Horkay Blog
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent my Employer's positions, advice or strategies.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Newest car in the fleet, a 1989 Buick Century.  1 week on the road, and water is everywhere, surprisingly know steam, so I'm pretty sure it's not a hose.  Thinking the worst, a cracked block or something.  After working hard on the problem with my neighbor Bill, read as enjoying a budweiser on a swing....he related a story about a plymouth he owned where the freeze plug was always leaking, right over the starter.  This got me to thinking and sure enough, you can see the anit-freeze, leaking right out of a freeze plug, some will call these expansion plugs.

Removal and installation is difficult, as there are components in the way and it requires striking them with a mallet to get them in.  The local garages all wanted from 150 to 200 for this repair.  For that amount, i'll try it myself first and push it to them if I can't do it.

First glance at this one made me think I'd have to remove the starter and the check oil tube that guides the dipstick into the oil pan.  Fortunately I found a product, a neoprene rubber expansion plug that doesn't need to be "hammered in".  For $2.46, it's worth a shot.

I was able to use a long screw driver and hammer, with the car up on ramps and tap the old plug loose, be advised, even if you think there is no anti-freeze in the car, your block holds quite a bit, and I was nicely bathed in anti-freeze and muck.  Definetly this was some nasty crap floating around in that engine.  Guess that's why you supposed to "flush and fill" your car occasionally, this thing looks like it's never been changed.  Loosening it was easy, but it took a bit of work with vice grips to pull it out.

Installing the neoprene rubber plug was a bit of work, because the oil dipstick tube, is right over this freeze plug, but a little bit of work and it's in.  Very nice because no hammerring, now all i you have to do is get a wrench on the damn thing and tighten her down.

So far it is holding, I'm not sure I'd trust it for many many years, but I'm only trying to get 1 year out of this car.

Pictures below.




 


Wednesday, 16 July 2008 14:33:41 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  VW Bus#
Sunday, 22 June 2008

   Some would consider the engine the heart, but the engine is the machine, the closest analogy to the heart is a fuel pump (or maybe Oil pump), but in this case I replaced the fuel pump on my 1977 Volkswagen type II, westafalia camper.

This thing was the factory original, you can tell by the clamps.  That's a pretty good run for a factory fuel pump if you ask me.

Hopefully this will solve the mystery fuel inject cut-out i've been experiencing.

The original fuel pump pictures are below, notice the white material on the outside, is this some type of asbestos ring ?  Not sure, but the new pump wouldn't tighten up with the clamp, whatever that white ring is, it was under the ring / clamp that holds the fuel pump on to the vehicle, without it there is too much play.  Not sure what to use to replace this, so currently I just cut a peice of fuel line, lengthwise and put that under the clamp to bring it in tight.

 


Sunday, 22 June 2008 09:52:34 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  VW Bus#
Thursday, 05 June 2008

Metal on Metal + Heat = Serious Problem.

After 40 years on the road I guess something has to give, and today it was the right rear wheel of my 1969 sunroof, somehow the axle nut backed off a bit allowing the drum to become mis-shapen.  I don't really know how this happens, but I can tell you that when you are cruising at 65 mph and hear a grenade going off!

Fortunately I was able to take 'er off the road and limp her to Vee Village in downtown kansas city.

The looseness is the axle nut caused the drum to become misshapen causing the issue.

Part not available locally, of course, $92.00 + labor = Ouch !

The actual word from Vee Village was "RR drum is loos and wallowed out."

Vee Village fixed 'her up good, but there attention to detail is lacking, I drover her out of the shop and with-in two blocks I could here a slight grinding / grating sound, not like before, but definetly NOT right.  Return to vee village.

They take her back in and say that all is fine, hah !

I drive it with them, "oh yeah, Bob, that doesn't sound right", no shit man !

Finally they end up having to work the drum and backing plate on lathe to get them to work properly, quietly and without a lot of heat build up.

 

 

Thursday, 05 June 2008 09:29:45 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  VW Bus#
Saturday, 31 May 2008

I have a mystery wire in my 77 Volkswagen Bus, Westfalia.

I can't figure out where it goes, and have been unable to identify what it goes to.  It is a positive wire, coming out of an inline fuse, right under the steering wheel, it is black with green and white stripe.

Everything works fine, which confounds me even more !

Any help is appreciated:

 

 


Update - Received a suggestion that this wire looks the one that goes the pump for the sink, tonight I'll trace the sink wiring out and see if it is possible that it leads to that.
Saturday, 31 May 2008 10:09:16 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  VW Bus#
Thursday, 01 May 2008

77 Volkswagen westfalia camper.  Automatic, fuel injected. 

Experienced extremely heavy winds in the Kansas City area all day, difficult to drive even 60 mph in the bus, and even when you can it is so squirelly from the winds one must slow down to maintain control.

3 Blocks from the house, she cuts out, whoo, near a gas station, i try to coast her in, but that final bump over the hump turning in is too much.  No way to push her up, to much of a hump, I roll her backwards to an apartment complex.

Quick assesment yields no easy observation of the issue.  I squirt some starting fluid in the s-boot leading to the intake manifold and she fires right up and dies, i detect no humming sound of a running fuel pump.

Crawl underneath, sure enough fuel pump is not running.  Wires all look good, but it is too hot to touch for more than 10-15 seconds.  Check out all electrical connections, looks good, try to start again, nothing.

Preparing to walk home and get tow rope and friends, but wait a bit.

After about 20 minutes, I try to start her again, and she comes right to life, no waiting or hesitation i get the 3 blocks home and park.

She probably needs a new fuel pump anyway, by the looks of it, this is the original pump.  May also be a blocked or clogged fuel filter causing the pump to work too hard.  Based on the fact that a new pump is $100-175, I may try the fuel filter first...

Thursday, 01 May 2008 08:25:50 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  VW Bus#
Friday, 23 November 2007

Always bound to happen, driving happily along, when you push the clutch in, and swoooaaappp, it drops to the floor with the thud that lets you know, your now just a large bread box of an object traveling on the highway at 60mph!

Fortunately it was the morning rush hour and I was in the left lane, so it would be quite easy to navigate to the side of the road to inspect and get a damage report; nothing any Bus Pilot can not easily handle.

Quick review while laying under front of bus, end of clutch cable blown out, clevis pin lost.  Decide to drive and shift with no clutch; there are vw enthusiasts that will tell you if you match the speed of the engine with the speed of the transmission, a 1:1 ratio, you can shift with no clutch....YES IT's TRUE; but damn they make it sound too easy and getting from 3rd to 4th was impossible.

Bus Limps home.

Friday, 23 November 2007 11:56:44 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  VW Bus#
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