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Author Topic: 1990-1993 (FORMERLY 4 YEARS- NOW CONDENSED TO 3)  (Read 98947 times)
j-f
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Jean-François


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« Reply #330 on: January 06, 2019, 20:13:04 pm »

Doesn't this sound like the perfect engine for a street warrior?  Grin Grin
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Sam K
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« Reply #331 on: January 08, 2019, 21:49:38 pm »

There are a lot of parallels to my own VW career. When I was 18, I took a minimum wage part time job at a VW parts store (Smokin' Small Car Parts) that was about 25 miles from my house. During the year or so that I worked there, I'm sure I spent more than I made. I also have a lot of fond memories of working on my car in the street or my parents driveway without the proper tools or knowledge. The first time I put an engine together, I didn't have a piston ring compressor so i just used my fingers and ended up cutting my finger tips pretty badly on the rings. I also spent a couple of frigid days swapping a swingaxle transmission in the street, in the snow. Good times!
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Clatter
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« Reply #332 on: January 24, 2019, 08:27:46 am »

There are a lot of parallels to my own VW career. When I was 18, I took a minimum wage part time job at a VW parts store (Smokin' Small Car Parts) that was about 25 miles from my house. During the year or so that I worked there, I'm sure I spent more than I made. I also have a lot of fond memories of working on my car in the street or my parents driveway without the proper tools or knowledge. The first time I put an engine together, I didn't have a piston ring compressor so i just used my fingers and ended up cutting my finger tips pretty badly on the rings. I also spent a couple of frigid days swapping a swingaxle transmission in the street, in the snow. Good times!

Smokin' Small Car Parts!
On The East Side of I-25, huh?

I remember that place!
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Sam K
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« Reply #333 on: January 24, 2019, 17:58:44 pm »

Correct! When I worked there, it was off 104th and Irma Dr. About 2 miles east of I-25.
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Brian Rogers
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« Reply #334 on: February 20, 2019, 01:27:06 am »

Please, time for a up date.
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Jim Ratto
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« Reply #335 on: May 01, 2019, 19:35:57 pm »

Misfire: 278 degrees @ .050" in an otherwise mild street engine. Spring 1991 (Part IV)

I'm sure many of you have experienced the war within yourselves.... when you know at your core that you've made a real mess of things with your car, but that cheap, insincere voice in your head keeps throwing ideas out that aren't actually going to fix anything... at best the "fixes" from the little voice might merely mask the issue.

This was now the situation I was in with the revamped engine and my choice to gut the W125 Engle out of it, and replace it with a VZ35. What was a visceral, yet velvety smooth running street engine was now reduced to a misfiring and basically undriveable waste of time and money, and 90% of me knew it. The lame 10% of me figured a jet change would be the magic answer. Carburetors are made for adjusting and fiddling with , look at all the screws on them. The ability to turn a screw will of course negate any issues with too much overlap, too little compression, and the intake charge not knowing which direction to head in.

The upcoming weekend, a Goodguys VW show and shine near the beach in beautiful Ventura, CA. All the shows I had been to in the past were always landlocked affairs at a racetrack or fairgrounds, somewhere inland. My brain conjured images of seeing my VW tucked in with the cool cars of Southern CA, glistening under the setting sun, in the shadows of gently waving palm trees, the air perfumed with girls wearing Coppertone sunscreen. Somehow I had to make my car run well (enough) over the next few days, so I could make this daydream real.

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j-f
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Jean-François


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« Reply #336 on: May 01, 2019, 20:24:17 pm »

Are you trying to tease us, Sir Ratto.  Wink
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Brian Rogers
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« Reply #337 on: May 05, 2019, 16:57:06 pm »

I just hope we don’t have to wait another 2 months. I was beginning to loose interest.
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Jim Ratto
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« Reply #338 on: May 15, 2019, 20:08:10 pm »

I just hope we don’t have to wait another 2 months. I was beginning to loose interest.
work and family commitments have consumed a lot of my old free time. I still enjoy thinking about these early days and all that was going on, however trying to find time to do anything VW related is proving to be very difficult this year.
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j-f
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Jean-François


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« Reply #339 on: May 16, 2019, 19:20:17 pm »

I just hope we don’t have to wait another 2 months. I was beginning to loose interest.
work and family commitments have consumed a lot of my old free time. I still enjoy thinking about these early days and all that was going on, however trying to find time to do anything VW related is proving to be very difficult this year.

No problem. Same thing for everyone. Family, work, friends, house  get in the way and hobbies are put on back burner  Wink
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Brian Rogers
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« Reply #340 on: August 20, 2019, 16:12:47 pm »

Just keeping this on the 1st page and hopefully not let it die.
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Jim Ratto
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« Reply #341 on: September 13, 2019, 21:46:04 pm »

VZ35 and the long drive from Bay Area to Ventura

Just south of the city of Gilroy, on US-101 is a slight uphill grade that crests near CA-129 west, and the small mission town of San Juan Bautista, and then funnels into the upper mouth of the Salinas Valley. It was near 10:30pm and my friend Jason and I were miserable already. As we passed the last few exits of Salinas, he had to ask me, "Is you car ok dude?" I knew why he was asking. Interstate 101 in this part of CA was and still is, only 2 lanes going each way, and it's often slowed to 50-55 by the crawling procession of agricultural trucks and trailers. At this slow speed, the new version of the 2054 in my car was absolutely useless. There was now a very wide window of crucial RPM where this new engine did nothing more than buck, hesitate, cough and go through fuel at an alarming rate. I had become silent in my ever increasing rage and embarrassment as the car hiccupped along for what was going on 2 hours now. I didn't even answer Jason, I just stared ahead, wondering why in the hell we were doing this trip anyway. By King City (about 40 minutes later) I had had it. Enough. We pulled off 101 into a Chevron station to get more fuel (again) and I told Jason "I need to change something, we're going to be here for a half hour. Just hang out." In my driver's door panel pocket I had a greasy bag of Weber main jets. In my stupidity, I decided $20 worth of main jets would eventually mask the mistake of changing out the cam. During the week leading up to this Saturday night, I was kidding myself, spending all my time chasing this bucking and hesitation by screwing different main jets in and out of my 44 IDF's. And none of them did a damn thing. But being hardheaded and still not willing to publicly admit I had a ton to learn, I kept trying and re-trying the same jets. "Maybe at this sea level, these 145's will do the trick...", "It's going through fuel like a mother, maybe it needs to be leaned out..."
All of this was wrong and completely desperate.
I stood there in the cold farm air, under the glare of the gas station lighting, fumbling around with extracting emulsion tubes up and out, from in between the air stacks and the A-frame bracket that held filter lids on. Twenty minutes of getting madder and madder. A horsefly kept circling and divebombing my neck. The sound of the diesel trucks entering the highway, the cold, the late hour.... it all just added to the frustration. And I knew deep down inside this was a complete waste of time.
And it was.
Jason had hoofed it over to the Denny's down the street and had returned with a strawberry milkshake for himself and some cheap shitty coffee for me. I hadn't even swapped the jets into the emulsion tubes yet. "How's it going? Is this going to fix it"
None of this was his fault, but I was seething mad. I swear, in that cold night air, I must have had steam coming off of me. All I could say was "I don't f-cking know right now"

A half hour later, my bad coffee was now cold. Jason's shake was gone. And I was thumbing the wingnuts back on the K&N's. I almost just knew it was going to be worse. I just didn't know how much worse.
The long onramp back to 101-S gave me hope. But I had put my foot into it, and there was nothing else this engine was accepting of, other than a nice big slice of wide open throttles. That frigid midnight valley air was shattered by the deep and lusty howl as the 914 tach bounced and jumped around to "6" and beyond. But of course we were back to dealing with the lettuce trucks and the other slow moving vehicles. So it was either down into third and then back off, or stay in fourth. We passed the exit for 198 east, and it hit me how much farther our trip was. We had barely made a dent in the big picture of this night drive. And the jetting change had only made this night much, much worse.
In an hour, we had the Cuesta Grade to contend with.
"All Jason's fault. He talked me into going tonight. He doesn't have one f-cking idea of what the hell is wrong, and there he just sits, staring out the f-cking window. Him and that f-cking milkshake." It was a tapeloop in my head. Oh look we need gas again!!

And we were only in San Luis Obispo.
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andrewlandon67
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« Reply #342 on: September 16, 2019, 18:49:44 pm »

Sounds unpleasant to say the least... Glad you're still up for writing a bit every now and again!
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14.877 @ 88.85 mph

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Neil Davies
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« Reply #343 on: September 16, 2019, 19:59:18 pm »

A mate of mine once said that the more you get into old Volkswagens, the more you hate them. He was several years and tens of thousands of pounds into a build that I still don't think is finished, so I think I know where he was coming from!
Its reading things like this that makes me glad I'm far too lazy to change cams just for the hell of it!
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2007cc, 48IDFs, street car. 14.45@93 on pump fuel, treads, muffler and fanbelt. October 2017!
Brian Rogers
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« Reply #344 on: September 17, 2019, 04:12:51 am »

Thanks for the update. I’ve not been checking in as of late due to health issues. Help keep my enthusiasm up. Got a few more months of recovery from liver transplant before doc will kick me loose. I need these words of wisdm.
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Jim Ratto
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« Reply #345 on: November 27, 2019, 23:44:08 pm »

VZ35 and the long drive from Bay Area to Ventura and then back home Spring 1991

In the last installment, my friend Jason and I were bucking and burping our way down Interstate 101 in my terribly running car, on a miserable and dark 7+ hour drive south from the SF Bay Area, to Ventura CA, for a VW show and shine near the beach. We were using a ridiculous amount of fuel and having to stop very frequently to refuel, and for me to try, in vain, to make my car run closer to correctly. The back story was, I got tempted, and ended up ruining a good thing, by falling prey to the "big numbers" on the page of Engle cams in the old Johnny's Speed and Chrome book. What this means, is I swapped out my good old Engle 125, out of a perfectly running, new 94 x 74 motor, in exchange for an Engle VZ35. Now that I look back, I have to wonder how many VZ35 have actually sold since 1991. Maybe 4?

In any case, when you're in your twenties, and you're having a good time, you're able to stay up all night. Life is good and you don't want to give up the fun in exchange for sleep. But when things are wrong, and it's late, cold and your car is running as poorly as mine was, every passing 30 minutes after 12:00am adds to the desperation. By 3:30am we were within 40-50 miles of Santa Barbara. The plan was to get to Ojai (just northeast of Ventura) and spend the night at Jason's cousin's place. We were probably an hour and half away still. The long stretch as 101 seems to continue south (though in reality, it's due east) south of Buelton is flat and and arrow-straight, skirting the beach and the Pacific Ocean on your right. It's also windy through here, almost any time of the year. Above 75mph in a swingaxle, rear-engine VW isn't a great idea. So here we were, being blown about, managing to stay right in the thick of the RPM range where this cam was making me most frustrated. Steady state cruising was actually impossible, as the engine would begin to miss, then it would get worse and then violently buck, enough so that the glovebox door would fall open. You hear the seatcback beating against the fenderwells. If I just feathered the throttles open slightly, it would sneeze through the carbs and hiccup and then begin to accelerate. Then the wind would kick us out of our lane and I'd have to back off. And the entire cycle would start over.

Compare this to earlier in the story, when Frank and I were bombing down Interstate 5 to Los Angeles, November 1990 and how well the car was running then.

By 5:00am we had made our way NE on CA 33 into the small hippie city of Ojai. The sun was just beginning to paint the area with brushstrokes of morning light. Lots of oak trees and houses with rock walls and shade. It looked and felt like a sleepier Berkeley CA. We arrived at Jason's cousin's place, one of the ubiquitous oak-tree/rock-wall places a few streets off the highway. She had waited up all night for us (wow, now I felt really bad). She also said she'd like to join us at the show and when were we going?
No sleep, out of patience and having spent way more than I had planned on fuel.... I was at the point where I didn't care. I was questioning inside, why we, no, make that I, was even here. I calculated in my head that the time it took to drive all the way down to Ojai, I could have had the engine out of the car and split wide open to remove this big mistake of a cam.

At 7:30am we left for Ventura, which is maybe a 30 minute, mostly downhill drive. The downhill actually masked a lot of the tuning issues with the car. The show was being hosted at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, right at the shoreline, and despite the time of year, and the location, it was already sunny out. The show first impressed me to be a smaller affair, but similar to the Bug Bash show and shine held yearly at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. The difference being the beach atmosphere. As you might imagine in your mind, all the ingredients were there.... crashing, foamy eastward waves crashing on sand and rock, tall palm trees photogenically growing against the backdrop of a cobalt blue sky. It really was a cool place for one of these events. I anticipated the DKP cars I expected to see would look right at home in this setting.

We parked my car and didn't bother with the usual dusting and misting with spray detailer. I was too pissed at the car to care. I guess my only comfort to be found was Jason, nor obviously, his younger cousin had any fundamental idea of how well my car SHOULD have run on the trip south. For all they knew, the car actually ran and rolled and to them, maybe that was enough. But not for me.
And in my foul mood, I walked through the show, not much mattering, not much making any impression at all. Maroon lowered Buses with polished 5 spoke fake Empis and loud woofers, and powder blue Bugs tilted up at an unnatural angle on jackstands over a mirror. I fought my way here for those cold dark hours for this? And there was still the ride back home tonight!!

Across the show area and the crowd I saw something familiar, a salmon-tan Sedan roof with a grey folded ragtop. As we walked closer, more of the car became visible. I now saw the blue decal in the lower front corner of the rear quarter window. It was the coral-red Bug with the BRM's and the 1776, what was the guy's name again?? My friend Frank always referred to him as Fishwagen, but I knew that was wrong. It was the car I first saw in Costa Mesa, then Bakersfield, then Phoenix. Schwimmer! Bill Schwimmer, that's the guy. I remembered from the Hot VW's article on this car and the white Oval and the maroon '67, all with those never-seen, antique BRM wheels. Bill's car was a well-presented as ever, looking as neat as it always did. Like every time before, now seeing it I noticed details about the car I hadn't before. Unlike shows today, Bill's car was the only car present this day which really oozed whatever it was his car had. Yes it was "all business" but it was beyond that. Racecars are also "all business" but Bill's car took it a step much further. Seeing it here near the shore, against the ocean, it really hit me how "right" this car was.
To Jason and his cousin, it was just another nice VW, but that was it. They were growing impatient with me crawling around and under it and advising them of it's Berg DCNF carbs and one-off turbo muffler that I wanted so badly. So we moved on.
Besides Bill's car, the show was a major bore. We left the Fairgrounds by late morning and decided to go find a beach near Santa Barbara to kick back at. We headed up 101, with fuel gauge hovering just under 1/2 tank. In an hour or so, we were sitting on a beach somewhere north of Santa Barbara watching a group of people playing volleyball. By the mid-afternoon I was getting a twinge of anxiety to get headed home. It was Sunday afternoon and I had to work early Monday morning. And the driver home, somehow, I knew would be much worse than the drive here.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 23:51:44 pm by Jim Ratto » Logged

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Neil Davies
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« Reply #346 on: November 28, 2019, 00:03:37 am »

Jim, that sounds like a thoroughly miserable experience. I can't think of anyone that I've ever heard of who has used a VZ35 - after reading that I don't think I ever will!
It sounds like the sort of road trip that could out someone off cars altogether. I think about all the people I've met over the last 25 years who have given up and sold their hobby cars and wonder if it was an event like you describe that made them think "this just isn't for me any more"?
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2007cc, 48IDFs, street car. 14.45@93 on pump fuel, treads, muffler and fanbelt. October 2017!
Jim Ratto
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« Reply #347 on: November 28, 2019, 00:15:02 am »

Jim, that sounds like a thoroughly miserable experience. I can't think of anyone that I've ever heard of who has used a VZ35 - after reading that I don't think I ever will!
It sounds like the sort of road trip that could out someone off cars altogether. I think about all the people I've met over the last 25 years who have given up and sold their hobby cars and wonder if it was an event like you describe that made them think "this just isn't for me any more"?

This was one of many over the next 30+ years! But the good times, when the car just comes uncaged and the time is there to run it around and get everything out of it, it can give, makes me stay in this hobby. As I get older, it does seem more and more ridiculous and in vain, but I imagine it will always mostly be fun. Keeping the car keeps these memories pretty vibrant too. Which forces me to learn from these horrible mistakes.
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j-f
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Jean-François


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« Reply #348 on: November 28, 2019, 22:45:54 pm »

Looks like a good hangover. When you wake up after a too good party and you head feels like somebody is crushing your head in a vice...
Growing older teach you to keep it more reasonable. Must be the same with bad cam choice  Cheesy

« Last Edit: December 14, 2019, 12:50:34 pm by j-f » Logged
Brian Rogers
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« Reply #349 on: November 30, 2019, 18:20:15 pm »

Thanks Jim. This gives me some perspective on component choices. Doctors are about to turn me loose in my shop. Still limited as to what I can do, but I need to get back to my projects. 92 x 76, 120 cam, & 40 Dellortos on CB Panchito heads. Parts are acquired some assembly required.
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Clatter
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« Reply #350 on: December 13, 2019, 22:59:03 pm »

RIP Buggy House..  Cry

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2336189
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Brian Rogers
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« Reply #351 on: March 05, 2020, 21:31:36 pm »

Please, it’s time for an update.   Roll Eyes
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Felix/DFL
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« Reply #352 on: March 06, 2020, 20:34:38 pm »

X2
More story telling would be GREAT ✌️
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andrewlandon67
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« Reply #353 on: May 22, 2020, 16:15:38 pm »

Any updates? Just trying to keep this from disappearing from the front page...
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14.877 @ 88.85 mph

Dreaming of IDAs, planning on paint someday. "Walking Softly and Carrying a Big Fucking Stick" - Zach G.
Brian Rogers
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« Reply #354 on: May 24, 2020, 22:00:34 pm »

I’ve about given up.
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