Tuesday, September 7, 2010

August was a normal August--ridiculously hectic. Now we’re back to the grind (I love September!) and spent Labor Day weekend in one of our favorite ways—sitting on the floor of the garage. Other favorite holiday events in which we participated: sleeping in, visiting pawn shops, and buying a new car.

First topic—the Squareback, which we’ve lovingly (for the time being) dubbed “the squah” (you know, kind of how Cartman would say it). I can’t believe how much attention we have been getting while driving this car. It is a bit ridiculous, really. She is fun, though. Really fun.

Our amazing photographer friend, James took some pictures (more of James’ photography can be found here).

Okay, since we haven't put an ounce of work into this car yet, I don't have to be modest about it. I'm not going to lie--this car totally kicks ass.

Second topic—the bus suspension. We spent about a month being STUCK as far as progress went on the bus rear suspension, rear brakes, transmission mounting, and wiring due to missing bolts. I know this sounds like a simple obstacle to overcome, but it was tricky. We finally took our list of missing bolts/screws to one of our friends who dug a sample of every bolt we needed out of his VW bolt tub. It was actually quite amazing—like pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

After overcoming our bolt issues, we were easily able to finish up some little electrical things, finish mounting the transmission, mount the spring plates, and mount the rear brake backing plates.

As I mentioned previously, the rear suspension went together much more easily than did the front suspension, so I’m not going to go into a lengthy explanation like I did with the front suspension, but I will pictures for all the VW super-dummies out there (myself included).

Third topic—E-brake cables. These guys get a topic all to themselves because they were a bit of a nightmare. Here’s what we learned. If you put wide tires on your bus, you DO need e-brake extenders. When lowering a bus, everyone will tell you that you need e-brake extenders. I misplaced ours and after talking with a few of our friends, none of whom had an explanation as to why the extenders were necessary, we moved forward on the project without them. After several hours of clipping spring links, and adjusting the cable tension, and un-doing, and re-doing the cables for several reasons, we finally figured out why we needed the cables. The tires we have on the back of our bus are too wide to mount with the drums mounted—which we knew going into the project. The need for the cable extenders finally became clear when we unhooked the drum/spring plate assembly from the axle tube and we couldn’t lower the assembly low enough to mount the wheel. Aha—2.5 inches of additional cable would make this work. So—off came the drums (again) and out came the cables (again). It was pretty ridiculous, but (somewhat unfortunately), that’s just how we roll.