Blue to tango resto

Discussion in 'Restorations' started by D5andy, May 6, 2013.

  1. Bought this van in chilly November 2012 sight unseen off ebay based on the pictures.. would've loved to check it out in person but there was a small matter of the 700miles from our house in godalming to Inverness in Scotland where the bus was.
    But the pictures and price convinced me it was worth it, especially as buses in the south east seems to go for a premium. Even those with go faster holes.. And the ad warned of rust in the usual places..
    So with the small matter of the auction put of the way I booked the cheapest tickets possible to Inverness and the seller Dougie was kind enough to meet us at the airport.

    I say 'us' as I managed to convince the wife that it would be a fun jaunt in the highlands and I would take her through the trossacks and down the lochs ;-) oooer
    We even brought our daughter along - at this point I realised that there was certain amount of pressure to getting this van over the hills without breaking down in a blizzard without mobile reception and no hope of rescue services ....
    She was slightly doubtful when she saw me packing the spanners and enough spares to build a new van... And the bags round my eyes from the sleepless nights recounting repair procedures from Haynes manuals in my head :(

    After all this wasn't our first vw bus / wreck and I had kept that going... Through thick and thin, sadly parting ways earlier this year 2013 to a lovely lady called Helen to make way for this one - strictly one in one out policy in our house ;-)

    Sure enough on the big day after a red eye flight we arrived and met Dougie and met the bus for the first time - the engine bay looked shocking confirming my worst fears and the rust in person was much more ... well more.

    However it had an MOT and stopped and started so we were go - first stop a hotel half way down Loch Ness where I could assess the state of things in the car park after a good 50mile run. What was obvious after the run was the lack of umph going up hills and the flat spots / boggy carb.. Lack of tin wear and blocked heat riser and cold highland air.

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    Here's a pic of us driving through the lochs..

    So after another sleepless night pondering I attempted a futile tune up in the car park and we headed out aiming to make it to our next stop off at my parents in Preston ..

    We had to stop many times to buy and top up oil as the push rod tubes where spraying oil merrily as was the oil cooler (judging from the oil slick behind the dog house cooler)... So we would drive a 100miles then top up a litre and drive a bit further repeat until Preston ... Every now and again she would run lovely... Raising hopes and then dashing them

    Once we arrived at Preston after possibly the most stressful day of my bus driving life we could relax for a few days
    Whilst I can recommend the scenery and beauty of the highlands, i cant recommend trashing your aircooled engine to do it
    i was glad to make it to a safe haven out of the lashing rain and cold where I could give it a little more tlc

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    Here's a sneaky pic through the blinds of the van..

    After a deeper investigation of the engine woes I fixed a few more issues - the timing was still out a little the valves were tight strange as I had checked this in lock nessy. I suspect the fuel additive i put in or heat had shifted some of the carbon buildup in the heads...

    Also the dist vac pipe to the carb was perished so the Timing advance was zero.

    Couldn't do too much about the lack of tin ware and therefore suspected carb icing, neither could i fix the oil leaks so i patched it up as best as possible and we took a days break from traveling .. And fixing

    We headed out with an engine topped up with oil and teeth gritted for the last 300mile leg and the something remarkable happened. She actually shifted - no more bogging and there was umph was before there was none on hills. We hit 70mph on the M6 past warrington..
    We had a stop off at a friends and headed on to brummie it was now 9pm and dark and very cold..

    I was ecstatic and then suddenly everything went dark we coasted over to hard shoulder on the M6. Not event the hazards were working .. arghh.. So torch in hand with lorries thundering past I stared into the oily abyss looking for the cause. I tried wiggling cables and terminals looking for a loose connection or bad earth but it was hopeless. Pretty quick I decided that it was too cold and dangerous with no lights and made the call to the rescue service people.. We pointed the torch out the rear on flash and huddled together to keep warm normally we wouldn't stay in the vehicle but with my little girl only 5, the temperature so low and the prospect of waiting an hour we opted to take the risk. Of course they did make us wait an hour ... sure enough they couldn't make it go either. Poor bus got towed the last 100 odd miles home.

    Here she is being hooked up.. One of the many relays..
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    The next day I set about getting her onto the drive - so I checked it all over again disconnected the battery and with wire brush rubbed liberally all the terminals I could find.

    Re connected the battery and there was a murmur of life in the starter but not enough so i swapped batteries around and she started, surprisingly so did the other motor with the supposedly dead battery... Something was amiss. Must admit electrical problems are not my fav and it was moving and it was time to put her to bed until there was time to investigate properly. More on this later...

    Until December i would wheel her out to go to my night school classes she was boggy again but didn't cut out.. Eventually with the oil leak, my reluctance to work outside in the cold and salt on the road I put her under cover til the time was right.

    So Christmas came and went every now and then I would sneak out and pull back the covers looking at this and that taking notes of what needs doing.. But not much else happened.. Pam started to plan hols and I got a deadline of end of may to get her running reliably for a cross channel camping trip!

    Que the never ending winter I began to fear I would end ..
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    Took it over to beetle link in Farnham to get a quote for all the welding and respray as I was beginning to feel the winter would never end and I could work in this weather... The quote as expected was substantial and the wife baulked unsurprisingly so we were back to me nibbling away at it over the months.. Years.. Still at some point we might be calling grant if something is too big gets thrown up

    Back to weekends nibbling away at the rust ;-) and my first love has to go to fund this project
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    Sorry she's an prototype - but I'm late all the way now ...

    It had beem a micro bus that had been converted later to a camper all the rot had been cut out replaced in workman like solid welds. When i bought it this had been my main attraction however since then I had been doing a welding course and was keen to make use of those skills. Also there were a bunch of non stock things I didn't like bit could see that others would love but would need to change back. So it was the right thing for the pocket and heart to move her on to fresh pastures..

    Before anyone asks the sale went through and the wife pocketed the lot... Not sure how that works :(

    After taking it for that drive across to Farnham there was a knocking sound ..
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    Could it be the driveshafts? The bolts had turned to cheese on drivers side and three bolts had sheared off .. Eek

    So thanks to a vwh sale
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    For the moment I have just one side I need to do the passenger side ... That brings us up to feb... More to come as I have been pulling the engine for a mini rebuild... Plus I have some horror pictures of the rust..
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    Lord Congi, Sir Arthur and paradox like this.
  2. Are good story and welcome cant wait to see the pics I love rusty metal ha ,lol, nice bus good times are coming
     
  3. D5andy, sorry to hear it has not all been plain sailing but heaps of credit for the effort you're making. Van looks good in the pics so the rust be hiding somewhere. Looking forward to following this one.
     
  4. Looking forward to future updates:thumbsup:
     
  5. Thanks, the adventure and mishaps is what makes it for me - hopefully I am learning... Oh and the rust is there trust me and there's a few layers of sealant smeared all round the bottom 6inches.. I'll be laughing if its nice and solid under there
     
  6. Ok so here's the engine coming out :p
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    That was a few wks ago now...

    This was the first time I have pulled an engine so I was pretty chuffed .. it all went well and I didn't find it too hard, the ATV lift was very helpful.

    I had degunked the engine took it for a run and found this:
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    And this too (behind the fan shroud)
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    Quite a puddle... Yuck

    So I decided to strip the engine and see what i find... More posts coming
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  7. So I removed all the tin
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    well what's left of it at least :)

    Then pulled the heads off:
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    Hmm interesting stuff attached there... I guess oil and petrol don't always burn so well :)
    Plus I reckon the carb was icing too so nice big drips of petrol...
    Here's the piston view:
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    Also Looking down the barrel:
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    Some pretty deep scoring / sieze marks.. Probably due to the low oil brought about by the leaky pushrods and oil cooler.. Poo

    I guess these need re-honing might pop a new set on as the lip looks quite eroded too.. They are standard set:
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    As you can see now they are cleaned up...
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    Lord Congi likes this.
  8. So off with those... And I guess crack the case time too...
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    Damn those gland nuts are a mare.. Tried jumping on the thing hammering it breaker cheater the lot!
    In the end I splashed out on a air impact wrench from amazon (draper expert) it had it off in zzzmm 10s
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    Here's the case opened... With the fly wheel still attached.
    And the other side:
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    Before this I had checked the end float it was well within tolerance 0.07mm ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  9. No major scoring on the bearing seats but the middle one is pretty brassed

    Also some damage to the timing gears
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    Here's a close up of the cam gear damage
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    Some weird stuff going on here on the crank
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    Not sure what happened there bit of ovalling ... On the front bearing

    The cam lobes don't look too hot either
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    I think the crank is ok but the gears need to be binned
    Don't know if I can reuse the cam ... Any one?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  10. Here's some more close ups of the case oddities
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    This bearing is not quite over the oil passage... Perhaps fitted the wrong way round?

    Here the other side:
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    No oil passage there just case, surely this is a wrong un..

    And if you are a little generous with the sealant this can happen:
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    Not ideal...

    Also behind the front pulley there is a passage were the pulley draws air into the crank case this also was glooped up.. restricting air flow niche gut - would lead to crankcase pressure, would be my guess

    I'm fact I found a black sealant in all sorts of places I would hope not to find it :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  11. So then it was time to clean
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    Bit of mr muscle
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    30mins and the steam off - notice the yellow varnish being washed away..

    The end result:
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    Pretty clean - think that I will paint the outside at some point, probably not green.. Which I think means this is a remanufactured case as41
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  12. Epic journey, well done for getting as far as you did before having to get assistance :)
     
  13. Also I had a go at the tin
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    This is after hours washing with white spirit and the wire brush topped off with a top coat of VHT paint.

    And some more:
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    I didn't like the finish though :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  14. So I topped it up with a satin finish black paint
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    I also had a go at moustache too
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    A nice coat of kurust then later a top coat of satin black...

    Its nice to be able to touch the stuff with out getting covered in oily gunk :)
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    Whole bunch of other tin being tickled with a spot of paint :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    paradox likes this.
  15. So all up to date.. all that remains it to show a little rust

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    Bubbles... Blows
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    Under the top at the front...

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    Usual stuff...

    Not sure whether I need to replace the whole front panel ... These pics are just a teaser there's more rust all over :(

    The plan at the moment is to fix up the running gear (engine brakes etc) and the mot type failures..
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    At the moment she has an mot til July so I have little time ....

    Next up stripping the heads down - two of the exhaust valves failed a leak down test.

    Need to check the valve guides and see if the stems are in good nick.. With any luck a clean up and a little lapping is all they need. Having already splashed out on new pistons and barrels... And now needing new bits for the crank..

    Anyone know any good machine shops in Surrey....?

    I would like to get the flywheel reground, and a second opinion on the crank etc.. And don't want to travel too far.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  16. Cheers bud - going to need a machine shop now :p
    Hopefully I can then put it all back together in the right order ;-)
     
  17. This is an example of a panel repair by PO
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    I like that it gives extra light and ventilation to the engine ;)

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    This one the view behind the drivers seat... Nice and tidy :p

    I only hope I can improve on this
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  18. Good luck!!
     
  19. I like a proper do it your self resto , can be daunting at times but the rewards are amazing , will be watching this , you have to love a 72 RHD WESTY surely the best camper year and model or am I just biased as I have one ? Great stuff keep the updates coming ......
     

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