It is alive!

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It is alive!

Postby SpyderMike » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:28 pm

I mentioned in an earlier thread that I was going to pull the old Spyder out of the hangar, dust it off, go through it, and drive it or let it go. Yesterday I started the process. I plan to document my journey.

I pulled the plane out of the hangar thinking worst case the car could catch fire. I had fire extinguishers handy just in case.

First, there was a battery to replace the Odyssey PC680 that has been in it for some 15 years. It finally gave up. Not being used much I don't blame it. I replaced it with a low cost UB12180, which is just slightly smaller, so it fits in the box with some foam shims. It is an AGM and does the job (not bad for about $38).

I found the Jamar linkage to be real difficult to move due to grease hardening. I shot some cleaner in all the heims and followed up with a little WD-40 and it is back to being butter. I threw another 2 gallons of fuel in (I had been using stabil in the tank every year or so). Then I checked oil and got the fire extinguishers handy. I turned the key until I saw fuel pressure and then pumped the pedal and cranked her. She grumbled to life! Oil pressure was fine. I was really pleased that it started. I stepped back while blipping the throttle by hand at the hex bar and noticed a fuel leak at the cheap glass and plastic fuel filter I put on it back in 2002. Bummed, I shut it down. Off to the hardware and auto part stores.

For some reason that old glass cheapy filter had a 1/4" inlet and 5/16" outlet. I picked up a generic metal can filter that had 5/16" in and out. I needed a new brass fitting at my Holley fuel regulator because it was also 1/4". I picked up some 5/16" fuel line to make it all work. Yesterday was done, so the plane went back in and I left for home.

Today, after I installed the new bits, I went through the process again and when I put pressure to the fuel system it was good with no leaks. I fired it up again. It grumbled to life and I had to play the throttle a bit to keep it running. After about a minute though it settled into a perfect idle and smoothly ran up the rpms. Happy. I decided to pull it out and drive it slowly around the hangar area at the airport to see how the clutch, brakes and electrics worked. I notice that the last tags I had on it were 2011, so it has been a while.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby SpyderMike » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:51 pm

So I found reverse and slowly backed out. It was smoking a bit from oil leaks on the exhaust, but that stopped after a while. I found the engine to be running great and I made my way through the hangar rows. Every once and a while I got on it, and, other than the engine moving in a clunk (I bought a trans strap and new motor mounts already), it pull smoothly. Very happy now. I put it back in to rest.

Tomorrow I will bring a trailer and take it home to my garage for the start of the update. I don't think I will keep the car down for the whole time, I will do it in phases probably.

Phase one-
New painted silver wheels and drumskins
New tires (there are from around 1990) - probably 185 and 195s
A seriously thorough cleaning
Brake flush and new disc brake system up front
Hydraulic clutch flush
Replace all fuel lines
A tune up....although, I gotta say, this 29 year old motor is running pretty sweet
New license plate tags

Phase 2 -
New engine and trans mounts
Removable shock tower cross bar
New KCR trans with 3.44 and strengthening
New seat belts
Possible new carb linkage (although this one seems to be working fine still)
Front floor mats
New pedal setup
Removable access panel up front (to get to the Master cylinder and fuel pump)
Possible main seal and clutch (I will see when the transmission comes out for replacement)
Trans strap
and perhaps some aluminum detail bits in the cockpit.

This list should keep me out of trouble for a while. Stay tuned.

BTW, this is a 1989 or thereabouts Beck kit #191. I bought it from Chuck in Upland (I lived near there at the time) after getting a ride in his red demo car; I was hooked. I built the car over the 1989 -1991 time period. I SB100'd the car around 2002 but hardly drove it. I think there are some 3500kms on the odometer. The motor is a 2165 put together by a young guy named Dave at Kymco Motorsports in Costa Mesa back then. It still runs strong. The trans is a stock 1966 unit I got for free from a donor car. They were giving Beetles away around that time. I remember buying a 1966 for $200. Last night I went through all the receipts and documents for the car -I pretty much have most of them still. What a trip.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby EEricson » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:31 pm

Car looks like new!

Hope you find time to drive it this time around.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby SpyderMike » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:07 pm

It is holding up well, thanks! Got it home today into the workspace.

I hope I drive it too...seems like a fun ride if I sort a few items out.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby egrant5329 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:36 am

If you end up doing anything with the master cylinder it might be a good time to do the 4 wheel disk brake conversion. You are going to love the 3.44 compared to the stock 4.12 transaxle and might need the extra braking capacity.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby DannyP » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:21 am

Very cool, Mike. Good to see you back in the fold so to speak. Keep on keeping on.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby SpyderMike » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:15 am

Thanks DannyP.

Back at home...they go well together, no?
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Re: It is alive!

Postby SpyderMike » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:19 am

egrant5329 wrote:If you end up doing anything with the master cylinder it might be a good time to do the 4 wheel disk brake conversion. You are going to love the 3.44 compared to the stock 4.12 transaxle and might need the extra braking capacity.
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I have a front disc brake kit already from AC Industries (I was planning on putting it on the 66 beetle, but we are letting that car go). I will for sure install that on the spyder. Not sure yet about the rear brakes...
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Re: It is alive!

Postby DannyP » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:51 pm

Drums are fine unless you are pushing it REALLY hard on public roads all the time. Or doing some track days. Most people don't need 4 wheel discs. Front disc/rear drum are totally adequate.

I do need them all-around though. There have been many times that I'm really glad to have them.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby SpyderMike » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:15 pm

after spending some time cleaning and checking it...the 1980s carpet needs to go too.
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It is alive!

Postby egrant5329 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:50 pm

Be ready for a shock if you want to put in German square weave wool carpet. Last I checked the price had fallen from ~$1500 down to ~$1100.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby RS-60 mark » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:32 am

Great to see you back in the saddle again Mike! As well, I've been pretty much off my pony for the past few years and (like you) at the crossroads of start driving it again or sell it. Since it is so damn much fun to drive (especially where I live) the choice should be obvious. But since I retired, I don't seem to have any time for the spyder. Go figure . . . retired = not enough time?

Pulling your spyder out if the hanger is giving me some inspiration to maybe rearrange my priorities and dig into what is hiding under the cover in my garage.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby SpyderMike » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:37 pm

egrant5329 wrote:Be ready for a shock if you want to put in German square weave wool carpet. Last I checked the price had fallen from ~$1500 down to ~$1100.
EdG


Yes, I paid around $1,000 for my 911 complete in square weave from Lakewell in Belgium last year. Good stuff though. It is really nice carpet and I like the look.

I am just looking for a few pieces to do the side under door sections and the front footwell sides . I will rubber mat the footwell floor.

If not, then I am into an aluminum project...we'll see. I gotta get through the clutch, fuel system and brakes first before I tackle any cosmetics.
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Re: It is alive!

Postby SpyderMike » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:46 pm

RS-60 mark wrote:Great to see you back in the saddle again Mike! As well, I've been pretty much off my pony for the past few years and (like you) at the crossroads of start driving it again or sell it. Since it is so damn much fun to drive (especially where I live) the choice should be obvious. But since I retired, I don't seem to have any time for the spyder. Go figure . . . retired = not enough time?

Pulling your spyder out if the hanger is giving me some inspiration to maybe rearrange my priorities and dig into what is hiding under the cover in my garage.


ThanksMark! I hear you, I am retiring in a couple of months once I shut down the business. I need to unload some of these projects that never get used...I have four hanging over me. Simplify.

The spyder would be perfect for these southern Oregon back country roads (similar to your area). I am literally almost due north of you just 20 miles across the CA/OR border. Perfect roads. Wine country, moutains, rivers, etc. But, thankfully, my wife took up motorcycling a few years back(road and dirt) and that is how we do it. Not sure the spyder is going to be a fit. We will see.

Use it or lose it is my current motto.
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