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. 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 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.. 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 .. 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 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 .. 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 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..