Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bus Pilots Family Reunion 2010

To anyone who read my last post and was completely confused by the pictures…

I’m not sure why my brain chose to abandoned me, but I had the pictures entirely out of order on that last post. They’ve been fixed now.

Oh, also, I’ve re-labeled the tie rods—as they were labeled incorrectly before.

Moving on…

The weekend of 7/16 was the annual Bus Pilots Association “Family Reunion”. Here you go: a photo post.


We had 50 cars at the end. This means that people didn't get lost--props to the cruise coordinator! (Ahem...what I mean is...you know, if the cruise coordinator wasn't me, I'd give them props.)

Above photo Courtesy of Ethan Page

This bus belongs to Aaron. He has been doing great things with his bus; including having the cut out wheel wells repaired. That's a perfect example of how fashion dictates the awful things we do to our VWs. Ludwig's Driver expressed some concern that we might be making permanent modifications to our bus during the lowering process. I'll take this opportunity to assure anyone else who may be concerned that we have no plans to make any alterations to the frame or body of our bus. Now y'all can rest easy. :-)


This is, admitedly, my favorite part of the weekend where we drive around town, lost, in our VWs in 100 degree heat, following turn by turn directions to an unknown destination.

Rally Photos courtesy of Ethan Page
Then there was the show. Lots of cars, lots of people, lots of fun.

Above photo courtesy of David Kvapil Photography
Above photo courtesy of David Kvapil Photography

Friday, July 23, 2010

We love our Dremel: and other spectacular tales

Progress has been a bit slow over the last couple of weeks as we had our annual Bus Pilots Association Family Reunion which has absorbed a lot of our time. Also, Craig has been out of town so now we’re finally getting back into the swing of things.

The front beam is now installed thanks in part to the most excellent observation made by our friend James who pointed out that you can’t install the beam when the shift rod is in position (duh). This meant that we had to find a way to disconnect the very rusted and grimed together front and rear shift rods. Craig was up for the task and went through about 25 Dremel discs cutting through the coupler. Here’s the aftermath.

With the front beam fully assembled and blissfully in place, we moved to the rear setup which (in my opinion) has been far more straightforward so far than was front beam assembly. It basically went like this: insert new axles and axle tubes. Swap out nose cone. Put on new boots. Install new spring plates…and that’s where we’re sitting presently.

Craig has been rather tenacious and resilient with this project thus far. He’s really good at drilling/cutting/hammering very fussy pieces of metal until they give/fall apart/move. Prior to the coupler project, Craig took on the project of drilling out a screw holding one of the cargo doors in place. This literally took 5 hours. Several hardened steel screw removers broke off in the hole, several drill bits litter the garage floor. It was really quite a massacre. The ultimate hero was a carbide Dremel bit which not only drilled through the hardened steel, but stayed sharp, didn’t break and got the job done. Whew. Here’s the aftermath of that project.

The good news—three of the four cargo doors are now installed. The bad news—one of the screw plates fell into the bus frame where the fourth door is supposed to screw in. Those who know splitties understand that this is NOT a good thing to have happened. We’ve ordered some earth metal magnets (or something like that) which we’re hoping will grab the plate and we’ll be able to work it back up to its designated location. That’s the best case scenario. I’ve avoided thinking too much about the alternative scenarios. Time will tell.