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Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc.
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Jason0115
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:55 pm    Post subject: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

After starting my post "Getting a type 4 engine to start after 10 years" I received some great replies about how to get the engine running. I would like to ask everybody for some help pricing out my bus project. It is a 1975 westfalia camper with about 80k miles on the odometer, the previous owner drove it to his house then it sat for 10 years (never started since). No reason why he didn't drive it other than lost interest. It has all the interior camping gear, just the front seats are torn up with no fabric and some of the bed cover fabric is gone. Minor holes in poptop. I have no history of the work done on this bus (all docs burnt in house fire) but there is a lot of body filler over the sheet metal and quite a bit of rust but it isn't a rust bucket, and not enough to be a deal breaker by what I've observed.

Here is a google drive link to see the bus and pictures (There's a lot so I didn't upload here):
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1m9xnpc0n_SKLp0Cxd-1PJSqaYzvFst1e?usp=sharing

My main concern is the big rust spots and the cost with fixing. I would like to mig weld some of the panels myself to save on cost and to learn myself. As long as it looks good, not perfect I'll be happy. But I think for the underside like the jacking points which are rusted I'll have a body shop do. I want to first take care of whatever parts of the underside that need done all at once, and get the bus safe and stop future rust. From your experience what do you roughly think from looking at the pictures the various rust spots will cost to repair?

I figure I'll spend about $500-1000 to get the engine to start because I want to replace worn components. Still had a little oil in it when I checked, and I saw a few mouse scraps in there. I think that is fairly reasonable but correct me if wrong.

The clutch goes down smoothly and comes up smooth. The brake barely presses down and takes some force to press. The gas pedal doesn't push down at all and is very close to the floor. What should I be looking to do in this case?

Any other parts of the bus like brakes, transmission, suspension, etc. I should be working on/replacing to get it on the road safely?

As you can tell, I'm quite the novice but I'm ready for a summer project, I have a lot to learn and be ready for but the samba is a great place to share knowledge. My goal right now is to get this thing on the road safely. Doesn't have to be the prettiest for now, but eventually I'll give it a paint job and get the body looking good. Thanks for any advice and I hope this can help some others too!

Link to my first post as stated in my intro about how to get the engine running:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=753186
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P24p1
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Just a heads up - I am probably as big of a novice as you are, but I have been working on my bus for nearly 9 months now so I may be able to give some advice.

To judge the cost of the panels is pretty easy, just make a list of what you need and check out cip1, BusDepot, or any other air-cooled VW site and get a feel for it. My best guess is it's gonna be a few hundred, but please check for yourself.

Well, if the gas pedal doesn't move, is it connected? Maybe have someone else look at the throttle plates and see if the cable moves at all when you press the gas pedal. If not, but it is connected, that'll need replacing most likely, it may be stretched or seized from rust. Check the spring under the pedal to see if it's still there, that would be important also.

When in doubt, come up with a budget and double it. That should cover everything.

Good luck!
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richparker
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

IDK if itís worth it. Where the frame meets the rear torsion is toast. Even if you do get it running, itís defiantly not safe to drive.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Jason0115 wrote:
but it isn't a rust bucket


pop quiz... that IS a rust bucket



sorry that's a parts bus

it's already had the cave and pave lipstick on a pig job once, i can see all the filler blowing off of it.

to do it right....

5-7k in repair panels and another 10k+ in labor.

that's before paint....

i'd be parting that out faster than you could say no thanks

once you get her naked, you'll want to puke. i'd walk away and i fix rust like this all the time
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most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

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P24p1
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Ah jeez, yeah I missed that picture somehow, that's rough

BusDaddy repaired something similar once if you'd like to view his thread, although yours may be a bit further gone, not sure

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=455598

Cutting out a piece from a donor may also be an option
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Angie the 1973 1.7l Westfalia

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Jason0115
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
Jason0115 wrote:
but it isn't a rust bucket


once you get her naked, you'll want to puke. i'd walk away and i fix rust like this all the time


That's a bummer to hear, I feel like they're so hard to find on the east coast. I don't have too much of an upfront budget and am pretty much relying on a barn find where the seller doesn't care much about price. I thought I had a good deal here, getting this for under 1k.

Do you mind explaining what you see more so I know what I'm looking at? I don't know how to tell what is what on the metal surface. There is the black flaky stuff on the floor panel and on basically the whole frame but I don't know what that is. Under that it seems to be a coat of the original paint color. Then there is the obvious rusted holes and chunks missing. From what you saw what would absolutely need replaced? I'm thinking maybe hold on for a little and see what I can find in terms of replacements as I can tell you I do not have anywhere near that price you listed to do metal work. I'd spent some $ on panels but the labor $ really gets me. I was told by some that the underside looked really good but they also didn't see the frame by the rear torsion and all of the jacking points. I guess I'm trying to be an optimist and see if there is any hope in this.


Last edited by Jason0115 on Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jason0115
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:19 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

richparker wrote:
IDK if itís worth it. Where the frame meets the rear torsion is toast. Even if you do get it running, itís defiantly not safe to drive.


Thanks for the reply. Is there any other major concerning spots? I think I found a replacement for that I put the link below but I could be wrong.
https://www.heritagepartscentre.com/us/211703460a-rear-chassis-leg-half-right-inner.html
It doesn't seem like the chassis rail is too bad or the outriggers but again don't know what I'm looking at.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

P24p1 wrote:
Ah jeez, yeah I missed that picture somehow, that's rough

BusDaddy repaired something similar once if you'd like to view his thread, although yours may be a bit further gone, not sure

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=455598

Cutting out a piece from a donor may also be an option


Thanks for both replies. It looked like the pedal may have been disconnected, and I'll check those sites.

I'll have to see if I can find a donor or complete replacement section for the really rusted areas.

I guess if all fails I'll part and keep looking. How did you find your bus 9 mo ago btw? It's been so hard to find this one was luck tbh.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:28 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Jason0115 wrote:
Thanks for the reply. Is there any other major concerning spots? I think I found a replacement for that I put the link below but I could be wrong.
https://www.heritagepartscentre.com/us/211703460a-rear-chassis-leg-half-right-inner.html
It doesn't seem like the chassis rail is too bad or the outriggers but again don't know what I'm looking at.


WAIT WHAT?! THEY MAKE REPLACEMENT PARTS NOW! omg when I had to have my bus fixed those did not exist I swear, that is amazing there is finally a replacement for that piece of the frame

That's only the inner one though, you'll need the outer skin too

https://www.heritagepartscentre.com/us/211703110b-rear-chassis-leg-half-right-outer.html

If you only paid a grand or so for that bus, and you can get those parts, then I say go for it!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Jason0115 wrote:
I guess if all fails I'll part and keep looking. How did you find your bus 9 mo ago btw? It's been so hard to find this one was luck tbh.


I had to do some asking around, it wasn't listed for sale but the guy sold it to me anyway. Try doing some asking around, the best deals are sometimes not on classifieds
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Jason0115 wrote:


Do you mind explaining what you see


i see what you see....a rusty pile of shit.

so even at "under 1k" you have a junk engine and a junk body. that pile is going to bleed you to death up to the point you realize you have 8k into it with 400 hours spent and still have nothing to show for it.

so what's the difference if you spend 8k+ now or 8k+ later....you still spend 8k+.

my advice is save for a better bus. the seller pricing it that low is a red flag.... if that bus is under 1k it just confirms even the seller knows it's a turd.

my advice? buy that bus FOR PARTS and spend some money on a cleaner body. i hate to say it....but if you can't peel 8-10K off the honey roll for a decent bus you probably shouldn't be looking to buy one.

you will be financially buried in that thing and once you get too deep you'll never break even if you have to sell it. you're going to have to travel and find a better bus.

a 1k bus will have 10k into it before it's road worthy.... not perfect but road worthy. i'd start closer to the road worthy end than the drain my life savings end
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my reason for switching to subaru is my german car was turning chinese so i said fuck it and went japanese.......
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most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

Jake Raby wrote:
Thanks for the correction. I used to be a nice guy, then I ruined it by exposing myself to the public.

Brian wrote:
Also the fact that people are agreeing with Skills, it's a turn of events for samba history
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:09 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Stick fresh gas in it and see if it starts. If the motor is toast, that's a lot of $ and time to invest with the rust issues too.
Unfortunately you have some problematic rust areas (safety). I'd probably see if I can get what I can running and evaluate after that. But keep the spending low (dont hire people) initially then decide how to continue.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

wagohn wrote:
Stick fresh gas in it and see if it starts. If the motor is toast, that's a lot of $ and time to invest with the rust issues too.
Unfortunately you have some problematic rust areas (safety). I'd probably see if I can get what I can running and evaluate after that. But keep the spending low (dont hire people) initially then decide how to continue.


hell no dont do that. you MAY have a fair engine there, but "throwing gas in it and seeing if it runs" can burn down, damage cylinder walls, or damage the pistons. Hell, it could be frozen. at least dribble some mystery oil down the plugs and see if it turns over by hand first.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

alman72 wrote:

hell no dont do that. you MAY have a fair engine there, but "throwing gas in it and seeing if it runs" can burn down, damage cylinder walls, or damage the pistons. Hell, it could be frozen. at least dribble some mystery oil down the plugs and see if it turns over by hand first.


Sure, a little oil may assist. What I wouldn't do is start spending cash on removing the engine, cleaning the tank, and replacing fuel lines.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:58 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

alman72 wrote:
wagohn wrote:
Stick fresh gas in it and see if it starts. If the motor is toast, that's a lot of $ and time to invest with the rust issues too.
Unfortunately you have some problematic rust areas (safety). I'd probably see if I can get what I can running and evaluate after that. But keep the spending low (dont hire people) initially then decide how to continue.


hell no dont do that. you MAY have a fair engine there, but "throwing gas in it and seeing if it runs" can burn down, damage cylinder walls, or damage the pistons. Hell, it could be frozen. at least dribble some mystery oil down the plugs and see if it turns over by hand first.


I second this!

I mean, treat it like a lady and go slow at first.

I think the rest is fixable, but that rust around the rear torsion tubes, no bueno Crying or Very sad
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Jason0115
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

mikewire wrote:

I mean, treat it like a lady and go slow at first.

I think the rest is fixable, but that rust around the rear torsion tubes, no bueno Crying or Very sad


I will definitely not just try and start it. I think I will just get what I NEED to see if it starts, I have to be warry of how much $ I put in if it will end up being a parts bus.

How much do you think the rust around rear torsion tubes would run me and do you think its possible for a novice like me to even attempt a repair on my own? Other than that what else do you needs to be replaced to get it on the road?

My goal would be to get a bus that is safe and running and get it on the road. I'm not looking to show any time soon. I'm a college kid anyways
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

P24p1 wrote:

I had to do some asking around, it wasn't listed for sale but the guy sold it to me anyway. Try doing some asking around, the best deals are sometimes not on classifieds


Thats a good idea, and honestly seems like the only way to get a good deal with a low budget. Did you ask friends, in community groups, etc?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:36 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Jason0115 wrote:

I will definitely not just try and start it. I think I will just get what I NEED to see if it starts, I have to be warry of how much $ I put in if it will end up being a parts bus.


And therein lies the $1,000,000 question. You will get responses that will suggest many weeks of work for a novice and lots of $. Only you can decide what you NEED to start the bus because it's coming out of your pocket.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:37 am    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

Getting that thing on the road safely is going take years of work and thousands and thousands of dollars...
Buy something like this and get it shipped to you, then use yours for engine/trans/parts...
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2467000
The front end damage would be much easier to fix compared to all that rust and rot.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Pricing my bus project help (1975 Westy) rust, engine, etc. Reply with quote

SLVRSRFR wrote:
Getting that thing on the road safely is going take years of work and thousands and thousands of dollars...
Buy something like this and get it shipped to you, then use yours for engine/trans/parts...
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2467000
The front end damage would be much easier to fix compared to all that rust and rot.


I agree. I just rebuilt the lower front of my bus for £500 in panels from AH Schofields here in the UK, and two months at an hour a day plus weekends. I am not very skilled, I suppose I used another £500 worth of tools and consumables too.
I was lucky to have scored the lower front panel for £20 at a swapmeet also from AH Schofield (Brazilian, somebody wanted the lower screen surround only so they cut it off and sold the bit with the headlamp bowls in it)
If I had paid full price, that would have been another £150

Its much easier to fix bent metal like that than find the metal inside the rust ..



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Leave that rusty bus, or buy it for parts...
Over here in the UK, expert people would tackle that $1000 bus, but they would take quite some time to get it safe enough to drive.
Getting into the chassis enough to fix that rust may involve cutting more stuff off to make space , then rebuild it. It could easily collapse in a heap onto the road as the rear torsion tube breaks free.
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