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LSR Karmann Ghia Blog, August 29, 2009


The following was sent to the Karmann Ghia Club of North America's email list on August 29th, 2009:

Hi Ghia Gals and Ghia Guys,

It has been nearly a week since I last gave you an update. Here's the very latest...

We pick up from last week when I was set to paint and finish off the valves train.

The painting did not go well. In fact, it was a disaster; I was thoroughly dissatisfied and took the paint off! YES, took the paint off. In discussing the problems with paint experts, it seems that there were several problems, not the least of which was that I was working with three year old color. I'll be giving it another attempt tomorrow, this time with some brand new paint.

Meanwhile, when torquing the nut on the last of four rocker stand studs, the stud pulled out of the head! These studs are used to mount the rocker shaft to the cylinder head and keep the rockers in position to open and close the valves.

I used a "heli-coil" to repair it. However, the heli-coil _also_ pulled out of the head! Oy! What now!

I'll spare you all the technical details and simply give the solution: The hole in the head was in fact deeper than had been threaded. I enlarged the hole a little and then ran a larger diameter tap (M10) of the same thread pitch (1.25), and then made my own custom step-stud, to reduce it back to the diameter Dr. Denzel intended (M8). This worked very well. And as I was now illuminated as to the risk, I made a spare, backup stud, just in case another one pulls!

So.... I also resolved the pushrod issues simply by using the originals instead of making more. This worked, of course, and I have a backup set of ones I have made, and, another Denzel enthusiast has made some, too, and they gave me a set as well - though theirs are different and have some, shall we say, "construction" issues...

I don't recall if this was in last week's report or not, but I have balanced the flywheel and pressure plate myself, personally, using a friend's equipment.

I also took a fan and welded every other blade to the fan's discs and then cut through the middle of the remaining blades and twisted them to the side, removing them. (As my TIG welder has a hose problem, I used a friends welder.) We didn't have an arbor to balance the fan with but I am assured that the 1/4 mile racers don't bother as if you start with a stock fan, they are pretty damned well balanced in the first place.

I found time to dig out several transaxle cores and have found all the gears I need. I went to a friend's shop where he is a professional transaxle rebuilder. He took the time to show me some of the trick techniques, and he donated a part or two that I hadn't come up with from my own cores. I'm grateful for his advice and assistance; with it, I am likely to have a transaxle with the perfect gearing in two days or so - I've already begun the rebuilding process!

Yesterday I visited someone who has some Denzel pieces I don't have - namely, the lower cylinder shroud pieces. They were in the process of making some reproductions and they gave me some of their attempts-in-progress, so I can complete my own _now_ instead of waiting around for them to figure out the last details. I have now taken those bits and am fitting them to the LSR engine "as we speak."

Today I'll be mounting the fan to the generator, the generator to the fan shroud and then the fan shroud / generator to the engine. This will let me fit each of the remaining pieces of tin _exactly_ where they go...

I'll also be doing that last minute bodywork - mostly cleaning - for a shooting of paint bright and early tomorrow morning.

And, finally, there has been so much interest in this project that I have made sure to take the time and update the web pages. There are several new pages and the previous ones were updated, too - all of them. If you've already looked at them and wish to look again, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of each page to ensure you get to see all the new imagery...




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