Monday, January 22, 2018

NOS Vent window, the German edition

The wayward left side vent window frame has finally arrived.  It was scheduled to be delivered on Saturday - I stayed home all day on one of the warmest days in recent memory and the letter carrier claimed that he didn't have the box in his truck.  I think he was full of shit and chose to not deliver it because it's all the power he's got in his job - piss off the occasional customer.

I called the carrier annex this morning and spoke to a supervisor - asked him why the box wasn't delivered on Saturday.  He had no idea.  I then asked him to confirm that the box was on the truck for delivery today.  After a total of 20 minutes on hold and then waiting another 30 minutes for a return call, I received, again, I waited at home all day.  The mail showed up at about 5pm, it was raining, and the letter carrier (same dude as Saturday) was filling out a slip to leave in the mailbox - probably because he didn't want to get out of his truck and get wet to deliver the box to the front door as he should have...I walked out to his truck and he noticed me just as he was about to toss the notification in the mailbox and speed off to the next house.  Thanks for doing the bare minimum, fuckstick.
This frame is in very nice condition and the seals are pliable and soft - just as they were when they were brand new.  The aluminum bits are lightly scratched but overall nice.
Just like the other vent window frame - the inner small vent felt is about an inch shorter than the end of the channel.  I find this to be a bit strange.

The Wolfsburg West felt channels are still not in stock.  I'm not likely to do anything with this until it either warms up or the aftermarket parts are available...or both.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Week 3, 2018

The NOS vent window frame from France arrived early this week - after it made two trips to the US.  The part from Germany was 'Out For Delivery' today so I stayed home all day only to discover that the box wasn't in the letter carrier's truck.  I absolutely fucking loathe the people who handle the mail here.
 These little beauties showed up yesterday via DHL from Germany (fuck you USPS!).  They're E code H4 3 bolt housings.  I'm hoping that the H4 lenses will improve light disbursement for the LED headlamps.  Someday when I feel like working on the car again I'll swap them out and see how they look.

I now have four NOS SWF reflectors - a year ago I didn't know these existed and now I've got four.

I still have a used one and a NOS Hella reflector - at some point, I'm going to have to sell a few to get back to a respectable number.
 Headlight 'caps' for the older 3 bolt headlight housings - I broke one quite a while back and, for reasons I cannot explain, I bought two to replace it.  I'll probably never use them - especially if I swap to the E code H4 housings because they use different caps.
Just for shits and grins, I also bought 4 of the grommets for the rear brake line where it exits the pan.

The one on the left is the NOS part - the one on the right is the repop part.

In this instance, the repop part is exactly the same as the original part - this is quite rare in my experience.

I attempted to charge the battery today and it failed - I think this battery is done.  It's about two years old but it's toast.  Now I have yet another reason to ignore this car.

Three or four years ago - this car popped up for sale.  It's a 1965 Variant S with 22,000km - complete with gas powered heater.  It's completely original and everyone who have seen it in person are absolutely blown away by how clean and original the car displays.  It's for sale for 27,000€.  About the only thing I don't like about it is that it's white.

I have tons of photos of the car when it went up for sale a few years ago.

I never thought I'd see this car for sale again.  This is a perfect example of why I should have held fast, saved my money and waited for the game to come to me.

Instead - my impatience bought me a project with an unknown future.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


After a lengthy battery charging session, I started the car, drove it to the street - turned around and came back to park the car in the other garage.  Runs rich as hell but I have no interest in working on it right now.  At least now it's not in the way in the garage.

The window frame from Germany is due on Friday - the window frame from France was returned to the sender in France after the USPS claims to have attempted delivery three times.  One of those days I was home all day, the other two the mail was on a vacation hold.  No notes to indicate that they 'attempted' delivery and none of the tracking worked on the USPS website.  I found out after tracking it on the French postal site.  I'd bet good money that a band of 9 year old kids could accidentally do a better job of delivering packages in this one here gives a shit.  I'll wind up paying 60€ to have it shipped again via FedEx.  I bet the one from France shows up before the one from Germany - simply because the one from Germany is being delivered by the same group of idiots who sent the French package back.

A little digging/reading solved the 'when' question about the change to the doors.  I thought they'd ended with the 1964 model year but it appears that they changed about 4 months into the 1965 model year - and then, a month later, the clips were added to the door seals.  A car built in November of 1964 would have one month only doors.

The small felt pieces from Wolfsburg West are not yet available - in spite of being told twice that the 'in stock' date would be before the end of 2017.  The parts are coming from a German supplier which means they'll be 2-3 weeks later than communicated and the customer will be wrong for asking why the parts are late.  At this point, I'm more curious about part quality than convinced that these parts will work and are holding up my door build.  Honestly, I wish I'd just left the damn doors alone!

I sold an early set of heat exchangers so I'm now down to three NOS pieces.  I'm on the fence about selling off the rest of them since there's a VERY slim chance that I'll ever use them.  I've actually pondered throwing in the towel and getting out of the hobby entirely.  The only thing keeping me from doing that, honestly, is that I don't want to have to pack and ship all of this shit once it's sold.

The official job hunt is on so the car's just going to sit for a while anyway...maybe I'll come to my senses and 'do the right thing'.  Whatever that is...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A couple of new parts but not much else

Speaking of purchases - here are a few things that arrived today:

311 953 173 - seal for turn indicator housing

I'm currently rocking the super early 2 piece seals on my car.  The timing is good to receive these as mine are pretty much gone.  I'll keep two and install two.
In addition to the above, I found the early version of the shift coupler cover plate.

(L) 311 705 445 - Cover, shift coupler
(R) 311 705 445 A - Cover, shift coupler
The nice part about the early version (if I'm lucky it'll fit) is that it's missing the rear part that's bent 'up' - the part that makes it a giant pain in the ass to install.
 A little easier to see the differences on the back of the two.
Notice the 'lip' is missing on the earlier one (left).

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Vent window update

In a somewhat surprising development - I've managed to find both right and left vent window frames in NOS condition.  They're complete with felt and vent window seals.  The glass will have to either be moved from my existing frames or I'll source NOS glass/frames.

I guess it's one way to ensure that the felt pieces are correct without the supreme frustration of using shit quality parts several times...I am still planning on buying some of the WW parts to make sure I give them a shot before exclaiming that there are no decent repop parts out there.

I think I'll still build up the doors from the 65 - for both the practice and the right side mirror.  Seems like I'm going to have time on my hands for a while so I am going to need something to keep myself busy.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

6" of snow in Atlanta

We got 6-7" of snow Friday into Saturday and they closed the little dude's school on Monday due to power outages (not here, fortunately) and potentially slick roads.  So, we are going to go do what we can tomorrow to stay entertained.  None of that will involve working on the Volkswagen and I've scrapped my plans to take the car to the shop until after the holidays.

And, given that the garage is not heated, I have pretty much avoided it the last week.  I don't have the new felt pieces yet and, short of selling parts, haven't wanted to do anything with the car.  I've sold off a few thousand in parts so far and I may go a little further.

Short of posting up some parts that I might buy in the coming weeks it'll be pretty quiet for a bit.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The dead weight of time

I haven't done a whole hell of a lot in the last few days to the car.  I lost a bit of motivation but attempted a few minor things - some more successful than others.

Button head screws to replace the socket head cap screws so the outer fasteners don't deform the filter media.  Easy win.
 The early window felt from ISP fit the channel pretty well.  I spent 20 minutes cleaning the old sealant out and preparing it for this seal.  Seal went in easily and the matching red stitching was a nice touch.

Once the other pieces were installed - the window provided a very similar result to the driver's side window.  I sprayed the felt with silicone lubricant and, while it helped, it didn't solve the problem.  Still requires both hands and a solid grip to pull the window up - so no chance the window regulator is going to survive that situation.
 This picture shows the result of installation of the outer trim and the ISP inner scraper.  The gap is approximately 18mm between the seals - the glass is 5mm wide - meaning that there's 13mm of 'space' that will be between the glass and the scraper...not, uh, scraping.

Why is it so fucking hard to get decent parts?
 I was given the option to buy this dash a few days ago - looked good and the price was attractive.  Being skeptical, I asked for more pictures.  It was described as NOS.
The metal under the dash grab handle is deformed - one of the clues I used to determine that I wasn't going to buy it.
 Looks pretty good so far - but the mounting locations are depressed which means that this dash is not NOS and has been mounted to a car.
 This was the potential deal breaker: the right side of the dash is cracked - hard to tell how bad from this photo so I asked for a few more pictures.
Upon receipt of this picture, I decided to pass.  There are multiple cracks on the edge.  Once these dashes start to crack - the cracks just keep growing.

I decided to hang on to my money and wait for the next one to come up.  I don't need it but I did want it.

I've sold a decent chunk of my stashed parts with more parts on the way out the door...might be a slippery slope but that's where this is going.

Not sure I'll be doing a whole lot with the car over the next few days/weeks.  I'm kind of done installing shit quality parts only to pull it all apart again and throw it away.

Friday, December 1, 2017


Once the engine is running more consistently I'm going to get this exhaust thing worked out.  It's too close to the left bumper guard - which is now turning black.  It's adjusted to the right as far as I can get it and it's still off by at least an inch.  I'd like to lengthen the pipe by about 4 inches to get to the edge of the rear bumper.

I spent about an hour today trying to figure out the source of the groaning in the rear end.  I was able to get it narrowed down to originating from the right rear.  And I figured out that it might be related to the axle nut - after checking every other nut/bolt on the rear end, I pulled the cotter pin and tightened the axle nut to 250 lb/ft on the torque wrench.  After installing a new cotter pin, I took it out for a one mile test drive where I did some 'granny donuts' in the parking lot for the pool.  All quiet except for one very faint groan upon exiting the parking lot.  I may pull the left side cotter pin and crank that one down as well to make sure it's tight and eliminate it as the source of the sound.

I also called the local aircooled VW shop (it's 45 minutes away) and made an appointment to have them check out the jetting and carburetor settings since I can't quite get it figured out.  I'm going to drive the car over on Tuesday and hope to pick it up on Wednesday.  EDIT: Actually, I'm not going to do that since it's supposed to rain both Tuesday and Wednesday. Fuck.  Perhaps I can do it the following...yeah, no - already too much shit going on that week.  Huh, I might wind up with those vent felt pieces before this carb thing gets worked out.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

It is strange that the years teach us patience; that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting

Today was an odd day...I sold a bunch of stuff via Facebook groups, did absolutely no work on the car and made some phone calls about parts.  I called up Wolfsburg West today to inquire about the early vent felt trims - they told me that they're about a month away from being available.  The manufacturer is in Germany and they've been out of stock on them for a long time.  Given that the long/wide trim I bought from WW is damn near perfect, I'm expecting that the vent trims will be of similar quality.

On a suggestion of a fellow early Type 3 owner, I ordered up the vent trims from ISP West...they have no pictures of the actual product so I'm highly skeptical that they'll be anything other than the Brazilian trims but I'm open to being surprised.  If they work, then I'll install them and get the WW parts for the restoration.  If they don't work - I'll just wait until the WW pieces are available and work on other stuff on the finding that groaning noise in the rear end.  At the rate I've been going, it'll take me a couple of weeks to get that sorted and then the vent pieces won't be that far off.  I also have those bus scrapers to swap onto the window trims.

Most of the parts that I bought for the headlight conversion to H4 and headlight buckets/trim have been sold off so I've recovered almost all of the money I put into that adventure.  Always nice when I can recover money that was spent chasing something that didn't work out.  I still have to aim the headlights - and potentially - buy new lenses for the headlights.  I suspect that part of my aiming problem is due to the optics of the glass lenses and that the fluting on the glass isn't compatible with the LED bulbs.  I may try to find some clear glass lenses to fit to them if they're not crazy expensive.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Holding me like gravity are places that pull

This is the main failure of the day:  The Brazilian made 'red stripe' felt trim did not install easily or cleanly.  I fought with it for a good 20 minutes before I gave up and yanked it out.  I didn't get a photo of just how shitty it looked once it was installed so you'll have to take my word for it: It doesn't work.  Maybe it'd work on a later car but not this one.  It's also too short by about 4" to properly cover the entire channel.
 This is the green strip felt - it fits the channel but the glass doesn't really fit in the felt once it's installed.  After everything was installed, I tried to lift the glass up with my hands and after getting about half way, the car door lifted up but the glass didn't budge.  It's safe to say that this isn't the solution for the doors.  Last thing I need to do is break a window regulator and have to tear the door apart again because I took a short cut.

I've been advised that ISP has the proper felt trim and that it plan, for now, is to call WW and find out the ETA for their felt.  If it's a ways off, I'll roll the dice with ISP.  At some point, I'm going to need this thing to have functional windows...I need to get some miles on this engine for break in and it's going to take forfuckingever if I do it 5 miles at a time.

I'd rather not install and remove the door trim five times if I can help it...but the ability to roll the window up and down is kind of the deciding factor about whether or not I have to do it again.
 The larger felt trim fit very nicely around the door except where the repop Type 1 clips were fitted.  Since I'm going to have to remove this trim again - I am going to try to use the original clips after a little 'massaging' to get them to fit snug on the door frame.

I'm still on the fence about pulling the outer scraper rubber but since I have the Type 2 scrapers I bought from Wolfsburg West, I may just try to install them.  I discovered today that I can use aluminum pop rivets and then smash them flat in the vise.
 Using the outer scraper as it came with the trim and a NOS inner scraper - there's a gap of 14mm - too wide for the 5mm thick glass and neither scraper contacts the glass in more than a couple short spots.  The NOS seal doesn't fit as well as I'd have expected but that might be due to a design revision and I have the late version or something...I haven't really looked into it yet.
I also spent some time cleaning the inner section of the driver's side door and applying sound deadening.

The passenger's side door got cleaned and primed with red oxide paint.  Depending on how it sticks, I plan to top coat with a red rattle can paint and then apply sound deadening once the majority of the guts are in the door.  I put it in first on the driver's side and it got a little fucked up when I installed the window channel and vent window.

I still have the weird groaning to chase down in the rear of the car.  The camber compensator is off the car so that's not it...I'm going to back the parking brake cables off completely to eliminate them...then I'll have to dig into each wheel assembly until I find the source of the noise.  Below is a video of the last test drive I did in the car - I start the video at about the five minute mark as I'm driving through a parking lot and it's pretty easy to hear the groaning.  I don't know if it happens at higher speed because of the engine noise.  Either way, I need to figure out what it is and eliminate it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thought without learning is perilous

Today was semi-eventful.  I was able to tie up a few loose ends that have been bothering me.

Starting with the air cleaners...
Finished result.  I need to get button head hardware but that's for later.

The car still doesn't start on the first key turn but it seems to run fine.  I may take it to the local shop and have them look it over to make sure everything is in order.

There is an odd 'rubbing' sound coming from the rear of the car.  I think it's a stuck caliper on the rear brakes - if I had to guess.
Changed the oil and filter (somehow found a red filter so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb).

Bought a filter wrench as well because I didn't have one - I used Channel Locks to remove the original filter.

I also started looking at the CSP Python exhaust...too expensive though.  I have to figure out how to get this Vintage Speed exhaust to work the way it should.  There is some welding work in the future of this exhaust.
Cleaned the bottom of the passenger's side door out and applied Ospho.  While I was out getting the oil filter - I also picked up some rattle can paint that's an 'okay' match.  It'll be a good temporary fix.
Got some felt weatherstripping from Home Depot to silence the door lever rod.  The original application is only at the end that goes through the hole in the door to the lock.  I added the rest of it to guarantee that it won't rattle.
I have the 'green stripe' felt trim - I'm going to use these for now.  I'll have to find a solution for the snug fit on the glass but it's time to get these fucking doors back together.
For the record - this is not the correct part to order if you're using Beetle felt...I spent the better part of 20 minutes trying to beat the shit into the channel.  Turns out, these are wider and don't fucking fit.

This was the lesson for today...keep an eye on part numbers!

The one other thing I accomplished today was to remove the camber compensator.  And the rear wheels have settled a little bit.  I may try to install the longer bar in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Carburetor adjustment - attempt #1

The first pass at adjusting the carburetors went rather well.  I got all four to read between 5.5 and 6 on the snail with a 1000-1100 RPM idle and the car runs much better.  I took it on a drive through the neighboring subdivision and, other than a high idle, it ran very well.  I know how to fix the idle now and I'll get on that tomorrow.  I think I'll drop the snail # to about 4.5 and the idle should be closer to 900 RPM.  I still have the weird whistle sound.  I pulled the bottom of the air filter to validate its role in the whistle - not a valid suspicion, unfortunately.

The video is way long but the engine sounds better, there's more power and it doesn't reek in the car anymore.  All positives.

I don't think the carburetors are dumping fuel into the engine - if they are it's very subtle.  I've hovered over the engine after shut down to see/smell and nothing stands out the last couple of times.

This is my Home Depot plumbing department solution for reaching the #3 carburetor to test airflow.  Fits nice and snug.

Next up after the idle fix is shortening the air filter studs and an oil change then I'll get back on the door building.

I am also going to remove the bar on the camber compensator - I think it's causing the current wheel tuck situation...removing it will let me know for sure.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Parts for later

Got a really cool box in the mail yesterday.  Super nice dual port tins, near perfect sled tins and torsion cover plates and a late oil fill with the tube that connects to the breather (to eliminate the possibility of the engine venting oil to the bottom of the engine case and making a mess).

Most of these parts are for later...I snagged the torsion covers because they were available.  Seems like one of those parts that is harder to find than expected.

I did some late night reading up on how to tune the Webers so I'm going to give that a go tomorrow and hope I remember/do it properly.  I'll probably save the window build for Monday so that when I go into a swearing tirade the little dude will be at school.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Tweaking the carbs

Today, I attempted to rid the car of the backfiring issue and see if I can get the carburetors synchronized a bit better.

I reset the idle stops to initial set up (1/2 turn in after contacting the stop) and got the linkage to be as equal as possible.  Turns out that was 80% of the issue...which was a lucky break.

The left side is flowing better than the right side.  The #4 cylinder is at 6.  Due to the location of the port for #3 - I couldn't get a reading.  I need to get a hose or something to allow me to read it.
#1 is at 4, which is a little low - I think my target is around 6.  I brought the idle up to get them to match and the car was idling at 1500 RPM - at least 30% higher than I want.
#2 is at 3.5 - again, a bit low.  This is at about 960RPM.  I'd like the car to idle around 800-850 RPM if possible.

Not a bad start for 30 minutes of work - I have to figure out how to get a reading on #3 and then work out how to bring up the 1-2 side without having a high idle.

Once this is all worked out I'll change the oil and swap back to working on the doors.

There is fuel in the oil again after running the engine for about 15 minutes.  The strongest odor is coming from the left side carburetor (also closest to the T in the fuel line).  I'm guessing that the electric fuel pump retains too much residual pressure at shut down and the pressure is relieved via dumping fuel into the carburetor.  If this is, indeed, the case, I'll pull the electric fuel pump and install a mechanical fuel pump because I don't want my garage to smell like a fuel spill every time I drive the car.

I drove the car a short distance (a mile, round trip) to the subdivision pool parking lot to adjust the headlights.  In spite of the 'not quite' sync on the carbs, it drives MUCH better than it did with the clones.  They've got a slight whistle - typical indication that they're not synced quite right.  They're close...

I am excited just thinking about how much nicer it'll be to drive once they're adjusted properly.

The LED headlights are nice and bright - needs a little more adjustment but there's no crazy glare to oncoming traffic.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Weber install

The first 'win' today is that the roof rack was picked up after a no show yesterday.  The driver said he didn't get the pick up until today.
I wasn't able to get the carburetors installed yesterday because I couldn't get a wrench on the inside nuts - while searching for something else, I came up with the idea of using socket head cap screws.  After going to two different stores - I was able to find the right quantity and length to get them installed.
These things barely fit!

I was able to turn it over and get the car started but it runs real rough and backfires a bit.  Given that I know jack shit about carb tuning, I've got a lot to learn so that I can get these running right.  I had a phone conversation with the engine builder today about some things to check/adjust first.  I also found a 'carb set up' guide that I'm going to refer to when I make an attempt on Friday. 

So far, the only modification I know I'll have to make is remove and trim the air cleaner studs - they're too long for the RamFlo filters.  I'm going to wait until I've got everything dialed in before I do that though.

I took a very short video of the initial start up - it's below.  I'm getting closer!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

LED headlights are finished

The headlights are finished...

This is the unmodified P45t adapter before I shaved off some of the side bit to make this contraption work.
One of the four modifications to the P45t adapter to allow clearance for the cap to engage the housing.  This is the second one and it was much easier after I'd experimented the night before.
The left side is the modified H4 adapter.  The right side is how it arrives out of the box.

The first modification was done using a 4" grinder - it got the part hot and did more melting than grinding.

When I modified the second one today - I used a bastard file - much faster, cleaner and straighter.
Not a great shot but it shows the fairly clean cutoff at the top.  They are not aimed properly yet but I think they'll be pretty nice once they're aimed properly and I get a chance to get out and drive in the dark.

Another up side is that I get to keep the city lights in the 3 bolt headlights.

Toward the effort, I was able to get the carburetors mostly installed.  I cannot get to the two inner nuts on the 3/4 side to properly tighten them.  These Webers are larger in body than the AA clones.  I'll have to find a curved wrench before I can finish the install.  I tried to make my own from a cheap 13mm box wrench but my torch doesn't get hot enough and I just broke the wrench.  Once that wrench arrives, I'll be able to finish up the installation...maybe while everyone is wiped out from Black Friday shopping, I'll be able to go out and drive around a bit.