Monday, 7 March 2016

More driving, tuning, beer and shiny bits

In an effort to try and fault find via datalogs, I was back out in the car again today. I only drove to the next suburb and back, got a bit of fuel and the like. Of course, with any VW, it's always an adventure. The first thing of course was getting out the driveway. The exhaust hanger scraped again.

Then off to my mate's place data logging on the way. When it's cold, it's got nothing down low... and I mean nothing. Just off idle it fluffs around no end. In traffic, it's better. Third gear is really where it all happens though. By then though, you're above 35mph and breaking the law. 1st is over very fast and 2nd isn't much better. I dearly wish I'd got a close ratio 1st/2nd set installed. The clutch is also a might too clampy. It's a touch chattery. I'm getting used to this, but it is hard to get it off the line at low revs. Be interesting to see how my 12yo daughter copes with this in a motorkhana. Hmm...

It's a hot week for the first week of March, and the car is feeling it. Just in traffic driving across one suburb I got intake air temps up near 55degC. Ie, too hot. I adjusted the fan and intercooler pump controls down, but even still couldn't get the IAT down past 50degC. I think I might have to revise the way air is getting to the radiator. It probably works well at 100kmh, but not so well in traffic and round 60kmh. Strangely, oil temps in the sump are still only 50degC. Head temps were 115degC. So hotter than the freeway, but then the engine fan isn't moving as much air. This is the weird thing, the motor itself is running quite cool but the intake temps are not so much.

The other frustrating thing about driving the car (that I'd forgot) is the position of the gearstick and steering wheel in 4th gear. You can see it in this pic. My 6'4" knees are jammed in between the two. I had the same issue with test driving a subaru liberty some years back... only it was the handbrake in the liberty.

Having picked up a few things and dropped my wife's phone off to be resuscitated, I drove back to the local petrol station to get some fuel. The first one wasn't selling 98 octane so I left for a truck stop round the corner. Having filled the car and turned the laptop back on I was accosted by a friendly truck driver. "Darren", least that's what his shirt said, tried to stick his head through my window to talk to me.

Why do people do this?

The conversation went a bit like this...
Darren; "is that a 1956?"
Me; "yes"
Darren; "I have a transporter. Do you drink beer?"
Me; "does the pope wear a funny hat?"
Darren; [lots of talk about beer, most of which I'll pass over] "'ve got to get this beer, it goes with the car".
Me; [being polite] "ok"
Darren; "when you have you're first mouthful of it, you'll go [f-bomb]!!!"
Me; "right"
Darren; [tells me where to get it and waves me off]

This is the beer, I think... Now don't get me wrong, I like beer. I like German beer, well some of it. What I'm struggling to understand is how it goes with my 56' beetle beyond being German. But what the heck, I'll pick some up and try it. I'll take one for the team.

After that I headed off home with the laptop on autotune. I pulled up to the first corner and it started misfiring. Grr. I guess it's been running rich for so long the plugs have fouled. I got it running on all 4 again, but it's not great. Hopefully all my logs can help some experts help me to sort this all out.

When I got home, my latest purchase arrived. Direct from China and just $8.80.

Wheel nut caps. Plastic with chrome coating. I even got 2 removal tools. Some of you might be thinking 'what the heck is he doing?'. Well there's a few things going on.
Firstly; everything has been done to VWs wheel-wise. Ev-ry-thing. So, how to be different?
Secondly; I don't want expensive, wide, shiny, alloy wheels on the car.
Thirdly; I want to keep stock width wheels and skinny tyres. My only other option is steel 356 replica wheels. They look great, but I'd still want to paint them black and that means the price of alloys anyway.
Fourth; I love that 1950's hotrod thing. Simple, different, innovative and cheap. That's the thing about the original hotrodding. The cars weren't that wild looking often, they were very clever and well thought out. Cal-look VWs looked the same to begin with. No BRMs or EMPI 5 spokes.

So, I hit the garage. Here's the result. It's super subtle, but I reckon it works.

I still think I'm not done yet. I reckon there's more I can do with the wheels. That'll come in the future.

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