Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tools of the trade

I thought I would post up a few pictures of (most of)  my hand tools that I use working on this car, and many others.  I can almost remember when I bought each one and why.  I'm not that vain, I was just cleaning out my toolbox and I decided to take a picture..

The newest addition is a Craftsman 36mm, 1/2" drive socket for taking off wheel nuts and the gland nut.  I also picked up a new 3/8" drive ratchet.  I thought I had lost my normal one, but held out hope that I would find it so I didn't want a duplicate just yet.  This one is articulated and quite long.  We'll see how well it works.

I, of course, found my normal 3/8" ratchet the next day.

Looking through the table you can see several things.  I like the Craftsman quick release teardrop ratchets, from 1/4 to 1/2" drive.  I also have the accompanying sockets, standard depth.  I don't really have any deep sockets and I haven't noticed that I'm missing anything.  I also have a mostly complete set of metric wrenches  - lost a few over the years.  I have a 3/8" set of metric hex bits.  These are great to have instead of normal Allen wrenches.  

You can also see pullers for tie rods and ball joints, hammers, and a bunch of Torx and Triple square bits.  These things are annoying to keep up with but definitely useful on European cars.  One thing I do is try and keep my tools clean and more or less organized.  I hate picking up a dirty wrench.

Sunroof Cleaning

I took the time today, between rain showers, to pop the roof off the Super.  Thankfully I do not have a headliner installed.

I was able to pop the 4 drain hoses loose and blow them out with my compressor.  They were packed full of pine needles like everyone else's on the internet.  I got a nice blast of mostly compost out of one.  It had clogged to the point that when I unfastened the plug it spilled a few ounces of water everywhere.
You can see a poor attempt at highlighting the drain tube.  There are 2 in the back.  Both of them were badly clogged.  There are also two in the front but they weren't bad, probably owing to the increased accessibly
You can see the front doesn't have much good going on either.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Brake work

Well, I decided to take the front brakes apart because the pedal was entirely too soft.  I wanted to see what sort of shape the shoes and brake hardware were in.

Good news is that the shoes have plenty of material on them.  The wheel cylinders don't leak; however I will probably replace them since I have the brake drums off.  I would like to turn the drums regardless since they looked a little rough on the inside.

The stupid star nuts, aka brake adjusters, were really well stuck.  There was no way to adjust them.  I ended up pounding them out with a drift.

I did an inspection on the ball joints and tie rod ends.  They both seemed solid.  The strut mounts weren't in perfect shape but I will probably put some other things ahead of it.

I just ordered some new star-nuts and man they're not cheap.  I will make sure to put anti-seize on the new ones!

I left the axle stubs covered in plastic bags since I will be unable to finish putting it together.  The new parts are ordered but of course will take a little while.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Learning Opportunities

Hi, this is Katy; I'm the co-owner of the Super Beetle that this blog is chronicling.

Yesterday we learned a valuable lesson: don't take a 71 Super Beetle with a sunroof through the drive through car wash.

This is my front after the carwash.

And my back.
For some reason Zach didn't want me to put a picture of his wet butt on the blog.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Oil Change No. 1

It's not Texas Tea

Well, this is about the only thing an antifreeze jug can be used for on a Beetle.  Yes, I cut a whole in the middle of the jug to use it as a drain pan.  It has a better seal than any of those black plastic pan-jug setups I've owned over the years.
You can see the engine better in the two pictures below.  The air cleaner is totally crooked.  It seems broken.  There is also a free pair of vice-grips.  It looks to be holding the EGR pipe on.

I did not remove or replace the strainer as I could not find one locally.  I did want to get the oil itself changed.  It was quite black.  I'll change it again shortly when my strainer comes in and I can replace it.

Short term goals

Some short-term goals for the Super are:
  1. Assess the brakes, replace parts as needed.
  2. Clean it up, inside and out
  3. Repair the generator.  Currently the battery only reads 12.7v while running, so I think the generator is not charging the battery.  I may be able to get away with just brushes but I am not hopeful.  The commutator looks pretty worn.
  4. Adjust the valves, replace plugs, set ignition timing
  5. Evaluate fuel system, add another filter
  6. Go through the front suspension
  7. Go through the rear suspension
  8. Get familiar with everything
I also need to find my 3/8" drive ratchet!  I am doing everything with a speeder wrench and it's a little bulky.

The Beginning

This goal of this is to be a successful blog about my dealings with my wife and I's Super Beetle.

First and foremost, here is a picture some 30 minutes before I bought it.
The color is some lime green.  I haven't found a paint code in brochures.  I think this car started life as Iberian Red based upon some flaking paint.  We shall see more of that later I am sure.

Here is another picture of the Super next to my Aunt-in-law's red convertible New Beetle.  It shows how lime green this car is.  The odometer reads 44,000mi.  I am guessing it is in actuality at 144000.  The engine is code AH and it is a 1971.  According to The Samba the AH is from 1973-1974, so I am guessing this is the second motor in this car and is good for 46 gross HP.  It has a 4 speed manual.

In short, it is a running, driving car that needs some work.  I hope to show that work here.