Sunday, May 8, 2016

Special Type 34 Parts, Part 2 - Turn Signal Lever

I sold two of these Type 34 turn signal levers this past week, but I thought I'd post a couple of pictures and add a few words about their specialness.  I've previously referred to this part in another blog post here.  If you don't have one for your Type 34--or, possibly break one unexpectedly, then you eventually discover how difficult sourcing a replacement can be.  Some folks install a regular Type 3 part as a temporary fix, but this soon becomes a semi-permanent fix.  Personally, I've got my spare Type 34 part, however realized that hoarding two additional spares is ridiculous.  To move them out, all it took was the mention of their availability, so it appears that the demand for them is there.  This is one of those special Type 34 parts that takes a beating over its lifespan and might need replacement, even on seldom used vehicles.

At the beginning of the year, I exchanged emails with Lee Hedges concerning the reproduction of certain Type 34 parts that would benefit the community.  Strangely, this particular part never came up in our discussions.  It's not only a functional part of any car, but it's also a safety related part.  I'll admit that workarounds are available.  I've seen folks have broken levers somewhat successfully repaired (welded), I've seen hack-jobs involving a short length of wood and duct tape, and I've seen the aforementioned 'Type 3 solution' implemented.  The Type 3 part actually leaves more than an inch-wide gap between the top edge of the upper steering column and the lower edge of the steering wheel and is a bit unsightly, but it works--if you can reach far enough, because the lever is at least an inch further away from the steering wheel, which may put it just a bit out of reach for some.  The reason for this is because the actual steering column shaft itself is about one inch longer on the Type 34 than it is on the Type 3.  You could retrofit the steering column from a Type 3 onto a Type 34, but that would put the steering wheel about an inch further away.  Maybe not a big deal for some...but again, that's a bit of a reach for others.

With the number of new or reproduction parts needed for the Type 34, I guess I might put this part a fair ways done the list in priority for reproduction.  I just hope someone stumbles upon a big stash of NOS units someday, puts them up for sale at a reasonable price, thus satisfying the demand. 

Yeah...right--like that will ever happen.

Koni Shocks


About a year ago Shock Warehouse spammed my email inbox with some schlock related to a special sale they were having.  And I bought it hook, line and sinker, too!  KONI !!!

So...yeah...I splurged and bought the Nautilus a round of Koni's.  Of course, the Beetle and Karmann Ghia are clearly listed in their online sales catalog, as is the Type 3 Fastback.  But as usual, not a hint or whiff of the Type 34 Karmann Ghia.  Fortunately, all of these cars get the exact same Koni Classic 'D' Shocks, with their catalog listing part number '80 1349' for the front, and '80 1350' for the rear.  Since the part numbers are the same for the Nautilus (Type 34) and Winston (Type 14), I could actually use these with a clear conscience on Winston, while also maintaining 'the Dutch vibe' already present on that car because Koni Shocks are made in Holland.  That's cool.  When his engine is complete, I might just do that.  Because KONI !!!

The Shock Warehouse transaction was smooth and fast.  I like this company.  Because there is always a downside in anything I write about in this blog, there was a rather small downside with this transaction that I must share, and which had absolutely nothing to do with Shock Warehouse.  It has to do with Koni and their product packaging.  These Koni Classic 'D' shocks ship with a 'vintage-like Koni Classic' sticker, inside a rather generically sized box that doesn't exactly mitigate the over 5 inches of empty space that allows the shock to slide freely about.  Evidence of product shifting was the red-orange Koni shock paint present in various places inside each box.  As a result, only 1 of these stickers emerged from the packaging unscathed.  And by unscathed, what I really mean is folded in half.  The others were either completely off their backing paper and stuck to the inside of the box, or somehow creatively stuck to the shock itself.  Removing the stickers essentially damaged them beyond re-usability.

Now...some might say "So what?"  But, I would say, "I PAID FOR THAT! And no amount of money can buy that kind of quality!"  My point was sort of reinforced when I went out and tried to source replacement stickers.  Some Porsche shops were actually charging $20.00 EACH for these.  All expletives aside, that's robbery and required that I continue to look around until I either found them for free from Koni, or found some reasonably priced alternative.  Said reasonable alternative--Paragon Parts--provided me with five of them for $13.95, shipped.  Maybe a bit of OCD on my part, but I now have something nice to apply to my shocks, above and beyond that which Mother Nature will eventually plaster to them.

Why Koni's?  5 adjustment settings for tuning.  Known product quality.  No known compatibility issues.  Super-cool orange-red paint and decals.  I'm all set.

Building a power plant for the Nautilus, Part 3

I took the crank, rods, flywheel, pressure plate, fan, pulley and pistons to Denver Balancing last Thursday to have them dynamically balanced.  I also left them with the engine case and main bearings, asking that they be taken to Painters Grinding to have case clearancing for the 74mm crank and piston spigots to ensure the dome top piston skirts clear.  I've done a lot of non-precision case grinding here lately, but it made a freaking mess to my workspaces in the garage and the results look a bit amateurish.  The 'D' hole for the breather hole in the engine case for the 1500S was incorrectly done by RIMCO and the metal baffle plate wouldn't set flat on the block.  Also, the immediate shelf area inside the case was not cut through.

I tried to get several shops to handle this entire job for me, but no one locally would.  I finally sent the case off to RIMCO for some work, but they only opened up the top breather hole, and then only just enough for their comfort level.  The pictures here show what I had to do with my new drill press and a hand held Dremel tool to get the results I was after.  It's pretty close to what the factory does with all late '64 and later VW cases.  Why do this?  Because interior case pressures at higher RPMs causes oil burning.  There's a Workshop Bulletin that discusses this, some of which is shown above.  The other recommendation in this Bulletin was to use an improved piston oil control ring, which was actually done already in the NOS 1500s piston and cylinder kit I sourced 12 years ago.  Beyond this, I'm going to use Deves piston rings and that should be yet another improvement and further reduce the potential for oil burning in this higher compression engine.  With Painters finishing up the job with clearancing, I hope the results will be worth both the cost and the wait.  And, help keep my shop clean.  We shall see.

There's been engine progress made with the induction system, too.  I've worked hard to come up with a great set of stock style dual Solex carburetors for the Nautilus' power plant. Along with the dome 83mm 'S' pistons, the Solex PDSIT carbs debuted on the Type 3 1500 S engine at the beginning of the '64 model year.  Most Type 34s received this engine configuration as VW tried to give the car all the performance it could. These Solex carbs are left and right specific and the main carb bodies are stamped with a code that helps identify the engine specification onto which they were originally installed.  For an early '64, I was looking for codes of 5-2 on the right carb and 6-3 on the left.

I let BerT3 in Belgium know what I was looking for and he eventually found a good rebuildable set.  His carb rebuild services include re-bushed throttle plates using Oilite bushings and new reproduction levers in the accelerator pump covers.  I must say his work is outstanding.

As good as BerT3's work was, I did find a little room for improvement.  Maybe I was just being picky when I swapped out used electric cutoff jets with some NOS units and replaced the chokes and choke seals with some NOS pieces.  I also replaced the accelerator pump lever washers and keepers with original parts to help better maintain the original geometry.  I also replaced the drain plugs and idle enrichment screws with some brass pieces I had.  Just because.

These carbs shipped to me with clear zinc plated intake manifolds, but these will be painted with the same high temperature gray muffler paint as the exhaust components before installation.  Or, those particular manifolds won't be used at all because I'm considering dual port heads, with larger venturis in the carburetors.  This will no doubt also require a re-jetting for each carburetor.  I know that all of this is a departure from the originally bone stock configuration I intended for the craft, but these changes will wake up the performance modifications I am installing deep in the engine.  I'll be using VW parts, so I consider the engine modifications a sort of later 60's 'vintage speed' modification that could have been made to result in some real performance gains.  I do realize I'm sort of heading into an odd direction with this restoration, but I've invested in a set of Wide-5 CSP front disk brakes and later stock Type 3 dual master cylinder, so the horsepower increase--while not massive--is coming with an improved braking system.  When VW introduced the 1600 Type 3 engine in the '66 model year cars, the cars also were equipped with front disk brakes.

I confirmed I have the correct air cleaner and air control assembly.  The induction is definitely getting closer to being entirely sorted.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Nautilus stands inspection

I decided to take the car cover off the Nautilus this morning to take another good close look at the paint.  I've been test fitting parts a lot over the past few months and this has involved a lot of fiddling around with the various openings in the body to clear paint and filler to allow the components a good fit.  Front and rear light housings have all been installed at least once, then removed so I can later determine if primer or paint needs to go on in places to prevent future rust.  I still don't have a good touch-up paint match, so investigations were intended to be a bit more broad in scope.  I went looking for weird paint issues and it didn't take long before I found something that really needs attention.

The outside of the Nautilus is actually really nice, overall.  There was some dirt, masking tape residue, excess wax and buffing compound that was all sent along its way with some minor encouragement from a microfiber towel and a little water.  No big deal.  Notes were taken for the minor paint damage I've introduced.  I went into the rear trunk and it still needs a good cleaning, but no paint damage.  I checked the underside of both doors--still looking good.  Then, I headed to the front of the car and that's where things went a little sideways.
As the picture above shows, the front hood fit is a problem.  It just sits a bit too proud, particularly when a seal is installed.  I've tried all kinds of seals and found one that nets the best results, but it's nowhere close to perfect.  I decided this morning to loosen the hinge and latch plates to adjust the fit of the hood in its opening and during this work I discovered something entirely new:  two cracks in the paint on the inside of the hood at the left leading front edge.  The cracks go all the way to the metal, but there's a lot of product that will need to be removed to prevent future encounters with rust in this area.

So...just great.  Another unwelcomed step backwards.  Right now, there's a big part of me that just wants to pull the car cover back over the craft and entirely abandon the project.  But, I also have to admit that I have a real possibility to introduce some improvements by getting this relatively small issue fixed.  I do have two spare hoods and maybe one of those will fit better that the one currently installed?  Yep--I'm going to have to install them to find out.  And then there's the question of who I get to do the body and paint work?  Am I headed into another bodywork nightmare?

More Motorworks Restorations bodywork demerits have been awarded.  When this round of front end body shop  re-work is done, I don't think I'll consider this a Motorworks project, anymore.