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Bringing a '73 Westy back to life...
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Stuartzickefoose
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Any new updates? Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

I've read through this thread about three times now, you have an awesome build here. Early on, what type of paint did you use when you were doing rust repair and welding in new panels? Thanks for your time
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

levi20AE wrote:
The most difficult part was figuring out how to mount the bed on the opposite side. I ended up modifying the '73 brackets and welding in nuts to the firewall to bolt on to. The later vanagon brackets are much nicer but became too much work to adapt since the rear area with the engine hatch is a few inches lower in the vanagon. Making the cabinets fit was pretty straight forward. I trimmed a little off the back at a time to make them fit tighter to the curved sides of a baywindow. The vanagons are almost perfectly vertical with no curve so the cabinets come very square. If you want to run the vanagon water tank you have to butcher up the interior of that cabinet but looking back I would not have bothered installing it probably been easier to fit a five gallon Jerry can somewhere and adapt a feed line for the sink.


Awesome! good info, I appreciate all the advice! yeah we will probably just do a jerry can for water.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Wow! A Blazecut success story. Thanks for sharing!
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levi20AE
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

The most difficult part was figuring out how to mount the bed on the opposite side. I ended up modifying the '73 brackets and welding in nuts to the firewall to bolt on to. The later vanagon brackets are much nicer but became too much work to adapt since the rear area with the engine hatch is a few inches lower in the vanagon. Making the cabinets fit was pretty straight forward. I trimmed a little off the back at a time to make them fit tighter to the curved sides of a baywindow. The vanagons are almost perfectly vertical with no curve so the cabinets come very square. If you want to run the vanagon water tank you have to butcher up the interior of that cabinet but looking back I would not have bothered installing it probably been easier to fit a five gallon Jerry can somewhere and adapt a feed line for the sink.
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Dpugle
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Hey man! I just got a 1970 vw hightop with 83 westfalia interior thats coming with it. What would you say was the hardest part about installing that into your 73? any advice? Thanks! great build by the way, and also another good reason to buy the Blaze cut.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

KentPS wrote:
levi20AE wrote:
Finished up the rack yesterday morning and took it for a test drive to the local trails. I got there and immediately felt like an underachiever, there were two Sprinters with dirt bikes mounted out back.

Yeah, so what if they had dirt bikes. You've got the cool VW!!! Cool



AND for a little over a $100 you can put a motor on your bikes.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

levi20AE wrote:
Finished up the rack yesterday morning and took it for a test drive to the local trails. I got there and immediately felt like an underachiever, there were two Sprinters with dirt bikes mounted out back.

Yeah, so what if they had dirt bikes. You've got the cool VW!!! Cool
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levi20AE
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

We are getting ready for a road trip from Nevada to Texas in the next few weeks. We will be camping in Flagstaff and Albuquerque for a night or two along the way and spend a week in Austin and the Texas hill country. I want to be able to bring the extra fuel and firewood and the bike... more additions to the racks...

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The racks clamp to the rain gutter using latches with and rubber grommets.
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Finished up the rack yesterday morning and took it for a test drive to the local trails. I got there and immediately felt like an underachiever, there were two Sprinters with dirt bikes mounted out back.
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levi20AE
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

worked on the heater system the past few weekends. The original center heat channel rotted away years ago and quite a bit of the original steel ducting was in poor shape as well.

I was able to locate some original heater accordion tubes while in a yard in California. Between the two from the yard and the one that came with the bus there was enough usable padding to make two good tubes. I soaked the original asbestos rings in phosphoric acid for a few days to get them down to just the metal then painted them with engine block enamel and used high temp RTV to hold everything in place. The tubes came out good and have worked well.

The ducting that goes over the rear torsion tube was pretty rusted out where it joined the center heater tube. The forward section of ducting with the flap for sending heat to the rear was rusted through in several places that required some welding to patch. All of the tubes got a lot of wire brushing a few treatments with the phosphoric acid prior to paint.

Rear tube coming from over torsion bars.
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Patched up forward flapper box
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To replace the heater tube I used isolated B-pipe vent for a hot water heater. It was available in just the right length at the local hardware store and is dual walled so the smaller 3" diameter fit inside the rear tube while the outside diameter went around the outside of the rear tube. This really helped to make the joint work since there was such little metal remaining to attach to. For the forward section of the joint I used a short section that i was able to trim down to fit just inside the forward flapper box.

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To help keep the hot air from escaping I wrapped the joints at both ends in aluminum duct tape and then held it all together with 3.5" silicone tubing and stainless worm clamps. With it all together it was strong enough to lift myself up from the middle so I didn't bother trying to reuse the old center support for the tube, it was just about rusted away anyways.

Rearward joint
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Forward joint
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I looked around for a better solution than using paper ducting to go between the flapper box and the rear vent. Couldn't find flexible exhaust tubing that could make the small radius bends and the local hardware store didn't have and flexible tubing that looked like it would leave the bus smelling like rubber. Luckily on the wall there was some stainless steel used previously as intercooler plumbing before converting to aluminum. The stainless is probably overkill but it wont ever have to be replaced and I happened to have a few matching 2.25" silicone couplers that worked perfectly.
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Lastly was replacing all the rotten heater cables, the only one I couldn't find new was the one going from the tree under the dash to the flapper box. After a few soaks in WD-40 it moves with some effort. Gotta say it was nice to have heat in an aircooled VW. Still need to find something to replace the original padding that was supposed insulate the ducting but some heat is better than none.

Pics from Busses By the Bridge last weekend.
great shot of our campfire from a neighbor camping across the isle
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Balloons
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jmstu76
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Congrats on an excellent build. Just re read the entire thread. I hope the upgrades continue.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Glad the Blazecut did its job. Nice Bus!
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levi20AE
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Over the past few weekends I have pulled the top and repaired the rotted wood and cracked sections of fiberglass. The wood was pretty straight forward to cut down to the original dimensions with a table saw. I used a 3M naval adhesive to hold the wood in place and then covered everything in a layer of fiberglass to ensure it all stayed in place.
Note the void from the wood frame that completely rotted away
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Four of these replacement blocks were required
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Sections held in with 3M glue
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Based on some web searches i went with Interlux Primer and Brightside yacht paint to cover the bottom and top sides of the pop-top
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Went ahead and built a steel frame from square tubing to support a roadshower from the inside using four forward mounting bolts that go through the top. The frame prevents the fiberglass from flexing when the 5 gallons of water are in the water cannon.
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Aside from being a great water gun the shower pressure is better when the top is up and and it provides some shade when you hang your arm out the window, like everyone does.
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Installed a new grey canvas and all stainless hardware to prevent the wood from rotting away in the future.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:22 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

That solar panel looks great!
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levi20AE
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Update: Bus has been running good and we have been able to get a few camping trips in lately mostly up in the mountains to get away from the 105-115 temps in the Vegas valley.

I finally began focusing efforts on the westy top. The first project was to drill out all the cross bars in the rear section of the fiberglass top. Most of the cross bars were held on with one remaining rivet or the rivets were so rusty that they allowed for a lot of slack and caused significant rattling. After seeing another user on here mount a Renogy 150W up top I decided to go that route. The panel fits perfectly in the space and with some scrap aluminum sheet I was able to make base plates to mount 1" thick rubber idolators to dampen the ride for the panel.
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I went with a Renogy 30A solar controller since they seem to make good stuff and they had a flush mount solution that installs very cleanly. It displays battery voltage, %available, Amps and Volts the panel is currently producing and does not have any annoying LEDs. The mounting location allow us to still see the battery state through the night with the bed up or down. It would be nice if there was a button to back light the display at night but oh well.
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I did have to drill a hole in a cross member behind the seal in the roof. This was to allow the two power wires to run to the back of the bus above the headliner to help hide them as much as possible. I also put two holes in the fiberglass top to run the lines through and added connectors to make it easy to pull the top at any time if required. All the holes have grommets to prevent damage to the power lines. I used 10 gauge (vs. 12 gauge) wire from Renogy to be compatible with their nice connectors that have really good weather seals and minimize voltage drop.
Also all the hardware has been replaced with SS and the roof sections treated with Por15. More than half to the old hardware had actually rusted through and left small portions of the screws sticking out from the body. Its amazing the top never just flew off with a strong gust of wind.
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As you can see from the controller display just the 150W panel makes a significant amount of power. Plenty thus far to keep the fridge running 24-7 and the house battery topped-off during the day.

The next projects are going to be pulling the pop-top and repairing the sections where the wood has completely deteriorated away due to rusty hardware holding the forward hinges in place.
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As part of the repair on the pop-top section I'll build some mounts to hold the Road Shower so it raised with the top. This will provide more water pressure and hopefully work better than cantilevering 5 gallons off the drip rails.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:39 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

The large shavings came from an interference issue with the cam bolts. There was what i considered to be alot of metalic material in the oil filter after tearing it open and also on the magnetic oil drain plug. I assumed most of those were all from normal break-in but the quantity was greater than I recall from previous engines I built in the past.
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orwell84
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:20 am    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

I was curious if you found the source of the metallic debris in your oil strainer when you brought back your type IV to the rebuilder. I had a similar experience when I rebuilt my engine. I rebuilt it again the following year but never found anything to account for the metallic debris in the oil strainer. I would imagine that engine break-in would shed some metal. Thanks. Smile
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levi20AE
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Swapped carbs and got it running tonight but I have one funny issue... Once the battery is connected the alternator light on the dash comes on, with no key in the ignition... It starts up and the light goes out. But when I pull the key out the light still states on. I disconnected the blue wire coming from the voltage regulator to get the light out to save the battery while it charges. Any clues what would cause this to happen???
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

Tonight I finished up all the wiring repairs and actually cleaned things up a bit to reduce the spaghetti back there with the additional senders and such. All the wires going to the motor are now separated from the chassis harness wires so that once I find a good connector I can use a single ~10 pin connector to unplug the motor. My dream would be to come up with a standard pin out and use it for both motors and any future swaps to keep thing very simple. Tomorrow I'll swap the carbs for the ones off the type1 and hopefully be back in buisness!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing a '73 Westy back to life... Reply with quote

The large line running to the top of the carb is the vacuum from the breather. I haven't actually seen any oily residue coming up that line yet, i was actually concerned the valve on top of the factory breather was not working, another thing that needs to be investigated... I pulled the carb last night and hooked it up to a carter pump and it run. I didn't see any obvious issues immediately like fuel spilling from the accelerator pump, which seems to have gotten the hottest. There is another vent line from the tank that runs into the top of the same carb. It maybe possible that a backfire caught the fumes on fire there, just another possible source.

There are some pics of the compressor a few pages ahead in this thread. Its an ARB compressor normally used on Jeeps for airing up tires and pneumatic locking diffs.

The airshocks are Gabriel High Jackers, pt# 49215. You have to swap the old bottom bolt to the top and get a longer 12x1.50 - 120 bolt for the bottom. It was otherwise a straight forward install.

I ordered the replacement BlazeCut while riding in the tow truck. I wrote Jogr a nice message too since the product worked so well.
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