Friday, December 23, 2011

Reasons why I drive a Volkswagen!

They get great gas mileage!

The fenders are easy to replace!

They go very good in the snow!

and last but not least, If I ever drive it into a lake, They float!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Seasons Greetings


Are you ready for the Christmas Season. I figured since it was December, it's time to enjoy the Christmas Season. Merry Christmas everyone. If your not in the Christmas Spirit, maybe this song will help.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brothers until the end!

If you follow the blog you know we have 2 Volkswagen bugs. They were both made in 1969 and they are named Ed and Tugger. Ed is the white one and Tugger is the maroon one. We call them brothers for obvious reasons and like some brothers they are very different. Ed is lowered and likes to be kept clean and only driven on days that are sunny. He also likes car shows and wants his engine kept spotless. His engine runs super smooth and he is fairly quiet. He loves to be kept in the garage. Tugger on the other hand is raised, likes to be driven in bad weather and loves dirt and mud. He doesn't really fit in at car shows. His engine is usually dirty because it's always out in the weather and he idles with a lope because of his cam and his exhaust is loud and obnoxious. He thinks garages are only to be used when your getting fixed. Recently I borrowed some parts off Ed to get Tugger up and running and today I rearranged and did some fixing and put most of Ed's parts back on him. As of tonight they are both up and running. The only thing from Ed that is still on Tugger is the drivers door mirror. It's actually in pretty rough shape so it fits better on Tugger. Here they are together. Steven loves Ed and Isaac loves Tugger. Ellie loves both of them when she's allowed to be out in the garage and Dixie, well, i don't think she likes either of them. She tolerates them but doesn't like driving in either one. Someday she may come around.
 I had a heck of a time getting tugger to idle. I tried everything but to no avail. I even took the carb and distributor off Ed and put them on tugger. That made it manageable but still not perfect. I was still adjusting the carb way out of tolerance just to get it to idle. I checked the compression and that was excellent. I narrowed it down to my fuel pressure being too high or a hidden vacuum leak. I checked for a vacuum leak previously but couldn't find any. I decided to check my fuel pressure and change all the intake gaskets today and see what happens. I checked the fuel pressure first and it was spot on. Next was the intake gaskets. If you have changed intake gaskets while the engine is in the car you know what a pain it is. I think if I had this problem with Ed I would of just pulled the engine. Being a baja made this job much easier. Here I have the right side of the intake off.
 I planned on changing the carburetor and distributor back to the ones that were originally on this engine so removing them made it easier also. I loosened the nut at the center of the intake and that allowed enough movement to get the side manifolds off. You also have to remove the pre-heat pipes from the exhaust.
 I found this on the right hand boot for the intake. I was actually really happy to see this and had high hopes that I found the problem. This still surprised me because from the outside the boots looked brand new. I think this must of happened when the previous owner installed it. It was under the clamp.
This picture turned funny on me for some reason but it's right before I removed the left side.
 Here it is with both of them removed. I cleaned all the sealing surfaces and started putting it back together.
 Here the right side is installed and torqued down. I used a little bit of grease on the boots so they would slide easier. It went back together pretty fast. I had to get creative with my tools to get the 2 bolts torqued on the side manifolds. I finished up with the intake and then installed the carb and distributor. I had Isaac start it up and I timed it and tuned the carb and then we took it for a spin. It drives awesome. It has a ton of power,  idles super and doesn't always want to stall. The distributor I am running is known for flat spots on acceleration and I can barely notice that. It's actually fun to drive now. Hard to believe a minor vacuum leak can cause so much trouble.
 So after we test drove it, I went to work on Ed. This time Steven and I put his carburetor and distributor back in. Steven started it up and with some minor adjustments we had him running like a top. Ed is actually really easy to tune. His engine runs so smooth. He is actually faster than tugger even though tugger has a bigger engine with a cam. I think it comes down to the tires. Ed's are smaller and Tuggers are big. It takes more horsepower to turn bigger tires. When you only have 50 horsepower to begin with, you really notice it when you lose some.
So the brothers are both up and running. Ed will get driven on nice sunny days this winter and tugger will get to go the rest of the time. I bought my truck with high miles but as the years go by, it has now become a truck with low miles. I justify my bug addiction by crunching some numbers. Every time I drive one of the bugs instead of the truck to work, I calculated that I save 6 dollars a day in gas. Just driving around all week I found out I save 40 dollars a week. That's $2080.00 a year, and everywhere I go I get a wave or a thumbs up. Even in loud, obnoxious, Tugger. That alone almost makes it worth it.
 Here's why we call him Ed. Tugger was named after a movie Isaac saw right after we bought him. It seems to fit.
 Tuggers engine all back together. It's actually a pretty good looking engine.
 Here's Ed back up and running. I have actually missed driving him. It's like driving a go cart around all the time.
It's been a long day today. I even managed to get the garden and flower beds tilled (better late then never!)and the oil changed on Dixie's van. If you see me on the road give me a wave. If I'm on the side of the road, well, don't worry, there's a brother with lots of parts to donate so I can get back home.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Out with the old, in with the old!

It has been a very productive week. I was able to get the baja licensed, so watch out it's legal. Sorry to all my neighbors for the loud exhaust in the morning. I really do try to baby it out of the neighborhood. It's a little hard when the choke isn't working. Anyways, Tugger doesn't travel down the freeway as good as Ed does, but I am still working on that. I think I have a vacuum leak and haven't had the time to fix it. I did buy the gaskets and boots for the intake manifold so I am ready to fix it, I just have to find the time. Today I had some time so I tore out the interior. It had to be done. Every time I drove it I was covered by fibers from the headliner that was shedding. It was really pretty gross. Dixie went for a drive in it a while back and wore a hat and safety glasses. ( It really was that bad) I even tried to vacuum it and that seemed to make things worse. Anyways I tore it out and I replaced the seats with the ones I had originally in my other bug. I also put the BF Goodrich tires on the back and that helped it on the freeway. Here are some new pictures:

My 2 bugs hanging out in the garage. It seems like they spend a lot of time there.

 Here is the old interior. Someone had spent a lot of time redoing this bug many years ago and I am sure it looked pretty sharp then but now it's old and pretty gross.
 The drivers side. The guy at master muffler gave me a "new car" scented air freshener. He said they give it to all their customers but I think he was making fun of me. (It did improve the smell of the bug though).
 I removed the bottom of the back seat when I removed the voltage regulator and never replaced it. The seat is falling apart.
Here is the infamous headliner. It would of fit in awesome in the 70's. It use to be a dark red color but it faded a lot. If you look closely you can see my vacuum marks on it. I tried to save it because it was so ugly it was cool. I just couldn't handle being shed on every day.
 I started by removing the front seats. I also vacuumed it out really good.
 Here are the remains of the headliner. I found some more rust. It's sad to say but I think this run for the baja will be it's last rodeo. In a few years it will be returned to the ground from where it came.
 This picture looks really bad. It's the roof of the bug after the headliner is out. It's really not as bad as it looks. Most of it is just glue from the headliner. I have an idea in my head for what I want to do with the headliner. It will take some help from my wife but I think it will look good when it's finished. Right now it's really ugly up there but it's still a ton better then what was there.
The door panels are not savable. I removed the back ones and when I get some new ones I will replace all of them.
 Here is the seat that was originally in my other bug. I had it stashed in my basement and works good in the baja. I am looking for an Indian blanket or horse blanket to cover it with. I can't seem to find one. I want it to protect this seat from the sun and I think an Indian blanket will fit in better with the baja style.
 I installed the front seats also. These covers are old but in better shape then the other seats. I might get some new covers if I can find a set for a good price.
 So here is how it sits. I put the BFG's on it. I think they look a little small but they definitely go better on the freeway. They will handle better in the snow also.
 The results of the poll I took last time favored the mud swampers. It was close though. I will probably end up running both depending on what I am doing. Next on the agenda is to fix the vacuum leak, Reinstall the old distributor and carb, (I borrowed the ones off Ed temporarily) polish the paint to see if it looks any better and work on my headliner idea. Keep checking back and see if any of it gets done!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ready for Winter! (Almost)

I had all Saturday to work on the baja and got almost everything done to it. The front end is all back together, The bumpers are back on, The new wheels and tires are installed and Ed is back in the garage. Only 2 things left to do: Get an alignment and get it registered. Here is a view of the front end with the new shocks, tie rods, and ball joints. Ready for the wheel to be put on.
 Here is a comparison of the front tires and wheels. The one on the left is what was on the bug, the one on the right is whats going on it. I was worried about the front tires hitting the fender but after I installed them I found out there was lots of clearance.
 OK I need your help. I have to make a choice on what back tires to run. I have a mud swamper tire that is pictured here. It is a little bit bigger and helps fill out the rear fender better  OR......
 I have the BFG's that match the front. They are the same size as the front tires and don't fill out the rear fenders as good.
Here is a shot from the back with the swamper on the left and the BFG on the right. Let me know what you think looks better. I have the option of trimming up the back fenders so the tires match better. I installed the swampers for now but I still haven't made up my mind yet.

 Here is the view from the front. I have the bumper on and I love the look of the front tires. I guess I should of painted my front beam though. It looks rough in this picture.
We just got this snow last night. Ed is in the garage for the winter now. This is the only snow He should see. Tugger (The baja) will be seeing lots of the white stuff if we get it this year.

 While I was out in the garage playing, Dixie was hard at work painting the walls in the house. Did I mention what an awesome wife I have, She is soooo cool! The walls look awesome too.
After I moved the cars out I had time to get the garage cleaned out. Ellie was a big help cleaning the garage. She loves to be out with me, even if it's a little cold. She spent a long time out there. Here she's helping me pick up some bolts and nuts.
 OK Here are some before and after shots. This was the bug the day we brought it home.
Here it is now. I have installed the back bumper though.
 The other side the day we brought it home. It's still connected to the truck.
and here it is now. The white mud flaps have gotta go, I'm not loving those.
So that is the progress I made. I will get some before and after pics of the engine up next. I need to run to the DMV and get a temporary permit so I can drive it down to get aligned and the safety and emission testing done. I need to either hook up the heaters or wire them open all the time. Sorry if you hear me driving. The exhaust is a little obnoxious but the price was right for them so they are gonna stay. Take my quick poll and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Shoes all around!

The Baja got some new shoes this weekend. I got a great deal on 6 wheels and tires. They look good and should look good when I put them on. I have 4 that are BF Goodrich A/T's and 2 that are super swampers. When I get the front end all finished I will try the tires and see which ones look the best and install them. An update on the front end: I had some problems I ran into. 1st one is that there was a grease Zerk that was missing and had allowed water and mud into the torsion tube. That caused some rust on the torsion leafs and I had to remove the leafs and clean out the tube. It was pretty gross in there but I think it is salvageable and the bearings were miraculously in good shape. I put that all together and went to install the tie rods and found out that the pitman arm and the right spindle is off a 1968 bug and the left spindle is off a 69. That wouldn't be a problem except that the spindle shaft on the tie rods are smaller on a 68. I ended up taking the 3 back and getting the right ones. It kinda bums me out because the 69 rods are beefier and therefore stronger. Hopefully it won't bite me when I try to jump this off a sand dune. Me and a few guys from work have plans for a trek through the mountains. Hopefully I won't end up being towed home. Here are some new pictures.

This is after I have removed the lower leafs and cleaned out the tube and leaves really good. I just installed them back into the slots and am ready for the torsion arms. I got lazy on picture taking but you didn't want to see what I pulled out of the tube. It was just gross. You can see my shock and my rivet gun mishap. The bottom of it just chiseled right off when I was trying to get the nut off.
 Torsion arms and spindle installed.
 Here are the first tie rods all put together and set to the right measurements. Too bad they didn't fit. I ended up taking 3 off and switching them with 1968 tie rods.
 Forgot to mention that I powder coated my front and back bumper along with my tie rod tubes.
 They turned out good and look really nice.  Looking at this picture I decided I really need to clean out my garage.
Here are the wheels and tires I bought. You can't beat BFG's. The wheels are practically brand new also. These will make a nice addition because I had a mix matched set of wheels and tires on the car. The price was right and I just couldn't pass it up. They should last a good long time. (Probably the life of this car)
 Here are the mud swampers. They are a little bigger than the others. I may run them if they look good. I have a lot of fender to fill up on the rear so these may work better.
 Here's 5 of them. I still have one in the truck. It will be nice to have a good spare tire also.
 Stashed them in the garage until I get the baja back on the ground. Hopefully that happens tomorrow. I will post some pictures when I get the tires on.
So as it sits, I have the front ball joints, steering stabiliser and tie rods installed. I need to do a quick adjustment of the toe in, install the front shocks and put the tires on. I will then pull the engine back out, replace an o ring I forgot about, get it aligned and then take it down to get licensed. Should be ready for some fun in the snow. Well maybe not, It's suppose to snow Friday and Saturday.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Well, it seems like Halloween has lasted all weekend at our house and we haven't even had Halloween yet! Between the trunk or treats and parties at the boys school they have been in their costumes all week. At least they are getting some use out of them. Tonight we carved pumpkins. It was a fun time. We are roasting the seeds right now and the pumpkins turned out great. Here is all the fun. It turns out that Steven hates pumpkin guts and Dixie ended up removing most of them from all the pumpkins. Isaac transfers the designs on the pumpkins really good and Ellie didn't really know what to think.
 Here she is wondering why I want her to put her hand in the weird orange thing.
 Steven is an awesome carver and spent a lot of time doing his.
 I ended up doing mine and Dixie's because she spent too much time on facebook. That seems pretty much normal. Here I am carving Dixie's.
OK See if you can guess who's is who's.
From Left to right:  Dixie's headless horseman, of course my VW one, Stevens Bounty Hunter from Star Wars, and Isaac's alien with lots and lots of Eyes. It matches his name: Eyesaac.  Looking forward to Halloween tomorrow mostly so it will be over, but it is fun to see the kids having fun. Just got the pumpkin seeds out of the oven and they are really good. Happy Halloween Everyone!!!!