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TDI Conversions Discussions on converting non TDIs into TDIS. More general items can be answered better in other sections. This is ideal for issues that don't have an overlap and are very special to swaping engines.

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Old January 25th, 2020, 18:53   #76
Powder Hound
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Default Day 50

Time to explore the biggest mistake I have discovered so far. Actually, I'm pretty close to the end, hence to the end of the mistakes as well. I think.

So here's the mistake:



Can't tell what's going on? I don't blame you.

Here's the deal. Way back when I cut the body off the back, I took a look at the wiring bundles going down the left side. Both sides have a socket for the side curtain airbags, and the side impact sensor (that fires the airbags on the sides, such as those side curtains and the ones that blow out of the outside of the front seats). The right side also has a plug for the fuel filler door popper, the trunk light (Golf) or one of the lights (Jetta) and that cig lighter plug for power. I didn't need any of these, but figuring that I might come up with something in the future (particularly light and power plug) I pulled that one back and stuffed it under the floor up front where one could get it through the port for the fuel tank inspection access.

I figured the other side would be similar. Noting that there are multiple splits in the harness on the left side, and most of those plugs wouldn't be needed, but still I might figure out something for say, the trunk lid popper, I figured I could save that one too, while leaving the one with the tail lights since I'd really need that one.

So I pulled the ground wire from the ground that is on the inside just behind the left wheel well.

Shortly thereafter, I realized that I'd need the license plate illuminators as well, so I needed to keep that harness. Tons of other plugs on that harness, and basically none of them will be used. Problem is, I failed to find the nut that secures the grounds to that screw. One of the reasons I delayed gluing the quarter panels on is because I still needed to nail down that second ground wire.

So, fast forward to the day when I glued the quarter panels on (a week ago), and in a great moment of brain fade, I forgot about securing the ground wire.

And today, I was going to glue in the roll pan (aka rear bumper cover). This would make it near impossible to get to that ground, and without securing the second one, the license plate illumination wouldn't work. I decided I'd rather use the one there instead of trying to run a new ground wire back up front. After a search, I still didn't know where the nut is, so I guessed that the bolt is a 6mmx1.0 piece, and went to a local hardware store to procure a 6mm locknut.

Now comes the real fun. Reaching in from the back, there wasn't room. So after trying and coming short on reaching the bolt, I pulled the bumper. Then I was able to come a little closer. Still it was difficult. I was able to put that second ground wire on the bolt, but it was stubborn and would jump back off at the slightest provocation. I also tried to use a split lock washer, but that kept falling off as well.

Well, there was lots of fun trying to stretch my arm far enough into the innards inside the bed walls, and only being able to barely touch the required bolt with 2 fingertips, and using them to force the 2nd ground wire in and then try and screw on a nut. I had to stretch until the bottom of the fender was in my neck. Yikes!

After about 4 hours of frustration, I was able to accomplish my goal, and both grounds are now securely attached. A lesser individual would never have been able to do this. Don't get me wrong: this is not a statement of character, it is a statement that if you are shorter than I am, your arms would not be long enough to reach that bolt. Mine barely made it, and I have pretty long arms even for a 6'2" guy (at max, I think I'm shrinking slightly these days).

So the explanation of the photo above is this is the view of the ground bolt that needed the second ground attached, viewed from the rear.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled program.

I've been working on the tail lights. I have showed a few photos of the turn signal/reverse light that is being placed in the clear cell at the top. This is the view of those lights installed.



Now add the brake/parking red light bulb socket:



And after a couple of hours to add proper extensions as well as seal up all the connected wires:



Now the idea is to use those extensions (the longer wires that are gathered and a loose knot tied in them) to solder into a male plug cut out of the OEM bulb carrier. Then if the tail light assembly had to be removed for changing the brake light bulb, or if there was breakage or something, then it would be easier to unscrew the assembly and unplug it from the truck.

So I cut the plugs out of the bulb carriers.



Meh - nobody was going to buy them anyway. Then I soldered the wires into the plug.

Or tried to. One thing I didn't think about was the kind of metal they used in those carriers. I was thinking it would be copper that was tinned. Little did I realize the power of the processes of manufacturing and cost savings. That metal isn't tinned copper, not even steel, but aluminum. Great for manufacturing because it is light and relatively stiff because of the section it gives you, but IT WON'T SOLDER.

So I spent the trouble and time to cut them up for nothing. Meh - nobody was going to buy the bulb carriers anyway.

Well, gotta cut some holes for the brake light socket.



The turn/rev light install isn't deep enough to need a hole cut for clearance, and I can stuff the wires through the brake light socket hole to get them over far enough to splice them into the wiring for those lights. To install plugs, first I'll need a 5 conductor weatherproof plug pair, and then I can splice those into the wiring. Someday in the near future is when that will happen, right now I've a need to get this trucklet streetable ASAP.

This photo shows what happens when you try and drop the bumper with the quarter panels in place.



As in, it isn't going to happen after that rear bumper cover (aka roll pan) is glued into place, unless you cut about 3 inches off each end of the bumper. Just something to keep in mind for the future.

Time to do something about that silly hole in the side of the right quarter panel:



2 rivets hold it in:



And I placed the rollpan in place. I just drilled for 3 rivets on each side and put rivets in place without popping them.



So now I just need to take care of wiring details, install the tail lights, and then get this thing ready for paint. Finish the interior details, a couple of mechanical items (left rear brake caliper and rotor, and exhaust plumbing) and it will be ready to go get inspected.

Yeah, right. I'm thinking the interior will be dead last. And between here and there lie about a million details. You know what they say about projects like this: the first 90% of the work takes 90% of the time, and the last 10% of the work takes the other 90% of the time. In other words, it is looking close to done, but there's more left than meets the eye at first blush.

Cheers!

PH
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Last edited by Powder Hound; January 25th, 2020 at 19:02.
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Old February 1st, 2020, 22:09   #77
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Old February 10th, 2020, 18:13   #78
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Default Day 51

Hey, I'm back!

We just went on a trip to Arizona. There were a couple of official reasons: 1) dental work and 2) a continuing education course for my wife who is working on additional certifications for cranio-sacral therapy.

The reason 1 is that I am old enough that my teeth are giving me trouble, so rather than paying the extortion prices that local dentists charge, I can go to Arizona, warm up during this time of year, get the dental work done in Los Algodones, Baja, Mexico, visit with relatives (my kids, their families, and all my brothers and sisters save one live in the Phoenix metro area) all for less than what it would cost to have it done locally. And the quality of the dental work is at least as good if not better than I have gotten locally.

Anyway, the hiatus is over. I should be able to get the truck to driveability pretty quickly - I am shooting for the end of this week. It is simply due to my company deciding that they can "meet the profit target" for my project by replacing me with an H1 visa guy who knows nothing about what I am doing. I'm not happy with this, but it is what it is.

So suddenly and unexpectedly, I have a lot more time on my hands.

Today had a late start on the trucklet due to a few details I needed to take care of as soon as possible, such as signing up for medicare. I had been counting on working until I am 70, but it looks like that might not be happening. Until other plans and opportunities are in place, I'd better be doing something.

OK, so the unrelated stuff is out of the way.

It was mid afternoon by the time I got to the shop. It was a little warmer today, which means that while I was working hard I actually needed to remove my parka and all I needed was my hoodie.

The first thing to do was to check on the rear roll pan. As you can see, the lower profile at the sides where the quarter panel overlaps the roll pan to provide a surface to bond the panels together doesn't quite match up. I'm not sure why this is since all the other panels seem to line right up.



I sanded the quarter panel in order to try and get it to match a little better. That was mostly successful, but the profiles of the overlapping parts are still a little off. So the bottom part is going to be a squeeze and more filler is going to be needed than I thought would be necessary. If you decide to build one of these, work on this detail BEFORE installing either of the quarter panels onto the chassis so you don't have to figure out why it isn't fitting while you're trying to set the rivets before the adhesive sets up.

The wires of the lights are ready to go, but since I forgot to bring the wiring diagram, I struck out.

I then took a couple of hours or so to start cleaning the tire bead area on the rims I'll be installing on the trucklet. I found a cheap set of snow tires in good shape, and since they are the proper 15" size, and since I happen to have a set of Avus rims (I actually have another set as well, but they're keeping my wife's NB off the ground) I'm going to mount them up after I'm done prepping the rims. No use going to all this work if there's enough crud in the bead area that the tires continually leak air and generally become a headache. It should take me a couple more hours tomorrow, then paint the beads with a clear coat varnish to provide a smooth area for a leak-free mount. I'll get a couple of new valve stems and when the varnish is dry/cured I'll mount up the tires.

So that's about it for today.

Cheers!

PH
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Last edited by Powder Hound; February 10th, 2020 at 18:16.
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Old February 11th, 2020, 20:06   #79
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Default Day 52

I started out today prepping a set of Avus rims. I sanded the bead area of accumulated rubber and the uneven surface caused by corrosion, wear, and anything loose. After cleaning them with methanol (it makes a surprisingly good solvent/cleaner) I painted those surfaces with polyurethane - a single coating. This is just that bead area. Since the wheels are used (one looked like it had a lot of hard miles), some refinishing will be in order at some point in the future. Maybe when the snows wear out and it is ready for summer/all seasons type shoes. I then set those aside to dry. I'll let them go until Thursday or Friday even though it is a quick dry formula. It's cold here.

I also decided to check the fit of the taillights. I drilled the holes for the 2 hold down screws (those flat headed screws whose purpose I didn't know way back when). Of course the holes were a little off, so there was some fun trying to 'move' the hole a bit. All 4 of them (2 each side).

Next was to break apart the jacks with the 5 wires for the taillights. So now I have a cable ending in 5 wires with a junior timer female clip on the end of each. Not that it will matter in the end, but you never know. (At least, at that point in the afternoon I didn't.) Now at this point I need to put some adhesive between the quarter panel fiberglass and the aluminum bed side to fix the position for the taillights as well as the roll pan. I'm putting that off for a bit, however.

I decided that things are winding up, so I'd better test the lights to make sure they work in the car the way it is planned. So I just folded the wires together and taped them with blue tape, just to hold it all. Then I installed a battery, turned the key and turned the lights. Park, brake, backup, turn - they all work. The only thing not quite kosher is the turn signals have the fast blink of a burned out bulb because the turn signals are LEDs.

I was thinking all I'd really need to do is take the blinker apart and find the correct capacitor and change that out to a bigger one, but on thinking a little more, I think the blinker (the hazard light switch) is smarter than that. So I'm going to do some more analysis after finding a spare to play with. In the meantime, a fast blink won't hurt anything.

Now, to permanently mount the tail light assembly, those flat head screws will be going through the bedside, through a layer of fiberglass, and into a boss on the tail light. I looked at the length of the screw and figured the room I have to play with, and it looks like the screw is too long. Not by a lot, but it doesn't really take that much excess to break the plastic, particularly when it is so bleeping cold in the shop. So I figured I'd shorten the screw a little and give the threads a bit of help in cutting the threads into that plastic boss.

So, first, cut about 2 or 3 threads off the end.



Then you cut an angled slot such that the first thread has an angle to help cut. You also need to trim off the first thread leading up to the angled slot so the screw will act like a tap into the plastic boss. Here you can see a couple of them, with the slot at about 9 o'clock. I tried several photos, but none of them really came out. For some things, these automatic digital cameras don't do a great job.



Then, after you install the light assemblies, it looks like this from the inside of the bed.



After it has been test fitted, it is time to apply some adhesive. Here you see the quarter panel held in place with a vice-grip. The black stuff right on the outside of the bed side aluminum is the Dupont U-428 adhesive. I put enough in place to hold it. It is squishing out just a tad. Actually, the area glued is about 4 inches in diameter, maybe more in the odd dimension. Overnight, the outer perimeter will be set up to a depth of maybe 1/4" or so (probably less than that) and the rest will set up over the next while. Months? I don't know, and the roll pan and tail light screws will need to help stabilize it until it achieves sufficient strength to hold everything without help. But nothing will move, so the overall installation will slowly grow stronger.



Here's the other side, where it is easier to see the fiberglass part. You will also note the blue tape I'm using to hold the light assemblies. The wires probably would hold them as well, but I'm hoping the tape is enough.



So that's about it.

Well, almost. I have been thinking of what to do for those wires since I don't have weatherproof connectors. So I went to the local guy who specializes in VW and Audi recycling (Force 5 Auto in Concord, NH). He let me check out a couple of cars he has ready for recycling. I found a 3 wire and 2 wire set of connectors above each strut on one of the cars which will be just right. I still need a pair of 2 wire connector sets, but I might have that covered already if I can just find them in my own junk. In the meantime, I have a great set of connectors for the main taillights.

Finding both sides of connectors like that isn't easy. Nearly all of them wind up terminating in a component, so usually you only can find just the female side. This time I have both. Yay!

See you tomorrow.

Cheers!

PH
__________________
You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.

Last edited by Powder Hound; February 11th, 2020 at 20:12.
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Old February 12th, 2020, 19:00   #80
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Default Day 53

Today was spent getting things ready to wire up the tail lights. This isn't lots of fun, so I didn't take many photos. But I was able to get weatherized plugs in place for all the rear lights.

It turns out I had some 2 conductor plugs already, so I set those up for the license plate lamps. Unfortunately, I don't have the proper crimp tool for the inserts, but the wires for the little LED plate lights are so fine that I don't think it would do me any good. I ended up soldering them into the inserts after crimping them as best I could with regular pliers. I wouldn't recommend this for anything else, and probably before I use these again, I'll get a decent crimping tool. Those make jobs like this much easier. Well, unless you're having to use wires so tiny that crimps make no connection.

In the meantime, I already had the wires from the taillights hand twisted with the wires from the car's harness for testing yesterday. So today I needed to identify the wires in the new plugs I picked up last evening, and make a map so that I would get it right.

So 2 sets of plugs, coming from the left and right side of the donor car for the same component. You'd think it might be the same color scheme for each side, but no, the donor was an Audi so of course the colors on the wires were different. Duh!

But no matter. The plugs themselves were relatively clean and came apart nicely. After checking and rechecking everything about 3 times, I finally had it ready to go.

First, all 20 connections were prepped by stripping the pigtails and then twisting them together. I also taped them to keep from having short circuits. Then I hooked up the car's battery and checked the lights to make sure everything is copasetic. I did this test first on the plate lamps as well, and did it before I started on the taillights.

I did find one connection where I had the wrong wires connected. I had to check my notes and the notes were correct but I just messed it up. I'll chalk that one up to not liking kneeling on the floor and trying to do this stuff in less than ideal lighting. It seems kind of strange to be having to use a flashlight in the middle of the day, but that's the way it is.

So after the bad connection was corrected, and the battery hooked up again to ensure everything is good, I started in on the soldering. For these, I just soldered the twisted wires. Then I went back after they had all cooled and prepped heat shrink tubing. I painted the joint with liquid tape then slid the tubing on. The liquid tape worked nicely as a lubricant, and after the tubing is shrunk, it acts to seal off the joint nicely. So after I had them all set up, I fired up my hot air gun to shrink the tubing. Now there's 20 homes for micro-mud dauber wasps, if there is such a thing. (The full size wasps keep filling in the hollows of my lug nuts, so if there's tiny ones out there, they'll find these things I am sure.)

OK, so after all this, you have connections that look like this:



The colored wires are coming down from the taillight on the right side. The taillight assembly has been properly installed at this point. The joints I just made are the little spread of black ends you can see at the end of the brightly colored wires, and I'm holding the end of the plug wires from the donor car.

And here's the connection into the car's wiring harness.



I'm holding the car harness. The tape at the joint was a label I put there to mark the taillight socket.

Here's the left side.



On this photo you can see both ends of the donor part as it connects between the car's harness and the wires dropping from the tail light assembly.

And here's what it looks like after stuffing the harnesses back into the car where the trunk used to be. I did a trial mount of the roll pan for this. The actual first thing I did this morning was to take a look at the roll pan to see why it wasn't fitting in well.

I found 2 problems. First I hadn't trimmed the roll pan close enough across the bottom. So I cut about an inch or a little more on the bottom where it curves back toward the front of the car on the underside of the roll pan. I just needed to follow the real cut line.

The second problem is that the flange that was put on the sides of the roll pan to allow it to be riveted and glued to the quarter panels is at a different angle that the quarter panel as it comes around the corner to meet up with the roll pan. The flange seems to angle toward the rear off the roll pan, and that is the exact wrong direction. So I spent a while making fiberglass dust. The roll pan still doesn't fit like I wish, but it is a lot closer than it was. I think I'll use a minimal amount of fill to smooth things out, but I also don't think it will end up being a big deal even if the contour is not optimal.

Anyway, to set up for the photo, I wanted to get that thing to stay in place so I ended up setting the top rivet on each side. I really wanted to glue the roll pan in place tonight, but it was late, and time to finish up. I also found I was picking up black smears. I had put a dab of adhesive (Dupont U-428, as black as printer's ink) on the ends of the plate lamps both to keep the nuts holding them from unscrewing, and also to seal the end of the hollow threaded shaft, because that is where the wires exit. But it seemed that no matter what I was handling, new gobs of black were appearing on my hands, with the problem of cleaning it off as soon as I found the smears. Too much time was being spent wiping that off with paper towels and methanol. But I couldn't figure out why it was all over the place, so I threw in the towel.



So just to see what I needed to do tomorrow after installing the roll pan, I laid a couple more aluminum pieces out. These are trim pieces that go on the top of the roll pan to the bed, and on the top of the bed sides.



These will be permanently installed with rivets and adhesive. I'm thinking I'll just use black silicone instead of the Dupont stuff for this install. The rivets will be flush.

The last note for today is that because of the generally rough surfaces the wires will be hanging over, I'll need to procure some kind of protective tubing for the wiring harnesses. Or just wrap it is tape. Multiple layers of tape. Or something to protect the wiring from chafing and spoiling that future day(s).

Cheers!

PH
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You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.

Last edited by Powder Hound; February 12th, 2020 at 19:07.
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Old February 13th, 2020, 19:53   #81
Powder Hound
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Default Day 54

Time to remind myself what styrene monomer smells like.

Ach - too late. I smell that stuff every time I sand, cut, or otherwise work the FRPs* of the kit.

Today started out with snowfall. After examining the situation, I decided to return home at noon or thereabouts to clear the new snow.

So the first thing when I did get to the shop was to go ahead and rivet and glue in the roll pan.

First I positioned the roll pan, and made sure the holes were correct. As usual, I had to re-drill the holes in the underlying part. I had already countersunk the outer holes in preparation to using flush rivets. But I had a problem positioning the roll pan as before: it wouldn't seat on the bottom part of the joint, so some time was spent sanding for proper clearance.

Then I cleaned the areas to be joined with methanol. It dries quickly even in this cold air, which means the joint surfaces will be clean and dry as soon as I can get the filler/joining material ready.

I broke out the Tiger Hair. This is a filler product from Evercoat, notable because the visible filler in the resin is fiberglass fibers. It makes for a stubborn gooey mess, but I think it is a good way to cover gaps and, in this case, attach two FRP panels together, since it is a material that is essentially the same as that being joined.

But you make it like any other filler. I used a wood stir stick to pull some out of the can and put it on a piece of cardboard. (The directions say to avoid a work surface that is fiberous. Well, I just didn't have anything else that would work.) Then you add some hardener - it is a cream that has the catalyst in it. Blue. The main product is purple. You can tell when it is mixed properly when the color is finally uniform. I used a wall paper smoother as it was the only thing I could find that was flexible and, being made of polyethelene, should be able to shed hardened filler by flexing it.

Then I separated about half and spread it in the joining area of one of the seams, positioned the rivets, and set them with a pneumatic rivet setting device. Very nice, very quick. and you can one-hand it that way, holding the parts with one hand and running the rivet gun with the other. Then I did the same thing to the other side.

Under normal circumstances, this stuff cures quickly, and it only gives you about 5 minutes of pot life before it sets up sufficiently to make further movement detrimental to the strength of the final bond. Not here, not today. When it is cold like here, in February, you start wondering if it will cure before all the resin leaks out. Thixotropic properties just don't apply as well. I helped situation by breaking out the hot air gun and warming up the joint areas. It seemed to help the situation. A lot.

After about 20 minutes, I was able to trim off the excess that protruded from the joint so that a proper surface filler could be used. I'm using Metal Glaze, another Evercoat product. I like it better than any Bondo filler as it is stronger. It is indeed much more expensive than Bondo, but I like the strength.

Anyway, the Metal Glaze is mixed the same way as all the others. Same color of blue hardener/catalyst as the Tiger Hair. This product starts out as light green, so at least there is a good contrast with the hardener until you mix it in. Then spread it into the divots/groove/other surface flaws to fill them in.

After it cures, you sand it down then see if you need to add more to the low spots. You go through several of these cycles, depending on how good you are at all this.

This is the right side after 'gluing' with tiger hair. The light color on each side of the seam is sanding in prep for the metal glaze finish filler.



And the left:



Then, after the metal glaze, first the right:



And the left:



After sanding these seams, there are a few low spots, so another iteration is needed. Tomorrow perhaps.

I did need the hot air gun for the metal glaze as well. The times I have used it in the past, I had to race to get it on the part before it set up. This time, the hot air was needed to make sure it didn't ooze off the part. Sheesh!

Now I decided to start working on the brakes. The left rear caliper is the only original one; I've replaced the other 3 already. The left rear wasn't done because I couldn't get the lower mounting bolt off the carrier before. This time I was able to get the bolt out.

But while the parking brake cables are in good enough shape to leave them in, I had previously decided to go with a full set of new calipers and rotors. Unfortunately in this case, I forgot new brake fluid, anti-seize, and penetrating oil (PB Blaster). So I'll collect all these things and try again tomorrow.

I was wondering where the day went, but I did spend a lot longer for lunch because moving the snow was difficult. There's a lot of ice on the driveway (mostly due to the previous trip and being absent) and it was warm enough that the new snow was turning to slush. Bad news, as my snow blower does not handle slush. At all. It clogs and becomes very frustrating. Sigh... maybe I'll just wait until spring this year. If I had a way to just smoothly roll it down as it falls, I would do exactly that.

Anyway, tomorrow I will hopefully finish the brakes, finish the metal glaze, and see what is needed for the exhaust. I haven't taken a good look at the exhaust yet - all I know is that the rear hanger rusted off the muffler. If I'm lucky maybe all I will need to do is weld a new rod onto the existing muffler. We'll see. I don't remember listening to the exhaust note, so I don't know if there are leaks that need repair as well. We'll see. It will be interesting to see how much of this I can do. I'll need to take another break mid-day because my wife has found a family to take a look at our 2 excess cars we need to sell. A 2003 1.8T Jetta, and a 2006 2.5l New Beetle. Both autos. Guess who was driving these cars? The NB has only about 82k miles on it. If you know anyone interested and within a reasonable distance, have them PM me.

It is getting close to just small detail work. Yay!

Cheers,

PH


* - FRP - Fiber Reinforced Polymers, also known as "fiberglass" after the most common fiber used for reinforcement.
__________________
You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.

Last edited by Powder Hound; February 13th, 2020 at 20:00.
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Old February 14th, 2020, 16:40   #82
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Default Day 55

Today was soaked up by mounting tires on wheels, selling a car, replacing the left rear brake caliper, and mounting the rear license plate.

I started out buying a few nuts & bolts for the license plate. Possibly I didn't need to, but I did it anyway. I did stainless nuts and washers, and regular bolts. Doing both in stainless results in thread galling unless you use a lubricant in the threads.

Then I went to the shop. There's a guy next door that does some auto mechanical work among other things, and he has equipment to mount and balance tires. I worked out a deal with him to use his equipment and save some $$. After mounting the tires, I went back home because my wife arranged to have a friend come by who needs a car. It is convenient, because we need to sell 2 cars out of the 6 we own. So now I am down to 5.

Back to the shop and there I balanced the tires I had mounted. Then I replaced the left rear caliper.



After that, I looked over the exhaust - what I could easily get to - and I saw a lot of rusty pipe, but I did not see any obvious leaks. I was contemplating replacing the entire exhaust, and how much I didn't want to start that right now because of what a PIA it would be in this cold, since I don't have a lift.

While I was trying to come up with an alternative, I mounted the license plate on the rear. Drilled a couple of holes after positioning the plate and marking the holes. Then assembling nuts and bolts. It looks like this:




So, back to the exhaust. I decided the easiest way to see what I am up against is to start the trucklet and listen for any obvious trouble. So I opened the outside door and shut the door into the rest of the shop and connected the battery.

It fired up easily enough. No clouds of smoke, either. I think this engine is going to be just fine. It was somewhat noisy, but it was in an enclosed space and the hood was up. But I didn't hear anything horrifying, so I think I'll do what is needed for right now, and save the wholesale replacement until it gets a lot warmer. It will still be "interesting" in that I anticipate the nuts at the turbocharger end will be hard to remove. The rest of the hardware will probably need to be cut off. That is what you end up with when that much rust is evident. C'est la vie, eh?

So, lined up for tomorrow I'll replace the wheels with a more workable set, replacing both front fenders, and the front bumper cover. And yes, I'll install the tailgate as well. If I can figure it out, I'll probably be taking a look at the shifter linkage to see why it is so stiff.

And if anyone wants a set of rusty steelies with nearly worn out tires mounted, please let me know. I will not charge anything if they come pick them up.

What? You haven't heard any demand for such things in many years? Yeah, me neither. But it can't hurt to ask.

Cheers!

PH

PS: Be sure your loved one knows how much you care on this day!
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Old February 15th, 2020, 18:12   #83
Powder Hound
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Location: Conkud, New Hampshiyuh, USA
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Default Day 56

So remember the tires I mounted and balanced yesterday? Well.

My basic theory is that when doing used tires like these, then the least tread pair go on the back, and the most tread goes on the front, since I figure that most of the time that will be where the most wear is.

These are directional tread snows, so there's a fly in the ointment there. I was aware of this, and thought I planned accordingly, but apparently I missed the boat somewhere. I ended up with the low tread pair on one side and the high tread on the other side, so that just won't do. So I have a pair of wheels where the tires need to be flipped. The guy that owns the tire equipment wasn't around, it being Saturday and all, so that will have to wait. In the meantime, I have 2 wheels in place.

The right fender needed replacing. Maybe the driver's side won't have to be just yet, but definitely the right side needs help. I also have new liners. In prep, I jacked up that side and found some rust prevention/treatment was in order. The process was going along well. I find that I'm missing a bolt, so that is something I can get next week. I also need to find a clip.

This is what it looks like when the factory corrosion protection gets this old and a little water gets in to oxidize the zinc and cause rust. I'm actually surprised it isn't worse. Here at this point, there's a bolt that screws into the rocker panel. It screws into a metal speed nut that clips into a rectangular hole in the rocker. In this case, the clip came out when I extracted the bolt, and the bolt was holding a small portion of the old fender. The metal in that area is rusted thin, so I'm thinking it won't work to just paint the area, get new bolts and clips and go. I'll have to think about it some.



Here's another look, so you can also see much of the dirt and sand that was held up behind the liner before I removed the old fender.



This is after I had sprayed the undercoating material, but then removing the last bolt left this rectangular hole.



And someday it is all going to come together.



This is where the other 90% of the time is being spent. Sigh...

Cheers,

PH
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You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 19:42   #84
Powder Hound
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Default Day 57

First on the list of to-dos is to fix the tire problem. Then attach the new-to-me right front fender.

But before I set off to the shop, I decided to work on the headlights. These desperately needed new lenses because the originals are so frosted as to not be sure there's lights inside. Ergo, the light output is dismal at best.

So I broke out my trusty hot air gun and softened the butyrate glue. After pulling the old lenses off, I tried to clean out the reflectors. I find that these old reflectors are dying - the aluminum (or is it actual chrome? IDK) is starting to flake off. I thought it was just dust but I see it isn't doing well.

I think I'll work on another set of old assemblies I have hiding in the basement. I'll do this is in the morning. As it is, the value of buying someone else's used lights from this era (anything over 15 years old) is pretty low, as in if someone offers a pristine pair for over $50 it is optimistic in my point of view, that being what value are you getting for the $$ you fork over. If the lenses are crap then just skip it.

Anyway, I then went to the shop. The fender calls. So do the tires I need to flip. I did the tires first.

The low tread one is one where it seemed to take a large amount of weight to balance it before, so this time, after flipping the tire, I also moved it 90 degrees on the rim to hopefully get a better result.

It is still 2 big lumps of weight on that one. I guess that is the problem tire. Good thing I'm not depending on these for a long lifetime.

Anyway, the tires are re-done and looking good. I mounted the right rear onto the truck, and then started on the fender.

For the fender, there are the 4 bolts along the top just inside the hood, 2 up front along the bumper cover, and 3 inside in front of the door's leading edge. The bottom bolt of these 3 is the one that is a little iffy. It rusted there, and you will recall that I lost the clip as well when I removed the bolt. To fix this, I bent a 1/8" piece of aluminum so that it would bend down at the rear of this little compartment at the front of the valence under the door. I used adhesive and a couple of rivets to hold it in place under the old surface, and drilled a small hole that was screwed into by the bolt with the fender.

I think this fender I bought a few years ago is an aftermarket one since it didn't fit that well, but it is hard to say. I had to push it and be careful how it was bolted into place to get it to match the seam of the door, and hopefully the hood seam will work well too.

I then screwed down the new fender liner. It didn't fit well, that I expected since it came from Rock Auto. (VW is way too proud of their liners, like all their other parts. Seriously VW, you should be ashamed to ask so much for a buck's worth of molded ABS.) But it doesn't show, so I didn't worry. Just drill a few new holes where the supplied holes didn't line up.

I am a couple of fasteners short, however. So I called my favorite VW/Audi recycler and asked if he had a Jetta to look over. He did. I went on lunch break and then drove over. It had what I needed, including a couple of caps on the headlight assemblies. I don't know why people keep losing those things.

This Jetta he just got in looked to be in reasonable shape except for getting shortened in the rear by about 3 feet. Glad I wasn't driving it at the time. But I think I need to revisit for some other fasteners in the morning.

So after coming back, I finished up the fender and mounted that front right wheel.




There is just the front left wheel to go. I think I might be able to use that fender, but it is hard to say. That is the corner that is stuffed into the wall, so I haven't been able to do much other than get a glance at it.

Time to put the tailgate back on, since all the stuff on the end is pretty much done.



Or so I thought:



There was a little error on this right side before I removed the tailgate, but this is terrible. I'm going to have to think about how to handle this. In the meantime, I can finish assembly of the front end, re-hang the muffler, and get the trucklet driving. That could be by EOD tomorrow. Yikes!!

Cheers,

PH
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You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.

Last edited by Powder Hound; February 17th, 2020 at 19:47.
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