Thursday, March 06, 2008


Well, on November 4th I was driving through Lompoc, and stopped at a light, going straight. Behind me a very large Dodge truck, bunches of machismo. The light changed to turn left, and the truck behind me was vaguely aware that the slight hesitation while accelerating was actually caused by the rear of the tiny car in front of it, barely visible above the truck's hood. Caught mid-sentence while chatting with a friend, I let out the clutch and felt the car jerk forward, and my head jerk back, with much more torque than the previous times I forgot to take it out of gear. A lot more torque. Must have been each one of those fifty ferocious horses! And for a short instant I was very proud of my four cylinders of fury, and a short instant later while continuing through the crosswalk, my mind registered that ungodly crunch, and the new and persistent noise my engine made until it stopped altogether.

In short, I was rear ended, but that's not very spicy.

With the help of my passenger we ran it across the intersection into the nearest parking lot, in full realization of how trashy this makes me look in front of all the beautiful women who must have converged at the intersection at once, presumably on their way to a beautiful women party.

The driver turned out to be very cool, and was really patient while I took my good time fixing it. We decided to keep our very respectable and honest insurance companies out of our fun (interesting how that works, huh? how we dare not use them for the only reason we have them, because it's really more of a pay-out for them in the long run than for us right now). I fixed the engine first because I needed my car to get to school. And I'd never bought matched paint before, so I was a little trepid and took a long time with that.

Here I am, looking very miserable.

And another one, very miserable, but with my brother.

And it happened to be my nephew's half birthday. I got him a baby Nalgene bottle, just like uncle's. Happy Birthday Dallas! cute baby, but look at that beard! amazing.

So the engine took a hit right on the nose, bending the generator pulley, transferring that force into the generator fan, bending it, and busting something in the generator itself. I tore into the engine looking for any other damage, checking the oil cooler, but found nothing else. Here is the crinkled decklid.

Here is the new generator and new pulley, thanks to Erich at German Auto in Santa Maria.

I picked up a hood from Javier, a really cool guy on the Central Coast VW Club Forum , aka javiers_vdubs. Being tan I needed to paint it bahama blue, with a little oxidation. luckily the local napa crew really had their ish together and were a huge help getting the color right. So after sandblasting it and stealing a couple of years from my life through my lungs, I hit it with a rattle can, which I learned really needs to be shaken a lot and often.

And doesn't it look good! all matte and looking like it needs a fresh coat of paint! ha!

I did have to blend it a bit. I used a rubbing compound on the old paint around the hood, and it took a lot of the oxidation off, and I was really surprised! I should have done this before hand!

All in all it took a couple of months before it looked once again like the car I fell in love with, and less like the one I was embarrassed by in the school parking lots.

At some point during all of this, and also during a heavy rain storm, I found the carpet under my rear window to be soaking wet. I looked at the seal on the window, poked it and saw the window move a bit... 'huh' I thought... I poked it again but this time it simply popped completely out, sliding down the decklid and resting gently between the tailpipes. It was still raining.
So I ordered a new seal and with the help of photography student
Seth M. Johnson(pictured below)

who coincidentally helped me do the same exact thing two years earlier for my Baja Bug (also pictured below). Thanks Bro!