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Trashman Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Got the adjusters in today and didn't start on the end plates. Can't do any more work until Tuesday next week since the shop isn't open. I guess that means I have to work on that paint again for 4 days. I'll post some picture updates of that tomorrow or the next day as I haven't update you all on that in a bit. Here's a picture of the adjusters welded in. I've done a little more cleaning up of everything since this picture but you'll see that on Tuesday when I start with the end plates.

Trashman Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:36 pm

Did some more work on the paint today. Getting really close to having the passenger side of it finished. I finished spraying the rear panel and the color is a tad darker than the rest of the paint but I think that it's damn near close enough. I put a picture of the rear of the bus even though there isn't much progress but I want your guys' opinion. The plan was originally to paint the hatch like the other panel but the yellow is growing on me. What do you guys think, keep it or paint it?

Trashman Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:37 pm


Trashman Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:27 pm

I got all of the paint on the passenger side off and buffed and waxed it today. That means that I was finally able to put my trim on! I wasn't able to put on the rear corners though because of the one side still being all dented up and the other side has a little bit of paint that still needs to be removed. Other than that I'm super happy with the way that it's looking.

Trashman Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:53 pm

Today I did some more work on the beam. Wish I was able to accomplish a little bit more though. Isn't that always the case? I finally started work on the end plates and got them rough cut out with an oxy-acetylene torch and then clamped them together and finished them off with with an angle grinder. Then I went to drilling the holes. This is where I hit a snag. I started drilling the first hole and it went through like butter. I was really happy with the way it worked. On to the second hole, doing everything the same, my plate work hardened on me. Thinking that it could possibly be the bit, I switch bits to a brand new one. It didn't do a thing. Every hole there after did the same thing. It just seems so odd to me since the first one went through so nicely and I wasn't doing anything different on the others. Tomorrow I think I will try using a masonry bit since I've heard maybe people having success using those with hardened steel. Anyone have any other suggestions? After that strike to my motivation I started working on the tie rods. Got 2.5" cut out of both of them and Got them welded back together. Easy job. I won't bother saying my method since it seems everyone has their own opinion on how to narrow them and I'll just assure you that these are safe and stronger than they were when I took them off. Hopefully I can get that drilling issue sorted out this week and narrow the spring packs and then we should be ready to go!

And here is a picture of the beam all ready to receive the end plates.

Trashman Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:58 pm

Haven't updated this in a little bit and I figured I would share since I've been making a ton of progress on the beam. Actually, I finished it. All that's left is to install it. I've been able to spend more time in the shop the past week because I am now the monitor so I can get 24 hour access. Well, here are some pictures.

Spring packs narrowed, drilled, and ends chamfered.

Beam side plates and gussets welded on.

Temporary supports removed.

Center pin carrier welded back on.

Hanging up in the middle of painting.

And the finished product.

Now I just have to get that installed and then I cat move to the rear for making some drop plates. That should go much much quicker. Heck, I might even be driving the thing again by the end of the week. This is my daily driver by the way.

Trashman Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:04 pm

I had another productive day working on the bus today. I got the beam fitted up in the frame and bolted in with the help of my girlfriend. It fit perfectly. I couldn't be more pleased with the fit.

I haven't started put all the "accessories" back on the beam yet (like tie rods, spring packs, trailing arms, etc) since I needed to get started on the rear since my last day with shop access for this month is next thursday so I wanted to be extra sure that I had enough time and extra to finish any fabrication work that I need to do.

I really need to find a house with a garage or some kind of work space. I'm getting pretty tired of doing all this work on the street. :-({|= [-(

So with the rear I successfully removed both spring plates and tomorrow I will start (hopefully finish) in turning them into 3" drop plates. I'm pretty confident that it will be an easy job, since the hardest part is making sure I make them at the correct angle for camber's sake. Trying to avoid as much camber as possible back there. Not only do I think it looks bad on a bus, but I'm not rich and don't want to be putting new tires on there more often than I have to. If I was rich I would probably just be buying all these parts and we wouldn't really have much of a build thread going on here. :wink:

Speaking of being a cheap bastard, I've been contemplating on how I want to do my front end alignment. I've figured that the old string method is out of the picture since the front is now so much narrower than the rear. I found this thread and think this might be my bet but I want to see if anyone has any other methods or has tried this one and liked it. I really don't feel like having a shop adjuster one tie rod for around $90. If I can get it good enough to drive it 50 miles I can get it done on a rack for free.

Trashman Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:12 pm

I worked in the shop today on the drop plates for the rear and I was able to bust them out in no time. In fact, the part that took the longest amount of time was just figuring out how I was going to do it on paper. I ended up with 3" drop plates. I grinded the welds down on the front side for "show" and left them on the back for extra strength. The height might be a little bit lower since it's rubbing a little on the bump stop mount so I'll have to trim that a bit more. The whole process is pretty self explanatory so I'll just add a bunch of pictures.

Plates as I started with.

My original design.

Changed the design to this to fit the e-brake cables better.

Cut up.

Welded together (front side)

Welded together (back side)

Painted black.

In the bus with one spline lowered.

Bump stops removed.

Mocked up

Trashman Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:41 pm

Well today was the day. The day the bus was finally back on al four wheels and much lower than it was when it went up on jack stands. I'm all done with this job, for now at least. (New shocks, tubs, and rear notches to come) I only ran into two hiccups on this final stretch. First one was that one of the Wagenswest drop spindles was not allowing the bottom ball joint to move freely. I found that odd since the other one was fine. So all I did was do a bit of clearancing with an angle grinder on the spindle. Second one was that when I lowered the bus down, the passenger wheel well was sitting on the wheel, so I had to move one of the adjusters one tooth up. That means in the the next couple months I'll be putting some tubs in and dropping the front a little more. Also, I'll be notching the frame in the back to be able to get it more level with the front. But when I took the bus on its maiden voyage today, it became very apparent that I needed new shocks. That shit was BOUNCY. Anyone have any recommendations on some good lowered shocks? Anyways, heres some pictures.

Trashman Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Just one more picture.

Trashman Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:57 pm

Had a pretty productive weekend. I did a lot of maintenance stuff that seemed to all pop up at once but I'm probably just noticing it all now since I just finished a big project and I'm listening to every little squeak and rattle. First thing I did was replaced a bad wheel bearing. This I already knew about I just hadn't figured out which wheel it was. Turned out to be the passenger front. Easy fix.

Next off was a new rear wheel cylinder. I had noticed that I was leaving a wet spot under my drivers rear wheel and figured it was a leaky cylinder since all my lines were tight and I couldn't see the source off the leak (besides the fact that it looked as it was coming from inside the drum. Got that replaced and was even able to do it without removing the shoes completely.

Up next was a new throw out bearing. The old one that was in there had a fair amount of slop so I was glad I didn't pull the motor out for nothing.

While I had the motor out I also changed out the mounts as they were pretty well shot. The right side one was just holding together by a thread. Since I had the motor out I figured that it was as good of a time as any to finally get rid of that terrible yellow painted intake and generator stand. So I cleaned all of those up and gave them a nice new coat of black.

New wheel cylinder vs old

New wheel cylinder in

Old mount has seen better days

New mounts

Engine out (look at the yellow accents on the engine :x )

Yellow gone and black in its place

Trashman Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:22 pm

New shocks arrived in the mail today and I wasted no time getting them installed. Got the old blown monroe shocks out of there and the new KYB shocks in, all in less than 40 minutes. Took it on a test drive and it is an absolute night and day difference. I don't bounce 5 or more times for one bump in the road anymore. It drives like a car should. I would recommend these to anyone with a lowered bay. Here are some pics of the install.

I've really been enjoying the look of no hubcaps lately but I put them on today to see what they look like. I'm torn. What do you guys think? Hubcaps or no hubcaps?

Hikelite Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:28 pm

with hubcaps for sure 8)

Trashman Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:07 pm

Haven't posted an update for a while but I have been up to some things on the bus. I've been mainly focusing on getting prepped for all the rain that's going to drop in the near future. Most important was getting some windshield wipers since using just rain-x wasn't quite cutting it. With being a '68, getting the correct wiper arms proved more expensive than what I thought it was worth. What I ended up doing was retrofitting some '69 and up wiper arms. The way I did this was I tapped some threads onto the wiper shafts that are on the bus and then tapped the same threads into the inside of the new wiper arms. I then just screwed on the arms to the shafts and put a lock nut on each, all with some thread locker. Over the past couple months they have been working great.

The wiper arms and blades that I got looked far too new so I sanded then down with some high grit sandpaper to knock down the shine some they didn't stick out like a sore thumb. I also went down to bare metal in a few spot just to make it match the bus a little better. I think they look pretty darn good. And the best part is that they even work! Hahaha

I also did some sound deadening, primarily in the doors so that I can seal them up with a vapor guard so that the water that drips down into the door isn't able to get into the bus itself. I also finally got door seals since I didn't have a single one and the water would just pour inside if I ever washed the thing. I got both real German and Brazilian seals so we'll see how much better the German seals really are and if they're worth the extra money.

The seals are finally starting to wear in a bit so that I can actually close the doors fully without slamming the door as hard as I could. Between the seals and the sound deadening, the rattling noises are considerably less. I still want to completely cover the entire area over the engine compartment to cut down the engine noise but it's still definitely more drivable now.

Next up is window seals as mine are all 100% shot and they soak up water like a sponge and spit it out inside the bus. I wish I could start putting in an interior but those efforts would be useless until I can get it at least semi-water tight. I've decided that I'm definitely going to use real German seals for the windows as I want the fit to be perfect if I'm putting in the work.

Trashman Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:02 pm

Ordered some YOM plates the other day and got them in the mail today with the correct registration year sticker to I can get them registered for the bus. They even have the correct month sticker on them already so I don't have to buy that. I know you are supposed to use the new, blue month sticker that the dmv gives you, or you are supposed to put the sticker on one of those mouse ear metal tabs. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to try and make it look like these are the plates that the bus has always had which is why I'm keeping the old red sticker and not using the tabs. I'll be going into the DMV on Monday hopefully and I'll let you all know how smoothly (or not) the whole process goes. But Here's what they look like. Little rough around the edges but I figured it was perfect to match the crustiness of the bus (and dinged up plates are so much cheaper than nice ones).

Vova Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:30 pm

Great looking bus.
I live off Summit Rd and 17. When my bus is road worthy id like to come by and take a look at yours. I'm in Santa Cruz all the time.

Amskeptic Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:00 am

Can that poor bus clear the ubiquitous speed bumps and driveway drainage channels out there?

Trashman Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:33 am

Vova wrote: Great looking bus.
I live off Summit Rd and 17. When my bus is road worthy id like to come by and take a look at yours. I'm in Santa Cruz all the time.

Thanks! Your westy looks killer! I'd love to check it out myself. I've been waiting for a Santa Cruz aircooled or even bus only meet. I think I might talk to Bus Junkies to get something started.

Amskeptic wrote: Can that poor bus clear the ubiquitous speed bumps and driveway drainage channels out there?

Colin, yes my poor bus can make it over speed bumps and up driveways with ease. I still take the thing camping as well and it does the job with no problem.

khalimadeath Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:06 am

Nice work, You could paint the hubcaps and wheels the OEM color,

Hub cap: L 70 X grey silver.
Wheel disc, rim: L 581 cloud white

I think it would look cool with the OEM blue, some paint shops will mix up the OEM paint in a spray can for easy painting..

See OEM paint colors here

Just a thought!

69Weekender Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:52 pm

I dig this bus.
Really got me debating slamming mine now.

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