I have been trying to clear some of my stuff for the past few weeks. A lot of my stuff has been hibernating in boxes for more than a decade collecting dust a long with it. A problem with having a hobby and a liking for cars is that one tends to collect things in hoping it would benefit a certain project that will most likely never be done. Sounds familiar? To be honest, I have been doing this “clearing up” thing several times since I could remember. The funny thing about it is, as much junk I allocate for the trash bin, I still end up with a lot of stuff. Case in point, since high school I have been building scale models, R/C cars and airplanes. I acquired about 100-plus plastic kits and about 7 R/C planes. When I got my first car, a VW beetle, I told myself that going to the flying field would be easier now that I have my own ride. But to maintain my car, I had to sell of some my R/C planes. Proud as I could, I parted with five of them, complete with radio gear and engines. A big step forward “YES?”… not in a million years!
As soon as I was immersing myself into the world of VWs, my hoarding habit started to go to the next level. Books, service manuals, parts and memorabilia started to populate my room and parts of the house. Horrors to my parents. I remember my dad telling me not to buy mag wheels. Leave the rims as is. Little did he know I acquired two sets of EMPI sprint stars. Why two sets? I honestly don’t remember why. Crazy times…
Back to the present… now going through my stuff I unearthed some items that hasn’t seen the sun for sometime that I would like to share with you guys. One thing with working on older cars is you tend to learn about the car. How to massage the engine, know its strong points and its weak points. I found German cars easy to service because there was a lot of information about them. The Bosch item in the picture was given to me by a good friend, Jon, heavily deep into VWs. If VWs could be cloned or bred in the home garage, he would be the one to do it. The item is a chart for spark plugs. Now, spark plugs have different applications on different brands of cars and different manufacturers. VWs use Bosch spark plugs from the factory. But what if the Bosch brand was not available and another brand was available? What number would be compatible? With this chart, you could easily find out which would be compatible for your engine. If you notice, there is a listing for brands like Champion, Eyquem, Magneti Mirelli and NGK on the other side. And underneath each name are codes for their specific spark plugs. At the bottom is the Bosch listing. As you pull the bottom of the chart, the slot for the Bosch band changes, and an arrow on top indicates what would be the equivalent for that particular brand. For example, the Bosch spark plug with a code W7OC for a Triumph 1300, a champion N9Y or an Exquem FC52LS would be suitable also. Things like this helped.
Over the years, this chart was regulated to storage drawer as I transitioned to diesel-engine vehicles. Although I would not let this go as it is something that I don’t come across that often. I haven’t seen one for the past two decades. For keeps.
The second item that I found is a VDO compression tester. I would say a pocket compression tester. Again from my good friend Jon. If you were into air-cooled VWs, you needed to keep tabs on the condition of your engine. This tool can give you an idea how well your engine is. Very simple to use. You just remove the spark plug and place tool with rubber adaptor into the spark plug hole. Hold it down for a good seal then ask a friend to crank the engine. But make sure first you remove the high tension cable from the ignition coil to the distributor. After a couple of readings, you get the average per cylinder. Although not used often, it was a good idea to have one in the tool drawer. If you notice, a good reason for keeping things is the thought of you might need it someday. Such a good excuse I must say. Justifies everything, don’t you think??
The third item that I found was a set of Veglia gauges. A volt meter, mechnical pressure gauge and a water temp gauge. The set came from a ‘78 Mitsubishi Lancer that passed through my hand sometime ago. Again, this was supposed to be installed in a project car I had in mind but had to let go. Hmmmm… someday again. Back to the storage drawer it goes. Am sharing these things with you because at some point you kind of question yourself, when would you use the things in your stash? Reality reminds us that priority changes as we get old. I have posted some things for sale to minimize the clutter, and to avoid them being damaged and become useless. A good reason to unload is to finance other more realistic projects. Yes, logic does sometimes creep into the improper reasoning that I maintain once in awhile. How often is a topic for debate.