Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Little Engine That Could, Did, and Is Now Back Home

Some updates here...

Got the engine that I borrowed cleaned up and sent back off to Nebraska.  While I was placing the engine on a pallet a neighbor, John, stopped by and we chatted a bit.  Turns out he works for a packaging company and said he could help me with shipping the engine.  So over the course of a few days he would bring supplies and we would build the box around the engine.  John did a great job and we built a first-class box!  I got it shipped out to Shakey at the end of August.  Here's some pictures of it:
One of the anchors.  Lag bolted in, she ain't movin'!

John and the lid he built.

Boxed up and ready to drop off at the shipper.

Where are we going to go camping?

That's all we kept hearing from Ronin.  The fuel injection (FI) on the Bus wasn't running reliably, running on three cylinders mostly instead of four.  A compression check showed that the engine was still good, averaging 137psi/cylinder.  I drove to Brian's so we could install carbs on it.  Due to missing parts we couldn't but we did fix several major oil leaks: Pushrod tube seals and a sucked in valve cover gasket.  The drive home was slow as only three cylinders were powering the 1.5+ ton brick.

At home I changed out the other pushrod tubes and the engine was done leaking.  Brian came up for a visit and fixed the carbs and got them mounted to the engine after I removed the FI, the engine looks much cleaner without the FI octopus on it!  Engine ran but not well.  Martin came over another weekend and adjusted them for me as well as got the engine timing dialed in better.  Because the Bus is 1976 it has to go through the sniffer test at the DEQ.  Had it been a '75 it wouldn't have required it...  With the FI the engine will pass, no problem, but with carbs I had serious doubts.

Come DEQ testing day the engine failed brilliantly.  Ronin and I hopped into the Bus and hoped for the best.  Before arriving I choked the idle by-pass needles down as low as I could to help the engine run leaner and thus "cleaner".  After finally making our way through the queue we parked in the bay, ready for our test.  The attendant said that, at idle, he was reading 3000 on the hydrocabons which was beyond the 300 max limit for this vehicle.  I laughed.  He said with them that high he wouldn't be able to measure them at higher RPM.  I told him that it was no problem and what I expected.  I left the DEQ station, put the idle by-passes back to where they were, and we went to mommy's work to have lunch with her.

Loaded up and ready to go!

Even though the tags were expired we decided to finish off the summer by going camping anyway.  Long story short, my friend dropped the ball on securing reservations so we ended up getting one night at L.L. "Stub" Stewart park.  Naturally, on the drive there I was followed by a Hillsboro patrol car and then, once out of town and on the back roads, a motorcycle cop!  Seriously?  Luck was on our side as they both ignored us and went about their merry way.  "Hey Sweetie, this is still insured, right?  Cuz if we get pulled over we need proof of insurance otherwise they could tow us" I asked...

The camp ground was quite nice and we set up camp.  We couldn't secure another night so by mid-day we went back home.  The Bus was running un-smoothly (best way to describe the induction system) and the tranny was giving me serious grief.  The two puddles of tranny fluid on the cardboard mat under her butt told me that she really needs to be rebuilt.  Sigh.

So I'm done with the Bus for now.  At a minimum I need the tranny rebuilt.  No doubt it's the original.  Something needs to be done with the induction system, I just don't know what.  I'm still trying to save money so I can get my Jetta's tranny rebuilt and the turbo system installed at the same time since the shop will already be in there...  No progress on my Squareback's engine.  Brian is waiting for me to come down so we can crack it open together but finding the time, sheesh!...

I've decided on the shop interior.  Plywood on the bottom 4' with sheet rock the rest of the way up.  This allows the bottom quarter of the shop to take abuse and easily secure stuff (like shelving) to the walls and have the upper 3/4 of the walls for my paint work since dry wall makes a much better substrate for paint and is more fire retardant than plywood.  Now to find some money to get working on it.  Freakin' never ends, does it?

Yesterday I finally got a few of the local Sport Classic owners in the area together at the Ducati dealership, MotoCorsa, for an informal coffee & meet-n-greet.  Great dealership and the boss and one of the employees each have a SC!
Kimberly, Patrick, Jeff, and Rick.

The End
 (for this post)

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