Sunday, June 24, 2012

Having fun with Cub Scouts and Dumpster Diving?

This weekend, Steven and I had a chance to work on his Handyman badge for Cub Scouts. He had to check the tires on his bike and a car, lube his bike chain, change a light bulb in a car and the house and change a tire and check the oil on a car.  Volkswagen's are great to learn how to check the oil on because they always need some. Steven did great. I wish I had grabbed the camera earlier but I managed to get the oil and tire part of it. Steven actually checked the oil on both the bugs and added a 1/2 a quart in each one. Here he is checking the dip stick. 
 I wanted to switch tires on the baja so I figured I would get Steven to do it so he could pass it off. He jacked up the car by himself and removed the tires on his own. We cheated a little bit because I let him use an air gun to remove the lug nuts but we have one so I figured why not use it. I did explain that if we were on the side of the road we wouldn't be using the air gun. I helped him get the tire on and 2 lug nuts started and he took over from there. Here he is adjusting the torque wrench for the lug nuts to 94 foot pounds.
 When you weigh 80 pounds it's not real easy to torque something to 94 foot pounds. He put all his weight and muscle into it.
 Here he is finally getting it to click. He did all 8 lug nuts and he looked like he had a good time. 
 It was pretty hot on Saturday. The temp on our house thermometer showed 101 degrees. We took a break to drink some water. Steven changed the brake light on the bug because it wasn't working and it fulfilled another requirement. We had a good time out in the garage even in the high temperatures.
Earlier in the week I was talking with a couple guys at work about scrap metal. I told them I had some I needed to get rid of along with a water heater. One of the guys mentioned that a transmission was dumped in the dumpster at work so I decided I would turn it in for scrap. We went out with the forklift to retrieve it from the dumpster. Along with the trans, I found a full set of exhaust off a victory motorcycle. I found out a guy from work was cleaning out their garage and decided to chuck all this stuff. I had a good idea on what I wanted to do with it after I found out they came off a victory motorcycle. I did some research and found that they came off a 1634 CC engine. It would work perfect.
 I had the idea to put them on the baja for exhaust. The neighbors are going to love me if I can get them to work. They will be a lot quieter then the bazookas I have on there now. I am pretty sure I can weld on a piece of the straight pipe off the header and then I can install the mufflers off the bike.
 This is what they should look like. They will look a ton better than the rusty noisy ones I have on there right now.
 I am excited to try to get these to work and the price was definitely right. Even if I had to go dumpster diving. Stay tuned for the progress of the exhaust this week. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get it to work.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Stars must have aligned!

I started checking out bus routes and what bus fare is nowadays because 3 of the 4 cars we have were down for the count. The new transmission that was installed in my truck was throwing a code and surging on the freeway, Tugger the baja was down still with the engine and pedal cluster removed and Ed the bug was running horribly and about ready to die. I figured it was time to do something about the collapse in our transportation. I swore when I got off my mission I wouldn't ride the bus again! Anyways this picture was when ed was running good and I needed to get some mulch for the trees in our yard. The roof rack came in handy. The truck is full of scrap metal and I didn't want to remove it.

I was able to get the truck into the dealer to replace a pressure switch inside the trans that apparently didn't like to perform and I was able to pick it up on Friday. Woo Hoo, things were looking up. I had at least 1 of my cars drivable. Anyways it was now Saturday morning and I decided to try to get the other 2 bugs running. Earlier I had replaced the transmission input shaft seal and the throwout bearing. 
 While I was doing that, I noticed that the transmission mounts were shot. You shouldn't be able to lift the transaxle like this. That meant a trip back to Bob's VW to purchase some trans mounts.
 I replaced the mounts and put some grease on the input shaft. The trans side of the bug was ready for the engine to be installed. I also put the pedal cluster back in the bug and hooked up the clutch cable.
Now it was time to look at the engine side of things. I removed the clutch and flywheel to replace an o-ring that I didn't replace the first time I had the motor out. I reinstalled the flywheel and got it ready to install the clutch.
 Here is the clutch going in. Remember to install it with the nipple side facing out like this picture shows.
The pressure plate was next. You need to align the clutch when you put it on. I suggest getting an alignment tool. It works perfect and they are very inexpensive. I ran into a snag while I was doing this. I had all but 1 bolt finger tight and noticed the threads on the last bolt were really buggered up. I borrowed a tap and die from a buddy and cleaned up the threads on the bolt and the flex plate and installed the bolt.
 Here's everything torqued up and ready to be installed. Just need to get the engine put in now.
 I installed the engine and gave it a test drive before I put the bumper on just in case I had to remove it again for some reason. It fired right up and drove great.
 With the test drive completed, I installed the bumper and drove it around again for kicks. It drives good and shifts good. I forgot how obnoxious the sound from this engine makes but was quickly reminded with a romp of the gas pedal.
2 down, 1 to go. I figured Ed just needed a tune up and he needed this deck lid popped out to help him stay cool in this hot weather so I went to work. ( I actually did ed first then tugger. That's why tugger still has his bumper on top.)
I adjusted the valves first because the engine was cold. I have shown this many times in the blog so if you want to know how look at some previous posts. I installed some new valve cover gaskets because I had a small leak here.

 A points adjustment was next. I think this was the whole problem because the dwell was WAY off. I got the dwell on perfect and did a quick timing adjustment and he was running like a top!
 I installed the deck lid extenders and Ed was good to go.
So, I guess the stars aligned on my automobiles this weekend. I can't remember the last time all the cars were running at one time. I guess it's time to take Dixie out on a well deserved date while everything is running. Who knows how long that will last! I just need to find a babysitter now.