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1977 VW 7-Passenger Bus Project Last Updated 10/10/2009 This project began in August 2008 and was completed except for a few small items such as installing.

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Presentation on theme: "1977 VW 7-Passenger Bus Project Last Updated 10/10/2009 This project began in August 2008 and was completed except for a few small items such as installing."— Presentation transcript:

1 1977 VW 7-Passenger Bus Project Last Updated 10/10/2009 This project began in August 2008 and was completed except for a few small items such as installing a Z-bed, curtains, setting rear ride height and alignment on 10/5/2009. In August 2008 we purchased a 1977 VW type-2 (transporter bus) that was sitting in a pasture in Newcastle, CA. The bus had been used until it died in late 2007. A subsequent inspection of the “GD” engine showed that a rod bearing had spun, ruining the case, crank and rod. We purchased a similar “GD” long block several days later from a party in West Sacramento. It was from a 1978 VW camper where the owner had recently sold the camper and no longer wanted the spare engine. Initial research on body and paint restoration became the first major challenge. After speaking with multiple local body shops, it was apparent that either no one did that kind of work, or the shops saw it as a way to make a hefty profit. Then we found West Coast Auto Craft. ( After speaking with Jaret and Chris, we decided that since they wanted our business at a reasonable price, and they appeared to do good work, we would give them the bodywork job.

2 We stripped every thing off the bus except for wiring and the dash, and Chris arranged to pick the VW up on a flat bed trailer. First it went to the stripper who took the paint off and who primed it with an etching primer. Chris then picked it up again, took it to his shop, did the body work, painting, and then returned it. The final price on the body work was quite fair and the work excellent – especially considering that rust was found in the roof. As promised, Chris brought the body work and paint in on budget. I would give him another car without hesitation if I had one. The headliner and much of the interior work was done by Highlands Upholstery in Sacramento. They are an outstanding shop. The owner, Joe, comes from a family that has done much of the auto interiors in Sacramento since the early 1950’s through the various shops the family owns. Joe has done work for me on three or four cars. Seat covers and headliner are BusDepot (TMI). Front glass is PPG, the rest is original. There are photos following this which show the steps and the final work in progress in reverse order. RIMCO in Santa Ana did the engine machine work and I did all the assembly of engine, trans, interior and exterior with the help of my lady friend Cathy. A list of vendors we used is included. 2009. Steve Kent

3 Shops and businesses used and recommended (no specific order) West Coast Restoration for body and paint Jerry’s Paint Supply for paint and body shop supplies Elmer’s Welding – best welders in Sacramento Crew at Bus Depot Eric at Bug Haus Scott at German Supply Ken at Busco Chris at Busted Bus Tognotti’s Riebes Napa Richard at OeVeeDub Go Westy Wolfsburg West Wolfgang Inc. Crew at Bus Boys KombiHaus The Samba classifieds North Highlands Upholstery Niello VW If we missed you it wasn’t intentional. Interstate VW in Lake Elsinore Todd at RIMCO – Santa Ana WebCam Camshafts – Riverside Richard at Long Enterprises Del’s Machine Shop Roseville Towing Gabe’s Lock and Keys JBugs Phil Eslin Bugformance Sacramento USPS American Stripping Robert at Fuel Injection Corporation

4 10//05/09 Adjusted AFR with LM-1 and passed California Smog!!!!!!!

5 Motor is in


7 Other than a few small items it is done!!!

8 Finished Motor 9/20/2009. Need to test oil pressure and for leaks then install

9 Almost Done – 9/19/2009


11 Coming Along 9/16/2009

12 Labor Day Weekend 2009 – The Motor Goes Together Short block and Long block

13 <- New Engine Specs 7.3 :1 Factory Engine specs ->

14 Engine Rebuild Machine Work and Parts RImco – resize rods, align bore, rework heads, cyl base shims, polish crank. Reface lifters (WebCam approved), and complete balance. Bearings – Mahle all the way around. KS were too loose on camshaft. 003 main clearance, 1.8 rod clearance. WebCam – stock solid lifter and new aluminum cam gear. (.009 – 2.0 lash,.002 end play) New Mahle pistons and cylinders Victor Reinz gasket set. New T4 oil pump. Assortment of Curcil products, assembly lube, oils, greases. Loctites, Teflon sealants, Ultra-Copper Silcone etc Elmer’s welding mig’d up the cracks in the tin etc. The Grit Guy provided glass beads to clean so many parts. German Supply had some things no one else seemed to be able to get. VWOA was the source for some of the new bolts – rod and head nuts etc. McMaster-Carr provided some of the misc nuts and bolts used in the engine.

15 8/15/2009 - The interior, exterior, chassis, transmission, suspension, and electrical are finished. All that remains is the engine. The parts are machined. Hopefully all that will need to be done is blueprint it and assemble it. Even the dog has claimed her space in the bus as she hops in it while we are working on it, hoping we will “go for a ride.”




19 Engine hatch and new masonite.

20 New window scrapers

21 Dash Restored and reinstalled

22 The Instrument Cluster is cleaned. Took 2 to get 1 good one.

23 5/25/09 Dash is out – checking wiring, replacing switches, cleaning up stripping debris & painting.

24 5/24/09 Front Door Interiors Primed and Painted

25 Elmer’s Mobile Welding fixed broken welds on clutch cable tube.

26 May 9, 2009. Bled and adjusted brakes, Pedal Cluster Not much to report today. Bled the brakes and followed the orange manual to adjust the emergency brake. It works really well now. Rebuilt the brake and clutch pedal cluster. The brake spring from Bus Depot did not fit so I shot-peened the old spring and painted it. Pedals are nice and smooth. All the wheels are on and tightened down. Wish I had some nice non-dented hubcaps. Found a mud dabber nest while cleaning out the frame rail that the clutch went into. The PO complained that the clutch cable and pedal used to bind – wonder why, the whole area was full of mud from the nests.


28 Finished the rear suspension tonight. Everything is back together, just need to bleed the brakes now. Almost the entire brake system is new. Photos show the rear hub being used to pull in the outer bearing inner race, the assembled components and the wheel back on. The wheels were stripped and repainted. Won’t know if the rear is the right height until the engine is in.

29 May 8, 2009 Rear Suspension We have been busy with the bus these last few months. The rear brakes have been redone, and the rear suspension cleaned up, checked and re-bushed. This weekend we will bleed the brakes and it will be a moveable bus again! Here are before and during clean-up photos. Rear suspension is being completely restored to like new. Notice the old blown shock – was in 2 pieces, no wonder it hopped like a rabbit.

30 Front / Rear Suspension and Brakes. Refresh 2/17/2009 Top left to right: front before, torsion arm refresh, front brake restored, using a spatula glued top a stick to clean old grease out of the beam tubes, old inner beam bearing,

31 1/20/2009 Have been very busy – mostly running VW errands. Wheels were blasted, primed and painted. Getting new Hankook RA08 ‘s from Leonard and Randy at Radial Tire Service on Cottage Way in Sacramento. Best tire shop in Northern California. (916) 481-7007 Finished the 091 refresh. New cross shaft, bushings, all new seals, new ball in the nosecone, new steel plate from Rick Long to fix where the bearing wore into the nose about.008, new T/O bearing etc. Getting ready for brakes and wheel bearings. Had some trouble finding GL-4, Stalube is about all that is left. Notice the “Cosmoline” on the trans like original. It is “CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor” in a spray can. (like Tectyl 846 used on Porsches to slow the magnesium from oxidizing). Right now I smell it on my hands. What memories the smell brings.

32 1/15/2009 Sliding door is in and finished. Works like a charm.

33 Seats are all in – Dec 20, 2008

34 December 14 Dash is painted and Sunroof is in and working!

35 December 13, 2008 Sunroof Seal is in

36 December 13, 2008 Windows have started to go in, front bumper back on.

37 Dec 5, 2008. Headliner is done, seats and pedestal are covered. Sound deadening has been added to the interior.

38 11/24/08 Except for Doors, Interior is painted.

39 Fuel Tank in and Firewall on

40 11/16/08 We painted the engine compartment today!

41 11/15/08 The Nose is almost back to normal



44 Home Again and Ready to Reassemble Look – No Dent!!

45 Primed

46 Damaged Panel Off

47 Sunroof Rust Found!

48 More after blasting

49 After Blasting

50 Items off almost off and Ready to Go

51 Close up of some dents.

52 Pressure washing Off goes the grime, dirt, black-widow spiders (lots), weeds that had grown into it etc.. Look at the dent on the left middle panel.

53 M-Code – Delivered in Germany on buy, drive Europe and ship home.

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