July 20, 2015

Livingston Fastback

Our conversation was as follows.
Me: Is that a '67?
Him: '66.
*** *** ***

The post about Colin's visit ended on a cliffhanger which I didn't resolve. Another thing I didn't do was take pictures of the resolution. Here's a bunch of text about the resolution.
What I said, that Ludwig wouldn't start the day after Colin left, wasn't true. He started. He got me to the KOA so I could shower but he ran funny the whole time. After the shower he struggled to start and wouldn't stay running. I gave up--the KOA people weren't too happy about me futzing with him in front of their store--and called a wrecker. He was unceremoniously plunked down behind the library. As the points' gap was fine I blamed the condenser, the only other new component, and ordered another. But something didn't jive...there was spark at the coil. Attentive readers of my online thread said it sounded like a fuel problem, not an ignition problem. The instructions were to check that the fuel pump was running by jumping a wire from its power source--the connection at a fuse that also runs the heater blower fan--to the relay Colin and I installed last year which prevents the fuel pump from running when the engine isn't. Something was weird at the hot end of my jumper though. The wire into the fuse just fell off! Well, shit. That's it of course: the fuel pump wasn't getting power, or at least not consistent power, due to the bad connection. And Ludwig'd start after sitting all night because the tank was gravity-filling the carb bowls and he'd run just fine for the minute it took to use up the gas in the bowls, then that was that. The old condenser was cannibalized for its spade connector and a small length of wire. Power now had a solid path to the pump. Carbs primed with fuel, he fired right up and ran mightily.
Until last week, when he alla sudden didn't want to go into gear with the engine running. Long story short: adjusting the clutch seemed to do the trick.

July 16, 2015

New Shoes

Ludwig's fronts now match his backs. The tire place confirmed it: those are the smallest commercially available truck tires in North America.

July 10, 2015

IAC 2015 (Round 8)

It was weird not having Melissa or E around for Colin's appointment this year, the first time in eight years. Among other things, it meant no one besides ourselves was available to take pictures. My only shot is immediately below, the rest are Colin's.

Given that I'm living out of Ludwig during the week, my overriding concern was dependability. The acuity of this concern increased dramatically a week and-a-half before Colin arrived as Ludwig ceased starting. We installed a new starter which neither of us like but it starts for now. Why didn't we like it? Well, usually a starter needs to be connected to the Muirian hot start relay after it has a few years under its belt. This one needed help right away. The rebuilt Bosch it replaced lasted only three years. Conclusion: unless you wanna pay for a boutique unit, any starter you get is gonna suck.

We replaced Ludwig's center pin, integral to the steering. Colin said it was the worst he'd ever seen (left). He left me instructions to replace another part after which Melissa and I will have to adjust to entirely non-sloppy steering.

Getting the new center pin's bushings in was onerous. Usually new parts fit crappily loose. These fit crappily tight. Nothing fits anymore because no one cares anymore, but then why would they? Thanks hippie wannabes. We shaved some material off the new bushings with a cylinder hone. Ghosts of dead German engineers wept.

We replaced the points (pitted) and condenser (probably the cause of the pitting), and set the timing. I adjusted the valves where we discovered Ludwig has the fancy Porsche-style elephant foot adjusters. How didn't I notice this before? Because I can be pretty clueless, that's how.

Colin clearly cropped this photo to head off any accusations of fostering a gut.

Once the work was done we sat back to enjoy some very fine and very cold beer, courtesy of Belle Plaine. (Thanks again BP.) Colin drove off to Missoula and I hit the sack in Ludwig behind the library.

And then the next day, Ludwig wouldn't start*.

*This is by no means a criticism of Colin's help (you'll see).

July 8, 2015

I Bleed Blue

E is showing her incredulity at my assertion that this thing, in its blue heart, is a Beetle.

July 7, 2015

Anaconda ACVWs