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1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:56 pm    Post subject: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

I'm in the final stages of restoring my old '74 Westy. As that is beginning to wind down, I have found a little bit of time to refurbish my '74 Essen trailer.

The story starts in England. Originally, I found a trailer that was in very good shape, on the internet. I purchased it and asked a family member if it would be alright to store it in their garage for a while, until I could figure out how to get it across the pond. Here it is being delivered:

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As you can see, it was a beautiful trailer. However, I ran across another one, that happened to be year correct, shortly after I had purchased this one. I thought it would be nice to have a '74 trailer to pull behind the '74 westy. After some negotiations, I made a deal and purchased the second trailer. I had both of them shipped to my house. This is what it looked like, when they arrived:
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A little tough to see, but they arrived, stacked one atop the other. Now, like most of us on this site, I was excited to get my hands on a new [to me] VW related toy. I couldn't wait to see what they looked like, so I set out to put them together:
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A couple of years have passed since I received them. I sold the '78 and kept the '74. I knew it would need a ton of work, but figured it would be another fun project to tackle. Fast forward to the present time and now that I've started to get a handle on the bus, I figured it was time to start attacking the trailer. I've since started disassembling it and getting all the pieces and parts ready for powder coating:
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When the lid came off, it was time to take care of this little ding:
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With that done, its time to start tearing it down:
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Some shots of the undercarriage, so I know how things go back together. Very Happy
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Now we can start taking the sides off:
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Time to disassemble the frame and axle:
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The top rail that was at the front of the trailer had taken a beating at some point and needed to be straightened out a bit. Applied some heat and reshaped the metal, so that the rail wouldn't be as wonky:
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Also, the lid had a couple of holes that needed to be filled:
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That's it for now. I bagged up all the small pieces and labeled whatever I could to help when it is time to put it all back together. All the parts and pieces are over at the powder coaters. I should have them back in the next week or so. At that point, I will hopefully begin the process of putting things back together. In the meantime, I'm going to track down some new birch plywood in the correct thicknesses and begin treating them, so they're ready for reassembly too.
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Porsche904
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

did you finish your Essen restauration? Smile
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otiswesty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

I have extras of those trailer tail lights. PM me if you want a new one.

My Essen trailer is a 1977 and my bus is a 78.
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DougB
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Some of the Westy Trailer taillight assemblies and lenses are still available new. I bought mine (and new wheels with tires, and other goodies) from a website called Westy Trailers.

BTW, thanks for all the lid hinge and lock pictures. My Essen is the one that uses the tube frame and tall ("tilt") vinyl/canvas top, but I've considered fabricating the flat, hard top for it to carry bikes.

- Doug Smile
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Porsche904 wrote:
did you finish your Essen restauration? Smile


Hi there! No, not yet. I apologize for taking so long to update. I was out of country for a while, and I'm just starting to get back into the swing of things. All the wood has been cut and is ready to be varnished. I am still waiting for the parts to come back from the powder coater. I stressed to him that I was not in a rush, as such he put my project on the back burner, as he has been extremely busy. I hope to have the parts back pretty soon. I will post pictures of them all, once I get them back. Thanks for your interest. Keep checking in...shouldn't be "too" much longer - whatever that means. Laughing
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

otiswesty wrote:
I have extras of those trailer tail lights. PM me if you want a new one.

My Essen trailer is a 1977 and my bus is a 78.


Thanks for the heads-up otiswesty. I actually bought a replacement from Westy trailer, out of the Netherlands. Great source of replacement parts for these old beauties!

What I really need is to either find:

1) A locksmith that can cut a new set of keys for the Abus no. 30 lock that came on the trailer

or

2) A new Abus no. 30 lock.

I was over in Europe for a couple of weeks, visiting family and took the lock with me, in the hopes of having an old school locksmith cut new keys. At first, they said they could do it. However, after a few days, they had thrown in the towel. Needless to say, I was really bummed out! I didn't have time to take it elsewhere. I guess I'll have to be patient in my pursuit. Wink
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

DougB wrote:
Some of the Westy Trailer taillight assemblies and lenses are still available new. I bought mine (and new wheels with tires, and other goodies) from a website called Westy Trailers.

BTW, thanks for all the lid hinge and lock pictures. My Essen is the one that uses the tube frame and tall ("tilt") vinyl/canvas top, but I've considered fabricating the flat, hard top for it to carry bikes.

- Doug Smile


Agreed! Great resource for a lot of the parts!

As I mentioned above, my biggest frustration to this point has been trying to get another set of keys cut for the lock!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Try Gabriel. Gabevwkey is his name on here I think. He should be able to take care of it for you.
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Hoody wrote:
Try Gabriel. Gabevwkey is his name on here I think. He should be able to take care of it for you.


Thanks for the heads-up dude! I hadn't thought about Gabriel. I'll give him a shout and see if its something he can take care of. Its just such an odd animal...the key is hollow and fits over a "pin" in the lock. The key itself looks like an old fashioned "church key".

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I have used Steelerbus' services in the past, and he's been excellent. I figured I'd try there, but again, I hadn't thought about Gabriel.

Thanks again!
a.
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crofty
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Keep an eye on Ebay, ive found a few NOS locks there.
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

crofty wrote:
Keep an eye on Ebay, ive found a few NOS locks there.


Hey thanks! I have kept an eye out. I'm yet to see any pop up. I've seen a couple that were sold in the past on ebay, in Germany. However, they were both sold several years ago. I also saw one that was sold in South Africa, again, a few years ago and for nearly nothing! That one bummed me out...3 keys etc. Anyhow, no luck for me so far. If by any chance you happen to notice one come up, please let me know!

Just as an aside, I actually received an email from Abus, the lock manufacturer today:

Good Morning,

Germany got back to me on this and since it was discontinued so long ago we no longer have any of the keys in stock, or are able to make them. In fact the only place they had that hasp and key was in the ABUS museum.


Sincerely,


I contacted them in the USA and asked if they would be willing to help with my restoration. They were very responsive and eager to help! Unfortunately, no joy to be had today.
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Looks like a vintage suitcase or trunk key, or for an oldtimey padlock, learn German, travel to Germany and seek out the old school locksmith who's been in business for 50+ years, how hard could that be? Razz

But seriously, there may be luggage collectors or repairmen somewhere in the world that may be able to guide you towards such a key, stuff like this adds to the fun of the job, talking to new people and finding out things exist you never knew of.
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
Looks like a vintage suitcase or trunk key, or for an oldtimey padlock, learn German, travel to Germany and seek out the old school locksmith who's been in business for 50+ years, how hard could that be? Razz


Pfffft...easy peasy! Laughing

busdaddy wrote:
But seriously, there may be luggage collectors or repairmen somewhere in the world that may be able to guide you towards such a key, stuff like this adds to the fun of the job, talking to new people and finding out things exist you never knew of.


It wasn't Germany, however, when I went back to England, earlier in the summer, I visited an old locksmith. They've been doing business in the village for many years. I had taken a couple of old safety deposit boxes to them a couple of years ago, on behalf of my mother after my father passed away. Funnily enough, there was a young "kid" working the counter. He stated that opening the boxes would be no problem. After several minutes and numerous failed attempts, the matriarch comes over and says, let me have a go. First box took approximately 30 seconds to open. Second box, less than 5 seconds. Of course, I laughed out loud...just a little and naturally asked the young man, if he'd learned anything. Anyhow, I got to talking with the older lady and explained what I wanted done on the ABUS lock. Yep, no problem, bring it by, I'd be happy to get it taken care of. Sadly, when I got back this summer, she was no longer involved in the business. Her son had taken ownership, since the passing of his father, several years prior. I must confess to being a little bummed out. I haven't lost hope just yet. We'll see.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Got a call from the powder coater. I hope to have the trailer back, by the end of the week. Can't wait!!! I'll post some pics, once I have retrieved the parts.
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Fresh from the powder coater:

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Rims:
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Spare tire carrier:
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Caps that go over the shock absorbers:
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Axle:
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As always, everything came back looking absolutely killer! Richard and his crew over at http://www.powdertechplus.com never disappoint! I can't wait to start putting it back together. I have a few things left to do before I get to reassembly.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:19 pm    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Sexy Cool
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crofty
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

Nice!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

what wheel bearings are you using? (actually, what size are the Essen bearings?)

I have a 1966 ERKA and the bearings are hard to find. i am using ball bearings and i need to repack them every few 1000kms. i'd like to find roller bearings.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:54 am    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

crofty wrote:
Nice!


Thank you! I'm slowly getting to a place, whereby I can begin to put some time and effort into the trailer - still a few other things that must be attended to first. I'm really excited to see her put back together!
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:05 am    Post subject: Re: 1974 Westfalia Essen Trailer Reply with quote

mango-smoothie wrote:
what wheel bearings are you using? (actually, what size are the Essen bearings?)

I have a 1966 ERKA and the bearings are hard to find. i am using ball bearings and i need to repack them every few 1000kms. i'd like to find roller bearings.


Hey mango-smoothie! It has been a long time since I did the research, so the details are quite foggy. However, I bought FAG bearings:
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I had good results with their products, when I changed the rear wheel bearings in the bus. I decided to give them a chance for the trailer too. If memory serves, they met all the criteria as far as RPM and load. I still have the originals, stuffed away somewhere. They are still covered in grease, so I haven't even had a chance to look them over. I figured if they managed to last a little better than 40+ years, why change the system? Of course, I would love to hear about anything different that you might come up with.

Just in case you wanted some more information:

https://www.amazon.com/FAG-6203-C3-Clearance-22000...ds=6203.c3

I hope that is of some use!
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