Thursday, March 29, 2012


Heading to the spacious shipping and receiving offices of One Utahdog Center, World Congress of the Americas...

Reproduction radio delete plate for the bus. I'm not going to have any radio installed in the bus, just to minimize the potential for hooligan mischief. Out of sight and out of mind, at least as much out of sight and mind as possible for a bright red split window bus.

Solex 30 PICT carb kits. I opened the only spare I had to get the goodies I needed to get the car moving again.

Dangerboy brake levers. Matt in ATL swears by these. I'll give them a go.

In multiple colors of course, because I'm a slut for colors.

Seat post for the Robinson for the little girl.

And a purple seat collar for the Robinson. I should be able to complete the Robinson for her now, and then we'll get her rolling on the bigger bike.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More bus, and the 'Pisser'

No pics this time, sorry.

I addressed the hesitation and lack of power last night. Along with the bus I got a spare 30 PICT carb, the same that is on the bus, which is great because in addition to the repair manual and the parts list manual that feature exploded views of the carb, I can also use the spare as a test for assembly experience. The carb is just different enough from the one in my old Bug to be different, so there is a small learning curve here, and the spare carb is a great tool, kind of like the rubber chest cavity with removable organs that you had in your science classroom in the 5th grade.

Anyway, I took the spare carb and removed the top of the carb from the lower, and then looking at the throat of the carb I located the accelerator injector nozzle, aka the 'Pisser'. I've never heard that term before, but it is fitting, as it resembles a little limp wiener hanging over the throat of the carb, and when you whomp on the throttle, it dumps a full shot of raw fuel into the throat of the carb to meet the sudden need for gas from the wide open throttle.

I pulled the pisser from the lower carb body, and then I blew threw it (no 'blew the pisser jokes please... this is a family blog) and the pisser from the spare carb moved a lot of air. Then I removed the air filter from the top of the bus carb and using a mirror and light, I watched the pisser in the installed and running carb to see if it flowed what I would think would be a comparable amount of fuel to the amount of air I observed from the spare. The bus pisser flowed no fuel. Problem located.

So, I pulled the carb from the bus, pulled off the top of the carp, and removed the pisser from the bus carb. I then blew on the bus pisser (two pisser blows in one post, I am a slut!) and it flowed no air. SO, back to the old Silca bicycle pump, where I clamped the bus pisser inside the pump air hose and then I pumped on the pisser a few times and it blew free.

I feel so dirty.

Anyway, clean pisser in hand, I reassembled the carb and the installed it on the bus. Started it up and it seems much much better. I still detect some bucking in second gear when cruising around the neighborhood, but I think that some of that might be residual fuel tank debris and filter issues. I'm going to run a tank of gas through this filter, with the swishing of the tank sloshing up the smaller bits and catching them in the filter I hope, and then revisit the issue with a fresh filter and see if that solves the remaining 5% of the fuel issues. It is running at about 95% power right now, I'd guess. Feels pretty strong, and the clutch and transmission do everything they should. So far so good.

On to some cleaning, and some brake system inspecting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is the birthday of the Utahdog Blog. 4 years old, and we just racked up 50,000 views too. Not a bad few years work...'s to 4 more!

1966 Volkswagen 13 Window Deluxe Transporter

This bus has been in my family since the mid 1970's. Shopping for food at Publix, vacations, going out to dinner with the family... all done in this bus. I fell out of this bus onto the street once as a 9 year old kid. Both me and my sister actually. We were heading down Busch Boulevard in Tampa, on our way with the family to see the 'Jungle Book', and when we turned left into the theater, whoop! Against the side cargo doors we went, they popped open, and kids spilled out onto the road. Nobody was really hurt, although my sister landed on her face. She was pretty bell-rung I'm sure, but we went to the movie anyway. As I recall, we were late to the movie because of the spilling-of-the-children, and we stayed into the next showing so we could see the beginning.

I remember getting in trouble when I got home, for tearing my shirt on the pavement. Another 'those damn shoes' moment.

On to the bus...

View out the front from the middle seat. When we were kids there was no middle seat, just the back bench and the front bench. This is not a walk-thru, so the only way to get into the back seat from inside is... to go outside.

Sun-baked interior panels. The bus was painted in 1986 and the seats were last done in the 90's. The majority of the interior is original German.

No JC Penney speakers in Germany. These are not OG.

In the process here, of sorting out the gummy fuel system. I drained the gas (5 gallons) and refilled with another 3 of premium, and then replaced the goofy little inline fuel filter. There are of course, clamps on that fuel line now. Anyway, it would crank on starter fluid, but would not get gas. I used a bicycle tire pump to give a little toot to the fuel port on the carb, and that popped the float needle free and it started right up. Ran like poo though, and would stall when warm and coasting to a stop. I found that out the hard way when I got cocky and drove it up to the auto parts store to get some spares and the thing died in the middle of the road. I had to do some scrambling to get it running and get home.

After some head scratching and book reading I pulled the carb and scrubbed it down with carb cleaner, and cleaned the float bowl and drain and main jet, and swished out the butterfly and took some varnish off the whole mess. Then I pulled the top off the carb and blew thru the fuel input and the spare needle was free, so I flipped it upside-down (which should close the needle valve) and blew thru it and air moved that way too. I swapped in a new needle valve in the float bowl and it ran much better.

I took the family for a little spin around the neighborhood and all was well, but when I got home I found noticeable levels of fuel in the crankcase mixed in with the oil.

So then I pulled the top half of the fuel pump and replaced the diaphragm and that seems to be keeping the fuel out of the crankcase. The bus still hesitated upon acceleration though, so I went ahead and replaced the accelerator pump diaphragm on the carburetor also. Getting better, but still seems down on power and hesitant. I'm going to throw in another fuel filter tonight, and then I'll check the fuel nozzle for the accelerator pump and make sure I'm getting good stream into the throat of the carb from the 'pisser'.

I cleaned up the front seat a bit too. Lots of dust in here...

...and the remnants of a few Lark Lights. Hmmmm... I wonder where these came from?....

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Fleabay Action, pre vacation.

We went away for the first part of the week this week. More about that later, but in the meantime, Fleabay! First, them's that got away...

Altek cantilever levers, $125.

NOS Brodie Gatorblade fork, $568

SDG cow saddle. I have no idea what this is for. I may convert it into a hat.

And as usual, pictures ganked from the flea.

Friday, March 16, 2012

eBay getaway

My fellow Turner-loving buddy in Georgia also has a soft spot for Dangerboy brake levers.

And fleabay gives me an opportunity to whore out my soul for each and every mountain bike whim that strikes my fancy.

Unfortunately, my memory is not what it used to be, and these-a-here gots aways. Dagnabbit.

Not all goodies find a home. Boo.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bartram Trail at Petersburg Campground

The Petersburg Campground is also host to the Bartram Trail, a new trail system being constructed on the Georgia side of the Strom Thurmond Reservoir, opposite the Modoc Campground in SC.

The trails in Bartram are very flowy and smooth and a grade less technical than FATS, which is to say they are not technical at all. This would be a great trail system for beginners or for flat out speed. One small hitch, the trail builders around this area are addicted to the idea of manufactured trail features, which isn't to say that Bartram, or FATS for that matter, are packed to the gills with skinnies and ladders, rather that they are infested with random piles of dirt. Smooth fast corner?...great place for a random pile of dirt! Speedy straight-away?... three random piles of dirt! I know that the fad in biking right now is 4" travel carbon cross country machines, but they should be used on trails which require a 4" carbon cross country machine. I'm not so sure I get the whole build a dedicated trail style to suit a dedicated style of bicycle. What's next...random piles of dirt at Pisgah? Mouse and Thompson out at Tsali both converted to giant pump tracks? Doesn't anyone want a natural trail anymore? Why does everything, even trail systems 20 miles away from the parking lot, need to be cultivated and plowed for the full-face helmet Youtube crowd?

I mean really, shouldn't the trail dictate the bike and not the other way around?

There are still lots of fast sweepers at Bartram, so all is not lost, although if that comment above about piles of dirt out at Pisgah gets you all freaked out, know that a survey was recently circulated asking that very question, as in, "would you like random piles of dirt to pump off of with your bad a$$ dirt jump rig, dude?" So sad.

Bridge. Features like these were lined with wire matrix to increase traction. Nice touch.

The Turner was overkill out here, but it is a comfy beast.

Matt was cold-chillin' at his cabin when we returned from the Bartram ride. Frosty Jagermeister in hand. He's in there somewhere... check the den.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


After an uneventful drive, I arrived at the Petersburg Campground and set up the tent.

It drizzled on the way up and was raining at the campground when I arrived, so I fully staked the old girl down and hunkered for what could have been a sloppy weekend.

But the clouds broke Friday evening, and Saturday was an amazing day.

Matt getting his pantyhose on...

Look closely...apparently you need to be on the lookout for roller-bladers on the FATS trail system?!!?

Matt's DUC32 equipped Turner.

Seat post adjustments by Paul and Caroline.

Big butt adjustments.

Convict-produced trail signs.

FATS is a hoot! Especially when I can work the phrases "fully staked the old girl down" and "sloppy weekend" into the trail write-up!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

FATS - Pre-Departure!

This is NOT the view of your vehicle you want to be exposed to the day before a road trip. Ugh!

I was cleaning and checking the truck over before my Friday departure and I noticed that the right rear wheel was gooey. Wheels should not be gooey. I figured wheel bearing seal had went.

And I was right. Unfortunately the wheel bearing is non-serviceable and the entire hub assembly needs to be replaced in order to fix the seal. This is because the ABS sensor is contained inside the sealed assembly. It is also because the engineers at Land Rover are insane.

$805.70 and I'm cleared for departure.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Robinson Project - Part 7!

Moving Right along...

Bars fitted. Next up, drivetrain.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jax Velodrome

There's been some banter about the hallowed halls of government regarding the abandoned velodrome in west Jacksonville. Hmmm...

Concrete bowl, with about 20 degrees of slope.

I'm sure it would need some good old fashioned hard work to get it going again, and unfortunately hard work is not something that the cycling community is known for here in Northeast Florida.

It is a ways off from the main drag, but very close to the Baldwin Rail Trail and to the preservation lands purchased by the city years ago and now targeted for trail construction by the local SORBA chapter. The 'drome is also on city owned land.

Lets get to work!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Davy Jones

More sad news this week, and more evidence of the unwavering progression of time...

Davy Jones from the Monkees, the bouncy and simplistic made for TV rock group dating back to the era of my own birth, has died at the age of 66. I loved that stupid show.