Sunday, May 16, 2010

Trouble in Paradise

Welcome back Constant Reader.Okay, with a day of good weather, I worked on Doodle some. A couple weeks ago as you remember, I had driven it on a cruise with my VW Gang and noticed he had no power. I attributed that to Doodle possibly being out of time, so vowed to give him a full tune up on the next nicest day. That was today. I replaced the points, cap, rotor, and plugs. Didnt have a set of wires, but thought I did, so I didnt get them changed. Okay, after all that, I got my strobe and set the timing at 5 deg after TDC which is what my Bentley said I'm pretty sure. Then my issues started. I took Doodle for a spin and noticed not much difference, if any at all. Foot to the floor in third gear still didnt get me much over 60mph on flat ground. Just didnt feel right if that made sense. Back to the house, while idling, I pulled the wires one at a time and found no change on #3. Shit. I did have spark on each side of the wire, but weakish. Replaced that wire with one that was new off my other bay. Shut it down, and pulled out the dreaded compression tester. This is where the rubber meets the road. Bad or low numbers means my summer camping schedule has just been grounded at the terminal, and a high dollar rebuild is in my near future.

Fearing the worst, I tried it out and got 125. YES! Much better than I thought, but still doesnt answer my question. Thinking I wanted to check the injectors, I fired it up again, and when I unplug the injector for #4, I felt the motor kick down. Nothing happens when you unplug number three. So, that makes me think the injector isnt working. Now I have to figure out how I test it to know if the injector isnt working, or how to check the ECU to see if it isnt sending the signal for it to fire. I've never worked on a FI bus before, so Im not sure where to go from here. Other questions floating around in my head, if the injector has to be replaced, do injectors need to be replaced in pairs? If I have to send it off to be rebuilt or cleaned or whatever, do I need to do all four at the same time?

Thoughts? Comments?

So thinking I would at the very least run some high powered injector cleaner through it, I drove down to the gas station, put in a bottle and proceeded to fill it up. Well, that didnt work either. Stopped reading a half a tank. Dont know why. 10 gallons and no more. I know I was out at home, because I was parked on the driveway, and he wouldnt start until I put another gallon in him. Hmm. So I drive home pondering that one, pull into the garage, and do my yard work. While putting my tools away, I notice a large puddle under the drivers side rear of him. Bending down, my sniffer confirms that its definately gas. What the heck? I open the engine bay, and yep, the drivers side battery is definately sitting in gas, and it appears to be leaking from somewhere in the upper right hand vents. So I call my buddy Mike. Mike is pretty sharp about all things VW Bus, and I ask him. I sez to him, Mike, I sez, where the hell is this gas coming from? Mike, in his infinate wisdom, tells me there is an overflow hose in the upper area of that side vent, and when you put too much gas in, it drains there, and my hose must be busted. Great. Apparently, its a pain in the ass to replace. 'Preciate that good buddy. So I stick a gas can under Doodle to catch his droppings, bid him good night, and shut the garage door.

Off to research this on the majikal interwebz.

Good Night Constant Reader.

Ah Doodle. I love you so.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cruise time!

So Doodle is a formal member of the SHAC (Sherman Air Coolers VW Gang) and as such, was formally invited by yours truely to partake in the 1st Annual SHAC cruise. So away we go. Now, I invite my brother along, for company, and we head on over to the meeting spot. Great weather, good friends, VWs and a 160 mile cruise with catfish at the end. Whats better?

So all together, we line up for a quick photo op...

And away we go. Im telling you, I was pretty happy. Fun times. I love VW cruises and I loves my camper.
Well, we start off strong, and immediately pull into a gas station. Dammit, cruise stopped.

No problem, I take this time to load up on Funyuns and Monster Energy Drinks, the American Staple of road trips. (That and beef jerky) Finally back on the road, we make a few more miles, before....
Car Trouble! Cory, in his high dollar orange buggy, has charging issues and a horrible oil leak. We pull over and start working on it. Doodle the Triumphant, has no problems, and waits patiently to be back in the wind.
Okay, issues fixed, Cory's buggy is running once again, and away we go.
Now this is fun! 55 mph, classic rock, my bus and VW cars. Not bad not bad. We make pretty good time until....
Bo's buggy broke down. Dammit! He was having major major problems here. We were on the side of the road for quite some time. I checked on Doodle, and ...
..chillin. No problems. In fact, our chase vehicle was down, so I ended up carrying all the tools and parts in Doodle the whole time. Score! I think the trouble was finally behind us, and we started putting miles on the car. Over the river and through the woods to Wendys Catfish we go!

Made it! Time to get out and eat!

Well after a delicious catfish lunch, I headed the 40 miles (freeway) back home. I did find that something is wrong with Doodle. He isnt making any power. I couldnt make over 50 mph on the freeway, and at times much slower. Concerning, actually. I noticed it getting worse and worse over the cruise, but buy the time I headed home, it was pretty bad. Hmm, I need to take a look. I did swing by and show Doodle to my little nephew Austin. I think he liked it. Until next time Constant Reader, put your hat on the dash, and drive your VW somewhere. It deserves it.