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Patiently Impatient Mon Aug 22, 2022 3:19 pm

myklsmyth wrote: Surely a bit premature but the more that I see original photos of stock BD's the more that I contemplate whether or not I should go the stock route. I like both lowered and stock but with the traveling speeds of CA highways and insane drivers I've always leaned more towards performance, but I'm having second thoughts. Just wondering what the opinion is of those who drive stock buses in metropolitan areas? Too dangerous?

If this is a bus you plan on driving a considerable amount, put a motor and transaxle setup that will make driving it easier on your sphincter.

I can absolutely appreciate stock drivetrains on certain buses, and Iím absolutely all for stock height buses. With that being said, drivers out on the road are wild, and running a stock drivetrain bus can and will be borderline dangerous in plenty of situations.

djfordmanjack Tue Aug 23, 2022 5:47 am

Mike, a fellow Austrian bd enthusiast let me drive his 30hp (36hpSAE) 54 DLX and that was lots of fun. He is living in a small village in a rural area and the bus was fun to drive at 50 or 60 ( KILOMETERS per Hour that is ! that's 31 to 37 mph....). That said, and having driven myself on California highways and around the suburbs of LA. and even out to Chino, as we spoke before. Personally I would recommend a stronger engine ( at least 1835ccm), combined with a mild lowering and a good set of disc brakes up front. of course stock buses can be driven everywhere ( Mark even drove down the Kohlruss to Austria from England with a 25hp engine borrowed from the Kempes bus). I wouldn't want to, in today's traffic.

myklsmyth Tue Aug 23, 2022 9:51 am

Patiently Impatient wrote:

If this is a bus you plan on driving a considerable amount, put a motor and transaxle setup that will make driving it easier on your sphincter.

I can absolutely appreciate stock drivetrains on certain buses, and Iím absolutely all for stock height buses. With that being said, drivers out on the road are wild, and running a stock drivetrain bus can and will be borderline dangerous in plenty of situations.

This is exactly my line of thinking. I had a stock 25hp in an oval and people were not considerate on the freeway and getting my wife to dig her fingernails out of the dash was not easy. :lol:

myklsmyth Tue Aug 23, 2022 9:54 am

djfordmanjack wrote: Mike, a fellow Austrian bd enthusiast let me drive his 30hp (36hpSAE) 54 DLX and that was lots of fun. He is living in a small village in a rural area and the bus was fun to drive at 50 or 60 ( KILOMETERS per Hour that is ! that's 31 to 37 mph....). That said, and having driven myself on California highways and around the suburbs of LA. and even out to Chino, as we spoke before. Personally I would recommend a stronger engine ( at least 1835ccm), combined with a mild lowering and a good set of disc brakes up front. of course stock buses can be driven everywhere ( Mark even drove down the Kohlruss to Austria from England with a 25hp engine borrowed from the Kempes bus). I wouldn't want to, in today's traffic.

I knew I could count on you to chime in! :D I hear you and know you have the experience so appreciate the insight. I wonder if BD Johnny and Doug could chime as it seems that they drive ALOT in the SoCal area...maybe avoid freeway's? :-k

sgellis Wed Aug 24, 2022 9:37 am

myklsmyth wrote: Surely a bit premature but the more that I see original photos of stock BD's the more that I contemplate whether or not I should go the stock route. I like both lowered and stock but with the traveling speeds of CA highways and insane drivers I've always leaned more towards performance, but I'm having second thoughts. Just wondering what the opinion is of those who drive stock buses in metropolitan areas? Too dangerous?

One thing I love about keeping our 64 camper stock was that it keeps us off the highways. Get to see a lot that you miss on the highways. Takes twice as long to get anywhere but much more enjoyable. We cruse at 40 to 50 mph comfortably, can do 60 but not as fun. We do try to avoid cities mostly because of the bad brakes and poor visibility for lane changes.

A 64 is a whole lot better than a stock BD though. I plan to have my 54 stock when finished but it will never go above 50 mph. With narrow tiers, questionable steering geometry and 30hp I believe 50mph will be pushing the limits. :)

myklsmyth Wed Aug 24, 2022 9:48 am

sgellis wrote: myklsmyth wrote: Surely a bit premature but the more that I see original photos of stock BD's the more that I contemplate whether or not I should go the stock route. I like both lowered and stock but with the traveling speeds of CA highways and insane drivers I've always leaned more towards performance, but I'm having second thoughts. Just wondering what the opinion is of those who drive stock buses in metropolitan areas? Too dangerous?

One thing I love about keeping our 64 camper stock was that it keeps us off the highways. Get to see a lot that you miss on the highways. Takes twice as long to get anywhere but much more enjoyable. We cruse at 40 to 50 mph comfortably, can do 60 but not as fun. We do try to avoid cities mostly because of the bad brakes and poor visibility for lane changes.

A 64 is a whole lot better than a stock BD though. I plan to have my 54 stock when finished but it will never go above 50 mph. With narrow tiers, questionable steering geometry and 30hp I believe 50mph will be pushing the limits. :)

Honestly, this is a good thought. The older that I get the more that I want to slow life down and enjoy things more. More travel on city side streets is more opportunity to see things, for people to see the bus, and for life to be a little bit like that of the past generations. Thanks for the advice!

sgellis Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:26 am

myklsmyth wrote: sgellis wrote: myklsmyth wrote: Surely a bit premature but the more that I see original photos of stock BD's the more that I contemplate whether or not I should go the stock route. I like both lowered and stock but with the traveling speeds of CA highways and insane drivers I've always leaned more towards performance, but I'm having second thoughts. Just wondering what the opinion is of those who drive stock buses in metropolitan areas? Too dangerous?

One thing I love about keeping our 64 camper stock was that it keeps us off the highways. Get to see a lot that you miss on the highways. Takes twice as long to get anywhere but much more enjoyable. We cruse at 40 to 50 mph comfortably, can do 60 but not as fun. We do try to avoid cities mostly because of the bad brakes and poor visibility for lane changes.

A 64 is a whole lot better than a stock BD though. I plan to have my 54 stock when finished but it will never go above 50 mph. With narrow tiers, questionable steering geometry and 30hp I believe 50mph will be pushing the limits. :)

Honestly, this is a good thought. The older that I get the more that I want to slow life down and enjoy things more. More travel on city side streets is more opportunity to see things, for people to see the bus, and for life to be a little bit like that of the past generations. Thanks for the advice!

It surprised us just how much we loved slowing down. I think it is one of the biggest parts we enjoy when traveling in the bus. Now getting in the bus we instantly just switch over to bus time and relax. We will get there when we get there... or maybe not, don't care just enjoying the ride.

Setting google maps to avoid motorways when traveling will send you through some interesting places. :)

djfordmanjack Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:59 am

It is true that a certain type of car will change the experience of driving. Slow can be fun on small roads. ( as I mentioned in my initial statement about the stock 30 hp DLX). But slow also can be dangerous in everyday and multi lane traffic. Add to that the typical barndoor features, a set of semaphores, dime size taillights and a single brake light.... :wink:

I guess we all roll the Achtung Langsames Fahrzeug ! magnet stickers with pride, anyways. :D

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1284025

( not associated with seller)

velvetgreen Wed Aug 31, 2022 6:23 pm

My 0.02 from driving old buses on both hwy's and secondary roads is try and stick to roads where people can (eventually) pass you. Single lane roads are fun and scenic but sooner or later it seems that there is some hyper person that doesn't share your sense of "relaxing" and will want to pass you come hell or high water. Both types of roads have pros/cons- just tossing it out there for your consideration.

I have one of those "slow moving" magnets, sometimes it works- sometimes people tailgate me to try and read the font or decipher the german. Am a fan of LED tail lights instead of traditional incandescent ones

velvetgreen Wed Aug 31, 2022 6:27 pm

no affiliation with seller and I know they are not year correct but you get the idea- i have a few sets and have been very happy with them

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1412740

myklsmyth Fri Sep 02, 2022 11:16 am

velvetgreen wrote: My 0.02 from driving old buses on both hwy's and secondary roads is try and stick to roads where people can (eventually) pass you. Single lane roads are fun and scenic but sooner or later it seems that there is some hyper person that doesn't share your sense of "relaxing" and will want to pass you come hell or high water. Both types of roads have pros/cons- just tossing it out there for your consideration.

I have one of those "slow moving" magnets, sometimes it works- sometimes people tailgate me to try and read the font or decipher the german. Am a fan of LED tail lights instead of traditional incandescent ones

Appreciate the input and also the info on the taillights! The originality side of me has a hard time with these upgrades but the safety side says it is a very wise upgrade. I hope to find the balance between originality and safety/performance.

Bendango Sun Sep 04, 2022 9:00 pm

velvetgreen wrote: My 0.02 from driving old buses on both hwy's and secondary roads is try and stick to roads where people can (eventually) pass you. Single lane roads are fun and scenic but sooner or later it seems that there is some hyper person that doesn't share your sense of "relaxing" and will want to pass you come hell or high water. Both types of roads have pros/cons- just tossing it out there for your consideration.

I have one of those "slow moving" magnets, sometimes it works- sometimes people tailgate me to try and read the font or decipher the german. Am a fan of LED tail lights instead of traditional incandescent ones

I just pull over when I get a few cars deep and let everyone pass.

myklsmyth Wed Mar 01, 2023 11:08 am

Incredible that it's been nearly a year since I put the bus in storage,
but I finally got it out and into a place where I can begin to really
look over all of the details and condition and start breaking it down. 8)







myklsmyth Tue Apr 04, 2023 2:59 pm

Started pulling a few things off the old bus today and trying to do some research on the tail lights. The bezel looks like a reflector bezel but they were mounted in the tail light location with lights. All the housings that I'm seeing for tail lights have a lip and different design. Is this some type of hack? Thanks, Mike

(See carnage below :cry: )




djfordmanjack Tue Apr 04, 2023 3:09 pm

I believe the taillights to be original, at least VW. the brackets and slotted head screws looks like what VW used. The red plastic is og to this style of taillights. it covers the inner side of the lenses. Not sure if these maybe were 1955-57 Euro taillights, for whatever reason replaced.
The size of the 52-55 BD and the 55-57 Euro taillight lenses is the same , so if you find the lenses you can very well build a set of taillights from these and keep the character of the bus. You may want to use new dual filament bulbs and sockets anyways.

Scotty Wed Apr 05, 2023 5:06 am

djfordmanjack wrote: I believe the taillights to be original, at least VW. the brackets and slotted head screws looks like what VW used. The red plastic is og to this style of taillights. it covers the inner side of the lenses. Not sure if these maybe were 1955-57 Euro taillights, for whatever reason replaced.
The size of the 52-55 BD and the 55-57 Euro taillight lenses is the same , so if you find the lenses you can very well build a set of taillights from these and keep the character of the bus. You may want to use new dual filament bulbs and sockets anyways.

Those tail lights do look like 55-57 euro lights as you suggested

myklsmyth Wed Apr 05, 2023 8:54 am

Tough choice. Certain things I want to be period correct and others I'm more apt to stay with the history of the bus, as how I received it. For example, the headliner installed now is a dark green color. I. know it's not correct, but I like it because it was a modification made to the bus as the owner desired. (Like an option).

However, the tail lights will be identifiably incorrect, especially considering a 52 had even more distinct tail light lenses. Buuttt, did the owner change to the Euro lens out of preference, better visibility/safety, or ?? I could make the same argument as the headliner.

I would love to hear thoughts as to what others would do.

djfordmanjack Wed Apr 05, 2023 1:33 pm

It may also be a financial decision ! a set of real early taillights will set you back lots of $. I am not sure exactly what type of taillights your mid 52 would have...plastic lenses in the old bezels or maybe even the 53 on style ?
I was a little vague with my words in the last post. considering the lens or taillight size. I really meant the panel hole and mounting pattern, so the later/ earlier light units are all interchangable.
Keeping the history of the car is an option. imho, I think I would try to fill with period correct og taillights or the cheap BD/55 style repros, if you need to watch your budget. 55/6/7 taillights ain't cheap anymore either.

Can you measure the inner diam of your chrome bezels ?

myklsmyth Fri Apr 07, 2023 12:06 pm

Thank you my friend! Always appreciate your knowledge and thoughts.

Inner diameter from the backside is 66mm.

djfordmanjack Fri Apr 07, 2023 1:28 pm

Again my bad, Mike. I was talking about the smallest diameter of the chrome bezel, meaning the inner rim diam, where the tail light glass goes.

Yes the lip diam you referred to is 66mm and that is the same for both BD and 56/7 !



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