New Floor Replacement from KlassicFab

Just wanted to share a quick pic of this absolutely beautiful piece of art from KlassicFab. I think I may just hang it in the garage for looks. Or, maybe not…

Anyway, I decided that with the time needed to scrounge for sheet metal, cutting, fitting and welding, that it would be worth my time just to purchase the full floor. The KlassicFab driver’s side panel didn’t cover as much as I would like to replace so I opted for the full floor replacement and I’ll cut it down to what I need and use the remaining metal for other repairs. I haven’t compared to the original yet, but so far I did notice that there is a support plate on the TOP of the floor panel that is not on my original. But, all of the indentions appear to be the same at quick glance.

It’s been awhile…

Life gets busy. And priorities change…as they should sometimes.

But finally, I have some time to devote to the bus.

Recently tried to start the bus, but it would turn over but just wouldn’t fire up. Yesterday, I drained the old gas(it’s been in there of two years with STA-BIL), and added several gallons of non-ethanol. Went to crank and it fired up, the timing was a little off but adjusted the distributor a little to get it at least running.

Pulled the distributor vent tube, plugged it and out the timing light on it to get it on the timing mark.

With her running again, it’s time to start on the leftover bodywork.

See below for a quick video on it running and how the engine compartment has turned out with a refresh.

99% to Perfection

After some ups and downs over the past week, and the engine knocking, I decided to check the points again.

After checking and trying to regap, I found that the points set screw was stripped. So, I’m thinking now that the problem with the engine knock was the points not being seated properly(or bouncing around) instead of the marine gas.

Stripped points screw? So what’s the fix? Found one other rebuilt 021 905 205 P but at $175, need to hold off for now. I decided to move up one screw size and went with a stainless steel 8/32″ screw. The smallest length I could find was 1/2″.

Since all of my tools are packed up for an upcoming move, I used two nuts and a hacksaw to try and get the screw to about the same length as the OEM …about 3/16″. After trimming and filing, tried in the distributor and it fit. Reset the gap as close to .016 that I could… was a little difficult since when tightening, the gap would get smaller, so used a larger gap, then tightened.

After resetting, went ahead and checked the dwell which was at 51°. The range should be from 45° to 52°, so after the big flub up several days ago, I decided to leave at 51°.

Grabbed the timing light but couldn’t remember the settings exactly so got the timing close and cranked it and she purred just like before, but this time, without the engine knock. Great birthday gift for the day. 🙂

Big Oops.

After finally getting the distributor issue resolved, decided I’d break out my new dwell meter and check the dwell prior to setting the timing.  After using a points gap of .016, the dwell turned out to be 50°. But that wasn’t good enough for me,  so tried to get it down closer to mid-range of 47°-52°.

Big mistake. After setting a gap of .018, to get the dwell down, I couldn’t get her to start.

I was almost out of gas, so decided to use some fresh marine gas that I recently picked up during the recent hurricane scare.

After adding gas, and resetting the points again, I finally got her started again, BUT … I was getting a horrible engine knock from passenger side of engine. Though it was going to throw a rod.

Went to bed and it dawned on me the next day that I had added the marine gas and maybe that was the issue for some reason. I didn’t think of the gas being an issue as I had used non-ethanol gas in to before with no problems.

I drained the tank and picked up some fresh regular unleaded gas.

Distributor Popping Out

Since pulling the distributor for cleaning and painting, it was time for reinstallation. Since bumping the motor over a few times in the past three years, I had to find TDC. Pulled the #1 spark plug, checked the piston position, had my fan mark at TDC and inserted the distributor. Already had the points set to .016, bolted everything up and all is good. I set the timing by memory of where it should be.

I go ahead and crank it and after a few cranks, it fires right up and is running. Tweak the distributor a little to smooth it out.

Turn the engine off for a few minutes and then go back to restart it. No start. Turns over but no cranking. Pull the distributor cap and find that the distributor shaft has totally disengaged from the engine gear.

I pull the distributor and try everything again. Same exact scenario. After posting on VWSamba and thinking about over night, pulled the distributor and saw the problem. I had tightened the timing hold down first and then bolted the distributor in. The problem with that is there was a very small gap(see below) of about 3 sheets of paper that were causing the distributor to not fully seat into the engine gear, even though the distributor hold down was totally flush with the engine block.

After loosening the timing bracket, inserting the distributor, tightening the hold down, THEN tightening the timing bracket, it started right up not once, not twice, but every time. Problem solved…at least for now.

 

1st Stage of Launch: Lights…

After checking and double checking everything, time to find put some power to the ignition for a light check. And unbelievably, all lights illuminated on first attempt.

Considering I unplugged the entire rear wiring harness, rewired a good portion of the engine compartment, it was truly a miracle that everything worked on first try.

 

Moving along

Had a productive weekend. Received my order from JBugs on Friday, just in time for the weekend.

  • Was disappointed(but not surprised) that the rear marker lights did not fasten to the bus as they should or intended. So ended up using plastic 1/4″ anchors to fasten the base to the bus and then used screws to fasten the marker light to the base.
  • Purchased a new Duracell Group 36R battery. I must say the Walmart Everstart battery I purchased more than 10 years ago, did a great job for it’s lifetime but finally wouldn’t hold a charge.
  • Finished reconnecting all of the rear engine and electrical wiring, with the exception of the blower motor. Don’t really need it right now to get her running, plus need to rewire some of it due to age and corrosion.
  • Reconnected the starter wiring, installed new fuel line from the carb to the fuel filter but need to connect it this evening.
  • Replaced the aluminum intake to head gaskets with fiber gaskets and tightened and torqued the intake and carb.

Putting Her Back Together, Part 4

Prior to me dropping the set screw and starting this entire update process, I had picked up a set of complete insulation boards. They weren’t perfect but I could at least use a pattern. Used 1/8″ masonite(or hardboard) and traced out the pattern, cut everything out and then used a drill press and forstner bit to began the process of drilling all of the holes.

Sprayed them with semigloss black paint and never got to install them. I also scored a full set of the original insulation in super great shape. The plastic protectors had of course dry rotted, so purchased some clear trash bags, used the manufactured seams as much as possible. Then, trimmed to fit and used a lighter to melt the edges and press together to form a sealed package. Even saved the original VW papers and inserted into the insulation plastic(as seen in one of the pics)

Must say they turned out great. Should have taken some pics of the insulation prior to installing, but was too excited to get them installed.

The insulation boards have lasted more than 5 years in the garage with the Charleston humidity and still look the same as when I made them.

Painting Engine Tin

1973 Volkswagen Bus 1700 Engine Tins

With a little additional elbow grease, I was finally able to remove the engine tin. It was a battle, but I won out this time. I removed the cylinder tins, the engine surrounds, and the front tin, a few pieces underneath. I did have to unplug the wires from the alternator to the voltage regulator, however, I marked EVERYTHING to make sure I reinstalled correctly. More time spent now will save time on the backend… and frustration. Here is a pic of the tins removed and unstripped:

1973 Volkswagen Bus 1700 Engine Tin
1973 Volkswagen Bus 1700 Engine Tin

Since removing, I’ve now spent hours stripping with paint stripper, wire wheels and sandpaper. Yes, I could have had it sandblasted, however, this is a great stress reliever. I love working in the garage, whatever the task.

I chose to only spray paint the engine tin for now and not have it powder coated. I’m planning on building a second engine and will get the engine tin powder coated when that happens. Didn’t want to powder coat now and then end up scratching it.

I ended up using Dupli-Color Black Hot Rod Sandable Primer DAP1698 and then several final coats of DupliColor Ford Semi-Gloss Black DE1635. I wanted to use semi-gloss so as not to show grease smudges, etc. The main goal is not show qulity at this time, but just to try and get everything looking better.

Dupli-Color® DAP1698 - Sandable Primer Surfacer Black Hot Rod
Dupli-Color® DAP1698 – Sandable Primer Surfacer Black Hot Rod

Dupli-Color Engine Enamel Ford Semi-Gloss Black
Dupli-Color Engine Enamel Ford Semi-Gloss Black

A few of the newly painted pieces of the engine tins.
A few of the newly painted pieces of the engine tins.