Archive for July, 2015

I have no idea either

But, might be just a way to have a V12 two stroke diesel on a chassis.


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More figs

It’s a big tree now, but started as one shoot in a half wine barrel 22 years ago. Pumping them out every day now. Some to be frozen till we have time to make preserves. It tickles me to have a fig tree in the garden, it’s like we’re living somewhere exotic.


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Vanagon – soft shackles on tow points?

It might be a good idea, it might not. 1/4″ Spectra soft shackle to be used on the rear tow points of my bumper. On this example I have yet to trim the tails, I need to give the shackle a good pull first. one nice thing is that they pack into small spaces unlike a steel shackle. Note: 1/4″ Spectra has breaking strength of 6,000 lbs. tests have shown a soft shackle doesn’t decrease strength (infact, it can be 175% of single line strength). But, 5/16″ Spectra tests at 9,000 lbs, might be better to use 5/16″.


Here is link to instructions to tie this particular style. 



How about a wedgie?

i didn’t care for the TR7 when it first came out. I’m still not sold but this TR8 doesn’t look too bad. Well, apart from the rear bumper. But who am I to criticize bumper design?


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Earlier than normal harvest

You probably know that it has been a hotter and drier summer this year in the Pacific Northwest. We harvested the first of our garlic over a month ago, the rest a couple weeks later. The plague of zucchini is upon us. And now the tomatoes, hot peppers, and figs are pumping fruit out.



Vanagon – one man’s spanner 

I just received this message from another Vanagon blogger:

“How are you doing man. We’ve been blogging about the VW Vanagon for years. I have been inactive for a year and I really want to get back to doing what I love. Please post this indegogo campaign I have to help me restore the van:–3#/story

Have a look, worthy cause.

The kid knows what’s coming at that end. Shims, seal, end play…


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Vanagon – aux battery, solar, and aux wiring diagram update

Whoops! Uploaded the wrong diagram, hold on….fixed

I redrew my schematic to show changes made in the last year. I dropped the Doc Watson meter, added solar panel controller, and added large fuse at the big aux battery. And I added a 15A fuse on the small wire that runs from the ACR to neg return. It’s a safety in case of an internal fault in the ACR. Also, I corrected mistake in last diagram where the ACR was connected incorrectly to the aux fuse panel. Now you see it is fused at panel. I should make it clear that I do not have a power feed to the fridge cooling system. I may add that later, but I don’t miss it.




Vanagon – rear side marker light guards

i made a few prototypes, aluminum with quick spray bomb paint. What do you think, silly, sensible, or none of the above?


Update, in a way.

Still fooling with the idea. Made this version to see how a swing away guard would work. The proportions are a bit screwy but I like it enough to to try again.



Vanagon – front bumper build pretty well done

I’ll get better pics and notes when I wire up the auxiliary lights on that light bar.




Beauty and the beast

Doing some errands and saw this beauty parked at Owen’s garage in Sidney. I had no room to get proper shots, but oh my, isn’t it a lovely thing? Sex on wheels. It’s in my dream garage beside my DS21, 246 Dino, and  of course, the syncro 🙂


Later that afternoon I came up behind another one close to my home.

Oh, forgot about another fantasy garage member, this Unimog with the hydraulic firewood splitter up front.


Vanagon – hatch mounted spare tire carrier

Last spring I finally gave up on my swing away tire carrier project. I couldn’t get it stiff enough for my liking. I’ll post something about that fandango and my new front bumper later. The stock location for the spare was taken over by the big assed battery so I have been using a paulchen rack to carry my spare. I really didn’t like that and last week I made a quick and dirty aluminum ladder type rack to carry the spare. I’m going to give it a bit of testing before clean up and painting, then I will post more on construction details etc.




Vanagon – syncro doka



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Trip – Cor, what a scorcher!

Headed out Saturday morning with thoughts of the high spot campsite to catch a breeze and maybe see the Fourth of July fireworks over on Neah Bay. It has been an incredibly dry and hot summer here and the forecast was for mid 30C in the area we were heading to.

Started looking for fireworks early

It was hot and for some reason there were a lot of horseflies and deer flies around. I have to get one of the those electric fly swatters. Nearby pond was so nice, warm, peat infused water. Left you feeling very clean and refreshed. We were back and forth to the lake for a dip a few times.

Still looking for fireworks. Well no, actually we could smell smoke when we arrived, we were wondering where the fire was.

There was, and I think still is, a complete fire and BBQ ban in the back country, so we had pre cooked the food for supper. Grilled meat, grilled and marinated porcini mushrooms, a simple salad, all on a store bought tortilla.

After dinner walk and then back for the fireworks. Yeah, you probably are expecting pictures of the fireworks, but Neah Bay is 20+km from where we were and while we could see them, and believe it or not we could hear them, I couldn’t get a picture.


So I put up some battery powered Xmas lights for a small attempt at acknowledging the southern neighbour’s celebration.


In the middle of the night we noticed the moon was hazy, was it fog or smoke?

Next morning about 6:30 am, eastern sky was reddish.

Nice shot of Jake.

The smoke haze was moving in form the east.

And got worse.


At times like this, toast is the answer.

We packed up and decided to go exploring. The smoke haze changed the light in a strange way. Some things took on a sepia tone, but the greenery really popped out. Explored along Braden Creek, Loup Creek, got tuned back at the gate on the road near the abandoned Gordon River logging camp, doubled back to Port Renfrew and stopped at the Gordon River a few km upstream of the marina. The point and shoot camera really exaggerated the sepia tone. The iPad Air II not so much.

Braden Creek


And the very low Gordon River



Canon PowerShot camera really made a meal of the tinted light.

On the way home we stopped at “Shirley Delicious” coffee shop in… Shirley. Good stuff. The new wheel and tire combo worked outs great. The tires have a much, much smoother and less jarring ride than the old ones. Traction was better although on some stretches of road it is like driving on ball bearings. I didn’t notice the slight gearing handicap with the larger (5 or so percent?) diameter tires on the rough roads, but did notice it a little on some steep paved grades.

Oh, and once home we found out where the smoke was coming from. Most of it was from Pemberton over on the mainland. Some might have been from the fire at Sproat Lake near Port Alberni here on the island. An inversion layer in the atmosphere kept the smoke contained. I found this, and I admit it looks a bit dubious, satellite pic taken yesterday, Sunday the fifth.


ATA – something’s missing


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ATA – through the chain link fence

It has been a while since I posted an aviation pic, but I had occasion to drive past the Viking Air building and took their snap through the chain link fence. Boy, sure looks like mid August rather than the beginning of July.

Viking July 2015

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1934 Bentley

Derby Bentley seen locally. Wikipedia article on the type here.