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479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #422 · (Edited)
About a month before the next/last hillclimb of the season. I was able to source one tire from a friend; I already had one extra. Just need to mount the tires on the new rims.

Waiting for the new Gaz strut... I followed up this morning.

Redoing all the suspension back to pre-off at Okemo status (good control arms, light rims/good tires, and softer suspension) prior to Ascutney hillclimb is dependent on when the Gaz strut arrives.

That leaves a known electrical/mechanical issue that I need to address. The intercooler pipe from turbo to FMIC is close/nearly touching the starter. I have issues with the single wire that goes into the starter and have to wiggle it around to get it to work from time to time. I have already cut the end and replaced with spade connector, but the contact and/or heat from the IC tube is still an issue. I also need to inspect the connection on the starter to see if that is an issue.

I haven't had a chance to address the issue... or at least temporarily fix it... because of house projects.

Thankfully, one of the house projects was the garage. :) x 100 More to come soon...

Oh, went the Wolfsgart-12 car show in Essex, VT. I didn't have to pay to get in because we were raising money via donations for the American Cancer Society. My wife drafted me. Walked around the show for about 30 minutes and then escaped the heat inside the air conditioned buildings and saw a lot of the old local VW guys... they are getting older, not me.


479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #423 · (Edited)
** 2014 Garage **

I figure that I spend a great deal of time in the garage that I wanted it to look better and be more functional. Plus, Julie’s 50th birthday is coming up and we plan to have 50+ people in the garage for the banquet.


Unpainted OSB on ceiling and floor along with a real cluster of storage.

The old workbench is a great work surface that I built many many years ago. 4x4 legs, easy to disassemble with carriage bolts (I didn’t want to screw it all together as it was heavy and I knew I would have to move it one day), custom bent metal surface, and limited open shelf storage. The cabinet doors I added years later looked like a little kid’s first day in the woodshop in school, but they did cover the clutter. Perhaps I will use this workbench in the shed for wood projects, plus it will be nice to retain the use of the awesome work surface for rebuilding engines.

This took a lot longer than expected.

Had 10 gallons of Kilz “Original” for one coat walls and two coats ceiling. Ran out. Got another 8 gallons and used 7. Ended up with two coats everywhere to cover the nail lines on the walls.

Of course, even before paint, there must have been a screw shortage. Spent two nights securing the sagging OSB on the ceiling (found a few full 4x8 sheets that had a total of 5 nails each!) and some screws for the walls.

Taped the hell out of the surface mounted electrical conduit… something I (and Julie) will regret later when trying to remove the painted tape. That sucked.

Walls for two coats of tan. Electrical conduit got sprayed tan (close to wall color).

Filled holes, sanded, and painted the trim on two doors and two windows.

Very pleased with the results.

I would like better looking/function lights on the ceiling, but can’t find anything that works (yet).

I think I want to do something for the floor... Epoxy won’t work with salt, but I did find this on the dark web: Why Spartacote Concrete Floor Coatings? | Flooring Systems Companies

And interesting video here:

Ordered NewAge Design cabinets (Pro series).

* 84” tall cabinets with four shelves.

* Three overhead cabinets with one shelf.

* Two 5-drawer and one 7-drawer along with a stainless steel work surface.

Assembled size is 156” W x 24” D x 85” H

Very heavy and seems to be good/durable quality.

I think the only difference from the Bold series (next step down) vs. the Pro is the depth of everything... Bold 18” vs. Pro 24”.

Everything is already assembled, but does require installation.

And... done!

** 2012 F250 **

Time to make the 10 year old truck shine.


After.... I wish I could take credit for this work.

Rodney does car detailing as a side job and has done the Volvo (full detail inside/out) a few years ago and again this month.

For the truck he did (what he calls) "paint enhancement" where he washed, decontaminated the paint (remove iron build up), washed again, clay bar and finally do a single stage buff to remove small scratches and brighten the paint.

The truck looks fantastic.

I’m still driving the truck as much as I can (longer trips down the interstate to get the DEF pump... well, pumping) to get rid of the problem with crystallization on the pump. My want for a low mileage truck was nipped in the bud with a DEF pump that can’t sit; the fluid evaporates over time leaving the crystals. Expensive to replace the pump. Hoping more long distance driving will resolve. I have my BlueDriver OBD2 reader plugged into the truck so that I can reset the “check engine” light associated with the pump that will reduce the power to the truck.

479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #424 ·
Okay.... now I'm done. Some string lighting (mulit color and dimmable) to add some flavor to the garage.

No one uses our front door... if I hear the door bell, I know someone is selling something... no, I do NOT want solar panels in my field! Everyone comes through the garage.

Instead of having the eight 100w daylight bright lights on, this will provide some quality light at an acceptable illumination level. Also good for Julie's birthday party... which is the real reason I installed them.

I hung four guide wires from wall to wall with turnbuckles to tighten them to D flat. Ran three lengths (150'+ total) of linkable Edison bulb string lights. It was pretty easy to do with the guide wires.

They look brighter in the picture because of my camera... it is a bit dimmer.

Happy with the results. Some clutter to get out of the garage and I will be done. Miller time... okay, Sip of Sunshine double IPA time.



479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #425 ·
==== 2001 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T ====

I just realized the car is 21 years old! Still seems like a new car to me.

Winter 2022-2023 Plans

1. Car goes to VEMS in Colchester, VT (same person who tunes the car) to remove the older 034EFI standalone engine management (ECN and harness) to replace it with a more modern ECU.

2. Kales Custom for changes to the intercooler pipe from the turbo to the FMIC. It currently is next to the starter, which causes some issues with starting (plus it is harder to work on the car). He will also change the hot side of the turbo (smaller)... I could change the part, but he did some an excellent job with the securing each of the bolts with safety wire, I’m going to leave this job to the expert. Then a pause... he will get it back later.

3. To my friend’s body shop to put the car on the frame machine to ensure everything is straight after my off-road adventure at Okemo this year.

4. After the car is confirmed straight, back to Kales Custom for some changes to the skid plate.

5. Maintenance:

a. Shift bushing rebuild kit

b. Inspect and replace (if needed) brake pads

c. Make sure all current gauges work or replace them... EGT, A/F, etc.

d. Clean out behind the front fenders... common dirt/water collection area that rusts the fender and rocker

e. Check harnesses, helmet, and other safety equipment

f. Address starter issue (wire affected by hot intercooler tube)

g. Change oil, brake fluid, etc.

Get all this done by January so that I can run out of excuses to not to work on the Scirocco.

==== 2012 F250 Pick-em-up-Truck ====

Still having issues with DEF pump crystallization errors... will have to bite the bullet and get new pump installed.

And fix those darn mirrors... I will start on that when the Golf is at VEMS as I will have more space in the garage.

==== 2021 Subaru WRX/STI ====

4,600 miles

The plans... make monthly car payments and drive the car all winter!

Jason G. (a friend) did a fantastic job undercoating the car for the winter. Last winter, we used Fluid Film, this time we used Wool Wax. Looks great under the car followed by a hand wash. Great job Jason!

==== 2015 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design Platinum ====

Less talk, more pictures!

I knew I had to replace the front brake pads, but I kept looking at the rusty calipers I just had to address that at the same time.

One would think that the sporty R-Design would come with some more performance-oriented brakes. The full blown Polestar has some pretty sweet looking brake calipers... a little too expensive to swap onto our S60.

Enter the POR-15 (Paint Over Rust) brake caliper paint kit in black.

Something new to me... with all my Volkswagens, the caliper is a one piece unit with piston. With the Volvo, the piston is one side of the setup and this large metal “cage” is the rest of the setup. I will have to dig up the proper names for these parts. New territory.

Kinda thin inboard brake pad.

I checked the size and thread of the mounting holes and bolts prior to painting. I wanted to chase the threads, but not until after I was done with the paint. All threads addressed prior to final installation.

Wire brush and wheel...

Degreaser followed by rinsing with water and drying

Metal prep. Brush on for 30 minutes and then rinse with water and dry

POR-15 rust preventive paint... effectively gray primer with a strong dislike for rust. Two coats.

POR-15 black caliper paint. Like the POR-15 primer, this stuff eats foam brushes. I ended up using a one-use bristle brush and would smooth the paint with the foam brush at the end. Two coats.

I was having a hard time with the brake carrier bolts, so I just left it installed and painted the sections that did not make contact with the pads.

Looks better than rust...

The last shop that worked on our Volvo really dorked up the rims. I wasn’t worried about inside the hole where the bolt head resides, but the paint was chipped all around the opening also. VERY noticeable when we picked up the car and we shared this with them. They told us that it wasn’t their fault as they were aftermarket rims. I have no idea why that matters. They have worked on this car for years with these rims. So... not going back there again.

Perhaps they need a set of these coated sockets... I just picked up a new set as my old socket was getting old.


479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #426 · (Edited)
==== 2020 Kubota LX3310HSD ====

It has four wheels, so it gets a spot on my project post.

After spending 15 hours brush hogging (very slowly) the 10 acre back yard, I did an oil and filter change along with the transmission oil filter and the hydraulic filter on the transmission. I’m not quite at the hours to change the 4.5 gallons of fluid... that should be fun.

Since we have a paved driveway, I remove the metal skids and cutting edge and installed a polyurethane set. Pretty easy to swap and the polyurethane parts are replaceable (as opposed to having to purchase the metal part of the skid that the poly attaches).

Nothing too exciting... snow tires on the Subaru and Volvo and the tractor is ready for moving the snow.

==== 2001 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T ====

Previously on the Golf MK4 channel... “1. Car goes to VEMS in Colchester, VT (same person who tunes the car) to remove the older 034EFI standalone engine management (ECN and harness) to replace it with a more modern ECU.”

Progress as of Nov 26... I will share some upgrades and changes when the car is done.

==== 1980 Volkswagen Scirocco ====

Previously on the Scirocco channel... “Get all this done by January so that I can run out of excuses to not to work on the Scirocco.”

Planning seems to be taking more time than action. I didn’t have an end date goal to have the Scirocco completed, but since Mt. Washington hillclimb is in 2023 or 2024 (my guess is 2024), I would enjoy driving the Scirocco at the event, especially because it is all paved.

A 2024 deadline is do-able, but... I would want a lot of seat time in this car prior to heading up the mountain. That changes my end date a bit. That possible deadline is “me” making the car 100% race-ready, but getting the body ready is only possible if my friend Jodi can fit it into his schedule.

I have never raced up a hill or on a track alone... so many people have helped to make that possible.

Time to break out the white board to capture exactly what I need to do.

#1... spend money.

Back to planning... let’s talk about lights.

A friend of mine (Chris A.) has a BMW E21 (first generation of the BMW 3 series, built between 1975 – 1983, 2-door sedan... blah blah blah) with a BMW “M Power” M50 straight 6 cylinder... turbo! He runs the car on VEMS and wanted a solution for the lights, directional, horns, etc.

Enter Power Distribution Module (PDM): MicroPDM

Nut shell... replaces conventional relays and fuses in a vehicle electrical system. This is what I am planning to run on the Scirocco with buttons on the steering wheel for directions, lights, and horn.

Some fun reading: Getting Started with the MicroPDM — MicroPDM

This is way above my head (I don’t do electrical) so I will pick both Chris’ brain and Jason at VEMS. Doing the VEMS ECU on Scirocco and the PDN at the same time is key.

Time for me to get an understanding of high-side, low-side, CAN bus, etc.

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