With Wings As Eagles: Craig P. Steffen's Blog

It's never "almost done"

2006 October 25 23:27

I'm beginning to realize about vintage car ownership: it's never "almost done".

The old starter is out, and the new one is ready to go in:

To do the job right, I need to replace the starter bushing which is this little bronze cylinder (it looks about like a copper thimble but a hole at each end), which is embedded in the transmision. To extract the old one, I need a special tool, which I have on order.

So with the engine of my car sitting in an alarming number of pieces in my garage,

I discover that yet something else needs to be fixed. The heater boxes, or heat exchangers. They're part of the exhaust system; they're a tube within a tube. The exhaust from the front cylinders passes through the inner tube, and air is blown through the outer tube to the heat ducts which heat the inside of the car if you turn the heat on.

Since if the seal between the inner and outer tubes become compromised, you can get exhaust directly into the cabin, which is bad. So it's pretty important that the heater boxes are not too old or rusted out. I discovered that the outer tube had partly rusted off the inner tube on the right heater box in my beetle. Here's that heater box removed:

To increase the area of heat transfer, the inner tubes have fins:

So I'll be waiting for the new boxes to arrive before the great re-assembly of the beetle. Stay tuned here for more news.


2006 October 21 12:28

I am undergoing option paralysis. It's when you have many many things to do, and in fact lots of time to do stuff, but there are so many things to do that you can't focus on one. Often the effect of this is that nothing gets done. I am very suseptible to it; thus, I work very well under deadline pressure (there is only one thing to be doing) but often not so well when there isn't specific pressure to get one thing done.

I guess today will be a chance to practice dealing with it. I have a pretty empty weekend, and lots to do. I have a pretty good chance to get ahead of things, if I can only bring myself to use it.

On the docket for the weekend:

Watching second season 2 of Battlestar Galactica will have to wait, because I can't buy it locally; which gives me more time for the weekend. So far, it really is as incredibly good as everyone has told me it was; it really is all that and a bag of chips.

Off to do stuff...

It is too late for the pebbles to vote

2006 October 11 09:18

I'm in the process of digging into the engine compartment on the beetle. I have three things that I want to work on:

So I'm digging into the engine to get at all that stuff. Getting the engine tin installed means removing the fan shroud. Getting to the fan shroud means removing most of what's on top of the engine. At this point, I'm too far along to back gracefully:

So when I have time, onward we go.

without a net

2006 October 11 09:14

Well, I finally soloed. At the end of lesson 14, I took 704YE around the pattern three times by myself. The first of those landings was sort of ugly, the other two were fine. The next two lessons I spent three hours just going around and around the pattern for solo practice. They were pretty uneventful as well.

The next time I have tim to go fly (work is very busy this week) we will be doing the dual cross-country, where we fly to a couple of other airports.