New tool

I had a birthday recently and my young nephew, who is very into the technologies of making things, and his dad sent me a 3D printer! Very cool. I’ve been well aware of the possibilities of 3D printing for awhile, but just as much its limitations. At the consumer...

Little green mental

I have often seen the thin green o-rings around the tops of the wbx cylinder sleeves blamed for fire ring leaks, so maybe a little reality check on that question is in order. In the ten years of my wbx rebuilding business, we tore down close to 200 wbx’s, and a lot,...
Redshiftt Control Box

Redshiftt Control Box

Time for a Redshiftt update. The 6-relay/receiver control box design is nearly final, so here’s a rendering from Solidworks: Overall size is about 9 x 5 x 1 5/8″. The base is stainless steel, while the cover is transparent red vacuum-formed polycarbonate...

The fire ring cure

Over my ten years building wbx’s commercially, it took to my 45th engine before I had one develop a fire ring leak* . Fire rings, or combustion seals, are multi-layer steel (MLS) rings that seal the cylinder sleeves to the head. These normally install dry and depend...

Syncro pneumatics

Since I drive a VW Vanagon Syncro, one of the first applications for Redshiftt I focused on is adapting positive air pressure servos to replace the feeble and expensive vacuum-powered servos the factory used to operate the diff-locks and driveshaft decoupler. This is...

Engine swaps, mileage, emissions and power

I’ve always chuckled quietly to myself when Vanagon people justify their plan to convert their van’s engine by stating, confidently and a priori, that their fuel efficiency will naturally improve by swapping the engine to something “modern”....

Testing coolant pressure caps

In online discussions about replacement coolant pressure caps for Vanagons, people often talk about blowing, quacking, making kazoo sounds, etc. as confirmation that their new cap is OK. Some of these folks are undoubtedly referring to a short, funny little video...

Officially an Inventor!

My US patent for the Redshiftt gearshift knob controller and system has been issued and published! My first patent, I’m pretty pleased about that, and hopefully there will be more to come. . United States Patent Application 20180274664 SHIFT KNOB WITH SELECTABLE...
“The Knob” appears!

“The Knob” appears!

Things are coming together for Redshiftt, in addition to the patent news, we also have in hand the first run of production parts for “The Knob”, as well as the first copies of the circuit boards and Apps for testing. . The knob mechanical parts fit together very...

Redshiftt will be patented!

We received notice from the USPTO that the patent will be allowed. This just means the examiner has closed adjudication of the patent claims and states which claims will be allowed. . So the last step is to pay the issuance fee, which we’ve done, after which the...

Making mainseals seal

Lots of flywheel seals get replaced and still leak. The primary reason is that the f/w has a groove worn in the seal hub, this being much more of a problem with wbx’s than it was with older VW boxers because they tend to be left in the vehicle for two or three...

On the wbx flywheel seal

A fellow attempting to repair a flywheel seal leak on a recently rebuilt engine had the seal pop out of the case, and he wondered why. A helpful participant posted this: . Are you recessing the seal on the seal bore or is it flush with the case? Also, there are two...

AMC WBX cylinder heads

Here’s the dope on AMC wbx heads as of summer ’17 when I last processed them, this should cover most of the questions and swat down most of the BS I’ve seen on this subject: . The castings are excellent, better than VW’s, they have much more...

Redshiftt- a first look

I’ve had working prototypes of the Redshiftt knob remote controller for a couple years now, but in the process of development it has taken on more capacity and features. The two biggest changes were adding a live position sensing so the App can display the...

Why Redshiftt?

I drive an ’86 VW T3 Vanagon Syncro 7-passenger van (a “tin-top”). It’s my daily driver, work truck, travel camper and off-road excursion rig. Starting in 2011 some fellow Syncro owners organised an annual 3-night jamboree at Moab, Utah, calling it Syncro Solstice (in...

AFM testing with video

This 2nd time around is a good one. I know this one has helped loads of people definitively diagnose the problem with their Bosch Airflow meter (AFM) , and many of them have been able to repair theirs instead of shelling out a few Benjys for a reconditioned one. Like...

Why good electrical grounding matters.

This 2nd Time Around is a recent one, that involved cross-referencing two concurrent threads. Since as a general matter good grounding has great importance to keeping any electronically-controlled car running right, I thought it worth putting here:   A forum...

EEC (aka “the charcoal canister”)

The Evaporative Emissions Control system (EEC), what most folks call “the charcoal canister” is one of the simplest and nearly-universal emissions control systems, that is there for several clear-cut purposes. This system has been mandated on every US...