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Vee Dub Nut's 68 Westy
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Vee Dub Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:56 am    Post subject: Vee Dub Nut's 68 Westy Reply with quote

We'll I'm finally getting around to posting up a build thread. This is going to be a running thread where I plan to post up periodically about our recently acquired 68 Westy, starting with its current rejuvenation, followed by more long term projects/upgrades we make along the way, and hopefully some trip stories too.

I'm not new by any means to VW's. I've had at least one VW around since I was 15. One of the first was my 67 Beetle that was a grandfather/grandson project, and my first car. Its one that will always be around. I've had several Bugs, a few fiberglass buggies, a couple of short lived bay Bus projects, and some watercooled cars too, but for all intensive purposes, this is my first Bus.

The primary motivation for getting a Bus is the ability to haul my family around. The past few years my kids have gotten bigger (and more numerous LOL), and we just don't fit in the Beetle anymore. As such the Bus is slated to take over the family adventuring. So without further ado, here it is:

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Its an early 68, and it looks to have stayed in the central Texas area all its life. As such its relatively dry, and as a plus it has been well kept all these years. The rust is limited to some really minor work needed on the battery tray, a couple of small spots I see at the front windshield, front floor, and a touch on the lower nose. All pretty typical, and all pretty minor IMO. It has been resprayed once, and all else seems to be holding up pretty well.

Here are a few pictures of when I first picked it up:

It was kept under a carport, and at least partially protected from the elements. Part of why I think it has help up so well.
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Its missing the sink/icebox, but all else still there and in decent shape. Non-OG curtains installed, but most else original and in good shape.
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Did find that the subfloor had some water damage though, and was overall pretty rough.
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Front seats were obviously recovered at some point. They look pretty good, but the recover job was not real great underneath.
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So after meeting the PO (super nice guy) and looking it over well, I was able to strike up a deal and bring it home. It was only about an 1.5 from home, so it was a nice easy drive up there and back with it through the Texas hill country. Of course I got a lot of looks and waves on the way home with it.

Me and the oldest after loading it up:
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On the way home:
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Once I got it home and unloaded, I gave it a good bath. First in a long while based on all the dirt that came off of it.

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Overall its in excellent shape for its age. Biggest annoyance is that the PO of the guy I got it from at some point did some "improvements" to the top. All new wood for the frame was screwed into the top, and some cross top supports were also rigged up and screwed in all leaving a bunch of holes if I go back and fix it right. I've got a WTB ad up to see if I can find a better top to just replace it with. For now though, it will do.

Apart from the missing sink/icebox, someone took out the upper cot. I plan to build a continental style bed up there eventually, so no big deal. Its been doing a lot of sitting, and although it runs, everything needs a good service at this point. I've already jumped into a lot of work on it, and I'll post it up as I get some more time.

Hope yall enjoy!
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Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..


Last edited by Vee Dub Nut on Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vee Dub Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First order of business for me was to tackle the interior. All though the Bus needs some mechanical loving, I knew as soon as it was ready to drive, I'd have passengers that would be ready to ride. So I figured I'd knock that out first.

I pulled all the interior for a good cleaning, and the subfloor literally crumbled into a million pieces. It had obviously had some water damage, and as a result, I did have some surface rust on the floors, but it was really minor and just patchy.

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Started on the floor with a wire wheel on the grinder. What hot and dirty work. Everything cleaned up prety well, and I followed wire wheeling with a treatment of ospho to convert anything remaining.

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The pinnacle of safety LOL
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Post ospho
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Post primer/paint. Its just rustoluem on the floors. Matches the exterior color of the bus well, but is definitely brighter than the original color. It will work for now. Someday I'll do a full resto and complete an inside/outside professional paintjob, but for now its being built to use, so this keeps the rust at bay and makes it serviceable.

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While waiting a few days for the paint to dry before reinstalling furniture, I took the time to rehab the slider mechanism. I've done this once before following directions that (if I recall?) Collin has posted here. Its such an easy job and makes a huge difference in slider function. I'd highly recommend that everyone tackle that if they haven't.

Everything was cleaned, inspected, lubed, and the plastic slider block was replaced. I also fixed the spring that pushes against the hook that keeps the slider door locked in the open position. Everything is working just like new now.

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After the floor was dry I took a stab at making the hole for the fuel sender access a little nicer. It was a pretty rough cut before, and a series of rivets, aluminum angle, and some extremely long sheet metals screws was how it was when I started.

I flattened out the ribs and squared up the hole (before paint obviously), and then installed some rivnuts to hold on an aluminum cover I cut out of some scrap. I wanted to find a bigger piece of OG floor to make a cover that would sit nice and tight down over the original floor, but everyone I contacted that was parting buses in the classifieds wanted the full price of the rear tray for the small section I needed since it essentially makes the rest of the tray useless. I can't blame them, so I settled on making my own cover which came out pretty nice. The bolts only stick up slightly higher than the ribs.

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Also while everything was out we took the opportunity to make some new curtains. My wife is quite the seamstress, so using the old curtains as templates, we made up some new ones out of some really nice cream/green plaid we found. The fabric was only one sided, so my wife lined each panel (some with plaid, some with backing, depending on location) and meticulously made all the double plaid sides match up. They look fantastic!

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Moving on from those, I tackled getting the floor back in. I personally haven't been a big fan of wood floors, and I wasn't able to find any vinyl that I was real thrilled about either. I ended up with a very short cut carpet from home depot that was the right consistency, and laid that down over the top of a late bay rubber mat I had lying around. The price was right (only have $10 in the carpet) and it turned out super.

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Also cut a piece of carpet for the cargo area

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Next on the agenda was the replacement long side panel. The original one had some water damage, and was in pretty rough shape. Fortunately it was still solid enough to use as a template, so I got another one cut out of birch that fit perfectly. A coat of light stain and poly and it was ready to go:

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After that, it was just cleaning and reinstalling of everything else. I did have to replace all the handles as they were missing, and had to tweak, adjust, and repair things here and there, but I left it as original as possible beyond that.

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Need to repair the laminate on the rear of the cabinet still, but I have other fish to fry for now

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And that wraps up the rear interior for now...
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Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..
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dabble
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done! Smile
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Vee Dub Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that the rear was finished, I turned my attention to the front. The original rubber seat stand mats were in rough shape, and the front floor mat was falling apart and had chunks missing.

I started by pulling the seats and mats all out, and then proceeded to clean clean clean again.

A few befores and afters of the seat stands:

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Drivers side had some surface rust on it, so it needed a little more work. Ended up doing some wire wheeling and rust treating here too

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Front floors have some hokey patches right now. Although I'm generally pretty OCD on stuff like this, I managed to keep my eye on the goal of only doing what I absolutely needed to right now, and just cleaned up what was there. I'll eventually get a new full floor from KlassicFab and weld it in, but for now it will get me down the road.

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After all was clean and ready, I started installing new mats I got from Bus Depot, and getting the seats all back in

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I stuck a late bay floor mat in for the time being. I'll eventually find a correct one, but this was a big improvement over what was there

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That just about catches us up to its current state. I've spent quite a bit of time getting seat belts and harnesses installed so everyone will have a safe place to sit (as safe as you can in these things anyways). I ended up going with the HMMWV front seat belts up front. Don't have any pictures of those yet, but they came out very nice, and the price was great.
_________________
Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..
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Hansolo99
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What paint color did you use in the interior? Any pics of the paint can you used? Looks like a nice color match. Looks great!
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Vee Dub Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last post for now, as we are now all caught up.. I've started on the mechanicals. My insurance lady needs me to get the Bus over to her office for pics for its file. I'm running behind getting with her, so I'm hoping to finish up the necessities this weekend to get it the few miles up the road for her to see.

Number one job was the carb, followed by a full fuel system refresh. Got a new hose for the filler neck, and will be replacing that and the vent line jumpers this weekend. Should be basically operational at that point, save for a quick verification that all the lights/indicators are functioning.

The carb was pulled and cleaned, and I have it all rebuild and ready to go back in (no pics of it complete yet). Simple green did a good job cleaning the carb body to my surprise.

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While the engine bay was partially cleaned out, I've been scrubbing the engine bay (again with simple green). Its cleaning up pretty well inside. No plans for repaint in here now, just trying to make everything serviceable.

Before:
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During:
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I'll post an after pic once I've reinstalled everything.

Almost forgot! I also put on a new set of tires. One of the first things I did actually. It had some really sketchy looking tires when I got it (no-name import pass car tires), so I picked up a set of general grabbers for it. All the wheels are original to the Bus, with 10/67 date code on them. No refinishing on them for now, just running them as is. I still have my pile of hub caps to clean and reinstall.

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Super clean underneath too! Its really dry and solid everywhere. A keeper for sure.

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I like the look of the all terrains!

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Future plans are a full brake service (they work fine right now, but I want peace of mind), axle boot replacement, more engine servicing (valve adjustment, timing, etc), and front end servicing (will eventually need ball joints/boots).

Future future plans are to get my 2L engine built and installed to help provide a little more umph. I've got all the parts except for the crank, so I'm hoping that it will be relatively soon.

Of course all of these changes will be posted as I make more progress.

Hope yall are enjoying the post!
_________________
Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..
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austinb
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice!! Cool
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68 bus

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=619771

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done so far. You did the complete opposite of what I did when I bought my 70' (link below). I refreshed the mechanicals 1st and have the interior to go thru next. For some reason, I enjoy the mechanical work more than the interior work.

Good job so far with this link.
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Kirk
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks fantastic man! Love everything about it all. Great work!
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Vee Dub Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dabble wrote:
Nicely done! Smile


austinb wrote:
Nice!! Cool


Kirk wrote:
This looks fantastic man! Love everything about it all. Great work!


Thanks guys!

Hansolo99 wrote:
What paint color did you use in the interior? Any pics of the paint can you used? Looks like a nice color match. Looks great!


It's rustoleum gloss canvas white. Used most of two quart cans to put on a couple of coats.

wcfvw69 wrote:
Nicely done so far. You did the complete opposite of what I did when I bought my 70' (link below). I refreshed the mechanicals 1st and have the interior to go thru next. For some reason, I enjoy the mechanical work more than the interior work.

Good job so far with this link.


Thank you!

I'm usually a mechanical guy too, but for some reason lately I've been a little put off by the mess of it all LOL. I honestly burned myself out the past few years building several hipo engines for my '67 (and the heat hasn't been helping either), so the interior work was a welcome break from my normal stuff. Like I said, it was already running so I knew it wasn't going to take much, but my kids wouldn't have any of me driving it around without them, so I decided to tackle that first. Should basically be on the road after the weekend if all goes well.
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Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..
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Collin1
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great looking bus. Good decision on the tires. I'll be looking out for you. I'm the guy with the Spaceroof conversion. Wish I still had my first bug.
Collin
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking great! Did you modify the suspension for those tires? What is the performance like with them? Do you have any side pics of the Westy with the tires on?

Cheers,
Don
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Vee Dub Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Collin1 wrote:
Great looking bus. Good decision on the tires. I'll be looking out for you. I'm the guy with the Spaceroof conversion. Wish I still had my first bug.
Collin


Thanks Collin! I should be out and about soon with it. I'm sure I'll see you around!
_________________
Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..
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Vee Dub Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VWDog wrote:
Looking great! Did you modify the suspension for those tires? What is the performance like with them? Do you have any side pics of the Westy with the tires on?

Cheers,
Don


The suspension is all stock. The back is a touch saggy, but not too bad. It does have air shocks on the rear, but they look pretty well shot. I'm guessing the rear is about natural height for its age.

No real idea on performance. I'm new to buses, so whatever it does will be normal to me. I don't have high expectations from the 1600 though LOL... Nothing my 2L can't fix Wink

I'll get some side shots soon. It hasnt been out of the garage much in the account of all the work going on. Only one I have isn't real great.
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Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..
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Vee Dub Nut
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got quite a bit of work done this weekend, but not too many pictures to show for it...

Ultimately the rebuilt carb was installed, I made a better temporary battery tray, did a lot of wiring cleanup, new engine bay seal, new filler neck hose, new tank vent jumpers, all new fuel lines and filter, distributor swap, and a new fan belt, etc, etc.

Still need to finish a proper tuneup, but the rebuilt carb got all the previous drive ability issues sorted out. Did a couple of quick laps around the neighborhood in between rains, and it's running 100% better now. Next trip out is to the gas station for a full tank.

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Over all its getting closer... Still a long way to go, but it's ready enough for the short trip up the road to let my insurance agent get her pictures to complete its file. The next steps will be new axle boots and full brake check/service, as well as a good underside cleaning of the engine/trans.

@VWDog.. Here is my best side shot photo right now. I'll get some better ones when the weather cleans up.

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_________________
Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..
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jmstu76
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an early pop top in my barn. It's not is a whole lot better shape but it could be something to work on while you drive that one.

Love the all terrains!
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'76 Deluxe Sage Green Westy 2.0L Fuel Injected with '78 ECU and AFM, ACN SVDA Distributor, Hydraulic Lifters (boo hiss), 27in General Grabber AT2 All Terrains, Berg Shifter, stock '76 exhaust HPC Ceramic Coated.

'73 Type 181 1776cc Scat crank, rods, cam. Solex 34 Pict 3 rebuilt/bushed by Voksbitz

First VW engine I've ever built and it's still running strong. 80,000 plus miles and counting. Built in 2004.

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notchboy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell Yeah Cool


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OK, this thread is over. You win.

Jason "notchboy" Weigel
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you started a thread on it! A keeper for sure.
Awesome work so far!
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1976 Westy

1966 Beetle
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Yarkle Premium Member
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Joined: August 03, 2009
Posts: 1128
Location: the Hills of Western Maine
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NICE!!! great job!

I am envious of the dry climate buses, but i chose my habitat, SO I guess I cant complain..well, my wife chose it for me, so I guess i can, just not to her.

Ive had really good results with the rustoleum "professional" rattle cans, it really is forgiving of my lack of painting skills.

My sons bus is a 69, needs alot more work than yours, hopefully it will come out as good. I'll be following this thread to steal your ideas!
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1973 VW Bus [o____o] "the Thing" thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP
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Vee Dub Nut
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Joined: April 25, 2004
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Location: NW Georgia
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmstu76 wrote:
I have an early pop top in my barn. It's not is a whole lot better shape but it could be something to work on while you drive that one.

Love the all terrains!


Sent you a PM

And thanks, the tires look perfect on these Buses.
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Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2006

67 Beetle (1500sp, 1776dp, 1915NA, 1915T fuel injected, 2276NA, 2276T fuel injected, 2084NA, T4 conversion coming soon!)

74 Transporter (2.0 T4, SOHC EJ25) - Build Thread: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

See all my VW pics on Instagram @ vee_dub_nut

Clatter wrote:
The only cheap part of an aircooled VW sits behind the wheel..
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