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.

1 comment:

Noslo Family said...

Ah, Ed's crunched fender makes me feel bad. He is such a clean little car with cute curves. Someday we will get him new fenders and an awsome paint job.