Archive for May, 2010

prop shaft alignment again

Did another quick check on the transmission and front diff. flange angles, this time with my little “Beall Tilt Box” electronic angle finder.

Accounting for the the angle the van was sitting at (approx. 0.25 degrees) I measure a downward angle at the transmission flange of 4.90 degrees and at the front diff. flange I measured a downward angle of 2.50 degrees.

This is pretty close to the quick laser measurement (and subsequent trig calc. ) of 2.45 degrees and 4.45 degrees I did yesterday.

Time now to measure it with more care, using both methods, and then to see if I can adjust either the transmission or the front diff. angles so that they are the same.

God this blog must seem like the most boring place on earth… what an anorak I am turning into.

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prop shaft alignment quick test

I had time today to do a quick check of the alignment of my  prop shaft, or rather where the prop shaft goes, as I have it out right now…

I have to reiterate, this was a quick test, approximate measurements only. I attached my laser alignment jig to, in turn, the transmission output flange, then the front diff. input flange. Each time I measured down from the centre of the opposite flange to where the laser dot was. I also measured the distance between the centres of both flanges.

I did not measure any lateral alignment this go round.

What I found was the front diff was pointing down at a lesser angle then the rear transmission, 2.45 degrees vs 4.45 degrees. Ideally the angles should be equal and less than 4 degrees (but not zero degrees).

Here is a diagram of my results:

If you slept through trig, what you need to know is the TOA part of  SOHCAHTOA. TOA means tangent = opposite over adjacent. For example in diagram above, for transmission flange, the tangent of the angle is 100/1285 -> 4.45 degrees. Just do the 100/1285 bit on your calculator then hit the tan-1 button.


Here is a diagram of how U-joints can be oriented:

You can see how my syncro is in the “W” bend form, but the 2 angles are not equal. The angles must be equal, or damn close, to eliminate vibrations. This means I have to adjust the angle that the front diff. sits by shimming the front mount.

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ATZ 87 (1985) 9

German article from Automobiletechnische Zetischrift introducing the Vanagon syncro.  Technical details etc., pdf  860 KB.


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Driveshaft alignment tool

Mark II of my laser alignment tool for driveshaft, more to come if I get off my duff and make a registering strip to show where laser dot lands. Inspired by Herman’s work (see blog role, Herman’s Syncro Project).

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Gets the seal of approval from Jake

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Headlight on warning chime mod.

Just for a lark, I thought I’d try and repurpose the seatbelt/key in ignition warning chime to make it work as “lights left on’ chime.

Funny thing is my van does not have a complete seat belt warning/key left in ignition circuit:

-it does not have a switch on drivers side seat belt latch for seat belt warning light

-warning light unit only has handbrake light and logo, seat belt space blank

-warning light unit does not have wire into connector for seat belt switch (yellow/red)

-door/seat belt warning relay missing

-relay socket  on top of fuse panel), has some wires to it, but not all. Missing black wire from fuse S18. only one grey wire from door switch the missing grey is for seat belt switch. Missing grey/red wire that is also part of seat belt switch.

So I thought I would use that incomplete socket to make a “lights left on chime” circuit. Turn out it is easier just to take another socket and slip it onto the relay panel, less fussing with pulling wires out of the relay socket, which is a bit of a pain.

Anyway, this is what I did… I had a 99 chiming relay, the “do-do-do, do-do-do” annoying tune, a spare socket, and a short length of 14 gauge wire with female spade connectors at each end.  I pulled the single grey wire from the incomplete seatbelt/key in ign socket (those of you with two wires there, you will have to cut the right wire, the one that leads to door switch, and put on a new female spade on) and this will connect to 86 on the chiming relay. See how the relay fits in the socket so you can get the spade connection into the right hole so it will connect with 86.

This is the switched ground, grey wire will connect to ground when door open,  drivers door only.

Now we need power to the 85 terminal of relay. But we only want power when lights are on, right?

I choose terminal G9 on back of relay panel. Its on the right hand side as you look at the panel, a group of 10 spade terminals. G9 gets power when license plate lights get power, so it will supply power to chiming relay when light switch is on.

So that’s pretty well it, get the female spades of both the grey door switch wire and the new wire to G9 in the relay socket so that the grey wire goes to 86, and the newly installed wire goes to 85.

When installed, the obnoxious chime will sing out whenever driver’s door is opened and the lights are on.

Pics below illustrate somewhat, see the incomplete wiring to the seat belt warning relay socket? Only a grey, a grey/black, and the double brown ground are installed.

Edit 29/05/2010: had pics of wrong relay. Of course its not a “99” relay, the “99” relay is the programmable intermittent wiper relay. Proper relay pics inserted.


Boar et al

You know that expression? “it sticks out like dog’s balls”…


Hi-Lift/Jack-All jack adapter

Here you go Michael, my home made adapter I made a few years ago. I cut up a stock Vanagon jack and welded the post onto some 4X3 1/8″ wall steel tube. The hole to secure the adapter to the jack, using a 1/2″ SS bolt and Nylock nut, was located to suit my jack. Nominal location given on sketch.
I could have welded about one more inch of the Vanagon jack onto the box section, looks like I only did 3″. As is it works fine, keeps the jack body clear of the Vanagon body. Note: as in all the pics on this blog, keep clicking on them to get the highest resolution. Most pics are 800 X 600 pixels, the jack adapter pics are 1000 X 750 pixels.

Addendum: you can buy commercially made versions, Go Westy sells one very much like the one I made, Gary Lee takes a different approach, see here.

Update: after taking measurements and pics, I realised it might look better painted. I gave it a shot of rattle can bed liner.

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Horn contact ring

A question on the Samba about the “interchangeability” of horn contact rings made me get off my duff and fix a nagging problem of intermittent horn function on my ’86 Syncro. Someone in the past had made a fairly neat fix with copper wire to form a contact ring, but it only worked when steering wheel at a certain angle 🙂

I had a known good ring on the steering wheel of my ’82 Westy, so I whipped both wheels off, 24 mm socket (15/16″ also works) on nut, and swapped the contact rings. direct fit, no problems even though the steering wheels themselves are different. You just pry the ring out with a flat bladed screwdriver. Pics below show the two wheels and the home made contact ring. The larger of the two wheels is, of course, from the non power steering ’82.


Throttle body fun

Yesterday I decided to take the throttle body off my ’86 syncro (2.1 l), to clean it up and double check the throttle valve position switch. Well it turned into one of those “why did I do that?” projects.
I had more than just idle curiosity driving me, the van had been having occasional lag in standing start acceleration which I thought might be due to the throttle valve position switch (TVPS), even though it had been recently adjusted. I was suspicious that the throttle shaft fit in the throttle body was loose and that might be affecting the TVPS.
Getting the throttle body off is pretty easy, I did find that the two bolts holding it onto the plenum were not tight, I wondered if that had allowed a little air leak? Who knows.
Got the throttle onto the bench and gave it a quick cleaning. Wasn’t as oil crusted as I had expected, someone must have been in here in the last few years. The TVPS had a black plastic cover on it, I had not seen that before. It sure keeps the actual switch nice and clean, see photos.
The bore and butterfly had wear in them, as expected. The design of the TB allows axial play and this lets the butterfly rub on the bore. The pics don’t show it quite as well as I had hoped. But there didn’t seem to much if any lateral play that would affect the TVPS setting.
Using a multimeter set on ohms and “beep” for continuity I check the TVPS setting. it was within spec, but I managed to fine adjust it to fall between a 0.003″ feeler gauge and 0.002″ shim stock. I was feeling pretty cocky at that point, and toddled back out the the van to re-install.
It was then I noticed the little clamp that connects the throttle cable to the TB was missing, argh. I must have dropped it between the van and the bench… probably on the gravel driveway. I spent quite a while searching, with magnet too, but no luck.
So I ended up making a quick and dirty substitute. Mild steel and a 5mm hex socket machine screw. It worked out ok.
I figured I’d blow the entire afternoon and take the crankcase breather tower off and check the O-ring that seals it to the case. The O-ring was as hard as hard can be, was it ever soft? It was also broken. The old ring broke into pieces getting it out. I didn’t have a replacement in the collection but I had a spare breather tower and I swiped the O-ring from that.
Cleaned up the oily mess from all the associated hoses, replaced some sections of braided rubber vacuum lines, and put everything back together.
The van runs pretty well the same, maybe a tad higher idle, will deal with that later. Needs a few more miles of driving before I admit it was all a waste of time 🙂
Next move… playing around with AFM spring tension. Yup dangerous grounds.


DOD corrosion study

Canadian armed forces review paper on corrosion control strategies. Good bedtime reading for insomniacs. Pdf, 824 kb.

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