A Buggy Summer

I've made a fair amount of progress over the summer on the Beetle, but I have a way to go to finish the chassis.

Category: vw-beetle

label_outline tag Beetle

As summers go, this one has been a mixed back of productivity. Right now I’m on the last few hours of a beach vacation. That makes this an outlier summer in many ways.

This has been a busy summer. I notice over at Jamie Rubin’s site that he’s been pretty busy with work and life. Similarly, work has been a bit more rough and tumble. This has led me to leaving a lot more on the playing field and a lot less for home.

Add to the mix what must be my mid-life crisis decision. I bought a 1972 Super Beetle that was a few steps away from being parted out. I decided that I wanted to save it. So when I had emotional energy to take on a project, I’ve put it into the car.

That leaves no energy for writing. As summers go, this has been one where I’ve pushed myself to burnout on all fronts. I can tell by slip-ups I make, the fact that I’ve cut the grass monthly instead of weekly, etc. Generally, I’ve been dropping the ball a lot.

By this point, hundreds of people have bought Bellicose. I feel the pressure to deliver Luctation. At the same time, I’m wanting to explore another topic. I started the Postal Marine Series 12 years ago, at least the initial thoughts. So, sometimes PMS is a little boring. But, that’s probably just the edit process and my unrealistic expectations at play.

Where am I with the Beetle? My focus this summer was the chassis. I thought it would be fairly straight forward. I did not realize that it would be as complex as it is. I have struggled to climb the learning curve. That summit is in view. I have:

  • Completed rebuild of the rear suspension;
  • Nearly completed rebuild of the front suspension;
  • Replaced front drum brakes with disc brakes;
  • Rebuilt the rear brakes;
  • Repaired the front frame head, Napoleon’s Hat and sway bar mounting bracket (which a previous owner had welded rather than repair).

What remains:

  • Complete front suspension (awaiting parts)
  • Rebuild the rear axle (parts on hand)
  • Receive the rebuilt transmission

The next step is to tear down the engine and decide what to do with it. Since there are some long-lead items after it is torn down (e.g., machine work), finishing the tear down by end-September is pretty important.

What about my writing? Luctation’s rewrite has taken an interesting turn. As such, there’s a lot of new content. It feels more like a total write. I just need to commit myself to working one section per day, though not every day of the week. I’m about a quarter of the way through. What has been filling that time has been Civilization 5, my perennial time sink. Some people play solitaire. I play Civ 5. This is a case of stepping away from world domination.

What’s so unusual about vacation? Vacations are almost always adventures of some sort. Heading to Pittsburgh in August was an example. Vacationing to relax is something I do at home, which doesn’t provide a suitable change of scenery (so they say). I don’t do beaches. Yet, I’m now only a furlong from the Atlantic. I’ve even looked at it a time or two. Now it’s a day of travel home and a day of recovery.

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Photo Credit: 72 Super Beetle May 2015 (Ben Wilson Rights Reserved.)