Friday, February 18, 2011

Big Accomplishments

I started school again in January so while I’ve been sitting on my butt all day trying to increase my intelligence, and at the very least, increasing my waistline, Craig has taken complete ownership of the bus project, and he is rocking it.

Big accomplishment #1: the bus is painted. Dove blue—its original color, with grey in the cargo area to match the original grey primer.

Interesting fact—VW didn’t track the exact color codes for their primer, so there’s really no way of knowing exactly what color the primer is on your bus. It’s just grey.

Big accomplishment #2: several months ago, we purchased an 1835cc long-block which had been built and then sat for a few years without ever having been started. We had it torn down and rebuilt, then Craig threw the top end together (it's so easy when someone else is doing it!) I took a 20 minute study break and helped install the engine last weekend. (One thing I love about buses is that all it takes to install an engine is: an engine, a jack, four bolts, and two people…legend has it you can install an engine by yourself…I’m not trying it.)

We very anxiously cranked it and the thing just wasn’t getting spark. Plugs are new, wires are new, so we (meaning Craig) figured it must be the distributor. Ordered up a new distributor which came yesterday. Swapped out distributors, engine was getting spark, and then the battery died. Sigh.

Another interesting fact—Bosch no longer makes replacement distributors for ACVWs. Bummer.

Big accomplishment #3: oh man, this one is HUGE (huger than an engine and paint?) Our bus came with all of the pieces of the front door window assemblies—completely disassembled. We bought all the seals and the whole mess has been sitting on our living room floor for several weeks. I think of it with dread, my blood pressure rises, storm clouds gather, and I pray that they’ll magically assemble themselves. Last night, I got home from class, and Craig had assembled 1.5 of the front door window assemblies! He was all pissed off and tired and all I wanted to do was party, and call all my friends to come see the splendor.

A word to those who don’t know—vent windows are a biiiittch. First, you’ve got the seal that holds the vent window into its casing—which has to be pressed in (Craig used a 6” c-clamp, some pieces of wood, and super human balance to complete the task). Next, is the seal that seals the vent window to the window frame. This thing is a beast. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s about three inches wide by two inches high, with flaps and flanges all over and has to fit into a half inch wide channel. We borrowed a little white plastic pointy flat thingy from a friend, which Craig said made it possible to complete the project.

Look at that felt!

This baby is going to the mechanic on Monday to solve our unsolvable problems (meaning things we’ve tried to resolve and are tired of trying to do). Shifting is sloppy, steering is loose, clutch is wonky, and electrical gremlins plague us (see, that’s what happens when you let me wire a bus).


whc03grady said...

Bosch is starting to make 'classic' parts again. So far it's pretty much BMW, Porsche, and M-B stuff, but ACVW seems (to me) to have the largest base (though perhaps not the deepest pockets). Maybe a continued email-writing campaign could convince them to make things like ACVW distributors (and Type III f.i. parts? Please?) again:

On the other hand, why not just buy a 009 and have your bus run like crap?


Minnie said...

Thanks for the info, I had no idea they were moving in this direction.

We are running a 009 vacuum advance on it, we ran the same thing on our yellow bay window and it ran great...I don't know enough to know what makes them run well, or like crap. :-)

whc03grady said...

If your dizzy has a vacuum advance on it, it ain't a 009; 009s are purely mechanical advance distributors. Ignore John Muir, and never put one on your ACVW engine, unless you're running a pump or a saw with it.

Parker Sheehan said...

Maryn, I'm sorry I haven't responded with any reaction after having read your wonderful VW Blog. It is so nice to further realize what a bright, funny, clever, and literate daughter I have somehow had the pure joy to share life with. Who'da thunk she would also turn out to be such a VW aficionado. How could a father be any prouder? I love your blog.