Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nena makes it into print

Originally uploaded by Jim and Sarah's photos
Fame, fortune, glamour - well nearly !

This month's (June) Complete Kit Car Magazine features a shot of the Club Nova stand at Detling.

Well done everyone,


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nena on show - A VW Show debut at Buglovin 2008

Some good news at last !

Nena made it to her first VW show of the year, as a show car.

The show was Buglovin, a new VW show for all the family at the South of England Ardingly Showground. The showground is a great place, where I have enjoyed many Country Shows, Steam Rallies and Vintage vehicle shows over the years.

The organizers even managed to secure the best weather of the year, which really helped the weekend be a success.

Nena had to get there early on the Friday to set up in the show hall, so Thursday night was 5 hours of polishing for me ! Fortunately it didn't rain on our way to the show so little further polishing was needed when we arrived.

As you can see she really shone when we arrived, as was the first show car to arrive.

I also took the opportunity to set us up a camping spot on the Friday morning, which Sarah and I returned to Friday evening, to start chilling out. We had definitely made the right decision to get Nena in early as the frantic polishing by torchlight looked like hard work, but the show hall was getting there:
The weather got better and better over the weekend and by the Sunday was a real scorcher. There were some amazing VW's in the showhall, and also on club stands and the show n shine.

Bands and DJs were laid on both nights, and lots of entertainment.

Hopefully some of these pictures give you a feel for the show, I really hope it is run again next year, and would strongly recommend it to everyone.

By the Sunday morning the showground was buzzing, and I was really pleased to see how many people were taking Nena's photo, and wanted to learn more about the NOVA. She certainly drew a crowd, and it really made the hard work worth it all. I took the photo album of the restoration along with me and it was certainly well thumbed.

VW shows continue to impress me with how friendly everyone is, and I had many enjoyable chats with VW fans over the weekend, many of whom I referred to the club, so perhaps a few more Nova restorations will start up soon !

Here are a few more pictures showing Nena lapping up the attention !

And if you are feeling sorry for Nena as she was shut away indoors all weekend and missed the sunshine, don't worry - she did get out in the sun at the end of the day.
A good weekend.............................. Jim

A no show for Stoneleigh

As you will have seen on the last post a new engine was fitted to Nena just 2 weeks before the Stoneleigh show.

In theory this should have given me 2 weeks to bed the engine in and iron out the teething problems. Theory doesn't always become practice ! A lot (every evening) of time was spent on the new carb which I could not get running smoothly.

The carb, a Weber 32/36 is a well established carb, and recommended by many VW drivers. However I was getting poor acceleration, juddering, and was also unhappy with the throttle mechanism.

After methodically running through the adjustment progress two nights I concluded there was a fault with the mixture adjustment screw. The theory is that this can be wound in until the car nearly stalls, then backed off slightly. However whatever I did with the screw it didn't change at all ! Discussions with many confirmed this sounded like a dodgy carb, so the hard decision was made to take it, and it's own manifold out and replace the VW unit.

This took me all of the Saturday before Stoneleigh, and when I had re attached the VW carb I realised that the trimmed throttle cable (to meet the Weber) no longer reached the VW unit. So I had to put a joiner on the cable.

Based on this joiner being a weak point, and the new engine having had little running the hard decision was made on Sunday morning to leave Nena at home and go up to Stoneleigh in the daily driver.

Despite this we had a lovely day in the sun at Stoneleigh, catching up with Club Nova, and I answered some more questions re the Weber carb with owners running this. In fact we found Karman Ghias, Campers, Porsche 356 Replicas and Novas all successfully using the carb.

I have now made the decision to run in the new engine a little more on the existing carb, and then switch over to the new Weber unit I have when time allows. I also picked up some great tips on how to modify the throttle linkage to ensure the second inlet opens on 2/3rds throttle travel, and avoid cutting the new throttle cable I bought at Stoneleigh !

Nena also got a few more presents at Stoneleigh ! A footrest plate for the passenger side to ease Sarah's back, and some aluminium mesh grille for the bonnet and side air scoops! My aim is to get these bits all fitted prior to Buglovin, a VW show where Nena has been accepted as a show car.
Hopefully more on that soon, Jim

A lot has been happening

Well since the highlight of the Detling show a lot has been happening. A few blogs will follow in short succession soon as I need to catch up a bit !

After Detling my focus was one or two simple little jobs - trim out rest of carpet, wire up stereo etc. And more importantly, enjoy driving Nena. I had been taking her out for a drive each evening for two key reasons - one, because I could, and two - to reassure myself about her intermittent starting problem. At Detling she started very sluggishly, despite a long run to charge the battery. However for the whole week after this I couldn't get her to do this again, so wasn't sure if it was a charging or starter issue.

Anyhow, around a week after Detling, with just a fortnight till Stoneleigh we got home after a quick evening drive to the smell of warm engine oil.

Not what you want to see on your new paint job !
A quick think prompted the decision to plump for a new 1641 lump from VW Heritage, as the detonated engine was from my second donor car and a bit of an unknown quantity. The oil cooler seal, and flywheel seal had let go at the same time, and I felt more would follow.
The new engine is, according to the manufacturers, Remtec, built to the same specification as their Premium units but with an increased capacity of 1641cc. They are also fitted with a Scat C25 mild sports cam (Valve lift 0.423” / Duration 275 degrees). This combination provides a reliable increase in power and torque at a reasonable price. Results are especially good if used in conjunction with a 4 into 1 sport exhaust and aftermarket carburettors. Customers typically report 94 BHP at the flywheel! A new 009 distributor is also fitted, and the engine is hot tested prior to shipping which should aid set up. A call was made on the Wednesday, and by Thursday I had a new engine in the garage. (Join a VW/Specialist club to get a discount)
Friday night saw the old lump removed, and all ancillaries removed. Saturday saw the new engine in, and fired up. I am skimming over the knuckle grazing process a little here, but if you are methodical it is a day's job. I also took the opportunity to change over to a Weber 32/36 progressive carb, which as you can see in the pictures necessitated the modification of the engine lid - more on this in later posts !
One positive to come out of the whole process was that I also took the opportunity to change the starter motor and bush. I figured they were also original parts, and would only let me down later. This revealed the cause of the intermittent starting - a damaged bush.
This is a cheap part (£1) but only easily changed with engine out (unless you buy a £40 tool) so well worth checking when you drop your engine.
So now Nena has a new engine we should be cruising nicely to all the shows ................