Friday, January 27, 2012
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The Right Rear Corner was next on the list. There was a MASSIVE amount of Bondo slathered on the rear corner up to a 1/4" thick. So I had to grind it all out, hammer and dolly out the years of dents so I could get the right contour. The metal was also VERY thin in places and either had to be replaced or back-welded.
The photos really tell the story...
Below: This area was where the old rear marker light used to be. It was eliminated to give the Panel Van a "European" look. The way it was done was horrible. A plate was welded in behind the original openings and the previous owner then attempted to fill in the space with weld. When that didn't work, they added Bondo. I just cut it out and replaced it.
This is the lower portion of the corner. This is where the bumper's splash pans bolt onto the body. The attachment area was pretty straight so why the 1/4" of bondo??? And why not at least treat the rust first??? Lazy
|And Bondo was his name-o|
Below: The inspection hole area is a real problem area for Type 2b buses. I rarely see any without some type of damage. The inspection plugs fall out or are destroyed by time. Dirt and water enter the hole, making mud, which quickly rusts out this area.
|Inspection hole rust|
|Rust along the battery tray line|
|Rust around the battery tray line|
|Repairs in progress|
|Starting to blend in the repairs. Wheel arch is welded in.|
|Old marker light area repaired and beginning blending around the corner|
|Most of the blending done. Can you say wavy? A little more dolly work needed.|
|Inspection Hole repaired with a very thick 1/8" steel plate.|
|Done and ready for prep and paint!|
The battery tray was toast. Not as bad as I have seen in the past, but what made this one bad was the secondary rust it caused. Rust blew through both layers of the splash pan and through the rear metal under the light. I am pretty sure this bus just sat in the rain for many, many, many years...
Below you can see the extensive rust damage, especially through the splash pan portion of the rear fender well.
|Battery tray rust and fender rust|
Below: After removing the original tray, I attempted to install the "correct" replacement tray - Right. All the vendors have this tray listed as the replacement for '68-'72. It isn't. It only fits '68-'71, so don't be fooled. Busted Bus quickly replaced the incorrect tray with an incredibly sturdy and correct VW battery tray from OEVeeDub here in Colorado. It fit perfectly, but was listed to fit '73-'79. Oh well. Props to Busted Bus.
|Left - Removed Tray|
Center - VW '73-'79 Replacement Tray
Right - Incorrect '68-'72 Replacement Tray
Below: The rear portion of the rotted out splash pan was fabricated and installed as well as the replacement Splash Pan.
|Inner Splash Pan Fabrication|
|These are the welds needed to weld in a new splash pan.|
|Installed and ready for sanding, seam-sealant, primer and paint|
Although I did finish and deliver the '72 Panel this last weekend, I'm back to show how it all went down. I'm not the best blogger in the world, but I try.
In this post, I cover tackling the battery tray and right rear splash pan. The Rust on this bus was so bad, it actually rusted out the battery tray and straight through the double-walled splash pan. This is the first Bay Window bus I have seen this happen to.
so I cut out the battery tray, splash pan and other pieces and replaced them with fresh metal. When the surrounding metal was exposed I treated it with a metal etching solution to stop the rust from continuing.
The biggest challenge was the ridiculous amount of Bondo the many previous owners slathered onto this bus. They even Bondo'd over rust. Weak! Make no mistake, this panel van will need a skim-coat of plastic filler to get everything smooth, but not the 1/4 to 1/2 inch that was there previously!
Below, your can actually see through both layers of the fender well into the battery tray. Ouch.
|Right Rear Splash Pan Rust Damage|
|The Right Rear Splash Pan and Right Rear Arch Rear Section Removed|
Below, after removing the Splash Pan section, I cut out the rust, blasted it and got it ready for new metal.
|Splash Pan Blasted|
|Splash Pan with New Metal|
|Splash Pan Welded in|
|Splash pan and right rear arch rear welded in|
So that took care of the splash pan, but the battery tray was next. I had to hand-fabricate the inner portion of the splash panel and then fit the battery tray. See next posting...
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The windshield channel on this bus is a great example of what will happen to most any vehicle if the rubber seals are left to rot. This one was exceptional, but as you can see, any rust can be repaired. Just check your window seals, If they are hard, brittle or cracked, chances are you are in the rust farming business!
|As you can see, rust crept into the dash support/window frame. I treated this with phosphoric acid until the metal was free of rust.|
|Followed by self-etching primer. Word of warning. Self-etching primer is for raw metal only and you MUST WEAR A PROPERLY RATED MASK. This primer will burn your lungs and shortens your lifespan.|
|Followed by a top-coat of Rust-o-leum Professional grade White enamel. It will keep the rust back for another 40 years. POR-15 is another option, but the slow drying time was prohibitive for my work flow.|
|New metal tacked in to fit. Tricky since the metal isn't exact. The solution, clamp, tack, tap - repeat.|
Getting the channel smoothed out.
More of the smoothing process. Some thin areas show up after the polishing, so there were a few repairs, but not too bad.
DONE!!! ready for a new window and seal (after body work and paint of course)
|Patch getting formed in|
|Added a second patch to get the correct curve|
|The lip for the floor to rest on needed to be welded in. The original having long since passed away into rust heaven.|
|The floor ready and prepped for the donor floor to be dropped in.|
|The donor floor with the aftermarket patch welded in as needed. The donor floor was just too rough.|
|Driver's donor floor welded in and finishing is started. I had to cut it carefully so I could retain the pedal assembly locations.|
|Passenger side floor welded in and ready for finishing|
|Passenger Floor Welded in. The donor floor for this side was in much better condition. The splash pan only needed a small repair as well|
Friday, September 10, 2010
So today was spent running shop errands and getting the '72 Double Slider on the Rotisserie. The rotisserie or "Auto Twirler" or just "The Twirler" is a very inexpensive and valuable tool when doing restorations. It allows you to effortlessly gain access to the underside of the vehicle. No more dirt, sand, grease and bugs in your eyes. And at around $900, it pays for itself if you count up how many hours you waste getting up and down off your creeper. It spends its time between Busted Bus, Inc and JStiles Studios. Basically it follows the projects.
Having a twirler also helps when you have to remove undercoating from areas which will be welded on. Undercoating has a nasty tendency to burn, smoke and contaminate the weld area above (more on welding technique later in this blog). Since almost the whole front floor needs replacement, removing the undercoating on the floor is necessary. I scrape about 2 inches past the weld seam, it seems to do the trick. Later, when the new floor is in, it will be a simple matter of flipping the bus and sealing the seams, primer and new undercoat, all the time standing up instead of lying on a creeper.
To get the twirler attached to the one-year-only oddities of the '72 models, the twirler mounts had to be modified. The twirler mounts to the captive nuts factory welded in for the bumpers. The '72 uses a front bumper mount that is identical to the '68-'71 models (Type 2a) but uses a modified '72-'79 (Type 2b) rear bumper mount. The holes are the same, but the frame is recessed under the solid apron, necessitating a spacer so the twirler mount doesn't rest against the fragile metal on the rear apron. Lots of drilling, but no welding needed. Not that I'm apposed to welding, but some days it is nice to stay out of the leathers.
Flipping the '72: Below you can see the '72 up on its side. While up, I removed anything below the floor pan that can get damaged by the heat and sparks of welding and anything that gets in the way of the metal work. I removed the emergency brake lever, forward shift rod, e-brake cable bracket, accelerator cable and lever, brake pedal lever assembly and other things that will have to be cleaned, greased and reinstalled anyway.
Below, you can see an interesting feature of the Double Slider. There is a full belly-pan and side pans to make up for the loss of structural integrity by having two open doors. This was also done on early Type 2a Westfalias and sunroof buses. Later Type 2b sunroof buses only had a belly-pan. Later Type 2b buses that came with the optional BN6 gas heater also had belly-pans. So all three pans on a later Type 2b is unusual.
Below is the front mount. I had to remove the welded-on brackets I was using for the '73-'79 Type 2b and extend the mounts using slip-in square tubing. Then a few 1/2" holes and $40 worth of bolts and nuts. It is a extremely strong mounting point.
Below is the rear mount. It only required a 1/2" spacer as previously noted. Another oddity of the '72 is it only has two captive nuts per side for the rear bumper as apposed to three on later models. The reason VW added a third mounting point was for the optional hitch assembly. If I remember the '72 has a one-year-only (or OYO) hitch, much like its OYO rear bumper and rear bumper brackets.