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'71 Westy - "Maggie" - official build thread
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject: '71 Westy - "Maggie" - official build thread Reply with quote

Hey everyone. I've been a member of TheSamba for a long time and I've finally decided to post up a build thread of my current project. I've had her for 7 years or so, though I recently quit smoking and I need somewhere for my cash to go Wink .

Yes, it's another pastel white '71... seems to be a lot of them popping up lately!
Also noticed there is another "Maggie" on here... try not to get us confused Laughing .

A few pics (more to come):

Shortly after purchasing her in '05
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Skylar the dog and Maggie
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Reunited after 2 years apart
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A history of my time with her (copied from my blog):

I purchased Maggie in the fall of 2005. I was then residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
She had previously belonged to a couple whom I was friends with, whom also gave her the name Maggie. I had owned a few different air-cooled VWs prior to then (my first car was a ’73 Beetle), and we talked VWs frequently. We had taken quite a few rock climbing and snowshoeing trips in her.
Eventually, my friends decided they could no longer afford the responsibility of owning and maintaining a VW. They turned to me first to see if I was interested in buying her. Of course I was! A few weeks later, with $2000 cash in my hand, I took possession of her!
At the time, my main method of conveyance was a 50cc motor scooter. I decided to put a little bit of work into Maggie every now and then and slowly get her up to daily driving condition.
After a while, I fell on hard times. Employment was scarce in the area and I was forced to move out of my home. By that time, I had done engine and brake work on Maggie and she was in good running condition. I decided that I could save money by putting my possessions in storage, cooking on my camp stove and sleeping on the Westfalia fold-out bed (bathing was done at the local public gym/pool.) For 18 months or so, I lived out of her. Eventually, I was able to afford a place to rent and I continued to drive Maggie daily.
In the fall of 2009, the lack of work in New Mexico had gotten to me. I decided it was time for a change of scenery. I had a friend who was moving back to her home state of Alabama and I figured I’d check it out. I purchased a small car of Asian origin for the trip across the country. I sold or gave away all my possessions I didn’t really need. The stuff I kept, but couldn’t take, got packed inside of Maggie and she got parked on another friend’s land in the dry NM climate. Off to Alabama I went, bus-less.
Now, I don’t really fit in down south. I mean, I had some really good times and met some cool people… but it’s just not for me. After a year and a half, I was back on the road. This time I was headed back to my home state of New Hampshire.
If you’re familiar with NH, or New England in general, you know how brutal winters can be. The roads are HEAVILY salted to melt snow and ice. This is a car killer… especially VWs for some reason. Finding a rust-free bus up here is pretty much impossible. I decided it would be more than worth the money to have Maggie shipped to me. After saving up some cash, dealing with brokers and finally finding a shipper, Maggie and I were reunited in October of 2011.
With Maggie home, and having another reliable vehicle as a daily driver, I have decided to finally give her what she deserves. She saved my life during a time when I was down and out and it’s time for me to repay that favor.
The first priority will be getting her up to the standards required by the State of New Hampshire. This will involve some minor rust repair, a bit of brake work, etc… From then on, I plan on doing a “rolling restoration” while enjoying some time outdoors with her. I am an avid mountain biker and hiker and I look forward to some camping trips and local VW events!

I have a new MIG welder on the way, as well as a couple body panels. I will be learning how to weld in the coming weeks and doing some body work.
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Last edited by WestyMan1971 on Sun May 13, 2012 10:26 am; edited 2 times in total
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skid
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rad, looking forward to following your thread!
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secretsubmariner
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool story bro-

I like that puppy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely a cool story. Good luck on the work. I just got my my first welder around Christmas and have just started cutting it up and welding back together. More cutting than welding so far. I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm learning along the way. I have a thread about my resto on here if you want to see if and when I screw something up. I'll be watching yours for sure. There is no better vehicle for weekend mountain bike excursions once you figure out where to haul the bike.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, nice lookin dog to Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too funny, my white '71 had the name Maggie when I got her. You hug that bus like a long lost friend. Smile
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justcruzin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, it did confuse me at first! LOL I was thinking the "Maggie" thread was longer, then I realized it is a different Maggie. Very Happy

Great story and I'm glad you two go reunited! Very Happy

I too look forward to following along.
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone!

This arrived today:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Gotta love new toys! Dancing

I have the day off tomorrow, so I'm going to do some practice welding and get more pics of the bus!
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I suddenly got busy with work and haven't had a chance to do much on the bus.

I do have a request though.
The PO had removed the sink/icebox cabinet. I have a sink top from an early bay that is in my parts cache. I'm thinking of building a similar cabinet minus the icebox.
Could someone post some pictures and possibly measurements of this cabinet? I'm especially interested in the plumbing and such.
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Wrenchman12
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Westyman, looking forward to meeting up at some point.. Bus looks good!If it will help, I have a water holding tank with the electric pump out of a 78 Westy that you can have, if you can use it..
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, with the nice weather I finally had time to finish cleaning her out and take some more pictures. Looking forward to getting some work done!
I'm unemployed at the moment so I have plenty of time (though limited funds).

The worst of the body:
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What's left of the battery tray:
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Drivers side floor:
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Poptop:
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Interior shots:
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Wiring rat's nest typical of every VW I've owned, note the starter button added at some point (not sure why, key works fine):
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Engine (I know, fuel filter out of the engine bay):
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Last edited by WestyMan1971 on Mon May 14, 2012 7:09 am; edited 2 times in total
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick question... which wiring diagram on type2.com is correct for my bus? I see a number of different diagrams for '71. Including one that says from January 1971, does anyone know the date the wiring changed?
Production date is 01/71. Here's my M-plate, if that helps:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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odecom5
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WestyMan1971 wrote:
Quick question... which wiring diagram on type2.com is correct for my bus? I see a number of different diagrams for '71. Including one that says from January 1971, does anyone know the date the wiring changed?
Production date is 01/71. Here's my M-plate, if that helps:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The only difference is the rear window defogger switch and element. If yours has that, it would be the January one, if it doesn't, it's the August '70 diagram.

(Actually, that could be a lie, my Oct '70 has the defogger, but regardless that is the only difference between the diagrams).

They also made both of those diagrams with or without 'ambulance fans' which mounted in the vents up front.

As an aside, might I suggest reducing the size of your photos before posting them, so we aren't slowed too much with 15 megapixel+ images Smile

I have a pastel white '71 as well. Well, the previous owner made it primer gray over Pastel White, but hey. Nice lookin' bus, I think it'll clean up nicely. Just don't be crazy like me and tear the whole thing apart and then be in over your head putting it all back together.
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

odecom5 wrote:

The only difference is the rear window defogger switch and element. If yours has that, it would be the January one, if it doesn't, it's the August '70 diagram.

(Actually, that could be a lie, my Oct '70 has the defogger, but regardless that is the only difference between the diagrams).


Thanks! I do have the rear defogger. I'll translate and print it up, I have the Bentley (2 copies actually) but it's much nicer having the diagram in color.

Right now I'm taking apart my dash to clean up the wiring and take care of a few other things. When I was taking the instrument panel out I found some of the the gauge backlight wiring with the insulation totally melted off and corroded to the point that it crumbled in my hand! Shocked
My guess is that the insulation rubbed off and shorted somewhere, in which the PO corrected by putting a higher amp fuse or bypassing it completely. I'm really lucky it didn't catch fire in the 7 years that I owned her.


odecom5 wrote:
As an aside, might I suggest reducing the size of your photos before posting them, so we aren't slowed too much with 15 megapixel+ images Smile


Sorry about that. Pics are hosted on my blog. I'll fix it in future posts.
EDIT: I went through and reduced the size of the source files. Hopefully they'll load quicker now.

odecom5 wrote:
I have a pastel white '71 as well. Well, the previous owner made it primer gray over Pastel White, but hey. Nice lookin' bus, I think it'll clean up nicely. Just don't be crazy like me and tear the whole thing apart and then be in over your head putting it all back together.


Do you have a build thread? Would love to see it.
Like I said in an earlier post, I'm sort of unemployed ATM. I'm going to take care of things that don't cost much while I have the time on my hands. Not really planning a full tear-down. Once I take care of everything she needs to pass NH state inspection it'll be a rolling restoration/repair. I had a '69 Ghia once in which I made the mistake of getting in over my head. Learning from my mistakes Laughing .
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Last edited by WestyMan1971 on Thu May 17, 2012 7:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The clouds and rain broke for a short while this morning, so I was able to snap some more pics.

Got the dash removed the other night. Didn't get any pictures of the process due to the fact that it was getting dark and the rain was on it's way. This shows what I'm dealing with wiring-wise. It looks like most of the original wiring is there, with a few small modifications, and just needs to be cleaned up. Does anyone else have pics of how they made it look neat? I also need to pull and test my wiper motor to figure out why my wipers aren't working.

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I'm going to take the opportunity, while I have the dash out, to straighten the nose the best that I can.

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I have a small amount of rust under the windshield. I pried the seal up slightly and it doesn't look rotten, just surface rust. Keep in mind this bus came from NM originally, so I'm not all too scared of what's hiding here. I guess I will have to pull the windshield and clean it up. Should I POR-15 the lip?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's the part that is going to be most difficult for me. I have this piece of metal I cut from another early bay a few years back. However, major bodywork and welding are still very new to me. Will be taking my time with this one. Does anyone have any advice on this?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


[/img]
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the last few days being pretty rainy (I think the New England drought is finally over), I've been trying to get projects done that I can do inside. Since my dash is out, I figured I would clean it up.

Got it apart:
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Decided to repaint the dash top, as it looked like hell. The channel where the top dash pad slides in looked as if someone went to town on it with a crowbar. This gave me a chance to use the hammer and dolly set I got for Christmas.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Using an old steel chisel made it easier to keep the channel uniform. It also gave a backing to pound out what I can only describe as "pimples" in the metal.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Sanding:
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Primed and painted in semi-gloss black. I still need to wet sand and clear coat, but it's looking good.
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Next to took apart the instrument panel and cleaned it up. You wouldn't believe how much crap was inside. Following advice from another thread, added reflective tape to the inside of the rear panel. Hopefully this well help brighten my dash lights.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


What I had leftover, I put along the sides of the housing, near the lights.
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The tabs that held the glass lockring in place had snapped long ago and the glass was bouncing around in front of the gauges. I solved this by seating the glass and the ring where they belong and putting a dab of 5 minute epoxy where the plastic tabs used to be. Seems to hold up OK, we'll see.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Panel all cleaned up and reassembled:
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The ashtray had 40 years of ash and tar caking the inside. I soaked it in a 50/50 vinegar/water solution for about 2 hours and hit it with steel wool.
Big improvement.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


More to come.
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WestyMan1971 wrote:
T

Here's the part that is going to be most difficult for me. I have this piece of metal I cut from another early bay a few years back. However, major bodywork and welding are still very new to me. Will be taking my time with this one. Does anyone have any advice on this?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


[/img]


sweet project. Very Happy

im not a welder, did my first panel really just the other day - all i can recommend is get gas for the welder, its way better, and i'd do the drivers side floorboards first for extra practice before this front-and-center part, and a small block of copper on the backside of the welds keep you from melting through.
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rustbus wrote:

sweet project. Very Happy

im not a welder, did my first panel really just the other day - all i can recommend is get gas for the welder, its way better, and i'd do the drivers side floorboards first for extra practice before this front-and-center part, and a small block of copper on the backside of the welds keep you from melting through.


Thanks Very Happy

When I was at that junkyard I cut a large panel out of the side of a late bay to use as scrap steel. I also have a Ghia roof panel from a car I scrapped years ago. I plan to get plenty of practice in before I tackle the metal on my bus.
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WestyMan1971
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Opinion needed.

Now, I'm not at the stage that I'm ready for it yet, but I need some advice about the underside. It's all kinds of dirty from living 40 years in the high desert. However, other than the front floor and battery area, it is VERY solid. In fact, the original undercoating is cracking off in spots revealing the dark blue paint underneath. I had planned on stripping the under-body and applying a coat of POR-15 to help protect against future rust. Do you Sambanites think this is necessary or should I just clean it up and roll it?
If I do POR-15 it, does it need a topcoat? I can't imagine much UV rays getting to the underside.

Keep in mind that I am in the heart of the rust belt, though I don't really plan to drive her in the winter.

Edit: Also, I have a question. I am missing the front skid plate. I saw a thread somewhere on here about the changes to this plate from year to year, but it didn't mention anything about '71. Do you know what plate would be correct or if there are any major differences to the later model skid plates?
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WestyMan1971 wrote:
Do you Sambanites think this is necessary or should I just clean it up and roll it?

Leave the undercoating for another day. It could be a bigger project then you could bargain for and being unemployed every coin counts (Trust me Rolling Eyes ). If you have a job now go for it!

WestyMan1971 wrote:
Do you know what plate would be correct or if there are any major differences to the later model skid plates?

There's two kinds: The '68-'71 version and '72-'79. Essentially the same as the division for the "Early" and "Late" date split. I think there's a third because I have a '72+ pan and none of the bolt holes fit the holes in my frame.

WestyMan1971 wrote:
I have a small amount of rust under the windshield. I pried the seal up slightly and it doesn't look rotten, just surface rust. Keep in mind this bus came from NM originally, so I'm not all too scared of what's hiding here. I guess I will have to pull the windshield and clean it up. Should I POR-15 the lip?

Definitely! I did the same thing to mine last year and it's been leak free since. Check out my thread for details
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