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85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Hello friends. I recently picked up a 85 Westy. The Bus has spent a bit of time here on the Samba forum with the previous owner:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=684598

I've been a Bus guy since the mid 80's and have owned everything from a 58 Westy to a 87 Westy Syncro. My current driver is a 70 but I'm getting to a point where I'd like to get into something a bit more modern with better heat. Looking forward to sharing the project and getting some advice. Current plans call for a freshened up motor, a bit of rust repair with the intention of a full paint job in the near future and a general cleaning and personalizing of the Van...Did I just say Van?

As arrived. Rick, the previous owner, did a great job of packing everything. The project was just a bit too much for him right now but he plans on getting back into a Bus in the near future.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:19 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

From speaking with Rick and checking the thread, I knew the heads were cooked on the motor that came with the Bus. I have a friend who recently installed a Vanistan motor in his low mile (88K) Westy. As a result, he had a good running 1.9 for sale. We struck up a deal and I brought it to the shop. He even had it in a crate! As a bonus, he threw in a perfectly good, stock exhaust. Seeing the rust on the Bus, I had a feeling I would need a new exhaust so this worked out perfectly.

I loaded up my trusty camper and picked up the booty:
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

The previous owner mentioned that he had the head/cylinder gaskets replaced prior to removing the motor. I was hoping for a plug and play moment, buy anyone who's worked on this stuff long enough knows that's never the case.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

One it got the motor up on the stand I noticed that the rear mounting stud was bent and something had pushed up into the pushrod tubes. Looks like the heads will have to come off anyway.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I forgot to take photos in the heat of the moment of the tear-down, but was pleased to find only very lightly scuffed cylinders and a near perfect bottom end. Even the rod bearings looked near new. The heads had no cracks so I cleaned all the parts and dropped off the heads and cylinders at my buddy's shop, Sportcar Service, here in Colorado Springs. The plan is for fresh exhaust valves and a valve job as well as honing of the cylinders. I also placed an order for the gasket kit, water pump, t-stat, fuel line kit, motor mounts and a few other odds and ends needed to get the motor freshened up.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

While I'm waiting on parts and machine work, I'm digging into the Bus to see what needs to be done. It doesn't happen often, but this Westy surpassed my expectations. It appears to very complete and optioned. I began where the previous owner left off and removed the interior for some rust repair.

I don't recall ever seeing one of these single middle seats:
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It came with AC, which was a bit of a challenge to remove:
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This adorable ice tray!
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One of these things. Any ideas?:
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Once most of the panels were removed, I stashed the mess in my little trailer until it's time to be re-installed.

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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

So with a non-running Bus that has no interior and needs rust repair, I did the next sensible thing and found a set of 16's on Craigslist:

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


These are going to machinist buddy to open up the centers to fit the Vanagon hub.

I'm still formulating a plan for the rust repairs but I'll be tackling that as I put the motor together.
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

i've got one of those middle seats with the locking compartment in grey. very cool option.

aaaand... anyone that has both VWs and a BMW motorcycle AND a built in parts washer in their workbench is going to be juuuust fine with this project!

-dan
(81 R100RT, complete with dual CHT, turn&bank, working airspeed gauges and of course an aircraft compass)

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novws
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Cool project! Looking forward to following your progress.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Bulli Klinik wrote:
One it got the motor up on the stand I noticed that the rear mounting stud was bent and something had pushed up into the pushrod tubes. Looks like the heads will have to come off anyway


You should be able to fix dents in pushrod tubes without replacing them. Just remove the pushrods and use a piece of timber dowel of the correct size to push in and then lightly tap on the end and the dents should come out, maybe not perfect but good enough so the pushrod isnít touching. Thatís what I did anyway and it worked fine.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

DanHoug wrote:
i've got one of those middle seats with the locking compartment in grey. very cool option.

aaaand... anyone that has both VWs and a BMW motorcycle AND a built in parts washer in their workbench is going to be juuuust fine with this project!

-dan
(81 R100RT, complete with dual CHT, turn&bank, working airspeed gauges and of course an aircraft compass)

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


That's really neat! I used to have the same bike, but an 84. Here it is with me and the legendary Rob Cress aka Busracer on the forums. He passed away far before his time about 5 years back. This was taken on Hoosier Pass on the way to Porsche Parade in Keystone. Miss that guy...

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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:15 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Mellow Yellow 74 wrote:
Bulli Klinik wrote:
One it got the motor up on the stand I noticed that the rear mounting stud was bent and something had pushed up into the pushrod tubes. Looks like the heads will have to come off anyway


You should be able to fix dents in pushrod tubes without replacing them. Just remove the pushrods and use a piece of timber dowel of the correct size to push in and then lightly tap on the end and the dents should come out, maybe not perfect but good enough so the pushrod isnít touching. Thatís what I did anyway and it worked fine.


That's a good idea, but the motor is already tore down. I'll keep your suggestion in my bag of tricks. Smile One was bent so bad I could see the impression of the pushrod through it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:16 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

And thanks to all for your interest! I enjoy watching projects unfold on the forum and I hope I can do my part to add some content.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

After speaking with my machinist buddy, I've decided that I don't want to use the 16's. By the time they are centered on his mill, the centers are cut, the lug holes milled out, spacers, studs, etc... I don't think that it's going to worth it to me. I'm still debating what direction to go. I've even considered keeping the 14's. Though I want some big tires on it, I'm on the fence considering I'm only going to be running a 1.9. I understand that BFG doesn't make an All-Terrain in 14 anymore. Does anyone have any feedback on the Maxxis Bighorn in 14 or a similar off-road tire? I may delay my big wheel/tire dreams until I go up in horsepower in the future.

If anyone is in the market for some nice, steel wheels, let me know.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

My first order from GoWesty arrived:

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Still waiting on the machine work, but I imagine it will be done by the end of the week. Looking forward to getting the motor back together.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I also came up with a plan of attack for the rust repairs on the long side. The rust seems isolated to the seam and I was surprised to find that lower portion of the rocker was in pretty good shape. What I plan on doing is carefully removing the rocker and repairing the rusty upper section. Once the rocker is out, I can repair the lower flange of the upper panel and metal finish that portion due to the lower rocker being removed.

If I were to replace this with a modified Klokkerholm panel as I've done in the past, I couldn't reach up to planish the welds of the upper panel as the panel is one piece up to the lower swage/belt-line. There is nothing wrong with using the K-holm panel and putting the weld in the swage, but good luck doing any finish work once the panel is welded in. On a side note, the K-holm panels seem to be somewhere between 20-22 gauge. A little on the light side.

Here is K-holm panel modified to work properly. The forward section which covers the B-pillar is removed and capped. A flange is added to the inside in order for it to attach to the floor:
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Once it's in, it's in and you can't access the welds without very, very long arms.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This Van was VERY rusty and needed the whole panel and more. It's currently back on the road with a SVX and a very happy owner.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

With a plan formulated, I got started cutting out the rust. The inner panel support was drilled out as well as the lower portion of the rocker. The rest was trimmed out with a cut-off wheel.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Happy to find both the B and C pillar in good condition.
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Fat Albert doesn't like his beauty sleep disturbed.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I generally like to strip paint with chemical stripper. Unfortunately mine has been sitting on the shelf a bit too long and wasn't as aggressive as usual. I'll deal with it once the welding is done.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I sheared a piece to tack in and did just that.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I like to planish as I go along to keep things straight.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


That's it for now. Next step is to fully weld, planish then brake the flange line.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Odd but the BFG KO2 has a smaller 16" (27" OD) option than available in the 15" (27.6" OD).

-d
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:00 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Gasgacinch on the counter....... Smile

-dan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

raoul mitgong wrote:
Odd but the BFG KO2 has a smaller 16" (27" OD) option than available in the 15" (27.6" OD).

-d


Availability of the tires for small wheels is getting less and less. Definitely a good reason to upgrade to the bigger wheels. I really like the big wheels, but also dig a fat tire on a smaller wheel.

I know a Vanagon has updated suspension compared to the early Buses, but I've always figured that a taller tire sitting directly under your ass is going to give you a smoother ride.
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