Sunday, May 3, 2009

Preparing for the 2009 IAC visit from Colin

Lately I have been trying to prepare Wilson for an upcoming visit from Colin (AKA Amskeptic on the Itinerant Air-Cooled forum). In short, during the summer Colin travels across the United States and helps vintage VW owners learn how to repair and maintain their vehicles. It is an invaluable experience and I would recommend it to any vintage VW owner, no matter what level of mechanical skill you have.

If you're not familiar with Colin, you can check out this link for more information:

At the time I purchased Wilson, I was a complete novice when it came to automobiles. Considering the experience I had with the ACVW mechanic in 2006, I decided to make an appointment with Colin during his 2008 trip around the country. At first, I was reluctant to attempt my own maintenance. I did not have faith that I could do it considering the extent of my automobile experience was limited to changing my own oil. I was wrong. Colin worked with me and took the time to explain what we were doing and why we were doing it. I still consider myself a novice, but I am much more confident and willing to take on the work myself.

If you are interested in reading more about Colin's visit, I wrote about the details on his web site:

As a follow up, here is a list of the things I’ve accomplished since his 2008 visit:

  • Replaced stock muffler and broken muffler strap bolt.
  • Lubricated front axle.
  • Changed gear oil.
  • Changed motor oil, filter and screen.
  • Cleaned bottom of engine.
  • Treated minor rust spots – POR-15 / Touch-up paint.
  • Started the removal of the rubber fuel lines, but stopped when the rusted outlet line was cracked .
  • Tools Purchased: Actron CP7528 Advance timing light, Actron CP7676 digital multimeter, Actron CP7826 compression tester, and Klein spark plug socket.
  • Parts Purchased (not installed): GermanSupply rubber fuel line kit, GermanSupply vapor recovery hose kit, GermanSupply tank outlet steel fuel line, engine seal, rear shocks, fuel tank, dash light bulbs, valve cover gaskets, Valvoline DuraBlend grease.

Now that I am trying to prepare for his return visit in June 2009, I created a list of the things I would like us to work on while he is here this year (in order):

  1. Replace rubber and broken steel fuel lines.
  2. Troubleshoot hesitation while accelerating (
  3. Replace fuel pump.
  4. Replace engine seal.
  5. Inspect front wheels for squeaking at low speeds.
  6. Adjust emergency brake.
  7. Inspect fuel tank.
  8. Inspect BA6 auxiliary heater.
  9. Replace rear shocks.
  10. Replace dash lights.

To prepare for the visit, I am removing the components from the upper part of the engine compartment. This includes anything that is in the way of the firewall. I want to have all of that done so access to the fuel tank isn't blocked. Time permitting, I may also begin to replace the fuel lines before he gets here. More likely I will spend as much time as I can cleaning out the engine compartment and all of the parts I remove. I'm working with 30 years of grease build up and I would like everything to be as clean as possible when it's reassembled.

Colin is scheduled to be here 9am CST on 6/5/2009. I still have a lot of work to do to prepare and a few parts on order, but I expect to be ready in time so we can make the most of his 10 hours here. I'm looking forward to it . . .

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