Shade tree mechanic




Late last summer my Karmann Ghia ("My Little Hottie") began to run rough with little explanation. I eventually discovered that the rear bolt of the carburetor was very loose allowing an influx of air. I had to have a friend heat and bend a wrench that would allow it to reach behind the carb to tighten it; thus allowing me to avoid dismantling the air conditioning and moving it out of the way. Yes, the 1973 air cooled VW has air conditioning. It did work fine until it froze up from non-use in the winter months. Unlike the cars of today, where the a/c is engaged even when not in use, it is never idle. VW recommends that in the winter months one should operate the VW a/c for at least fifteen minutes every few weeks. Since I store it for close to six months of the year and it is inaccessible, it finally froze up. Not much to fix but why bother?


After this little discovery, she needed a tune up to make up for the loss of vacuum and an idle change. Since I have not dabbled in this depth for years, it took some time. Hell, I don't even own a timing light and tach/dwell meter worth its salt. Anyway, I put in new plugs and wires; new points and coil, set the timing, adjusted valves and etc.....and all appeared fine. Of course I missed the Okemo mountain show because of it. But hey, I learned much in the process.


Unfortunately I did not learn enough. I forgot to top off the gas tank before I put her to bed for the winter months. This created a great deal of rust in the gas. So much so that the the fuel pump could no longer pump out any fuel whatsoever. I broke down on the way to the first show of the season. Haven't been to one since. I took out the gas tank and cleaned it. I discovered, much to every one's dismay that there was a large antique gas filter under the tank. It has been there since the car was sent from Germany for sale in Florida. I replaced that by placing one in a more accessible location. I also placed one after the pump too. I ordered a new fuel pump but got the wrong one (alternator type) I still have a generator for God's sake....

So...she is sitting and awaiting a new pump and a clean and adjusted carb. I took off and polished all the wheel rings and hubs and mirrors. I repainted the wiper arms. I plan to paint the engine compartment and repaint the wheels.

I am somehow going to fit this in on my coming week off. I'm also going to re grout the bathroom. Redo the woodwork in the hall since I just painted it.....Light twilight purple on the tin ceiling, pumpkin spice on the walls with millionaire red on the accent wall that climbs the stairway. All in the Ben Moore Matte finish. The rail and wall foot board will be done in a darker poly finish. White spindles with the stairs and floor in Amber teak oil.

Of course, I'll throw in a few late nights with a belly full of scotch. Hope to get laid. Replant my rain trodden hanging tomato's.....

I'm only one man!

Comments

Loralee Choate said…
I heart that car, Tim. Absolutely HEART it.