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  View original topic: A promise, patience, and persistence - My 1974 Westfalia thread Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4 ... 17, 18, 19  Next
white74westy Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:00 pm

After the luggage rack was removed, my buddy took a buffing wheel to the paint up there. No UV damage, very little weather etc. It was amazing to see how beautiful the paint was, as it came back to life!


Man I wish the whole bus could have been polished and brought back like that!

Also, I love finding things like this along the way, and as such I tried to document them. This was an inspector's sign off, inside the right front headlight housing:

white74westy Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:10 pm

Oops! I forgot to mention one other little spot. Driver's side window:



Grafted a piece in from a donor bus, that was an orange, 1974:



white74westy Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:31 pm

The nosecone required a lot of attention!!!

I bought the bus with a spare mounted to the front. Some deformation occurred because of it. The PO also blamed a "small blemish" on his wife, along with a bevy of other things. I couldn't help wonder at the time, when he was telling me about them all, "why would you continue to allow her to abuse the vehicle, if you knew she was responsible for all of these things...or, here's an idea, maybe she wasn't the one to blame, after all. :idea: :roll: :wink: At least he admitted responsibility for wielding the ball hammer and no dolly to help reshape the "small blemish." :evil:

Again, I can not reiterate strongly enough, just how fortunate I am! Being able to witness someone that has mastered his or her craft is really rewarding! Shrinking and stretching metal when it is required...hours of dolly work. Totally amazing!




riverside66 Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:14 am

I've read through this before, but for some reason missed the fact that you're in Jax! We'll have to meet up sometime!

white74westy Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:51 pm

riverside66 wrote: I've read through this before, but for some reason missed the fact that you're in Jax! We'll have to meet up sometime!

Absolutely! PM sent. 8)

white74westy Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:18 pm

After I would leave the bodyshop, I would try to keep myself busy, doing things like rebuilding the wiper motor. My philosophy has been, "slow and steady." I tell everyone that will listen the same thing..."how do you eat the elephant? one bite at a time." This has worked very well for me! I try to do at least one thing that is related to the bus per day. That one thing might be 1 minute, 1 hour or an entire day's worth of work, but after a while they all start to add up.

This was by far, my least favorite project on the bus!!! Getting it apart was easy! Cleaning everything was easy! Lubing it properly...you guessed it, nice and easy! Putting this bastard back together was awful! Little brushes flying across the room, while the magnetized portion tried to bring one side of the housing over too quickly, was not my idea of fun. I swore. A lot!!! I read Colin's write up and looked over a couple others, however if anyone has a better way to do this, I would gladly take the lessons. That said, I hope I never have to do it again!







While I was in there, I went ahead and had the gear rebuilt. This guy does a nice job of it: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=17209

I got the gear back:

Put it all back together and moved on to the next project that needed attention.

Oddly enough, as I was putting the wiper motor back together and getting more and more frustrated, I had scenes from Happy Gilmore playing in my head:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-br7JKuaZHQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkOxJF1wiWY

I dunno...I read a couple of peoples' write-ups and you were supposed to "just guide the nosecone home" :evil: :roll: :shock: :lol:

WildIdea Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:20 pm

I subscribe to the same program of at least one little thing a day for the bus. I even count a quick stop at the hardware store as progress. I think that is the way to get a bus you know and have a trusting relationship with.

Your obviously way into this project, cant wait to see where it goes.

white74westy Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:15 pm

WildIdea wrote: I subscribe to the same program of at least one little thing a day for the bus. I even count a quick stop at the hardware store as progress. I think that is the way to get a bus you know and have a trusting relationship with.

Your obviously way into this project, cant wait to see where it goes.

Thanks for checking it out! I agree. I find that sometimes, the one little thing helps keep the obsessive part of my OCD in check...some days. :lol:

white74westy Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:39 pm

So while the bodywork continued, other things began to get cleaned up, sanded and prepped. Strangely enough, I was volunteered to do a lot of this work. I enjoy working with my hands, so it is nice to be able to help out and to learn from people as I'm going along. I've been watching and helping out here and there at my friend's bodyshop for the better part of 15 years. I still learn something new, every time I start to work.

Filthy...kinda amazing how much grime builds up back there.


Quick wipe down with a degreaser.


Lots of degreaser, elbow grease and sanding, in preparation for paint.



I recognize that some people have had mixed results with POR 15 products of all sorts. I followed the instructions implicitly and have had nothing but greats results from all of the products used:



Lots of glue and grime that needed to be removed:



"Grab that DA and get started..."
This is one of those things that could potentially get ugly fast. You can't get too aggressive with the fiberglass. There is a happy medium. I am thankful to have had an experienced set of eyes watching over my shoulder, to make sure I was doing alright:






"Oh...and while you're at it, why don't you go ahead and sand these too..."

No DA here, just good old fashioned sanding done by hand:


Getting closer:



I got to the shop late one afternoon and they were spraying a Benz in a beautiful single stage. "I've got some extra in the gun, wanna do your wipers and engine cover?"

Hell Yeah!!!:


white74westy Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:55 pm

A little primer here and a little primer there:




This was a little teaser of what was to come. Once again, he had been working on another vehicle in white and asked if I wanted to see what it might look like. Plus it gave me a chance to see how things looked after the Westfalia stickers had been removed.


Before:


After:


When you start seeing things like this, it is really hard to contain your excitement...even knowing how much lies ahead of you!!!

white74westy Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:07 pm

Hours turn to days, days into weeks, and weeks into months. It all starts to add up in bunches. Some days can certainly be more frustrating than others! But, putting one foot in front of the other and slowly chipping away helps keep the finish line in sight. The amount of area that needs to be covered with primer and then block sanded, over and over is truly remarkable! These panels seem to go on for ever.

Getting close to being ready for primer on the body:


The man is a wizard...a wizard I tell ya!
More grinding and shaping, done on the windshield:




The primer has been applied and the block sanding commences:




Happy with that round, he laid down another layer of primer to the nosecone.

I remember taking this picture and being so giddy, as the primer was still wet and I could almost start imagining what she might look like in the future.

On to the long panels. This is where I think the real credit is deserved! I must go on the record as saying that "they didn't come from the factory that straight!" I can't begin to tell you how many times I said that. It didn't matter, the man would not let it go! His response every time was "my name is going on it." This is a man that takes great pride in his work...so much so, that he is often too hard on himself, at least in my estimation. Either way, I greatly appreciate all of his incredible efforts! As I mentioned earlier, I've spent a little time around a bodyshop and long straight panels are not much fun for anyone! I am tickled with the results! In order to achieve them, however, a great number of days were spent getting them where he was happy. I would have been satisfied weeks prior to the final approval. There was lots of this:



Spike0180 Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:11 am

white74westy wrote:

Oh, this picture brings up such wonderful horrible great and painful memories. lol I wouldn't trade them for the world (but I would for my wife and kids any day). Keep it going, you're getting close and it's looking good.

white74westy Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Spike0180 wrote:
Oh, this picture brings up such wonderful horrible great and painful memories. lol I wouldn't trade them for the world (but I would for my wife and kids any day). Keep it going, you're getting close and it's looking good.

Hey Spike0180,

Thanks for the encouragement! 8)

white74westy Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:32 pm

Returning to the idea of staying busy, I would come home and try to do at least one thing to help the project progress. In between coats of primer, and whatever body work was required, I elected to keep my hands busy with projects like polishing bits and pieces. Some people may really dislike this type of thing. I don't mind it so much! I enjoy the satisfaction of bringing new life to older things. Plus, so much of what is being manufactured today is inferior to what was originally produced. Just a polishing wheel from HF, some good tunes, sit down and find a rhythm. As with most things, I find that taking my time nets the best results.

Started out with the mirrors:



Little bit different:

Finished. Ready to mount:


Next, I moved on to the door handles, locks and latches:





From there, I moved on to the hubcaps. 40+ years of road grime:





Next on the list were the headlight trim rings. I was amazed by how much of a difference polishing made. It is really nice to see them mounted on fresh paint:







All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the results!

white74westy Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:30 pm

The last of the bodywork.

The remaining items included the rear hatch, engine hatch panel and the slider. The pieces were massaged, primed, sanded, and primed again until a satisfactory result was achieved.






Just getting to this point was an incredible exercise! As I have stated before, the magic of the internet is the way it makes months melt into mere moments. All of this work took a very long time, but I feel it was worth every second! All of the aggravations, frustrations and stumbling blocks seem to fade away as the satisfaction of know I'm moving in the right direction continues to grow. :D 8)

white74westy Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:08 pm

Just wanted to share a couple of things that I think are cool, before i get to the paint. This bus is a total survivor. It has been awesome owning her for as long as I have. I hope that doing the work I have, will ensure additional life for many years to come. I never really paid attention to this sticker, until my friend Dave that painted the bus made mention of it. Sure, I guess I knew it was there all along, but again, I never paid it much mind. He asked "you wanna keep that on there?"


I didn't see the sense in keeping it, so it came off. However, I thought I'd take a picture of it for posterity. You see it helps fill in some of the mysterious gaps on this old girl. I still have the original owner's manual, that records all the maintenance that is performed on the vehicle.


However, that mileage wasn't covered by the dealer of record that had performed all the prior work. So, it would seem that the original owners took a road trip, from the east coast, to California and who knows where in between. I wish it was possible to retrace those steps, and find the original owners, to ask them about their trip.

Also, I love to find these little things as I'm going along:


I found it sanding one of the cab doors. I love that you can find all sorts of cool information, lurking just below the surface of these awesome machines.

I recognize that it may seem goofy to some, but I really love this kinda stuff, and thought I would share.

Cheers,
a. 8)

notchboy Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:21 pm

Looking good. Keep up the good work! It will encourage me to finish mine. 8)

vwwestyman Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:31 am

I think the majority of the work on this Bus is already done, and the owner is filling us in on the details slowly.

Updates in the thread are sort of like another chapter of a book being published every few days. Keep it up!

PS, I too think it is super neat to find little hints about the Bus' history along the way! Stuff like that, I frequently try to keep in/with the Bus upon discovery. For example, the first time I pulled out the floor mat on my '73 a few weeks ago, I found an old Mexican coin. So I tucked it back under the mat after the work was done. My '78 has a dream catcher hanging on the knob above the driver's left shoulder. It has been there since before the PO had it. He told me he took it out once and quickly after the Bus broke down a couple times, so he put it back! Even though sometimes the ends get caught in the window, I keep it there because it is now part of the Bus' history.

white74westy Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:15 pm

notchboy wrote: Looking good. Keep up the good work! It will encourage me to finish mine. 8)

Thanks for the encouragement Jason! So many of your projects have served as motivation, especially the '74 tintop! Can't wait to see her when she's done!

I hope this thread will do the same for others.

Later
a.

white74westy Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:27 pm

vwwestyman wrote: I think the majority of the work on this Bus is already done, and the owner is filling us in on the details slowly.

Updates in the thread are sort of like another chapter of a book being published every few days. Keep it up!

Yup. I apologize for some of the updates taking so long, but I'm trying to continue to do work on the bus, while I'm updating. I'm getting close to being real time with updates, which shouldn't be too much further along. It has been a lot of fun documenting the progress. It helps me remember just how much I've achieved, as well as what lies ahead. Trouble is, life keeps getting in the way...doesn't it realize I have a bus to finish??? :lol:

vwwestyman wrote: PS, I too think it is super neat to find little hints about the Bus' history along the way! Stuff like that, I frequently try to keep in/with the Bus upon discovery. For example, the first time I pulled out the floor mat on my '73 a few weeks ago, I found an old Mexican coin. So I tucked it back under the mat after the work was done. My '78 has a dream catcher hanging on the knob above the driver's left shoulder. It has been there since before the PO had it. He told me he took it out once and quickly after the Bus broke down a couple times, so he put it back! Even though sometimes the ends get caught in the window, I keep it there because it is now part of the Bus' history.

Now that is cool! I love the idea of sticking the coin back! I almost wish the vehicles could talk sometimes. It would be so much fun to know about their past lives. Also, I'm starting to wonder if there was an item similar to your dream catcher in mine. I'm still having major issues with the engine. Its killing me!!! We'll cross that bridge later.

Anyhow, thanks for your kind words! It means a lot to me. I'm hoping that what I post is useful, informative and maybe even enjoyable.



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