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.
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:
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.
Took a little time tonight to look at repairing my passengers side step. Several years ago, I purchased a pair of Klokkerholm step repair panels, however, I was a little surprised at the quality – metal thickness and the corners weren’t stamped but folded on top of each other. Luckily, it doesn’t look like I will need to repair the entire panel but can cut off the part I need and weld it in.
Check my pic below of the repair needed and then the Klokkerholm panel. The portion I will cut out is marked with a black Sharpie.
I took a day off from work yesterday for one of my boys field trip, and other errands, and had a few minutes to spare so I ran over to Palmetto Paint Specialties Inc. in North Charleston and Morris set me up with some epoxy primer. It’s been a LOONGGG time since I’ve done any auto painting, so things have changed quite a bit.
Told him I needed a primer that I could work on the bus a section at a time, do any glazing I needed to, and then could leave it until I get ready to spray it with paint. It stays in the garage and is not really exposed to the elements but still wanted a good quality. Told him it’s not a show vehicle, but still want to do it right. He hooked me up with PPG’s EPX-900 Epoxy Primer in beige and EPX-901 hardener. Still not totally convinced I’m going with the original Pastel White for the final paint, as we may go for a two tone job with vw orange below the beltline and then white above. But if we go with all Pastel White, the beige primer should be fine. I’ve seen several vehicles with the beige primer and it really looks nice. A good color to worth with doing the body work.
Really looking forward to sanding down the paint chips, getting rid of the surface rust and getting it one color.
Also, started looking into what to do to solve my sliding door track problem. It’s not THAT bad really, but would be nice to have it where it works nice and smooth. The problem is the bottom of the track has a three inch rust through on it, thus the door roller hits the dent and sinks.
All of the surrounding metal including the outer sill, inner rocker and everything looks good. Really hate that I will have to remove the good outer rocker sill to get the track replaced, but that’s the breaks.
I did find out today that a friend of mine has purchased the late model bus outer sill from Gerson at Klassic Fab. So I was glad to hear that, as it has been very challenging to find VW Bus repair panels that are of good quality. Most I have found to be much thinner than the original and do not always fit correctly. Also, e-mailed Gerson to find out if I can purchase only the track from him instead of the entire inner rocker with the track. Hopefully, we’ll hear something soon.
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.
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.
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.
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.