unimogjohn

Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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It is Saturday, May 7th, PM,  We left home at 7 AM and pulled in to Brunswick, GA at 8 PM, 637 miles.  Wow, the new hitch attachments worked great.  They helped the ride of the truck/trailer combo and we also had very little sway.  I am so happy.  Also, the new air flow sensor helped also.  We are getting 11 mpg, 1 mpg over the previous road trip.  No check engine lights either, just motoring along.  Only 313 miles to go tomorrow.  Average moving speed was 59 mph.

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The speed limit towing a trailer in New Zealand is 90 kph, about 56 mph, the same as applies to heavy traffic!

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It is Monday, May 9th.  Made it to Fort Myers, FL late yesterday afternoon.  We traveled a distance of 1,023 miles.  Today, we will load and secure the Jaguar, check the truck over, and pack everything up for the return trip to home.  Here are a couple of pics of the Jaguar in the garage.  Sure glad that we have a big trailer, I am going to need all of it to get that big cat in and secure.

 

 

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Still Monday, but PM.  The cat is loaded, well err, stuffed in.  What a big cat.  Alice drove it in as she is the only one who could climb out the drivers side window.  We will be on the road tomorrow morning about 5:30 AM.  Will be a long drive day back up to VA.  Thank goodness for books on tape.  Another murder mystery is already loaded into the player.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Tuesday PM, on May 10th.  On the road in the dark at 5:30 AM.  635 miles today.  We arrived at Florence, SC safely after a slight mishap.  We lost a trailer tire on I-95 with a very narrow shoulder.  Scared the crap out of me.  Big trucks went whizzing by, I dared not look so just worked as fast as possible to get back on the road.  We had a spare and after about fifteen minutes we were back on the road.  Several cars and trailer had flats.  There was lots of tire debris on the road and it look like we picked up some shards of metal that just ripped the trailer tire to shreds.

 

Before we leave for home tomorrow I am going to find a tire shop and get a new tire, maybe even all four.  About 500 miles to go tomorrow.  

 

 

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Wednesday, May 11th, at 9 PM.  Made it home after dropping the Jaguar in Maryland.  Long drive today, about 650 miles, the return trip in total was 1,198 miles.  Mileage was 10.7  No problems with the truck.  We did pick up a new trailer tire and put it on the trailer before leaving this morning.  It is good to be home.

 

 

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Sunday, May 15th.  Worked a few minutes on the 1923 McLaughlin Buick and fired her up.  First time since October.  With a little fuel she started right up.  Heading off to a local cars and coffee this morning.

 

Camaro Steve and I went to a junk yard yesterday looking for the front suspension and cross member for a 03 to 11 Crown Vic.  He has decided to replace the old Bronco 4 wheel drive system with a modern 2 wheel drive system on his 1953 Ford F100 pickup.  Will keep the 351W Ford engine, but will replace the transmission with a rebuilt C6 and a new posi rear end from a Crown Vic police car.

 

We found a great 03 in the yard and so Steve bought it for $450.  We pick it up next week.  Will have everything including the wheels.  Here is an example of what he is getting.  It will bolt onto the F100 frame.

 

And by chance I also found a couple of Passat wagons, one is an exact color match, and the other is the very rare W8 model like ours.  May have to go back and pull some parts for use as spares.

 

 

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Wednesday, May 18th, PM.  Well the old car "cars and coffee" was a bust only 6 cars showed up.  Did not help that the temperature was 38 degrees.  Here are a couple of pics.  The 23 McLaughlin Buick ran great as we hooted about 5 miles to the event.

 

On Monday I started major maintenance work on the 2003 Passat W8.  The wagon has 124,000 on her.  Took a day to change out the battery.  You had to take half of the car apart to get to it.  And I broke the plastic rain shield to boot.  Better than the windshield.  The plastic is so brittle with age it did not take much to break it.  VW sells replacements, but I am not about to spend $80 for a new one.  Going to use a super plastic adhesive with a brace glued on the back where it will not be seen.  Replace the cabin air filter and changed the oil.  

 

With the car on the lift I noticed that the transmission is weeping from the tail and a CV boot is torn.  I have ordered a new CV axle assembly.  I will do some research on the transmission.  One problem is that VW does not make any provision for either checking or filling the transmission.  So much for German engineering.

 

Now I am going to begin removing the front of the car to it's service position so I can change the engine belt and also attempt to figure out why one of the xenon lights will not work, either it is ballast or the light itself.  Both are expensive.  I also have to polish the headlights.   

 

 

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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Still Wednesday and we have a report from Greg.

 

"  Things going too good here at work.    Pushing hard on the Wright 8-60 engine,  I've got the bottom end together and saftied,  piston rings end gapped, and I've gotten the first cylinder assembly installed.  Guess I've got a V-1 at this point.     While I've got a sequence in mind on how to get the other seven in place,  I'd better stick with it.   My concentration isn't what it used to be.  Hopefully by this time tomorrow,  I'll have the majority of work completed on a project that was only a passing thought  fifteen years ago.

 

Enclosed find pics of the 8-60  and also the Stoddard Dayton in it's new location at the airport hangar.  That checkerboard flooring gives me a headache."

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I see the Matheson engine in the background.  When will it be done and running?  Your work is amazing in quality and detail.

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Michael, Greg is the master mechanic, not me.  I am just the scribe.

 

Re the Matheson engine.  Greg says that it is ready to go except for getting bits back from the platers.  I think he will be happy to see it go back to the owner.  I understand that the car is also ready.  

 

 

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It is Thursday, May 19th, early PM.  Dropped by Greg's place this morning to drop off some parts that he left in the Suburban when borrowed the truck/trailer combo earlier in the week.  Caught him installing the pistons in the Wright V8 airplane engine.

 

Then I headed over the mountains to attend the 2nd Mid-Atlantic Pre-War Swap Meet in Luray, VA.  Nice little show, but very little for me.  Most of the stuff was Ford.  I did pick up a couple of oil gas bottle cones.  Usually they are beat up, these are pristine.  Here are a couple of pics.

 

 

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It's Friday, May 20th.  Headed up to Carlisle, PA for the Foreign Car and Kit Car Show.  First impressions:  really small.  Only a couple dozen of cars for sale, none nice, driver quality and below.  But it was a nice 5 hours R/T ride.  Weather was great and the crowds light.  Oh well, it was on my bucket list.  Did not buy anything.  Here are some pics for your enjoyment.

 

The local car clubs were invited to attend and display their cars.  Must have been a couple of hundred.  The Jaguars were non-attendees, only saw a Jaguar kit car.   I did like the Porsche kit cars by Beck.  Looked to be of very good quality.

 

 

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It's Saturday, May 21st.  What a day.  Been working on the Passat since early morning to remove the serpentine belt.  What a job.  I have parts every where.  Hardest job I have tacked in a long time.  

 

Here is what I had to do.  Removed the front grill and hood pull; removed the side marker lights and wiring for the fog lights; removed the bumper cover; removed the bumper itself and the support brackets; and finally was able to move the font of the car forward enough on the little support rods to get the serpentine belt off.  All this took about six hours.  I guess I gained out three to four inches of working room, which was just enough to be able to work in the engine bay.  I hope I remember how it all goes back together.  Here are some pics.  Tomorrow I hope to get the belt back in.  

 

Someone one had been in there before me.  Found a couple of broken plastic mounting tabs and missing bolts, but nothing major.  There was a recall for a torque converter, maybe they had to remove the front end to get to the engine to replace it.

 

After the belt replacement I have to replace two temperature sensors that monitor the cooling fans going off and on.  The fans are on all the time so the sensors have to be replaced.  One is easy now to get to as I can get to it now the front end is pulled away from the engine, but the other is on the back of the engine is a bitch to get to.  Then I will start working on the headlights, both need to be polished and I also have to get one of the HID lights working.  

 

 

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Sunday, May 22nd.  The Passat saga continues.  Got the new serpentine belt on.  Yahoo!  Pic is of the new and old belt.  Also put in a new temperature sensor, the old one was erratic.  Also put in one coolant temperature sensors near the radiator.  That was easy.  But the one at the back of the engine eludes me.  I cannot find it even with all the air ducting removed.  The hunt continues.  Started putting the front end back together; bumper mounts and bumper/support is back on.  Going to polish the lights this PM.  Going to use a Eastwood kit for the polishing.

 

Tomorrow will pull the passenger side headlight module to see if I can figure out if the HID bulb or the ballast is kaput.  Both are very expensive.  Also have to figure out why the auto leveling is not working correctly.  The lights point down and as a result are useless at night, this is the default mode.

 

I also finished gluing the two pieces of the plastic rain shield together.  I also put on a metal backing plate for added support.  Just so happened to have a car show plaque that is perfect for the job. This plate is almost hidden so I really don't care if the crack can be seen.  I really did not want to spend $80 for a new plastic shield.

 

Here are pics of the days work.  Another five hours spent working on the car.

 

 

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Just a quick update.  Put the lights on hold.   Going to take back off the bumper and supports (will take ten minutes) and pull the condenser from the front of the radiator.  I looked in between the two and there is a lot of junk on the radiator front.  Going to clean it as I never expect to be in there again.  And I think I found the location of the back of the engine coolant sensor.  I was not looking in the right space.  More tonight.  

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Monday, May 23rd, PM.  I did get some time to work on the Passat in between farm chores.  I got the radiator all clean with compressed air (here is a before pic), polished the headlights and found the infamous temp sensor on back of the engine.  Re the sensor, I can barely see it, have not figured out how I am going to be able to replace it.  Working on a plan.  Tomorrow I am going to pull the headlight with the non-working HID system.  Oh, the headlights turned out great.  

 

Speaking of farm chores, I was mowing heavy grass in the field when the belt on the deck of the John Deere 325 tractor started smoking and gave up.  Then the drive belt on the tractor started smoking.  What is up with all of this!  

 

Don't know what is up with the deck belt, but it is all twisted and worn.  It was a new belt a couple of week ago.  One of the idler pulleys is grinding so am going to replace it.  I do not know if it is the problem.  Everything else looks good.  I even put on a new tension spring at the start of the season.

 

Then I looked at the belt that drives the transmission from the engine.  It is also beat up and off the rear idler pully.  What?  The pulley has separated from its post.  I will be ordering a pulley tomorrow.  Here are a couple of pics.

 

 

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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Thursday, May 26th.  The Passat work is somewhat on hold for part of the day.  The Chev Trailblazer has a ATF puddle under it.  So it is up on the lift.  Turns out that one of the lines has a pin hole rust leak.  I have to do some moving of other parts to get to it.  I plan on splicing in a piece of high pressure hose to fix it, if I can get to it.  

 

On the Passat I plan to pull the offending light assembly today to see if I can determine the reason for the HID light not working.

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Lifted the John Deere tractor up with the Kubota loader.  Yes, I made sure the loader was braced in case the hydo failed.  Got the broken idler off the tractor undercarriage, and then got the idler off the mower deck.  These things are somewhat expected when the tractor is 21 years old.  Will head off to the local dealer tomorrow and get replacements.

 

 

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You're gonna have to hire someone, John. To help out around there with all the fixing going on.

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Chris, bring the Avanti over.  I will make room for you.

 

Got the headlight system out of the Passat.  I talked to folks at Plasma Garage, http://plasmagarage.com/  They said that the problem is most likely the bulb.  So I ordered two at $99.  

 

I have yet to figure out how to remove the bulb from its housing.  The ballast came out easily, it goes back in tomorrow.  They have a replacement ballast for $120.  Much better than the $400 one that VW wants.

 

Here are pics.

 

 

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John:

I was wondering what the Luray Swap meet was like. Just about my same reaction about Chickasha. Lots of model A and T stuff not much for Buick people. Since we will probably be tied up with BCA stuff during the anniversary celebration on Saturday Joan and I went to the Bulgari collection tour and ran the 2nd day of the pre-war after tour. Wow .... what a collection. This was one of 8 buildings/shops we toured.

  DSCF5153.JPGDSCF5154.JPG         The view from Bulgari's apartment.

 I have been lusting for another Buick, this time a 1923-55 Sport Touring in Tucson AZ!    Needs work and I can help Dave Coco meet his expenses if I can get it. We have made an offer lower than the asking price, deducting the estimated price of a new top.  I know someone near who has some expertise in nurturing 1923 Buicks.....Even if it is a McLaughlin. I know the fit and finish of your McLaughlin was better than the Flint cars. Do you have any reference to a 1923 McLaughlin model 55?

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Larry, hope that you get it.  Looks to be a very nice car.  Would be easy to get it back on the road.  Is it a McLaughlin Buick?  I will look in my literature and see what I can find out for you.

 

Keep us updated for sure.  See you in a month, we are bringing the 23 MB.

 

 

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Friday, May 27th.  Picked up the John Deere pulleys this morning from the dealer.  They were the only ones that had them in stock.  $43 later I am out the door.  If I get some time I will try to get them on today.  But first we have to head out and pick up a free farm thingie that holds a big round bale.  Hot today, over 90 degrees and high humidity.  What happened to Spring?

 

And we have a report from Greg too.  "  David Coco, Rob Burchill and I played hooky yesterday.  Drove three hours to watch a tour group eat their lunch.   A nice assembly of Horseless Age machines were navigating the back roads of Pennsylvania.  Enclosed is a few pics from a very nice day."

 

 

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