Pokey the Wunderbus!

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Inane Cathode, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,608
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    I think i should just start a build thread on my project here instead of bugging people in the regional forum ><

    Pokey is a 1976 vw westfalia camper with a blown up motor. Or, partially blown up. Cylinder 3 has almost zero compression (i got it to 4 psi once!). Pokey will be getting a 2.2l sohc subaru motor this winter/spring. The goal is to get it done, tested, and take it on a road trip up to montana this summer. Theres lots of work ahead, but i would like to think i know what i'm doing (what is that saying of best laid plans?).

    I've done this sort of thing once before, last summer, when i pulled the anemic 1600 air cooled lump out of my beetle (poor quality ignition parts roasted one of the cylinders, completely my fault) and stuffed in the same engine pokey will be getting. I learned a few things along the way with that, so this time around it should be a bit easier.

    Anyhow, this will just be a pictures-with-text type of thing and i'd be happy to answer questions, comments, concerns, and threats along the way.
    #1
  2. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,608
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    The first few posts will be from a build thread i have going on another forum, so please excuse the improper tenses :)

    Alrighty well i talked to KEP and they say that as long as i use the 200mm clutch i can use the 200mm flywheel with any transmission. The bellhousing/input shaft confusion was just that. The input shafts are the same, but the bellhousing is larger to accept a larger flywheel. I opted to go with a 200mm kit with a much stronger pressure plate as there are far more options as far as pressure plates and clutch disks go.
    Here's some pictures of the beast:

    Ubiquitous interior shot:
    [​IMG]

    Sure is slow driving on THREE CYLINDERS!?
    [​IMG]

    This is the good side, the other is barf green:
    [​IMG]

    And of course the lowly japanese lump that'll push it around some day:
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,608
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    Woo! I got my harness, ecu, and exhaust manifold today. I got the harness the old fashioned way and tore the entire thing out without cutting anything (except obviously not engine stuff, namely the umbilical going back to the rear of the car).

    That is ALOT of work, although the car was already mostly taken apart (steering wheel off, dash loosened). I had to take the dash out (unhook all the wires from it) take out the dash support frame (big piece of steel going left to right that stiffens the car) the heater blower (nice unitized construction, i might use that for my heater) evaporator core and box, heater core and box.

    So now i have about 40 pounds in wiring i have to pare down to whatever is running the engine, shouldnt be too hard. Alot easier (technically not physically) than what i did with the Volksaru (i cut the computer harness, and the engine harness, and put them together later).

    I'll get my camera going, this bundle of wires is pretty impressive.

    Edit: Got some pictures

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,608
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    Fat trimmed
    [​IMG]

    Lean retained :)
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,608
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    Update!

    Did some more work with pokey today. More fat trimming:
    [​IMG]

    This motor is absolutely gigantic. I could live in the engine compartment after the engine is removed:
    [​IMG]

    In fact i think i might just do that:
    [​IMG]


    Hmm, something is missing i just cant quite put my finger on it:
    [​IMG]


    That is all, have a good day.
    #5
  6. El Guero

    El Guero V4 Whore

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,727
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    I have had dreams about going on goofy adventures in a Westy and you may have figured out how to remove the major bummer of such an undertaking :lol3 Is the VW to Subi conversion common or straightforward at all?
    #6
  7. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,137
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    Please don't take this wrong, but isn't that a lot of trouble to go to for a vehicle that seems to have rather bad case of Tinworm? I mean, I could see it if you were working with a rust-free barn or garage find, but it seems to me you could just as easily have named him Rusty. :ear
    #7
  8. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,608
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    The biggest aim of the project is to have a functional camper/daily driver type bus. Even if i had a completely functional in every way brand new stock motor in there, it still wouldnt be functional. God bless the guys that can deal with 60hp in a 3600 pound truck but for the terrain around here that's just begging to be rear ended.

    Its hard to tell some times if its straight forward, i think it's pretty straight forward and actually not that hard at all in a carving-an-elephant sort of way. Theres nothing really tricky about it that i can tell. For example: There is no cooling system, so you have to build one. But a cooling system is just a series of tubes and a radiator, with a fan coming on when it needs to.

    The sub thing transformed my beetle from a godawful slow dont-take-it-on-the-interstate and maybe-it'll-start-today sort of vehicle to a 7% grade at 70mph, starts-when-it's-4* out sort of vehicle. I've put 15k miles on the beetle so far and have only had obvious problems (radiator mount wasnt good enough, rubbed a hole in the radiator, old crappy rad hoses developed leaks, things like that).

    It's pretty common elsewhere (aus, uk, etc) and more so with watercooled vanagons (i like the bread loaf shape myself). The good thing is theres /lots/ of space to work with with a bus, i can tuck the rad lines up under the floor, computers have spaces to live in and so forth.

    Meh, it is what it is i suppose. It's kinda hard to find any rust free buses, especially in my price range. If its rust free its restored, and if its restored i couldnt afford it. Rust is something i can fix along the way if i want. The rest of it is in pretty good shape (does need new seats, brake work) so I think it's worth it :)

    As far as the extent of rust is concerned its not too bad actually. Both front dog legs (the little joggy thing under the front doors) need to be replaced (one is bent actually), part of the body rail under the not-sliding door side needs to be replaced, part of the lower B pillar, and i think a little section under the front apron. Theres nothing structural at all, and the vast majority of the flat panels are rust free, i think theres one blistery spot. When i got it, i made absolutely sure the frame and pan were rust free, they are. Body panels are easy to replace, frame pieces not so much (at least safely). It does need paint though, obviously! I'm thinking desert tan (flat) or something along those lines.
    #8
  9. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,915
    Location:
    El Segundo, CA
    I wax and wane on the idea of fixing mine up or just selling it as is.

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. DireWolf

    DireWolf Knees in the Breeze

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    13,471
    Location:
    In the Mustard Booyah. Whooop!!
    You have very long big toes.
    #10
  11. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    13,406
    Location:
    Cow Hampsha, (NH, USA)
    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. swede7000

    swede7000 Regular user...problem???

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,667
    Location:
    Ogden, Utah
    Nice!

    My neighbor is a bit of a VW junky (mildly... something like 6 bugs, 2 ghias, a station wagon, a thing, and a westfalia)! Last summer he picked up a clean westy and did the subary conversion. Seemed simple enough (he bought a whole swap kit somewhere?). I think it has somewhere over 200hp and runs soo smooth. Good luck with yours!

    karl
    #12
  13. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,137
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    Cool. Good to hear it. :thumb
    #13
  14. airgord

    airgord What am I doing out here!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    849
    Location:
    Eloy, AZ.
    Do those Subaru swaps allow for A/C?
    #14
  15. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass Awful Kanauphyl

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,120
    Location:
    The Lost Coast of California
    Good for you! Years ago I put together two halves of a 74 and 75 Westy to build my family a nice camper. The one that ended up being the parts car came with a Buick V6 in it that had 5 radiators and 3 heater cores placed inside and under the bus. Thankfully it didn't run when I bought it. I ended up with a nice, very slow stocker - automatic tranny too!
    I'll be watching your posts.
    Tom
    #15
  16. CaptTeach

    CaptTeach Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    209
    Location:
    Grenada - MS....... not the Island!!!!
    I've got one of these - I figured to just boost the HP of the stock engine which is really not that hard to get 90-100hp out of one.

    Mine kinda stalled as more customer projects came into the shop. Need to finish up the body work and then do the Lizard Skin and paint the interior. I have already cut the bamboo for the floor and the camper cushions are done. Other mods to come include custom bumpers, elevation change up about 2in and proper sized all terrain tires to fill the holes.

    Looking forward to seeing how yours comes along
    #16
  17. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,999
    Location:
    The Old Pueblo



    What year is the GPZ?



    .
    #17
  18. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,608
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    In the shots pictured you might find the following:
    1983 gpz (just rebuilt the motor, not mine)
    1976 rd400 (just sold this to my brother to finance the Pokey Project)
    1981 tt500
    1965 caprice coupe/4door (also not mine)
    1967 ct90 (just put a new piston in it, but i got something goofy in the reduction box so it binds)

    Update, dateline The Woods, temperature:20f wind:~20mph
    The garage, as it were:
    [​IMG]
    The motor is installed, sort of. It's up against the trans, the splines are meshed, but no nuts are on yet.
    [​IMG]
    I had a hangup with one of the heater lines it took me a bit to find. I cut the hose off and bent the top line down about half an inch. I had to remove the EGR valve, it stuck out too much. Theres no way to rig it so the egr can stay, so i'll be making (40 dollars for a block off plate, lol) a plate to cover it.
    [​IMG]

    I want to leave the throttle body as it is because i'd rather not go through the nightmare of the alternator versus the iac again. I also would like to see if i can run an a/c compressor as a regular compressor, just flip a switch and it'll start pushing air. Hmm.

    Anyhow, i'll have to zip the nuts down, then go to work on making the motor mounts hook up to the frame. I'll be using the stock hangers on the frame, and the stock motor mounts on the engine. Maybe some square stock going up to the mount, to the other side, then back out to the other mount.
    The motor is probably the physically hardest part. Nothing real tricky about it, line it up, push it in. I had an issue with the ramps being too high, so i had to jack up the right side, take the ramp out, and set it down on a jack stand thats about 9 inches lower. That did the trick :)

    (thanks to joz on advrider for lending me his atv jack. worked perfectly just the way i hoped it would :))
    #18
  19. Joz

    Joz What could go wrong?

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,940
    Location:
    Colorado
    :thumb Glad the ATV/Bike jack did its job. Looks like a great project! I love your 'garage'! Looks a bit drafty.
    #19
  20. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,843
    Location:
    Nelson area, Kootenai, BC, Canada
    Nice "garage" I C. Been there done that; done with that! :bow
    #20