After better than a year I finally got Kermit back from the shop! Ran like a top, now I need to get a job and save my pennies to get paint redone…
It started with an intermittent right tail light, now things are back to where they were originally. I think Ill take Kermit to this guy in Evanston to get this straightened out once and for all. I have a suspicion that it may be the light switch. We’ll see. I also orderd a wheel and jack for a spare for our upcoming trips in August. Last weekend I went to the Bug-In at Fox Valley VW it seemed like it took for ever to get out there, but it was fun. I may enter Kermit next time, or maybe even Gonzo. Either one would have fared as good as any other. I have found this week I have become hooked on Karman Ghia’s. Maybe some day. They are still affordable. I saw this one at the Bug-In. Not really a Beatles fan, but I find this one unique.
We got into Battle Creek around 4:30PM on Saturday afternoon. Didn’t do much except cruise around and go to The Office, my favorite watering hole in Athens. Sunday was a pretty big day. Clay, Taylor and I assembled the Roof Rack
While we were doing that Dad was working on the windshields. I needed to change the drivers side because it leaks. We found that the drivers side was the original glass and went in in about 20 min.
The pinch well was in very good shape I was very happy to see that. We sealed the rubber between the body to ensure that it won’t leak.
This looks like a big mess, however it cleaned up very nicely with some mineral spirits.
The passenger side was a royal pain to change. First of all it was not the original glass and was thicker than the original. Finally after fighting the installation for most of the afternoon, we decided to take a 1/4 inch off the top of the glass, and it went right in bus.
Finally the trip back to Chicago. We took M60 to Sturgis then took US 12 west all the way to Burns Harbor, In. The speedo is ~ 7mph slow per my GPS. I kept it around 50 MPH as the speedo read and Kermit ran real strong. Probably could have went faster, but there wasn’t a real need. He did creep up to 55 mph but I backed off. I got around 16mpg. I would like to improve on that if I can. I’ll have to look into what I can do.
We were slightly delayed due to a Memorial Day parade. Fortunately, we found parking in a gas station and watched the parade. The boyz had a great time chasing candy in the street. At that point we got on the expressway to avoid the rougher neighborhoods and rolled right into Chicago.
Finally, I had to get this picture . . . . Kermit at the faux Nuclear Power plant in Michigan City Indiana . . . This cooling tower is actually for coal burning power plant.
Went home over the weekend to visit Kermit. Put the new signal switch on and it did help matters at all. I still have both tail lights flashing when when I turn right. I blew a fuse and went up to the local NAPA dealer for a fuse. One of my friends offered to give me a labor discount if he could drive the bus around town! Replaced the fuse and started looking closer at the wiring and a piece broke off the fuse block. That needs replacing. Then I got to thinking . . . hey . . . I don’t have the ground strap connected under the bus. Of course I didn’t think about that until last night after I was already home. AND the speedo cable broke. On the highside, the he started right up and ran like a top! I think Ill go back in May and bring him back home for the summer. Dad is going to put some tinted glass in the windshield and Ill rebuild the windows.
Another 3 to 5 inches today 😦 Maybe I’ll get to play with the snowblower later. Yesterday on the Vintage Bus list, we were discussing snow and Volkswagen adverts. I thought I’d share . . . to bad they use salt here. I would love to take this pic with Kermit!
So anyway it doesn’t look like this can be read so allow me:
A beautiful day to own a Volkswagen Station Wagon
On Monday January 24, 1966, an estimated 262,825,033.74 tons of snow fell upon the United States of America. In Fraser Colorado, a VW Station Wagon that stood out for days in temperatures of 25 below, started up without a tremble. In Scarsdale, a lonely VW was blazing a trail to the commuter station. In Albany, a VW took 8 angry neighbors down to the local service station for 8 sets of chains. In Moline, a VW woman was the first in line at the A&P Steak Sale. Up in Boston, a group of college kids were finding our how many toboggans they could stuff into 170 cubic feet of VW space. A Milwaukee junior hockey team won its game by default. On Monday January 24, 1966 not too may Volkswagens were sold in the United States. . . . . . On Tuesday, things picked up.
How does a German snowplow driver get to work?
Will she start?
I just realized that I have not reported on the trip back to Michigan over Thanksgiving. The plastic lasted until I got to about 30 miles an hour, then the draft started. That was so bad, it was my feet that froze. The heater I bought emitted about as much heat as one does when they exhale, so that wasn’t much good. I wasn’t sure on how the mileage was. I had to leave early (Friday) to go to Indy for a work crisis. I didn’t even a picture of Kermit in the barn. Oh well we’ll be going back over Christmas and I’ll get one then
Well . . . . I tried everything I could do to get the belt to stay on the pulleys and finally gave up. Kermit would not idle either, so I decided to get him back to Grace. I’m running out of time to get him back to Michigan before snow flys. Even before that, the heat isn’t hooked up either. I will try to get one side connected, but I am rather leary of the PVC pipe that will transport the heat to the front of the bus. Well after I got the bus back from Stanley, I found out that my depth perception isn’t so good. He told me that the altenator was a half inch too long and the crankcase pulley was warped (I did see that). I took the alternator from the old motor because it was 12 volts and the one on the bug motor was 6 volts. He rebuilt the carb and connected the retard side of the vaccum. That motor has never ran so good and quiet. Marilyn noticed that the left tail light was out. This morning I decided to have a look. The bulb is bad so I figured I would go to the Autozone and get the bulb, an airfilter and a new flasher. I got up to the four way stop and the break pedal went to the floor and the bus wouldn’t stop. I got it turned around and got him home. I looked at the brake fluid and it was dry. For some reason I had some in the garage and filled it up. The brakes were better, so we went to Windy City Muffler and Alex told me that the wheel cylinder is leaking. So . . he is ordering one. He crimpped the hose so it would not leak anymore and really the brakes work better that they ever have. Not sure what else can go wrong . . . . .
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
Well, the beginning has almost come to an end. In more ways than one 🙂 Woody called last week and said that they had a tornado close to the house. No damage thank God, but he suggested we get some insurance on the bus just in case. I did. He also said that Kermit will be ready for pick up in around three weeks! We are very excited about this. I suppose I need to see about getting down there. We decided since gas is over $4.00 gallon here, I would go by myself so we would have money left over for travel.
We also spoke about the final checklist to make sure we had everything done we wanted. Woody told us he picked out some laminate for the table and counter tops. Very strange . . . it was the same one Marilyn and I picked out, but we were not sure it would match. It is called Aqua boomerang and it is a 1960’s design that fits Kermit’s personality to a T.
Something else interesting came up last week. A person read our blog and asked if I would be interested in contributing a story for a book he is creating. He sent me a couple of samples of what he has received so far and it looks interesting. I believe I’ll write on the Beginning. Which will end once Kermit is here in his new home in Chicago.
There are a couple of accessories that we feel are a must for Kermit. The first is an awning. I remember the canvas ones that we had on our travel trailer when I was a kid that would leak and bow with too much water. Then we got a vinyl one that we could lower one arm during the rain and wash our hair under it. I don’t think we want something like that on Kermit, and I’m not sure I want a circus tent either…. but who knows Marilyn likes them and I may get out voted. Right now I see only nylon ones. I like these. They are light weight and will provide shade and some protection from light rain. The first one I found was from a place called The Bus Shelter. I like these because they have multiple holes around the out side of the nylon for different configurations. They are £110 which is ~$220 plus shipping.. . today. The way things are going it wil be $250 soon . . .
UPDATE: We received a shipping quote today . . . £60.00…. more than half the price of the awning. Although . . . Jane mentioned that I could get the adjustable poles here in the US and just get the awning material and accessories from them and possibly reduce the cost of the awning . . . .
The Bus Depot has one for $119, but you will / should buy the fiberglass rods for another $20 that allow you to make a “dome” top so the rain will run off and not pool in the center.