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Helga - Our 71 Westfalia
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliments. Looking forward to getting back on the road!
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

I made a large order of rubber with BusDepot, only to find out a third of it was backordered. I was able to find those pieces at JBugs, and got that shipped out. I started placing the front door weatherstrip in place (one from BusDepot, the other from JBugs), and realized neither was going to fit. Research here showed me that it's a known issue, and directed me to Airheadparts for better door seals. Since the poor quality seals are like $15 each, with two different vendors, I think I'll just toss them in the trash.

I also found a complete stock muffler kit on the classifieds here, so I snatched that up. I'll use the Monza muffler to get the bus tuned (since I put the O2 bung in it), and then switch over to the stock setup.
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

I have one door reassembled, using the informative and entertaining post
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=608814.

The vent window seal was a bit difficult, and is super tight. After installation, I lubed it with window cleaner, got it shut, and I'm going to leave it sit, hoping it finds home.

The BusDepot outer scraper fit better than I expected. In my experience reproduction trim pieces like this are usually disappointing, but this went right in. The original trim has notches in the vertical channel for the felt retainers, where this one did not. You'll see in the picture where I've marked the piece before drilling holes in it so I could install the clips.

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The felt strips in the BusDepot kit are nice quality as well. The vertical felt in the vent window channel is too long, and had to be cut to length. Once I got everything together, I found the main window is tight as well. I think I may run a tool through the felt to try to open it up a little, but for now, it's in.

I love the look of new rubber against new paint on old cars!


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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Helga has a 1776, with a Solex 34Pict3 carb. It seems to be popular recommendation to jet the carb with 130 main and 60 idle. I made those changes when the engine was rebuilt. In the 500 miles of driving before body/paint teardown, I felt like it was running rich. As an experiment, I welded an O2 bung in the muffler, and borrowed a friend's AFR meter. With the 130/60, I was seeing 12.3 or so at 3000rpm, free revving. I put the 127.5 back in, and get 13.0 or so at the same rpm. I need to repeat these experiments driving, but will need to enlist some help to read the guage, as it doesn't quite reach the driver's area.

Here's a short video of the instrumentation.

https://youtu.be/-HTGOR-N28c
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

The fiberglass tops are in pretty good condition. No cracks, wood strips are solid. Really just needed some cleanup and paint. After cleaning the best I could, I ran over everything with 180grit DA. After wiping it down, I applied 2k epoxy primer and topped it with enamel.

Before
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After
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richparker
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Top looks good. Interesting you decided to use epoxy and enamel instead of a gel coat. But, itís done and looks great!
_________________
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í71 Westy build
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

richparker wrote:
Top looks good. Interesting you decided to use epoxy and enamel instead of a gel coat. But, itís done and looks great!


I've done a lot of painting, but have never done a gel coat. Didn't really consider it, to be honest. I had both the epoxy and enamel on hand, so just used what I had.
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orwell84
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

My cab door was an ass ache, but it probably would not have been so bad if I hadnít spent ages working out a stubborn oil can first. The next one will be easier. Yours came out great.

I like gloss white on the pop top better than how it came from the factory. Mine has held up very well for 20+ years.
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

I was hoping to install the top canvas this weekend. I ordered the yellow top, but it doesn't match as well as I expected. Going to return this and order the tan top. It should clash less with the exterior, and compliment the stock beige seats and door panels.

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I built the passenger side door, and had a hell of a time getting the inner scraper installed. It was only after I decided to compare the old wire clips with the new ones that I realized the new reproduction one wasn't quite shaped right. So glad I kept the old one.


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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Had a business trip that lasted three weeks, so I used that time to order lots of parts. My wife said it looked like Christmas in the living room by the time I got home!

Back to work in the shop. I scrubbed all the black vinyl interior pieces and sprayed them with SEM Color Coat Vinyl Dye.




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I cleaned up the instrument panel and changed all the bulbs. I like how this turned out.


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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:58 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Installed the new Wolfsburg West ACME top. Installation was straightforward with no issues. The tan looks better than the yellow on this bus, and will compliment the beige seat upholstery and door panels.


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orwell84
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Nice job on the dash and poptop. My window was tight too. You could try some talcum powder on the rubber scraper seal.
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Bobbyrjones80
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Mberglo wrote:
We learned about a VW graveyard about 100 miles away, so I made a trip to see if I could find a rear bumper. I met a neat old guy that has been doing VWs since the 70s. All his cars are scattered over a few acres of woods. He let me wander around and collect what I needed. I found a serviceable rear bumper, a good rear apron, the correct rear foam pad, and a nice set of hubcaps. We plan to go back again next weekend to see what else we can find.


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Do you mind sharing the location of the VW junk yard?
Thanks.
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Bobbyrjones80 wrote:


Do you mind sharing the location of the VW junk yard?
Thanks.


It's in Leeds, AL. I sent you a PM.
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:05 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Finally got an opportunity to take a few laps around the country roads with my Air/Fuel ratio meter. I had originally put a 130 main jet in the newly built 1776, but it seemed to be running rich. I put the A/F meter on it, and it verified it was rich by free revving in the driveway. I swapped the main back to the 127.5 and it improved things. I still needed to do a driving test.

Since the harness wouldn't reach the front seats, Sherry had to sit in the floor of the empty interior and call out readings while I drove. When the bus was cruising, we were seeing 11s and 12s. When under a load, it got richer down to 9s and 10s. When off the throttle and coasting, it would rise to 15s and 16s. That still seems a little rich, but better than being lean. I did another lap with the oil bath cleaner removed to see if it was restrictive. It didn't make much difference. I think I'll stick with the stock jet in the 34Pict3 carb.
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Now that I was finished with the O2 bung, it was time to swap out the 4-tip Monza exhaust for a new stock muffler setup. I was pleased with the quality of the kit I bought on the classifieds here. Label says VAG Classic, JP Group Classic Line. It was nice to have all the proper pieces to connect the air hoses. I did have some problems connecting the heater box to the muffler heat collector thing. The pipes don't line up good enough to get the little 1" wide clamp over both. I'm thinking I'll get a rubber radiator hose and clamps to try to join the two. I also want to tackweld a few spots and get rid of the ugly tailpipe clamps.



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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Went with the wife today to Joann's Fabrics to try to find some curtain material. I'm partial to the one on the left. I'm also not opposed to using the original pattern if someone can tell me where to buy the fabric. My wife really wants to make the curtains, so buying finished curtains isn't the goal.


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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

Got a lot done this weekend. I painted the front and rear bumpers and installed the new rubber footsteps and vinyl strips between front bumper sections. I ordered a tow hitch bumper mount, so the rear bumper install will have to wait another week. I repainted the wheels that had gotten messed up during wetblasting. David came over and we installed the front bumper, the last piece of glass, the side slider covers, and the engine cover.


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I love the little details like the script that was missing from the bus when I got it.
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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

With the outside being 95% complete, it's time to start back on the interior. I glued down 1/4 subfloor plywood, and topped that off with Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring, which was glued to the plywood.


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Mberglo
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:39 am    Post subject: Re: Helga - Our 71 Westfalia Reply with quote

I had most of the old paneling to use as templates, so I helped my wife cut out new ceiling and wall panels from 1/8 inch baltic birch. Since we're building a custom interior, a few pieces on the walls are custom, which she mocked up in cardboard and cut out.

A cabinet maker friend advised that you should always spray both sides of wood to prevent one side from taking on moisture and warping. So we'll spray polyurethane on the backs first to seal, then flip them and put two or three coats, sanding in between, on the tops.


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