09 November 2016

Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination

Today is the day that Ferris begins his journey to his new owner in California.

I'm more than ready for this to happen and it needed to happen but it doesn't make it easy to watch years of work roll away on a trailer.
See you later, bud...

05 November 2016

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading

Huh...it's been a weird couple of weeks around here.  Ferris is still hanging out in the garage due to communication issues with the buyer's transport dude...who was supposed to show up today after a three week delay, after a two week delay.  Ferris should have been in California back in August...and here we are in November.

I went on uShip and solicited quotes before finding a shipper that's semi-local to me who is going to be moving both Ferris in about a week (guaranteed and confirmed!) and Nigel in about a month.

So the saga will end next weekend - when Ferris and all of the miscellaneous pieces are loaded onto a trailer and shipped to California.  It'll be bittersweet at this point - there's a tiny piece of me that wished that I could hang on to this little car and get him done up right.  I'm hopeful that his new owner will be able to get him back together and bring him to Prado next year.

02 October 2016

A few more final tweaks before the journey...

Guess who's still here?

I finally got the old guy back on tires after some work.  Should make getting the car shipped a hell of a lot easier.  The current plan is that the car will be picked up on the 24th of October.
This is the most complete the car has been since I bought it in 2010.
Well...minus one fender.
At least the majority of the parts are on the car instead of laying around the garage or scattered about the shelves.

26 September 2016

You're ripped at every edge but you're a masterpiece

Good ol' Ferris is still here...too many schedule conflicts and complications with shipping a car on a cart.  So the decision was made to get it up on tires to simplify the quote process.  I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the week.  The front beam went on today, then the spindles...once the cart is cut out from under the car, I'll install the front tires.
The rear subframe is put together and waiting for me to pop it under the car.  I wound up having to use some NOS parts because I didn't save enough used parts...oh well.  Free shit for the new owner.

I'm ready for this little guy to reach his new home.

03 September 2016

The countdown has begun...

Ferris - all put back together and waiting for pick up in a week or two.  I have to figure out how to secure the lower front of the rear fenders because the body shop didn't make provisions for the holes to secure per design.  I'm glad I won't be dealing with this body shop again.  I'm 0 for 3 on body shops in the area so far.
 Here's the view from the back - 95% ready for travel.  Inexplicably the body shop decided to strip the paint off of the hatch before the work to the main body was complete.  All I can think is that they were going for 'billable hours' vs. doing the things that make sense.
 Installed what I think is the nicest used set of door latches I've owned.  I made a deal with the new owner to either trade these for a 3 bolt pulley shroud or he can buy them outright.
 Got a few used parts from another source to allow me to close and latch the doors and hatch.  Everything is installed and ready to go.
Nice used set of 3 bolt strikers went along too.  They're a little harder to align than I remember but I got them to work just fine.

19 August 2016

In most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.

The last week has been rather productive with regard to getting the car ready for its trip.  Save for the rear hatch glass, all of the glass is installed, the fenders are installed, 90% of the parts are collected for packaging (3 boxes have already shipped to the new owner) and the displaced stuff is working its way back into place.

This is the final assembly of the front end mount.  Took a bit of consideration and thought to find this solution but I think it's going to work out quite well.

I'll spend the next couple of weeks finalizing the deal, packing parts and cleaning up the stuff that's left over.

I'm ready for this to happen.

It's time.

I sold the set of carburetors I had rebuilt for the engine because the new owner is going to make Ferris a true N by installing a single side draft carburetor.

The good news is that I didn't lose any money by selling them!  I'm down to the one matched pair that will be rebuilt some day.  Maybe soon.

My focus, once Ferris is gone, will shift to restoring the parts for Nigel as time/funds allow.

13 August 2016

"Disguised as a breakthrough"

 I wound up taking the body off the cart today so I could fix a few minor issues with the hastily screwed together creation.  It wasn't poorly built but it was poorly thought out and I had to correct that because this thing is going to be supporting quite a bit of weight once the body is assembled completely.
 Since I worked alone today, I had to come up with some sort of way to lift up the rear end without interfering with the body cart since I'd have to get it out from underneath the body once it was supported.  I had a few options and took each under consideration - but wound up going with the last/least likely to work option.  Screw two 2" x 4" scraps to a 2"x6", set - well, 'balance", really - on top of my saw horse, then screw the wood blocks to the body once I'd lifted the body and got it all underneath.  Not a great way to do it but it worked.
 This is the view from the rear.  It looks a hell of a lot more stable than it was - I didn't really think it was going to work and prepared myself for having to figure out how to pick it back up once it slid off of the saw horse.

Fortunately, that didn't happen.
 This was my solution for the front end - much lighter but I knew that with one semi-sketchy support on the back that I'd need to use two up front or this thing would rock like a boat in choppy seas and I didn't want to risk it falling.

I stared at it for a good 5 minutes until I realized that I could use the bumper brackets.  I'm not proud of how long it took but I am happy that it worked out.
 The rebuild of the body cart got the rear bushings in the right place without wood blocks.
The front end is now level with the rear end which should make it more stable.

By the end of the day - the cart was finished, the body was put back on the cart without incident, the pan was attached, a cart for the rebuilt  transmission was assembled (and the drums installed).  I installed the rear seat and put the pieces of the front seats inside.  The glove box and door were installed as was the ashtray.  I was able to get Ospho on most of the bare metal - I have the inner side of the rear hatch to get done.  Next time I get to the car, I'll have the glass installed.  There shouldn't be much more to do after that point but get the interior closed up a little bit better.

I've started packing and plan to ship parts next week - to reduce the amount of parts to be shipped with the body.  90-95% of the parts are collected and ready to either go into the car or in a box for shipping.

I also spent about an hour cleaning the garage and rearranging stuff now that some bulky things are departing.  I think things will clean up nicely.

04 August 2016

All I know are sad songs...

 The journey to pick up Ferris was completed today.  The car is back in the garage, loosely assembled, and will be further prepared for transport in the next two weeks.  I'm going to find some Ospho to coat the bare metal and the flash rust to stop it from progressing.

The floor pan will be pulled out and attached to the body, seats will be installed, glass will be installed.  It'll almost look like a complete car again.
Here's a photo of the first time these two cars have been in the same place at the same time.  One's staying here while the other moves to California in a few weeks.

It's kind of a bummer to have to give up and let go but it's also going to be a sorely needed change of pace - taking a load off of my shoulders, clearing out some space and giving me some time to ponder my next move.  I have already started slimming down on the parts and moving things on to new owners.

01 August 2016

Ironic progress

The basic stand for the transport of Ferris is complete - mostly built from spare lumber in the garage / yard.  I did have to make a trip to Home Depot to get a few boards.

All it needs now is caster wheels and some on site adjustment and we're in business.  I'm looking to get the wheels on it before the trip on Thursday to pick up the body.  I've got most of the parts collected and ready to go.  This book is nearing the last chapter after six years of blank pages.

22 July 2016

There is beauty in hardship, there are poems in grief

In some sort of cruel irony, the body guy contacted me the day after I started talks to sell the car.  He sent me photos of the work that was done to date and explained that they could be done by the end of August...at a cost, of course.  While I'm tempted to just finish the car and get the body painted, start putting it back together, etc. there's a lot of money that needs to be spent to get the car done.  A lot of money...as in 'close to $10k', at which point, I could sell the car and lose the same $5k I'm going to lose now but with a whole lot of additional work and time invested in the car.  So, after careful consideration, I've decided to just let go.

I was conflicted for a few days - thinking about how awesome it would be to start putting the car back together and finally see some progress after all of these years.  But I simply don't have the time and now that the idea of selling this car has been tabled, I've lost all motivation to do anything but get parts out so that I can ship them to the new owner.  I feel like this step is necessary to gauge my tolerance for keeping Nigel - I've been seriously considering a complete/permanent exit of the hobby.  I'm not totally ready for that drastic a step just yet but I do need to divest a bit.  Letting Ferris go to someone who will eventually rebuild him is a good interim move.

I'll admit, I've been near giddy with excitement in pulling out old bins, boxes and opening cabinets - in search of the parts that go with this car.  Realizing that nearly half of all of the stuff that's taking up every square inch of my garage will be gone in 2-3 weeks...there's a sense of relief that I didn't expect to feel.  I always envisioned having the finished car and driving it to visit the girl who drove it through college (she now lives in Ohio) so she could drive it one more time.  The hatch glass still has the sticker for her college on it.  I'm sure it would have put a smile on her face.  But that unwritten chapter is not to happen and will remain an unmet goal for this car.

The focus, for now, will be to keep as much of this car together as possible (the buyer already has the original interior to Ferris), get him shipped to California and get back on making Nigel as reliable as possible.  At some point in the near future, this blog will end and all of the 'action' will move to Nigel's blog.

Thanks for following along for whatever part of this journey you've taken in...it's been a journey that both took too long and ended too soon.

17 July 2016

The question that frees you isn't 'what should I do?', it's 'what should I stop?'

I miss the days when I had the time to enjoy this hobby - and I wish I'd truly appreciated it when they were my 'present'.  I don't think I understood just how good things were.

I couldn't understand how other people could be so short-sighted on these projects and wind up spending a ton of money only to lose most of it and sell it all off years later.  Now I'm one of those people and I understand.  The reality is that it sucks but to keep investing in something with no return is insane.  I try to stay on *this* side of ridiculous and, occasionally, it's a struggle.

A lot of time has been spent considering, pondering, wondering, planning alternatives and identifying what might be around the corner, downstream...but the simple fact is that the time may have come where I have to let this project go.  The odds of getting this project off the ground, literally, are slim to none.  I think that it's best that I just stop blowing money on something that has yet to materialize.  Far too much time and money has been spent to be at the place where I've paused.  And since this car is still in pieces, I'll get next to nothing for it when it's sold/parted - making the exit from this project that much more expensive.

Life gets complex when you get older, gain responsibilities and have to arrange what you want to do around and after what you have to do.  It's one of those things that some people can skirt by paying others to do for them while they work out their other commitments.  Most of those people wind up paying 3-4 times what they should and carry the debt around with them until they figure out how to pay it all back.  That's not for me - if I can't pay for it now, I don't buy it.  That's part of how I have reached this time and place.  I'm at a point where I'm either going to have to pay a lot to get this car done (over $10k) or just let it go and cut my losses - which are substantial, both in time and cost.  There's a reason there are no photos for 2 years on the progress of this car - nothing has happened.

There are, of course, other personal factors that I'm not going to get into here that also influence this decision but, ultimately, this is probably the time to make it happen.  I'm honestly in over my head with two cars at this stage in my life and to start - one of them is going away.  Should the slope get slippery, I'll sell the second car and all of the parts and exit the hobby permanently.

EDIT: I've got a potential buyer so the end may be near for this project.  Fortunately, he's very interested in the N model so it's likely that Ferris may see life after all.  A ray of light in a dark scene.

17 June 2016

"If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one."

A small amount of progress:  I finally got into contact with the body shop about the work that was done and they've agreed to take the pan back and make the necessary corrections.  The manager said he didn't really supervise the result because the job seemed to be pretty simple.  I didn't go over it with a fine toothed comb, so to speak, for the exact same reason.

Sometime in the next week or two, I need to figure out how to get it back to the body shop...could be tricky given that I'm out of days off and after a doctor's visit today, was told to ease up on the heavy lifting.  I'll figure something out...

Last weekend I went to OCTO on Saturday and the El Prado Show N Shine in California during a week long visit.  I was able to get together with some old Type 3 friends and swap stories and experiences.  I didn't buy any parts.  It's the first year I've come home without parts in hand from a swap space.  There just didn't seem to be anything of interest for sale - same tired old broken overpriced shit that's online...and seeing it in person didn't make things any better.

One thing I did take notice of was the BFGoodrich tires on Pedro Sainz's super nice Type 34 - expensive tires but they really look nice.  I'm considering those for my 64 - moving the Vredstein's to Ferris once the wheels are powder coated.

I've all but stopped buying parts - finished acquiring the parts I'd asked to be held in foreign lands and all but one order has arrived, weeks ago.  Some of my obvious duplicates are headed to new owners.

The 'simple' goal of getting the pan up on tires by the end of the Summer is starting to look like a long shot - I don't have enough time during the week to accomplish the 'normal' tasks, let alone dedicate several additional hours to the assembly of a car.  It's the 'life happening' while I'm making plans to accomplish the task.

Nigel is still in the garage - no time to fine tune or drive him around.

I've got to figure out how to get more fun out of this hobby - project stasis is starting to bum me out.

29 May 2016

Tradition is the corpse of wisdom

I had a chat with the Rust Stop people about how to fix the results of the body shop's work - they suspect that the top coat wasn't put on correctly and suggested that I scuff the surface with 300 grit sandpaper and recoat with the top coat product.  My plan is to fix the bent shit, scuff, clean and top coat - there are a few areas where I'll have to do the whole process because they were not done at all - the more I look, the more I find.  I contacted the shop but the guy I need to work with took a few extra days off so I'll be in contact next week to work out a resolution that doesn't include me taking the whole pan back - I'm going to do the work myself.  The tube solution isn't in hand...yet.

I took two sets of pop out window frames apart - not one of them simply came apart - they all required that at least one screw be drilled out due to rusting together.  They're a weird design and prone to rust due to the way they're constructed.  I'm thinking about putting the frames up for sale for a low price of $10/pr and if they don't sell, I'll chuck 'em into the scrap bin.  I'm keeping the glass because it is the most valuable part, in my opinion.

There are not enough hours in the day - I need to figure out how to get more done on this car in less time if I'm going to get it back together.

23 May 2016

You can't expect everyone to have the same dedication as you

I picked up the pan this morning - at first glance, it all looked good with a couple of issues that were more or less my fault...until I got it home and got it cleaned off, then the sweetness soured a bit.

There are problems with this job.
The area under the kick panel towers didn't get painted.  Never mind the fucked up bracket that got welded together by someone else and would now be a giant pain in ass to fix.  I thought about it and decided to just let it go.  That doesn't mean that it doesn't bother me though.
The VIN stamped into the tunnel getting painted was my fault - I forgot to mention it to the painter...so he painted over it.  It's really lightly stamped and hard to see.  I'll have to see if I can get this stuff off around the stamped VIN before I get too far.
Putting the pan in the truck, it got shoved too hard once and the heater box tube folded 90°...so now I get to figure out how to weld this back together without causing a much larger problem to solve.

 The inside of the heat tunnel bits didn't get painted - I forgot to remove the flaps/wires and the painter didn't want to paint them closed.

I call this one a 'draw'.
This end didn't get painted.

How fucking hard is this when it's your job?
The other side that didn't get painted.

Now that it's clean, when I look at the pan, it's really easy to tell where the paint didn't go on right - there are flat/rough spots in the paint.  I'd say that about half of it is glossy/smooth and the rest of it has the texture of bed liner...which isn't right.
I'm 90% sure that this wasn't fucked up when I dropped it off for paint.
I missed fixing the brake hose support before the pan was painted.  And the painter, who works in a body shop and was asked to catch anything that looked wrong, said nothing.

In the end, I wish I'd just taken 3 days off of work and painted this thing myself.  There's no way I could have done a worse job.

And to do it right, I will have to sand half of it down and do it myself anyway.

I'm going to contact the body shop tomorrow and see if we can work something out to get this corrected.  I'm not terribly happy with what I paid vs. what they delivered now that it's cleaned off.

I'm becoming convinced that this car is 100% jinxed and that's why it's yet to go back together.  If I wasn't already into this car for WAY more than I'll ever get out of it, I'd just fucking scrap it and save myself the hassle and expense.  Something tells me that this isn't the last problem I'm going to have with this car.

My expectations were not high - I dropped off a bare metal floor pan that needed to be rinsed off and painted and the shop had two weeks to do the work.  Seems like it was half done at best and I fucking hate cleaning up after people I've hired to do a specific job.

What an expensive fucking disappointment...

20 May 2016

Little by little...the puzzle will go back together

The dirty master cylinder that I had was sent off to Jim Adney and this is what came back.  I'm thinking that this will be the unit that goes on the pan for Ferris.

The pan pick up is set for Monday morning...just have to figure out when I'll have time to start putting it back together.

19 May 2016

Repop drums that fit!

Test fit the repop ductile iron rear drums and they actually fucking fit!  I've purchased a total of three sets of repop rear drums in the last five years and this is the first set I haven't had to modify in some way to get them to fit!

Pan pick up is set for Monday - so I'm hoping to have some progress on it over the holiday weekend.  I'm still without tires or finished wheels so it won't be on the ground but there's plenty I can do up to that point.

I'm also planning (in my head) the best time to go out and get the body - drop it off at RediStrip - to get that part moving forward.  Slow progress is slow but still moving forward.   It's going to be nice to start putting things together again.

12 May 2016

Heat exchangers and muffler arrive

The heater exchangers and muffler arrived today.  This is  probably the cleanest set of heat exchangers I've ever seen.
Near NOS VW logo muffler, near NOS preheat boxes
VW logo and part number stamped into the flange - look how clean the insulation is on this thing!

I'll be in the process of rounding up the random heat exchangers so they can be sold and sent to new homes.

11 May 2016

Gathering the pieces of momentum

The brake kit arrived yesterday - the postal carrier wouldn't deliver the box (it's 52#) so I had to stop by the post office and pick it up.

The rear drums arrived a few days ago and the pan is ready to be picked up.  I have to figure out when I can get over and pick it up.  The first goal would be to assemble the rear triangle, attach the transmission and engine and get that up on wheels.  Once that's together, I can test run the engine and make sure everything is on the 'up and up'.  I've got to get the starter, clutch, pressure plate, tires and have the wheels powder coated.  That's about another $1k in parts.

The heater boxes and muffler are scheduled to arrive on Thursday.  I should be able to get the engine back together shortly...

03 May 2016

Fender beading - one piece closer

Found a rear right side fender beading piece.  I'm down to needing the rear left and the two little apron pieces - which I may wind up making out of a spare 'regular' piece if it comes to it.

I have repop rear drums inbound - set to arrive on Thursday so that completes the stuff I need for the rear brakes.  I'm pretty sure I have all of the other rear end parts - but I'm sure I'll discover something that I've forgotten when it's time to put it all back together.

The floor pan is done - the shop called me yesterday - I want to swing by and check it out before I rent a truck to go get it.  Things have been busy so I haven't had a chance to go check out the floor pan yet - too many things going on at work and around the house.  I might wind up picking it up Thursday afternoon if the weather holds and I can get my other stuff done in time.  Otherwise, it might wind up being next week.

To be continued...

28 April 2016

"Out of student loans and treehouse homes we all would take the latter..."

Looking forward to getting my hands on this near NOS exhaust/heat exchanger setup.  I should be able to finalize the purchase shortly - this will be used on the final version of Ferris's engine.  I've got a few things to clean up before it's 'complete' but it's real close at this point.  The Vintage Speed exhaust is looking to be six months to a year away based on recent communication.

I've started to hunt down rear brake shoes and what looks to be a requirement for repop rear drums.  I can't seem to find NOS rear drums anymore...next on my list is going to be the front beam parts and making sure that I have the hardware I need to put things back together.  It's hard to believe that I need to look for anything will all of the stuff I've got in the garage but it happens far more often than I'd like to admit.

I've got to pop in the car and drive out to see what's going on with the body for Ferris...it's been silent far too long.  I'm thinking about going to retrieve it and drop it off at RediStrip to get it real clean, do a once over and fix the last few things before paint.  After all this time, it's got to be close...or it's still sitting in the corner of the shop.  Having a complete pan will motivate me to get the body completed...and that pan should be ready for pick up real soon.

Background Tune: "Stressed Out" by twenty one pilots

15 April 2016

Productivity hit peak output today

Got out of the house at 6:30am and picked up a rental van from Home Depot.  The first stop today was at RediStrip to pick up the stuff Craig and I dropped off a few months ago.

This photo pretty much only covers the contents of the three paint cans I stuffed full of parts.  A lot of this stuff I'd completely forgotten that I still had it.  The floor pan for Ferris, the rear subframe and the torsion arms didn't get photographed but they look as clean as these parts.  They're at a local body shop - to be painted with Rust Seal next weekend.  So it looks like the pan will start to come together in a few weeks.  I'm ready to start getting these parts collected in one place.

Whatever they do at RediStrip, it's fucking amazing.  Everything I dropped off came back super clean, rust free and ready to be either painted or zinc plated.  Parts I added at the last minute - just to see how they'd turn out - came back in better condition than I thought possible.
 I sent off three fan shrouds - all three of them looked like shit.  They're now super clean and ready for a little repair and installation.

The rear engine tin piece was going to go into the scrap bin but it looks good enough to sell.
 This is the front beam that was full of sand, dirty and had grease, paint and all kinds of other shit inside of it.  The whole thing is super clean.  Since I've abandoned my plan of building a scratch built beam with the synthetic plastic bushings (a $400 mistake), I don't really need this beam.  I may put it up for sale if I don't decide to build it up.  I'm on the fence about it right now.
 I've never seen a cleaner front beam.  Ever.  My NOS beam looks like crap next to this one.
 Hood latch that I was thinking about scrapping because it looked like shit now looks better than the NOS piece I'd planned to use.
Part number on the back is super clean and easy to read.  All of the parts came back in amazing condition.

I took a bunch of pictures of the parts - Craig stood back and probably wondered about my sanity silently to himself.  I can't believe how clean all of these parts are...