Build Thread of a VW Westfalia, narrated by SpeedoJosh

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by SpeedoJosh, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    Figured since people are taking much interest in HodakaGuy's build, I'd throw mine up to fill time while he is away. His is much more in-depth, so don't expect a TDI conversion or anything from this guy :freaky

    Onward. First, I'll hit you guys with the Fly N' Ride, then get into building. Copied from Samba, written back in August...


    So to start this off, I’ll give a little back story on the Westy.

    So for the past month or two I’ve been seriously searching for a Westy. I probably loged onto Samba about 15+ times a day and checked the classifieds. I scanned CL religiously, and ebay as well. I found some that were in OK shape here and there that were semi-close. Then 2 locally that were in great shape, just out of my price range by a few G’s. Countless badass ones on the West Coast. So I was just about to give up for a bit, (have an important work thing for the next month) then BAM!!

    1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia pops up on Ebay. It’s a beautiful white, clean inside and out, lots of new parts, and to top it off, Bostig Engine Conversion. At the time I was like, “WTF is a bostig”. After 12 straight hours, 3 lines of blow for energy, and multiple finger cramps from reading every Samba article about them, and Bostig’s personal website, I knew. So not only did I find a nice Westy, but I knew if the deal didn’t go through on this one, then I’d probably end up doing this conversion down the road.

    So, I message the guy, get his number, and we start chatting. Was his dad’s. He did the conversion, along with crazy amounts of other work on it. His dad did some East Coast cruising in it, but that was the extent of the life of the Bostig conversion. So here it is, a white (fav vehicle color) Westy, on the East coast, low mileage, new engine, etc…., and it’s calling my name. One problem though. It’s in Buffalo, NY, I'm in NC, and I have to leave Sunday for a month. FML. This being Wednesday, it doesn’t allot much time. So my choices were to pass on the Westy, or fly up there Thursday night, after work and drive back Friday (14+ hours) so I don’t miss the work trip, and pray that it makes it back without a hiccup. Because “I like to party”, I picked the later of the two.

    So Wednesday night, I bought a plane ticket, and packed my bag.
    [​IMG]

    (Kind of funny b/c I still hadn’t packed for the month long trip I was leaving for on Sunday.) Thursday after work, hopped in the truck and headed to the Airport. I got out of work early, so I figured I could just hop on standby for the earlier flight that had a lot of tickets left as of the day before. Get to the airport and there was only one left. Lady said I could still do standby, or pay $50 and get the last remaining seat on the plane. I saw straight through here tricks, and knew there’d be an open seat if I just took standby. Then, this sly fox of a saleswoman tells me that my current connecting flight has been delayed, but the earlier flight's connector isn't. Blast!! She’s good. So I buy the ticket, but just so happens, some jabroni elsewhere tried to buy it at the exact same time. This locks up the computers, and causes cyber pandemonium. Lucky this lady was a quick draw with the phone, and got the airline peeps on the phone, and got me the ticket before the other person’s helper did. So, boom, on the earlier flight. All is well.

    Plane that is about to take me to my new home/vehicle/camper/tent/obsession/life.
    [​IMG]

    Load the plane, and what do I see, about 15 empty seats. I got bamboozled. Well, off we go, I get to connecting airport. I walk around casually, having about 30-40 mins until I have to be at my terminal, I walk by some shops and Yahtzee! There I see it, only the sweetest fanny pack I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    [​IMG]
    If the store wasn’t closed, I would of probably added it to my collection. I do imagine it was crazy expensive though, so probably a little to fancy for me, but a guy can dream.(insert sadface) Anyway, I walk up to my terminal to check on the flight. Boom, an hour delay b/c someone on the flight coming in, decided to “have an accident” in their seat. So after clean up, they started loading. One thing I did notice while on my delay is the general un-athleticism now-a-days while watching people run, or attempt to “run” to their flight. Pretty simple concept, press off strongly with leg and hips, land on foot, repeat. It was quite comical.

    [​IMG]
    Plane taking me to BuffVegas

    Off I go…….
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, landed in Buffalo, and meet the owner. It’s around 10 or 11 PM I believe. Head to his crib to check out the Westy.

    And there she sits……………
    [​IMG]
    (Don’t worry, it’s not leaking, just a stain on the driveway.)
    #1
  2. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    Everything I dreamed and more. He explained the story of how his Dad pimped it out and spent tons of money on it. We BS for a bit. I take it on a test drive. Seemed really slow until I realized the parking break was still on. Doh!!! That’s better, cruising like a dream. I was actually surprised by the quickness. Everyone said these badboys are slow. It’s no NASCAR, but it’s fast enough for a van/RV. So we exchange title for cash. By the way, I flew to NY with all the cash in my checked bag. Quite the risk, but had no other choice for the last minute trip. I load up the van with all the receipts, books, and extra parts, and head to L-Dawg’s crib.

    I’m fortunate enough to have some good friends that actually live in Buffalo, so I got to crash at their crib and spend the morning getting a huge b-fast and some java. After b-fast, I hit the road towards NC.

    Nothing better then walking outside to a sight like this…
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I’m in love..


    I drive around the neighborhood for about 10 minutes, lost in the sauce (going to be a common occurrence on this trip, after which I decide to name the van Lostfalia). Finally navigate my way out via my iphone google map app. Finally, out on the open road. Dangit, lost again. Finally find the exit and ended up turning one too soon. After a little off-road action of cutting through the grass, and jumping back over to the adjacent onramp, I’m back on track.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Me passing someone. No big deal
    [​IMG]

    My original plan was to drive by the stone beetle that’s located in NY and a pretty popular photo when searching VWs. But, couldn’t get the exact location in time, and didn’t have time to scout it out, so I just started heading South towards VA, b/c I was picking up some dirtbike parts on the way down to NC.
    So, here I am just cruising down the HWY, not even 30 minutes from Buffalo, and bamm. A bird kamikazes into my windshield. Seriously, the same thing happened when I bought my motorcycle. Cruising home after just buying it from the previous owner and a bird kamikazes into my helmet. Guess birds don’t like me buying things.

    Hard to tell in the pic, but there is still a little bit of bird feather on the wiper
    [​IMG]

    So I elect to take the back roads all the way down. No interstate, just back mountain hwys and such. After about 2 hours, 1 hour of that was me singing to myself, another 30 minutes of me doing Indian war crys, which I had no idea what I was actually doing, just letting my soul cry out. I decided it was time to stop at an auto parts store and buy a battery for the AUX setup to run the CD player. (Current one was dead, and had no way to charge on the road)

    After 30 minutes, two t-shirts drenched in sweat, and $200 later, I had a new blue top optima installed and was jamming out. Swung by Walmart, picked up a fire extinguisher (just incase) and a fan, and got back on the open road.

    New fan
    [​IMG]

    Before hitting the road, stopped by an old service station and snagged some pics
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Also removed some stickers.
    [​IMG]
    Now before you go getting your undies in a bunch, I’m not some huge Democrat hater, I just strongly dislike politics, so I choose to avoid the subject as much as I can.

    [​IMG]

    Later down the road I decided I’d fill up and stretch the legs. Pull into the gas station, hook up to pump and decide to look in some of the cabinets I neglected to when I bought the van. Open up the one under the sink and Yahtzee. A fire extinguisher. Wish I would of checked that before. Continue looking and Double Yahtzee!! Found a fan in another cabinet. So much for that Walmart trip. I was getting close to full, so I closed up shop. I’m standing there waiting for the pump to stop and I feel like someone is peeing on my leg. Look down and sure enough Lostfalia is taking a leak on me.

    [​IMG]

    No bueno. The leak stops shortly after, minor puddle on ground. I’m assuming there is a leak in a fill tube or something since it’s not coming from the tank itself. No big deal, I’ll deal with it when I get back from my trip. (still haven’t dealt with it).
    #2
  3. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    Back on the road and back to cruising and jamming.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Luckily the van has an ipod hook-up. I have a pretty loaded Ipod Classic, so I had good tunes the whole way. Lot of Hendrix, Beatles, ACDC, and reggae jamming took place; even some good ole’ Hank Williams. Passed a sweet VW bug for sale along the way. Stopped and checked it out. Had some rust issues, but still was cool nonetheless.

    [​IMG]

    After many miles with the windows down and the sun baking me, I started to get extremely tired. So I decided to pull off and refill gas, and get some java. Pumps were prepay, and I was using cash, so I tried to guesstimate how much it’d take without overflowing. My calculations were wrong.

    [​IMG]
    Bad pic I know. Phone cover gets in the way sometimes.

    I go in to use the bathroom and grab the coffee. I must of stood in line for an hour. Someone was in there, taking their sweet time. Then there was two elder people waiting before me. They took about 15 min a piece. My eyeballs are floating and I’m debating just peeing in my coffee cup then getting a refund b/c there is piss in my coffee when the door finally opens. Thank goodness.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Back to cruising I go. Amped with caffeine power. I start to get hungry so I reach over for my Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered pomegranate berries. Reach into the bag and pull back a hand covered in melted chocolate. Should of known a van with an internal temp of 150+ would melt chocolate. That was the extent of my packed snacks, so I was SOL until dinner.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Passing someone again, this van is a speed demon
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    I continue through the mountains, enjoying the sites. Getting close to my turn off of the hwy and onto the interstate to take me into Va, where I’m snagging the dirt bike parts. (One thing I’ve failed to mention up to this point is the sticking gas pedal. Whenever you push the pedal, it sticks a little when you release, causing the engine to rev up when you push the clutch in. To combat this, I just reach my foot under the pedal and force it up. Makes for interesting gear shifts. Nothing crazy, I’m sure it’s something simply just hanging on something.) Anyway, I’m starting to get close to my turn for the interstate, and DANGIT. Drove right on past it. Traffic is ridiculous right now for some reason, and I’m trying to maneuver around like I’m on a motorcycle. I turn off, and can see the hassle I’m going to have trying to get back going the right direction. So, I stop for a second and goosefraba it. I circle in the parking lot to turn around and line up to get back on the road. I have an opening, and I floor this bad boy and make it over, but then the gas pedal sticks, I guess I didn’t goosefraba enough b/c Hulk rage comes over me, and I rip the gas pedal up with my foot. Ahhh.
    [​IMG]
    Now I’m trying to change lanes, merge, get on the interstate, and all that jazz with just a peg sticking up for a pedal. Gnarly. Once on the interstate, I goosefraba again, fix the pedal, chuckle at myself and carry on.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hard to see in the pic, but on the left hand side, there is a giant roller blade outside this place, right by the road.
    [​IMG]


    Cruising down the interstate and find my exit without a problem. I’m meeting this fellow with the parts at a college. I pull in and out he walks in his uniform. Police uniform that is. (Another thing I’ve failed to mention up to this point is the tag situation on the van. Previous owner hadn’t registered the van for a year or so, plus you have to turn in your tags in NY, so there was no tag to put on it. I brought my old truck tag with, but it was also expired. I was rolling the dice on that one, but figured as long as I didn’t speed, I could avoid cops. Boy was I wrong.) So back to officer dirt bike parts. He walks out, eyes me kind of funny b/c of the van, then says, “Man I love these things. They’re so cool” Hell yea, luck prevails again. We BS about dirt bikes for a little bit, then start checking out the van. I’m thinking as long as I don’t show him around back where the expired tag is displayed, I’ll be good. Next words out of his mouth, “ How are you gonna get a dirt bike on here?” Shiz man, b/c he starts walking straight for the back. By the time I get there I can see he’s already looking at the tag. He’s a cool dude though, and doesn’t say anything. We BS some more, then I roll out.

    Dirt bike goodies
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Find my way back to the interstate, and off I go towards NC. It’s starting to get dark, so I flip on the lights. What the shiz, these lights are garbage. I can barely see. Guess that’s a 20+ y/o headlight for ya. Jeez, this is down right dangerous I think to myself. Nothing I can do now, so I continue on. I switch over from Hendrix to a beach playlist I have, and continue to jam. Stomach starts to gurgle, so I bust out my dinner. Tuna pack and wasabi peas. Legit!! Road is pretty bare, so I go ahead and open the pack, add the peas, and start munching. What’s that up ahead, about a million cars that’s what.

    [​IMG]

    For some reason I just came across a huge conjugate of cars. So here I am, eating a tuna pack with a fork, so barely have one free hand, headlights barely working, all while trying to keep up with the local speed demons on the interstate. Was an intense 10 minutes. The cars started clearing, so I’m assuming I was near a big city, and that was the traffic from it. On I go down the interstate.

    Passed a pretty cool building somewhere. All glass pretty much. Looked awesome at night
    [​IMG]

    It’s getting pretty boring, I’ve been driving for over 12+ hours, pretty much non-stop, with the windows down in crazy heat/humidity. Then my eyes start playing tricks on me. The lines of the road start dancing and swinging. Lights are moving funny, making me think a car is headed right for me. What the shiz man

    Did you see that???
    [​IMG]

    I’m freaking out. Either the previous owner left some goodies under the dash, that got heated up and are escaping through the vent, or I’m getting a little delirious from the non-stop road watching. I’m coming up on an exit that I can take that will put me out on country roads, that I’ve driven before and know. I think to myself that it will help b/c I’ll have to pay attention to the curves and it will keep my attention, instead of continuing to drone out on the straight interstate. Plus I was kinda worried about the tag, and cops on the interstate. I’ve driven these back roads dozens of times and never seen a cop. So decision is made, and I exit.

    At this point, I’m extremely tired. My eyes are continuing to play tricks on me, and I’m getting a little sleepy eyed. I slap myself around, sit up, put on ACDC, and pump up the volume. I’m doing good. Making good time now, and am only about an hour from home. Then I see someone pulled over out in the middle of no where. That’s weird, I’ve never seen a cop on this road I think to myself. I continue on, and bam another cop, bam again, another cop. Getting a little nervous because in the span of about 20 miles, I’ve seen more cops then I did the entire rest of the trip. I start coming up into a town that I know is a speed trap so I slow down, and sure enough, two more peeps pulled over in the small 2-3 miles span. I get out of there, and finally make it to the home stretch. About 20 minutes to go, I’m feeling good, then all of a sudden a wall of sleep punches me in the face like Mike Tyson. I’m fighting my eyes like they’re Cassius Clay. Then all of a sudden I swear there is a car parked dead center in the road ahead of me. I’m a decent distance away that I can analyze it real quick. Yep car parked in the road. I’m just about to slam the brakes when I realize it’s just the reflectors on the road shining. I’m fudged up I think to myself.Then I think, why don’t these lights get brighter, I flip the switch all the way over this time and wallah.

    [​IMG]

    The lights light up the road like a Christmas tree. Guess I didn’t turn them on the first time. I’m an idiot. Dang sophisticated German technology.

    Well, with the lights working great, well good, and the resent almost heart attack from the phantom car, I’m wired and make it back home safely. I park it in my spot. Get out, look at it again. I debate sleeping in it that night. But it’s hot, I’m covered in sweat, and I’m hungry. I need a shower, food, and a cool bed.


    [​IMG]
    Sleeping peacefully back in NC

    So that about wraps it up. I ramble I know, but hope you enjoyed the story.

    [​IMG]
    -Josh
    #4
  5. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    Ok, that's the end of the Fly N' Ride. I'll start on the build thread in a bit.

    :freaky
    -Josh
    #5
  6. jdiaz

    jdiaz .

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    32,324
    Location:
    Flyover State
    Doh, I just read up on the conversion.
    #6
  7. jrunberg

    jrunberg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    103
    A Bostig will get you where you're going.

    You'll have to drop the tank to replace the fill hose / seals which are fubar. Or, like most Vannie drivers, you'll figure out how to fill it 'just enough' to not pee on your foot. Eventually either the cops or the fumes will convince you to fix it.

    Check (very much so) the seams. If they are cracked at all you'll have rust in them. Ask me how I know. If you're serious then plan on pulling the interior and I'll be you a dollar you'll find some rust. That's where it starts and when you see it on the outside... well...

    Bus Depot is a good source for parts and you might want to sub the Vanagon list (google it). I've an 83.5 sitting outside waiting on a new exhaust and then it's fall camping time for me!

    john
    #7
  8. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,114
    Location:
    Eastern WA State
    Great Fly-N-Ride! Can't wait to read about the build. :clap

    I'm going to be working on installing the rear suspension tomorrow.

    Hodakaguy
    #8
  9. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    Jrunberg, yea, I've come to the realization I need to reseal the tank. Just slacking on it. The seems aren't too bad, the worst being on the back where the bumper side skirts were. Of course all vanagons have rust, just a matter of how much. I have plans of chipping away at the seals and putting rust converter then repaint, but that's a next year project for me.

    Here's the first iteration of farkles.....

    So..... I picked up Lostfalia back in July, and since then I have been planning on a much needed trip/vacation for an undetermined time while carrying my beloved XR250R, (650R is going to have to stay behind on this one.) So I started checking things out and ordering parts.

    Sean from Transporter Werks and Karl from Westy Ventures both showed me and told me about me some Vanagon commons. So I took some stuff from that list, and added it to mine, and got the ball rolling, and the credit card building.

    Yakima Rack system
    BusDepot SS coolant lines
    TF49
    Burley Heavy Duty Hitch
    Motorcycle Hitch Mount
    Jack Bombay Top Shocks
    Solar set-up

    Then a bunch of other little things that were needed:
    Oil change
    Coolant
    Find out why gas pedal is sticking
    Find out weird whine noise that increases with speed
    Find spot for spare tire
    Figure out how to help with a motorcycle being on the back of the van
    Find a better way to mount the stereo components


    Guess I’ll just start at the top.
    Yakima rack. Picked up the 1A Towers, Wide Body Brackets, 2x 78” bars, and a 56.
    There is a shop here that has lifts, and you rent the lifts hourly, so off I went.
    First thing first I changed the oil. No need to take a pic of that.
    Next, I used the lift as a ladder and started on the rack. I was doing three bars, so I spaced them at the three common locations. Far back, just after middle indention, all the way forward. Shop only had a pneumatic drill (WTF) but I made it work.

    I measured 3x, and drilled twice. First drilling, the holes were too small, so I just popped in a larger bit, as recommended by Jeff (Vanagon Travels). I used his write up quite a bit. Helped a lot.

    Comparing the smaller holes with larger
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I used wood to support the top in the up position, and also used pieces of wood as backing, so when the drill bit pushed through the fiberglass, it didn’t also push through the cloth top.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I drilled the holes, then applied silicon around the holes
    [​IMG]

    Then placed the bracket down. Then placed silicon on the back side, on the washers.
    [​IMG]

    Then once it was all said and done, I ran a bead of silicon down the top of each bracket.
    [​IMG]

    Mounted the towers/bars, and dy-no-mite.

    While in the shop, I also figured out while the gas pedal was sticking. The plastic sheath that covers the throttle cable was getting hung on the gas pedal assembly in the black box. So I just filed down the plastic sheath. Much better.


    With those done, next is the coolant lines. Well, the Bentley manual was confusing me, and I didn’t have a spare body to hold the 2k RPM while I bleed the system, and added coolant, so I digressed to something else. Burley Hitch arrived, lets do that.

    Pretty easy install, remove old bumper, then slide in new hitch. I recommend you have a rubber mallet on standby as I had to whack mine a few or 300 times to get it lined up perfectly for the holes.

    Old bumper off
    [​IMG]

    Bare-assed Losty
    [​IMG]

    New hitch itch’n to go in
    [​IMG]
    Installed
    [​IMG]
    Got it all and after jumping on it without it moving, I threw the moto-hitch on there
    [​IMG]

    Then the 250.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Rear is hanging kind of low, not fun since the Zetec already hangs low. Currently researching rear suspension changes. Either Syncro.org springs with a spacer, or full airbag suspension. At the moment, I’m kind of siding with the syncro.org springs due to no cutting/welding needed.

    To be continued. Much more on list to follow..............
    #9
  10. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    I got sick in the middle of all this, and was down for 2-3 days with fevers and what-not. Although, I got board around day 2 and went out and started poking around the old domestic. I had the TF49 on standby, but was going to wait until I left NC (couple weeks). Well, after poking around, I started removing a screw here and there.
    [​IMG]
    Next thing I know, fridge is out.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Soon to be resting place of TF49
    [​IMG]
    Used a hacksaw and cut this top part away, as per recommendation
    [​IMG]
    Tucked this little guy away as per recommendation as well.
    [​IMG]

    Went to relocate my outlet, but come to find out, the previous owner cut it, so it wasn’t connected anything. So I just removed it entirely. Not sure if it’s needed, or just liked.

    I read through hours of threads about fridge install, but for some reason I was still confused. (I blame the fevers). Anyway, I stopped with the fridge, and went back to the coolant lines since I was feeling better.

    So popped old coolant lines off, took a shower in anti-freeze, and started putting the new Bus Depot SS 2 piece ones on.
    Here’s where I took the shower from
    [​IMG]
    New pipes waiting to go in, with the ever so precious Bentley manual on standby.
    [​IMG]
    Comparing new vs old.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I bought the two-piece b/c you don’t have to lower the tank. Well after about an hour of trying to get the second pipe in, I call Bus Depot. Here’s the response I got, “I’ve never installed those, and I can’t find the email instructions, Sorry.” Gee thanks! So I went to The Samba for guidance, and found out it’s a common problem to get them in there, and someone mentioned they called Van-Café and they instructed lowering the tank just a couple inches, and they’ll slide right in. Did that and Yahtzee, in they went.
    Thanks Van-Café!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So new lines in and here comes the fun part, bleeding the system. I was equipped with a Bentley, so I was ready. I lifted the front of van, opened bleeder screw, open heater vents, and started filling the coolant. Once it wouldn’t hold anymore, I followed the instructions and started the van, and rev’d to 2k, expecting air to come out of the radiator, and coolant level to drop in the holding tank. Well, the Zetec is setup different, and coolant starting boiling out of the holding tank. Erupting is actually a better choice of words for what was happening, and anti-freeze was turning the rear of my van into Pompeii. Shiz. Turned off the van. Called Bostig (Awesome support, can’t say that enough. Owe those guys pizza) to see if I was missing something, and was told all that was unnecessary. Just fill it, drive it, open bleeder until no air, close bleeder and refill holding tank. Too easy, van running great now.

    Also, threw the spare up under there.
    [​IMG]
    Realized with the spare, it makes it tough to shift into reverse, not sure why????
    #10
  11. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,692
    Location:
    Now serving just Snohomish County
    Nice ride! Cool writeup. I was so excited when I got my van that I had a hard time sleeping. I love it and it is a great complement for trail riding and dual sport riding. :D Lots of room for hauling riding stuff, doubles as a changing room when it is raining out, mobile hotel.

    I have a 2002 VW Eurovan MV Weekender. I haul my trail bike (2003 KTM 200EXC) around on a hitch carrier on the back of it. I realize the EV and Vanagon are totally different vehicles but here is what I did to deal with the extra weight. I added airbags inside the coil springs and just air them up when I am carrying a load. The long term plan is to add a compressor and tank setup with electric valves and guages so I can fill the bags from the driver's seat and also can fill tires. Are airbags available to go in your rear springs on the Vanagon?

    Full on air suspension would be cool but also very costly. It could easily turn into a nightmare too.
    #11
  12. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    Yea, I currently have the airbags inside the springs, though I've heard they don't hold up to well. Time will tell. I have three different modes of attack for the suspension. Just going to do some more research and save up some before I jump.

    :freaky
    -Josh
    #12
  13. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    After the coolant lines, I started looking at the fridge again. Karl sent me an email of pictures that helped great, and off to home depot I went.

    Was going to do the aluminum angle for support. Wood frame to screw the fridge into. Instead of cutting the laminate up, and messing with that, I was just going to screw the fridge into the wood with no laminate. Can always add the laminate later, plus I didn’t have the space or tools to work on the laminate here. So I bought all the gear, and off I went. I measured everything out. (All work was done at night, so pics are kind of hard to see.)

    First thing first. Redman Silver to turn me into a Sexual Tyrannosaurus, also because I'm not a slack-jawed faggot. :gun2 (Sugarfree b/c it won’t give you diabetes while it gives you cancer.) I only chew when I am out in the woods and going on no sleep for over 24 hours, but found this bag in my kit, so figured “What the hay”.
    [​IMG]

    Next of course is the jams
    [​IMG]

    Cutting out the aluminum supports in my metal fab shop
    [​IMG]

    Quick shot of the size incase someone is wondering
    [​IMG]

    The rubber strip I glued to the aluminum angle to stop rattle, and protect the bottom of the fridge.
    [​IMG]

    Then went onto cutting the wood frame in my wood-working shed
    [​IMG]

    Then test fitting the frame
    [​IMG]

    Fit pretty good, just a little sanding needed for smooth edges
    My sanding station. Pretty cheap set-up, think you can pick them up at any store
    [​IMG]
    Then the finer sanding station
    [​IMG]

    Final test fit of frame before paint
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Time to paint the frame in my shop’s paint booth
    [​IMG]

    Black frame – ooohhhh, awwwwww
    [​IMG]

    With the frame in place, I started test fitting the fridge to get the height of the aluminum supports.

    Used tubberware initially, then from there, I measured how far I was from the top, and went and made a wood spacer
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With tubberware and wood spacer I was looking pretty good.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So I marked where the wood was at, and that would be my aluminum angle mounting line. (I know I could of gone another 1/16”, but I wanted to air on the side of caution, and not get it exact incase of an unforeseen interference.

    Next was to drill out holes for the hardware.
    Quick mock up of where I would want the bolts to mark where to drill
    [​IMG]

    All drilled up
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I placed/held the aluminum angle on the line marked for them, and marked the holes, then drilled away.
    [​IMG]

    First bracket in
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Came a little close to the propane line, but it squeezed in fine. (Yes, I know, I should of installed the bolts the other way around. Realized that after I installed.)
    [​IMG]

    I kept hitting some stupid piece of plastic that was hanging down, so I removed it. No idea what its intended use was.
    Peek-a-boo
    [​IMG]

    In the process I knicked my knuckle
    [​IMG]

    Oh my gosh, there’s so much blood
    [​IMG]
    Turning the van into a crime scene
    [​IMG]

    Ok, much better. Back to the brackets now.
    Other side in
    [​IMG]

    Had to leave the middle one out since the battery is in the way, 4 is enough though.
    [​IMG]

    Interesting fact. The back side, or left, is a lot thicker then the other. Bolts barely fit. I ended up only able to use one washer. Like an idiot though, I put it on the wrong side, should of mounted on the back side of the wall to distribute the load. I’ll fix that when I turn the bolts around.
    I used ¾ Grade 8 bolts (all the hardware store had enough of), large washers on both sides, and lock nuts to secure in place.

    All done and ready for the TF49
    [​IMG]

    I glued down rubber strip, from a door threshold, to act as a noise dampener, and so the fridge wasn’t resting on straight metal. The feet just miss the aluminum support.

    Rubber strips
    [​IMG]

    Fridge in place
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With this set-up, I have almost exactly 5” from bottom of fridge to the floor. Hope that’s enough for a Propex. Measurements online show it at being 4” tall, so just about an inch of room above.

    I removed the water fitting in the back, will come up with a better solution later. Also, I tried to plug the 3/8 fitting on the propane line, but the plug didn’t work. Plus, I think I might of stripped it out. FML. Luckily Karl from WestyVentures is a badass, and is sending me a part that I desperately needed.

    I also semi figured out what the wine is. It’s something electrical. If I turn off my radio it goes away, but with the radio on, I hear a very audible whine, that increases and decreases with accel/decel. Guess I’ll get that sorted after I research/study stereos for a couple days, so I can attack the current stereo situation.

    Got my top shocks in, will be installing those shortly, and adding pics for those that are actually still reading my babbles or people looking for pics of it.
    Jack is awesome to deal with, and helped out greatly. Real stand-up dude.

    Well, that pretty much finishes my list. Have the solar system on the way, and will be following up with it's install. As well as a propex in the near future.

    :freaky
    -Josh
    #13
  14. Cogswell

    Cogswell Spudly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,755
    Location:
    Riding with my pal Richard Cranium
    Enjoyed your opening story :clap

    Now ready to follow along for the rest of the journey.:freaky


    Mike
    #14
  15. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    13,906
    Location:
    Arkansas
    :lurk your vent tubes are probably dry rotted, or plastic cracked. buy metal kit.. it's pricier, but it will last the liftime. :D
    #15
  16. bobfab

    bobfab Long timer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,515
    Location:
    Westminster CO
    Im in!! Keep it coming!

    & go Phils!.... oh wait season is OVER :(
    #16
  17. SpeedoJosh

    SpeedoJosh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    834
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    Just snagged these couple goodies up.

    [​IMG]


    More coming in the mail :evil
    #17
  18. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    nice bus!!
    #18
  19. atadloco

    atadloco Ouch.. Ta Daaaaaa..

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Cow Hampshaaa
    Nice Josh. I have an 85 Westy I picked up in August (after I sold my 83 aircooled Westy), and same as you been working non stop on it getting the way I want it. Spring time comes the Subie 2.5...

    How do you like the truck fridge? Do you have it wired into your aux battery along with the solar setup? That's my winter project.

    Enjoy!!!
    #19