Samstag, 2. Januar 2021

Franzis Adventcalendar VW Käfer: The final product

Here are a few pics of the final product. The base plate with sound module and a fancy "mirror cover" with the 1970 VW beetle on display.

The sound module tries to replicate the typical boxer engine sound, but it sounds a bit like it was recorded with the microphone in a tin can, so the sound is far from perfect, but okay for such a toy.

 There were 2 different background displays - mountains and a lake: 

and a british looking cottage:
As there were 24 "pockets" to fill, besides the beetle in pieces, there was a whole bunch of other "crap" comming with the model, like a set of memory cards with some info about the beetle, a soft cloth to clean the mirror and a book which also had a lot of history of the VW beetle as well as a daily page with info about the "gift of the day" and little a note pad with self-adhesive stickers.

There was also a screw driver for the tiny screws and a little "tool box" of cardboard, to store the small items during the build phase. (Not shown in the picture)

Maybe for the die-hard VW beetle enthusiast nothing really new to learn, but it was a funny experience, even though some of the "gimmicky" presents were a little lame...

The model itself is a Welly VW beetle, with a solid body, no doors or hood to open.

Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2020

Franzis Adventkalender VW Käfer: kein Ton? No sound on Franzis Advent calender VW beetle?

 My lovely wife gave me the Franzis Advent calendar for this year's pre-Christmas time.

Today, the button for the sound module was the "gift of the day" and it was supposed to start the sound module. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything! So a little analysis showed that the battery box prevents one of the battery contacts to actually get contact! 

But don't worry, here is the solution to the problem: Remove the battery box from the base plate and flip it over, like so:

Then, carefully pry off the cover of the battery contacts:

Then remove material with a file in these areas:

Depending on the type of battery you use, the dimensions might be a little different, but the general idea is, to remove material to allow contact of the "+" side of the battery box.

Assembly in reverse order of assembly and your sound module should sound like a beetle!

On December 24th I will post the complete project!

Mittwoch, 29. April 2020

Oil cooler project finally finished!

After lots of angle grinding, hole drilling and thread cutting, it is finished!
Some details of the 3mm steel plates I used for the brackets (again, captive nuts were used)

Here is the cooler already fitted, the oil lines are not finished yet in this pic (another set of 6 captive nuts in hindsight of a cover with vents, to be mounted later)

And a view from the side:

And the finished article, plumbed and oil tight!

Currently I am designing a metal shield with cooling fins to improve the already good airflow even more!

Besides the improved cooling abilities, I also wanted to get rid of the "chaos" in the engine bay, I think it worked out well:



(Yes, I know, the vent hoses looks like garden hose, but it was supplied by CB performance, with the Type 3 specific vent housing. It will be replaced with "proper" hose soon!)

all of this cluttered mess is gone:

Here are a few shots of the creating, fabricating and assembly process:

This is the initial sketch - for me, most of it still makes sense, even though, I changed a lot of details along the way...

I also added another piece of sheet metal to improve air flow on the 3/4 cooling tin. There is a rectangular opening to release the hot air, after it passed the oil cooler, here is a pic of such an original cooling tin:

This opening could be closed, now that there is no oil cooler any more, it will improve the cooling of cylinder 3/4 as more air volume will flow over the cylinders now.

Here is the metal cover, I used a simple tab on one side and an existing thread on the other side, thus I could slip the cover onto the already mounted tin:

This is a mock up of the final assembly set up:
 (Of course, the cooling tins on my engine are not that messed up and rusty!)

Dienstag, 21. April 2020

The first cut is the deepest

The oil needs to travel from the adapter to the oil filter, behind the firewall. A hole in the fire wall is a first step. (A lick of rust protective primer hopefully prevents rust on the cut line). To make this mess a whole neater, another aluminium cover, painted in black wrinkle finish, equipped with proper rubber grommets to protect the oil lines was fabricated. M6 Captive nuts allow for a neat installation of the cover:

Major Tom to ground control

"Ground" is the key word here. After final assembly of the oil filter / adapter, the oil temperature / warning light sensor had no ground. So, the oil pressure showed a constant 10 bar and the "idiot light" did not come on. An update in the ground connection was necessary - but how? The sender unit only has 2 contact prongs, one for pressure and one for warning light. The M10x1 thread for attachment to the oil line is conical, so, no way to attach a ground strap...
The solution was to ground the housing itself!
Today shown a little different - In a short photo story:

 (forgive my booger welds)

 a little zinc spray to avoid corrosion

 Ground strap attached! The sender is fully functional again

Freitag, 17. April 2020

Peter Kramer's California Käfer Shop / Stage Fright

Recently I mentioned Peter Kramers "California Käfer Shop" in one of my posts. When he was still located in Dortmund, basically on a scrap yard, this guy had it all, one piece windows, Baja bug kits, cheap taiwanese chrome parts, performance exhausts - you name it. A good amount of my monthly wage in the late 80ies was regularly brought to his shop. I still see the guy from time to time on the Maikäfertreffen or selling Hot Wheels and neon signs in the Techno Classica Fair in Essen, but this shop was the only source for rad Cal look parts since the mid 80ies. Also he sold the American "Hot VW's and Dune Buggies" and "VW Trends" magazines for 5 DM instead of the 12 DM you could buy it for at the book store of the main train station in Essen.Well, he was - and probably is still - a special character, but also thanks to his engagement and his shop, I became the VW nut I am today - and since the mid 80ies!

Here is a key ring I still own, with  the image of his "promotion vehicle" at the time, which he later sold to Helge Ohmes, the famous VW Dragster Bug  "Stage Fright" - originally built in Bakersfield CA by Michael Irvin

The Spaghetti Incident

Yes, another album title, but here it is all about the relocation of the ignition coil and cables, to remove as many cables from visibility:
This lot of wires could be removed

The coil is relocated to the left side of the engine compartment. Almost all wires are invisible now. It will only become apparent after final assembly, but if you compare this to the "before" status, you get the idea: Especially around the oil cooler and coil area, all sorts of wires strewn around