It’s been busy, busy, busy

A lot has happened over the last week or so. I started reconnecting all of the gas vapor lines and charcoal canister, but had a time finding the correct metric size hoses. I could have used ASE sizes but still couldn’t find any 1/2″ hose for the breather. So, I dropped a local vw friend(Snoopy) an e-mail to see if he could recommend any import parts places in the Charleston area. He told me to give Ken a call in Summerville. I gave Ken a call and not only did he have the metric sizes, but also in the larger 13mm that I needed for the breather hose.

I headed up tp Summerville to pick the hose up and come to find out I knew Ken. Ken turned out to be Ken Irwin and owns Aircooled Automotive. Ken and I were charter members of he Lowcountry Volkswagen Club in Summerville back in the late 80’s. I had no idea he was still in the area, so we spent a little time catching up, bought my hose and was on my way.

Came home to hook everything up and I was loving how the correct hose sizes were installing with ease. Also stopped by Lowe’s to pick up a brass fitting to run the 13mm hose from the charcoal canister to the breather. Also, picked up a slide-on fastener for the canister strap. I get everything hooked up and crank her up…and she dies. Try it again and same thing. She’ll run for about 5 seconds on starting fluid and that is all. I unplug all of the vapor fuel lines and try again…same thing. Almost like she was getting any fuel.

After a day of scouring for more progressive carb info, I found the jets screws locations and removed them and gave a few shos of carb cleaner and compressed air. She started up…not perfect, but at least she would start and run a little longer. It appears that there must have been trash in the charcoal canister and when I fired her up, it blew it all into the carb.

I have now removed the carb, cleaned the exterior really good of the years oof grease and grime. Now, I will remove the idle screws and jet again and clean again. I’m debating on picking up a rebuild kit and go ahead and rebuild it while I have it out. I’m not planning on running it that long as I’m working on the new PDSIT’s I have for installation.

I PBblasted the intake nuts tonight, as I am going to remove the intake and clean everything up ontop of the engine, then reinstall with the clean carb.

Also, picked up a pair of little wheels for the engine lid rod that helps keep it open. Took about five minutes to install and now all is well…at least with the engine lid.

Rear engine hatch etal.

We had a pretty successful evening last night. My son and I finished sanding down the rear engine hatch, primered and reattached. Also, installed the license plate light and license plate. Looks like we are going to have to hold off on installation of the rear bumper until later. We were able to take it around the block for the first time in a while and it did feel good to drive her again.

Hooked up the newly painted blower fan and canister holder. Next on the list to tackle are the fuel vapor lines and try to get them back to the original configuration as much as possible with the single carb.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

And things were going sooo good…

In preparation for an upcoming camping trip, I’ve been double timing it, trying to get the bus ready. I actually reconnected all of my wiring on Saturday and only had two small snafu’s, but was able to crank her up for the first time in an entire year and pulled her out of the garage. Rinsed her off, and cleaned up the garage a little and then backed her in again.,

After I had everything reconnected, I jumped in  to crank and it wouldn’t turn over, power everywhere but no crank. Battery seemed to be charged enough but still no crank. Stuck the battery on the charger for about 15 minutes and then she fired right up after giving her a few pumps of gas. Couldn’t believe it.

Spent last night troubleshooting a dead taillight and marker light and turned out to be the fuse. Sanded down the engine hatch and have it almost ready to shoot some primer on it tonight so I can get it remounted.

Now, the bad news…I started reinstalling the rear bumper and the nut that is inside the frame popped loose. This is not a good situation as the ONLY way to get to it to reweld it back in is to undo part of the work I have been doing over the past year. I’m going to need to cut an access hole in the panel I just installed and recut the vertical support beam(that I just replaced) to get to the bolt.

I am so bummed. It would’t be so bad if I hadn;t had to basically make the piece of the skin to the right of the hatch that has the small access hole in it. I think I may try to find a fabrication shop to just make me a flat piece of metal with the hole in it and cut and patch it in. The problem is that the whole is PRESSED in and is not just drilled out.

Anyway…it’ll need to wait until after the camping trip…without a rear bumper.

I have determined I hate welding while on my back…

Had a successful weekend on the bus.  Just wish I had more time. Camping trip in 2 weeks and I don’t think the Bus is going to be ready. May hafta venture out without her this time.

I was able to leave work a few minutes early on Friday to stop by a new found body supply shop before closing time at 5:00pm. Very nice staff was really helpful and not just sell you anything.

Was able to finish up the installation of the rear below the engine panel. It was a bear to get welded in. Not sure why, but half of my welds wouldn’t stick. I cleaned it, redrilled the holes and after 3 or 4 attempts, I was finally able to complete it. Finished wrapping the crimps and primered everything .

Also was able to seam seal the battery tray in last night. Used 3M’s Fast ‘n Firm Seam Sealer and was able to use a basic caulking gun to apply. I did clean the area thoroughly of all rust and then with prepsol prior to application. My only concern was trying to get a full tube of sealer with the gun in the small area, but somehow managed with no major setbacks. The sealer skinned over in about 20 minutes and was easy to clean up any extra that may have dripped. Went back this morning to check and it was still soft so hopefully after 24 hours it will be ready for some primer.

Regarding this posts title, I cannot stand welding while lying down. There is not enough room to use my helmet, so had to resort to my face shield, holding the light AND trying to weld at the same time. Certainly couldn’t get a full bead going, but was able to tack weld it enough to hold it securely. Hope tonight maybe to grind down the welds and apply seam sealer to underneath and give it another 24 hours before applying undercoating.

Also, BEWARE and MAKE SURE to apply this particular seam sealer in well ventilated area. I thought mine was ventilated enough with the fan going and open door, and it doesn’t appear to smell that strong, but after finishing the job, I felt like the fumes were still in my lungs for a few hours.

A few pics of the progress:

Latest pics

I completed welding the back corner last night and now we move on to smoothing out the welds.  The only place that hasn’t matched up perfectly was the inside of the lip. Even though the skin was taken from another ’73, they seem to be different. My bus is an early ’73, and the donor bus could be a late ’73, possibly explaining the difference, but still a little surprised of the difference.

Passenger’s rear corner

Last evening, I finished up the welding, a few coats of primer, and undercoated.

Tonight, I was able to spot welded it in, so the next step will be to finish up the welding. I taped up the interior side of the engine hatch, and started to spray a little primer in the access holes. Plan on spraying in undercoating to help with deadening the sound a little. I know I won.t be able to coat the entire inside, but a little coverage should help.