Monday, April 7, 2014

Film at Eleven

With the start of April comes the Pacific NorthWest's faux-Summer.  We're really experiencing that now, with mid 70's temperatures, clear blue skies and bright smiles on everyone's face.  In an ironic contrast, I spent Sunday afternoon in my sun-blasted garage solving the water-block problem both under the belly-pan and in the passenger door.  I'll hit that today.

Plastic Fantastic
First, I need to give credit where due.  I stumbled upon this website while trying to figure out a viable way of keeping the water that makes it past the window seals from damaging the new inner door panels / cards.  The old plastic was pulled out, and the cards were destroyed.  The guys at the vw-resource web site had a great suggestion for using BlueTak on their page dedicated to the doors.  In my last post, I mentioned that I bought some of the 3M stuff that was basically the same.  I borrowed their picture on the right here.  The 3M stuff is white, so it doesn't show up as well in pictures.  I posted one here anyway.

trash-liner door-liner
Note how much less I used (I relatively uniformly used around 1/4" thickness).  That became an issue when I tried to hang visqueen.  The plastic sheeting that you get in most home remodeling shops is too slickery, and won't stick easily.  Instead, I considered what was originally in there: a very thin film.  I grabbed a kitchen garbage bag, and hung it on there instead, aligning the bag bottom with the door top and one edge against the front edge of the door .  Because of the static electricity built up in the bag, it immediately clung to the steel, making the pressing into the 3M stuff much easier.  I cut the bag in half along the front / leading edge of the door, and folded it back against the rest of the door.  Some simple trimming later, and the door is sealed.  Like the vw-resource guys, I poked holes where the rubber bits will be going and made sure to run loops of sticky-stuff around those holes.  Be sure to run loops of the sticky-stuff around the holes for the window winder, door pull and the latch.  One other thing to note, I didn't run the plastic to the very bottom of the door; only to the very bottom of the hole in the door and then put multiple runs of sticky stuff along the bottom.  Remember, the whole idea is to keep inside the water that's inside the door, so it runs out the bottom.

Bag in the Pan
exposed electricals. 3M sticky
After such a simple success with the door, I slid under the front of the bus and pulled the belly pan off. My drive-by-wire electronics are under there.  This has been a source of concern any time I go for a drive when the pavement isn't dry.  While it is really just a simple resistor attached at one end to the pedal and the other to a wiring pigtail, its still an expensive replacement.  If it got wet, it would fry, and I'd need to replace it.  As I write this, I realize that there aren't any fuses in the wires either, so if something shorted out, there could be ECU troubles.  Anyway,  in looking at the exposed electronics, I noted so many openings where water could get through: from the rear where all the controls go through, over either side of the main frame members, etc.  Yikes.

same view, but bagged now
I had thought of plastic-sheeting the entire area, but that would have been nearly impossible.  Instead, I figured I could just "bag" the electronics by running a circle of sticky along the bottom of the floor and sticking another kitchen trash-liner against it.  It totally worked.  It has a small hole for the pigtail, but otherwise, its protected from water.  Once the rainy season returns for May and June (like it always does), the bus will be road-capable.

That's it for today.  I spent Saturday watching C play in 3 lacrosse games, starting the Spring sports season.  We hoped to hit Mt. Hood on Sunday, but it was raining up there, trashing those hopes.  I'm starting to believe that the Ski Bowl season is about over, between that rain and today's warm temperatures.  I've heard it will hit the mid 70's through next weekend.  So, after an unimpressive snow season, our Spring conditions appear to be disappearing.  Time to plan camping season instead!  Thanks for following along-

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