ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Fluff > Shiny things
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 10-30-2013, 05:06 PM   #1
madeouttaglass OP
The AntiHarley
 
madeouttaglass's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Shelter Cove California
Oddometer: 3,535
Another Westfalia Syncro build thread?

I've debated with myself if I even wanted to post this latest project of mine. Afterall, I know that few people have the skills or patience of Hodakaguy and I know that I'm not one of them. I have however spent 40 years rebuilding many motorcycles, engines, fast cars, 4x4s and bumpers/ rollbars,... I enjoyed reading his excellent build thread of his beautiful VW last year and was amazed by his work. I will however blame him and another inmate here for setting me on this path.
A little personal VW Westy history first.
My older brother and I plus a few friends were longtime campers since we were little kids. We tented all summer long as kids and kept camping after I got married and had kids. About a quarter century ago my older brother showed up at our door to show off his latest camping accessory- a used 1974 Westfalia. As I walked out the door to look at it I only had thoughts of hippies. That changed as soon as I looked inside at his little rolling house. I knew I had to have one for my young family but I had little $ to spare. After a few months of searching I found a '74 Westy with a dead Buick V6 and 6 radiators in it. The body was rusted but the doors and interior were near mint. Fortunately I soon found a nice '75 Westy with the front end cut off and missing it's interior and doors. (What are the odds of this before the internet?) It was even the same shade of orange. A few weeks of work and we had an inexpensive camper for our family. My brothers often camped with us in the Adirondacks and our two matching busses with Coleman canoes on the roofs were always a hit.
A few years after my family moved into the woods we found that we just didn't need to go to the Adirondacks to get away from things. Kids got older and both my brother and I sold our busses. Later after our kids were gone my wife and I had a few class As. Earlier this year I was talking to a salesman at an RV dealer and mentioned that I was selling the 36' RV and said that our best camping times were in our old Westy. He took out his phone and showed me some pictures of an almost finished '79 Westy restoration that his inlaws owned but had lost interest in. I bought it the next day. I got it finished up and we had started to have some fun with it.
One day I was here on ADV and inmate Cheesebot posted a link to a CL ad of a 2.5 Subaru powered '87 Westfalia Syncro that had sat a few years. It looked too cheap but I wrote to the seller anyways in case it wasn't a scam. The next day I heard nothing back so I figured it was a scam. Another day later the seller wrote back with their number. I drove about 500 miles the next day and bought it, then ebayed the '79 to help pay for the restoration of this one. (The '79 went to England.) Here it is in Gloucester when I first saw it.



The seller had listed it as not running but had put 2 new batteries in it as I was driving to get it. It started right up with the old gas and ran very well.
There were no available motel rooms in the area that evening so I had my first campout in it right where it sat in that picture. The next morning I took out the driveshaft and loaded it onto my tow dolly for the long trip home.
The little Tacoma pulled it well but got about 7 MPG on the trip.
Once I got it home I started to go over things. Hodakaguy had many pointers in his build thread. I've also learned quite a bit from the folks I met on www.TheSamba.com when I was finishing up the '79. The biggest concern seems to be that these self destruct easily with the stock fuel lines. Unfortunately you need to drop the engine and transmission to get to the gas tank on a Syncro. Like many projects of mine this has started a cascade. My plan is to get the entire driveline and suspension out and replace anything that could use it. I hope to have it back together for a long March trip. If all goes well the bodywork will come the following year. I already have a rust free donor Vanagon from PA waiting to give up bodywork for step two.



I did get a couple things in the last week. The stove front was sent out for a group buy refinish through the Samba. I also picked up a set of 15" wheels for the bus.




Step one, part one started a few days ago with the front end starting to be disassembled. Almost everything will be replaced. A few emails and calls to Burley Suspensions has made a sizable dent in the toy fund. Only one part here will remain. Burley is making both upper and lower control arms. He is also building a pivoting rear spring set up for the rear along with a rear disc brake kit. T3 will be supplying most of the bushings. VanCafe and BusDepo are on the list for tomorrow's calls.
__________________
Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520

madeouttaglass screwed with this post 10-30-2013 at 08:55 PM
madeouttaglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 07:02 PM   #2
BillsR100
Happy Paleoflatus
 
BillsR100's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 3,126
I have never owned a Westfalia but I really enjoy these Westfalia build threads!
BillsR100 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 08:43 PM   #3
Hodakaguy
NorthWest Adventure Rider
 
Hodakaguy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Eastern WA State
Oddometer: 2,086
Sweet and congrats on the bus! I'm in for the build thread. We've been using ours a ton this summer, I'm already planning some trips for next summer. My wife and son love traveling in the Westy

PM me if you have any questions

Hodakaguy
__________________
NV 2012 - In Memory of the Crewmen RR: CLICK HERE
Adventure Is Out There - NV RR: CLICK HERE
Riding Through History - NV RR: CLICK HERE
And Then There Were Four - OR RR: CLICK HERE
My VW Syncro Westy Build Thread: CLICK HERE

Hodakaguy screwed with this post 10-30-2013 at 08:49 PM
Hodakaguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
madeouttaglass OP
The AntiHarley
 
madeouttaglass's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Shelter Cove California
Oddometer: 3,535
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodakaguy View Post
Sweet and congrats on the bus! I'm in for the build thread. PM me if you have any questions

Hodakaguy
I likely will be PMing you. You sir have raised the bar higher than I can likely reach. Thanks for showing everyone the right way to do things. You have pre shamed me into doing my best to not cut corners. If it wasn't for you I'd probably already have the bed linered diamond plate across the lower 8 inches of bodywork.
__________________
Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520
madeouttaglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
madeouttaglass OP
The AntiHarley
 
madeouttaglass's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Shelter Cove California
Oddometer: 3,535
This afternoon was time for the syncroectomy.



The framework is all disassembled and in the back of my truck. Off to the sandblaster tomorrow.
__________________
Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520
madeouttaglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 10:32 AM   #6
madeouttaglass OP
The AntiHarley
 
madeouttaglass's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Shelter Cove California
Oddometer: 3,535
I lucked out this morning. I was going to drop off the rusted steel at my sandblaster to get to in the next week. He works outside and shuts down in the winter. When I got there he told me that he shut down last week but only was there to completely blast, prime and paint an amphibious duck that someone needed done before winter. As soon as it was finished he was headed to California. He squeezed my shit into his schedule immediately.

Blasted:


Primed:


And painted. Yes, as a nod to my old lifted truck days I went with Rancho Red. Puch did such a nice job on this subframe that I didn't want to hide it. Hate the color choice if you want. You can paint yours black if you like.




The propane tank takes such a beating right behind the front wheel that I sprayed it with Rustoleum bedliner. I've used this a bunch of times and it holds up very well.

__________________
Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520

madeouttaglass screwed with this post 11-01-2013 at 10:39 AM
madeouttaglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
a1fa
Riding Nomad™
 
a1fa's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 13,838
__________________
Learn to ride. Ride to learn.
a1fa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
Hodakaguy
NorthWest Adventure Rider
 
Hodakaguy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Eastern WA State
Oddometer: 2,086
Wow....your waisting no time!

Hodakaguy
__________________
NV 2012 - In Memory of the Crewmen RR: CLICK HERE
Adventure Is Out There - NV RR: CLICK HERE
Riding Through History - NV RR: CLICK HERE
And Then There Were Four - OR RR: CLICK HERE
My VW Syncro Westy Build Thread: CLICK HERE
Hodakaguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 10:08 AM   #9
madeouttaglass OP
The AntiHarley
 
madeouttaglass's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Shelter Cove California
Oddometer: 3,535
I doubt that it will continue at this pace but I needed to get that stuff sandblasted before the window closed. I've used other people but waited for over a month, paid much more, and they didn't get into the corners like Rick does.
Here's a shot of the $500 Pennsylvania Vanagon that will give up it's sheet metal in a year. It's an '84 with 118,000 miles on it. The previous owner said it ran when he parked it- in 1998. Obviously I could care less if it did or not. It has no rust and only two dents, both in panels that don't matter to me.

__________________
Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520
madeouttaglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
a1fa
Riding Nomad™
 
a1fa's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 13,838
You suck ;) $500?
__________________
Learn to ride. Ride to learn.
a1fa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 08:21 AM   #11
madeouttaglass OP
The AntiHarley
 
madeouttaglass's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Shelter Cove California
Oddometer: 3,535
A couple of days ago I spent the better part of the day at my old friend's engine shop in Rochester. (ProFormance Auto) I used the lathe, hot tank and bead blaster for those hours. I snapped the threaded part of a sway bar link during disassembly so I made a thicker set on the lathe to be welded on the stock heads of the thin stock ones.
In the meantime the front end parts got cooked in the tank. I then proceeded to spend hours at the bead blaster getting the front parts looking like new. Once Burley gets back from SEMA he will be welding my LCAs. When they arrive most of the parts will be going for zinc.
On another note, I have bought the metal I need for a large front bumper. The more time I spent under the front end, the more I saw that a strong front bumper really had nothing decent to bolt to. (I went through the same thing this summer when I built a bumper for my Tacoma. build link- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=911372) I have decided to build a front subframe that I'll call the intermediate subframe because the front differential framework is the factory subframe and this will go between it and the stock unibody frame. It will be easier to show as it gets fabbed up than to try to explain. I made one of these decades ago when I lifted my Subaru Brat seven inches. It worked out very well and there is little doubt that it and my tube bumpers saved me from injury in a multi car highway crash that I was stuck in the middle of.
__________________
Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520
madeouttaglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 04:38 PM   #12
a1fa
Riding Nomad™
 
a1fa's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 13,838
__________________
Learn to ride. Ride to learn.
a1fa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2013, 05:53 PM   #13
madeouttaglass OP
The AntiHarley
 
madeouttaglass's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Shelter Cove California
Oddometer: 3,535
I don't want to cut any part of the bus. I have heavy wall 1.5 x 3" rectangle tubing for my framework. It will go back to the sheetmetal that holds the steering rack. From there some .250 plate will go across to hold both rails together, form a wider contact area against the factory framework in case of a hard front hit, and lower the steering rack. I know that adding this between the factory unibody structure and Puch subframe will cost me 1.5 inches of clearance down the center of the bus but it will allow me to run 30" tires easily with my Burley suspension plus reduce CV and tie rod angles. And yes, I will be dropping the engine and transmission 1.5 inches when I get to the back end rebuild.

I spent all day Friday and Saturday turning this:



into this:



Now most of it is tacked together. I still have to make the brush guards for the sides of the pushbar, more mounts for diamond plate, supports to go from the lower frame diagonals to the bumper ends, plate steel for the lower parts, and fit diamond plate for the top surface. I feel that it is 75% finished. I'm tired and the weather forecast for the next few days is freezing so I'm taking a few days off.

While I do all the fabrication, I have a great local welder by the name of Doug Byington come to do the welding.

__________________
Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520
madeouttaglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2013, 08:48 PM   #14
Mr. Fisherman
PROUD 2B Riff Raff!
 
Mr. Fisherman's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Drinking from the Stanley Cup!
Oddometer: 10,752
That looks heavy....

I can't wait to see where this goes. Could you turn up the outside air temp so you can get back to it please?
Mr. Fisherman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2013, 08:25 AM   #15
madeouttaglass OP
The AntiHarley
 
madeouttaglass's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Shelter Cove California
Oddometer: 3,535
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fisherman View Post
That looks heavy....

I can't wait to see where this goes. Could you turn up the outside air temp so you can get back to it please?
I just came in from weighing it along with the bits that still have to go on it. 160lbs. I expected a bit more. At this point my larger than stock spare will also go up onto the front like an old air cooled baywindow bus. Keep in mind that I'll be adding a (lighter than the front) steel bumper, motorcycle carrier, and TW200 to the rear. It also has a few extra pounds in the back from the 2.5 Subaru that is already back there. It's all been discussed with Burley Motorsports and will be figured in for the springs that will be ordered this week.
As for outside temps, right now it is about 22 with teens overnight. It will warm up later this week and I'll fit the other parts, then bring it to Doug's shop so he can work in heat and on his welding bench. In the meantime I've been ordering other parts for underneath.
__________________
Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520
madeouttaglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015