Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fact of life living in Wyoming: snow & ice

Yesterday was the first scheduled meeting of 2017 for the VW club that I recently joined: Wyoming Aircooled VW Club. I was very excited to be able to meet some liked minded VW fans, make a few friends, and just chat about these cool cars. However, Mother Nature put a damper on it: weather.

One of the adjustments I've had to make living here in Wyoming is the fact that the weather can hinder, or cease, any travel in this area. Here in Laramie, we are 7220 feet of altitude, that is close to another 2,000 feet higher than Denver. The unique geographical location of this city also means we are suspectible to storm fronts throughout the year.

So last week we had another snow storm. It snowed off and on for about two to three days. That has left a lot of snow on the ground. Our VW club is located in Cheyenne, about a 45 minutes drive due east of us. The drive, while not really long, passes through a mountain pass that is another 1,000 feet higher than Laramie. As a result, after dark, the snow that was melting during the sunlight will start to freeze again. That means that the highway can have icy road conditions, something you don't want to experience with your valuable car!

My wife and I made the decision to stay in Laramie that evening. I really wanted to go but the fact is Mother Nature rules this area during the winter.

Now I'm looking forward to hearing from the club about what happened and what events the club has planned for 2017. For the first half of the year, I won't have a VW here but I will do what I can to attend! Once the Bug is here, I'm hoping to get it running and be able to eventually attend a few club events in her!

Stay tuned for more, as 2017 is looking to be good here in The VDub Geek's Garage!

--VDubGeek

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year from the VDub Geek!!

Happy New Year 2017!!

Well another year has passed and the new year promises to be great in the VDub Geek Garage! You're thinking what is in store for the VDub Geek this year, am I right? Well I've got a lot of cool things in the works for this year!

This month, I plan on attending my first club function with the Wyoming Aircooled Volkswagen Club. At the end of January the club is having a meeting to work on the calendar of events for 2017. I'm excited to meet some great VW folks like myself up here. 

Another great bit of news: this summer my wife and I are heading back to southern California to visit family and friends, but also to bring back a loved one with us: my 1969 Bug!! We're going to do some cleaning up in my storage, relocate the Imp to a smaller storage unit, and then trailer the Bug back to Wyoming!! I can't wait to my Diamont Blau baby back here!!

With the Bug here in Wyoming, I'll be able to start working on getting her road worthy and legal up here. When I parked her in 2010, she was making some terrible sounds from the rear. I suspect the problem is one of three possible culprits: rear wheel bearings, CV joints, or transaxle. At that point in my life she was my daily driver and just in need of more work (and money) then I could afford then. 


Now that life has changed, I can leave her in the garage and get things working correctly. My first goal is to get her running and registered. The aforementioned clicking sound will be first on the list. The second task will be tuning her for this altitude, as she is going to need to be leaned out. Once she is running properly, I'll take her to the WyoDOT and get her registered. 

With the Bug running and legal, I want to enjoy cruising her around town. Of course I'm not done with her at that point: that is very FAR from reality. I have a lot of projects in the planning, not limited to engines, wheels, and other upgrades. There are lot exciting things going in the VDub Geek Garage in 2017! Stay tuned!! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Joined a Wyoming VW club!!

Yesterday my wife was going through her Instagram feed and she came across a post from an apparel company from Cheyenne. They posted a photograph of a late Bus. She asked me if I knew what year it was by looking at the front. My thought was that it was a '68-'71. She commented, asking the year and asking if it was a '68-'71. The company replied that it was a '69.

After exchanging a few comments amongst themselves, they shared that they were part of a southeast Wyoming VW club called "Wyoming Aircooled VW Club". After taking a look at their web site, Facebook page, and Instagram page, I decided to give them a shot and join!

So now I am the newest member of the Wyoming Aircooled VW Club! I'm looking forward to meeting my fellow club members, checking out their VWs, and developing a network of people to help keep this "precious metal" on the road. Stay tuned for more information!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Leaving my mark

There is this great little to-go restaurant here in Laramie called D.P. Dough. My wife and I enjoy occasionally picking up a couple of their cal-zones for dinner. The variety is great and the food is delicious!

Well today was a particularly long day for the wife and I, so we weren't too excited about coming home and cooking dinner. After a long day of work, who really wants to cook when they get home?! So instead of cooking, my wife suggested we hit up the Laramie D.P. Dough for dinner.

As we waited for them to make our cal-zones, I noticed that they had a wall that was probably painted with that paint that makes the wall surface like a chalkboard. On the front counter was a small container of chalk, so I couldn't resist.

I don't pretend to be a Picasso or anything but I had to share the awesomeness of the Cal-Look Bug with my (very crude) drawing of a Cal-Look oval window Bug. I might have to polish my VDub sketching skills!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Busy year...

2015 has been a crazy year! It seemed like there was always something going when or something that had to be done on the same day as many of the southern California VW events. Among the events this year include getting married and continuing on with my college degree. I was going through VW withdrawals.

I married my friend on Pi Day 2015 (March 14, 2015). 

Well, the good news is that my wife has surprised me with the news that we are attending the VW Bugorama this month! This big VW event happened to fall on the same weekend as her birthday and on the local American Cancer Society Relay for Life that we usually participate in, so I figured the Bugorama was going to be a no-go. So when Renee said that we would be going to the Bugorama, I was a little surprised (ok, a LOT surprised). The fact is that due to the wedding planning all this winter/spring, we decided to ease up on our participation for the Relay For Life. The fact is that the VW hobby is my passion, not Renee's (at least not yet....). She told me that she knows that we haven't gone to any VW shows recently, so she was willing to go to this show to make me happy. That my friends is a good wife! I am one lucky guy! 

My '69 Bug, in need of some TLC. 

To say that I'm excited is a major understatement! The last VW show I attended was the Devious Dubs Takeover last summer, so it will be good to be checking out the VWs and even catching some drag racing! I would love to drive my '69 Bug there, but it is in need of some work (and $$$) to be running and legal again, but at this moment time and money are two commodities that I don't have in abundance. Photos will be sure to follow! 

-- the VDubGeek

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gurney/Western wheels

I recently was doing some digging around on my computer at home and came across a cache of photos I took a few years ago. As I was taking a stroll down memory lane (and realizing I have become a better photographer...), I came across this photo. I took this photo at a local "classic" car show. This particular wheel belongs to friend of a friend's Porsche 914.

What makes this remarkable is that this is what the wheels I am working on for my Bug will look like when I get out to work on them. I remember seeing this style of wheel on cars, but I never saw one fully polished. When I spotted this wheel, I knew I had to take a photo, as it confirmed my vision.
My wheels, hosed off and waiting for polishing 

I found some interesting notes about these wheels. According to jackmcafee.com, these wheels are clones of the Porsche "McAfee wheel". From what I have read, these wheels were sold by more than one manufacturer and the differences primarily came down to the center caps. This one appears to be the style with the bolt-on center caps, whereas my wheels have caps that slip on from the back. There are two different styles of slip-ins (like mine) and the style that uses these bolt-on caps.

Now this nicely polished wheel isn't exactly the same model as the one I have. As I mentioned above, there are three styles of these wheels. I noted that the polished wheel featured the bolt-on cap, but if you look to the second photo (one of my wheels) you'll notice that my wheels don't have the holes for the center cap bolts. I did a close inspection of my wheels and it does appear that my wheels are one of the types where the cap is pushed in through the back.

As of this moment, I am waiting for some available time, for the weather to cooperate, and for the funds to be available. I need to fix some scratches, then polish. I've already purchased the lug nuts, washers, and screw-in studs. With all of that done, along with some new tires, I will have a great looking set of wheels for my '69 Bug.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

A big thank you to my friend Johnny for the shifter!

After work today I stopped by my friend Johnny's house and after some digging, we found the shifter that will be the object of my step-daughter-to-be's first VW project: restoration and customization of a stock early model shifter. This is the reason I love the VW hobby: people are always willing to give you a helping hand.