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.
I was able to pick up an interior mud flab from a fellow Samba member and received it yesterday. Didn’t waste anytime trimming it down and welding it in. Hopefully, will finish the welding and grinding it down tonight so I can move forward with puttin ght eoutside skin back on.
I’ve really made some good progress in the past 2 or 3 weeks.
1. Finished welding in and primering the repair sections on either side of the engine hatch
2. Trimmed the area for the replacement of the skin around the battery tray area
3. Trimmed the replacement skin around the battery tray area
4. Undercoated, primered and hole punched the valance below the engine hatch.
I actually started to weld in the valence but thought that I might should reinstall the engine hatch to make sure the lower gap is consistent around the edges. Sanded down the rear of the engine hatch to start prepping it. Might as well get it ready for some paint and to rehang it.
So the search for my hinges began. And after two days of searching…I finally found them. Stripped all the paint off last night and begain to primer. Hopefully will finish that up this evening.
Went through some paint decisions…it’s hard to find an auto paint shop that is open on Saturday. But found one locally that is and sells the Glasurit product line. For VW restorers, the Glasurit is the original manufacturer or the closest thing to the original. HOWEVER, I called this morning to get a quote for a quart and a gallon of L90D(PastellWeiss) and it was $150.00 for a quart and $500.00 for a gallon. Whew. Definitely won’t be going that route. I ant my Bus to look good, but it’s certainly not a show vehicle.
So, do a little more research and find that PPG also has the L90D paint chip and found a local PPG distributor. Only Bad – they aren’t open on Saturday’s and only open 9-5 M-F. But, at least I have found a distributor.
Hopefully, will be able to go by there tomorrow to pickup enough pain to do the engine compartment, the hinges, and some areas around the engine hatch.
Finally got to the place where I could put the battery tray in. I first used a air punch and placed holes around the lip about every two inches. Taped up the area where I would be welding, primered it up and undercoated the bottom of it with 3M Rubberized Undercoating. It did take a little persuasion to get it in to place, but I actually had it in place within 30 minutes or so. Had to use a few screwdrivers to shoehorn it in to place. Went on and tack welded it in place and now I need to go around and put in a few strategicly placed welds for a more permanent hold. Next will be to pick some Seam Sealer, fill the seams and start to replace the outside skin I had to remove to get the tray in place. Here are a few pics:
Had a few extra hours on Saturday so I headed up to Orangeburg to a friend’s VW junkyard. Always enjoy going. Not a huge number of buses, but enough that I can usu find what I need, within reason. I needed the passenger’s side rear area of the rear wheel.
I purchased a panel new that I had hoped would work, but again, the sheetmeal was too thin and wasn’t close to fitting the original contours. So, I was able to get a good piece that goes from the rear wheelwell all the way to the taillight. I still need to trim out what’s left of the battery tray from the piece and have it sandblasted.
Now that I have what I need in regards to the rear, I should be able to start removing the necessary metal to install the new battery tray. At least I can dryfit the battery tray with the piece I just purchased to check the fit prior to installing.
I also was able to find one plug that fits in the small holes on each side of the rear view mirror. There was a second one but it was so brittle that it broke as I tried to remove. Checked out a few more buses for the front step areas and front floors. I think I found about 3 or 4 buses that I should be able to get to repair the area on my bus.
Through this whole process I have learned a valuable lesson. IF I’m able to find a bus to remove the original metal in good shape, I will certainly do that instead of using ordered repair panels.
Hello and welcome to my 1973 Volkswagen Westfalia restoration blog. It is my hope to provide information from other sources, as well as tasks and projects that I have accomplished that will help you with your Bus adventure.