Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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Made it back home without the bale holder tipping over.  Had to add a couple of straps just to make sure.  Was way too wide to lay it flat, so opted for the "vertical" approach.  Kept the speed to very slow and flashers on.  










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Tuesday, May 31st, AM.  Not much going on as my son, Chris, and his family, Jodi and Evan, have been at the farm.  Doing lots of fun stuff with them.  But they headed home yesterday, so am back to the farm and car routine.


Figured out how to remove the hid bulb from the Passat.  Glad to see that the bulb itself has blown and not the ballast.  The gas in the little chamber of the bulb should be clear, not white and cloudy. The bulbs should be at the Post Office today.  They cannot deliver to the farm as Alice has told them to hold the mail.  Birds have built a nest inside the mail box and two little ones are waiting for mom to appear with breakfast.  


And Amazon delivered the special long needle nose pliers that I need to remove the rear temperature sensor on the Passat.  I hope that they work.  May attempt that today.  





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It is Wednesday, June 1st.  Daniel Cross, one of our local restorers/rodders began work on Bentley, Steve's 1953 Ford F100 pickup.  It is going to get all Crown Victoria running gear.  Right now Steve is going to keep the 351W engine as has been rebuilt in the past and seems to be running great.  He will be getting a new C6 transmission.  Gone will be all the old Ford Bronco running gear.  


Here are a few pics.  Daniel will forward me progress pics as he moves along.  This is not going to be a concours restoration, but hopefully make the old F100 more reliable and  a much better handling truck






Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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Thursday, June 2nd.  A very quick update on the Passat.  Put in the new HID bulb this morning, and put the light assembly back into the car.  Turned on the light, and .............. nothing.  Darn!  So now I have ordered a new ballast for $117.  At least the shipping is free.  I still can work on stuff while I wait for the ballast.  Never fear, I will just press ahead.


Update PM.  Pulled the other headlight and to my surprise the HID bulb was just about the same as the other HID bulb.  The bulb gas or whatever it is was also cloudy.  So I put in the new one and reinstalled the light assembly.  It worked.  The new ballast has been shipped and will be here on Saturday.


I also put back on the broken, now fixed, rain valance below the windshield and reattached with wipers.  Tomorrow I hope to install the new temp sensor on the back of the engine.  Then I can start putting back some more plastic pieces.  Since I am so deep into this thing, I will change the spark plugs also.  I have to take apart the intake runners to do that little job.  I am sure that there will be some trick to removing the coils that are above each of the plugs.  German engineering.......

Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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Friday, June 3rd.  All day working on the Piss Ant.  This thing is like working on a Formula 1 race car.  It is so complex and fiddly.  But I continue to move forward, bit by bit.  I got the back temp sensor out and a new one in.  The only way I was able to get to it was by jamming my arm behind the engine from the side.  I had just enough room to get it out and a new one in.  You can see the installed sensor in a pic, just look for the white plastic tie end, it is pointing to it.  


That job is done and was able to put back on the plastic ducting to the air cleaner, mass airflow sensor, and the throttle body.  Now I know why VW dealers pull the W8 engine to work on it.  There is just no room.  But it is a beautiful and fast engine, puts out 275 HP.  It is a rocket ship.  


I then decided to change out the spark plugs.  It was not too hard to get to them once the intake side pods were removed.  The plugs have never been changed so they have about 135K miles on them.  I was able to crack them all a half turn.  Boy, they felt really tight.  I decided to spray some Blaster into each plug hole and let it sit for an hour.  The last thing I wanted was to strip out the head threads.  With that done and a long wait I got the four of them out.  Really, they were not that bad, but I am sure the new plugs will be better.  I made sure to put anti-seize on the plugs before installing.  


I then moved to the other side of the engine and did the same procedure.  I have them soaking and will pull them tomorrow.  The two back plugs had oil in the plug wells.  This is a common problem.  Everyone says to just let it be, the plugs will continue to fire just fine.  I did blow out all the oil I could, and used shop paper towels to soak more of it up.  


So here are some pics of today's work.  I also included a shot of the repaired rain shield just below the windshield.  I can put the battery cover back on, but want to wait until I can check the AC.  Of course the AC fill lines are under this plastic cover.  


Got word that the new headlight ballast will be here on Monday.  Oh, and I gave up on and turned on the garage AC.  Ahhhhhh, nice and cool at 72 degrees, 












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Hey John, looking at those plugs, it looks like they are 2 different heat ranges based on how far the electrode sticks out.  Given the difficulty in getting to them, you may want to double check that.


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Frank, double checked the plugs, they are correct to the car, and they are the same size as the old ones.  I just did not have them lined up.


But, I did get the other side four plugs out and the new ones in.  With that done I fired her up.  She smoked with all the Blaster in the cylinders, but quickly cleaned up and ran just great.  I lost a little coolant when I changed the two temp sensors and now the dash light is on warning of a low coolant level.  So I added more coolant, but it did not go off.  I have three gallons of the special VW coolant so I think I will change it out.  I have a special tool that is also suppose to push the new fluid into the engine and eliminate air pockets.  I will have to read the instructions before I do that.


With the car running, I put back on all the plastic covers over the cowl and the engine.  I am just about about of parts.  I could finish today if I had the headlight ballast.  Guess I will just have to wait until Monday to finish the top side.  Other than the headlight, I have three other projects to go on the Passat.  First I have to soder a bad connection in the rear brake light circuit board, replace the front cv axle with the new one I have, and check the front and rear brake pads.  Then I plan to spend a day cleaning and detailing the car.  So I still have three our four days before I can say that the Passat is done.  


On the 1953 Ford F100.  The engine and transmission are out of the truck.  Dan, the mechanic, is cutting out all the old and cobbled together engine mounts on the frame and cleaning up the frame in general to accept the new Crown Victoria front end assembly.  Camaro Steve is going to spent the day cleaning up the 351W engine and getting it ready for some minor updates and paint.  He has ordered the C6 transmission (I think) and a new Petronix distributor.  Right now he is planning on reusing the converter that is on the truck now.  Plans are to replace the wiring from the firewall forward to the lights and ignition, a new mini-starter, new alternator, and seals and gaskets for the engine.  Hope to have pics early next week.


Tomorrow the 2002 Chev Trailblazer goes into the garage.  I have to repair the leaking and rusty power steering line.  I think I have everything to make the repair.  Now if I can just get to the line as it runs under all the electrcal fuse boxes and on top of the frame.  Looks like another job for small hands.  Alice !!!!!!!!!




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Sunday, PM, June 5th.  Spent a little time on the Passat.  I think I permanently fixed my brake light problem by inserting a piece of copper wiring into the broken circuit.  It is a press fit as I am afraid that the heat to solder will destroy the plastic holding everything together.  I found a piece of copper wire and used a big hammer to make it flat and a perfect fit into the crack.  Everything now works as it should and more importantly it will pass the state inspection.


And Camaro Steve sent me pics of his F100 engine.  He spent the morning cleaning it.  Looks much better.












Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Tuesday, AM.  Got the new Passat headlight HID ballast yesterday.  Goes in today.  Much different looking than the old one so have to figure out how I am going to mount it.  Sure hope it works.  


And we have a report from Greg to start our week.


"Subject: Way belated udate

Sorry about being out of touch.   Not only is this my busy season (warm weather),  but with the Hotmail turning into Outlook and upgraded again and again,   getting out emails just isn't fun anymore.   Not only has it slowed this computer to a crawl,  but they've rearranged everything that this computer illiterate had sorted out.   Nothing like the enjoyment of a lengthy composition being ready to release into thin air,  but when this creature of habit automatically pushes the button that used to be SEND only to realize it had been relocated and NEW is in its place.....and your mail vanishes into oblivion,   that's when I shut 'er down and go to bed.


 And to admit that yes,  there must be another way,  but I address each message one address at a time...and the computer screen jumps all over the place......   you'll just have to be satisfied with an occasional note.


Now for the good news.  The Stoddard Dayton has been pulled from storage and is being prepared for duty.    My friend Glenn Miller and I are going to retrace the 1909 Cobe Trophy race route,  a twenty-three mile circuit in Northwest Indiana.   This was the predecessor to the Indy 500.  We are going to do this in our brass era racers.  We have also invited a few others to join us,  so we'll see if any others want to come out to play.


 The car having been dormant for a long time,  Nathan and I have been spending time  changing oil,  turning grease cups,  cleaning  and polishing brass.   And tonight's milestone....Nathan got checked out and soloed .   Not an easy car to drive,  he did very well with clutch, throttle, spark  and its fragile gearbox.  It will be nice having him experience the event.


Also enclosed is a pic of Glenn's newly completed 1909 EMF Factory Racer."





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Headed out to the garage this morning hoping to finish up the Passat.  Put in the new ballast ------ nothing.  Put in a known HID bulb -------- nothing.  What am I missing. Just not getting power, but all the other lights work.  Decided to look at the fuse box.  Turns out each headlight pod has two fuses, one for the high beam light and one for the HID light.  Stupid me, I should have checked power first, I just assumed that with one HID out and one working it was either the bulb or the ballast.  In the Army, we had a saying, "only asses assume", well call me one.  Turned out to be a 15 amp fuse.  On the plus side, I have two new HID bulbs and the lights are much brighter.  Oh, and am missing only one bolt for the front grill, amazing.


 Everything is working now, and I can head into town tomorrow and get the car inspected for another year.


Spent the last four hours putting the car all back together.  Inside is all clean, but have to wash the outside this PM.  I still have the CV axle to do, but that can wait for a couple of weeks.  


And tomorrow I hope to change oil in the Suburban as Greg wants to borrow it and the trailer for his race car trip to Indiana.  


Oh yes, there is still the Trailblazer with the bad power steering hose.  Hope to get it in the garage on Thursday.  No rest on the car front.  


And we are going to host a cars and pizza event on Saturday.  Going to meet in our local town and tour the back roads and stop for lunch, and then return home.  Much better than just sitting and having coffee.  On Sunday, we have been invited to attend a huge pony and horse show.  They are having a "horse and horse power" event, the Jaguar has been invited.  Going to be a fun day.





Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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Still Tuesday, but PM.  And we have a "Barney" Ford F100 report from Daniel, the master fabricator.  


Truck update,
Got the truck down to the front frame, started cutting off unnecessary brackets, most of the stuff is heavy plate, stick welded on, it will be a chore to get it off.
I have the old Bronco front suspension separated from the frame section that it was attached to.  Old engine mounts gone.  
The truck now take's a Crown Vic master cylinder, pic's of it installed ready for brake lines.
Thanks Daniel "




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It is Wednesday, June 8th, Inspection day for the Passat.  Car is running great with its new plugs and no check engine lights.  And it passed with flying colors.  They did say that it would need rear brakes in a year or so.  Just so happens I have a new rotor and pads on the shelf.  Sounds like a project for a rainy day.  


I have the Trailblazer up on the lift and looking for ATF leaks.  I found where the power steering is seeping, right on the frame and just below all the electric wiring for the car.  But I think I can get to the line to cut out the rusty piece.  And while poking around found a transmission coolant line that is also rusty and leaking,  Of course it is next to the exhaust and the cat.  The seepage is hidden behind heat shielding.  Had to cut it to find the problem.  I was going to cut it out right now, but that cat is too hot.  Going to wait a couple of hours.  I will have to figure out how I am going to protect the rubber hose from the heat.  


I would and should replace the metal coolant lines, but you have to drop the transmission to get at the fittings, which are near the top of the engine.  Not going to do that.  Here are some pics.








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Still Wednesday, but PM.  Rather than ripping into the Trailblazer and leave it to await parts, I decided to order the heat shield material and metal ties.  When I get everything I will put it back into the garage.  But I can use it in the meantime.


So off to work on the John Deere tractor.  I have to replace the motor to transmission drive belt as the broken pulley ate the belt to about half its size.  So rather than crawl under it I am using the Kubota tractor to lift and support it while I work away.  I have the loader supported and am using a very heavy chain for lifting.


I cut the old belt out, loosened all the pulleys and am prepared to put the new belt on tomorrow.  Enough for today.  









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John, you might consider this method of mowing which will cut down on your lawn mower repair costs:



Red Neck Mower.jpg

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Joe, be careful what you post.  Alice keeps talking about having goats.  I tell her that she all ready has one, me.  Now you give her a reason for at least a couple more.  I am in trouble now.


Worked a few hours on the John Deere 325 tractor.  After watching several YouTube videos I decided to tackle the installation of the drive belt.  Yes, you have to remove the PTO in order to get the belt on the engine pulley.  No way to stretch that belt.  But with a little PB Blaster and about an hour soak it came off with a tap of the rubber hammer.  I was ready to rig up a puller.  Once the PTO was off I was able to get the belt on and around all the pulleys.  Not a hard job, but putting on the big tension spring had me stumped.  No way was I able to pull or pry that spring back on the main bar of the chassis.  I finally ended up with a small ratchet strap and pulled the end of the spring over the bar.  Done.  I then took her out for a test drive.  Ran great.  


Tomorrow I will put the mower deck back on.









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Still Thursday, Oh no.........  Camaro Steve reports that Barney's gas tank is leaking badly, and very soft in other parts.  I found a replacement for $215.  He sent me a note and said he had ordered it.  He also said that he found a rebuilt 351W for $600, he is going to go take a look.  


Here is a pic of the leaking gas tank on the Ford F100.  You can see the steam of fuel coming out and rust all along the seam.  Better to replace it rather than trying to repair it.  




Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Friday, PM on June 10th.  Got the mower deck on the John Deere tractor and mowed about a half an acre of grass.  Works just fine.  No issues with the belts.


And I got a couple of pics from Camaro Steve re his Ford F100 conversion.  Daniel, the mechanic, has the Crown Vic under the car for a test fit.  And Steve has picked up a set of roller wheels and tires.  They look good enough to keep.


Had the 2003 Suburban up on the lift as I changed oil for Greg's upcoming trip.  Noticed that most of the brake lines were really rusty.  Looks like they need to be replaced.  A very common problem here in the Northeast.  I can get a full set for around $300.  Corvette Wayne did his Suburban last year, took him a day.  And he had to drop the fuel tank. Ugh.  Another project.  





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Still Friday.  Just received a report from Daniel re Barney, the F100.


"Have the front suspension near it's final location, it's close. Had to take a wedge out of the frame to have a big enough flat spot for the new front suspension.  There were factory bumper holes that I am using as centerline mark/hole, the new setup has dowels to go into those holes.  Setting as is, there is 8 inches under the running boards, and you can see where the rear needs to be.   I had to let the jack down all the way to get the running boards level. The steering looks lined up as is, and is much better than what we started with."






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It is Saturday, PM and 97 degrees at 7 PM.  Just too hot! 


We got together with old car friends and motored to a little town close by.  I guess that we toured about 20 miles of country roads.  Ended up at a NY Pizza Cafe and had lunch.  What a great time.  Here are the pics of the cars attending.


Tomorrow the Jaguar is in a big show at the Middleburg Pony and Horse Show.  It is an all day event, probably 8 AM to 10 PM.  Good thing we are retired.













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hey this is 67stevo, good time today, nice cars and great food. Johnny boy is also following my 1953 ford f100. always guiding and finding the right parts for me. good guy.

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67And a few more pics from our little tour yesterday.  From Jon Battle in his 1937 Hudson Terraplane convertible.  Owned since he was in college.


67Stevo, please feel free to comment on Barney anytime.  Going to be a nice driving little truck when you are done.  Glad you are saving it, even in its modified form.  Now lets talk about the two post lift for your garage.


Off to the horse races and horsepower show today.






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It is Sunday, June 12th.  Spent the day with the horsey crowd.  A big event in the area.  The oldest jumping competition in the US.  Started 1853.  The Grand Prix for the pro-jumpers was this afternoon.  We stayed for a few individual events, but the heat got to us and we headed home about 3 PM.  Here are the pictures I took.  Lots of nice cars in the little show field.  Attendance was about 10,000 people give or take.  The purse for the Grand Prix event was $216,000.


And there was a white XK120 Coupe there too.  Only lives about 12 miles away.  Original car for the most part.  Not restored.  Original interior except for door panels.


























































































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It is Tuesday, PM.  Oh boy, we have a report from Daniel on Steve's F100 truck.  He is really moving along with some fine fabricating skills.  Corvette Wayne is helping out also.  


"Thanks  Wayne , for your help today , as seen in the pic's the front suspension is now bolted in, sway bar hooked up.  I have the back of the lower control arms to make mounts for, and weld some gussets in at the top of the tubing that holds the front suspension in.  And will move on to the gas tank and rear end.  Thanks Daniel."








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It is Tuesday, June 21st, AM.  Getting ready to go fishing.  On vacation in North Carolina.  But I have been following our friend's progress in the Peking to Paris Rally.  The daily report is at http://www2.endurorally.com/pp2016/reports.html  They are on day 6 of 36.  They are doing OK, but have blown all four shocks on their trip through Mongolia.

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