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Sanchius and Tuna ride again...
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Abscate
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PostPosted: Yesterday 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

I’ve got 30:1 odds on the Husky over the half track in winter....

Woof.
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PostPosted: Yesterday 3:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Making progress. Replacement rear control arm cleaned up, wire brushed, and first coat of Tonka Truck Yellow applied.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

That half-track has a great history! Thanks for sharing it.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Wow, the Air Force Museum just released a professional quality video on the African Queen Half Track story.

Even though I'm quite familiar with its history, some of this still gave me chills.


Link

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Escorial Syncro wrote:
Maybe you just need a perch?
https://www.vancafe.com/251501400-p/251501400.htm

Thanks, Joel, I was unaware of these. That'll be plan B. Plan A is to pull the swing arms from the boneyard van, which had appeared to be solid.

Once things warmed up after lunch, I returned to the yard with a full kit of swing arm bolt extraction tools and a long 22mm wrench to separate the bearing hub from the swing arm without touching the 46mm 360ft/lb rear axle nut. I had already pulled the inner swing arm bolts the day before, but both outer bolts proved to be well seized inside their bushings, even after applying 300ft/lbs of impact and long extension bars to them.

Since this van is headed for the crusher soon, I simply cut away the outer body mount tabs and extracted both swing arms with little problem. I'll finish removing the bolt and bushing back home in the comfort of my warm, dry and well-lit garage. I separated the hub from the drivers side arm and left the hub and the other swing-arm unit in the yard to grab when the yard has their 1/2 price Black-Friday sale at the end of this week. I think I'll pass on adding the 1940 Chevrolet winged-lady hood ornament graphic to my van.

I was very lucky here, Vanagons have become to be very rare in the nearby yards, with one showing up for about for a month or so every 2 years, making it ~20-1 odds against finding the part I need right when I need it.

I love these yards; One day and $28 later and I am back on track again.

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Back home, Tuna's ceaseless dining room vigil continues.

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Escorial Syncro
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Maybe you just need a perch?

https://www.vancafe.com/251501400-p/251501400.htm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

One of my COVID resolutions was to not buy any new Vanagon parts until I had fitted all the uninstalled parts I currently have sitting on my shelf. The one that's taken me the longest was a complete bushing renewal. It was a mere three years ago that the big box of purple goodness from T3technique initially arrived. Earlier this fall I had finished completely replacing the front bushings & ball joints. All this suspension work was showing good results, the steering was tighter and more precise and the overall ride quality was much imporved. I had done a rough alignment with a laser level, but before getting a pro 4-wheel alignment, I needed to finish the rear swing arm bushings.

I figured it was easier to do the rear bushings in-situ to avoid opening up the brake hydraulics and undoing the CVs & e-brakes. TheSamba has lots of good hints and cautions, the best being that suspending the swing arm with straps gives one just enough room to replace the bushings without stressing the very short rear flexible brake lines. I mentally walked through the steps: unload the system with some spring clamps, suspend the rear swing arm with straps, remove the two big swing arm bolts, push out the old 1-piece old bushings, install the new 2-piece powerflex bushings and reinstall; simplicity itself. The passenger side pretty much went that way last weekend, though each step took longer and was far more work than I had mentally imagined. But it was done; one final corner to do and I'm back on the road.

I was making good progress on the driver side this week. But suddenly everything came to a screeching halt when I found that the outer swing arm bolt had corroded itself solidly to the metal bushing core. This van is quite solid and has very little rust, all of the other bolts had come out easily, so this discovery came as a very unpleasant and unexpected surprise. Given its exposed location, this can't be uncommon and it turns out to be a wicked little problem. Rotating the bolt with a big breaker bar just flexed the metal core within the rubber bushing. Hammering the ends of the bolt did nothing. Using a ball joint separator to put pressure on the bolt while hammering it was also useless. I doubted I could get enough heat into the bolt to relieve its bond to the metal bushing core without melting the outer bushing rubber, in which case the bolt & core would just spin.

It was time to get out the sawzall and cut the bolt out. First I used a razor knife and a small chisel to remove the rubber bushing flange, exposing the inner metal core (rusty pipe looking thing in right center of picture below). I learned on the passenger side that using power tools to clear the rubber bushing flanges creates a cloud of unpleasant smoke & smells and makes a gooey mess.

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With the sawzall I cut through the bushing core and swing arm bolt as close to the swing arm as possible, then lopped off the other end of the bolt flush to the inner face of the swing-arm mount tab, giving just enough space to extract the swing arm. This was one of those times I spent more time dreading the job than the 20 minutes it actually took to do all the cutting.

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Success!

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Using the 2" press bush I had made up for the big front ball joints, I pressed out the old rear swing arm bushings. I was disappointed to find the old bushings to be in very good shape, meaning that I wouldn't see much difference with the new bushings.

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I made a quick run down to the bone-yard to grab a couple replacement swing-arm bolts off the parts Vanagon that just happened to be there. $2.78 + $2 entrance fee and I was all set.

I figured I'm about an hour from finishing and I'm already mentally pouring myself my victory beer. I had just finished cleaning up some corrosion I found on the inside of the swing arm bushing tubes and was about to insert the new bushings when I noticed that the spring stack had shifted. What??? I looked closer and noticed that big metal plug centering the spring on the lower spring mount on the swing arm had rusted away from the swing arm.

Uh-oh, this swing arm needs to replaced. This job just got a lot harder.

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Tuna's only contribution to all this was an extended nap while bravely guarding the dining room rug

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
^^^That's pretty neat. It remarkable to me that a rig like that was carted around the planet to serve in combat and was eventually brought home to be cleaned up and displayed.
Is that front tire as rotted as it looks when I zoom in on it?

Front Tire: Yes, the front tires are solid rubber and the manufacturer wanted to take a core sample to check the aging profile. They are either original or period, we'll document everything more once we get the African Queen web site stood up. The USAF museum staff were really crawling over it when it came in because it is in such original condition.

Carted all over: Are you talking about the track or my BIL? Very Happy
Here's an interview with him on the discovery and recovery of the track:


Link

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Those quad 50s would be great on the Mass Pike during rush hour, getting rid of the sqvozers and the aggressive drivers...
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

^^^That's pretty neat. It remarkable to me that a rig like that was carted around the planet to serve in combat and was eventually brought home to be cleaned up and displayed.

Is that front tire as rotted as it looks when I zoom in on it?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:47 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

^^^^
Thank you (and your BIL!) for that history.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:37 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Off-topic while I struggle with the final seized swing arm bolt on my van, I wanted to share an exciting milestone in one of my other projects, helping my B-I-L stand up a non-profit around "The African Queen", his 1943 M16A2 Halftrack with a Maxson quad .50 cal antiaircraft turret that served in WWII, Korea and French Indochina.

He found it abandoned in the bush near a French Foreign Legion post in Djbouti, Africa while he was serving there, secured title to it and brought it back to the U.S. to conserve and meticulously restore to its original, fully operational, condition (aside, of course, from the quad .50s).

This week it went on display for the winter at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio as a tribute to WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and actually, all service veterans.

https://www.facebook.com/AFmuseum/posts/10158721026117230

https://www.hagerty.com/media/hagerty-magazine/lieutenant-colonel-kolocs-1943-white-m16a2/

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The African Queen Halftrack represents American craftsmanship, honor, and patriotism. A living tribute to our “Greatest Generation”, the African Queen M16A2 Halftrack has proudly served in three major conflicts on three continents. Authentically and meticulously restored to its full operational glory, the African Queen allows you to personally interact with living history and learn about the technology, service, and sacrifice that has made the U.S. the nation it is today. Discover more about the African Queen Project at The.African.Queen.org (not yet active 11/20/2020).
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Woof, said the Husky.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

A beautiful Saturday morning to grab a tasty chocolate croissant from the Farmers Market at the Reno Arts Center and take Tunes for a walk along the river downtown to catch the last of the fall colors

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

Woof?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

A rare Vanagon showed up at the local boneyard last week and I hustled down there to beat the incoming storm to see if there was anything useful.
Like the previous one, this was a shell that had been pretty well stripped before it came in, though it still had a mostly complete suspension, shifter mechanism, and glass.
Since I'm in the middle of refreshing my rear bushings, I considered pulling the rear swing arms to rebush on the bench and swap in, but didn't.
I suppose these shells speak to the value of spare Vanagon parts. I pulled a few small bits for spares box, with the big score being the idle control module.
It's nice have a Vanagon in the local boneyard for testing the closeness of fit of alternative parts from other vehicles, like 4x4 bumpers, flares, and the like.

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Since my next step is to refresh my whining transmission, I'm on the hunt for a cheap trans to build up, regear, and swap in to minimize downtime. No joy on this today.
I've learned to move fast on these boneyard Vanagons after joetiger beat me by 15 minutes to one with a South African lower grill back in Colorado years ago.
But no worries, I already had my Projekzwo corner foglight bezels mounted, so JT put the SA grille to far better use than I would have.

The next day the snow came as promised. Husky weather is back!

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Last edited by sanchius on Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:18 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

It was the last gloriously warm fall day for awhile, so Tunes and I played hooky this afternoon.

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We jumped in the bus to follow the train tracks up the Truckee River...

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until we ran out of color and time...

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

With the Reno/Tahoe Buses and Microbrews cancelled due to COVID repeaking, I decided to do some desert exploring and check out a new place away from town. My goal was the "Moon Rocks" geologic formation out in the public lands near the Paiute reservation, figuring with that name, it should be quiet and deserted. What a mistake! Being a beautiful 3-day weekend due to Nevada Day last Friday, it was a dusty sea of RVs and tow vehicles with rock crawlers, proud flag-flying bro-dozers, ATVs and enduros racing around everywhere. There was even a giant blow-up bouncey castle out there. This was exactly the opposite of what I was looking for and was such a circus that I didn't even bother to stop to take a picture. I'll come back later this winter, when it's cold, snowy and in the middle of the week.

So I hauled out of there and turned west towards the Sierras to head up to one of my go-to quiet places along the Truckee River near the California/Nevada border.

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There we parked in the cool shade and I lounged in the back to read, eat apples and catch up with family on the phone while Tunes moused in the grass next to the bus, interrupted only by the occasional Union Pacific freight train rumbling past on the nearby tracks in the warm afternoon sun.

Much better and so relaxing; this is why I like these buses so much, it was just like old times.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
Something tells me that when you tell this story at a Vanagon campfire, the bus monkeys will all ask about the Tuna/Luna/Van song and forget to ask about polyphony at the Sistine Chapel (seriously? neato!). Smile

Unlike me, Mrs. S has perfect pitch and is formally trained to unleash her powerfully strong vocal resonance that can fill a venue. We love walking into cathedrals here and abroad, where, when appropriate, she will offer up a strong classical musical phrase. In modern cathedrals the sound usually just falls on the floor and dies because the ceiling, wall, and floor coverings are designed to absorb any distracting sounds other than highly amplified voices. In the older medieval and gothic cathedrals the opposite usually occurs. The same phrase becomes brilliant, even luminous, and instantly snaps to fill the entire space because amplification wasn't an option and those interiors had to be designed to enhance, rather than dampen, resonance. When this occurs, we call it "lighting up the cathedral" and it's not unusual to have the other folks there ask her to keep singing since the effect is so magical, transforming a once dim solemn cathedral into something warm, living, and dynamic.

However, similar to possessing a keen sense of smell in an imperfect world, having a perfect ear has proven to be both a blessing and a curse for Mrs S as her spouse's musical abilities can be characterized as simultaneously surrounding and cruelly butchering every note on the page.

So, as one not granted the gift, I have a lot of respect for musicians.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: Sanchius and Tuna ride again... Reply with quote

sanchius wrote:
When I played it for Mrs. S, the musician in the family who is a concert alto with her own choirs and has performed renaissance polyphony at the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican, she was rather pleased and amused to see me achieve this unexpected musical milestone.


Something tells me that when you tell this story at a Vanagon campfire, the bus monkeys will all ask about the Tuna/Luna/Van song and forget to ask about polyphony at the Sistine Chapel (seriously? neato!). Smile
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