more bus stuff

Since we’ve been hanging out on the avocado farm for a while, I’ve had some time to knock out a few bus projects.

First, I want to mention that several of our replacement parts were supplied by readers while we were back in the US a few weeks ago.  Thanks again to everyone for helping us out – we really appreciate it!

The electronic ignition went in without a hitch. Since we had our mystery problem that killed our ignition back in Quito, we’ve been using points. For some reason, I never threw them away and have amassed a collection. I will whittle this down to just one. Adios platinos.

Speaking of whittle, I had actually whittled a cabinet door handle part so we could open the cabinet under the sink. Now, no more tree branch and we’re back to steel and plastic.

The new door lock cylinder was a hit with Angela. She hasn’t been able to unlock her door since Mexico. Really – you just get used to it. Previously, I’ve had luck just swapping the pins and moving them around until I found a combination that fit my key. It worked again this time, but I still had to sand down the bumpy spots just a little to make it unlock smoother.

My baling wire fix for the carb choke diaphragm thingies were still going strong (as long as the originals lasted?) But, we got new ones from Benito in Santiago, so I figured I’d go ahead and put them in.

Still, as soon as I removed baling wire patches on two places on the bus, I had to pull out the baling wire again.  I was trying to fix the pop-top front catch bit (it didn’t align correctly and had to be pushed in with a long screwdriver each time we closed the top) and managed to break off my spare tire mount.  It was held on by a combination of rubber compression nuts and rivets, but they finally decided to give up.  Now, it’s baling wire. Use what you got.

I changed the oil after about 500 miles on the new piston set and found that my new magnetic drain plug had hair. Scary.

And, while I was down there, I found that my transmission is leaking. I noticed it was getting harder to shift just this week… and now a leak.. I’ve never touched a transmission (heck, the Bentley says that you never even have to change the fluid – what about after 40 years?) and this project doesn’t interest me at all.

Bus projects are starting to get old. Usually, when we meet people, they tell us about all the great places they’ve been. We tell them about all the places we’ve worked on the bus.

5 thoughts on “more bus stuff

  • November 29, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Love Hate… that’s busses for ya.

    Love being behind the wheel. Love the comraderie of VW folks. Love the subtle thrill of that combination of driving and sailing it affords you on a windy day. Love the freedom of popping the top and calling wherever you are home.

    Hate jamming my head into that engine bay, or even worse going under to see where that most recent puddle on the driveway came from. Hate the suspense of wondering what will break next. But coming full circle, love the fulfillment of figuring it out when it does break (sometimes quickly, sometimes only eventually) and getting back to enjoying life again.

    Don’t lose heart.

    To borrow and summarily butcher a phrase, a crappy day under a VW still beats a good day at the office in my book.

  • November 29, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    I sent you a good key for the lock/handle I thought-guess you want less keys-my 71 Westy has 4 including the engine cover. The tranny should never leak or drip as it is a sealed unit except for the nose cone shifter seal and the two side axle flanges also seals. Maybe just drain and refill with 90 Wt? Loved the door repair/fabrication-space shuttle techno? My folks best friends husband was on the O-ring team for a certain space shuttle fatal shoot- learned the importance of small rubber parts and extremes of weather. It was all as ordered and specced but cold is a cruel mistress. Check the lube on your front shifter-pivot bushing and where it enters the tranny nose. I drilled a small hole in the shift rod tube, threaded a zirc into it and pumped it full of cheap grease-flawless to this day. Remember you salted the whole assembly!!

  • December 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    The Bustache has 4-doors, and since we’ve owned him, only one can be unlocked from the outside. You are so right. You just get used to it! But this post inspires me to get at least one other door working. 50% isn’t a bad average, in baseball or VW buses.

  • December 2, 2011 at 6:16 AM

    God bless you folks that do this trip in old VWs. Seems like a whole different trip than those of us with new-fangled pop-up campers and fancy fuel-injected engines.

  • December 3, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Your transmission look appears to me to be the side plate cap in the flange. I had this happen in Gerty a few years ago because the guy who rebuilt the transmission put an extra shim in there causing the cap to come off. Long story short I was loosing fluid out of the side plate which eventually caused the fluid to go low enough that it ruined a pinion shaft bearing as I didn’t keep up with it well enough. My guess is the cap has just come off somehow if has not given you trouble before.

    I agree with Chris, a bad day under the bus still beats a good day in an office.

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