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Author Topic: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto  (Read 6385 times)

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1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:29:25 »
Alrighty folks. I've been putting off making a thread here until I had some progress under my belt. Well, not much progress has been made but its time for a thread anyways! To catch up I'll be copy and pasting from my thread on another forum. Here we go.

 A few months ago a buddy of mine acquired two early Bays sight unseen, a standard and a Westy. I went over to help him clean them out and evaluate their condition - and I let him know that whichever one he decided to keep, I wanted to buy the other.  After some deliberation, he decided to keep the sun-baked standard, which meant I get the Westy. YES! I've always wanted a Bus, and even more so a camper - and this old girl just kinda fell into my lap. The pair were bought and lived in Louisiana until '84 when they were both parked.



After cleaning out about 2" of dirt and grime on the floor (lots of rotten plywood, squirrel nests, etc) and really getting a good look...the thing is SOLID. It appears to have been painted to imitate the Champagne Edition (I'm no expert but I think that the Champagne was only a late model ['78 only?] option - someone please correct me if I'm wrong).





I didn't take any pics of the interior but the majority of the camper gear is in there, some intact, some not. The sink cabinet is busted up so I'll use it as a template for a new one. The jump seat and stool that go behind the cab are missing as well. The "closet" and passenger side cabinet are all there as well as the bench seat and table. OG front seats are there as well and the covers look like they will clean up.

Right off the bat I know it needs the battery tray replaced, bottom of the windshield, front apron, a few patches on the front floors and some work on the doglegs. The floor, rockers and majority of the body panels are straight. Looks like someone started to pull a few dents on the drivers side front and rear quarters but just drilled the holes and left the dents  :evil:  so I'll be fixing those as well. I want to keep the paint , but we'll see what happens.



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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #1 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:30:19 »
Got the bus home this weekend [many weekends ago]. Took about 2 hours to get it cranked up on the trailer.. and to everyone's surprise it rolled right off the trailer when we got it into the yard.

Here's some pics of the exterior, some good and some bad. The two rear lower corners are pretty rough, and the front drivers side is tweaked pretty bad. The steering column is actually slightly off center on the hole in the front floors, I'm hoping nothing is tweaked in there.
















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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #2 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:31:14 »
Some interior shots:

Front floor, driver's side needs replaced. Its hard to tell from this pic but note the position of the steering column in the hole. Will address that soon.





"Casco" Fan, made in Bridgeport CT. I have a buddy who restores vintage fans who told me this is from probably the mid to late 60's. Pretty cool, it will stay but I'll probably relocate it.

Here's the motor that's in the standard (it spins!), should be the original motor for my bus.



Sink cabinet has seen better days

Inside the "closet"

Dug a metric ton of squirrel nest out of the cabinets. This big nest caused some rot on the passenger side rear sheet metal that will have to be addressed.

Found the children's cot for over the front seats, mostly intact!


With the bed in place



Stripped the entire interior out, vacuumed everything up and sprayed everything down with bleach. Let it air dry overnight.



While the floor appears rusty, it seems that the paint did its job and is bubbling off while there is clean bare metal underneath. This photo was taken from under the rotted wood base of the rear seat


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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #3 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:31:51 »
I snapped a pic of my M-Plate and punched it into the decoder. Looks like my factory installed rear seatbelts were removed at some point. Pretty cool stuff though.




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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #4 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:32:26 »
I pulled the crusty old wheels and dry rotted tires off last night. I'll be prepping them for a repaint and new rubber within the next couple weeks. Going to pull the hubs off after our trip out to Big Bend this weekend (wishing I was taking the bus...maybe it'll be ready next time  :lol: ) and check the condition of the brakes and hardware.

Planning to clean up the drums and have them turned, grab new shoes and have them arced to the drums (if I can find a local shop to do so), and new lines all around. I'd love to reuse the wheel cylinders and masters and rebuild the stuff if its savable.

The pair of buses did not come with paperwork when my buddy bought them. He has been in contact with the seller, and she has been very helpful up to this point. We've been looking into getting bonded titles for the pair, when I had the idea of asking the PO to file for lost title. Well long story short, a couple weeks ago, she had mailed my buddy some paperwork for the buses. He hadn;t seen it as it went to a friends place that they were having their mail forwarded to (the long part of the story). Anyways, it turns out that the package included the title for his Deluxe, as well as the 2 OG owner's manuals that came with the buses. Sweet!  The seller's brother was the owner of my Westy, and she has agreed to look for the title (it exists) and if it can't be turned up, then she will help obtain one. Definitely a step in the right direction, as a bonded title will run me over $1000 here in TX! That saved money will buy most of what I need to get this old girl back on the road.




Also, I'm trying to figure out what color was used to respray the bottom half of the bus. From the Type 2 color chart, it appears that:
 Agate brown        77-79       L86Z   
is the brown used on the Champagne edition, but looks a shade or two lighter here.


 I want to grab a pint or a few rattle cans so I can touch up any areas that need rust repair or bodywork. Its actually a pretty crappy respray, but it makes the bus look like an old, well worn boot and I love that. Since I need to do some repair on the lower lip of the windshield, I'll probably remove the brown paint from the bump out around the sides and rear, so I can use that break line and paint up my repair in pastel white.

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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #5 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:32:53 »
For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t recommend putting a bay up on jack stands in your horribly uneven yard with fire ant piles underneath it. I need to block it up better before I climb underneath it that’s for damn sure.  But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I need to get rid of some Ghia corpses and parts so I can park this thing “indoors.” My fiancé gave the bus a wash the other day and despite being pretty dull the paint came pretty clean.

And this is what a floating loaf of bread looks like:



I’m going to pull the transaxle as it’s hanging low and only by the front mounts. CV boots are torn to shreds so they’ll need replaced. Battery tray and the left side tray are both gone. I’m sending back a bunch of Ghia repair panels I bought a few days before I found out about the bus, so I’ll turn that credit into a bunch of sheet metal for the Westy.

Stay tuned   8)

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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #6 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:34:04 »
Not much progress lately as I need to buy an extension cord for the welder so I can get it to the bus.

I decided to pull the rear hatch door off because the window seal was leaking like a sieve. I vacuumed out over a gallon of water after a 30 minute rainstorm here the other day (when it rains it pours in Texas). It'll stay drier with a tarp over the hole for the time being. I think we rescued these buses in the nick of time..with that much water entry another year or so would have been devastating for this bus.

I'm going to get rid of the deluxe trim because this ain't a deluxe. So I'll weld up the trim holes and buy the plain rubber trim. Oh, and I need to get rid of that RED!




On the way are the repair section between the decklid and the rear hatch, window seal and if my budget allows a few more sheet metal parts for the back end/engine bay area. Hopefully I can straighten the decklid skin as its pretty tweaked, I may just end up sourcing a straight one from the classifieds.

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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #7 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:34:27 »
I'm trying to subscribe to the "one thing a day" principle even if its something small, ordering a part or going to the hardware store. Last week I pulled the rear hatch off in order to evaluate the damage. Its pretty rusted out along the bottom of the window channel. Eastwood was having a sale over the weekend, and I bought myself a shrinker/stretcher and some other bodywork essentials such as seam sealer, weld thru primer and epoxy primer.

For whatever reason, both of our buses came with rear hatches with deluxe trim. I cleaned up the beltline and set out to close up the holes from the deluxe trim. Disclaimer: I've been welding for about 5 years now, but I haven't done much with sheet metal, and even less on a vehicle. So I figured this is a nice easy job to start out with. I filled the holes and smoothed them. I went a bit too aggressive with the flap wheel, which isn't really the right tool for the job - I'm waiting on some Roloc grinding discs that I ordered over the weekend before I keep going. The spots I filled ended up being about 0.05 mm low when checked with the straightedge, so I will be careful of that moving forward. Anyways, one small step forward. Once I get in the shrinker/stretcher I will begin fabricating the repair pieces for the rear window.






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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #8 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:35:08 »
Not a whole lot of physical progress happening lately. I have been selling off a bunch of Ghia parts and collecting sheet metal, some additional welding supplies I need and building the tip-over dollies so I can move the bus around and work on the undercarriage without crawling around on the grass.

Had some time to get over to my buddy's and pull the motor for my bus out out of his Deluxe. The story goes that the owner daily drove the Deluxe, and when the motor crapped out, he swapped the motor from the Westy into the Deluxe. We had to dodge a few downpours but eventually the rain let up just before dark and we were able to unbolt the sucker and slide it out. Loaded it into the truck and brought it to the shop, where I unbolted the Ghia lump from the stand and put the Bus engine there while I had an extra set of hands.

It spins over but its been parked since the 80s and I'll most likely do rings, hone, and lap the valves in and send it. The camper had 44k on it when it was parked, and judging from the loose wires and missing bolts I'm in doubt that the installation was ever finished.





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Re: 1970 VW Bus - Westfalia Resto
« Reply #9 on: Feb 13, 2019, 09:35:39 »
Not much but its a start. I decided to tackle the sill rot on the rear hatch to get my feet wet with the sheet metal repair. I figure if I botch it up badly enough I can always buy a new one, right?  :lol: The first area was out in the middle so I figured it was the easiest to go for.


After a few rounds of trial and error, I managed to make a good repair section out of two pieces of 20ga bent up in the brake. I coated the back side of the bent pieces with weld through primer and stuck them together.



I went ahead and cut out the rotted area after tracing my repair sections. I'd like  to get a body saw for better cuts but I'm rolling with what I've got for now. Got my gaps as best I could. The gap on the inner section should've been a bit bigger. Live and learn. Tacked it in place only blew a few holes through  :oops:



Welded it up and hit it with the grinder and a roloc to finish it out. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. Kind of sucks having to weld so close to the bend there, I don't like finishing out welds that close to a bend since its easy to remove too much material, but gotta do what I gotta do.

I probably should've made the repair section a couple inches longer, I opened up that hole when I was finishing out the weld  :evil:





Feels pretty good to get the first bit of rot cut out and replaced with new sheet metal. Not the prettiest repair ever but I think its a good start and I'm ready to start tackling more of this stuff.