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 FINALLY got me a Thing! 
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
Oh wow, I'm way behind here!

Let's talk about getting the gas heater working shall we?

I had several problems to start off with - one was that my timer switch had no "timer" to it... it just operated like an on/off switch with no winding action..
the other was that inside my thermostat, the little lever bit would not turn and it was stuck at min temp setting.

Also the fuel pump/solenoid thingy was stuck. Fuel pump failure was solved with lots of PB and a few strategic hammer blows, and she was freed up.


I bought a new timer switch from TTS (an early Christmas present to myself) and installed.

The heater pipe seal ring is a 211 part # according to TTS parts guide, but couldn't find it locally. Scrounged and found that a fuel-injected bug tail pipe seal ring does the job.

Heater ignites, runs, gets up to temp. The shutdown after-burn operates properly, and after cooling it starts back up again. This is on the lowest setting though due to my jammed up thermostat.. but it proves operation. I have a parts heater on the way from a friend to cannibalize for parts if needed.


My only apparent issue now is a bit of an uneven flame .. the sound is rumbly from the exhaust rather than a nice even roar. Funny thing is, that it was nice and even when I had it all rigged up top. Only after I had the fuel pump and lines run from below did it start with uneven ignition.

Not sure where to start there, I had already cleaned up and adjusted my spark/glow plug.. maybe i'll swap for the one in the spare unit when it arrives and see what happens.

Image

Image



Since I never found anywhere, anything that describes the internal workings of the BN4 thermostat, I thought I would document everything as best I could.

Here we go:

Inside the thermostat unit, there is the lever which is attached to your temp-adjustment cable. This lever operates on an "outer" barrel with a threaded top and flats. This barrel shaft runs through the thermostat housing, and on the bottom side one end of the bi-metal coil is screwed to it.
Through this barrel, a stainless shaft runs through the centerline. On top inside the thermostat housing the little white plastic cam which operates the switch is pressed onto it. On the bottom end outside the housing, the bottom of the bi-metal coil attaches to the rod via a rivet.

When you actuate the temp cable, you're actually twisting on this OUTER barrel, which pre-winds the bi-metal coil a bit, pulling the cam farther away from the switch.

Let's look at a pic:

Image

The problem I had with both of my thermostats (and perhaps many others) was that the outer barrel part was seized to the thermostat housing. The spare thermostat was stuck so hard someone had bent the lever pulling on the cable so hard.

The problem is finding a way to get on that outer barrel part without destroying everything around it. On the bottom end of the thermostat (the part that goes down into the duct) there's a cage thing around it, and I never did find a way to remove it without possible damage to the bi-metal coil.

Image

Not finding any real function to the cage, I just cut the damned thing off:

Image

Now you have some room to work, maybe even bust the barrel free - which I actually did, but it was still rough. You'll need to remove everything and give it all some proper lubrication.

To get the inner shaft out, go back up top. You'll need to remove the white plastic cam, but first make an index mark so you know how to fit it back w/out losing the factory adjustment:

Image

After removing the small slotted screw that affixes the top of the bi-metal spring to the barrel, the shaft and bi-metal coil should slide out.

Image

Next you can *CAREFULLY* get on the brass nut and lock washer, and remove the actuating lever and plastic do-dad under it. You're left with the empty thermostat housing:

Image

Here's a pic of the sacrificial lamb unit, with components laid out in assembly order:

Image

*CAUTION*
You'll notice an extra "nubbin" lying at the end of the shaft.. that's the threaded tip that broke off trying to losen it up with twisting action. DO NOT TWIST!! DO NOT EVEN TRY TOUCHING THE THREADED TOP!!
The threads are brass and will strip/break off if you so much as look at them cross-eyed!!!

Here's a crop of the barrel, inner shaft and bi-metal coil, you can easily see how it all goes together here:

Image

You'll want to clean up all the burnishing on the barrel bit, for this I used the finest emery cloth I could find and gave it a polish:

Image

Now, for re-assembly and lube.... hmm lube... what do I have handy...
AHA! Gun grease! and CLP! If it's good enough to lube up cosmoline-frozen Mosin-Nagant bolts it's plenty good for a Eberspacher! Made just for extreme-temp variances, and a little bit goes a very long way.
Also, it was within reach:

Image

Installation is the reverse of assembly, as they say. Be sure to get the plastic cam back on the right spot, and that it all moves freely.

Re-install in the car and adjust cable as per the manual.

Enjoy your crankin' hot heat! Now witness the power of this fully operational battl... er, Thing Gas heater!

Image

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:30 pm
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
8)
nice !
i've got an ancient Warner gas heater, that i need to restore 1 day ,,, :oops:


Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:03 pm
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
Briefly considered going the gas heater route for winter camping in the bus. Ended up going with woodstove cause it was super cheap and easy. Plus wood is plentiful and free in the woods.


Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:11 pm
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
Well this past weekend there was FINALLY the magic combination of good outdoor working weather, and not being deathly ill! I took the opportunity to finally repair a few door latches that have not been operating in the cold, and replace the blown LF wheel cylinder.

For almost all winter, the driver's door and RR door have not been wanting to latch shut. The catch mech would not "lock" in the closed position.. a couple of months back I picked up a good used pair of latch mechanisms on the Samba, just in case one or more was not salvageable.
Being able to just remove the whole door and bring it inside the garage made for easier work!

I first cleaned up the dirty replacements with some POR-15 product called "Marine Clean"... it's a POWERFUL de-greaser that is non-toxic, water based, and REALLY works.. like, be sure to wear rubber gloves, because it will suck all the oil out of your skin and you'll have zombie palm for the next week if you don't. A few minutes soaking and some gentle wiping with an old paint brush had them shining down to the original gold anodization.
but now, they're totally free of lube.. hmmm... I need something really light to penetrate, but won;t gum up in extreme cold, or evaporate in heat.. and won't attract a wad of dirt and horsehair padding all over them like OG.. What's on the bench? oh yeah, just like I used for the thermostat - CLP! (a gun oil / cleaning product) PERFECT.
A few drops and they were working smooth as silk.

I now have fully operational doors that latch easily, huzzah!!


The LF wheel cyl was also pretty easy work, I had forgotten later VW's have a pinch-bolt nut on the front axle. The drum came off easily, but it also revealed that the summer's earlier brake meltdown had really worn the shoes badly.. I'm at probably 20% wear left. damn.
oh well, cleaned up with brake clean, installed my new German wheel cyl and chucked the old one into the arts wash to rebuild and keep as a spare for later.

Since the whole front brake circuit has bled out over the winter, I did a full 4-wheel bleed and adjustment until the dark old brake fluid was replaced with fresh, thanks to the assistance of Diane doing the brake pumping. Once again, my 1 man bleeder bottle has gone walkabout.

After that it was finally pulled out of the driveway for the first time this winter, and we went to get fresh gas and cruise the neighborhood. What a great feeling! and the gas heater sure works great when it's warm enough out that you don't really need it! ;)

All just in time for it to back to 10 degree mornings... looks like I'll be rockin' the Abarth for a while yet.

cheers,

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:32 pm
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
Awesome work Brian! Glad to hear your getting that "Thing" totally healthy! Glad you are feeling better too!

Bill


Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:30 am
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
well I got up today and it was 25 instead of 10, so fuckit. I drove the Thing to work!

Legs and feet were ROASTED by the time I got here, everything from the door-tops up.. not so much. But, not as bad as I was expecting. The new top (and glass side-curtains hopefully by next winter) should make a noticeable difference.

As for my health... ear still fluid-filled so it looks like I'm headed for a tube install next week. :/

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:43 am
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
Hail storms from a few weeks back spelled doom for the tired old top that the Thing came with. Several holes ripped, and left me with a couple inches of standing water in the passenger side floor pan (the new pan quarter from TTS installed by Rick didn't include drain holes!)

So, with spring - and a car show approaching - it was time to finally install the new heavy duty top the wife had bought me for Christmas!

I had a little help from a few friends for the day - Dana, Ted, and Bill Bowman joined in the fun..

Before:
Image

Image

During:
Image

and After:
Image

Image

Install was shockingly easy. It was on in about less than a minute!
And when Diane came out to admire the top, the first thing she said was "well, now I do think you should have gotten the new windows to go with it!"
Ted and Bill are witnesses! lol

Other work performed for the day was removal of the battery so I could drill a drain hole. now, if I were Roy Jonas, I would have spent the day making a wooden die and press, precisely measuring the size and placement of the hole, used a proper die punch to make the hole, and the wooden form to press the appropriate bevels and crimps around it to match the driver's side.
I'm not Roy though, so I just chucked up the largest drill bit I had, eyeballed it, and drilled a hole. Water drained. job done.

Also for Christmas the wife bought my whole list of missing body plugs and seals, so all the door hinges got lubed and capped with new hinge caps, trunk sealed up with plugs, and rocker plugs installed where missing.

the new top sure makes an INCREDIBLE difference. the next day on our caravan to Forest Park, I was so thrilled with how clear the back window is I took this picture of Bill with Martha:

Image

Coming soon: powder coating rims and new meaty tires!!

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:26 pm
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
It looks really nice.

Rickd


Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:50 pm
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
Congrats! Looks great!

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Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:27 pm
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
What size tires are you going with? I'm seriously thinking grabbers like I've got on the bus.
Also,, do you still have those old tires you took off? Two of them looked pretty meaty and would probably work for "down on the farm"


Sun May 25, 2014 6:08 am
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
8)
once i went w/ Grabber's, i never went Back ...
. Best . Tyres . EVAH !
:mrgreen:


Tue May 27, 2014 8:19 am
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
Timfromwashmo wrote:
What size tires are you going with? I'm seriously thinking grabbers like I've got on the bus.
Also,, do you still have those old tires you took off? Two of them looked pretty meaty and would probably work for "down on the farm"


Still trying to figure that out. I want tires that will 1) approximate the stock 185/14MS, and 2) fit in the trunk as a spare.

Pretty much the biggest you can go and still fit in the trunk is 195/75. There is exactly ONE "A/T" type tire that comes in that size - the BFG All-Terrain T/A, and they cost $131/ea. Quite a bit outside of my budget.

So, next best thing I guess would be a snow tire for about 1/2 the cost, but haven't decided anything yet.

The old ones were disposed of, they were all dry-rotted pretty good.

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Tue May 27, 2014 10:51 am
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
stl_stadtroller wrote:
Timfromwashmo wrote:
What size tires are you going with? I'm seriously thinking grabbers like I've got on the bus.
Also,, do you still have those old tires you took off? Two of them looked pretty meaty and would probably work for "down on the farm"


Still trying to figure that out. I want tires that will 1) approximate the stock 185/14MS, and 2) fit in the trunk as a spare.

Pretty much the biggest you can go and still fit in the trunk is 195/75. There is exactly ONE "A/T" type tire that comes in that size - the BFG All-Terrain T/A, and they cost $131/ea. Quite a bit outside of my budget.

So, next best thing I guess would be a snow tire for about 1/2 the cost, but haven't decided anything yet.

The old ones were disposed of, they were all dry-rotted pretty good.

= = =
WTF, really !?!? @ $107 ea. + shipping, General Grabber 27x8.5x14's fit on All of my '67 = T-2's ,,, would think a Thing has much more clearance ~ !??!?
as for a 'spare', a 165Rx15 bug wheel/tire fits into that "Tiny o.g. 7.00x14 bias-ply spare" space, behind the 2/3 psgr. seat in ol'Yeller ! 8)
:shock:
Unless, that is ,,, u'r ocd enough, that u'r spare Must 'match' u'r road rims ,,, pffft ,,, silly-ness :roll:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Tue May 27, 2014 11:48 am
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
David wrote:
WTF, really !?!? @ $107 ea. + shipping, General Grabber 27x8.5x14's fit on All of my '67 = T-2's ,,, would think a Thing has much more clearance ~ !??!?


Yes, larger will fit in the wheel wells, but not as a spare. and yes, I'm one of those crazies that want my spare to match.

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Tue May 27, 2014 12:19 pm
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Post Re: FINALLY got me a Thing!
stl_stadtroller wrote:
David wrote:
WTF, really !?!? @ $107 ea. + shipping, General Grabber 27x8.5x14's fit on All of my '67 = T-2's ,,, would think a Thing has much more clearance ~ !??!?


Yes, larger will fit in the wheel wells, but not as a spare. and yes, I'm one of those crazies that want my spare to match.

= = =
hahahaha, i been called W-A-Y worse than crazxy, but ,,, each 2 their own, i say ;-)


Tue May 27, 2014 9:19 pm
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