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installing Bus Depot z-bed kit in a non-camper vanagon?
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extender
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: installing Bus Depot z-bed kit in a non-camper vanagon? Reply with quote

bought z-bed kit from Bus Depot for non-camper 81 vanagon.

My vanagon is not a camper but I want to convert it to an OVERNIGHTER, meaning I would like the z-bed to go the whole width of it.

I'm not a lightweight and neither is my wife, and am over 6', so I need a big bed.

have read numerous links on installing z-beds but they are either about different mecanisms or for older camper buses.

The instructions I got from Bus Depot kit leave much to be desired and pieces are missing, even though what they show as the kit on their website is what you get. The missing pieces are referred to but don't come with it.

Has anyone actually installed this z-bed kit in a vanagon and, if so, would you mind sharing this info with me?

I have a lady ready to do the re-upholstering at a very reasonable price at this very moment but she won't do it until the z-bed is actually installed.

H E L P !!!
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extender
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: installing Bus Depot z-bed kit in a non-camper vanagon Reply with quote

H E L P !!! - no one is answering my post. I really do need your assistance. Thank you.
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe one of these will help.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/search.php?search..._chars=200
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Dennis Perusse
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to dig this out of my archives. I hope that this helps. I have a picture of the side pieces to the bed but I still need to find them. I hope that this helps you. Smile

Dennis




Dimensions for the parts are as follows.
>
>
> the bottom piece (the part that your butt sits on)
> 5' 1" X 1' 4.5"
>
> the back piece ( the part that your back rests on)
5' 1" X 16.25"
>
> the base piece ( these is the part that your side brackets
> attach to plus where the bottom piece sits on) 5'1.50" X 11"
>
> Note: On the base piece since you have brackets that keep
> the bottom piece level you'll need to cut two notches on
> your base piece about 15" inside from the ends of each
> side of the wood.
>
>
> All plywood should be 3/4 inch
> plywood which can be had a the local home improvement
> store. As for the nuts n' bolts I can't
> remember which I used. Either go to Just Kampers's
> forums (which is like the Samba's in many ways) and
> search under bed hinges, the size will be said by a few
> people. Just Kampers are the ones who make the hinges and
> Bus Depot just resells them.
> The other way is to just bring a hinge
> over to the local home improvement store and find a nut and
> a bolt that is slightly longer than what the wood would be
> plus the space of the metal that the hinge is made
> from. Best of luck to you and, when you get a momment,
> send me a pic or two as I am interested to see how it would
> look in your bus. I did mine 4 times as I had no clue how it
> was supposed to go together. Lastly make sure you have
> someone with you to both check measurements and to help you
> get the cuts right. A table saw is handy although it
> can be done via jigsaw which is probably why I ended up
> doing it 4 times. Smile
>
> sincerely;
>
> dennis perusse
>
> ps Here is what I have found on the Just Kampers site if you are handy with metric. This was from someone else's postings but if you work better with metric than this might be better for you.

I built mine last week and it took 2 days to work out the measurements alone and JK were no help at all.

For a full size bed the board sizes need to be:

Back: 1470W x 470H x 20D mm (or atleast 18mm ply)
Base: 1465W x 550H x 20D mm

as recommended by 'Rsaville' and I completely agree with this. If you are doing a 3/4 size you will need to lesser the Width to the size you want, just remember to reduce the base board by 5mm to accomodate the hinge.

The box base height is debatable. It could be anywhere between 33cm-36cm high. The best way to work this out is is to attach the supports to a piece of timber (2x1'' will do) and lay it flat on the metal base at the back. measure the difference from the middle lip on the support to the floor and that is the height the frame needs to be. Your side timber frames that support the hinge itself will need to be 28mm less than the box frame height, to allow for clearance when moving and should help your tilt seat angle.

I would start by making the two wooden side support frames inc 18mm ply before anything else. Use your side wall panel boards as a template to get the curve over the wheel arch flush and then work out your height as above. I worked out the distance from the wheel arch across the floor to the front of the box to be 204mm and the top measurement 478mm (from the lip on the hinge in front of the body support bit.) You can then make a timber frame for the fascia of the box in front of that.
You would be best to use 8mm gutter bolts to attach the hinges to the board as it is going to be taking your weight, 6mmx 30mm bolts appears to be perfect for attaching the boards to the hinges.
Drill a hole for your first bolt in the side board 53mm from the back (body support end) and 50mm down from the top of your board. Set up your hinge into the bed position and put in the one bolt, then raise the hinge up and down until you find the correct position when the bed is then level with your metal base and then mark your hole. You can then use this to replicate on the otherside. Once this is correct the rest of it should be relatively easy, make sure when you put the back and seat panels on that they sit butt flush to each other when in the bed positon.

The supports will go on last, again best to work out when in the bed position but leave enough space from the front to allow them to sit just behind the front fascia which can act as a stop incase of sliding forward with passengers on it. It is worth running another piece of baton between the supports as a further support to weight when up in a bed.

I hope this helps??!!!




another way:

Dimensions:
Back: 1470 x 470 x 20mm
Base: 1465 x 550 x 20mm

Facia height from floor to where the base rests on it is 333mm
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extender
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: installing Bus Depot z-bed kit in a non-camper vanagon Reply with quote

thank you both for your information. It will prove invaluable.

Would anyone have step-by-step pictures? kinda lost on this one.
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Dennis Perusse
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give me a day or two to dig through my archives. I might still have some pics of the build.



Dennis
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extender
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: installing a bus depot z-bed in a non camper vanagon Reply with quote

Right on - that would be great!

I really don't want to make a mess of it. I just yesterday bought 2 full sheets of maple 1/2" plywood totalling $100. +, $20 of bolts, small corner angle irons, etc., so I'm up to $250 (including of course, the z-bed). I have the tools to do the work and pictures would really help.

I'm pretty sure a lot of people are looking for this info, as there are many similar posts but not too many with useful info. as to installing Bus Depot z-bed kits in later vw van models - the squarer version (vanagons), as opposed to the older rounded vans.

You can be sure I'll be checking my post quite often.
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pizzavandriver
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: installing a bus depot z-bed in a non camper vanagon Reply with quote

extender wrote:

I'm pretty sure a lot of people are looking for this info, as there are many similar posts but not too many with useful info. as to installing Bus Depot z-bed kits in later vw van models - the squarer version (vanagons), as opposed to the older rounded vans.


yep, i've searched the archive and came away with still many questions unanswered and probably even more confused. please post a detailed description of your install. there's more than one way of going about this, so one more documented procedure will always help!
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I for one would be interested in details when you are done. I have the fold down seat in my van but a z bed is way easier to lower. I also want to raise the seat to match the height of a raised engine lid which seems like it would be easy with a z-bed. I think the z-bed back is free standing so I think I could just make the support base a few inches taller.

Anyway if you document it, please provide details.
Thanks
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shmcquilkin
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not in vanagons, but using the same mechanism:
http://www.aircooledtech.com/camper_interior/z-bed_install/

http://volkswagens.wikia.com/wiki/How_we_fitted_JK_Hinged_RockNRoll_bed_into_a_split_bus

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=305157&start=0

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=352049

Good tidbit of info:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=313197

Smile
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Dennis Perusse
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the site that has the template that you'll need to do the job. Copy that pic and you'll be okay when you build it. In fact that is the site that I used when I built mine for my vanagon.



Dennis


http://volkswagens.wikia.com/wiki/How_we_fitted_JK_Hinged_RockNRoll_bed_into_a_split_bus
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