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  View original topic: And so it begins: Resurrection of an old '85 Westy project Page: 1, 2  Next
tilstad Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:05 pm

Needless to say, this van has been sitting for a bit. How long? Through a divorce, 3 moves, 4 jobs, opening and closing of a company, some gray hairs and supporting 2 kids from birth to school age. Phew.

No, it does not run. Not even a click with a fresh battery. Nor does it brake, or much of anything else.

I initially bought this van to go camp with my kids, who are now growing up. I feel terribly bad about promising to get the van going,and never finding time because of 14-16 hour work days.

My goal is to go camp with it towards the end of this summer.

This is known: engine ran when i parked it, 7-8 years ago.
Missing calipers, booster is leaking, brakes was dragging, tent up top has more holes than fabric, fridge and stove worked on propane. Most curtains are missing. Some interior fabrics are shredded. Had a new clutch. Only drove it around the block once, but drove ok. Oh, big hole in muffler.

I know i need some moral support on this thing. The last thing i did to it was to attempt install a bigger bmw booster. That should be my first step. Actually finding the booster is the first step. Then the whole tapping etc.

Pictures are after cleaning/tidying out of it for a few hours.

Paint looks shiny on right rear side, as its old repaint from damage there. The rest is very chalky.

I have some boxes of misc parts, not much was ever installed. The battery tender eventually gave up on the battery.








msinabottle Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:26 pm

This can be done. You can do this. It is well worth doing. You have found an incredible resource in this web site, including multiple threads on resurrecting Vans Who Have Sat Long. Learn from others' experiences and mistakes.

Change your fuel lines once you've drained the old gas and checked the tank for rust and sludge. Moral and tech support you have sought, and shall receive.

Financially--well, that's why you worked those long hours.

:shock:

Best!

tilstad Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:27 pm

Found the booster, but although it was bought new, its now very rusty. I wonder if the inside might be rust damaged too. Not sure what to look for.

I did find a new master cylinder and clutch cylinder in non rusty comdition. Oh and some new calipers, but no pads or install kit. Not sure if I ever bought any.

Now to install the booster and master cylinder(s). I dont think i manages to get the old one off even.





ajdenette Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:29 am

looks like you have a project ahead of you probably a good choice to go through the breaks first and get them working then, drop the tank and replace all of the fuel vent lines as well as all the fuel lines in the engine compartment including the short sections from the fuel rails to the metal injector body. then take some time to clean all of the grounds and positive leads in the engine compartment and the ground strap on the trans. then see if she starts or tries to start.

tilstad Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:12 am

Thank you for the suggestions. Yes, fuel lines is in the plans. It leaks by the filter/pump as is, so yes, they definitely need replacement. Plus ive had a vanagon succumb to engine fire in the past.

Need to figure out the lengths so I can order from bus depot.

Finally got that booster out. Was a bear to get those 4 bolts and especially the little clip off on the back.

I hope the one I got will work, it does look a little different.



Also found that my plastic dash insulator has crumbled apart.




And the little rubbers stopping the sink from rattling has turned into slime.


E1 Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:38 am

Way to go Tilstad, go do this thing! :arrow:

It'll be great. One perhaps, maaaybe two headaches along the way. For sure not three.

Stick with it, it'll be great (already said that, but it will be).

8)

tilstad Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:04 pm

Ok, the puzzle is laid out. I searched for the longest time for the second caliper. :twisted:

Turns out it was already mounted. :lol:

Booster is being primed and painted. Located correct tap and drill bit.

Yellow Rabbit Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:34 pm

Looks like a fun project! Here’s some inspiration.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=597672

tilstad Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:24 pm

Have to work some 16 hour work days, but will continue as soon as im done for the week.

In the meantime, I found the fridge makes ice in a 80F garage overnight. Seems right on par with expected performance.



Btw, does any exploded schematic exist on how the brake pieces, booster master cylinder & clutch cylinder, fit together, and where if any gaskets etc go?

7 years is too long to remember how it came apart.



And thank you for the links and tips. I know the samba is a wealth of information. Reading it is mostly what I have done, instead of working on the car. My new mantra is "Read less, do more, utilize some of all that info already aquired from thesamba over the years."

And the financial coffers policy on the subject is "whatever it takes, but with restraint".

Defining a westy as a "summer cabin" instead of a vehicle or transportation makes a big difference. :D

Paulbeard Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:50 am

tilstad wrote: Have to work some 16 hour work days, but will continue as soon as im done for the week.

In the meantime, I found the fridge makes ice in a 80F garage overnight. Seems right on par with expected performance.





was that on propane or 110? If you got ice at a 50° differential on propane, that's amazing.

tilstad Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:08 am

110. But i've made ice on propane before.

Seems to work even better on propane, cools quicker, atleast it seems so, completely unscientificly proven.

Could have been less than 80f perhaps. Was about 87f a little later that morning when i drove off in the car.

Vanagon Nut Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:56 am

Yellow Rabbit wrote: Looks like a fun project! Here’s some inspiration.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=597672

Nice. Very helpful I'm sure!

tilstad wrote: Btw, does any exploded schematic exist on how the brake pieces, booster master cylinder & clutch cylinder, fit together, and where if any gaskets etc go?

Do you have a Bentley manual? I'm no expert, so can't verify the accuracy of these diagrams (website covers all markets but you can select "USA" market) but this website has nice diagrams and they appear to be from ETKA so are likely accurate. Here's brake etc. diagrams/listings for the '85

https://volkswagen.7zap.com/en/usa/vanagon/va/1985-4/6/

The early style calipers had shims from the factory but those parts may be hard to find and you likely don't need them. e.g. the ATE calipers on my '81 work ok w/o the # 5,6 shims as shown below. AFIAK, they are "silencing shims" so mainly or only serve that purpose. Modern pads tend to have a built in silencing material and judicious use of anti squeal brake goo really helps. I bought #5a, 6a Girling shims from van-cafe several years ago. They or busdepot might have shims.


tilstad Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:01 pm

Wow, thats a great schematic. Didnt know about the shims, there was none on the old brakes. That said, its probably easy to address if necessary down the road.

No, I have the Haynes.....somewhere.

I have just shortened the booster rod, drilled and tapped the clevis, and was about to locktite the clevis at 111.5mm.

Im assuming that measirment is to the center of the clevis pin hole, and not center of the clevis itself.....?


But the big question right now, is there supposed to be a gasket between the booster and the master cylinder, or not? I do have a new O-ring, but dont see a gasket in the parts stash.

The imprint on the old booster looks like....maybe. But the O ring on the sleeve of the master is probably enough....?

The issue prompting the brake work was a big leak from somewhere under the dash. So perhaps a gasket was missing.

tilstad Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:07 pm

This schematic from vanagain indicates "NO" gasket...

15 must be the O-ring I believe.



Vanagon Nut Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:48 pm

Agreed.

There is an O ring (15) but there is no gasket.

The O ring installs to the master cylinder.

If the master leaked, it could've damaged that O ring or over a long time, rust a hole in the booster. Either could obviously cause a vacuum leak.

Since I was looking at the brake part diagrams I mentally latched onto the "damping plates" (aka silencing shims). As mentioned, no. They aren't really needed.


Neil.

JTbeaufort Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:47 am

I can tell you what I would do. First, clean and re-organize the garage/shop. Everything not involved in repairing the bus gets put away. It's my opinion that one hour of cleaning and organizing equates to four hours of productivity. Get some sawhorses and planks or plywood and make a parts table, lay everything out. Get a chair, dry erase board, beverage of choice, perhaps some tunes, and write up a punch list. Prioritize. Keep the punch list handy so you can add to it as ideas come or discoveries are made. Complete something on that punch list at least every week, if not every day. Remove all the carpet and use an electric pressure washer to clean it. Instead of brake parts cleaner and carb cleaner I use naptha and acetone (seperately) in spray pump bottles. A soak in straight purple degreaser will strip paint. It will make rubber swell, and can ruin aluminum, be advised. For more delicate metal parts like turn signal sockets, unsweetened kool-aid orange or lemon mixed triple strength does a decent job, we used it in the Navy to clean brass. If you have wi-fi, have a laptop or tablet in the shop for referring to internet info. Save upgrades and modifications until you are starting/driving/stopping/all lights work. That kind of stuff can really slow you down.

Oh, PUT TOOLS AWAY WHEN FINISHED!

levi Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:37 am

JTbeaufort wrote: I can tell you what I would do. First, clean and re-organize the garage/shop. Everything not involved in repairing the bus gets put away. It's my opinion that one hour of cleaning and organizing equates to four hours of productivity. Get some sawhorses and planks or plywood and make a parts table, lay everything out. Get a chair, dry erase board, beverage of choice, perhaps some tunes, and write up a punch list. Prioritize. Keep the punch list handy so you can add to it as ideas come or discoveries are made. Complete something on that punch list at least every week, if not every day. Remove all the carpet and use an electric pressure washer to clean it. Instead of brake parts cleaner and carb cleaner I use naptha and acetone (seperately) in spray pump bottles. A soak in straight purple degreaser will strip paint. It will make rubber swell, and can ruin aluminum, be advised. For more delicate metal parts like turn signal sockets, unsweetened kool-aid orange or lemon mixed triple strength does a decent job, we used it in the Navy to clean brass. If you have wi-fi, have a laptop or tablet in the shop for referring to internet info. Save upgrades and modifications until you are starting/driving/stopping/all lights work. That kind of stuff can really slow you down.

Oh, PUT TOOLS AWAY WHEN FINISHED!

Geesh.
Just reading this made me feel like I was in the army.

levi Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:47 am

I have an 85 also, same color.
I think the 85 was something of a transition year for these.
Some 85s I've heard have plastic coolant lines, some have metal.
Some have stamped front control arms and others cast.
I got lucky at a junkyard and switched out the front brake system from an 86.

tilstad Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:07 am

Yes, I believe your right. I've had a -90, a -89, an -81, and now this -85. While the newer versions certainly has technical upgrades, I dont personally feel the difference in user experience warrants changing or upgrading to newer systems, if the old works as intended. So for the most part, I'll attempt to keep this van an -85.

Initially I thought I wanted to change everything to a -90, with gray interior, plastic bumpers etc. But now, i want to keep it as-is, love my perfect chrome bumpers. And the interior, I will try enhance with warm earth colors as fitting. New flooring, curtains, ceramic cups, throw blankets and pillows is already aquired, and I think it will be great! Love my brown seat piping lol

As for organization and cleanliness, good virtues for sure. I can visualize that as an inspiration and goal, especially liked the suggestion of the board. I actually have one, somewhere.

But I don't have time to wait for ideal, ill do the best I can as time allows and when i get to it. Ill be the first to admit Im spreading myself too thin, and having too many projects.

tilstad Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:50 pm

Looking at this etka schematic, I realize my new clutch master cylinder did not come with a rod and clevis. Which means I have to source one, possibly find and reuse the old one, but then find the correctly adjusted length of this rod.

Is that possibly listed in the Bentley,or other places?





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