Discussion in 'Show Us Your Ride' started by rob.e, Mar 5, 2014.
Its come a long way since May 2013..:
Emailing: Image 4 by lotus-gt, on Flickr
it sure has Rob
i'd love to know what it has cost to get it to where it is today (i don't expect you to disclose btw) the initial cost to grazzer then yours on top must be immense, after the initial clean up and make do approach to mine there are certain areas now which require attention, the body and paint are getting squiffy now but my plan of buy one that's useable (on a 5 year loan - contrary to popular belief i am quite skint most of the time) and then make do until it is paid for is still on track.
prob not as much as you think.
Im still around.miss i poo bus . Thinking of selling my bm to get Back into something air cooled again.
Meant to say,the bus looks the nuts.
Not updated this for some time so here goes; as i posted on another thread i have had an oil leak since i got the bus, gradually got worse over the summer. Once the best of the weather was over i took it into my local place to get them to check it over.
I don't want to post all of the detail on here but the bus has had the engine out, strip down, rear main seal, new barrels and pistons. Suffice to say i'm bolloxed financially now but at least i have a running bus again. Good news is it feels stronger than before, so i think with my leaky rings i was losing some power.. maybe i might even be making more than the original dyno run i did that put it exactly spot on for the factory output (mine has weber 34's in place of the factory FI).
Not had the bus out much recently with the crappy weather, budget is completely shot as above so everything has pretty much ground to a halt as far as finishing the interior or any other changes.
I got the bus out today in the sunshine to go for a run and swap my worn o/s/f tyre for the spare as this has a new tyre on - the original front was shagged as the tracking was out ... grrr. the worn tyre is now my spare but i'll leave it out of the van when it goes in for MOT, just in case the tester has issues with baldness (i know i do..
Whilst the bus was up in the air i trial fitted my sixteen inch steelies. These are OEM Vw wheels, 6x16 ET50 which puts the outer edge just 5mm in from a stock wheel, and loses 17mm clearance on the inside. As the wheel is off a modern VW the centre bore is wrong for the bus, it comes with 57mm bore centre where the bus needs 67mm from what i've researched on t'interweb. I'm lucky enough to know a few clever people in oxford so i got the centres rebored to 67mm for mates rates a few months back... finally got around to trying this on the bus today and it fits great. Full lock there is about 10mm clearance on the inside against the bumpstop/ trailing arm - not much but i think this is going to be fine.
I didn't have time to try a wheel on the rear but i'm pretty sure it'll be fine under the rear arch - i will double check though before i order my tyres, just in case.
steel wheel trial fit (studs not long enough) by lotus-gt, on Flickr
steel wheel trial fit (clearance) by lotus-gt, on Flickr
steel wheel trial fit by lotus-gt, on Flickr
steel wheel trial fit by lotus-gt, on Flickr
steel wheel trial fit by lotus-gt, on Flickr
I bought some clips like they use on splittys to keep the hub caps on - not fitted these yet but this the oe cap will fit nicely with the style of the wheel. I already posted up a pic of this just sitting on the wheel on @vanorak 's syncro steelies thread ( http://thelatebay.com/index.php?threads/syncro-steelies.43344/ ) , looks like this:
Wheel ideas.. by lotus-gt, on Flickr
.. AND there's more.
I got a new NOS spring from busok to lock my slider in the open position (pain in the arse if you parked on a slope without this fitted..!)
Spring 211837215A by lotus-gt, on Flickr
Some progress on the interior..
New headbanger unit is now in. Black walnut to match the rest of the new interior incl the headlining. Hidden (push) catch.
Overhead unit by lotus-gt, on Flickr
New storage box. Replicated the original westy dimensions so it fits between the seats.
New storage box between the seats by lotus-gt, on Flickr
New storage box black walnut by lotus-gt, on Flickr
We'll cover the top with some westy fabric like the original, although to be honest i'm really liking the walnut top so maybe it might stay as it is.
I sourced some leather straps in the same dimensions as the original westy tie down straps (originals are vinyl). Not sure whether to go with the chestnut colour or the tan.
Storage box straps by lotus-gt, on Flickr
We've also made up a rear facing buddy seat with lift up storage. Although our van didn't have this originally its done to match original westy dimensions.
New buddy seat black walnut by lotus-gt, on Flickr
..need to work out how this is going to be fixed. The plan is to have this easily removable so when we need seating space it can be used.. and when we need cooking /storage/ sink etc we can pull it out and fit a sink unit in its place.
New buddy seat black walnut by lotus-gt, on Flickr
storage box inside:
storage box by lotus-gt, on Flickr
I also covered up a really annoying paint flake-off on my spare wheel cover:
California by lotus-gt, on Flickr
Other stuff: 4 new tyres arrived this week, new steering box to go on, and some other bits and bobs ready for MOT end of Feb.
Some more update pics.
New adjustable beam from Vintage Autohaus, with new steering bits and bobs, spindles etc
Vintage Autohaus beams (@ Midland prototype) by lotus-gt, on Flickr
Wheel+tyre trial fit:
front trial fit @ Midland prototype by lotus-gt, on Flickr
Up in the air ready for work to commence.
@ Midland prototype by lotus-gt, on Flickr
this is one of the nicest buses I have seen for a while, you must be spending a fortune on bits and bobs! can i ask you where you got the sound insulation stuff from and if its any good? the black stuff you applied, pretty expensive isn't it? also the underlay and shiney insulation on the floor, are they any brand in particular?
Cant wait to see it on the ground with those wheels and tyres, individual choice, but i nice twist on standard steels! the quality of work is top notch! well done
looking good Rob ......let us know how it handles with the wheels, once up and running.....
The sound insulation is called "superflex" and is bitumen based, self adhesive - it was recommended by a guy we know who restores high-end classics. I bought it on ebay, wasn't expensive, much cheaper than the chaps that advertise in the vw mags. Definitely makes a difference but i can't compare against any other products. The floor underlay and reflective stuff is from wickes, again its not expensive. I figured anything is better than what was there before (nothing, well.. nothing other than squirrel droppings).
beam is on.. by lotus-gt, on Flickr
.. and we have an MOT
passed its MOT.. by lotus-gt, on Flickr
Nice one Rob...now how does it drive? Those wheels/tyres look just right IMO...bit of rear camber going on though....
Ok, so here's an update with the full spec.
Vintage Autohaus /French Slammer 8cm Narrowed Adjustable Ball Joint Beam
Vintage Autohaus /French Slammer cast late bay dropped Spindles
KYB Gas Adjust Dampers 410-265mm
French Slammer Adjustable 72-79 Rear Spring Plates
VA also make a 11cm narrowed beam that is the choice for those guys who want a super-narrow/slammed look running smart car tyres. That's not what i'm after so i went for the "milder" option of the 8cm beam. Although the beam itself is narrower you also need to consider the splindles add 10mm per side so its actually only 30mm per side narrower so only a little over 1 inch. This puts the wheel right in the middle of the wheel tub so i don't get any rubbing on full lock or over extreme bumps. As i'm at the top of the adjuster i have the maximum possible suspension travel, again giving the best possible ride.
I'd previously been keen on getting the Red9 wishbone setup based on the great reviews that system gets, but tbh with limited mileage the bus does i really can't justify the addiitonal cost, plus i'd read recently that several guys have had issues with the bevel box play.
The new wheels originate from a Caddy 2k and were a fitment for the special "caddylife" models AFAIK, 6x16 Et50; 2K3601027, so 5x112 and 57mm centre bore. I can't find any definitive info on the wheel load rating, but being caddy/commercial origin i think they should be fine for the bus.
The centres of the fronts are bored to 67mm to cover the hub, rears are fine with the stock 57mm centre bore. The outer rim of a 6x16ET50 wheel will sit 5 mm "in" from the OE wheels, and the inner rim will be 17mm closer to the suspension.
Although the fronts fitted up and (without a tyre fitted) and could move lock-to-lock without any clearance issues it was pretty tight, so i had a company that specialises in steel wheel banding take 1" out of the width of the wheel on the inside, effectively making my fronts now 5x16 ET38. Ie this now has 7mm MORE clearance from the suspension than a stock 14" steel wheel, with the outer rim still 5mm inwards.
The rear *would* have been fine but i'd not accounted for the adjusters on my new spring plates which reduce the amount of room available on the inside. They'd be fine with stock ET wheels but not with ET50 so i have temporarily fitted some 20mm spacers to the rear. Once i'm less broke i'll get these off the van and into my banding guys - they're confident they can re-make these with the centres 20mm in so effectively giving me a 6x16 ET30 wheel which should be fine without the need for spacers.
To fit the new rims the OE studs weren't long enough so i have new, longer studs all 'round. I can revert to stock wheels with these, or any aftermarket wheel will now fit.
Yes its a lot of hassle. ..BUT it's a hell of a lot easier to make my mistakes with some cheapie steels and work out what works and what doesn't vs. spending big bucks on some rare / custom rims that end up not fitting.
I've kept the stock wheels for now in case my experiment doesn't work out..
Front tyres are Michelin Energy Saver + 185/55 R16 87H XL
Rears tyres are Michelin Energy Saver + 205/60 R16 96H XL.
The energy savers were chosen based on:
- I'm a tyre fetishist (snob?) and michelin are one of the best brands around; cheap chinese ditchfinders give me the collywobbles
- The michelins are one of only a few tyres that are available in both the front and rear sizes (i like a matching set).
- energy saving is a good thing right?
I know there are going to be some people who say that because i don't have commercial (C) rated tyres the world is going to explode. Although i can see where folks are coming from given that that was the "official" spec from VW when the vehicle was new, i think the world has moved on since then though..: The vw specificaitons were written back in the late '70s when there was not the tyre choice available that we have today. "C" spec tyre was the best they could specify at the time. C spec relates to tyre contruction (6 ply) however even modern C spec tyres don't now use that method and may only have 1 or 2 plies, just like a car tyre. If you look at a modern passenger vehicle with simlar axle ratings as the westy (c-max, galaxy etc) none of these have C rated tyes, they just run tyres with appropriate load ratings for the weight.
Another reason why VW may have specified the C rating - all load range “C” tires can be inflated to 50 psi. VW specifies 30psi front and 44 rear from what i've read in varioius scanned manuals, a modern XL rated tyre allows higher pressures (i'm guessing these didn’t exist in the '70s?). A modern XL tyre allows pressures up to 50 PSI hence why i made sure my new boots where xl rated.
In terms of the load rating, a 78 Campmobile has max permissable alxe load on the front: 1010kg, so it needs min 85 load rating (giving 515 per tyre, so total 1030kg). Mine are 87 rated which is 545kg per tyre, so total load rating of 1090kg, exceeding the vw requirements ~ 108%.
Rears the max permissable load is: 1270kg, so it needs min 93 load rating (giving 650 per tyre, so total 1300kg). Mine are 96 rated which is 710kg per tyre, so total load rating of 1420kg, exceeding the vw requirements ~ 112%.
The rolling radius of the rear is a spot-on match with the OE tyre to preserve my gear rations. The smaller fronts mean my speedo over-reads a little but tbh it did this already with the previous tyres.
How does it drive? Ride is good, firmer than stock but not uncomfortable. Simplest way to descsribe it is that it rides like my daily driver Octavia. I'm at the top of the range of adjustment on the beam so there is scope to go lower if I wanted to, but tbh I really like the way it sits now. Although I have reduced the clearance between the top of the tyre and the arch, there is still a good 3 or 4 inches clear and I don't get any rubbing or scuffing on full lock or over extreme bumps (I've done my best to drive the crp out of it on bumpy "B" roads and I can't make it contact).
It's lost that "floaty" disconnected feeling that you get with the oe setup. Obviously significantly reduced roll in the corners now it's no longer sitting so high up (lower CofG) and the narrower beam and KYB's are stiffer than stock.
With the front being stiffer i was concerned there maybe some disparity in the way it rolls front vs. rear. Obvious fix for this would be a set of KYB's for the rear too, but to try and minimise cost at this point i've not done that (yet). TBH at the speeds you corner in this 40 year old vehicle its really not a problem. At some point i may add the rear KYB's plus an aftermarket anti-roll bar and see how it goes with that.
I did 250 miles in it yesterday without issues. The height it's at means that it handles speed bumps without a problem, those "hump" ones in the middle of the road it sails straight over with a wheel each side and plenty of clearance.
Whilst the bus was off the road i also replaced the leaky, worn OE steering box.
I got the VARGA Steering Box in the sale from VWH (£190 quid) described as "good quality". p/n 211-415-049
Initially this felt great, but after a few hundred miles it needed adjusting. Seems fine since that was done but anyone else looking at one of these bear in mind it's not just fit-and-forget and might need some tweaking afer a few miles.
ready to roll by lotus-gt, on Flickr
Wow that's one write up Rob, cheers for posting the information up, I for one appreciate it!
I have some ideas in mind for Major, our westy, the information you have provided has given me something to think about over the next months
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