Joined: April 11, 2005
Location: Monterey, CA
|Posted: Sun May 01, 2005 7:37 pm Post subject: Re: westy canvas replacement 1985
| Anyone ever replace their old canvas?
How difficult is the job?
How long should it take two relatively competent do it yourselfers?
Yes, i replaced the canvas on my '84. Difficulty: mediumish-easy. Mostly just time consuming. There are a few good write-ups on the vanagon.com mailing list archives, but i'll briefly outline how i did it here.
1) Remove the million little screws holding the metal trim to both the body and the top. I labeled all the trim so i knew where it went (front/back, left/right, top/bottom). The screws in the back are difficult to get to - especially the corners. Use a stubby screw driver for those. Otherwise, use an electric screw driver to save your arm.
2) If you have mildew everywhere like i did, now is the time to do something about it. You can take the top off with just a few bolts. Not too heavy, and definitely doable with two people. A little bleach and a little sun makes short work of that dark stuff. Be careful of the paint when reinstalling the top.
3) When starting on the canvas, the first screw you should put in is the middle front bottom. Let the back take up all the extra material. Just fold the canvas in half to find the front and back middles (both top and bottom). Tack the upper edge of the canvas in place with a couple screws - you will have to readjust this edge to get the canvas taut.
4) When you get to the bottom front corners, you will want to snip a v-notch out of the plastic piping to help follow the sharp bends more easily. Work all the way around to the back.
5) At the upper edge, pull the canvas until it is wrinkle free and start screwing it in place, starting at the front, making sure everything is even. Getting all the wrinkles out took a couple tries, but worth the extra time. Work your way around to the back...
You should be done!
A buddy and i took an easy day and a half (went for a bike ride in the middle of the process). Also, this presumes you have the style that screws in... not staples in (which i am pretty sure anything after '84 does).