Archive for November, 2010

3 weeks later

Same pond but 3 weeks later (recent cold snap).

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Vanagon clutch and brake pedal assembly

How can I introduce this? Why not just say that after some time the Vanagon clutch and brake pedal assembly wears a bit at certain points and its a bitch to repair in the van.

My ’86 syncro has a squeaky clutch pedal and I know why… the metal arm of the pedal has a hole in it where a pin connects it to the clevis of the clutch master cylinder slave rod, and this hole wears into an oval over time. The pin also gets worn. The result is a less than smooth and silent clutch pedal.

I happen to have a complete assembly taken from my dearly loved ’82 westy that I could work on and refurbish.

On the ’82’s clutch pedal the hole was indeed oval and the pin worn (pic of pin in vise is the original worn one). So I drilled out the pedal hole to make it round again (others have filled in hole with weld and redrilled to stock size), also drilled the clevis hole, and I made a new pin out of some stainless stock. Like an idiot, I forgot to take before pics. But the series of after pics show the disassembled assembly and the whole shebang together again. A close up of the clutch clevis and pin included.

One day I’ll swap it into my syncro (it probably means dash removal, but some rumours of being able to get it up and out via binnacle are about). Maybe before I do that, I’ll swap the brake booster for a larger one from an E30 series BMW (see Herman’s blog linked to the right for details).

Oh I should add, if you are like me and can’t be arsed to pull dash to get pedal assembly out for refurb, or at least greased, then you can try scrootching under the dash to get at the bugger. If you lie across the floor, or half in, half out the drivers door, you can reach up with one hand and feel where the clutch actuating rod/clevis connects to the cross pin. You might have to move the clutch pedal with other hand to really get at it. If you put a blob of grease on your finger you can try to massage it around the pin.




Something you don’t see everyday

PBY5A- Canso waterbomber at the Victoria airport, NE end. Belongs to Buffalo Airways, see the rest of their fleet here.

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Dissimilar metal corrosion expt. – minor update

Took a picture of fluffy deposits on the aluminium sample (after 2 days). See the original post here

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Red leafed Oregon Grape

Every so often you come upon a red leafed Oregon Grape.
Why is it red? Random mutation? Virus? Phytoplasmas?

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Porsche 917

I couldn’t resist swiping these pics and posting them. One of my all time favourite cars, and I’m always surprised at how small it is, the side by side picture with 914 really shows that. The picture of the rear suspension shows the 2 rubber “giubos” (see note at end of post) on the driveshafts, big brothers to the giubo found in the syncro prop shaft. YouTube vid has Derek Bell having another go.

Note on Giubo – from an Alfa Romeo mailing list:

Subject: Giubo spelling and pronunciation
From: “John Hertzman”
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 07:19:49 -0400
Content-type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”
Reply-to: “John Hertzman”
Sender: owner-alfa@xxxxxxxxxx

Anthony White writes “I have a suspicion that the vernacular spelling
accompanies a vernacular pronunciation: guibo, pronounced ‘gwee-bo’, as
opposed to giubo, pronounced something like ‘joo-bo’, following the
pronunciation of Giulietta. I’d be interested to know how others pronounce

In Italy, and presumably in Heaven (if indeed they are not the same place) I
believe “something like ‘joo-bo'” is the first,if not only, choice. Searching
my personal digest archives I found this, from AD7-061, 26 Aug 1998:

“Il Topo recently sent me a photocopy of a hand-written letter, 24 maggio
1986, by GianPaolo Garcea, a singularly literate engineer who was one of
Orazio Satta’s right-hand men as Assistant Director of the Design and
Experimental Department. The letter, with lavish freehand illustrations,
confirms and elaborates on what Topo had previously told me and others, that
“the ing. Boschi had invented and patented the elastic joint (giunto) and
later formed his firm GIUBO SpA, which manufactured the first giubos for the
1900. ‘GIUBO’ = GIUnti Boschi = Boschi joints, and the pronunciation is
(gee-yew-bow or jew-bow).” That is the straight squeak from what is, as far
as I know, the last surviving purebred Portello mouse.”

The person I irreverently called Il Topo in those days (from previous
references to “the oldest rat in the barn”) is Don Black, who had met Dr.
Boschi when he was working at Portello in the sixties. Black’s friend and
mentor GianPaolo Garcea, who was a design engineer at Portello from 1935 to
1982, thus spanning from the late Jano era to the late Hruska era, is the
author of a memoir “La Mia Alfa”. It is a singularly charming work, presented
with the printed text and photos on the right-hand page and the beautifully
handwritten manuscript and illustrative sketches on the left-land page. I
suppose it is an anachronism, writing and engineering without typewriters and
drafting machines, let alone computers, but there once were engineers who
didn’t need spellcheckers, and this book is a window into that world, for
those who may be interested.

Later in my digest archives I found this, from AD7-715, 14 May 1999, from the
late Fredissimo:

Subject: GOO-EEBOS?

“What the hell are GUIBOS? I wonder if you mean GIUBOS = GEE-OOBOS. Sorry

but it irritates me when the wrong names are used for Alfa parts. At a parts

store in Italy they would not understand. Fred DI Matteo”

I also found earlier references to Boschi in letters from both Black and Fred,
but didn’t look them up (time presses) but guess that Fred’s initial chewing
me out as a proxy for Don was in off-digest correspondence; but from the
on-digest evidence it was gee-yew-bow or jew-bow at Portello, and something
like GEE-OOBO at the parts counter.

Ralph DeLauretis asks “Does anyone know why Alfa when they designed the Alfa 6
sedan they re – designed the Alfetta sedan platform to accept a front mounted
tranny? Did they realize their mistake? Cut costs? Anyone know?”

My impression (haven’t looked for the source) is that something Don Black
wrote said either that the design of the Sei either preceded or was concurrent
with that of the Alfetta. It was not unusual for a project to be shelved,
either temporarily or permanently, to concentrate limited resources on a
prospectively more lucrative mass-market product. The Sportiva and Giulietta
are such a pair. I am fairly certain, on nothing more than intuition, that the
Alfetta engine bay was initially dimensioned to accept the V6, which was not a
fresh design when it reached production. But that is guessing.

John H.


Dissimilar metal corrision

There has been quite a lot of activity in the Samba Vanagon forum on the subject of stainless steel cooling lines causing dissimilar metal corrosion in the aluminum alloy engine. About a week ago I decided to do a little experiment to see if I could detect any visible corrosion on a bit of aluminum connected to stainless steel, both in shared electrolyte of engine coolant.

The stainless is 304, the aluminum is 6061. Both samples are 0.125″ X 0.750″ and immersed in the coolant to approx 2″.

The coolant in a 50/50 mix of OAT based coolant and distilled water.

I did a casual buffing of both samples with tripoli, and then degreased. The buffing was to allow any corrosion to be more visible. In the picture, the aluminum is on the right.

The samples are connected by tinned copper wire.

Ambient temp in the lab, I mean the barn, ranges from 7 C to 10 C.

Initial measurements between the unconnected samples in the coolant was, 150 microAmps and 540 milliVolts.

Experiment started at 6:30 pm, pacific time, October 26 2010.

I’ll leave it undisturbed for a week or so, then take pics of the metals.

It will be interesting to see if anything happens

Nov. 2 1220 hrs – I pulled the metals out of the jar and rinsed off coolant. The aluminum looks pretty good. I don’t know if the pic shows it but there is a very slight haze on the surface.

I replaced the coolant with tap water (well water, pretty hard), and set the expt. up again, same conditions as before. Initial readings are:
326 mV and 195 microAmps between the 2 samples.
(I don’t know why wordpress is sticking the “I” up there to the right of the image… I have tried to get it back down, the html looks right to me, but…)

Update, Nov. 4, 2010.

There are a few spots on the aluminium (none on the stainless) that look like a white “fluffy” deposit.