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LSR Karmann Ghia Blog, August 30, 2009


The following was sent to the Karmann Ghia Club of North America's email list on August 30th, 2009:

...Mini-update on the '59 LSR Ghia entry:

Yesterday I completed three cylinders worth of lower tin. This is the metal that directs air as it transitions to "underneath" the car. Original 36hp VW engines had this metal as integral to the lower cylinder shrouds - aka, "the flapper boxes." Later VWs have the counterparts for cylinders 1 and 3 as integral with the lower shroud, but with cylinders 2 and 4 as removable bits. Porsche similarly integrated this metal with the heating system when practical, but on the "European Heater" - a fresh air equivalent to the VW system - they had pieces exclusively on the cylinder heads. ...So, this Denzel engine deserves to not have its cylinders warp due to uneven cooling, too. So, I took a pair of trashed 36hp flapper boxes and trimmed off all four areas where the boxes approached the cylinders. I then cut and fitted these to the Denzel engine along with pieces specially fitted to the heads as cited in a previous update.

This work involved fitting a fuel pump air diflection plate - a rather custom situation now.

I had one left to finish, cylinder 3, and I got that done this morning. However, I still have to fabricate both the "breast plate" (rearward from the crankshaft pulley) and the "firewall shroud", at the transaxle. In both cases I'll make something by starting with the 36hp items.

Today I spent significant time working on the transaxle. I did a lot more dismantling, but neither pinion shaft is completely disassembled yet. It looks like I should be able to easily get the transaxle going together tomorrow. Thankfully, I have virtually all of the factory tools and this helps immeasurably.

And the biggest deal today was the paint. ...You may recall that I asked for help. Well, one of our community, Dave Whitaker, came today from the Siera foothills just down the hill from Yosemite and brought all his paint guns! (a thoughtful touch!)

We got working on it at about 8:15 AM and finished at about 9PM, including about an hour collectively for lunch and dinner - I cooked New Orleans style Red Beans and Rice and we had sausage links for lunch.

Anyway, Dave has repainted a few Karmann Ghias and is knowledgeable enough to be self-sufficient and trustworthy regarding the work we were doing, so I didn't have to look over his shoulder.

We spent a lot of time re-working the bodywork that got upset when I cleaned the bad paint off a couple of days ago. ...I didn't think it was going to take so long, but, well, you know that painting is a very time consuming process! We removed as much of the old paint (via sanding) as we could manaage without risking the shape or cutting through to metal. We had a lot of time "between" while we waited for glazing compound or primer to dry, and he spent the time prepairing all the little pieces while I spent the time working on the transaxle. In the end, we were both well pleased.

The new paint differed greatly from the previous product in terms of usability, flow, and other vital properties. I expected a small color mis-match at the very least, but, to both our surprise, when covering the previous paint, it was impossible to tell the colors apart, at least in the flurescent lighting we were viewing under. So, because it was hard to see just how good the coverage really was, we easily put on enough, and if anything there are a few runs in the paint that'll have to be saned out. However, the new paint is _very_ glossy and it looks fantastic! I'm _very_ pleased. Yes, there will be more time put into the paint, but at least it's _painted_ now! I'm pretty sure I won't be complaining tomorrow!

I should complete the engine tin tomorrow AM and the transaxle, hopefully, sometime by evening though I have some erands to run tomorrow and that always slows one down. A stretch goal is to have the exhaust completed, too. ...It's probably beyond possible, but I'll try to have the entire engine ready for startup...

Was up to start work at 5 AM, so it's been a long day at 9:45 PM now, and I'm not done yet - best sign off now.



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