albell

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Vanagon – another approach to wiper arm rivet

Short story, made a rivet from stainless rod. One end with shoulder, the other end with hole ( to make that end easier to flare).

Worked really well. But I think it’s unnecessary work. Both friend and I had the same idea of finding Chicago screws that will do the job. And those screws are out there.

Funny thing they are called M5 Chicago screws, but the actual screw portion is M3. Pictures show better. Oh and you’d have to trim the length a tad. Is brass hard wearing and strong enough? I think so.

Back to my rivet. Here’s a sequence of pics using another old wiper arm. First couple show how you can hold the “c” connector in a vise and pull back on the arm to release hub. Head of the stock rivet drilled out and punched thru. Stock rivet 50 microns larger diameter than the Chicago screw… yadda yadda yadda…you get the idea.

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Vanagon – trying out a wiper hinge rivet sub.

A few posts ago I wrote how I took apart my spare wiper arms for powdercoat. The hinge between the arm and the hub was a steel rivet, had to drill that out. So what to do about reassembly?

Tried something this afternoon. Yeah, perhaps an over thought idea. Turned down some stainless rod to around 4.8mm, with a poofteenth narrower shoulder on each end ( the arm holes are smaller than the hub hole. Maybe it’s the paint.)

Tapped each end M3. I have some plastic pan head M3 machine screws, I’ll get some black stainless versions if I decide this is a good method. What gives me pause is I have to bend the wings of the arm apart to get the shouldered hinge pin, in the hub, inserted into arm. It’s kludgey.

But looks ok, arm moves nicely too.

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Vanagon – conversion table for VW tool 1301

I found this table online and I apologize for forgetting where, I’d like to be able to credit the source. I think there have been posts on the Samba with the same info.

In any case, the VW is used in Bentley procedures to test fuel and temp gauges.

David B. commented:

The Vanagon gauges are electrically the same except for the blinker circuit in the temp gauge.

Gauge resistance ~52R, input voltage ten volts plus/minus a half for tolerance of +/- half a needle width.

Top mark ~35R (fuel full or temp ~130C)
Temp blinker starts ~45R (~125C)
100C touching high side of LED ~82R (OE sender)
90C touching low side of LED ~106R (OE sender)
Top of reserve ~170R (adopted in later models as the calibration low point instead of bottom of the gauge)
60C/empty/bottom mark on gauge ~265R

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Very much not Vanagon – Glock sight mount adapter.

Was asked to make a reproduction of a plastic shim that, oh I’ll get this wrong, sits between red dot and mount on a Glock 99. The difference is, the new one was to be wedge shaped, around 4 degree taper. I had a go, black Delrin, and it worked. Little rough around the edges, I need to find a way to gently de-rag small plastic parts. Maybe a vibratory tumbler.

Anyway, just sitting back and waiting for the rush of new orders 🙂

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Vanagon – quick fix, arm rest bolt caps

Originals were a bit ratty, and a couple wouldn’t stay put. Made a set from black Delrin. You 3D printing folk have an advantage over us subtractive makers 🙂

Ok, bear with me, trying a link to the fusion 360 file, might take a few tries. Grrr, trying to insert model into a frame here, dint have the skill. This link though will take you to model and I think you can download.

https://a360.co/2uSXXHr

Hold on, managed to have a zipped file of the fusion model, to download without going thru fusion’s meat grinder.

arm-rest-plug-v3-1.zip

what a lot of palaver for such a inconsequential thing.

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Vanagon – cheap wireless tire pressure monitor

You must have seen these around. All the usual suspects sell them and I went for one last summer.

Around 30 bucks, worth the gamble.

It has a wee solar panel and function buttons on top of it and a micro USB port on one side ( kit comes with short micro to standard usb cable). There is a sticky type gel pad on the bottom to keep it in place on your dash, and that works well.

The solar panel keeps the unit charged up, mostly, after an initial charge via USB. I say mostly as the panel couldn’t manage to eek out enough current during a one week period in December. Weather was very dull, days were short.

Buttons on top of unit for setting things up. You can have low and high pressure alarm limits, and low temp alarm. Alarm is beeping and display flashing. The display changes from off to on when it feels movement , ie when I open the drivers door to get in.

The pressure and temp senders replace the tire valve caps. There is an additional locking nut supplied for each sender thats supposed to hinder theft and loosening. Of the senders that is, not the van.

The senders connect to the base unit with no fuss, and I haven’t had any disconnects between the two. Each sender has a button cell powering it, I haven’t replaced any yet. I thought the senders stuck out from wheel more than I’d like, but I haven’t knocked one off yet.

For the first while I was obsessed by watching the pressure and temp during trips. I wanted to see if there were any temperature differences between front and rear wheels during braking on long descents. Maybe I saw a 5-10 degree difference sometimes, but as the senders are sticking out in the airstream I’d say it’s not a good way of monitoring brake temps, but you do find out which side of the parked van the sun is shining on 🙂

All in all I’m pretty pleased with it . It sits on the dash, drivers side corner, not too obtrusive and getting some light for the solar panel.

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Stuff found in the workshop – ureometer and nebulizer

In a box of old glassware I have. Yes, I’m sitting on a king’s ransom of miscellany 🙂

Ureometer ( Info on this old medical device here)

I really don’t know what this “nebulizer” was used for. Anders Brand, Vancouver!

Update: more pics of the nebulizer. You can see the fine orifices on the end of the tubes inside. One tube is open at the bottom, the other tube is connected to the inlet. More label pics too.

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Other cars – restored Unimog

Secret location nearby, in for a stereo install.

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Other cars – oh the smell

Been a year, and my brain didn’t retain the model name. But I did retain the memory of the sweet old English car aroma. It’s the one on the right 🙂

Oh btw, the plan is a FrankenAustin resto. Not me, my crazy neighbour.

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Vanagon – Syncro coolant distribution tower

Last summer my tower started to leak. Everyone knows the plastic distribution tower / manifold weakens with age. The 2 wd tower is different in size and shape but same thing happens to it.

What I posted to the vanagon mailing list:

A few months ago I swapped in an aluminum version of the stock plastic coolant distribution manifold. The 2wd and Syncro versions differ in shape but not in function.

I’d always wanted to do this but what got me off my duff was my manifold had the additional feature of a temp sensor plug in one end. This is for the optional webasto aux heater that warms the coolant and thus the heater box. It was fairly common on Canadian spec Syncro.

The temp sensor is very much like a temp II sensor in that it’s a push in device with an o ring and retaining clip.

The o ring on mine failed and leaked coolant. Temp fix was new o ring. The better fix was the aluminum manifold which was easier and less messy to install than I feared.

Bottom line is, if you have the webasto aux heater in the engine compartment of your Syncro, or if you had one and forgot about the temp sensor , check the sensor O ring.

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Dream cars

Last summer I found these beauties. Way back in the 80s I almost bought, well I test drove and looked at, similar station wagon (safari). That one was way too rusty and I was a poor student with no need or skill to manage a DS21 estate. But here we have a lovely pair, someone’s dream sitting in the open.

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Vanagon – parking brake cover, recover

Another example of idle hands. I think it was from model year 85 on where ther parking brake cover was changed from a vinyl boot thing to a hard plastic shield. And on my 86 Syncro it’s the brown plastic. The brown plastic that does not age gracefully. So one Saturday last summer I took some thin leather, got it a bit damp, and glued it to the plastic. It looks fine, some little wrinkles at the hard curves, but acceptable. Have not yet figured out how to cover the actual handle.

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Vanagon – solar panel roof rack prototype

Still being worked on, as is, it’s fine. But front dam shape and side rail shape modified on the next version which is about to be powder coated black. Note that through complete luck, I can store one fiberglass bridging ladder up front. And disregard the clumsy fasteners used on front dam, that was just because… ran out of the correct ones.

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Vanagon – Syncro, Steyr badge

More output from the devils tools. Aluminum, on good friend Simon’s Syncro.

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Vanagon Syncro – Steyr sticker

Idle hands are the devil’s tools etc…

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Vanagon – wiper length difference

Taking apart a pair of wiper arms and noticed for first time they are different overall lengths and different lengths between bends. 28 years of vanagon ownership and only now saw this, ha!

Update:

Close up of part numbers on arms. 251955409

Compare to the rear wiper, mirror image, not swappable.

Photo of South African T3, Same rear wiper orientation as left hand drive. Photo taken from the Samba. Oh btw, my rear wiper part number is 251955707.

Update February 13, 2020. Got the arms back from powdercoat. I had them blasted and painted with slight texture finish satin black. They look really good, pic doesn’t fully convey the nice finish.

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Vanagon – LED headlight H4 bulbs, next chapter, Part 1

Last winter I installed some LED H4 bulbs into my e-code lamps. Here is the link to the last update about them. If you haven’t read that post, and the original install post referred, and you want to know my reasoning behind trying the bulbs, I urge you to go read them. 

Oh and another proviso, I bought both the original and these new versions from Banggood. They weren’t given to me. My opinions about the bulbs are not influenced by any freebies. 

So why did I buy new bulbs? There are three reasons. First one is I was not happy about the radio interference they caused. The interference affected weaker fm stations. It was annoying. Secondly, I wasn’t satisfied about the high beam projection. The beam seemed to get lost at distance. On the other hand the low beams are so good that I didn’t need the high beams as often as I did with halogen bulbs. Again, please refer to the post linked above for more on beam patterns. The third reason for trying another set was that these bulbs come with optional gel filters, yellow. I was curious about how they would work.

Ok then, here are the new bulbs, and here is a link to the product page. Link fixed, sorry about that.


Packaged pretty well.

Similar to the older model ( on the right ) but with some important differences.


Right away you see the heat sink is different. I think that the older bulb has some electronics in the base, the new ones have a separate box of electronics. And notice the difference in the led element, size, number, and orientation.


I’m going out on a limb and say that the newer bulb has the LED elements arranged to more closely mimic the filament positions in a halogen H4 bulb. Interesting that the elements are smaller and fewer but the bulbs are advertised as 30W each compared to the 25W of the older bulb.

The new bulbs have a metal box in the power line. I was surprised it was metal, made me hopeful that the radio interference issue might be fixed. Popped the cover to have a look.


Components are potted, only a cap showing.


I was impressed, I started to think that these bulbs were surprisingly well made. The power line has a very positive and o-ring sealed connection. This probably eases some installs, makes no difference in the van.


The filters, according to the instructions, are self adhesive and applied to the glass tubes.


I’m holding off on the filters for now, but I did install the glass tubes. The end of the bulb unscrews and the tube slips down and seats against an o-ring.


O-ring wasn’t in correct position in that last pic, but here we go fixed.


Another interesting feature is the rotationally adjustable mount. The three tab base is held in place by two set screws, and it can be rotated. There is a degree ring on the base and a witness mark on the bulb body. I did not change the orientation, I’ll wait for some night testing to see if it’s needed. I’m only guessing right now about what effect the rotation would give.

Time to pop them into the lamps. The older bulbs thicker bulb body didn’t let me install those rubber boots, but the new ones did. 


Here is new bulb without boot.

If you remove the three tab mounting base you can push on a boot and then reinstall the base. The boot is everted here, makes it easier to get at the set screws.


Keep the boot rolled back and carefully get the retaining wire bails clipped in.


Then pop the boot.


Ok, so I actually installed one lamp last night. Right away I saw that the beam pattern on the garage wall was tighter, both low and especially high beam. The radio interference problem was still there, grrr.

But today, with both bulbs in, the interference problem has disappeared! Yes, that’s right, weak fm stations now back on the menu. I’m really chuffed about that.

Next to do is swap one of the old LED bulbs back in and do a comparison, take some pics etc. So far I’m really pretty impressed by the build quality of these bulbs, especially for Can$64.

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Vanagon – alternator voltage regulator re-brushing

During the summer, on a camping trip, the alternator failed. The brushes on the voltage reg finally wore out. I had a spare (used) voltage reg on board and the swap got us going again.

The failed regulator was an adjustable unit I bought way back in the early noughts. It got swapped over from my old 82 westy to the Syncro in 2011. It had been working perfectly all this time and I really liked the ability to up the voltage output a little to overcome any voltage losses in the wiring up to the battery and also to give my batteries a good charge.

I think the reg cost around 35 bucks back then, haven’t checked the prices these days. Might not seem cost effective to repair it, but I wanted to. Hey why not? What’s the point of other folk posting how to do it…

Local automotive electrics outfit, Brian Roberts, sold me a pair of brushes for 8 bucks.  Just $8, a little solder, flux, and time, and the reg was fixed.  I wasn’t very good at documenting the steps but here we go.

The new brushes look like this, carbon-like with a braided copper pigtail. The spring is the old one, no problem re-using.


Old brush…


To get the old brushes out, well originally, under the solder, the metal is formed into a tube which is crimped onto the pigtail, soldered, and trimmed.


I found that merely melting the solder didn’t release the pinched pigtail. So I drilled it out. That meant when I inserted the new brush and pigtail I had to hold the braided pigtail…


Pigtail with spring fed up into the brush holder on the reg, haemostat holding pigtail so brush projects fully but doesn’t come out.  Then, flux (rosin) and a good strong iron.


Was hoping for a better blob, but it’s ok.

And the iron? This old Weller, it’s a champ with this sort of thing.


 Same thing with other brush. Then trim the excess copper


So that’s all good. Hey just as an aside, clean up shiny, all the contacts on the reg and also on the alternator body.

Acesss to the lower machine screw holding the reg to the alternator is fussy in the stock wbx. An intake runner impedes screwdriver. 


An offset screwdriver does the job, albeit slowly. But beware, if you didn’t disconnect the battery then you can hit the hot stud on the alternator with the driver. The angry pixies make you jump. Foiled a second attack with heat shrink on the driver. But the pixies managed to nibble one end, see?


Oh, btw, adjustment of the reg is done via little screw.


Dialed mine up to 14.65 V at alternator. But I’ve noticed that the voltage will drop maybe half a volt or so when the alternator heats up. Btw, the multimeter is pretty good for $15, banggood. Auto ranging, back light, big display, AA batteries rather than 9V. Still have the protective film on display, it’s not a thing with me, just forgot.

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Vanagon – another Syncro in Graz

Simon is back in Graz and spotted this Syncro hightop. I haven’t seen this particular style of hightop before, it looks similar to others, but not quite. I’m thinking it might have been originally an ambulance, (but the roof is different than the factory hightop ambulance). In any case, it’s a nice looking van with interesting features. Side note, Simon says he’s seen few if any vanagon’s in Croatia with fancy wheel and tire combos. You know this hightop Syncro would be re-shod almost immediately if it came to North America.

Update:

Thanks to ZsZ in comments, found what looks like to be a match on vwpix.org. Link to the images here.

Here are a couple from that page.


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Identification help

Are these a pair of “cut and hold” flower scissors? 


Only mark is in the hinge

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Vanagon – July weekend 

Doesn’t get much better than this




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Vanagon – more from Croatia

Simon hit a wrecker’s yard. And elsewhere found a hard working 2wd Doka.

LT first


Vanagon high top, postal van.


And the Doka.

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Old pictures IV

Can’t mistake this one, Avro Anson. 

Or maybe I can.

Nope, it’s an Airspeed oxford. Found the markings here, http://www.adf-serials.com.au/nz-serials/nzoxford.htm

“NZ1260 Mk.1 

(c/n)571

(PI)P8864

Mark I.

 Built by Airspeed Ltd, Portsmouth, England. BOC with Unit No.1, Hobsonville on 19 August 1940. Sold to J. Gould from Woodbourne on 10 July 1947 on WARB release number 8629.”

Oxford pics from the net 

Anson pics from the net

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Old pictures III

Easy one here, Corsair F4U right?  Fleet Air Arm markings right? 

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Old pictures II

I’m having a brainstone with this one. Interwar British biplane right? I’m sure I’ve seen a pic of it before but I’m drawing a blank.

Update July 29, 2017, it’s a Hawker Hart.

And, I found this bit of info on a forum thread ( http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?26223-Some-pictures-my-Grandfather-gave-me-(warning-large-pics)/page2). Annoyingly, the pics mentioned are photobucket links and are not showing up in the thread.

“These Harts are part of the first production batch of 15 (J9933-J9947), of which nearly all served with 33Sqn; the exceptions being J9933, which served with the manufacturers in several different trials, and J9947, which went out to 39Sqn at Raisalpur for tropical trials against its Wapiti IIAs. 

J9939 – 33Sqn 5/3/30 – 10/31; to 51Sqn

J9936 – 33Sqn 27/2/30 – 10/31; to 57Sqn

J9934 – 33Sqn 15/3/30; with 18Sqn 9/11/31;

J9946 – 33Sqn 8/5/30 (was fitted with a DC conversion set for trials, authorised 13/3/30); to MKRS 19/6/30 for Brussels meeting, then to 33Sqn 13/9/30; MKRS for demonstration purposes 19/9/30; eventually to 18Sqn 29/10/31 .”

And I found this excerpt of Transcript of RAF Operational Record Book of No. 33 Squadron based at RAF Eastchurch 14 Sep 1929 through 4 Nov 1930

1930
27/2 Hawker Hart J.9936 received in unit
28/2 Hawker Hart J.9938 received in unit
1/3 Hawker Hart J.9940 received in unit
5/3 Hawker Hart J.9939 received in un
15/3 Hawker Hart J.9934 and J.9941 received in unit
.
Ok, good guesses in the comments, thanks. Is it a Hind?


Or a Hart? 


Look at the markings. My pic is J9934, the pic Hart pic above is J9933. I’m saying it’s a Hart in my old pic.

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Old pictures I

Got a couple of old pics of airplanes. Not completely sure of the identity of some of them, I’ll make a guess and I hope I can be confirmed or corrected.

This one I’m guessing is a Short Singapore, Wikipedia entry

And this info (http://sgforums.com/forums/1164/topics/161750):

“The Singapore I did not go into production, but in August 1933 the Air Ministry ordered four development aircraft from Shorts to Spec. R 3/33 for trials at the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment and with squadrons, these being the first Mk. IIIs. The first Mk. III (K 3592) flew on 15 June 1934. Production terminated with K 8859 in June 1937 after 37 had been built for the RAF. The five production batches were K 3592-3595, K 4577-4585, K 6907 – 6922, K 8565-8568 and K 8856-8859.”


Wikipedia pic follows, pretty close match or not? 

And this very interesting link, http://theflyingboatforum.forumlaunch.net/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=534

Has these pics of the same plane that’s in my photo.

And this almost looks like a copy of my pic.

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Vanagon – my van and another van

The other van has 18″ rims, nice big brakes up front ( and they do have a great pedal feel ), Go Westy 2.4 wbx. And it has a list of repairs needed.

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COE Mack truck W71

Might see the owner in the next day or so and I can get some info.

Update, talked to owner. 

(Yes I missed the badge on the driver’s side)

It’s a W-71. Somewhat rare, certainly rare here on the island. This one came off a farm, has the extended cab for sleeper. Cab interior pretty rough but restorable. 


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Vanagon – sightings from Dugi Otok 

More from Simon in Croatia. 

It’s sometimes has to be done,  but I hate so much stuff hanging on the rear.


Factory hightop with the extended height sliding door.


Syncro tintop. Well, I think it’s a Syncro. Hey Simon, clean the windscreen.

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Vanagon – minor changes to old mods

A while back I made an aluminum grill to replace the stock grill on the rear side of the kitchen unit. I made it such that it would house an USB dual outlet and a voltmeter. Later I rotated it so the outlets were in top.


It was ok, never did paint it. What bugged me was no switch to turn off the voltmeter and outlet. So with more enthusiasm than design skills I made another and this time added switches and painted. Btw I used krylon espresso brown which I was told was a good match for the brown in my older westy cabinetry. The pics don’t really show the colour well but it’s darker than stock.


That thing in the aluminum block is a digital controller I’m using for the fridge fin fan(s). More on that when I post my findings about my fridge mods. Yeah you can see a bit of sloppily applied insulation on the fridge exhaust pipe, that’s much less than originally installed. Again, more on that later.

Now I can switch on the volt meter and USB outlet. The thermo controller has its own on/off function. Extra switch thrown in there just in case.

I did make the vertical slots as long as I could, but I didn’t mean to slightly overlap the cabinet. Doh…


Also refined, ha, the “new style westy table on old style arm” mod, link and link, slimming the aluminum adapter down a tad and adding a plastic spacer, ( the red thing, don’t know what kind of plastic, might be Delrin).


Surprisingly, the plastic spacer improves the tightening action.

And back to that espresso brown paint. I painted the little indicator panel on the kitchen unit front face. Maybe you can see the colour mis match in this pic. Nothing quite like taking a picture of something to make you realize just how beat up a thing is, man, look at those dents etc. Oh and another thing, trying this and that to bring back some life to the rest of the face plate. Paint was chalky and faded.

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