Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tuning, Lifting, Bleeding and Busting!

That is how my weekend has gone. I had a long weekend and was able to spend a lot of it in the shop. Friday when all the nuts were out trying to get a good deal on stuff I was able to get Lulu's muffler installed and then I tuned her up. It took more time than I was planning. I couldn't get it to idle which in turn made it hard to check the dwell and timing. From what I could tell, the dwell was right on and the timing looked good so I turned my attention to the carburetor. I adjusted that thing from on one extreme to the other and I couldn't get it to idle. In fact my adjustments had no effect at all on the way the engine ran. I checked for vacuum leaks, checked the fuel pressure, and I even checked to make sure I was getting spark on all 4 cylinders. It then dawned on me that when I pulled the carb off the engine the fuel inside smelled varnished. It surprised me because it had only been a couple months. I had cleaned out the fuel bowl with carb cleaner when I re-installed it on the engine and figured that it would be good. Anyways, after much frustration I made myself a turkey sandwich and that is when the light bulb came on in my head. I ran back out and pulled the idle jet from the carb. It had some green slime on it and it was plugging the jet. I cleaned it out and blew some compressed air through it. I then pulled the power jet and it had the same stuff. I cleaned that one also and re-installed them. I adjusted the carb back to the default settings for start up which is 2 1/2 turns on the bypass and mixture screws and fired it up. I then proceeded to fine tune it and it now runs like a top. It's amazing how things work like they are suppose to when they aren't full of green gunk. THANK YOU OBAMA for this awesome ethanol fuel that you have forced us to use!

This picture is of the bug right after I installed the muffler and got it running good. You can see that since I installed the engine the back end is sagging. I set out to fix that this weekend also by re-indexing the spring plates to lift the rear end.
 I started out by measuring the bumper from where it was sitting. It measured 19 1/2 inches.
 I then put a jack underneath it and raised it to the height I wanted it to end up being.
 That measurement was 21 1/2 inches so I needed to lift it about 2 inches.
I then used my fancy chart I found and calculated the amount I needed to adjust the spring plates.
If your going to raise or lower your bug this is how you do it. Start off by removing the 3 bolts that attach your swing arm to your spring plate.
 You then need to remove your shocks. I was pleasantly surprised that these shocks are in great shape. I am going to reuse them for now.
 Now, remove the 4 bolts that hold the torsion cap on. Spray them with penetrating oil and let them soak if it's rusty. If you break one of these bolts it is possible to drill it out. Not fun but possible.
 Pull the cover away. I then took a pry bar and pried out the spring plate. Be careful at this point because it can injure you if your hand is in the wrong spot. Once you have it off the stop it will spring down to about this position.
I took a paint pen and marked where the spring plate originally sat in case I needed to put it back there when I was adjusting it. Here you can see that mark.
 I then did my adjustments. You can see how it now sits at more of an angle. I will say at this point that IF you are lowering your bug it will be really easy to get your spring plate back on the stop because you will be adjusting it in the opposite direction that I adjusted this one. It therefore makes it a lot closer to the stop. I have decided that I like re-indexing the rear when lowering a car a lot better then I like doing it to raise a car.
 This is why. As I was raising the spring plate to get it back onto the stop the first time it started lifting the car off the jack stands. I don't really like lifting a car off jack stands when that is all that is holding it up there. At this point Dixie had come home so I had her sit on the bumper of the car. I then started jacking it again and it lifted the car again. Hmm, by this time Dixie lost interest and went into the house. My neighbor came over to BS and so I had him sit on the bumper. I figured with him weighing more than my wife it would work. It didn't. I had the same result. Oh well, I had to get creative at this point so that is why you see the chain going from the shock mount down to the bottom of the jack. It worked great. The higher I raised the jack the more pressure it put on the chain and it kept the car securely on the jack stands. Success!!!!
 I just got the plate on the lower stop in this picture. I wish I had some pictures of Dixie and my neighbor trying to put weight on the car but I was too busy trying to keep the car from falling to the ground.
It is a good idea to get the bolts started in the cover like pictured here. If you don't you will fight getting the bolt holes to line up. Some people buy longer bolts to make this easier. I just removed the washers and I was able to get the bolts to work. Once everything was tightened and put back together I removed one bolt at a time and installed the washers.

 Everything is bolted back together. I had my fingers crossed that my calculations would work and I wouldn't have to do this again.
 I changed my rear hub also. The one on the car had 2 stripped holes for the lug nuts.
 In order to use the shocks I had and to gain some extra clearance I decided to relocate the lower shock holes. Here is where the stock holes are located. (If you keep reading until the end this is the thing that made me bleed and gave me the fat lip.)
I moved the holes up. I will cut off the lower part of the mount and that will give me another inch of clearance.
 I made some custom spacers and I had to buy longer bolts to mount the shock. The spacers take up the extra space that was caused by moving the shock up. It works great.
 The shock is bolted up and is ready to be trimmed. I will do that when I get some time.
 I then decided to adjust the clutch because I had no free play in the pedal. Here is where the bleeding and busting enter the picture. The wing nut and threads on the clutch cable were seized up. I used Kroil on it, wire brushed the threads, Kroiled it some more and then got my big channel locks out. I was trying to bust the wing nut loose and ended up smashing my mouth into the shock mount. I yelled, threw some things and spit some blood. I took a walk, looked at my fat lip and decided to give it another try. This time I busted the clutch cable and that is when I decided to call it a day. This is how it ended. I pushed it out of the garage and added a clutch cable on my to buy list. I guess it is good that it happened in my garage and not on the road.  On a positive note, the ride height is now perfect. I love the way it sits and hopefully, someday, I will actually be able to drive this thing.
It is sitting high now. I love it. It sure is easier to get into then my other bug.
 The best part of my day was when Ellie came out to help me. If you look real close you can see her holding 2 dolls. 1 is Sophia and the other one is Woody form toy story. Ellie said prince Phillip (AKA Woody) was there to help me fix the car. I loved the company especially after the problems I had just encountered.
So that is it for this week. I didn't make my goal of driving Lulu down the street today. I really hate not making my goals. I guess it is going to be a goal for the future. I need to go buy a clutch cable. If you want to know how to change a clutch cable in a bug check back. That should be the next post coming. Until then, keep the shiny side up!

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