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'70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures
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neena
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:28 pm    Post subject: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

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This bus has already been discussed on two threads. This one started by my husband Daniel back in the summer when we were having problems with our stub axle and brake drum

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8521469

And this one started by the guy who did a ton of work on the bus both alone and alongside us.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

Since it's now fully our bus and we're not trying to judge the strengths or shortcomings of anyone who has worked on it and that we'll be the primary "mechanics" we figured why not have our own thread named like the one that has charted our journey with our Squareback.
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'69 Fuel Injected Squareback. "B" D-jet. 1600 with balanced rotating assembly and lightened flywheel. Full flow and external filter.

'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler

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neena
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:30 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

So here we go!

We were driving on a hilly highway on Sunday and when I downshifted from 4th to 3rd to climb one of the hills, the gear shift lever popped out of the cup of the shift rod and we lost all gears!

Thankfully, there was no one behind us and there was just enough shoulder on the side of the road to pull off onto. Of course it happened just as the sun was setting and the spring-loaded pin in the base of our shifter likes to pop out all the time. We also have the 800-pound Wolfsburg West front mat which is a real bear to remove and install. But we had head lamps and were able to get the splash pan off, bend the plate a few times (trial and error), get everything back together and get the gears back.

So our initial bending of the shift pin plate last month (in different places on page 23 of this thread)

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=440

didn’t permanently solve the problem. We take care to shift as gently as possible and the only time any downward pressure is applied is when going into reverse which is a little hard to find from time-to-time.

We bought the bus 4 years ago, but weren’t the first to receive it. We were told that one of the POs had rigged up some weird rubber strap between the body and the shift rod in order to keep the rod in place. Also, some owner along the way installed a type 1 plate and an extra bushing which we assume was to help keep the shift rod in place. In other words, one of the POs was having the same problem as us and tried to fix it with a strap and other random items .

Here’s an additional observation and question:

—The bushing in the end of the shift rod is crap and there’s a lot of play between the pin and the bushing. We’ve got a new one on the way. To what extent would a bad bushing here make our problem worse?

Here’s our worry:

—The shift rod pin plate has been flexed too many times over the years (and now by us trying to bend it back correctly) and the metal integrity has been compromised. If this is true, we’ll keep having this problem unless we can fortify the metal.

Question:

—Should we bolt or weld in a plate behind the plate that holds the pin to strengthen it so it doesn’t flex so easily or is this a bad idea?

Someone in the long history of bus ownership and POs has to have dealt with this, right??? We found a few threads, but no one seems to have had a recurring problem, only a one off episode. If thoughtful regular shifting is going to lead to our shifter popping out at some unknown moment, then we can’t feel very confident or safe when driving.
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'69 Fuel Injected Squareback. "B" D-jet. 1600 with balanced rotating assembly and lightened flywheel. Full flow and external filter.

'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler

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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

Yes, reinforce the pin mount, I have even seen a few where an extended pin was used and a second mount installed an inch forward to brace the pin.
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neena
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
Yes, reinforce the pin mount, I have even seen a few where an extended pin was used and a second mount installed an inch forward to brace the pin.


We're not set up for welding, but we have a place we've relied upon before for welding on other VW's. How can we tell if it's better to reinforce the existing plate or extend the pin and add another plate between the exiting one and the pin?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

Here's a few threads with ideas that don't all include welding, food for thought at least: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/search.php?search_id=gallerypic&search_keywords=950837
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:35 am    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
Here's a few threads with ideas that don't all include welding, food for thought at least: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/search.php?search_id=gallerypic&search_keywords=950837


Thanks for those. I guess what we'll do first is pull the shift rod and replace the bushing the pin rides in. While that's apart, we can evaluate if there's an issue with the pin, the plate, or both. We hadn't considered that the pin could be bent even if the plate is okay.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

We pulled the front shift rod yesterday to replace the bushing and have a look at stuff, but we didn't find a smoking gun for the shifter. The old front bushing was loose in the shift rod and soft and pliable once removed. The new one is a tighter fit and made of much firmer plastic. Not sure what difference (if any) it'll make. Here it is installed. Everything look okay?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And here's the pin. It's not bent or loose at all. The only slightly off thing is that there's a bit of a flat spot on the top towards the tip but there was no way to photograph that. It wasn't anything crazy. Is that normal?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Once the shifter was reinstalled, I laid under the bus while neena aka Jessica ran through the gears. I noticed that there's some slight flex in the in the guide pin plate at times. Is that normal? If not, it seems like what we might need is something to reinforce the plate so it doesn't flex at all. All told, nothing looked wildly out of order but we're still reluctant to drive very much because we don't want the damned shifter to pop out again! Frustrating.....
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'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

Wow! It’s quiet around here!

We thought of one more piece of info that might be useful: as far as we can remember, the shifter has only ever popped out when shifting into 1st or 3rd. Since that’s moving the shift rod in the same direction in relation to the pin maybe that says something?
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'69 Fuel Injected Squareback. "B" D-jet. 1600 with balanced rotating assembly and lightened flywheel. Full flow and external filter.

'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:27 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

Ok, so I guess the mystery of the popping shifter will remain unsolved until we have more data or info to provide.

On another note (and maybe this is one for the stupid question thread) of our 4 backing plates, only one has a plug in the brake shoe inspection hole. Try as I might, I can't seem to find any plugs of the correct size in either the classifieds or through any of the usual parts suppliers. Plenty of the smaller late ones and ones for Type 1, but none of the larger earlier ones. Maybe I'm a dummy, but does anyone repop these plugs?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

I thought I'd seen the larger plugs somewhere in the past but can't locate them now, a little square of duct tape works well as a substitute.

As for the popping shifter it's likely a combination of wear and flex, replacing the front pin like in one of those threads I linked may be an answer. I have custom machined undersized bushings for the front to tighten things up in the past as well, but it doesn't sound like you have access to materials and tooling to do that. A possible non machinist option would be remove the old pin and insert a new pin with an extended front section that would bend up gradually and be bolted to the bottom of the floor, that would keep it in place and also support it to prevent flex.

Or replace your shift knob with something small and prickly so you are subconciously forced to avoid manhandling too severely Wink Razz
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
I thought I'd seen the larger plugs somewhere in the past but can't locate them now, a little square of duct tape works well as a substitute.

As for the popping shifter it's likely a combination of wear and flex, replacing the front pin like in one of those threads I linked may be an answer. I have custom machined undersized bushings for the front to tighten things up in the past as well, but it doesn't sound like you have access to materials and tooling to do that. A possible non machinist option would be remove the old pin and insert a new pin with an extended front section that would bend up gradually and be bolted to the bottom of the floor, that would keep it in place and also support it to prevent flex.

Or replace your shift knob with something small and prickly so you are subconciously forced to avoid manhandling too severely Wink Razz


Yeah, well it did happen on a downshift to third. Sometimes those are tense when the cars are lining up behind you on an uphill run!

We forgot to mic the pin when we were under there over the weekend which was dumb but the splash pan isn't back on yet so we can still do it. When I first got the new bushing, I tried seeing which of the various studs we had laying around the house would fit without too much slop. The biggest I had was a 10mm case stud and the bushing slides over that with a fair amount of play left. We'll look into this replacement pin thing a bit further though custom bushings and machining new pins are beyond our capabilities.....
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'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

Here's a little spring update. Since it got close to 80* in NYC today, we did some poking around:

In old news, our shifter and the popping out problem is still unsolved, though it's not currently giving us any grief. After the last re-bending of the pin plate and re-seating of the shifter and all the rest of the crap it hasn't popped out again in the last 300 miles or so. It's hard to take action on a problem that seems to show no symptoms until it just happens out of the blue! Just to jinx ourselves, we re-installed the 500 pound rubber mat from WW that we had to wrestle out when we last did a side-of-the-road fix to get the shifter back in position.

A newer problem involves the steering column and turn signal housing. We have developed a squeak (sounds like rubber and/or plastic, not metal) when making tight right or left turns.


Link


Also, for a while, we've had erratic behavior with the turn signal cancelling. Sometimes, as soon as we signal a right turn, it cancels. Sometimes not. Sometimes the lever has to be held so it doesn't cancel instantly, sometimes not. The housing freely rotates and can be moved up and down the column. Tightening the screws makes no difference. Today we noticed that there was a huge gap between the column and the steering wheel. We found this repair thread from busdaddy but I think I'm misunderstanding something.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=406853&highlight=turn+signal+housing+loose

It says to "straighten out the C shaped piece of steel that goes in the non switch side of the housing slightly" but our piece is clearly on the switch side. Is the removable piece on the switch side what actually gets bent to tighten things up?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Then, just in case it's an issue of small issues stacking up on each other, there's always been this gap between the dash and the steering column

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


We looked under there today and noticed that there seems to be a mismatch between the dash and the steering column. The column bracket has these ears that have no mounting place or holes in the dash. Not sure what to do with all of this!!

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'69 Fuel Injected Squareback. "B" D-jet. 1600 with balanced rotating assembly and lightened flywheel. Full flow and external filter.

'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

Not sure on the squeak, jack up the bus so the front wheels are unloaded and see if it still does it, if it does listen closely to pinpoint the source.

That U shaped horse shoe thing in your pic is what needs a small tweak, sorry for the confusion about it being in the other half.

Your column looks like it's for another year, I can't recall all the tiny details right now, could be the dash too.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:20 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
Not sure on the squeak, jack up the bus so the front wheels are unloaded and see if it still does it, if it does listen closely to pinpoint the source.

That U shaped horse shoe thing in your pic is what needs a small tweak, sorry for the confusion about it being in the other half.

Your column looks like it's for another year, I can't recall all the tiny details right now, could be the dash too.


We should have mentioned that with the front end jacked up there's no squeak. And now there's no squeak at all since fiddling with the turn signal housing. We still have to get the horseshoe thing in a vice and tighten it all back up, but it seems that the squeak has something to do with the placement of the housing.

As for the dash and the column, it looks like there's definitely a mismatch of years. On our Type 3, the eared part is a plate that can be removed but it looks like on the Type 2 it's tack welded in place. I'll look. I guess we'll either need a different column or dash if we want everything to look and line up right. But aren't those ears part of how the column shears off so the driver doesn't get impaled in an accident? Per this ad, we have the correct column but either an earlier or later dash....didn't find an example of a '73+. Our ears were bent so that the column bracket would line up with the dash. Can/should they be cut off so we can get a better line up? Isn't the safety aspect already out the window without the ears screwed to the dash? Not sure what's best/safest here.

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'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

You don't need a vise to tweak the horse shoe, a tap with a hammer in the middle while it's stood up on a hard vertical surface will do, start light since it's easy to overdo it. The squeak may have been the cancelling fingers rubbing on the ring. Pay attention to the part in that post about the sand paper or emory cloth, that really improves the grip on the column.

That 70-72 sure looks like what you have, and it's got the built in deformation points too, must be the dash that's odd. I don't know how much a couple of missing attachment points will change the outcome of a serious head on crash, since whoever installed it drilled new holes and bolted it on it's attached in a similar way to the later system so it should function the same (hope you never have to test it). You could saw off those ears if they bug you, from here they don't appear to be causing much trouble so I'd be inclined to leave them be.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:58 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
You don't need a vise to tweak the horse shoe, a tap with a hammer in the middle while it's stood up on a hard vertical surface will do, start light since it's easy to overdo it. The squeak may have been the cancelling fingers rubbing on the ring. Pay attention to the part in that post about the sand paper or emory cloth, that really improves the grip on the column.

That 70-72 sure looks like what you have, and it's got the built in deformation points too, must be the dash that's odd. I don't know how much a couple of missing attachment points will change the outcome of a serious head on crash, since whoever installed it drilled new holes and bolted it on it's attached in a similar way to the later system so it should function the same (hope you never have to test it). You could saw off those ears if they bug you, from here they don't appear to be causing much trouble so I'd be inclined to leave them be.


Thanks for the tip on bending the horse shoe with a hammer. Sounds like a plan.

As for the ears, I'm not particularly worried about them as such....more about how they might be what's preventing correct seating of the column and causing the goofy gap that exposes the wiring as it goes under the dash as seen in the pic a few posts up. Not a huge deal, just a detail. If this seller is correct in his understanding of parts, then it looks like we have an early dash and the correct year steering column. 68-69 here looks like ours

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But the right thing would be this guy

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'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
You don't need a vise to tweak the horse shoe, a tap with a hammer in the middle while it's stood up on a hard vertical surface will do, start light since it's easy to overdo it. The squeak may have been the cancelling fingers rubbing on the ring. Pay attention to the part in that post about the sand paper or emory cloth, that really improves the grip on the column.


Just got around to doing this today. All it took was one firm tap with a hammer on the center of the horseshoe while standing it up on the sidewalk. Instead of the horseshoe just falling into place in the signal housing, it actually took a slight bit of effort to get it in. Wrapped some emory cloth around the column and everything is holding tight. For the first time, we can't move the signal housing by hand at all. Things are good so far. There was a crazy amount of electrical tape on the column which I imagine someone put there in an attempt to bulk things up and get the housing tight. I wonder if our squeak was something rubbing on the electrical tape on tight turns...

In other news, we replaced the sliding door hinge assembly. We had a late replacement U-shaped part that was poorly painted and rusting rapidly, so we swapped the whole hinge out with a chrome one (which we should have had anyway) from the classifieds. Everything else was lubricated after reading Colin's thread

http://www.itinerant-air-cooled.com/viewtopic.php?t=9144

and the rollers and sliding areas were lubed per ratwell's writeup.

So here's the weird thing.....now the door doesn't slide open as well as it did with the crusty old hinge Evil or Very Mad

Now lubed, the bearing bearing on the new hinge slides spins so much better, but that seems to have no bearing (oops ) on how well the door slides


Link



With the old hinge, if we popped the door open with the handle, it'd automatically slide halfway open. Now, it slides about 1/8 of the way open and that's with everything lubed up. What else could we have missed? With everything lubed, I thought this job would have been a home run, not a bunt.
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'70 Riviera. 1600 SP with 30 PICT 3 carburetor, 205M distributor, stock muffler
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

I'm not sure if anyone's reading this thread anymore, but I thought I'd share the shitty surprise I discovered when I came outside this AM. At first I thought we'd left a window open yesterday but then I saw the rock. Turns out we'd left a charging cable in our cigarette lighter charger. It's the only thing missing. Value? Less than $2. They must have thought there was a phone at the end of it Rolling Eyes

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At least we can pretty quickly get replacement glass from Bus Depot.

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The bastard couldn't even throw well and this dent in the door will probably be the most annoying thing to fix. Any hints?

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 7:31 am    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

OUCH!

I'm sorry this happened to you. When I saw the first couple pics, my thought was "at least it's only the window and not a body panel." Then I scrolled down and saw the dent. Yes, I'm sure it's going to be an ongoing source of frustration.

It could have been even worse, though, if the louse had been a terrible thrower. It could have dented the body panel. This dent will look better with a little touch up paint. Getting the dent out will suck though.

And, yes, I do read all the thread updates every day! Keep posting.
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: '70 Riviera: The Continuing (Mis)Adventures Reply with quote

Ouch! that sucks. Sorry for your loss, I was pissed and a little paranoid when I had a hubcap stolen after parking out on the street one night. I'd be livid if someone had broken my window for $2. Surely you had something worth more than that inside your bus. People (especially when drunk and disorderly) are really dumb sometimes.

Also this:
KentPS wrote:
And, yes, I do read all the thread updates every day! Keep posting.

_________________
Brutis Patches Izabich: 1970 VW Transporter - 1776cc DP
Current State: Projects never truly end...
Location: Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Other cars: 2003 F150, 2003 Jetta GLI vr6-6sp

Sambastic: adj; the quality of being nit picky, elitist, expecting everyone to do things the way they believe is best with no regard to situation, "sambastic"
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