April 10, 2003

Engine Strap Dropped off the new battery and wanted to get the distributor out so I could bring it home and change the points & condenser. Tried to pull the engine lid up and ripped the cord that lets it hang from the roof lip. Wonderful. Bentley manual said it you just unscrew the bracket on the distributor and lift it up. EERNT! The bottom of the bracket was hitting a bar running lengthwise across the engine. A quick post to the type 3 list and I found out this bar is for the warm-up flaps and that I’ll have to find a way to unscrew that part of the bracket. I have no idea how to get to it really. Guess I’ll wait until Saturday when I have time to get to the car and it’ll be a little warmer.

Put three vanillaroma trees in the car to get the musty smell out. Eventually I want to wash the carpets with foam cleaner I picked up. Hopefully that will solve the problem for good. Also dropped off the fire extinguisher as well. Found out that the flourescent work light I got puts out a lot of light. Hangs real nice off the back of the roof lip as well (where the damn strap was supposed to go). Accidentally unclipped two spark plug wires from the distributor cap during all this, both on the same side. I’ll look back at the pictures I took to see what was what. Found another electrical clip that was off as well — next to what I presume is the kickdown switch. Man, I have no idea how tough it’s going to be to get the spark plugs out. Looks even tougher than my old beetle. Took the cover off the generator belt pulley to see if I could locate the timing marks on the main pulley.

One thing that worries me, since I haven’t yet done a compression check on the engine… I was able to turn the pulley REAL easily. I recall maybe it was the Bentley manual that said don’t put your plugs back in until you do your valve job because it’ll make the engine harder to turn if you do. It seemed like I got no resistance on the pulley at all. Guess I have to pick up a compression tester & check that out. The pulley was marked real nicely. Will look in the Bentley to see what they are. I figure 5 degrees before, then 5, 7.5 & 10? There were four marks. Plan to hook up the battery Saturday & change the oil, do the Bentley tune-up & then see if it will start. If it does, I’ll move onto the brakes & see if putting fluid in the system is all it needs. I have hoses, shoes, clips & one caliper rebuild kit on order in case I need them. Got pads on e-bay a couple weeks ago real cheap. At some point I’ll hook up the VW fuel injection tester & see if everything is good on that front. I’ve heard nightmare stories about the FI harness, but I’m hoping for the best.

Sat in the driver’s seat for a few minutes. The guys on the list are right — brake pedal is going to be a pain at the beginning. Got back in the Jetta and realized I have really gotten used to having a lot of legroom. Can’t wait until Saturday.