Monthly Archives: August 2008

Wheel Bearing Replacement

I found that only the driver side bearing was making noise, so last Sunday I began the job of changing.  I may have only needed to adjust the bearings, but since they were making noise, I decided to change them.  Everything was going well until I didn’t un-fold the bottom of the locking washer off the nut and tried ro remove the outter nut.  My the locking plate rest in piece . . .  DAMN.  I thought about buying 2 when I bought the bearings, but no sense of wasting an additional $0.80 on new locking plates.  So almost a week later (Friday), I’m hoping the part arrives. I so hope to get the bearings adjusted today and drive it next week.  We want to take to the Bean Blossom Blue, Brew, and BBQ festival next weekend in Nashville Indiana.  The part did in fact come (Saturday Now) and I got the wheel bearings on, but the wheel was still making noise, so I took it to my mechanic at Windy City Muffler.  He looked and said that that theonly issue was that I didn’t have them tight enough.  He tightened them up and I was happy and was on my way.  So when I got home I loaded up Marilyn and the boys and we were on our way to football.  The bus started running real rough and before long the temp light came on.  I pulled over and discovered that three of the four plug wires were loose.  Won’t go to B&G again. I have an appointment at a real VW mechanic on Wednesday. I really don’t think there is anything too wrong, I did notice that all of a sudden it was hard to shift.  Il try to understand that this weekend.

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Posted by on August 30, 2008 in Uncategorized


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First Trip . . . Just a short one

Well . .  .  I took the Kermit over to football practice yesterday and I noticed a growling noise in the front end.  Come to think about it, it was there on the trip back from Georgia.  After following the process outlined by Muir on the tracking down the noise, it appears that the wheel bearings are bad.  I have to go to New Jersey next week for work, so I’ll order the parts and have them here when I get back. On a side note, I will be going to South Plainfield.  On Kermit’s title, the previous owner before Woody lived in Plainfield….maybe I’ll drive by.  If I have enough nerve, maybe I’ll stop.  Back on topic, I’m a very visual person and sometimes I just don’t understand what I’m reading until I become more familar with the topic.  Speciffically auto mechanics.  The Itinerant Air-Cooled Forum, which is a spin off of the samba, has an execellent tutorial on repacking the wheel bearings.  I will definitely be using this wonderful reference in my next endevour.  part 1 and part 2.

Now as far as parts are concerned, I’m hoping that the Bus-Boys are open today.  For the millions of people who follow every post of this blog, will remember that Kermit is a 1964, but registered as a 1963.  I need to speak with Walter there to make sure I get the right parts.  His parts page lists bearings through 1963 and 1964 – 67.  If not I’ll have to do it on Monday.  It probably won’t matter as we are having a carwash fundraiser next Saturday and Certification for football on Sunday.  Probably not a lot of time to work ont he bus anyway.

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Posted by on August 16, 2008 in the begining


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Kermit breathed his first breath of air in almost two months yesterday morning!  I replaced the starter, but the wires on the correct plugs on the proper plugs and Wala!  It fired up! I set the Dwell to 50, but had a difficult time with the timing.  It is supposed to be set to 5 ATDC, but I am having a hard tme getting it to even set to TDC without stalling.  I believe I know the issue.  I have a dual vacuum distributor and only the advance was connected.  The retard side is looped to another port.  In that configuration, it should be 7 BTDC, which I think I can get. I’ll look at that today.  After the elation of getting the bus started wore off, I noticed another issue.  The red light never extinguished, which is to say that the battery isn’t charging.  Muir told me to disconnect the wires from the voltage regulator going to the starter.  Then connect the positive of the timing light to the larger B+ wire and the negative to the other wire and ground to the altenator.  If the timng light came on, then the regulator was shot.  It’s the regulator.  Of course none of these are to be had in Chicago… I wanted so much to drive the bus yesterday . . . .  I found a place called airheadparts they are able to over night the part to me so I should be on the road this afternoon for football practice! . . . .  I hope

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Posted by on August 15, 2008 in Maintenance


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Motor Update

We decided to keep the old motor.  Gene, my mentor says I need a learner motor to build.  I agree and Il have a fresh motor ready.  It has been slow getting parts, then I went and ordered the wong gasket for the pre-heater tubes.  That was all I needed to begin putting the bus back together.  Damn another 2 weeks to wait.  As fate would have it, the wait would not be that long.  I was summoned to San Diego to meet with one of our customers.  I knew there had to be a place there I could find my gaskets.  Sure enough the San Diego yellowpages yelded a establishment called The Volkswagen Repair Specialists, or BRU Automotive as they answered the phone. They are located at 5625 El Cajon Blvd (no website) and if I lived in San Diego they would be my one stop shop.They had new parts and used parts.  It was so refreshing to walk into the store and get the part I needed . . . . . .

So Sunday morning it was putting the bus back together.  The first thing was to derermine how to add the thermostat and air vanes . I figured out how to mount the thermostat and how to install the vanes.  I used the reference from Rob and Dave’s Air-Cooled Volkswagen Pages I thought that I was missing a part and put it all back together without the thermostat.  Then realized, I was wrong.  Ill make sue it gets on the re-build.

Everything else was going good until it came to the Gland Nut.  Muir shows a guy with a 6 ft poll torqueing the nut.  I did too and ended up putting 600lbs on a 220lb nut.  Took another week to get a new one.  The motor is back together and in the bus.  Got it all tuned up and ready to start.  We all had our fingers crossed and when I turned the key . . . . . .  nothing.  Just a click.  We bypassed the solenoid and the tried to start the bus.  Still no go, but we have good compression and spark.  Marilyn has been buggng me for a key to the bus, so I gave her the screw driver and told her that was her key.  I expect her to get under the bus and start 🙂  for some reason she failed to see the humor in that.

What I did find out is that the starter is bad.  I measured the voltage on the wire going to the solenoid and with the key turned on it read 12.5 vdc.  When I reconnected the wire, the voltage dropped to 8.4 vdc.  I also noticed that I blew a 25 am fuse when I hit the key.  One more oddity.  I didn’t realize that there were different color fuses for different amperage ratings.  I thought they were like Buss fuses (no pun intended) with the rating stamped on the side of the fuse.  Nope… in my fuse box I have all 16 amp fuses.  Not sure what that will bring when I install the proper value . . .  Oh well with any luck Kermit may be running this weekend.

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Posted by on August 11, 2008 in Maintenance