Friday, August 18, 2017

Gossen, Gossen, Gossen!

The tachs have come back...this is the used tach with repainted inner ring and new chrome trim ring.  It looks super nice now - slightly more grey in appearance and probably matches the VW gauges better.  I've got one interested party - if he bails, I'll likely just keep it.  I've got a lot of money into it and it's doubtful that anyone will pay what it would take to recover that money.
The rebuilt/used tach on the left, the NOS/rebuilt tach on the right.  There are slight differences in them - most notably - the color.  As it turns out, the color of the trim ring very highly influences the color of the tach face.  They both look super super nice and I'm happy to have them back home now that they're rebuilt and ready to use.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

BOGE damper, wiring and dead battery

Only a little work on the car today - I had about two hours on my hands - so I made some patch wires and attempted to test my emergency flashers.  Got it all put together and installed and realized late in the game that the battery for the car is probably dead.  I'll have to test it tomorrow to confirm.  Tried to bypass the switch and the relay didn't click.  The headlights didn't come on when I pulled the switch - only the fuel gauge worked.  I'll try a few new things tomorrow.

Received a NOS BOGE steering damper today - bought it off a guy from The Samba.  It looks almost perfect and it's in functionally superior condition to the new Chinese ones that I bought after the Cofap versions vanished from the market.  The Chinese copies have about 1/2" of play between fully closed and the beginning of extension - this translates into 'play' in the overall feel of the driving dynamics.

I may have to find another one as a spare.

I didn't do anything with the rear subframe yet - so that's still sitting and waiting for me to get cracking on it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Alligator clips

Well, today was slightly productive as I was able to get a few accomplishments under my belt.

Task #1 was to run a new wire for the tach installation from the dash to the engine area.  While I was at it, I also replaced the grommet at the rear of the pan where the battery to starter cable is located - there wasn't much left of it.  I did a little clean up of the undercoating but it's a tiresome and dirty job and I wasn't really having it today.

Task #2 was swapping everything over to a 12 pole fuse box which was relatively simple.  I didn't realize until today that the last two sections swap places when converting from the 10 pole to the 12 pole.  I'm pretty sure I got it all correct but I guess I'll find out when I go to start the car, huh?

Task #3 was installing the relays for 4 way flashers.  This job wasn't finished because I ran out of time.  I have the wire ready for the 2nd relay and think I understand the DPDT relay well enough to do the job but I'm not entirely convinced that I won't screw it up.

Tomorrow is a 'non-VW' day - I've got a bunch of other things to get done and I probably won't have time to work on the car at all.  I might look into tackling the rear subframe torsion bar/spring plate install if I'm feeling really crafty.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The middle of the riddle

 I received an email mid-morning telling me that the powder coat job was complete.  I ran a couple of errands and headed up to the shop (it's 35 minutes away). Chatted with the owner for a few minutes, paid and put the parts in the car.

In spite of the communication issues and slightly longer than communicated turn around - the parts look good.  And the price was reasonable.
 Put the subframe outside and blew out the extra sand that was inside.  I'm sure there's a little left inside but most of it is now out.

I'd really like to find a nice one for the restoration process later down the road but I'll cross that bridge later.  For now, I'm focused on getting the torsion bars and spring plates back on this thing in preparation for the engine and transmission.
 Dropped the starter off at a local shop - it took them 20 minutes to get to it and install the pinion gear.  Well worth what it cost to have them do it because it's one less thing to get done.  I was able to drop it off and swing back an hour later and pick it up while I was out doing other things.
On the way home, I stopped and picked up a couple of flasher relays and some wire from the FLAPS.  The relays are for the 4 way flasher project and the wire is for the tach install.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to have some time to continue cleaning the underside of the car - more preparation work for the engine/trans install.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable

Got a call from Palo Alto Speedometer today - both tachs are finished and will ship out to me on Monday.  I was informed that the new circuit boards will require that the tach is wired like the VDO - meaning that the signal comes from the tach, the power will be switched with the key and there's a ground.  The semi-annoying thing about this is that I recently removed the wire from the engine compartment to the dash when I pulled the engine because it wasn't going to be used with the Gossen tach.  Now I have the task of getting new wire and installing the wire yet again - although it should be much easier with both the engine and transmission out of the car.

And while I'm on the topic of electrical items - I'm still thinking about tackling 4 way flashers and changing the fuse box to a 12 slot from the earlier 10 slot version.

The powdercoat work should be concluded next week - meaning that I could be assembling the rear subframe soon-ish.  That would be a nice thing to check off the list.

I pulled out one of the Type 3 Parts Books that I bought a while back - it's very worn but appears to be one of the more complete books in my collection.  I'm hoping to get two very complete parts books out of the four that I have and sell off the incomplete books to others who may need them.

A local Type 3 owner contacted me today about buying some parts for a car he recently bought.  It may be time to let go of some of this stuff - get focused on the parts I need and sell off the rest of the parts.  There was some thrill in finding all of the parts but it seems to be time to let some of them go, especially if I'm going to be getting ready to move out of state again.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to swap the solenoid gears on the starter...I can't get the damn clip off of the starter!

One thing at a time.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stumbling along, keeping pace

It's been a few weeks since I dropped off the suspension parts for powder I called to check up on the status of things.  The recording said that emailing them was faster - so I sent an email.  I received a reply a couple of hours later telling me that they hadn't even started the job.  No apology for the delay - just a reply telling me that they could have it done early next week.  I guess time will tell if that's true.

I called and chatted with Chico about the progress of the engine build - sounds like things are going pretty well - engine shipment will be near the end of the month which is kind of perfect timing for my situation.

I may start the process of a 4 way flasher installation to fill in the time while I wait for the engine and transmission to be shipped.  If the rear subframe is finished next week - I can work on getting that all put together and prepared for the transmission and engine.

The tachometers are near completion as well - they should ship out early next week.  I'm in the final stages of making a deal to sell one of them after the work is completed because I don't need two tachometers.  In the coming weeks, I will be reevaluating the parts inventory and selling off additional parts.

More to come...

Friday, August 4, 2017

The best things happen when you're least prepared for them...

The family is on vacation but I've heard some good news:  The engine and transmission are progressing quite nicely.  I was hoping to have time to swing by the shop and check out the engine but the schedule just doesn't seem to allow it.  I'll also be going into full blown work mode right after the vacation so it might be a bit before I can get back to working on the car again.

I sent both tachometers to Palo Alto Speedometer before the vacation began - they called to tell me that both tachs were internally failing.  I authorized the rebuild of both with new circuit boards, and potentially, new trim rings - I'm waiting to hear back about the status of the rebuilds.  The timing for installation would be great if they're back in the next couple of weeks.

I'm looking forward to some down time to work on the engine/transmission installation and maybe drive the car again...seems like I've been saying something like this all year.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Inches of progress

Found myself with a little time so I swapped out the torn up rotors.  Fairly straightforward process and very simple to do.

One less thing on the list to do before I can put things back together.

I'd like to get the body out into the driveway so I can use the power washer underneath and give it a good cleaning...maybe paint a few areas where there's rust starting on the surface.  I'm not sure I'm going to have time though...we may be moving again soon and the car has to be mobile - this determines how long I can take to clean up and repair before paint.
Just about finished organizing and cleaning up - all of the parts I'm going to need are collected and organized by where they go on the I simply have to wait for the powder coated parts to return - then I can put the suspension bits back together.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Clean up, pick up, put away...

I spent about an hour this morning organizing and cleaning up the remainder of the parts to make sure I have the parts I'm expecting to need for the assembly process.  I did a quick inventory of the parts that need to be ordered and put them on order - fulcrum plates, rubber bits, and a spare set of inner spacers (as insurance).

Things left to address: install the second air port for the carburetors (air intake), clean the engine bay, source a thermocouple plate and remote oil cooler, clean up the hardware that will be reused, etc.

As the days tick away, I'm getting more comfortable with the work that is ahead to put the car back together.  That first drive with a new engine and transmission is going to hopefully be pretty awesome.  Some days, it seems like I've got tons of time and others it feels like I'm not going to have enough time.

Friday, July 21, 2017

One more shot...

I made a break for it in the middle of the day yesterday - drove up to the powder coating shop and dropped off the axle tubes, subframe, spring plates, bump stop brackets, reinforcement plate and trans mount...should all be ready in a couple of weeks.  After that, I stopped by a semi-local speedometer repair shop and the owner tested both of my Gossen tachs.  One appears to work - the other one does not.  He suggested that I send them to Palo Alto Speedometer for repair.  I called them when I got home and they were familiar with the name but not the specific tach.  They were willing to bench test them for me and suggest a cost to repair them if they did not work.  I sent them off today - hoping this isn't the box that the USPS decides to lose.  They're insured but the process of finding one again would be a real bitch.  I'll probably hear about them sometime next week at the earliest.

The annual family vacation is coming up at the end of next week - powder coated parts will be ready, tachs will be ready and the engine is about 3 weeks away from showing up.  I called Chico and he told me about the progress of the engine build and we confirmed some other changes I requested.  He said that he's about a week behind what he originally quoted and that time isn't likely to slip much more.  It's nice to know that in about a month - I'll have all of the parts here to put it back together.  I'll just have to find the time.  Work is consuming a lot of my time right now...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

maybe sailing, maybe drifting...

A local Type 3 guy, Pete, came by yesterday so we could finally meet in person and he could have a look around to see if anything was of interest to him.

Fortunately for me, he was interested in the transmission - so after a couple hours of talking about various experiences, we set about taking the axles and nose cone off.  The end gears and fulcrum plates look okay and I kept the nosecone just in case the rebuilt trans doesn't come with one.  Pete is a cool dude with lots of great stories, lots of experience and what sounds like a pretty cool parts collection.  I'm hoping to get this car back on tires so I can get together with Pete and Chadd to go for a little cruise in the Type 3s.

I'm still on the fence about whether or not I'll take the axle tubes apart - I may defer to the powder coat shop to tell me what they can do with them being together - if they cannot properly prep/coat them assembled, they'll get pulled apart.  I should be able to find out some time this week.

It still feels like progress and that's motivating...

Friday, July 7, 2017

New parts are always exciting!

The replacement parts have started trickling in, one package at a time...

First to arrive are the new rear spring plate hardware pieces.
I've also ordered new hardware for the transmission mount at the rear and will potentially order up new shock bolts as well.
 Replacement rotors for the rear disc brakes - bought them on sale for what I thought was a decent price.  I've got tons of time to rebuild the hubs so I figured it'd be nice to have non-fucked up rotors.  I'll either keep the jacked up pair and have them surfaced or sell them to someone else who might want them.
 VEWIB axle boot seals for the new transmission/axles.  I got the split boots because I don't think I'm going to pull the axle tubes completely apart this go around.
Also got these rear wheel bearings with a split clip around the outer edge.  Not sure what that's about but I'm pretty sure I'm going to send them back.  I've already ordered replacements from another source.

Tomorrow is the day I pull the axles apart on the original transmission...which I'm hoping to trade for a rear subframe (if it's better than mine).  Once that's all worked out and I receive the reinforcement plate - it all goes off for powder coat.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Even the inchworm makes progress

I had a couple of pockets of time today - I spent the majority of the largest pocket cleaning up the workbench and putting tools away.

I did have another look at the reinforcement plate - with the romantic notion that I might heat this thing up and straighten it out so it could be used again...but then I flipped it on the edge and the reality of the situation became apparent.
 I neither have the skills nor the ability to straighten this thing out - and the time I would spend doing it would not be 'time well spent'.  So I reached out to a few people and I think I've found a suitable replacement.  Fortunately, time is still on my side as far as preparation is concerned.

The plan is to get a replacement and tweak the floor mounts into shape for now so that I can get it all back together and drive it for the late Summer/Fall.  Truth be told - I haven't missed many driving opportunities lately because it's rained so much here over the last several weeks.
Another thing I did today was remove the rear transmission mount - one of the washers was in three pieces and the bolts have definitely seen better days.

I have a new Brazilian manufactured rear mount that I'll add to the powder coat pile for this rebuild.

Slowly but surely, I'm getting ready to drop parts off for powder coating.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

"If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives."

The 1500 S engine, after some delays on the carrier's part, departed on Thursday for California.  I've sold off a few other early engine parts along the way...I'm in the 'dragging my feet' portion of removing the rear subframe but I need to get on it very soon if I'm going to meet the time line of having it powder coated and assembled before the replacement transmission and engine arrive.

I did manage to get a little progress today, however, so things are still technically moving forward.

 The center support plate was the hardest part to remove.  Two of the bolts were wedged into place by bent metal.  I had to dig out the hammer and chisel to bend metal back to get at the bolts.

The last one caused more trouble because the square weld nut inside broke free.  The floors are in much worse condition than I initially thought.  The whole rear section starting about halfway under the front seats to the rear where the battery sits is rusted through and there's not much holding it all together.  I'm kind of surprised I haven't put my foot through the floor.
 This piece is destined for the scrap bin.  There's no saving it.  The trouble is that I don't think a straight one will bolt up to the existing floor pans...which means that I could do the floor pans.

On one hand: restoring the pan wouldn't be that big of a job but it would be time-consuming (time is a commodity that I'm currently short on due to my workload).  It'd be hard to restore the pan and not slip into a full blown restoration - which would defeat the purpose of trying to get the car running/driving and enjoy it for a while before starting the restoration.

On the other hand: I probably should find a stopping point and just drive the car for a while.  That's hard to do knowing that I could just pull it apart and get the restoration going...start using the parts I've been collecting for years.  I'd really like to pull the pan and get that fixed up but it's such a slippery slope...might be a 'game day' decision.

At minimum, the rear subframe will be completely restored.  I guess I should be okay with that and move forward but I can't help but realize that I'll wind up doing this all twice (now and later).

Evening edit:  I was able to get quite a bit done today - these cars come apart rather fast- it's getting them back together that's hard.
 I put the tires on the rear end and removed the bolts.  I used one of my little dirty carts to hold the front end so that when it came down it wouldn't hit the concrete.  It worked out pretty well.  Once I got it out from underneath the car, I removed the rear brakes, then the transmission, then the spring plates and torsion bars.
 I'm fairly certain that this is either the original gasket or it's a cheap repop - it's borderline crunchy/soft.
 Typical VW transmission - completely caked with oily dirt.  I did the boot seals right after buying the car and they seem to have held up rather nicely.  I've got a new German set on the way and they should arrive before I need to put the new transmission back together (install the axles).
Found an original shift coupler cage - super nice condition...
 I can't tell if this rubber for the shift coupler is new or was taken from a new one and placed into the OE cage - the clip style clamp was a nice sight though.  The hockey stick bolt was safety wired - so someone has been in here recently.
 The rear subframe almost stripped down to its core.  I have to figure out how to get the trans cradle loose.  I got in touch with a local Type 3 guy and he might bring another subframe over - if it's nicer than mine, I'll buy it and have it powder coated.  If not, I guess I'll work with what I've got.
 It still somewhat amazes me at how fast these cars come apart...

I also bought new rotors for the rear from CIP1 while they had the CSP rotors on sale with free shipping.  I'll see those in a couple of weeks - I'm in no hurry since this won't go back together for about a month.
 The only thing I didn't get off yet is the spacers for the rear brakes but I figure they'll come off when I pull the axles.
I noticed these three holes on the side of the transmission when I was putting it on the cart - pretty sure you can see right inside.  Not sure why there are three holes here but I'm thinking they should have plugs and not be open to the world.

The fluid that came out of the transmission was fairly clean and amounted to about 2 quarts.

The hockey stick is a redrilled Type 1 so someone has at least had the nosecone off of this transmission at some point.  Both the front and rear mounts are new Wolfsburg West manufacture and are in near new condition.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it

On Monday, I ordered up the new engine and transmission.

Basic specs:
* 1904, full flow, external oil filter (I'll add a remote cooler as well)
* Spanish or Italian Weber 40 IDF carbs
* LeenAPK programmable distributor
* Vintage Speed carb linkage
* Vintage Speed exhaust
* ProStreet Freeway Flyer transmission (taller 4th gear)

The estimate for delivery is mid to late August.

On Tuesday, I collected a handful of contacts for media blasting and powder coating.  The subframe, axle tubes, spring plates, and various other small parts will be cleaned and powder coated for both the engine build and the suspension rebuild.

I'll be shedding stock parts as this build progresses forward as there's little chance I'll go back to stock at this point.  I'm looking to build a super reliable daily driver that looks stock but has upgraded brakes, engine and transmission.

The engine crate of parts will be departing tomorrow for California.  One chapter closes to greet the following events...

Sunday, June 18, 2017


 The day started with me pulling out a bunch of wood I brought to Atlanta from Chicago - old shelf wood - and determining the size of the crate.  After a bit of back and forth, I settled on roughly 36"x36"x24" and started squaring up the pieces because they were not straight.  Made a trip to Home Depot for additional wood and screws and came back and got into it.
This photo is why my blog is so boring - I went from nearly nothing to completely packed without taking a single photo.  Somewhere in this crate is the engine - strapped and bolted to the crate, the complete exhaust, engine tins and about ten boxes of parts.

Tomorrow is the day I figure out what's going to replace this engine and get it on order.

Another piece of welcome news: The box that vanished for a couple of weeks was scanned in Atlanta - so there's a chance it could be delivered tomorrow.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fishing with a chum bucket

I pulled the carburetors yesterday and let them air out to have the remaining gas evaporate before my plan to put them in a box and ship them off to be checked out...but before I did that I noticed that the manifolds had been black powdercoated - both inside and out.  Then I took notice of the warped nature of the right side manifold (the one that was running hot) - the left one wasn't real flat but it looked a lot flatter than this one.  The thing that you can't see is the crack on the other side - so I can't even hammer it flat and make use of it.
After that, I pulled the engine - the plan was to crate it up and ship it off to California to be rebuilt by a guy I was referred to - one who knows the 1500 S engine...but then I got a message from someone else looking for a couple of parts - we chatted briefly and struck up a deal for the it's still going to California - just to a different place.  The engine has been paid for and it will be crated tomorrow.  I also sold one of the two remaining ZV/JCU 4R3 distributors.  I'm now down to the one NOS unit and a handful of spare parts for it.

So the tough decision about what to do with this engine has been made.  The next decision of what to buy to replace it will come on Monday when I place my order for both the engine and transmission.  The early 6 volt transmission will get cleaned up and sold, with or without axles.  I'll be selling the starter as well since it's got the 6 volt pinion on it (someone can use it).  I'll pull the early trans out, clean up the subframe and get it ready for paint, a new transmission and engine.  I'm hopeful that once this all goes back in - the car will run well and I'll actually get to drive it for a while without having to work on it so much.

I suspect it'll be quiet here for a while as I wait for the new engine and transmission to arrive.

Friday, June 16, 2017

One fish, two fish...

While standing over the engine today, I looked down and noticed that the spring and flap rod were crossing paths in what I thought was an odd I pulled the spring off the intermediate lever and swapped sides with the flaps rod and reattached it to the intermediate lever.
 As soon as I attached it to the intermediate lever, the flaps sprang open.  So, a minor victory in that I don't necessarily have to tear the engine apart to fix the flaps.
But the crux of the matter remains - the head on the 1/2 side has a tweaked valve that'll require pulling the head, ordering parts and waiting for them to show up before I can put it back together...and there's no way to know if even that will resolve the problem that's been haunting me with this engine.

The carburetors are being packaged up and shipped out for re-work - there's still something that's not quite right about them.  I'm not sure if this is throwing good money after bad at this point...or if I should even bother since it's money I could spend on the new engine.

I called up the transmission shop today and got pricing for the transmission rebuild for a 1904.  It'd be possible to get it in three weeks.  The engine would take another four to five weeks to be shipped to me once I sent all of the Type 3 specific parts to California.  That's basically the whole Summer with no car to drive - just sitting in the garage - and that's kind of a bummer.

I need to make some decisions rather quickly here...

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Red light, green light...

I'm on the fence about ordering up the 1904 engine and related transmission.  Part of me wants to figure out this 1500 S engine and part of me just wants to replace it, get rid of the old parts and move on with life.  I want to drive the car - not wrench on it for the next five years.

With very little time on my hands today, I managed to pull the carburetors, right side engine tin and confirm a couple of things:
1. The carburetors are leaking fuel into the cylinders.  The car hasn't been started in what, four, five days now?  The intake manifolds were wet with fuel on both sides.  There's gas in the oil again.  So, they're getting drained of fuel, dried out and shipped off for a second look to a new guy in California.

2. The thermostat flaps are not opening fully.  All of the thermostat parts were painted by the engine builder and I think that paint is crudding up the bushings in the housing.  They open up about 1/4 the way and then it takes a rather firm pull on the rod to get the flaps to open fully.  I don't think the thermostat possesses that much torque.  The only way to really fix this is to remove the front half of the fan shroud - which requires that the engine be pulled out because the flaps rod won't come out otherwise.

I don't honestly think that fixing these two things will solve my issues with the engine but it might reduce the number of things that seem to have gone wrong.  I still suspect the distributor is part of the equation of the problem.  The new distributor is en route and should arrive probably in 4-5 days.  Odd timing since I won't have carburetors unless I get lucky and find the problem right away (slim but possible) and I think it'll take some time for me to pull the engine and fix the flaps issue.  Then I still have the head torque situation to think about as well...although...there's a local T3 guy coming over next weekend and he's expressed interest in both the transmission and the engine (long block) so I may just strip this fucker down to a long block and let him take them both off my hands.  I'd have a car on jack stands at that point and at least the transmission would be ordered but I imagine that I'd pull the trigger and order both of them at the same time.  Lots of parts to ship back to California to the engine builder.

I'm 80% of the way to just ordering the engine and getting this nonsense over with once and for all.  By the time I pull the engine and fix the flaps, I might be 10% closer because I don't think it's going to solve the problem.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

You see a mousetrap; I see free cheese and a fucking challenge!

So...let's get caught up, shall we?

I static timed the engine, installed new plugs, reset the carburetors to spec, replaced the plug wires because I found one that looked to be coming apart (yay! New Bosch garbage parts!).  Fired it up.  Idled really shitty so I hooked up the strobe, balanced the carbs (using the snail) and the timing is damn close.  Small tweaks to improve the carb balance and tried to lean it out a bit because it's running rich like an old lawnmower and the car died.  Put it back, fires right up but the engine rocks from side to side at idle.  Any changes that might reduce the rocking prevents the engine from running at all.  No hesitation at all when increasing throttle - just idles like shit and now rocks side to side.

The engine got stupid hot after running for only 10 minutes - so hot, in fact, that the rear bumper was hot to the touch.  I shut it down and contemplated the next move...which clearly had to do with figuring out why it was getting so hot.  I'd had a frustrating day of just finding more problems so I called it a day.

The next evening, I pulled the right side lower sled tin and the thermostat bracket and thermostat.  I manipulated the thermostat flaps linkage with my fingers and discovered that it's only opening about 1/4 of the way.  That combined with what might be a burned exhaust valve on #2 means that, at best, the engine tin has to come off.  At worst, the heads will have to come off.  I then noticed that there was clean oil seeping out of the space between the heads and the cylinders - an area that should be dry - which lead me to wonder about the head studs and or torque rate on them.  This is an early case with 10mm head studs and no case savers - torquing the heads down may result in a pulled head stud - something that would require significantly more work than what's currently on the table.  After a bit of back and forth, I've decided to start sourcing parts for the replacement engine and transmission.  I'm kind of done fucking around with this engine - every time I work on it, something else breaks and it takes weeks to fix it after I've found the parts.  I just keep dumping money into it and it fucks up someplace else.

I'm out of town for a few days for work - but I'm going to continue the trek to getting a better built engine and a rebuilt transmission.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I spend my allowance on all these pretty things

Replaced both rocker assemblies with solid rocker shafts and new adjusters and lock nuts.  Getting the spacing just right took a hell of a lot longer than I thought it would but it's done.
The exhaust valve on #2 required more adjustment than the other valves and that leaves me a tad bit concerned that it possibly got fucked up when the engine was running 'not right'/hot.  The tip sticking out of the spring looks to be about the same length as the others but that's all I really know to look for in this situation.  I'm going to try it 'as is' and see what happens.  If the valve is cooked, that might be the end of the line for this engine.  I'm kind of done fucking around with it just to have it break somewhere else.
The tolerance on the shims isn't great so I had to get the micrometer and measure every single one until I found the right combination to get me down to spec.  Out of the hour it took to install them, I spent half that time just putting together the shim combos.
 I also ordered new wheel chocks because when I tried to tighten the axle nut on the rear a few days ago, I also ruined my metal wheel chocks.  As in "flattened" them.  These are some concoction of very stinky rubber and they're taller than the metal version they replace.
Highly likely to the be only EMPI part that I ever buy.  It's low tech so I'm not worried about a part failure.

I'm testing out another mechanical fuel pump for now but if it shits the bed, the electric pump is ready and waiting.
Ordered a replacement fuel pump block and this piece of shit arrived.  The hole is off center and not straight.  The supplier offered to take it back but it'll cost more in postage than the refund so I chucked it in the trash.  I don't know why they bother to stock and sell shit parts that are just going to irritate the customer.

I received an email today that my high tech distributor is enroute - so about two weeks from now, it'll arrive and if the engine is functional, I'll test it out.  I'd love to get rid of points and improve reliability at the same time.

Next up is static timing the engine, resetting the carburetors to spec (again) and then trying to fire up the car.  Once that's off the list, I'll install the tach - I think I've talked it to death and am going to 'have a go' at installing it...hoping I don't fuck it up.  Then I'll revisit the horn situation/fuse box, driving lights, etc.  Work is ramping up again and I'm going out of town for a few days so progress will be slow for a while.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

I've done all that I'm likely to do today - I installed the parking brake cables and adjusted them...very little back and forth to get these right and I'm happy about that!

Tomorrow is the day the solid rocker shafts arrive in the mail - I'll probably only get them built up but not likely to have them installed unless the mail comes early tomorrow.  My mail carrier is on vacation starting tomorrow (he made it a point to tell me yesterday) and when he's out the mail either comes at 10am or 6pm.  The delivery time has a lot to do with how much progress I can make.

Until then, I'll start working out how I'm going to mount the electric fuel pump.  This might get me to swap over to a 12 point fuse box - that and the tach that I have yet to install.  I found another set of instructions that seems to be a lot more clear so I'm going to see about getting it set up for install.  I've also got the headlight relays, fog light relays (and the light bar to install) and the horns.  Lots of little things that I can do over the next few weeks to keep moving forward in spite of engine issues.

Monday, June 5, 2017

"I'm a firefighter trapped in a burning house in a silent picture"

Today is the day I decided to not be defeated by the brakes on this car.  The rocker problem is out of my hands until the parts arrive.

Just to 'check my work', I grabbed the 36mm impact socket and put a 4' breaker bar on it, chocked all 4 wheels with 5" tall chocks and I tightened the everliving shit out of that castle nut on the left side.  I only stopped when my weight, combined with the near collapse of the wheel chocks, prevented me from going further.  Jacked the car up and the fucking axle STILL moved in and out.  This only validated my suspicion that I'd have to take it all apart to figure out what the hell was going on and fix it.  And I'd just made that significantly harder to do on one side.  Knowing the now 'gorilla tight' left side castle nut was going to be a challenge to remove, I shifted sides to start taking things apart on the right side of the car.
I went back to the installation instructions, thumbed through each page - making sure I followed them accurately - which is not hard - there's not a lot to do which equals 'very little to screw up'.

I got to the bracket assembly and noticed the spacer again.  The instructions clearly state that the 3mm spacer is only required for swing axle post 1968 (very very few models)...and then I realized that, like everything else in the instructions - that probably only pertains to the Type 1 axle.  In fact, the dimensions they show on the previous page don't apply to the Type 3 - so it's a fair assumption that this also does not apply to the Type 3.

It'd be great if the Type 3 kit got Type 3 instructions.
I pulled on the hub again and watched the distance between where it should be and where the axle moved to - and I started thinking that it was damn close to the thickness of the spacer.  So I pulled the hub/rotor off the splined axle and set it aside.  I measured the distance between the end of the axle spacer (inside the seal in this picture) with the axle pushed in (where it should be) and then pulled it out (where it goes on its own and provides the distance required to eat the surface of a $160 rotor with surprising efficiency.  Yeah, about 3mm, so I continued the tear down and removed the bracket.
Now I'm down to the basic Type 3 rear axle - with exception to the spacer from the CSP kit.  I held the bearing in place and tried to pull the axle out - didn't budge.  Since the spacer that CSP provides is the same OD as the bearing - I'd validated that the spacer is actually REQUIRED for this installation.  I cleaned everything shown here and retrieved the spacers from the cabinet.
My first thought upon retrieving them was 'thank fuck I didn't toss these!'

3mm is just enough space to cause moderate damage and make me question my mechanical abilities for a few days.
Installation of this spacer is simple: drop it in the bearing cover bracket and bolt it to the carrier...and put the rest of the shit back together.  Done.

I wish I'd thought to take a video of the 'axle shift' but I was on a roll and focused on getting it done and completely forgot about it.

The axle, predictably, doesn't shift in and out anymore.  Everything lines up pretty well and I moved on to the left side.  That was tricky - I wound up using two spare tires as wheel chocks, all of my weight and a 6' bar to get the nut to break loose after about 10 minutes of trying.  It broke loose just about the time I'd decided that I probably wasn't going to win this one.  Flash forward about 20 minutes and they're both fixed and everything is good to go.  In hindsight: I should have done a 'push/pull' test on the axles after I'd installed the brakes to check whether or not I'd need that spacer...I will be checking all kinds of shit going forward.

In other news:
A couple of nifty tools came in the mail today - a compression tester (now I have two), a spark tester that goes between the plug and the distributor to check spark and a test light so I can static time.  All I'm waiting for now is the solid rocker shafts so I can put them back together and try to get the car running again.  I also bought an electric fuel pump to replace the mechanical fuel pump to eliminate one source of fuel getting into the case.  A fuel pump block off is also on order.  I might try to swap in another mechanical fuel pump in the interim since it's all plumbed for it anyway.

I'm too fucking stubborn to lose.