  I prepped the right side of the car for under fender paint and started working on the passenger's side door.  But that's where I stopped.  I then took a VW break and installed the new horns in the Volvo (success!) and broke the headlamp washer door in the process - they're made from the world's cheapest plastic because they break VERY easily.  I knew I should have bought both of them two years ago...oh well, one step closer, I suppose.  I'll have to get the little door thing on order with Volvo on Tuesday since the part number on the part seems to have been superseded and the new part number is a closely held secret.

I'll wrap up the inner fender paint and the passenger's side door over the next couple of days - along with the right side fender going back on the car (and perhaps the bumper!).  Once I can get the parking brakes are worked out, the floor mat can go back into the car (the rear half).  When the brakes are successfully bled, the front floor mat piece can go in the car as well.  Then the seats and holy shit, it'll look like a car again.  Just in time for snow, probably.

That reminds me...I wonder where those axles are that I ordered from Sway A Way several weeks (actually, a couple of months) ago...they were on backorder but I figured they'd show up by now.  Axles and CVs are something I definitely don't want to do twice.  If the back order isn't filled soon - I'll probably have to order EMPI axles and hope they don't suck.

Friday, September 3, 2021

"All that exists is what's ahead"

I learned a couple of things today.  

First thing: The Type 1 torsion cover plates don't actually fit like I thought they would.  They're too shallow - which I figured out while attempting to tighten them to the subframe. Yeah, so. good thing I just bought a new set AND a replacement original set in case the repops were garbage (they're not).  I wound up using the Type 3 Swing Axle torsion covers that I kept in case I needed them.  Parts hoarding pays off for once.  The lack of a cover on the end is a long term issue I need to resolve.  I have a rusty set that I can use for welding practice to add a cover. The set that's on the car, for now, I'm going to leave alone because...

I'm pretty sure the rear end of the car is too stiff but I'll wait until it's back together and taken out for a test drive before I decide that I don't like it enough to tear it all apart and re-index.

Second thing: I get a hell of a lot more done when I force myself to find a solution vs. buying one.  When I was young and broke all the time - I didn't have the money to keep buying parts - I just figured out a way to fix the problem.  Sure, I was living in Southern California and VW shops were everywhere but I still didn't buy a lot of parts to solve a problem.  I've been working toward doing that now WITH a parts hoard and it seems to be paying off.  The last few times I've bought a part to solve a problem, it didn't...and a part I already had on hand wound up being the solution.

I have the target of getting a lot done over the long weekend since I'm not going anywhere.  Time will tell how well my mental motivation works with my physical time management.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

"When you're curious you find lots of things to do"

These are not yet painted - lots of little 'other' things came up and I have not made any progress in a few days.  When I break open that can of expensive paint - I want to make sure I use the whole thing - and it covers a lot of area so there's a lot of space to prep as a result.

I had to take the day off of work today to watch little dude - one of his classmates tested postive for COVID - thus he's out for 14 days even though they were wearing masks.

While I was out running errands - I got the call that the wheels and mirror covers for the Volvo were ready to pick up so I popped over and picked them up.  The mirror covers went on in about 15 minutes after watching a YouTube video - the wheels have to wait for a day where I can drop the car off.

A few days ago, I ordered a repop set of covers (arriving tomorrow) but I'm half expecting them to *not* fit properly.  Tried to negotiate an expensive local set down to a reasonable price but the seller would rather hang on to them so I passed.  Found a set in California that *might* be a good replacement - I have to wait for those to arrive (next week).  I feel like I'd be a lot further down this road if I didn't have to wait a week every time I needed a part.  Such is life in the Midwest.

I almost finished the hinge cover and light installation - the hinge cover is clean and back in the car but the light doesn't work. After jacking around with it for a while, I took it out and spent 20 minutes cleaning the light (clean version here) - it's the original (dated 11/63) and was very oxidized.  I used a metal polish and then DeoxIt to clean any residue out.  I didn't get to test it before it was time to call it quits.  I also found a light in my cabinet that I traded for a while back that doesn't fit the light cover - it's probably going to wind up on TheSamba classifieds.  I don't need to hang on to stuff I can't use.

And then there's wiring the accessory gauges, replace the broken window regulator, clean the inside of the doors, do the painting, getting the doors back together, etc.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

“The ego focuses on petty things.”

First thing this morning - I drove 30 minutes to drop off the brake hose contraption so the hose shop could order the necessary fittings to make the hoses.  There's a small chance they'll be done by Wednesday - but I'm expecting it to take a week.

Ran a few errands, did some things and then...I spent nearly an hour cleaning out the cabinet and putting everything back before I got to the rear end of the car.  

And, well, then I got distracted with swapping the horns in the Volvo - but that didn't happen because I had to buy two wire harnesses on eBay so I don't have to cut the original harness - and the stuff I took out of the Volvo went right back in once I'd ordered the required parts.  That was about 30 minutes in total.

Eventually, I got back to the car - the left side (shown) went back together very quickly - less than ten minutes.  The right side took nearly an hour and I sheared off a bit of the powdercoating on the subframe.  I can't really explain why because the FIRST side should take all of the time while it's being figured out but that's not what happened.  I swapped out the typically noisy red urethane bushings for the yellow Saco version - again, first one goes on easy - the second one took 5x as long.  It was also in the upper 90°F temps today with a heaping serving of humidity so being in the garage wasn't pleasant.  I powered through because this car needs to go back together.

I attempted to clean the covers that I got from Jim but they're very pitted so I may not wind up using them.  I'm going to paint them tomorrow and see how they turn out before I decide.

Ended the day by banging out the dents on the left side fender (bottom was creased in) and cleaning the inner fender area on the right side in preparation for paint.  Once that paint is on and dry - both fenders and the rear bumper go back on the car.

Maybe next weekend I can put the car on the ground.

Friday, August 27, 2021

“Responsibility is proportionate to opportunity.”

90 minutes today:  Spent about 15 minutes cleaning up from previous work, started the swap of the bushings on the trailing arms and cleaned up the used torsion covers - then I discovered something leaking in the cabinet - a completely wet shelf and wrinkled spray cans.  So I took everything off the shelf and cleaned up the liquid - which wound up being phosphoric acid that was leaking out of its plastic container.  It can be seen in this picture in the orange bucket.  

I cleaned off the shelf with baking soda and water, then Dawn - wiped down the inside of the cabinet (two cans of wasp killer had expelled their contents as a result of the acid eating the bottom of the cans) and cleaned the rest of the cans and let them sit in a shallow pan of baking soda in water.  The shelf in the photo was in good shape - just a little dirty - now a large part of it is missing paint so I've got to address this at some point as well.

It's all currently drying on the floor of the garage.  I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped...tomorrow is another day.

I'm going to drop off the brake line at the hose shop, run some errands and hope to get back to getting the trailing arms on the car.  Plenty to do - just not a whole lot of time. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

“I’m an early bird and a night owl. So, I’m wise and have worms.”

 I had about 90 minutes today - I took a step back and figured out the rear brake lines (or so I think).  I put the right side trailing arm on the car and dug out some old brake lines as test pieces - and taped them together where they create one template piece.

There's a hydraulic hose shop not far from where I work and they can get the M10x1 bubble flare ends.  Probably a one week turnaround before I can pick them up.  I have to figure out a way to support the brake hose right about where my fingers are in the picture but it'll eliminate an additional connection.

Next opportunity I have a couple of hours - I'll get the rear end installed and get the car back on four tires - the brake lines will happen soon enough.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

"Sunk costs and all that..."

Not a lot of time today (or the last couple of days) to work on the car.  I spent about an hour or a little more today putting the engine back together - the pulley shroud, the clamps, the muffler, the modified heat shield, the oil fill boot, yada, yada, yada...the engine is good to go.

The outer bushings arrived yesterday and, while they're tighter than I would prefer, I think they'll work out okay.

I found a local shop that can fab the needed brake lines for the rear end - now I need to find the time to get over to them before they close.  Potentially during the week next week.

I should be able to get to the rear suspension soon...then move to the interior and get the doors rebuilt and put back together.  Soon enough, I hope, the random piles of parts in the garage will be back in the car.

Progress has been slow this week but I'm hoping to make more progress by the end of the week.

Monday, August 23, 2021

"The questions are always more important than the answers"

Finished pictures first, I guess.

Ran the new wiring for the cargo light from the dome light - the stock location is wired to the running light on the tail lamp - meaning it's only going to work when the running lights are on.

The heat shield is notched where it was rubbing on the body and the edge that was rubbing on the bellows boot has been 'coerced in a new direction'.  The final touch was to sand the edges to remove the sharpness.

I prepared the pulley shroud gasket so I don't forget to install it.  Fingers crossed - I should be able to leave the engine in the car for a while.

Another thing that was done - drilled three holes in the pulley shroud for the bolt on lid and test the fit.

I'm not going to bother powdercoating the lid at this point.

Prior to removing the muffler and the heat shield - I took this picture to show just how close the heat shield is to the bellows boot.
Another angle showing the corner pushing into the bellows boot near the clamp.

The test fit of the heat shield indicates that the modifications should help the two parts keep a slight difference.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

“Crack an egg on your head. Let the yolk drip down.”

These fucking things...I have a couple of options to deal with what's going on right now:

1. Take them to a new plating shop and have this plating removed and re-plated so the finished product fits the Jaycee torsion covers.

2. Find a set of Type 1 torsion cover plates, buy the outer bushings and see if this whole thing goes together.

If it's not horribly obvious - I've decided to go after option #2.  I measured the OD of the spring plate, found the suitable bushing and ordered them.

In spite of my organization - I cannot find the cover for the pulley shroud.  I have a NOS bolt-on cover that I'll have powder coated.  If I cannot find a suitable replacement for the one I've apparently lost - I'll drill three holes in this cover and swap it over to a bolt-on unit.

I swapped out the rear license plate wiring and the two grommets - and that was about it for the day.  I have the cargo light and the dome light wiring remaining to replace but those will wait until they're necessary - both currently work fine.

I have five days of vacation and then I'll come back and get something done on the car - and repeat that until my ass is in the seat going down the street.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

"You cannot make progress without making decisions."

The car fired right up.  There's a minor oil leak at the rocker cover on the right side, the engine needs to be tuned slightly and the heat shield for the exhaust is rubbing on the body.  A few small tweaks and things will be nicely dialed in.

I noticed at some point today that the seal between the pulley shroud and the fan shroud was not installed - shit time to realize it given the complexity of the exhaust installation process.  But given the rubbing of the heat shield, I can potentially fix three things at once.

I got the horn and front trunk liner installed so the front end looks correct.  The hood latch has decided to stop working so I have to figure that out before I can drive the car but it should be a simple fix.  
Got the kid to help me out for a few minutes - he installed the rear engine stabilizer mount.  Waiting around for the next task was too boring for him so he moved on to the next thing.

I started working on getting the spring plates installed but hit a snag - the plating on the spring plates is too thick and they now do not work with the brass bushings on the cover plates.  I have to come up with some sort of solution so that I can keep moving forward.  I can't use an abrasive or a hone so I have to think of another solution.

I might install a trailing arm and figure out the brake lines while I figure out a solution for the spring plates.  I can also finish working on the 'under the fender' things so that I can get the rear fenders back on the car and get the bumper back on the car.  I've also got the rear seat that can go back in the car.  Plenty of opportunities to keep moving forward.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

"Don't worry, I'm not in a hurry"

Made a good amount of progress today - fuel tank, fuel line and pump are all plumbed and wired up.  The fuse box is fitted and checked and new fuses have been installed.  The fusebox is set up like a 67 Euro car with a 12 slot fuse box.  I was able to remove three of the piggy back connectors as a result of using a 12 slot fuse box vs. the standard 10 slot.  The additional 30 amp fuse between the battery and the ignition swich/fuse box should help control any issues that crop up.

From the front end - it's looking a lot like a functional car.  There are some front end suspension things to work out before I can drive the car but the rest of it is dialed in.

A random neighbor stopped by in a 1950 Jeep and chatted about the car - we talked about the things that I've done with the car and we talked a bit about his Jeep.  There are a lot of old cars in this neighborhood and it's cool to talk with people about their cars.

All of the engine wiring is finished - at least for this first round - none of the accessory gauges are wired up yet.

Engine is filled with oil, trans is filled with gear oil...

The battery goes in tomorrow and then we get to see if there are any electrical issues or leaks.  I might get to the spring plate installation tomorrow as well.

The only thing holding this all up will be the rear brake lines - they have to be figured out, made and installed before I can bleed the brakes and drive the car.  I'm making a good amount of progress and it'll be nice to turn it over tomorrow.