Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday Was the Day

The last time I drove my car was 26 years ago and I was going to give it a shot.

I put in the front seats, quickly adjusted the clutch, started the engine, warmed it up for three minutes, and slowly backed it out of the driveway. At that moment I had to make the crucial decision … go downhill or uphill. I decided to go uphill as I could always coast down the hill if things did not work out.

I traveled 50 smooth yards, parked, and ran into a friend’s house to show him the idling car. Going uphill proved to be a correct decision as the engine conked out as I let it run.

I was glad my brakes worked as I sheepishly coasted it back to its parking place in the garage.
It looks like I have some things to figure out.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Engine Lid Insulation

I installed my repro engine lid cover/insulation a couple of months ago. There was about a 1/2 inch gap from the engine lid to the rest of the compartment. Many people felt this was fairly normal for T34s even with the original insulation.

To make things look a little better. I added 1/4 inch of dynaliner:

This made the engine compartment line up fairly well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

You Have To Be Dapper To Look Good - Blue High Beam Indicator Light

All my instruments are NOS and have brand new (not NOS) 6 volt bulbs. I could not make the high beam blue indicator light up so I could see it.

Then I remembered an old article (circa mid 1980's from the Ghia Report from Tim Dapper). I took off the old piece of blue tape he talked about and ABSOLUTELY that blue indicator light was bright as it could be....

Tim's Article:

One of the first things I noticed about my 1500 Karmann Ghia was that I couldn't tell whether my bright lights were on. During the day, the dashboard highbeam indicator light could not be seen at all. At night, if it was really dark and you looked carefully at the proper gauge with the dash lights turned off, your could see a dull blue glow.

So the next time I had the fuel gauge assembly out of the dashboard, I checked out the problem with the highbeam indicator light. By holding the assembly up to the sun, I could see that the blue lens was almost completely opaque. So I got out a small square ended file, with the intention of carefully scraping away some of the lens material in hopes that it would allow more light to pass through.

But when I started to scrape the lens, and amazing thing happened -- a layer of the lens flaked off and the lens seemed to fall apart. When I fished out the piece out of the housing , I found that it was not a layer of lens material at all, but was a piece of blue plastic tape. It seems that after twenty years, the tape adhesive had become brittle allowing the piece of tape to fall off.

Now when I held the housing up to the sun, a nice blue square appeared just like those for the red and green indicators. And now you can actually see the blue indicator light when you flash the brights on and off.

You can do this same thing in your Ghia also. To remove the fuel gage assembly, you must read up behind the dash and find two "thumb nuts" on the back of the gauge housing. By taking the nuts off, it is possible to remove the "U" shaped bracket which holds the assembly in place.

Once the bracket is out of the way, you can unplug the large plastic assembly from the back of the gauge unit, and withdraw the unit through the face of the dash. All of the various wires stay attached to the plastic assembly.

Upon removing the assembly, chances are that you will ruin the rubber gasket which goes between the unit bezel and the dash face and you will want to fix this.

Now all you have to do is fix the blue indicator lens and put the whole thing back together in the reverse order in which you removed it.

You are ready to hit those brights and watch the blue light shine!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Dash Is Complete

Got the Blaupunkt radio in today. It was a small struggle getting things to fit. Scott Taylor, from his blog:

provided this T34 spec sheet:

He also gave these dimensions of the mounting bracket indicated in the above diagram:

The radio looks great with all the NOS instruments and radio cover. It was struggle collecting all of the instruments. Have to thank Lee Hedges for finding the 6 volt early clock. That was by far the hardest to locate.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Fanfare Horns Are Working

Reached a milestone today. The dual tone horns sound sweet. Much effort was spent trying to get them to work

The issues were:
  • powder coating on the steering column which prevented proper grounding. Removed it with chemical stripping
  • horn ring contact points coated with paint from Koch's steering wheel restoration
  • cracked steering wheel gasket after the unit came back from Koch's. Koch's rectified the situation.
  • used the wrong type of grease in the horn bearing.
After all the above I was able to make the appropriate connection:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

If You Painted Your Rims

I have read too many times where vehicles, with fresh restorations, had wheels fall off. The reason... the fresh paint on the rims prevents the lug nuts from binding.

Andy Holmes, in a recent email, felt this may have been the issue in his recent accident (Luckily he was OK) :

Much of my free time today was scraping off the paint from the lug nut contact points on the rims. I even wire brushed the nuts to make ensure there would be clean metal to metal contact. The rounded knife, used in the process, worked well.

Don't forget to do your spare tire too.

Painted The Hub Caps Today

At the '09 VW Classic this year I mentioned to Everett Barnes that I was having trouble painting the emblems on my early T3 hub caps. I didn't want to use the decals that are available and painting them by hand with masking tape wasn't working out.

The solution he gave was so simple. The final product looked the same as my NOS hub caps.

All one has to do is mask them as in the below photo:
Next, spray paint the exposed section with a satin black paint (this appears to be what VW used on the NOS caps I have). Remove the newspaper and tape immediately.
The piece of wood in the above photo has a sturdy paper shop towel stapled tightly to a piece of wood. The towel is saturated, but not dripping, with acetone.

Note: Wear rubber gloves and keep that garage door wide open to avoid strong fumes!

Rub the wood many times, in different directions, over the cap making sure that every pass come in contact with a clean piece of towel. Below is a photo of my practice cap after one coat. I had to do two to complete the project.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fired Up! Yeah!

Installed the wiring harness. Everything but the turn signals and horn are working. Will take a couple of days to figure that out.

Took a risk and poured in 5 gallons of premium gas into the tank and turned the ignition key.

After 25 years the engine started right up! The sound of the 1500 engine was very soothing. I sure missed that sound.

The yellow bulbs in the Marchal headlights and fog lights made the garage glow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NOS Heater Pipe Adapter Rings

I was having major problems trying to get my heater hoses attached from my car to my heater boxes. Nothing was working. I made sure I found NOS heater boxes, bought both kinds of NOS hoses, and nothing would hook up appropriately.

When I found my car, chassis 152 252, it had no heater pipes to speak of. The engine was a genuine VW rebuilt engine from the 70's with apparently a later style heater box. I could not get things to hook up whatsoever.

Andy Holmes bailed me out on this one. He found these genuine VW Type 3 adapter rings on the Samba, part number 311 255 113.

It turns out they worked perfectly for my situation and I can now heat the interior of my car. I slid them into the flexible pipes and they now attach with no worries.

Thanks Andy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Did the Right Thing and Had the Mechanics Checked Out

Delivered the car to to a VW shop to check out the suspension, brakes and transmission. They found many issues that had to be corrected. One big item... my brake drums were out of round and therefore had to be replaced.

The transmission, a rebuilt one, was leaking with the old seals. To be sure to make it would behave properly they removed it from the car, torqued down the case, and replaced the seals.

Because of the above the engine was out. I took it to yet another vintage VW shop to have it tested on a bench . The mechanics gave it a 100% good-to-go rating. The loved the unfamiliar side draft carb and how it started up right away with few issues. They let it warm up and then let it come back to idle. All of them commented on how well it sounded.

This was the first time I have rebuilt an engine and had things work right off the bat. Yesss!

Home after two years