Up-cocking the pit

Up-cocking the pit

The lightish royal blue interior my Syncro came with was another blechhh kinda thing; I mean, if you’re gonna do blue, commit! Deep navy, at least. Midnight, even. But not this mamby-pamby watery bullshit blue. . I’m someone for whom aesthetics motivates...

Pegs. Holes. Whatever.

I used to be a ‘splainer on a few of the popular online vehicle forums, but my desire to do it wore out, for many reasons but one above all others: It’s nearly impossible to pry an erroneous notion out of a grasshopper’s mind, when said notion seems...

Make Latching/Toggle SPDT relay from single DPDT

I’ve sometimes had an application that needs a latching relay that can be toggled by a remote momentary button switch. If you search for this kind of thing, on many DC DIY electrical websites you’ll find a description of a logic array that requires 4...

Drop-down Table

A few pics and some details on the drop-down tabletop shown in my last post. This was built at the same time as the overall interior remodel, when I installed the ABS panels, using stuff I had around. A lucky scrap of 1/2″ oak plywood in the shed was already...

Repose

This was a little project I did to make the GL rear bench seat, which can be pulled forward to convert into a really comfy, nearly queen-size bed, usable as a bench seat when it’s in bed mode without needing to heave the whole heavy bed assembly back. All...

Hand-somethings

Did two minor comfort/aesthetic additions recently. I’m not the kind that’s much concerned with how things look, within reason anyway. But to my eye, the stock Vanagon steering wheel has always been a kind of throwaway, uninspired, “bleah” design. But that alone...
Redshiftt Control Box Progress

Redshiftt Control Box Progress

A little update to show the Redshiftt main receiver/relay box taking shape. This actually reached this state months ago, but under the present challenges we’re all struggling with I kinda back-burnered Redshiftt in favor of keeping Vanistan prosperous. I’m...

IP and Small Business

On a vehicle forum a frequent commenter started a thread to complain that someone was selling a small piece of specialty hardware that seemed to be the same as an item already made and sold by another forum member. The air quickly grew heavy with the reek of righteous...

Preview: Bomber Heater Valve with Auto-bleed

Here’s a preview of a new product, a high-quality brass ball valve as direct replacement for the aged plastic OEM valves that leak internally and don’t stop the heat, plus a feature that automatically and constantly purges the radiator of air. I have this one in...

Air Purging On 2.1 WBX Cooling System

A fellow on a forum had a question about making his own pressure tank like the one I showed off here. He linked to another welded aluminum box tank similar to the one I chose, and asked if I thought it would work. I only saw one opening for a hose connection. Some of...

Nice demo video of Cabin Air Control

Jeff of AutoventuresLLC in Wisconsin ordered the Cabin Air Control kit, and liked it enough to shoot a neat little video with a real good look at the fresh air inlet door working: . . View this post on Instagram Install on the Vanistan Cabin Air control kit. Pretty...
Dash Re-doo Dee-luxe

Dash Re-doo Dee-luxe

For most of the time I’ve been driving a Vanagon, I’ve been quite disappointedly aware of the cavernous empty volume inside the right half of the dashboard: Why wasn’t the dashtop there a hinged cover for a big storage bin? Now THAT would be a glove compartment! Not...

My DIY Coolant Tank

New replacement coolant pressure tanks for the Vanagon cooling systems are known to be not nearly as resilient as the OEM ones, they tend to last only a few years. The definitive, fix-it-once answer to that is a welded aluminum box tank from RMW. Competently designed...

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”....