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Idiot book no-no's
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driverinmyhead
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.

Tomfreo: I appreciate your comments. I am actually defending the book, while simply stating that it is NOT the best TECHNICAL manual out there. The Bentley can be intimidating to beginners and even some seasoned backyard mechanics. The "Muir" book fills a gap and it is also a part of ACVW culture.

After reading your original post, I did a search on all of the forums for the "How to keep your VW alive...". Surprisingly, I didn't see a lot of info I found in the pages I scanned and posted. That is: "Why the book was written, and who it was for". If you read the pages I scanned in (25years....), it is CLEARLY expressed that the book was written for NON MECHANICS. Friends and customers who wanted to keep their "VW Alive". Not my opinion, not my words..... Which is exactly why I scanned those pages in. Having said that, it works just fine as a reference for mechanics too. Just not technical enough to say: pull a transmission apart into a hundred pieces and get it all back together and working properly.

Please let me explain that I am a "to each their own" kind of person. If it works for you... great. If not... good too.

I like the book. And being far from a VW expert, I am always open to new ideas.

And after the Millions of dollars Uncle Sam spend training me to work on F15 Fighter jets.... I also know the difference between trained professional mechanics and shade tree amateurs. (BTW, I still consider myself an amateur with VW's with a lot left to learn about both machines and life).
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

driverinmyhead wrote:
.

Tomfreo: I appreciate your comments. I am actually defending the book, while simply stating that it is NOT the best TECHNICAL manual out there. The Bentley can be intimidating to beginners and even some seasoned backyard mechanics. The "Muir" book fills a gap and it is also a part of ACVW culture.

After reading your original post, I did a search on all of the forums for the "How to keep your VW alive...". Surprisingly, I didn't see a lot of info I found in the pages I scanned and posted. That is: "Why the book was written, and who it was for". If you read the pages I scanned in (25years....), it is CLEARLY expressed that the book was written for NON MECHANICS. Friends and customers who wanted to keep their "VW Alive". Not my opinion, not my words..... Which is exactly why I scanned those pages in. Having said that, it works just fine as a reference for mechanics too. Just not technical enough to say: pull a transmission apart into a hundred pieces and get it all back together and working properly.

Please let me explain that I am a "to each their own" kind of person. If it works for you... great. If not... good too.

I like the book. And being far from a VW expert, I am always open to new ideas.

And after the Millions of dollars Uncle Sam spend training me to work on F15 Fighter jets.... I also know the difference between trained professional mechanics and shade tree amateurs. (BTW, I still consider myself an amateur with VW's with a lot left to learn about both machines and life).



And I will be the first to say......I would love to see an idiot book for the F-15.....with the same artist doing the illustrations......that would be almost as entertaining as Muirs book!......

P.S.....in a totally different but related vein......I have the Haynes Manual for the ME-109 and Spitfire aircraft. Loads of fun and good history. Ray
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driverinmyhead
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha ha!!!! I ACTUALLY HAVE AN IDIOT BOOK FOR THE F15!!!!!!!!!

NSA, TSA, FBI, CIA..... will probably show up at my door......

It's a small pocket guide to the F15. Pretty funny, like a pocket guide they give to new trainees. I just happened to keep it with all of my automotive manuals and books. It's dry and technical, but like a basic overview type.

The actual Air Force manuals are task specific. Kind of like a step by step, then of course you have to get a 7 level to sign off on your work (ultimately). Very structured, but just like working on cars, lots of room to solve problems as long as you arrive at the same place (like blindly safety wiring bolts).

All aircraft maintenance is very detail oriented and heavily regulated (rightfully so, if the plane breaks in flight you can't get out and walk).
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I first ran in to the Idiot Book back in the mid '70's when I dated a girl who owned a Beetle and did her own work, eventually even rebuilding her own engine. I eventually got my own copy and read it cover to cover and still remember a surprising amount of what was written on the pages. Once I got into buses I also acquired a Haynes and a Bentley. As I look at these manuals today, the Idiot Book has almost never been opened again and is faded but unworn, the Bentley still looks fairly new, while the Haynes which has ridden under the passengers seat for many hundreds of thousands of miles has been replaced a time or two.

The Idiot Book certainly smoothed the way into VW ownership for me and probably helped guide my career path. I kind of became known as the guy that could keep old dated equipment going and could always be depended on to make whatever it was last another shift, if not another decade.
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79SuperVert
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pages from the 1970 edition. PP 96-97 (Carburetor Procedure) contain Muir's "cigarette rolling" statement.

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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have that edition.


And.....that note about the auto choke and the associated fuel taking miles off thr life of the engine by pumping raw gas down the throat is an example of what I call poor information.

Pumping the gas on an engine without a choke or pouring a couple tablespoons of fuel into the carb before starting....DOES THE EXACT SAME THING.

Yes....electric chokes can fail....but usually only with age or poor attention to details like the choke hold down ring and the three to four screws used to hold them down, the pivot hook inside, bushings etc.
Its just not that hard. As good a d as smart of a man as John Muir was.....rocket scientist and all.....anyone who notes that he was NOT a Hippie.....is FOS! As much love as he puts into the cars.....the vast majority of what he ascribes to is to do as little as possible forcas little money as possible on the simplest possible equipment you can get......and there is nothing wrong with that......but the reality speaks for itself.

You have no idea how many people I know....most friends of mine in high school and college who were first or even muliple time owners of VWs.......who bought a decent beetle or old bus in perfect working order.....and the first thing I catch them doing on a Saturday morning is trying to rip out the perfectly functioning electric choke!.....because the Muir book c led them to believe that it would sooner or later destroy their engine or leave them on the side of the road! ..... Rolling Eyes

This is one of the items I call poor information. And......its not always the issue of what John Muir actually tells you to do in this book (he never said that YOU should rip out YOUR electric choke).......but to a newby or the totally lost automotive-wise..........his musings can lead you to believe that action is in your best interest.
Ray
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eashc
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its true this may not have all the ins and outs, or have the latest and greatest procedures, but who knows how many people were rescued by his help.
This book may helped many become quality mechanics.
I have always been a backyard mechanic, and this book taught me how to keep a VW alive, as noted in the title. Valves, Timing, Torquing a cylinder head the right way.
Not sure where my copy is, but I still have one from 30 years ago. Would be nice to pass it on to my son one day. Even though he don't care for the Bug.
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eashc wrote:
Its true this may not have all the ins and outs, or have the latest and greatest procedures, but who knows how many people were rescued by his help.
This book may helped many become quality mechanics.
I have always been a backyard mechanic, and this book taught me how to keep a VW alive, as noted in the title. Valves, Timing, Torquing a cylinder head the right way.
Not sure where my copy is, but I still have one from 30 years ago. Would be nice to pass it on to my son one day. Even though he don't care for the Bug.



And I agree with all of that. As others have mentioned.....over time many have forgotten....orcnever learned. ....the basic mechanical work arounds. Ray
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webwalker
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one that was mentioned some time ago (20yrs?) on r.a.m.v.a: JM goes on for a bit about not rotating tires. 'It just messes up their head.' It always seemed nutty to me until it hit me that JM had spent his entire life (at the time he wrote that) driving on Bias ply tires, not Radials. This makes slightly more sense. But not much.

My small contribution to the OP's request.

M
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

webwalker wrote:
Here's one that was mentioned some time ago (20yrs?) on r.a.m.v.a: JM goes on for a bit about not rotating tires. 'It just messes up their head.' It always seemed nutty to me until it hit me that JM had spent his entire life (at the time he wrote that) driving on Bias ply tires, not Radials. This makes slightly more sense. But not much.

My small contribution to the OP's request.

M


There was a lot of misinformation circulating at the time about tires. There were even laws that made it illegal to run radials on the front axle if you didn't have them on the rear. I had a radial for a spare but bias belted tires on the ground. When I had a flat on the front I went to all the trouble to put the radial spare on the back and moved the back tire to the front. The car was all but undriveable this way absolutely scary to drive. I then swapped the tires so the radial was on the front thereby breaking the law in some state and the car handled fine. Later I ran a second radial on the front and the car handled better than it ever had, so much for the radial on the front being dangerous theory.

The other big no no was to swap the direction a radial tire turned, another piece of BS. I ran recapped radials for years without much in the way of problems and had no idea in which direction they had originally turned.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
webwalker wrote:
Here's one that was mentioned some time ago (20yrs?) on r.a.m.v.a: JM goes on for a bit about not rotating tires. 'It just messes up their head.' It always seemed nutty to me until it hit me that JM had spent his entire life (at the time he wrote that) driving on Bias ply tires, not Radials. This makes slightly more sense. But not much.

My small contribution to the OP's request.

M


There was a lot of misinformation circulating at the time about tires. There were even laws that made it illegal to run radials on the front axle if you didn't have them on the rear. I had a radial for a spare but bias belted tires on the ground. When I had a flat on the front I went to all the trouble to put the radial spare on the back and moved the back tire to the front. The car was all but undriveable this way absolutely scary to drive. I then swapped the tires so the radial was on the front thereby breaking the law in some state and the car handled fine. Later I ran a second radial on the front and the car handled better than it ever had, so much for the radial on the front being dangerous theory.

The other big no no was to swap the direction a radial tire turned, another piece of BS. I ran recapped radials for years without much in the way of problems and had no idea in which direction they had originally turned.


This reminded me of my very broke high school days. I drove a cal-look bug. Lowered front end. Michelin 135's in the front and bias-ply's in the back. Not smart. There was a pretty good turn near the HS. At least 2 times I took the turn too quick in the rain and did a 360 when the back end of the bug broke loose. I was lucky I didn't get in an accident. It's obviously not a good idea to have good radials up front and bia's plys in the back. Very Happy
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wcfvw69 wrote:
Wildthings wrote:
webwalker wrote:
Here's one that was mentioned some time ago (20yrs?) on r.a.m.v.a: JM goes on for a bit about not rotating tires. 'It just messes up their head.' It always seemed nutty to me until it hit me that JM had spent his entire life (at the time he wrote that) driving on Bias ply tires, not Radials. This makes slightly more sense. But not much.

My small contribution to the OP's request.

M


There was a lot of misinformation circulating at the time about tires. There were even laws that made it illegal to run radials on the front axle if you didn't have them on the rear. I had a radial for a spare but bias belted tires on the ground. When I had a flat on the front I went to all the trouble to put the radial spare on the back and moved the back tire to the front. The car was all but undriveable this way absolutely scary to drive. I then swapped the tires so the radial was on the front thereby breaking the law in some state and the car handled fine. Later I ran a second radial on the front and the car handled better than it ever had, so much for the radial on the front being dangerous theory.

The other big no no was to swap the direction a radial tire turned, another piece of BS. I ran recapped radials for years without much in the way of problems and had no idea in which direction they had originally turned.


This reminded me of my very broke high school days. I drove a cal-look bug. Lowered front end. Michelin 135's in the front and bias-ply's in the back. Not smart. There was a pretty good turn near the HS. At least 2 times I took the turn too quick in the rain and did a 360 when the back end of the bug broke loose. I was lucky I didn't get in an accident. It's obviously not a good idea to have good radials up front and bia's plys in the back. Very Happy


I will certain admit that each rig is different. Mine had bad understeer from the factory and the radials on the front brought it close to neutral. When I had tried the single radial on the back it made the understeer so bad the car just about wouldn't turn at all, it just plowed straight ahead. Good old worn Michelin X truck tires that I had been given for free and had top caps put on, they are still on a trailer I own but never use anymore. Don't think it has moved in 25 years at this point.
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fifteenduth
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relax Ray. Smart people gather information from available sources, filter said information to suit their own needs and interests, and respect the effort undertaken by those who came before them and have taken the time to share their wisdom. I'm here to defend Mr. Muir. Between his book, the Bentley manuals I have for Beetles, Rabbits, Jettas and Vanagons, and advice from friends and forums like this I have gained confidence and satisfaction in the work I do on my own "ass's" --- for they bear me.
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tomfreo
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished replacing all boots on the CV joints of my '77 bus. Muir says to put the joint on the shaft with the groove on the outside of the joint facing towards the center of the shaft. This is wrong. I wonder whether this would cause the joint to fail?
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomfreo wrote:
I just finished replacing all boots on the CV joints of my '77 bus. Muir says to put the joint on the shaft with the groove on the outside of the joint facing towards the center of the shaft. This is wrong. I wonder whether this would cause the joint to fail?


If you aren't running extreme angles, I really don't think it matters much how you flip the joints around. If it did there would be a pile more failures as a very high number of joints are not assembled by the book. If I were to buy 4 new joints out of the box, I would even expect to find that at least one was assembled different from the others.
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