Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tillie Fowler Park Trail Armoring - Part 5.5

Revised hoosker.  Very flowy with the kicker opened up to 360deg over 10 feet instead of 7 and the slope pushed out from 53 degrees to 45.  Nothing but smooth speed at the bottom now.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bus - Seat Pedestal Pad - Passenger Side

While the seats in the Bus are in great shape.  Well done replacement covers and comfy padding, the rest of the cab interior is a little dirty.  One of the things I've noticed is that the seat pedestal pads under the seats, and the seat belts themselves, do a great job of getting your clothes dirty. Nothing a little sweat equity can't handle!

So this is the driver side taken for reference.  I'll be having it with the passenger side first, that way if something goes wrong the driver seat will still be in the car and I can drive the whole seatless mess to the new owners  when I dump the failed project on Craigslist!  (I kid!)  Note handy fire extinguisher.

And this is the passenger side padding removed from the car.  It is a brittle and filthy thing, covered with years of dirt and goo, and a bit of red over spray.

The view of the cab, passenger seat removed, before I've started cleaning the pedestal.  The grunge on the pedestal is a combo of upholstery adhesive, decayed padding from the back of the old pad, and mild surface rust.

Close-up of the goop, and the 19mm bolt that holds the seat belt. Let the cleaning commence!

And commence it did!  Here we are all scrubbed up, all the way over to the driver side of the spare tire well of the bulkhead.  That will get scrubbed when I do the other pedestal pad.  In the upper left of this picture is the paint code sticker.  Just to the right of the silver paint code sticker is the upper bolt hole for the passenger assist handle on the back of the bulkhead for the middle seat passengers.  Under that bolt there are 4 uniform holes that used to hold the JC Penney surface mount speakers that I remember so vividly as a kid.  I saved the speakers, although they do not work very well any longer.  I've been contemplating replacing the drivers in those speakers and then re-installing them in the JC Penney enclosures somewhere else in the bus.  Maybe under the front parcel shelf.  At any rate, the 4 holes (per side) from the speakers will be dolly hammered smooth when I recover the bulkhead cap.

While it was all apart and scrubbed, I took the chance to take a picture of the color code sticker, ("Velvet Green and Pearl White" it says)and the M-Plate.  Remember that birth certificate I ordered from the Volkswagen Museum?  Well, these M-Plate codes are what they were decoding.

Above the M-Code Plate you can see the bulkhead cap with it's pealing weathered vinyl.  This is probably the single most unattractive thing in the bus, and I plan on recovering it soon.

 This is the replacement Pedestal Pad, from Wolfsburg West.

Pad installed, seat belt cleaned and installed.  



The 120 main jet is back in the carb, and I still have hesitation under acceleration, so next step is fuel filter replacement, sock tank filter replacement, inspection of the fuel pump screen, then a valve adjust.  I'll pull the carb and give it a once over for measure, and replace the carb seat gasket. Might throw the fuel pressure gauge on there and make sure that I've got my 3 lbs of pressure or there abouts.  I'll take a peak at the plugs too.  Doesn't run bad, just not as smooth pulling as i'd like.  It will easily cruise 55 though, so there is plenty of power.  I need to familiarize myself with the Pertronix ignition bits in the distributor too.  I hate distributors.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bus - Luggage Bar End Caps

Picked these reproduction end caps from TheSamba for the luggage bar on the back of the seat.  They are nicely made and fit great.  One more missing trim bit checked off the list!

No end cap!

End cap!

Like a glove!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tillie Fowler Park Trail Armoring - Round 5!

More trail armoring.

Up and over this...

You'll find this....

Which leads to me...

...hurting myself.  Minor adjustments to the feature coming soon... (you'll have to do your own YouTube snooping to see me flat on my back...) Ow.

Then is was...

...home for some therapy. (Repeats to self, "you are too old for this, you are too old for this")

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Speedometer Rescue

When  I picked up the bus from Dad he mentioned to me that he had always intended to take the speedometer out of the bus and clean it and replace the little colored 'gels' that cover the bulbs and make the warning lights and turn signal indicator blinks specific colors.  I agree with Pops, the speedo is a little grubby, (hey!  the poor thing is nearly 50 years old!) and needs a freshening.  Problem is, I know nothing about speedometers other than that there are a bajillion little bits inside the thing.

So I decided to get a speedometer cadaver to experiment on.  

I picked up this proper date coded (5/66) speedometer from the Samba for a pretty fair price.  I'll pop the critter open, fondle it's innards, and see what's up!

If it all goes sideways, I'll send the original speedometer off to a pro, and if I can get this one cleaned up and functioning, then I'll take my chances at screwing up repairing the one original to the bus.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bike Industry Rolodex - est.1991-1997

Yeah, I never throw anything away.  Ever.

Working for bike shops for years, I collected a few business cards of folks I dealt with.  I dig it today; reads like a who's who of the heyday of the mountain bike cottage industry.

Original EWR card, their painter Fresh Frame, Original Ringle, when there was a man named Geoff actually involved.

Thomson from when they weren't yet Thomson, but were a CNC shop testing the waters with a new fangled two bolt post that is now legend and the industry standard, Early IF, SRP titanium bits.

Pre Glens Falls Fat, Green Cycles, makers of the under appreciated 'Hornet', Waterford and Risse. Spline; 'twist our nipples'  Indeed.

One of the best shops to ever live a short life, BWA in Gainesville, FL.  Mavic, Control Tech, Ionic, Ventana and McMahon.  I bet McMahon's warranty line rang for hours straight.

Fishlips, makers of the "Toxic Tuna" frames.  Pre Oregon relocation King, Topline, WTB before the OEM pandering disease took hold.  Local Florida BMX favorites, Profile.

Rocky, TNT, Mountain Goat, Hope. More Ventana, this one a Sherwood card. Titus card from the Cocalis heyday.  He now fronts Pivot and Titus is in shambles selling cheap garbage.

Post Glens Falls Fat\Serotta, Moots, Kelly, Ellison, and Sachs. Critical Racing, makers of the perforated I-Beam stem.

Ted, Ritchey, Reynold's Steel.  My old boss Frank Vogel with X-It \Sports Garage in Boulder.  Frank would go on to start Maverick with Paul Turner.  They have since sold out and I'm hopeful Frank is living phat.  Frank is a true good guy and was a pleasure to work for.  I learned a lot from him.  He was a lot like my dad in that he just wanted to be left alone to work. "Don't bother me, I'm welding!" we would joke.  One day in the shop I broke an espresso cup of his and his eyes watered up and he said it was his grandmother's.  Worst day I ever had in the shop.  You know I had to do what I could so I picked him up a nice set of cups for his pressed coffee habit but I'm sure it wasn't the same for him.

Lou's was a great shop in Palm Harbor FL.  I bought my red M800 from him off eBay a few years back after he closed his shop.  He told me that he just lost the love.  The shop numbers were eroding and he didn't feel the passion to figure out why so he just shut down.  He was a good guy.  My first Rascal came from Lou's shop.  If you wanted race quality MTB kit back in the day, Lou stocked it.  Even in blue-hair rich Palm Harbor!

Cook Bros, Ibis, Paul and east custom painter Gary Cole.

My favorite bits, Altek.  TWP, Avid, and Hershey, a veritable who's who of CNC.  Amp and Steelman.

King of purple, Grafton. King of brittle garbage, Kooka. Sycip shortly after their launch following apprenticeship under Sadoff of...

...Rock Lobster.  Spooky before they sold their soul and went tits up.  Clearwater VW, because if you drive an old VW, you better know where the used parts are.

Yeti even made their cards in the shape of Rolodex inserts.  Of course their card is team teal colored to boot.  This one still has the Bodo Drive contact information.  I may have snagged this from their shop when I went out west for the first time back in '93, or it came from Interbike Vegas that same year.

Save your old junk!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Stickers and Booze!

My good friend Paul in Greenville knows how much I'm an appreciative little sweaty tramp for a good sticker, so he sent me a wee care package.

Awesome.  Love that Left Hand Brewing Company sticker.  They hail from Longmont Colorado, where I lived back in '96-'97.  Awesome stuff.

Lagunitas 'Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale" is available locally here at Moon River Pizza, and it is some darn good shiat; tastey with a good and powerful ABV.

Kristen and I were in the Holland Michigan area this summer and threw back a couple local brews while up that way.  Cabin Fever sounds familiar, so I think that was one of the tasty samplings we experienced on the trip.

Funny how there is a connection with the three Breweries and me.

Just how do Paulie do it?

*mmm* Stickers.

*mmm* Beer.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

*snif snif* What's that smell?!

 Nobody with a vintage VW want to smell that smell.

That "raw gas is leaking all over the place from somewhere" smell.

I had that smell after driving the bus to the Ethanol-free station a few days back, so I peeked in the engine bay and I did not like what I saw.

Raw gas on the right side wheel well , underneath the fuel filler door.

This was the first time I even remotely approached pumping in a full tank of gas, so I suspected that the sloshing of a nearly full tank with minimal to no baffling was taxing the cap and that not only was the gas cap probably leaking, the body to filler neck seal that prevents oversplill from the cap from running into the engine bay was also leaking.  After all, the cap seal is probably 47 years old, and the body\neck seal is at least as old and covered with overspray and such from over the years.

Time for another package from the good people at Wolfsburg West

The new cork gasket installed on the original gas cap.  With a new cork seal, the cap is nearly impossible to get on and off.  I hope it still vents properly (the cap is a venting unit) and doesn't allow negative pressure to build up in the tank as the fuel pump draws out the gas, or I will start to have fuel pump issues again, or lean-running conditions associated with fuel starvation.  That little Pierburg mechanical fuel pump fitted to the bus isn't made to draw against a suction created by a non-venting gas cap.

With the cap off, you can see the filler neck to body seal, here painted red and slathered with general goo from the road.  Must get that seal out, and it won't be easy as it is painted on, and hard as a rock from the passing of time.

So I put the gas cap back on, to keep junk from falling into the tank while I work, and go to it with a pocket knife, chipping away at the old seal until it frees from the body  and can be pulled out with a little brute tugging.  Here is the filler neck sans seal.  You can see straight down the side of the filler neck into the engine bay.  Not a good place to have gas dribbling.

And here is the archaic, petrified seal removed from the bus.  Hard as nails. Getting it out was a PITA.

With new seal in place, fuel filler area cleaned up, and the cap back on with the new cork seal.  The discoloration above the filler is  debris in the paint finish from the respray in 1986.  It would not clean up, but the rest of the job looks great.

I also swapped the 120 main jet in the carb for the 115 that Dad had in it.  Seems counter intuitive to reduce the fuel flow to the car when the air is cool and dense, but I'm having the sensation that under acceleration there is a slight bogging before the engine clears its throat and takes off down the road.  I wonder if the plugs are getting gooey from running rich with the 120.  The 115 sure seemed to make the car run lean last summer, which manifested itself in a hot engine.  Maybe a 117 main is the ticket.  Either that or I should just get used to the necessary weather-affected musical carb adjustments.  Such is the tinkerer's plight.

It is raining today, so I'll have to test my repairs tomorrow.  Fire extinguishers at the ready, of course!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Happy Bus

An Ethanol Free Bus... a happy Bus.

Keep the Corn on the Cob where it belongs!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


This is why you shouldn't eat at Hooters.  Just look at who they hire for help busing tables!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Rigid fork for the EWR

Still looking at solutions to making the blue EWR into a bike that I would readily pull down off the rack to ride by choice and not need.  Sure it is a fun bike to ride, but when I want a trail bike, I use the Turner.  When I want a park bike I use the white EWR.  When I want a quirky bike for Tillie night rides, I use the Redline.  When I do 40 miles of fast trails at Santos, I use the Phoenix.  I don't ever reach for the blue EWR unless I have an issue with the other four and I need to.  When I do it is a good time, but it isn't the first choice.  Sometimes I wish it were a 29.  

Did I just say that out loud?  Oops.

Well, I could make the front of it a 29.  Or maybe I could make the whole thing a 650B. Hmmm...  I would need a fork for either of those choices....

Enter Salsa CroMoto Grande 29'er fork.  470mm axle to crown length, which is pretty close to the measurements of my Revelation set at 100mm travel and adjusted for proper sag.

I'll keep you posted.  First, I'm going to go ride the Turner.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reveal the Path

Thursday evening the family and I joined in for a screening of the cycling film "Reveal the Path" at the historic Sun-Ray Cinema in Riverside, about circumnavigating the globe by bicycle and the personal interaction that only traveling by a bike can provide.  It was a good time.  There is a scene in which they slaughter a chicken in Nepal and eat it, which was a little far out there for most everyone in the theater, a scene that did nothing to move the story forward and if anything was a complete sideswipe to the warm feelings of human interaction and contemplative travel that the film was trying to establish.  I think the film maker was trying to interject some profound statement about the differences in cultural perspectives and values; trying to demonstrate the uncomfortable faces of the travelers as they watched their host empty the critter all over the place and then showing the faces of all at the table as they feasted wide-eyed on the prepared meat. The guy could have at least had a sharp knife for crying out loud.  For the first time in my life I've actually related to the PETA battle cry of "Meat is Murder"  That poor chicken got street-bitched and plucked warm.

On a brighter note, Sun-Ray sells Rolling Rock.  Yummy.

If you get a chance, check it out.

Friday, February 1, 2013