Monday, June 25, 2012

Everybody goes home.

Day 9
Because of the engine issue I had with my baby and that she’s now running again I can catch up on the events.  I will add pictures later when I have time.  Here we go…

Thursday, 21June2012 (a.k.a. Day 6)
Brian wanted to do some sight-seeing so we got into my baby and headed west.  We toured the Indian cliff dwellings and it was neat to see.
The cave dwellings.

Colorado Springs is a pretty location and the Indians had a nice view.

Grain processing and storage(?) built into the rock.

Built by the Indians as well, the structure now serves as a museum and gift shop.

We then went back towards Colorado Springs and stopped at the Garden of the Gods park to drive around it and take in the sights.  Though it was cool to see the rock formations it was also frustrating because you could only stop at designated pull-overs, even though the road was wide enough for two cars.  However, since people hiked and biked there the right lane was for non-automobile traffic and that meant no parking.  There were a number of people who seemed to be in a hurry so we would pull over and let them by.  They didn’t seem to care about what they were missing I guess.
Me escaping the intense sun under a shady boulder.

That evening we had pizza at the host hotel under the tent the hotel put up for us.  Many people had filtered in from close by and abroad by that time.  The hotel was filling up with VWs and it was starting to look like the Type 34 wasn’t a rare vehicle after all as we had at least four show up just that evening.

Plans were made for the trip to Pikes Peak.  Rich was local and would lead our small group of five cars to the mountain and on up.

Friday, 22June2012 (a.k.a. Day 7)
Yahoo, Pikes Peak day!  The following cars lined up in the morning for the Pikes Peak run:
Rich, John, Keith, Brian, myself, Peter & Dave in their diesel Jetta wagon, and Mike & Jake’s Squareback being towed behind their truck.  I had Sam and his friend Brandon as my passengers.
The group leaving the hotel for destination Pikes Peak!

Rich leading with his Type 34, followed by John in Sophy and Keith.  Brian, Mike, and Jake were behind me.

Lined up and ready to climb!

Brian (vwfye), Mike (Shakey), and Keith blocking my view!
We arrived at the toll booth and Mike & Jake unhitched their Squareback.  Mike was going to drive up while Jake would take the rear in case anyone broke down he could tow-strap ‘em to a safe location.  My baby was spewing a trail of oil and my concerns for her were high.  Topped off the oil and we were on our way.

We made it to the ranger station and had to pull into the parking lot.  Rich’s Type 34 was having issues.  In first gear, foot to the floor, he was barely making 15mph.  The air couldn’t be that thin for the 1500cc engine; our 2.0 liter engines were doing rather well.  Rich decided to leave his car there and hitch a ride with Brian.  We then rode up to the top.
Rich's Ghia resting in the shade at the Ranger Station.

The road was fun with serious hairpin turns and only a few drop offs that didn’t have guard rails.  We all made it to the top.  Having a fully paved road was nice.  We had the rag top back and the we were really enjoying the open top ride.  The top was dirt/gravel and we could see a defined drip trail that led up to my car.  Uhg.   The view was great and the temperature was in the upper 50 degrees F with a serious wind.  We checked out the cog train and got to talk to the engineer (1 of 3 in the entire country).  Got some souveniers, hung out, and didn’t move around much since we were all really out of breath – at over 14 thousand feet it we were all light headed and trying to catch our breath.  I saw a guy with a Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak Limited Edition and we chatted about his bike for a bit.  He had rode his bike from Georgia and said it was a very comfy bike.
All the dubs made it, even the chase vehicle (truck) driven by Jake.

Pikes Peak Limited Edition Ducati Multistrada.

An in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine motivates the cog to pull the train up to the top.

John talking to the engineer, 1 of 3 in North America.  Nice job security.
Photo by Dave Cassel with permission granted to use in my blog.
The Pikes Peak Type III Invasion Motley Crew Contingent made it!
We headed back down the mountain and my on one of the hairpin turns my oil pressure dropped to zero and my oil pressure idiot light went bright red:  Not good.  Now, when going down the mountain you need to use engine braking to assist with the normal braking so you don’t cook your brakes.  With no motor now to assist I had to coast down hill and at every turn out I stopped to let the front brakes cool a little otherwise they would over-heat and fail, giving me no brakes (this is true with any vehicle).  We finally coasted into the ranger station parking lot with every one wondering why I had taken so long.  Naturally Brian and I forgot our two-way radios so…

While the cars were cooling down Brian checked under my car and popped the left valve cover off.  Sure enough, the bottom of the gasket got sucked in and that was causing my oil leak.  We put in a new gasket and all was good.

But still no oil pressure.  Damn.
Photo by John Jaranson with permission granted to use in my blog.

So I removed one of the oil lines and filled it with oil to prime the oil pump.  Still no oil pressure.  Unscrewed the oil filter to check for oil.  Yup, there’s oil in it so oil is flowing.  Then we took the oil pressure sensor from another car and replaced mine and fired her up.  The idiot light went out.  Ah, bad sender.  Cool, put mine back in knowing that I did have pressure, just my sensor was bad.  Easily replaceable later.  So we loaded back up into our cars and headed back to the toll booth.  No oil leaks from my engine, yeah!  Brian and I decided to head back to the hotel while the others decided to check out the Garden of the Gods.

East bound on highway 40 we’re toodling along when suddenly my tachometer drops to zero, my idiot lights light up, and my engine dies.  I quickly turned off the ignition rocker switch to kill power to the engine, threw the car into neutral, and coasted to a stop on the side of the highway.  I told Brian my issue and he was surprised as he saw no smoke nor oil come from my car.  I looked under my rear seat and found the power feed wire had shorted out and a 6” section had fried, opening that circuit.  After cutting the bad section out and joining the ‘new’ ends together my car still wouldn’t start, though the starter would click.  Mike and Jake had shown up and couldn’t help so the two guys that were with me went with them back to where ever and I called Triple A for a tow.  Less than 15 minutes later they were there.  Oh, the temp during this time was in the upper 80s/low 90s.  Miserable.
Photo by John Jaranson with permission granted to use in my blog.
The tow truck dropped me off at the hotel and we began to investigate what was wrong with my motor.  She simply would not turn.  As a last resort after failed other trouble-shooting we dropped the engine and removed the clutch & pressure plate.  The guys held the engine while Brian tried to turn the engine from the flywheel.  Fail.  The engine was frozen; wouldn’t budge.  Not a good sign.

Lot’s of hypothesis were thrown around and two different guys offered their engine to me so I could bolt it into my car and use it to get home.

Saturday, 23June2012 (a.k.a. Day 8)
This is the day where we all meet at the park, the ‘official’ gathering.  Brian and I got up at our usual early time (because no hotel curtain we know of can keep the sunlight out) and head out to the park to claim the gazebo and unhook the cable that blocked the access road, allowing all of the Type 3s to park in a row and closer to the gazebo (all other vehicles had to park in the normal parking lot).
A pair of 1500 Club Notchbacks from...get this...CALIFORNIA!
Jim Adney's tech session:  How carburetors are superior to fuel injection.  Just kidding, it was on trouble-shooting fuel injection.
Brian counting the donation money.
Photo by Dave Cassel with permission granted to use in my blog.
The Invasioners.
Though the weather was hot (upper 90s) everyone had a good time.  Cars and owners got to meet and chat with each other.  Jim Adney gave his fuel injection tech session and we had the silent auction for Type 3 / VW stuff.  Pedro, Jack, and their boys came up from Sad Diego, CALIFORNIA, with their 1500cc Notchback in showroom condition and drove it around.  Saw some new cars and faces.  It was a really good time.  It was there that we decided to use Shakeys (Mike and Jake’s) engine, our Option B, because it would basically be a plug-n-play install into my car as our Option A engine would require my flywheel, engine hanger, and probably the fan housing which would be more work and thus time.
Towards the evening when the temps were a little lower we dropped Shakey’s engine in the hotel parking lot and put it into my baby.  Lots of on-lookers and help…a kind of unscheduled tech session.  It was past midnight and we were very tired so I hit the starter and the engine turned over – YEAY!  We didn’t try to start it as there was some wiring I would need to do but that would easily be done in the morning.  The engine spun and that’s all we needed.

Sunday, 24June2012 (Day 9)
Since Shakey’s engine has an alternator on it, hooking it into my electrical system was a snap.  After a couple cranks the engine was purring right along.  Brian and I drove her to the park for the Sunday 1/2-day gathering and when we arrived we were greeted by everyone cheering.  It was a good feeling to be functional again.

Many people were leaving Sunday, thus it being a 1/2-day.  So nothing special went on, just lots of talking.  Brian needed to hit the pharmacy so we then went to Walmart to pick it up.  When we got back to my baby and tried to start her she wouldn’t catch, just crank.  Brian diagnosed the problem as vapor lock, which made perfect sense in the +100 outside temps.  He got some water from the store and poured it on the fuel pump and lines.  That cooled the fuel down, removing the air bubbles, and she fired right up.  Whew!

Later that evening I took the muffler and full-flow oil filter loop off my engine and we loaded my engine into the back of my baby.  The car is in full-cargo mode, meaning the back seat is down, so my engine can rest forward the rear wheels.  She’s ready for home.

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