What its all about

What its all about

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 24, 2010

This short little Craftsman prybar is all the pry bar you need to pull the front torsion arms. You have to lever the torsion arm off its rest, and that is just a 1/2 or 3/4 of an inch. Once the prybar is wiggled under the arm a decent size hammer (2 pound or so) will tap the torsion arm past the rest. If you use a real long pry bar you preload the spring pack and make things more difficult to come apart.
This is a harbor freight ball joint press. They work great for separating tie rod joints without tearing the boots. I've used snapon's and mac's but this one set me back $20 bucks... I used it to start the ball joints, and finished them up with two pickle forks, though mine almost were not wide enough for the bus ball joints.

This is a german made shifter bushing. I installed it 2 years ago, and drove my bus 5,000 miles. It is already torn... It fit tighter than the red polyurethane empi piece, so I used it. I should have known better. German rubber isn't all that great any more.
A brick is the perfect height to hold up the transmission...

No rear axle hubs? I grew up with american cars, these Volkswagen are weird in the rear suspension. Beefy... but weird.

Since the bus will be following me to the beach, I decided to scrape loose all the old flaky undercoating. Found some rust above the outriggers, which is pretty common on these old bus. Pretty much directly in the line of fire for a rock.
This top is for sale... or for trade, I'd like $100 or a new drivers door. Mine is bent.

Pictures and stuff from August...

Heading back to do some more work this weekend... done a little here, and a little there since august but nothing real noteworthy.

I am going to swap out the inside of the beam of all the old grease and goo, and put the front suspension back together.

I will also be pulling the heads off the engine, and getting ready to put a new set of push rod tubes and seals in place, as she leaks a bit.

I did a bit of exploratory paint removal around the rear fenders to decide between welding in some new panels or hammering out and patching what is there. Further review this weekend on that!



The VW Bus

The VW bus as a daily driver.
Forget... forever onward what you consider the definition of transportation.

You are about to journey down the path of enlightenment, and learn the curious nature and language of a mechanical being. The Volkswagen is a peculiar beast, fed a steady diet of oil and gasoline it will move slowly from place to place.

Buses mark their spot. They pee on you when you least expect it. Like a foreign customs agent, it takes time to figure out where they want the grease. They take a little tweak here and there, when something not quite right they tell you if you listen.

When you hop behind the wheel of a bus you've got the best seat, as you'll soon experience she's a low flying slow air plane. Flying high enough off the ground to do an oil change, swap master cylinders, and cv joints without jack stands. Head and tail winds effect speed over ground, your steering wheel at speed is more for yaw, in the end she goes where she wants, or doesn't.

Buy her quality parts, or she'll spit them back at you. Your bus is half truck and half home; sometimes a magic carpet to distant places… other times a squatter. Wandering down the road with a smile on her face, the grins and thumbs up from those on the same path make her day. If you wish to show off your wrenching skills, she'll humble you. Trust her, lover her... and she'll be one happy camper.

You've got to love her deep down or she'll leave you stranded, half the battle is the will to keep her on the road. If you don't think she will, she'll know it... scratch her rattles, lube her squeaks. Never forget she’s an aging mistress; her joints aren't what they once were... if its cold it takes a little bit longer to get motivated. One day you will too.

You've had your fair warning. Spend your time cuddling and she'll fire up when you need her, but if you've got other projects you've got to give an offering. When she humbles you, give a prayer to the gods of speed and give the bus in question a shot of oil. Mostly problems come from not driving her, buses get sad… some more than others, and if you don’t drive them they question your love. Miles are the VW anti-depressant.

Give her a pat on the dash and thank her for the trip at the end of the day.