Getting Mabel Ready For Spring

It was nice enough today to give Mabel the once over, check fluids, air and give her a nice cold start to get her ready for spring. All systems are go!

Mabel’s January Cold Start

Time to get her out on the road again.

Car Wash Day, Updated Pics

MabelMabelMabelMabelMabelMabelConsidering that today is November 18th, the weather was awesome! Especially since we’ve had nothing but rain for the past month and even a little snow. However, when it’s 60+ degrees outside, it’s time to wash the cars! Also took the opportunity to get Mabel out and drive her around town a few times. With the Thanksgiving break coming up in just a few days, I plan to get her out more. I never really put her away for winter, when it’s nice outside, she comes out to play, even if it’s cold. But if it’s snowy and the roads are salty, she stays in the garage.

Mabel Gets A New Battery

New Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelI noticed a few months ago that if Mabel sat for a week or so without being started, the starter struggled a bit to turn the motor. I installed a hard start relay to see if this made any difference. The battery I was using was a Autocraft Silver 42-1 which is perfect for these cars, it has the protective cap over the positive terminal to keep from accidentally grounding out the battery if somebody is sitting in the back seat. Anyhow, I’d throw the charger on the battery for an hour or so and it’d be fine for a couple of weeks, then after she sat for a few days, I’d have the same issue. Voltage out of the battery without the car running was 10.8 volts, that’s low. Should be around 12.6. With the car running, I was getting right at 14 volts, so I knew the generator was working properly. That battery just wasn’t holding a charge like it should. I also tested for parasitic battery drain and everything checked out ok. The battery is almost 5 years old, time for a new one. This time, I decided to go with a Interstate MT-47. It got good reviews even though it cost a bit more compared to other batteries. It doesn’t have the protective cap over the positive terminal, but the case is built to prevent any accidental grounding. For added protection, you can always throw a piece of rubber, such as an old floor mat, over top of the battery as well. [Read more…]

Installing A Hard Start Relay

Hard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayThere are numerous reasons why you may want to install a hard start relay on your vintage VW. A hard start relay basically directs the electrical current from the battery, through the relay and to the starter motor instead of routing it through the ignition switch. This eliminates a path of approximately 15′ of wiring and potentially bad connections. Once installed, your ignition key simply activates the relay. You can pick up a 4 post, 12v relay at most automotive stores, Ebay or Amazon for around 5 dollars. I already had some 12 gauge wiring and terminals, so I only have about 5 dollars and 30 minutes invested in to this project. You can buy ready made kits, but they can be pretty expensive, up to 35 dollars. Mabel wasn’t exhibiting any syntoms that would justify the install of the hard start relay, but not knowing what the future may hold, I thought I’d go ahead and install one. You don’t have to be a electrical genius to install the relay, but it does help to have the right tools. It doesn’t require any cutting or splicing of the original wiring. Wiring will vary from year to year, so depending on the age of your VW, your install may differ just a bit, but for the most part, it’ll be the same. If you look at the first pic, you’ll see that I’ve labeled what connector goes where on the relay. Start by disconnecting the battery. Locate the wire that goes from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid. Unless your VW has had previous wiring changes, more than likely, it’ll be a larger red wire with a quick disconnect. This wire will go to pin 87 on the relay. Make up a jumper that will go from pin 85 to the ignition switch (quick disconnect). Next, you need to make up a ground wire that will go from pin 86 on the relay to ground. I grounded mine where I mounted it to the floor pan support. Now you’ll need to make up a cable that’ll go from the positive post on the battery to pin 30 on the relay. You can also run this from the B+ post on the voltage regulator if you don’t want to run it to the battery. Lastly, you’ll need to mount the relay. You can mount it just about anywhere that will ensure a good ground. I chose the floor pan support. Don’t forget to connect your ground wire to the relay.

Repair The Repaired Surfboard

Repairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardLenora acquired a Rusty surfboard for Mabel a couple of months ago from friends who had picked it up at a VW show in another state. I’d been looking for one for a while and if you’re lucky enough to even find one for sale around north eastern Kentucky, they’re very, very expensive. I’ve been told that this is an early 70’s board that had been damaged some time in it’s life and repaired. It’s supposed to be a quality board, honestly, I don’t know. It’ll probably never see water again unless Mabel is getting a bath, for the rest of it’s life, it’s just a prop. I decided to “redo” the repair only because whoever had done the original repair didn’t take a lot of time to camouflage it. It actually looked pretty bad. This time around, I’m not going to try to hide the repair, just make it look better. Just like Mabel, I want people to see all of the bumps and bruises, that’s what gives it character. I’d thought about having it repainted originally, but I’m sure it’s probably not worth spending anymore money on it. Again, it’s just a prop. I did print some new Rusty logos to put over the repair just so people could see what kind of board it is. I may clear coat it in a couple of days or may just leave it the way it is….I like the way it turned out.

Swamp Cooler Complete

Swamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedSwamp Cooler CompletedFinished the last step of the swamp cooler this afternoon. Some people include a brace/stand with their cooler, some people don’t. Even though this repo is actually lighter than the original cooler of the 60’s, I thought a support was warranted. I made this one myself with some aluminum tube, all thread and a piece of a aluminum yard stick. Added a suction cup for added support, some fresh paint and it works like a charm. This was a beta build and I may redo it in the future, but for now, it’s perfect.

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