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microbuser
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:32 pm    Post subject: Z bed? Reply with quote

I have a 70 deluxe with both rear and middle benches. In the local junk yard there is a 68 westy with a nice bed in it. I am thinkin about pulling the bed and temporarily install it in my bus to go camping and to VW shows. Is there another way to get my rear bench to fold into a bed. What exactly is a Z bed? I would love to camp in my bus. Thanks.
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TRN9
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where in Humboldt are you?
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


There are two hinges like this and they turn the back into a bed. The DelMar Retro bed is a copy and currently under production. If you look long and hard you can find a Z-bed. The Del Mar bed is about double what a NOS Z-bed will cost you. I have a spare used one but it is promised once I get it cleaned up and any broken welds fixed. If you have a middle seat you will also need to buy or fabricate brackets liks the L shaped one to the right of the hinge in the photo.

http://shop.delmarretro.com/main.sc
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'In fact, Wray said that most Americans have already been affected. “If you’re an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data,” he said.' News article 7/7/2020

I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, & is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, & from racing in the era your bus came to life.
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enjoispammy8
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a westy bed is NOT a z-bed.

which means the bed you are talking about in the 68 westy would be a westy bed

oh karl, how you are missed.
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there another way to get my rear bench to fold into a bed. What exactly is a Z bed?


The westy bed is often called a Z-bed but it is not. It is a westy bed. Those new hinges are available to build a bed out of wood.

The true Z-Bed was made by Z-Products of North Hollywood and it turned a regular rear seat into a bed. I know all about them because we had one in our 1971 deluxe that I installed in 1977 new from Z-Products.

The owner moved to Oregon and no longer makes them nor does he show any interest in even selling parts anymore. My understanding is that someone here made arrangements to put him and a big Samba retailer together to make a limited run but the numbers he wanted made were so huge it wasn't worth it. I can't even get him, Tim, to respond to whether he will sell some replacement parts that he has so I can sell one that we have which needs work. A person in San Diego County, Del Mar Retro bed, is now making a copy of the Z-bed more or less. They are about $450. We found a NOS N. Hollywood boxed Z-Bed for about $250 last year. They are out there but you have dig to find them. Used ones are fairly easy to find but they are always worn out and require refabrication.

This is a photo of a NOS one. There are two hinges per install and the L bracket to move the middle seat forward.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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'In fact, Wray said that most Americans have already been affected. “If you’re an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data,” he said.' News article 7/7/2020

I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, & is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, & from racing in the era your bus came to life.
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Anchovy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
Quote:
Is there another way to get my rear bench to fold into a bed. What exactly is a Z bed?


The westy bed is often called a Z-bed but it is not. It is a westy bed. Those new hinges are available to build a bed out of wood.

The true Z-Bed was made by Z-Products of North Hollywood and it turned a regular rear seat into a bed. I know all about them because we had one in our 1971 deluxe that I installed in 1977 new from Z-Products.

The owner moved to Oregon and no longer makes them nor does he show any interest in even selling parts anymore. My understanding is that someone here made arrangements to put him and a big Samba retailer together to make a limited run but the numbers he wanted made were so huge it wasn't worth it. I can't even get him, Tim, to respond to whether he will sell some replacement parts that he has so I can sell one that we have which needs work. A person in San Diego County, Del Mar Retro bed, is now making a copy of the Z-bed more or less. They are about $450. We found a NOS N. Hollywood boxed Z-Bed for about $250 last year. They are out there but you have dig to find them. Used ones are fairly easy to find but they are always worn out and require refabrication.

This is a photo of a NOS one. There are two hinges per install and the L bracket to move the middle seat forward.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The Z-products kit also comes with some hardware and spacers to extend the rear seat, seat belts. I installed a NOS kit in my '71. It is a handy feature but it is a bit of a PITA to fold the lower section of the rear seat forward. You need to remove the rear seat kick panel and roll up the center mat so the seat can be moved.
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Bookwus
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya SGK,

SGKent wrote:
.......The owner moved to Oregon and no longer makes them nor does he show any interest in even selling parts anymore. My understanding is that someone here made arrangements to put him and a big Samba retailer together to make a limited run but the numbers he wanted made were so huge it wasn't worth it. I can't even get him, Tim, to respond to whether he will sell some replacement parts that he has so I can sell one that we have which needs work. A person in San Diego County, Del Mar Retro bed, is now making a copy of the Z-bed more or less. They are about $450. We found a NOS N. Hollywood boxed Z-Bed for about $250 last year. They are out there but you have dig to find them. Used ones are fairly easy to find but they are always worn out and require refabrication.


And.............for what it might be worth...............there is another repopper doing the z-Bed brackets. A fellow over in England. His product has been written up in a couple of VW oriented magazines over in Europe. I've chatted with him a couple of times. He' s doing limited production runs to allow himself some time to sell off his inventory.
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Desertbusman
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

enjoispammy8 wrote:
a westy bed is NOT a z-bed.

which means the bed you are talking about in the 68 westy would be a westy bed

oh karl, how you are missed.


Yes, so true. But even His daughter Michelle saw through the z-bed problem and got a good laugh out of Samba folks.
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webwalker
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So who is the Euro doing the repop? Is he selling here? How does the price compare once you factor in shipping?

The DelMar guys are selling there for the equivalent weight in gold.

M
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Bookwus
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya web,

The going price is about $300US. Dunno about the shipping to the States.

Take a look at......................

http://www.camperstuff.co.uk/Site/Home.html
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webwalker
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even at a steep shipping rate, I'd be more inclined to go with the UK bed, as the California Retro-bed would still cost to get it to me here on the east coast. And the Brits have a passion for bays that I wish would rub off on folks here. I wonder what the clever boys at Del Mar would say to a little competition?

M
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webwalker
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just dropped a note to DelMar asking what their product brings to the table to justify a 42% markup over the UK clone, and a 70% markup over NOS.

I'll be fascinated by their answer...IF they answer.

M
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have spoken to Jim at Del Mar retro bed several times while he was designing the unit. I know he has a small fortune in making them. The dies are where the cost is. www.delmarretro.com
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'In fact, Wray said that most Americans have already been affected. “If you’re an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data,” he said.' News article 7/7/2020

I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, & is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, & from racing in the era your bus came to life.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might add this. A year ago we had an opportunity to discuss buying Tim's dies and reproducing the Z-Bed. Ron Salmon did too from what I have been told. I did a survey of people who sell bus parts and the general feeling was that maybe over the next ten years 300 kits could be sold - and that was at a $275 price. These folks who are making these will only make money on them if they make them in china and none of us want that until the chinese start buying up our buses for mega$$. Right now they are buying gold but they should buy VW buses and they'd have more fun.

Last - I am told that Tim felt 500 to 1,000 pieces NOW would be needed to justify the aggravation of producing the Z-bed again. So the price of the Del Mar bed seems reasonable to me. The UK one looks kinds funky.
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'In fact, Wray said that most Americans have already been affected. “If you’re an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data,” he said.' News article 7/7/2020

I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, & is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, & from racing in the era your bus came to life.
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webwalker
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, I've looked at fabrication myself and run away screaming at the cost of startup.

Still the question is out there. $420? or $295? for what appears to be the same product.

M
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Still the question is out there. $420? or $295? for what appears to be the same product.


They don't look the same to me but the function appears to be the same. You'd have to lay them side by side to compare them. Why not get them both, test them and get back to us? If you write an article you might get it published in Hot VW and if you write both companies with proof you are doing a test article they may send you ones for free to test. Then you will know for sure the difference. IMHO just making statement based on price differences shows nothing but disrespect. All of the people who are losing their homes were told their payments would go up - each one was handed a Reg Z, now that the payments have gone up it is convenient to forget that. One cannot buy on price alone or one gets burned over and over. Greed gets people. So if Jim's bed is better made it will command a higher price. And if the UK bed is better it will sell more.
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'In fact, Wray said that most Americans have already been affected. “If you’re an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data,” he said.' News article 7/7/2020

I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, & is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, & from racing in the era your bus came to life.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Appears to be"

You quote me accurately. Thank you. Smile

I'm not driving at getting the parts on the cheap. (Do you really think HVW would give a damn about a bay? They haven't featured a bay in so long I can't even REMEMBER when.) Nor am I asserting that one is better made.

I'm merely pointing out that it is a hell of a big discrepancy. I can buy a serpentine belt system for my Bug from BMD or Scat. Price difference is not huge, but not trivia ($60). Why does Scat get that much more for their product?

The guys at DelMar may be straight shooters; you known them, I don't. When there is a big difference in price for similar product, there is usually a reason. I'm digging for the reason, not for where the bodies are buried. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm merely pointing out that it is a hell of a big discrepancy


I hear where you are coming from but that is your opinion not a fact.

If with out seeing, touching or inspecting a 911 Porsche and a VW Beetle I said -"they are both aircooled German cars. I don't see how they can charge $70,000 for one and $9.000 for the other. What a rip off a Porsche is ..." Would you not say "Steve, why not inspect each and look into it before you make such a rash statement."
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'In fact, Wray said that most Americans have already been affected. “If you’re an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data,” he said.' News article 7/7/2020

I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, & is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, & from racing in the era your bus came to life.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there is a set in the classifieds that were posted last night. also there is a guy on earlybay.com username ddfrost who remakes them from a set i sent him a couple of years ago
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

To put it in context, I was desperate enough for a true Zbed that I was willing to pay the DelMar price.

You are correct, my callout of the price discrepancy is based on my opinion (which you clearly heard coming through in my tone) but the dollar figures are a fact.

In my experience, the quality delta between the most expensive unit and the next lower tier is usually the narrowest, but the quality delta between the middle tier and the 'cheapest' is huge. (Most Vdubbers feel a compulsion for cheapest. I don't.) Having only been privileged to see mere pictures of each product, perhaps I'm talking out of my tailpipe.

But the empirical question of Value (V=Quality / Availability) isn't one that can be determined by pictures or relationships. If a product is overpriced, and there is sufficient demand, a competitor will do as good or better for less $$. If a product is produced and appears to be overpriced and there isn't sufficient demand, no competitor will emerge...which means the original wasn't overpriced; it was marketed at a price point that the niche market would pay or it will die on the vine.

But enough of my economic theories. Smile I'm not in a position to criticize your industry peers on the price of their product; I'm just a peon consumer trying to understand markups for niche products from two different providers on two different continents. You clearly have the advantage of me, being both acquainted with one of the parties, and more local to the scene. I'm forced to make my conclusions based on what I read here and in other forums. Which is how I got to poking my nose in to this in the first place. Sad
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