April Weather

It’s been so nice out lately…the rail trails and open roads,they be callin’ out to me…



I can’t wait to get out there soon :)

Posted in Bike Camping | 7 Comments

Shifting Gears and a Change in Direction (for my secondary blog)

I did some redecorating an drepurposing on the other blog. I won’t be posting a link here every single time I have a new post there like I have in the past,but as I finish projects there,I’ll post the final product (both) here (and there as well). Anyways,check it out if you haven’t seen it :)



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Almost Forgot…

BTW,after she got in from work,the Wife and I went for a cruise around some country 2 lanes with the top down* :)

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*This was our first time dropping the top on the Beetle. (Note that the power top system is still inoporative,we put the top down and back up manually) This isn’t our first ragtop,however (those that have read my  drivel long enough know this,LOL),we’ve owned a few over the years,including a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT (sadly,the only pics that I had of it were on the computer that was lost during 2011’s house fire :'( ) and a the 1994 Ford Mustang GT convertible that I only sold off 2 1/2 years ago (a pic…)


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VW New Beetle Project: Some Paint Work,and New Arrivals

Short and sweet,as it’s late,I’ve had no daily nap,and I’m beat,LOL! I had to stay at home today and wait for FedEx,as they were making a much anticipated delivery today (means I had to forgo my normal mid day nap too),so after I was finished with the daily have-to’s I was bored and looking for something to pass the time*. I decided to do a little accent spray work on the Beetle,namely,the big plastic engine cover.

I spent only about 30 minutes prep-time (cleaning,scuffing with a scotch-brite pad,and masking) and 2 minutes spray-time,so I definitely feel it was worth the meager effort for the results. See for yourself…




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While I was there removing and later re-installing the engine cover,I had to stare at that faded-out hood emblem (all black around the VW symbol has faded to non-existant),and with a black Sharpie in hand (wish I’d had a blue one,LOL),I colored it in a bit as well…


Not very long after (this was mid-day),the FedEx driver arrived with 2 large boxes,containing 2 still-fairly-large boxed each inside of them,with each containing….my new 18″ wheels :D I settled on the Ice Wheels 5 spokers in 18″ x 7.5″.


So now the quest is to save for tires (as well as lowering spring installation,4 wheel alignment,rear brake rotors,the parts needed to safely bump both my timing and boost level,and a few interior tid-bits I’ve found that I want as well),LOL! :P If I ever actually get off my bum and list my last SCX10 (the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon RTR) on eBay and it sells,there should be plenty for tires and spring install,otherwise,I’ll chip away $50 per week at it I suppose. I’ve decided on 225/40-18″ tire size,though I’m undecided on brand/make as of yet. As these will be “fair weather wheels”,mileage rating isn’t as important as handling and “look” for tires on these wheels. I’m still undecided if I will Plastidip them with the Wheel Kit that I bought from dipyourcar.com–it being a bit darker than the color listed on their website (well…the caps on the cans are anyways). The cap shows a color almost exactly the same hue of blue that the engine cover now is…thoughts? Too dark of a blue for wheels on a dark grey car?


*Not bored enough to clean off the table-will-be-model-workbench and build,however XD

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New Beetle Updates and Thoughts

So I had the new timing belt kit (which included new belt,new pulleys and adjusters,and water pump) and the new exhaust system installed at the same time a few weeks ago,and have a few hundred miles on it since. I’m well pleased with it so far (the exhuast…one doesn’t notice the other stuff unless it’s gone bad :P ). I did have to cut a hole in the rear bumper cover for the tip to stick through*,but it turned out half-way decent looking for now. I’m loving the sounds…loud enough to like,not obnoxious and we can carry a converse at normal levels when putting along down the highway. It kind-of irks me that people automatically just assume that all I did was weld on a “fart-can” muffler (since the exhaust isn’t seen unless one crawls down to look under–and yes,I had someone comment that they’d assumed such),but that doesn’t really matter much I guess,LOL! I’m happy with it.

There were some definite changes in how it ran,noticed immediately after the install. There’s a bit more hp throughout the rpm range with the intake/exhaust combo (as proven by a dyno-run recently),but with 3″ pipes the back pressure is effected (effectively gone,LOL) and there was a noticeable “flat spot” in the power at W.O.T. (wide open throttle),so the next thing that I did was order and install a Nuespeed P-Chip module (a “power chip”),which increased the boost level slightly,as well as changed the engine’s timing among other things, The “flat spot” is still there,but barely noticeable now (hp was again increased on the dyno,it’s up from an unmodified 132hp at the front wheels to 197hp at the front wheels now…yeah,it’s noticeable :D ). I may look into bumping the boost level slightly again (currently running around 12.5psi,I’m thinking of going up to 15-16.0 psi maximum,I’m afraid that any higher might decrease durability of the turbo itself,but unless I’m mistaken,Turbo S models ran 16.0 psi when stock,for comparison).

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Here’s a short video I shot for exhaust sound. Not the best video (even out of my “not-the-best-video” shooting),but it was cold out,and I was both driving and filming :P

As I’ve sold several of my RC rigs in the last couple of weeks** (and have the budget for it from that),I’ve been looking at 18″ wheels for the Beetle,which was in the plan from the beginning,though I’d expected to not have budget for wheels this year***…it’s been less than a month since I had a set of 4 new tires installed on the stock 16″ wheels. The thought had always been “run the stockers in bad weather months,the 18’s in nice weather months” though.

I’ve narrowed the choices (of wheels that fit into budget including shipping) to these two…

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…and am leaning towards the top set. I have on hand a “Wheel Kit” from dipyourcar.com to Plastidip a set of four wheels in their Cobalt Blue with a matte/satin finish.

I may order the wheels (either set) this week,or I may hang onto the budget a while longer,I just don’t know yet,LOL! I think either of those would look sweet in Cobalt Blue on my Beetle,especially after I get the lowered springs installed. Thoughts?



*It was either cut a hole in it for the tip to stick through,leave the tip off and the outlet hidden behind the bumper cover–which would have inevitably melted the bumper cover–or use a 90 degree tip coming out of the muffler,which would have robbed hp and defeated the purpose of the exhaust’s design of a straight shot out.

**We also sold the 2014 Jayco camper/travel trailer last week finally! :D

***If I do buy a set of wheels,I wouldn’t be buying tires/installing them right away,I would either need to set-back/save budget for another new set of tires,or if/when my remaining RC rigs sell (assuming I ever get around to posting an ad for them,LOL) I could order them up then.

Posted in Cars, New Beetle, New Beetle Project, VW | Leave a comment

New Post on the RC Blog: Prossibly the Final Post There



Prossibly: Steveism,meaning more than possibly,less than probably ;) :P

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VW New Beetle Project: CAI Install (and a few new pics)

With the weather being a bit warmer (if a wet mess of snow melt and a bit of rain,LOL),after running a few errands*,I installed the new cold air intake (CAI,”short ram” or whatever you want to call it). These are simple and easy to DIY upgrades that actually do help to increase horsepower and fuel mileage**. For this particular unit,I needed only a pair of screw drivers (1 for prying,1 for removing/installing screws ;) ),and about 15 minutes.

One simply removes the stock airbox,and replaces it with the new air intake. It IS that simple,LOL! For this ap,with the way everything was made,I was able to reuse the bottom half of the stock airbox to both secure the new,as well as give me something to insulate to help it suck more cool air than hot engine air. I suppose later I will look for/make a way to route cold non-engine-compartment air to the intake,but for now it’ll do. Before pic…



After pics…

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A few pics of the car after it’s first bath (since our owning it) over the weekend…

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Tomorrow morning,the Wife will follow me to a local (and trusted) shop,and I’ll drop it off (by apt) to have the new timing belt kit (with all pulleys,adjusters,and water pump),AND the new complete turbo-back exhaust system installed (may take him 2 days to get to all of it). The new exhuast is considerably larger diameter pipes all the way back,with a much freer flowing muffler,and I’ve added a free-flow cat to the system as well,all mandrel bent pipes of course (smoother inside flow ;) ). I will still wait a bit on warmer weather to install the lowered springs,either DIY (if my Dad’s willing to lend his expertise),or pay the same shop.

Sometime this week,I think I will make an order from dipyourcar.com for a “matte/satin wheel kit” in one of their blue colors (whichever looks to be a good match for the air filter and the springs) and give my hand a try at Plasti-dipping the wheels. LOL,after some long talks (that had her rolling her eyes and continuously glancing at her watch as hint to shut-up XD ) with the Wife,I may eventually Plastidip the entire car body for a completely different look…it’s inexpensive,I can DIY (I’ve some experience painting/spraying cars,and access to a garage and needed equipment),and if I were to mess it up–or not like it/change my mind,LOL,I can simply peel it back off :P We’ll see :)





*Including picking up it’s new perminent/non-temp/paper license tag. As on th eFJ and the Jeep before it,I sprung for the US Army Veteran license plate–it’s only $10 extra,and only honorably discharged Vets can get one,and I’m proud to have served,so….. :P

**I have owned 2 vehicles in my time that were actually dyno-tuned/checked,and have personally seen honest HP increases of 4HP-9HP at the wheels with only a CAI install (vehicles were a 1990 VW Passat GJ with the 2.0L DOHC 4 cylinder at 4HP gain over stock,and the ’94 Mustang GT ragtop I had for several years saw a 9HP gain at the wheels on it’s 5.0L H.O./302 engine)

Posted in Beetle, VW Beetle Project | 1 Comment