Friday, February 8, 2013

2013 Emissions passed!

First emissions test for the new engine, and Harvee passed with flying colors:

He also passed the safety inspection, and then I went for a drive to Layton and back with the puppies to stretch his legs - only

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Big Trip of 2012 - July 26-29, 2012

Although we had had hopes of more camping trips in 2012 than we actually accomplished, this wasn't to be as the engine re-build took a lot out of the summer.

Still, we did get one large long weekend trip in - from Utah to Lake George, CO, over 1000 miles in total!

The trip was to a meet-up for the Adventure Rider motorcycle website, so I rode my 2008 Kawasaki KLR650, and Gininda drove Harvee with the dogs. We started out on the Thursday evening after Gininda got home from work, but with both of us tired and me a little stressed, we only got as far as a pull-off halfway up Provo Canyon, rather than Green River that we had hoped to reach.

First night sleeping in Harvee though!

We were pretty loaded, so had to put the spare wheel and loungers underneath him to allow room for the bed to fold out, but with an air bed on top, we had a reasonable night's sleep, even with a Shih-Tzu and a Dalmatian sharing the bed with us!

The next morning we got going, heading down through Price and Wellington to I-70, and then the long haul along the freeway towards Frisco, CO, where would turn off to head south.  The ride/drive was fine to start with, sunny and hot, but as we got close to Vail, CO, the skies started looking more ominous....

The heavens opened!

Thinking it was going to be a short rain storm, I didn't stop to put on my waterproof layers, but it wasn't short, and I started getting wet..... and cold! I pulled over and got my waterproof jacket and pants on and then continued, but boy was it cold! It was still raining after we created Vail Summit at 10,662 feet, and it continued wet and cold all the way into Frisco!  When we pulled over at a gas station there, Gininda told me that it was cold enough for the dogs' breath to condense!

We had some hot chocolate in the gas station, filled up, and then continued south on CO 9 through Breckenridge and over Hoosier Pass (peaking at 11,539 feet) with rain and now low cloud to contend with, plus all the hairpins going up the pass!

We got to the campsite late on Friday night - the joys of a camper over a tent is the lack of setup required, especially in the dark! We set up, and basically collapsed into bed.

The next day dawned bright and sunny, so I got to go on an all-day ride on the roads around Lake George, while Gininda stayed with Harvee and the dogs in camp, relaxing with a good book.  A good day for both of us, although the rain closed in again as the evening progressed, putting a dampener on much socializing.

We worked out that, when the weather is OK, the best place to set up the camp stove is over the engine as it's at a good height and away from the dogs, and we had some great meals at camp.

We knew that we had a long day on Sunday to get home that day, including meeting our friends Hethyr and Erich (and their boys Kaeden and Izaak), over 500 miles in one day, so we started out with a stop every 100 miles or so, like we did on the journey out, but as my shoulder muscles started aching, we stretched the breaks out to every 2-3 hours and put some miles on - traveling at 55-65mph does mean long days!

Loki did seem to enjoy her ride in a swing, though!

We came down Provo Canyon as the sun started to set, and then hit traffic on I-15 just outside American Fork - not what I wanted on the bike as I was tired and ready to get into bed! Eventually, the traffic freed up and we headed home - getting in just after 8pm at night.

In all, it was 1,253 miles, climbing and descending 52,000 feet each in total.

First trip - July 22, 2012

We had to get somewhere between 300 and 500 miles on the engine before they could check that the cylinder head bolts were tight, so we took a trip to Evanston, WY, going up I-15 and across on I-84 and I-80, then back down through the canyons.

All went well, and a first fill up of just under 18mpg was right in the ballpark for where it should be!

And yes, the puppies really enjoy the ride!

Apparently, the breeze coming out of the fresh-air vent was very enticing to Loki, our Shih-Tzu

This trip took Harvee's new engine into the required mileage range, so he went back in for the heads to be re-torqued - just a couple days before we left on a trip to Lake George, CO!

Open-heart surgery

With the dropped valve seat, and signs of other valve seats also on the verge of dropping, plus what looked like blow-by on the pistons, it was time for a rebuild.

Funnily enough, the original owner had the engine rebuilt after 16 years and this re-build was after the same time period!

A vast list of items were procured for the engine re-build, and other things that could be done while the engine was out:

2 x cylinder heads
4 x pistons and cylinders
4 x fuel injectors
Camshaft followers
Engine seals
Rod bearings
Clutch cable
Accelerator cable
Fuel lines
Fuel vapor hoses
Fuel cap seal
Fuel tank inlet hose
Shift rod coupler
Shift rod bushings

It all took a few weeks to do, what with getting the pieces in form suppliers etc, but it all came together in the end, and I picked Harvee up on 20th July 2012!

Of course, there's always something - in this case I was taking Gininda to work in Harvee and we could suddenly smell gas, which isn't a nice moment! Luckily we were right by her work, so pulled into the parking lot and checked the engine bay - gas spraying out of the fuel line!  I quickly shut off the engine and the flow stopped - called a tow truck and back he went to the garage!

They checked it over and found that a piece of fuel hose wasn't quite long enough, so they replaced it with a longer bit and clamped it on fully.  Sorted!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Moving along

Let's get rid of that nose-mounted spare wheel carrier, and put a proper VW badge on

Notice the proper license plate? :-)

But he stopped again :-(

I found a specialist European garage, and they have an old German guy working for them who specializes in air-cooled VWs - bonus!

I got Harvee towed down for diagnosis, and it wasn't good!

Compression tests, by cylinder:
#1 - 125psi
#2 - 120psi
#3 - 0psi
#4 - 120psi


Diagnosis - dropped valve seat on #3 cylinder!

This is serious!

Finding and using

Found out that Harvee doesn't have a normal back seat - he has a z-bed! This is a pair of hinges that convert the standard rear seat into an almost-queen sized bed!

He also got to play in his van mode:

That's 12x30lb cinder blocks and a 4'x8' sheet of plywood - 430lb in total!


I found Harvee listed in the classifieds on both and and went to have a look at him in early February 2012.

As bought:

As you can see, the green paint mentioned in the previous post is definitely in evidence!

He wasn't a happy bunny coming home, stalling under deceleration, wipers not working, and a few other old age issues - but we all have them!

We got the new title, and arranged for the personalized plates, and then it was time to delve properly into what we had bought!

For registration, I had to fix a broken driver's side front reflector:

I also fitted all-new vacuum hoses for the engine from, endeavoring to solve the idling issue

Somehow, with some tweaking, Harvee passed emissions after more than a month of tweaking!

Sounding sweet.......

For now.....