Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Short drive over the weekend (and now a short break)

We took a short drive up near Racine WI on Sunday. Nothing special, just a drive to run some errands. It really felt good to take the bus out and enjoy the day. I really needed to clear my head. I've been very stressed lately. The drive went well, even though I experienced the "hesitation" issue coming home. It only lasted a few seconds and then it was back to normal, and we cruised all the way home.

Odometer: 144608

I've decided to take a break from this site for a few days, or maybe even a couple weeks. One of my cats, Patrick, is very sick and needs a lot of attention. He's now on daily sub-q fluid injections and he doesn't put up with it very well. I've been writing about the cats lately, and I want to focus on them until I'm sure Patrick is doing better. You can read about him, and his two friends at Meezers.com. I'll get back to this site as soon as things slow down.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wilson crashes NIVA's VW Fest 2009!

Camping at Marengo Ridge in McHenry County ILWe met up with some of the local IAC guys for a VW weekend in McHenry County IL. Our first stop was the Merango Ridge campground. I didn't know what to expect from this campground, but I was pleasantly surprised. The hosts were very friendly and accommodating. The camping spots were large and privately spaced apart. Outside of the noise we were making, the place was very quiet. I’d say this is the best campground I’ve seen in northeastern IL, at least so far.

Ryno's 1972 Riviera and Chris' 1984 VanagonWe were the first to arrive around 3pm and had a great spot up front, tucked back into the trees. The other VW campers came driving in over the afternoon. mattg arrived about 10 minutes after we set up. I couldn't see the road, but the sound of the Type IV engine gave him away. We met for the first time and I had a good chance to look over his beautiful 77 Westfalia. Ryno arrived next in his Riviera with his SO, and his friend Chris was driving a custom 84 Westy. chitwnvw came out a little later with his family in the new 75 hardtop camper. Manfred and his GF were there by sunset in the 78.

Wilson, the 1978 VW Campmobile by Westfalia

It was nice to start putting the IAC names to their faces. We had a great time drinking beer around the campfire. We don't get to do this enough. By midnight the party broke up and people settled in for the night. We all planned to get up early in the morning to attend VW Fest, about 20 minutes away in Crystal Lake IL.

Three VW bugs lined up at VW Fest 2009We got a early start the next morning. Before I knew it, a couple of the buses pulled out from the campground, so we quickly packed up and hit the road. Anderson VW in Crystal Lake IL hosted VW Fest 2009, and the Northern Illinois Volkswagen Association (NIVA) organized the event. This was the second year we’ve been to this show and it was a nice turn out. The weather was sunny and beautiful. It was a perfect day to surround yourself with VW buses and bugs.

Two VW Squarebacks and a 412The show had a large selection of vintage Volkswagens, including: Buses, Bugs, Squarebacks, Things, Ghias, Buggys, Rabbits, and a swap meet for spare parts. We walked around the lot a few times, taking pictures and watching the air-cooled cars roll in. I sometimes forget how many VW drivers we have around here, until I visit a show like this. It was a good time to spend with family and friends.

Here are a few more photos from the show:

VW Westy with a trailer

VW T34 Ghia

Chris' 1984 VW Vanagon Campmobile

VW Splitty

Krusty's VW Double Cab

VW Double Barndoor

1970 VW Bug

Original unrestored 20,000m VW Thing

Late model VW Bugs

VW Meyers Manx

!975 VW Bug

VW Baywindow panel bus from Goode Plumbing

VW Karmann Ghia

VW Baja Bug

Thanks to all the people that shared the weekend with us. It was nice to see old friends and make a few new ones. We had a great time and I'm looking forward to the next event!

Odometer: 144554

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Passing on the 71 VW Squareback

71 VW Squareback for saleI've decided to pass on the 71 VW Squareback I wrote about yesterday. On closer inspection of the photos, it looks like rust is bubbling along the sides. Plus, it was converted to dual carbs. The VW is couple hours away and money is tight, so I have more than enough excuses to let this one go. Kind of makes me sad. I could see a red squareback in the garage to compliment Wilson's sage green. I will still be on the search for a good deal on a rust free Type 3. If nothing else, this has inspired me to save some cash so I’m ready for the next time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1971 VW Squareback for sale

1971 VW SquarebackI found a 1971 VW Squareback for sale yesterday and I've been thinking about it all day. I love the Type 3s and have always liked the Squarebacks above the rest. The ad for this one caught my eye and the price is good ($900 OBO). I don't know if I'll end up with it, but it's fun to plan. We'll see what happens...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wilson sputters again...

It's official, the hesitation and lunging has returned to this old 78 VW Bus. While driving back from the Chain O’ Lakes State Park on Monday, the bus started hesitating as I drove through the gears. It was an all too familiar feeling. As usual, everything was running perfecting up to this point and then all of a sudden...

...the bus began to rock back and forth as the original 1978, 2.0L FI engine hesitated for a moment, and then repeatedly lunged forward. It happened at about 20mph in 2nd, 35mph in 3rd, and about 55mph in 4th. It occurred after about 75-90 minutes of driving and only lasted about 60 seconds. The problem disappeared as quickly as it came. I first wrote about this problem about a year ago on itinerant-air-cooled.com (IAC) . Until recently, I thought we solved the problem with the recent work on my fuel system. Here are a few of the things fixed in June:
  • replaced fuel pump
  • replaced fuel lines
  • replaced fuel filter
  • replaced double relay
  • checked fuel tank
  • cleaned fuel injectors
  • checked timing and dwell
The bus ran fine for the next 7 weeks and 1,000 miles. Since then, I've experienced the "hesitation" on three occasions. Each time it was after 45-90 minutes of driving, so the engine was good and warm. It lasted less than 60 seconds, and then it was back to normal. I've said this before, but I need to read the old replies on IAC to reivew the other possible causes.

I'll post an update as soon as I know my next steps...

Odometer: 144466

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wilson drives by the Chain O' Lakes State Park in Spring Grove IL

On Monday we took the Campmobile over to Spring Grove IL to the Chain O' Lakes State Park. We just did a quick drive by to check it out (Sorry, no photos). We drove through all of the camping areas. The Turner Lake South section looked like a prime spot to camp. The spots were very private, each one tucked into own area of the trees and bushes. These sites didn't appear to have electric, but they weren't bad for $12 a night. The state park has several walking trails to explore. There are picnic areas throughout the park. Boat launching and rentals are available. Fishing and hunting is allowed. Check out the links for more info.

I'll have to keep the Turner Lake South area of the Chain O' Lakes State Park on the list for a close, weekend camping trip.

Odometer: 144466

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wish List: Ezy Awning (A7905)

Ezy Awning from The Bus Depot - © 2009 The Bus Depot, Inc., Perkiomenville, PA., USA, (215) 234-VWVWKeeping Wilson stocked with camping gear is always on my mind. I'm very interested in the Ezy-Awning sold by Bus Depot (A7905). It's been on my wish list for a long time. I used to think that a Spacemaker side tent (J14331) would be nice to have while camping, but I've reconsidered and now I'm favoring the Ezy Awning. It looks like the awning would be quick to put up and require less floor space than the tent. The availability of a jackpoint mounting kit (JP7905) makes it even more versatile, since the awning could be used on pavement and without the need for guy wires.

Let me know if you have an Ezy Awning and what you think of it...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wilson spends a day at the beach

Wilson at the beach in Racine WIRacine Wisconsin, the home of Malted Milk, is a small town south of Milwaukee. We go up there a couple times a year with Wilson, to spend time at North Beach. The beach runs along the shores of lake Michigan. I like going up to Racine, because it's far enough away that it gives me a good excuse to drive the VW Campmobile, and I get to spend some time at the beach.

Jack at the beach in Racine WIThe afternoon is spent sitting on the beach in our folding camp chairs, just listening to the waves roll in. This is typically followed by a walk along the shore. I don't like crowds so a day at the beach usually starts early, on cold weekend days or during the week. I enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves, not necessarily the noise of other people yelling and screaming. Needless to say, you probably won't find Wilson at the beach over the fourth of July weekend. On those other days, feel free to stop by to say "hi" if you see this big green Westfalia parked nearby. I do like meeting people and talking about the VW experience.