Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pittsford Classic Car Show 2010

2nd annual Pittsford Car and Bike show, Pittsford, NY.  My favorite car at the show was a very rare 1964 Type 34 Karman Ghia shown below.  The owners, Mike and Patty, were very nice - spent a good part of the day chatting with them.

Other neat cars included a tiny little thing called the Austin Mini Moke ... for more pictures see Here

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Out of hibernation

Well, it's been a long winter, but we're finally out of hibernation.  The first car show of the season has come and gone, and the first "project" was completed - replacing the brushes in my generator.

I am pleased to report that charging is now fast and reliable.  But all Thing projects are a learning experience, and this time it had to do with fan alignment.  I learned that on a Karman Ghia you can reach around the fan shroud and get to the fan; on a Thing you can't - the engine must come out.

In my case, though, an expert was able to achieve decent alignment without taking the engine out - but this will be something to look at next time around.

A few pictures from the shop, including a nice looking bus project in progress, and a vintage beetle sign.  Next car show is Saturday, downtown Pittsford, behind the library - hope you can make it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Carburetors are Less Scary

This is actually one of the scariest things I have done to my VW.  With help from my friend Dave (made famous in an earlier post), I completely disassembled the carb.  I replaced gaskets and seals, and gave everything a thorough cleaning followed by some quality time with an air gun.

Learning experience: when the instructions say "Pay attention to how this spring was installed" what they really mean is "put it back the same way."  I didn't, and as a result my accelerator pump wasn't working, and the Thing really wouldn't run at all.  Dave deduced that the accelerator pump wasn't working so something must be wrong in that area, and he found I had put the spring in backwards.

Dave was also kind enough to check and adjust my valve clearances. They should all be 0.006, and some were a little off. In particular, #3 had very little clearance at all. This is a problem because it means the valve doesn't sit closed long enough to allow its retained heat to conduct through the head. This can lead to valve failure and horrible engine damage. I'm noting the valve clearances before adjustment here; if we find that #3 is consistently getting too tight more drastic action will have to be taken.

Cylinder Valve Clearance (inches)
1 exhaust .005
intake .003
2 intake .006
exhaust .004
3 exhaust less than .002
intake less than .002
4 intake .004
exhaust .003

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bug Bust 2010

Went to the 20th annual "Bug Bust" in Webster, NY.  Here are some cool pictures (link to the rest at the end)

Thing's Twin

Coolest Dune Buggy

Sweet Karman Ghia
Type 3 Squareback

Thing with a Rubber Chicken Stuck In Door

Lots more pictures, starting Here

Friday, July 30, 2010

Brake and Clutch Pedal Pads

VW Pedal Pads

Not sure exactly when this was made, but it has the original part number stamped on the side and the VW logo on the front.  Very cool for $1.95 for the pair.  Thanks jbugs!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thing's First Car Show

I didn't want a museum artifact, I wanted something fun that I could enjoy on nice summer days.  I didn't know how people would react to it at a car show.  Yawns?  Humiliation?  Pointing and laughing?  Nope.  I was surprised at how big a hit The Thing was.  Lots of questions, and lots of people saying "I remember when these first came out" and "I remember the TV commercials for these, they showed how you could take the doors and top off and fold down the windshield!"

The rest was mostly questions like "Is this really a Volkswagen?"  and "What is this?"  That's generally the trend ... people either remember The Thing fondly, or else they are completely bewildered by it.

There are more car show pictures here, including a few pictures of a beautiful 1960 Wolfsburg Edition Beetle.  There was also some kind of contraption that used to be a beetle, but isn't any more.  Please look and enjoy!

The car show was way more fun than I expected.  Wegmans does a great job - there is food and door prizes, and they run them all summer.  I will definitely go again.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Well, the brakes finally work!  After taking off the hoses, a lot of air got into the system.  It took a lot more pump-and-hold cycles than I thought it would to get all the air out.  They weren't big bubbles, either.  It looked kind of like soda pop fizz.  But after many repeats clean, clear fluid came out of both sides.  We went down to Canandaigua and had dinner at Doc's.  Brake pressure is good, no funny pulling or anything when engaged (even during hard braking).


Our friend Dave helped a ton getting everything straightened out, helping me with his lots-and-lots of VW experience.  He told me I probably couldn't screw it up.

Thing at Canandaigua Lake City Pier, Windshield Down

Thanks also to Rob and Susie for polishing up the beautiful, classic half-moon VW hubcaps.  Thanks also to Rob for fixing a dent in one of them.  They look great!