My '71 VW Bus and '67 Beetle Restoration

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by F1wanabe, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

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    Would you believe it!!?
    I did have one bad memory when driving the bus to the Derbyshire Dales.
    I was overtaking a Large farm tractor and trailer going uphill in 3rd gear with a large truck coming the other way. I was flat out and the rev limiter cut in at 3900 rpm and we just made it by the skin of our teeth.
    Thinking I would rather rebuild the engine than end up like a kamikaze embedded in the front of a truck
    I stopped at the next lay bye and ripped off the rev limiter which is a bob weight and spring on the rotor arm.
    Those were the days 50hp and a one and a half ton bus.:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  2. I had a bug for a very short time, it had been sitting for years and pistons were rusted in. Took it apart, 2X4 and hammer out came the pistons, honed out the cylinders and with some new piston rings away she went. The most fun was getting the gas heater to work, boy did we have some good flames shooting out the wheel well. :)
     
  3. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

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    LOL:D
    I found that I could buy new barrels and pistons cheaper than new rings and a re-bore.
    There was a company in Leicester that got the parts from Brazil.
    In 1984 they cost £47.00 for the lot including gasket set and that was dirt cheap back then.
    What annoyed me was the heater control wires took longer to get off than it took to drop the engine.
    Just 4 bolts two axle stands and a trolley jack.
     
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  4. Grantman

    Grantman Top Gun

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    I owned 21 of those air-cooled pieces of ....... nostalgia. Used to run a speed-shop for them 30 years ago, did everything, still get the odd fellow that hunts me down for work on them.

    I don't miss them, cleaning up coolant leaks was the worst :D
     
  5. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    This is still true today although in adjusted dollars. I rebuilt the top end of my 70 bus in high school and used spare parts my mechanic had on hand after my brother over revved and swallowed a valve in #3. Had the heads redone but jugs and pistons were used. Ran great!

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
  6. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    Wow, you must know your aircooled vw Grantman! I'm looking for a mild rebuild maybe a 1776 or so, to get hp up enough to use a freeway flier transaxle. I want to be able to at least drive 65 to keep up with traffic. Trucks passing at a 15 mph speed differential can be dangerous!

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  7. Grantman

    Grantman Top Gun

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    Used to, vehicles really don't interest me these days. I used to build 1/4 mile cars, custom 4x4s, muscle cars, custom fab/chassis fab, automotive machining, engine/tranny/diff. building. I used to be the guy that lived/ate/breathed automotive, total gearhead. Then one day I overheard my roommate talking guitars with another musician, didn't understand a word, and I then knew what I sounded like to most of the rest of the world. Bit of a social leper when you only have one topic of conversation.
    Rode my bicycle for two years after, pay people to fix my cars now.
     
  8. Bobfrog

    Bobfrog Airman

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    Greg
    Great story and project. When a memory becomes a labor of love and the result Is so satisfying. .

    Never owned a bus but did have a 63 Beetle. It was my first proper car. Had to rebuild the engine with the help of the John Muir classic VW book.

    We need finished pictures when the interior and paint is done.
     
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  9. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    Will do, Bob! You mean "the Idiot book?" :D On my coffee table as we speak...
    20180316_185305.jpg
    I used it to rebuild my '70 bus engine back in high school. It is more like a bible, isn't it? Muir takes "Keeping your VW alive" to a whole 'nother level. I still use the stuck bolt screw driver/hammer trick at work pretty often.
    Bus is in queue at the body shop as we speak. My wife's beetle is painted and interior is being done now so bus is waiting patiently.
     
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  10. Bobfrog

    Bobfrog Airman

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    That book was a marvel. Humorous and covered many tricks that made the work easier. You really could be an idiot and do things that would not otherwise seem possible. I don’t know how many hours I spent pouring through it. It was my first major rebuild and I pretty much did it all by myself. When I completed the work I turned the key and the bug ran without any other tinkering. Amazing!
     
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  11. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    Good work, Bob! You must have had some talent to start with because even some veterans have those occasional glitches to work through after a rebuild. When I rebuilt mine, I drove it for a couple months and thought "this thing is running so well!" I had to go into NYC to fix a coffee machine and got hit by a checker cab at about 35 MPH. Was able to drive it home, it was totalled by the insurance co and the wrecker came to pick a week later. Today someone would have put a new nose on it and saved it, but back then they were still a dime a dozen and worth $500. In fact, I bought a '76 for $550 a couple weeks later. The memories are what make them classics!
     
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  12. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    Lots going on in the last few weeks before our VW season starts! 4 N'oreasters in March put a damper on things. However, we did get the interior finished in the beetle. Happy wife, happy life!
    Attach10586_20180329_164129.jpg Attach10588_20180329_164149.jpg Attach10593_20180329_164257.jpg
    I love the fact that this Beetle is actually 6 months older than me and looks in so much better shape than I am! :D
    And as of last week the bus is in for bodywork and paint...
    20180327_121246.jpg
    Funny how body shop guys take a car that looks pretty good to the novice and find plenty of places to add body filler!
    Wife's beetle gets bumpers and whitewalls then its done, after paint we'll do the interior of the Bus and that's it. So far we have been lucky with good reliability, although I do tend to overdue the maintenance on them.
     

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  13. very nice, did you do any add-ons to the motor on the bug ?
     
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  14. Bobfrog

    Bobfrog Airman

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    Love the upholstery really looks period. I have memories of the inside of my bug and what you did just seems right. Nice job. The bumpers don’t look to bad are you having them rechromed or replaced? White walls will really set it off too.
     
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  15. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    Thank you, Jeff! We're trying to be as original as possible with this with the upholstery the only upgrade. The engine is the original numbers matching engine which should be a 1500cc single port engine, but when it was rebuilt last time it had 1600 cylinders and heads put on since the 1500's are hard to get. Funny thing: we aren't planning on selling it, but the '67 with sunroof and factory pop out rear windows is a very "desirable" car and upgrading the engine would actually detract from it's value!
     
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  16. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    Thanks Bob! My wife saw that interior on a car that Chris Vallone, a popular VW restorer in NY, put in his 67 beetle. The cloth headliner especially sets if off! The bumpers looked OK before we painted the beetle, now the corrosion is noticeable against the new paint. It was actually cheaper to buy good quality new bumpers rather than chroming all of the old ones. The "towel bars" on the rear bumper are specific to the 67 because they slope down to allow you to open the engine compartment so I will have those rechromed and put them onto the new bumper. Looking forward to the whitewalls going on! I'll be putting together a blog entry for my wife on 67beetle.com which is dedicated to all things 67 and features people and their 67 beetles.
    PicsArt_03-31-09.50.56.jpg
     
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  17. I saw the sunroof, don't see that very often.
     
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  18. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    You're right! The sunroof 67 beetle is a little more rare and Lela did a great job finding a Java Green with sunroof. Both the Java Green and Sunroof make it special. Actually, we are talking to a guy up north about a 67 Sandlewood beige sunroof beetle now! Love the '67 sunroof beetles!
    front_right.jpg
     
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  19. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

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    Very proud of my wife for winning 2nd place at the Dubs in the shrubs vw show Sunday! My wife is in her glory displaying her beetle. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
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  20. Bobfrog

    Bobfrog Airman

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    How cool is that!
     
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