Category Archives: Vanagon Shenanigans

Just another Larry weekend

And that transmission in the bus video below DID work!

Other than the mundane stuff, like a new clutch on an MK4 Jetta that no one wants to hear about, it was a pretty successful weekend with progress made. The engine is on the floor now, but we just never got around to firing it this weekend. More to come on that, and a super special awesome new TLR toy to unveil!

One car of note was the ’82 Van. Folks, if your sunroof is not opening easily or correctly, don’t just crank on it until it gives. You know what happens? The gear strips out, or in this case, completely broke a tooth off. Luckily we hoard VW parts and happened to have an extra gear for it! But that doesn’t fix the messy, gooey awfulness of so many years of cable neglect. Even worse, the at-least-a-decade-old silicone. OH the silicone! This is another lesson on sunroofs, if its leaking somewhere, chances are that the drains are plugged. You must snake those out (I used a speedo cable). Did the previous owner do that? Nope, I am not that lucky. What they DID do was apply copious amounts of clear silicone in the channels and bridging the entire sunroof to roof-line. At least an entire tube’s worth, if not more. No amount of scraping, razoring, or heat-gunning removes it completely so I resigned myself to the grinder with the sanding disc and the orbital sander. At that point, I just sanded the whole unit to metal to take care of the worst of it. The worst of it being, of course, silicone actually does the opposite and TRAPPED moisture along the bead, so the poor sunroof was plagued by random areas of flaky rust along the edges. Lesson for today: don’t use silicone, people.

A quick coat of primer applied (still wet in this picture) to the sunroof.

A quick coat of primer applied (still wet in this picture) to the sunroof.

Rail and cable maintenance as well as cleaning MORE silicone from the Van itself to come later. 😛

Next came the ’67 Bug that needed a look-over and pre-sale fixes. Originally we planned for minor things we had been told about – diagnosing and fixing the weird sound in the tunnel when the clutch pedal was pressed, a head torque/valve adjustment, and possibly a carb adjustment. After driving it and then putting it on the lift, it turns out the ball joints had been installed upside down, the nuts on the shocks weren’t tightened (none of this was by the current owner), the carbs are way out of adjustment, the timing is off, the pedals are in terrible need of grease, the shift coupler and bushings were broken and/or missing, the brakes have the ORIGINAL lines on them and they are ballooning to cause a weird pedal/braking, and the clutch tube was broken in the middle and end of the tunnel. Arts and crafts were extended by many hours!

Arts and crafts with Larry G! Fixing the clutch tube and putting in a brace so it won't happen again.

Arts and crafts with Larry G! Fixing the clutch tube and putting in a brace so it won’t happen again.

And SURPRISE! Another racecar! Actually it was a surprise. Originally our friend Tony Bond was coming to take the 5/1600 we had used the link-pin suspension and parts from for the Thing project and drop off a 2332cc engine to be rebuilt. When he arrived, he asked if we could get old veteran 1007 running again! Since it’s here already…yes?

Sportsman class 1007.

Sportsman class 1007.

1007 in a more recognizable form in 2011 at the VORRA Prairie City short course races. We have clearly upgraded cameras since then.

1007 in a more recognizable form in 2011 at the VORRA Prairie City short course races. We have clearly upgraded cameras since then.

Since it's no fun to move race cars with flat tires and REALLY stiff steering, here's the obligatory Justin Case photo for the weekend, who actually had to work for a living.

Since it’s no fun to move race cars with flat tires and REALLY stiff steering, here’s the obligatory Justin Case photo for the weekend, who actually had to work for a living.

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder…

Absence of course, being posts here.

But an absence of posts doesn’t mean we are idle! There’s been a lot going on and we simply didn’t post it. I suppose an update is in order after months (!) of ignoring this site. Apologies for that, by the way. And it must be said – we really miss giving you guys race updates, and most certainly being in the races of said updates.

Do you remember our February post about the newly acquired VW Thing? We did indeed POR-15 that new pan and do a little more work on it, like custom-fitting the bus transmission. Funny thing, we used the pan after we fit the transmission to it to start Kenyon Whetsell’s #1147 (Optimized Motorsports Group) engine, which you can read about here. This weekend the link-pin race suspension and rear trailing arms came out of the retired racing 5/1600 Baja, and installing the new torsion bars we’ve collected. It’s a slow project. So here are some pictures to bring you up to date.

Seeing as the theme is simply just this weekend’s work, here is a photo of Charles Knight’s engine we are almost finished with. This is going into a 1961 Ragtop Bug. You may recognize Charles from Ruffhaus Hotdog Co. and his gorgeous black and white split window bus turned hot dog van.

1835cc

1835cc

Then there’s this 1982 Diesel Vanagon that we thought deserved a new life, on the road. It has served us well as a hay barn since we bought it a couple of years ago (seriously, vans are great hay barns and even have lights) but it really is time for it to find its voice again. It last ran in 1999 until it blew the engine with the previous owner. So with the procurement of a donor diesel Jetta, you can expect to see a running, driving, professionally upgraded Vanagon soon. One that, you know, will go faster than 35mph on a grade and is water-cooled.

It was used for a time as a hay barns. Vans make great hay barns.

It was used for a time as a hay barns. Vans make great hay barns.

Diesel Jetta donor car.

Diesel Jetta donor car.

This lovely van had its radiator and fan removed today too.

This lovely van had its radiator and fan removed today too.

Of course these updates by no means are the only thing we have done. It’s simply what I have photos of, or is any kind of substantial update. No one wants mundane pictures of a 1973 Suburban fuel tank drop to replace cracked fuel lines and update to an electric fuel pump, radiator replacement on a 2003 VW Jetta wagon, upholstery cleaning on a 1998 Jetta Wolfsberg, a 1993 VW Fox radiator installed into a 1964 Case 310 Backhoe, replacing a keyway on the slider of a transmission, etc. etc.

And I leave you with this jewel.

Bus on the lift. It hasn't moved in almost 15 years. We moved it with two jacks and both of us pushing/pulling.

Bus on the lift. It hasn’t moved in almost 15 years. We moved it with two jacks and both of us pushing/pulling.

Swing axle transmission installed, among other things. It finally rolls on its own again.

Swing axle transmission installed, among other things. It finally rolls on its own again.

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Vanagon Shenanigans – In The Dark

We’ve been busy as usual…finishing out the summer/fall projects to welcome the fall/winter projects! Namely, we are pleased to once again be working with Meek Racing #1142 (Dave Meek) and CBCFS Racing #1116 (Paul Nauleau) to assist in their preparation for the 2015 racing season.

But to give everyone a smile on their face today, here is some video of what we did last night. Because sometimes you just need to take a donut break.

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