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A quick weekend trip

This past weekend we made a quick trip from Atlanta, GA to Vicksburg, MS and
back - in our '71 Squareback.  Each way of the trip was about 450 miles, so
adding in a little driving at Vicksburg, we covered 1000 miles in about 36

We had 2 adults, 2 kids and a 'way back' full of stuff.  About half way out the
engine started bogging down so Diane pulled over (she drove the entire trip!)
under a bridge on I-20 and I unloaded the back and checked the points.  They
had closed up again so I quickly adjusted them, with 18 wheelers buzzing by at
about 75mph...

Once back underway, we heard a rattle from the engine.  Not good...  I started
thinking the worst, we dropped a valve or something.  We had been cruising at
70mph for 5+ hours and it was about 80F out.  Maybe we cooked something in the
engine.  We pulled off at the next exit, which had no services.  I unloaded the
back again and popped the left valve cover, turned the engine to #3 and the
valve adjustments seemed fine.  I found a loos heat shield which I tightened
and we were on our way again.  The engine was also hard to start after I
adjusted the points, hmmm....

The pinging was still there, but then it all came together.  When you open the
points, it tends to advance the timing, plus the hard starting is a sign of too
much advance.  So, we pull over under another bridge, unload the back for a 3rd
time, and I retard the dist a bit.  It starts much easier and no more pinging!! 

Of course, we're down on power a bit now, but we can still maintain 70mph on
the level bits and down hill.

The rest of the trip was fine, except for the lack of aircooled VWs.  We
spotted 3-4 vans on the way out and 1 Bug parked in a driveway.  On the way
back we saw 3 Bugs on the road (including the one we saw parked on the way
out), but not a single Type 3 of any year or style.

Ours did attract attention on the road and even a wave from a VW Fox driver as
we passed them going up a hill.

Since our odometer doesn't work I wasn't able to get exact mileage readings,
but we returned roughly 22-23 mpg for the whole trip.  Given the speeds we
maintained, that's not too bad.

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