Lottie, a 79 full restoration Part 1/2/3/4/5

Discussion in 'Restorations' started by martinvention, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. Finally fired her up and big disappointment. Rough as hell and I think only firing on No 4 cylinder with lots of smoke/unburnt fuel. So several hours of pulling plugs and checking HT leads, dizzy cap and rotor capacitor, hot wired to battery to isolate Ign sw, disconnecting servo and vacuum to filter etc. Looking down the carb the acc pump was discharging fuel when throttle opened and some plugs were wet so I was convinced problem was sparks. I checked each cyl in turn at TDC and respective plug sparked, but not great sparks and for one plug I could hear the spark better than see it! till I noticed it was up inside the core from insulator to sidewall rather than across the tip electrodes. These were 4 new (in 2016) Bosch W8CC RUSSIA plugs that had only had a few hours test running and whilst the problem may have been carbon deposits rather than cracked insulators I was exasperated enough to fit a set of old GM long reach plugs with similar length of insulators and bingo firing on all four. Not only that but for the first time ever I was able to get proper control of the idle using the volume screw. Then I reconnected the filter, and vacuum lines and took it down the drive and the servo works brilliantly and makes a huge difference. Finally feel I can move on to the interior.
    Merlin Cat, Valveandy, Louise and 3 others like this.
  2. Glad you've got it running mate!
  3. Only just picked up on this ... It's going to be part of my "bedtime reading" over the next couple of years :hattip:
    nicktuft and Merlin Cat like this.
  4. Thanks Jame's and Hi D&D you might make that "next 3 years" with my rate of progress!!
    Dub and Dubber and JamesLey like this.
  5. You've been steaming along mate!
  6. Cheers James,
    Almost started on the internals when I remembered I still had a replacement reverse light switch to fit and also clutch cable to adjust as there was too much play. Haynes says when the adjustment is all taken up and the free play is excessive the clutch driven plate needs replacing. I think that seems the wrong way round, when the friction linings wear the operating arms or diaphragm fingers move closer to the release bearing and reduce the free play! But whatever, I had too much free travel and the adjuster wound up fully, so started to look elsewhere and weirdly found I needed to flip another lever just like the carb acc pump last week. Clutch lever flipped.jpg
    The lever that pulls the front end of the cable can be fitted 2 ways and if you are not concentrating... it always goes the wrong way. Here is is correctly fitted with the curved side to the rear, this not only gives the correct free play but also (as well described on the Samba forum) stops the clevis fork striking the back edge of the lever and bending the cable.
    I also found the 2 new links for the heat exchanger valves, however the cable ends had been trimmed back probably due to rust but importantly the section inside the bellows good and also 50mm or so outside to grip the links. To make longer links I used some spare 25mm stainless steel banding cut along its length, drilled and ground a bit. See below: new to left, replacement long link in the middle and right, dummy run but still too short:
    Heat exchange Vv links.jpg

    So I now have plywood and have started to make up layers to level cargo deck, lots of strange recesses presumably for seat mountings and I will fill the bigger ones under the main load bearing area:

    floor ply base layer.jpg
    next layer will be this one:
    Floor Ply 2nd layer.jpg

    and 2 more to go I reckon. More soon.

  7. Thanks Zedders for advice re flooring and especially fridges. Yes Fridge options are many and need careful consideration, I thought I had got it right with this 3 way Dometic RF60:

    Fridge and bed.jpg
    However when I read the instruction book it said not for installation in vehicles and not to be used on gas in vehicles. E-mails to Dometic reinforced this message. Totally at odds with the online retailer sales pitch and many reviews on their website, but thankfully they agreed to take it back. So indecision and lots of time on the web, with following conclusions: 3 way = gas = a lot more heat and realistically 2 x 150x400mm ish vents and holes in side of van but van already structurally diminished by huge hole in roof. Gas also = induction = more heat even when on 240/12V and draws significant power. But gas great off grid and induction quieter than compressor. However compressor does not use heat to drive refrigerant and draws 50% less electricity and heat output at rear much less and no exhaust gasses so can be ventilated without holes in side of van. So whatever way you go there is a compromise and at present I am leaning towards a Waeco/Dometic CRX50 compressor and possibly a solar panel and controller. So planning kitchen layout with that in mind and a SMEV 2 burner hob and sink unit + adapting old holdsworth internal water tank and using PMS 34 electrical controller which seems to be good and I will test soon. I have a plan based upon softwood frame and 6mm ply there are still a few bits of indecision:
    1. Worktop material, it will have some curves so normal heavy domestic chipboard seems ruled out and looking at acrylic options - suggestions most welcome.
    2. External power and water connectors, undecided about fitted through metal panel just in front of OS rear wheel arch or below on sill mounted brackets.
    3. Waste water, thinking direct via pipe through floor to container below, I recall 5 gln plastic jerry can with side cap used with last 1980's Autosleeper.
    4. PMS 34 to be fitted to 3/4 bed base panel offside end perhaps with plastic cover for added protection from little heels.
    Grateful to the wider experienced TLB community on these options.

    So not all procrastination, as being between the oily phase and clean internal trimming bit, I finally emptied another box on a warm still day:
    Underside and cavity waxing.jpg

    Love this stuff for getting into cavities with long tube and nozzles. All post, sill and arch interiors done and plugged with grommets.

    Underside waxed 2.jpg
    Underside waxed.jpg .

    No longer too shabby which is quite different to my shorts, tee shirt, hair etc. I won't be rushing to do that again.

    Outdoors Jul 19.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  8. Great progress Martin! I’m just starting to think about our interior. Tempted by a flat pack kit but am going to be self building now. The Dynax stuff goes on lovely doesn’t it!

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  9. Awesome
  10. Got my LPG tank mounted underneath for that.

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  11. Ah sorry not paying attention - I knew that and what a great solution. Lovin your work with the sewing machine.
    JamesLey likes this.
  12. Cracking on with the 3/4 rock n roll bed, not entirely sure of manufacturer but one sales pitch online shows a man just pull out the seat base and in one movement it becomes "bed". My reality was little different as the two pivoting diagonal stays that support the front edge of the deployed bed had no intention of finding the forward edge of the base to rest upon and when returning to a seat position would flop down inside the base (where I hoped to place camping kit and the PMS 34 power module) So I determined they should fly over the seat base middle bar and be close to the horizontal when in seat mode. To do so I fitted a couple of guide wires (red arrows) for the ends to slide over and also a couple of strings (green) to control their drop when seeking the base edge to rest on. 2 piccies should explain better:
    RnR restraint 2.jpg

    RnR stay restraint.jpg

    Whilst I was fiddling with wires I decided it was time (and nice and warm) to pull the wrinkles (middle of page 12) out of the headlining. So I glued two lengths of 2mm wire to a loop in the headlining edges over the cab doors and tucked it firmly into the line of clamps which were closed up firmly.
    Headlining tensioned.jpg
    Dub and Dubber and JamesLey like this.
  13. Finally made up my mind about kitchen and fridge, having read many reviews and noted a comparison between Dometic CXR50 and Vitrifrigo C51L which is the same size but easier on the battery. Also decided on SMEV 9722 gas hob and sink. So finally I can design cabinets and do some woody stuff. Here is the first fit: First woodwork fitted.jpg

    I bought a full set of ply door cards from Customshop Designs for £90, they fit the spaces perfectly though some of the clip holes are not quite right but I expect they are cut for a bus rather than van. The offside cards will all be hidden and secured by kitchen frame/or self tappers. Above I have attached shaped timbers to the body by rivnuts at work-top height and made an upright scribed to the B pillar and body curve. This is the main reference for the rest of the construction. Also in the photo the original inboard water tank which will be fitted and by the wheel arch 2 cutouts for water and power hook up points. Surgery I was not looking forward to, but all went well. Hole for water inlet.jpg
  14. Been camping and cycling and finally getting back to Lottie. Fitted water (low) and 240V (high) inlet points nicely bedded in PU sealant: Utilities outside.jpg

    and inside some more panelling:
    Utility ports.jpg

    Moving on with the woodwork, fitting needs lots of trial and error. I once did a short cabinetmaking course and the excellent instructor would test assembled pieces of furniture with the glue wet on an engineering table with one or two try squares. Quite often a gentle "bonk" with a hide faced mallet ensured all was "In Bonk" (square). Well with a 40 year old much welded van on suspension its hard to find good references; few verticals and squares. My most useful tool has been perfectly square melamine board from the top of an ancient washing machine and this has been employed to true the frames and fridge to the floor and hopefully when the cabinets are done they will all be 'in bonk'

    Fridge and first cabinet frames.jpg

    The board is on top the water tank to the right. The gas locker and water tank and edge of the RnR bed are prime references for cabinet design and also the need for suitable gap twixt fridge and gas for bottles of the wine and spirits variety. I have added a rebated oak strip to matching rebate of floor edge and glued/screwed together, the finished height of the threshold is 2mm above the floor to be level with vinyl flooring and it will be sanded and given some stain to go with whatever flooring we finally decide upon; 2 samples in piccie above.
    Dub and Dubber and Cloppper like this.
  15. Following on from the rough idling issues on the previous page I found another problem with the float level. Over the past 2 years I rebuilt the carb twice following differing references form Bentley and Haynes manuals but when I still had some rough idling, sooty plugs and eye stinging exhaust fumes. So I decided to lower the float level using a repro float valve with slightly longer body and also a 1mm alloy crush washer. Finally I have the engine running well at idle, allowing final tweaks to dynamic ignition timing by strobe light and responding properly to adjustments of air bypass and idle mixture screws. Doubtless some more tweaking when road running at speed.
  16. Great weather for outdoor prep and spraying so decided to do bumpers. Front in great condition just some surface rust on back surface but rear another matter. Having read about the poor fit and thickness of the repro examples I decided to salvage mine, at least for the short term:
    Bumper rust 2.jpg

    Bumper rust.jpg

    Lots of patching and a large new section made with cider press and hardwood formers:
    pressing bumper repair strip.jpg

    After lots of fettling, epoxy primer and pastel white topcoat:
    Rear Bumper fitted.jpg
    and front also with nice new nose job:

    Front bumper fitted.jpg

    Also gave the lightweight kitchen cabinet bones several coats of epoxy primer:

    Kitchen bones primed.jpg
  17. Waiting for the rain to stop so that I can get some sheets of ply for the cabinets. So I switched targets to something where I had all the materials and made these:

    Cab door cards.jpg
  18. Fitted door cards after 2 x plastic sheets to deflect rain. I used new clips and rubber bungs for 7mm holes and make a paper template to position clips in line with holes in doors and to be frank was dreading the job of pressing home the clips. However I gave all bungs a smattering of Vaseline and made sure each clip was aligned before a firm bash with the soft side of my fist and all popped home reassuringly. This photo worried me until I realised the off-centre perspective distorted the lines a bit Cab door trimmed.jpg

    Bought a set of cab carpets from Mad Matz (at Busfest) and I am very pleased with service, quality and price. I asked for some extra bits to trim cab front panels and eventually the panel below the bed, they even gave me a free can of spray glue, nice people. Having replaced both wheel tubs with many plug welds I was pleased that the metal lip which normally grips the rubber mats was in excellent shape. I wanted to use it to secure the carpet edge so stitched a strip of grey vinyl below the carped
    binding to neatly fill the gap: NS cab seat carpet.jpg

    My seats, probably from an early T25 are both sliders, but I forgot to tell MadMatz that there were rails both sides. So I had to cut out a slot and as I had knifed it once I decided to make a couple more cuts to allow the carpet to better follow the double curvature over the front. It sits and sticks much better though there is a slight mismatch on the inner bound edge. Red lines below show where cuts were made, a 20mm strip was removed from the inner line, and triangle tapering to zero up the hill on the outer line:
    NS cab seat carpet 2.jpg

    Also did the NS front panel, I had a good set of ply cards from CustomShop Designs but found it too difficult the get the ply to take and keep a curve, perhaps I could have persevered a bit more with heat and water. However I decided that original VW hardboard would do better and salvaged some good bits from the old door cards. With wetting and heat it took the curve well. I edged the carpet in vinyl and fitted so that it flies over and obscures the metal retainer strip.
    cab kick panel.jpg

    I was in 2 minds about the after market shelf that came with Lottie but it responded well to cleaning and tidies up the area below the dash.

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
    Coco, F_Pantos, Valveandy and 4 others like this.
  19. Looking great that Martin! Will have to meet up next year assuming you’re back on the road?

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