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My 1968 Campmobile
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Hikelite
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: My 1968 Campmobile Reply with quote

First, allow me to say thank you to all of you for sharing your knowledge of and experience with our beloved VWs. Very Happy

I bought this '68 back in '96, when she was a sexy 28 year old. Twisted Evil I was a poor SDSU student at the time, and got her for $1800. She was my daily driver, other than the usual down time for thrown rods and such, until 2002. I drove her to Flagstaff, AZ to move, and there she sat, sadly neglected, until last year.

She is now sitting, still neglected yet loved, in NE WA. Why is this important? The change of locale has brought with it some advantages. First, I have a larger 2 car garage now (only had a single car carport in Flagstaff), AND a separate HUGE workshop! The workshop needs to be finished up, but the budget dept (ie wife) has already approved funding to finish the workshop AND to restore my beloved Campmobile! Smile As you will see in the pics, the workshop is a steel building that still needs the front wall built. I've already acquired a large roll up door, and I hope to be working in there this winter, but I digress. Back to the bus...

She is mostly original, and, based on many of the build threads I have read here, in pretty good shape. Before moving to AZ, I had a 1915cc longblock with hydraulic lifters (I hate adjusting valves and a bus doesn't need to rev high IMHO) built by Headflow Masters in North SD County. It has maybe 20k miles on it, but probably closer to 15k. As far as the engine goes, I always thought it was under carburated (and then there was that fire incident), so I will add some dual carbs or maybe a progressive.

The interior is in fair shape. Sorry, I have no pictures of the interior yet. She still has some things stuffed inside from the move up here (she was towed on a carrier behind the uhaul). I'll take some interior shots when I clean her out soon. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the pictures. They are taken with my phone. We haven't unpacked all the boxes yet, so I don't know where my DSLR is :p With no further adu... pics!

Here she is in the outbuilding I'll be making into a shop.
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The front. Almost no rust. There is a dent on the drivers side of the bumper. Can that be fixed? Or will I have to buy a new bumper?
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Drivers side. The top looks rough, but I think it can be saved.
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Passenger side.
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The rear. You can see some paint peeling on the engine hatch. You can also see it in the passenger side pic near the gas filer. The brass nipple for the fuel line on the carb came out one day causing a little engine fire Embarassed
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The Engine. 1915cc with hydraulic lifters from Headflow Masters in San Diego. It has the outlets for an external oil cooler I already have, but haven't mounted yet. This bus has original AC. You can make out the compressor in the back left. It's just sitting there. I have taken the mount off (still have it though) to make room when I was working on the motor. Since the AC didn't work when I bought it, I never tried to hook it back up... yet Wink
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I apologize in advance for posting this way too prematurely. I probably won't even be able to begin tearing this thing apart for a few months, but I've been reading threads here and it's really getting me excited to work on her! I also apologize, in advance, for the many long winded posts, like this one, that I will make relating to this project.

I'd also like to thank everyone in advance for all the help and advice I will surely need. My first car was a '70 Beetle. Then I had a '74 914, so I've had some experience with working on air cooled VWs. There are a lot of areas of this restoration I have little or no experience with, such as welding, but I've always wanted to learn to weld. I also discovered a spray gun really isn't all that expensive, so I'm going to try my hand at painting her too. I'm in awe at those of you who restore an entire bus in months. I expect this to take me at least a year. After a little time researching prices for items to restore the bus, it may take longer just due to budget reasons. Confused
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome!
That's a great looking bus with alot of potential, stop apologising Wink . Your questions regarding how hard it is to fix things are best answered by you and your skills, nothing looks hard from here but I've seen some less than mechanical people make small jobs like that into a big deal, I guess you'll have to dig in and see how you stack up.
As for that shop it looks like I could fit 9+ buses in there, can I store a few for a little while? Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on getting back to your Westy, and on the new workshop....Add a lift in the wife's budget! Wink Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome! I love '68s. My first bus (Buster) was a '68. Never underestimate a '68! I'll be watching your progress along with everyone else. Very Happy Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes yopu can fix the bumper but in the long run it might be better to just leave it like it is untill you find a cheep replacement at a swap meet . $40.00 at the last show i went to....have fun with your new workshop Cool Cool
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Hikelite
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some close up pics of the damaged areas and pictures of the plates on the bulkheads.

Passenger side door sill
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The dented bumper. I think I'll have to replace the bumper Sad
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Drivers side floor. I don't know if I have t replace this or can I just clean it up? While I've never dealt with this sort of thing, I am determined to learn how to do all the body work on this bus. Can I just wire wheel off the rust, or it is impossible to say until I start cleaning it up?
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Plate behind passenger seat.
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Here is the M Plate. I put it into the 2 automated decoders, and neither of them knew how to interpret some of my codes. This bus has A/C, so I thought maybe that would be one of them, but I read in another thread that ALL A/C's were dealer installed.
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Here is the link to the vw-mplate.com page for this bus
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I don't know how to share the alltheprettybuses.com page.
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Threads To Treads
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 68 Campmobile I'm restoring too. I'm having a bit of a problem figuring out the water tank. What is the part number?[/img]
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notchboy
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMmmmmm dead thread revival.

I did a lot - I mean A LOT of par-te-ing at SDSU in the early 90's. Shit I wasnt even a student there either. Cool
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Threads To Treads
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, notchboy, do you know?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Threads To Treads wrote:
So, notchboy, do you know?



Yes I do. But its locked away in storage at the moment.
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engelwagen
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 68 Westy that I am almost done restoring and I was looking at your first two pictures of your bus. Your top is slightly different then mine. Your top angle is more square on the front corners, mine is angled to match the lines of the bottom layer. My top is original, did yours come off another year?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it did come with the camper and we are pretty sure it is original because it is so different than the other years. There are lots of things about the 68 that are different and one year only, like the rear view mirror and the Friggin Water Tank!!!!

Man we almost killed that top after we re-glassed it. It was so pretty and white as snow. We strapped it on until we were ready to put it back on.

We were towing the bus to have some body work done and it flew off on the freeway and we didn't know it for miles. Went back and found it in the island between the lanes.... broken... and all dirty! Then we had to call in the professionals! I'm pretty sure it actually came with the one year only bus, I've seen a few others just like mine, OK maybe one other but I did see it. It may depend on what month your bus was built too.


Last edited by Threads To Treads on Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Threads To Treads
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Con Founit! Posting photos is hard!

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Hikelite
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow sorry to have neglected this thread...

Nice Campers!!

TtT, are you asking me to look at my water tank and find a part #? Where should I look?

ew, my top is original afaik. I bought the camper from the original owner. I'm not sure if it's managed to stay in the bus all these years, but I had the window sticker when I bought it back in the 90's.

I do see the difference you're talking about though. They are definitely different. I posted my M Plate, who's was built first? Perhaps they changed the tops? What about TtT's top? I can't tell if his looks more like mine or yours.

I was near SDSU from ~'92-'98, then a year more inland before leaving SD.
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Threads To Treads
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject: My 1968 Westy Reply with quote

I believe if you're looking for the month and year the bus was made it's in the VIN. The 3rd number from the left is the year. I have been told by professional, old school VW techs that the month is in the VIN somewhere and it may be the 2nd number... but I'm not positive. My bus' VIN is 238110582. According to this site, (http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/chassisdating.php), I at least know my bus was made sometime between Nov. 30, 1967 to Dec. 31, 1967. Because my last 3 numbers are 582, it would seem to me it was built toward the end of Nov. 1967. But.... What do I know? I took pics of my plates but they came out too blurry so I'll try that again some other day.

EDITED MESSAGE: Afterthought... looking at my VIN it seems my Old School Tech may be correct except the month follows the 3rd number in the VIN. 3rd number being the year "8" for 1968, following 2 numbers being the month, "11"... November! Yeah! Mystery solved. Who's bus in oldest then?

If my theory is correct, yours is older because the 2 numbers following the year in your VIN are "04". That would mean yours was made in April 1967? But according to the samba link above yours would be made in October 1967? So.... I just full of hot air! Rolling Eyes I don't know diddly!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1968 Campmobile Reply with quote

Threads To Treads wrote:
I believe if you're looking for the month and year the bus was made it's in the VIN. The 3rd number from the left is the year. I have been told by professional, old school VW techs that the month is in the VIN somewhere and it may be the 2nd number... but I'm not positive. My bus' VIN is 238110582. According to this site, (http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/chassisdating.php), I at least know my bus was made sometime between Nov. 30, 1967 to Dec. 31, 1967. Because my last 3 numbers are 582, it would seem to me it was built toward the end of Nov. 1967. But.... What do I know? I took pics of my plates but they came out too blurry so I'll try that again some other day.

EDITED MESSAGE: Afterthought... looking at my VIN it seems my Old School Tech may be correct except the month follows the 3rd number in the VIN. 3rd number being the year "8" for 1968, following 2 numbers being the month, "11"... November! Yeah! Mystery solved. Who's bus in oldest then?

If my theory is correct, yours is older because the 2 numbers following the year in your VIN are "04". That would mean yours was made in April 1967? But according to the samba link above yours would be made in October 1967? So.... I just full of hot air! Rolling Eyes I don't know diddly!


I have no idea if you are correct or not. I think the westfalias were type 23, then the year like you said, so they start with 238. After that I'm not sure. I know my Bus was registered around Christmas in 1967.



Holy dead thread revival batman!
There is a reason...

Hello again my fellow VW lovers White Bay Bus

A lot has happened since I started this thread. I've made several attempts to recap, but it keeps going into way too much non-VW stuff. :p

So the essence of everything is, my wife and I want to drive The Bus, with our 2 dogs, around the world. The plan is to actually start out in the US and Canada before heading south. My wife has never ridden in The Bus. Before we were married, one of the brass nipples actually came out of the carburetor while I was driving. Of course I had a fire extinguisher and it was a minor incident, but it now "catches on fire" in her mind. I assured her that carburetor is gone , and she agreeded to give it a try. She actually didn't realize it had a pop top until last week. I opened The Bus up for her to really imagine herself travelling in it, and I could see the change in her eyes. Now she seems a little excited about the idea.

I'd like to get some feedback and/or advice about what I should do to The Bus to get her ready.

I think the engine is fine. It's the one described above, 1918cc with hydraulic lifters, external oil filter and oil cooler.
There is one thing it needs though, a new carburator. When I told my wife it was gone, I meant I had no intention of using it for this trip. I think it's always been under carbed.
I've always assumed I would put dual double barrel carbs on her, but we will be in cold climates sometimes. Granted our goal is to follow the pleasant weather, it's still cold at high elevations. I'm worried about not having a choke, but that's because I've never had dual carbs. What do those of you with campers think? Remeber that I have hydraulic lifters, so I won't be winding it out. That's what makes we wonder if I will really get the full benefit of dual carbs vs a progressive or something.

What about the transmission? It still has the stock 4 speed. Are there 5 speeds I can put in? Should I consider a "freeway flier" with taller gears? I'm inclined to just leave it alone until there is something wrong with it though. Wink

We will be travelling with our 2 dogs. Mostly camping along the way.
I'm trying to decide what to do with the interior. I want to keep it mostly original, but I want to upgrade the stock sink/cooler unit to an actual refrigerator. We're undecided about wether or not we want a sink. If we do keep the sink (most likely), I'm going to switch it to use an electric pump.

I'll be replacing as much rubber as is practical. Any recomendations on tires? I'm planning to keep the original steel wheels unless there is a reason to upgrade.

Which leads to something I was thinking about. What about a brake upgrade? I do recall The Bus could get a little brake fade on long downhills. I looked at some of the upgrade options, but it seems like I need bigger rims to fit around them? Discs up front would be nice, but are there more cost effective options?

What electrical upgrades should I look at? I'm already planning to install a second, "house", battery, an alternator, new audio system, and LED lighting. We're thinking about solar panels. I think I have a good idea about a way to mount them.
What about upgraded headlights? I saw some H4 kits available. Anyone have experience with installing these on an early bay window bus?

I work in IT, so of course I have a spreadsheet for this project. One of the items on the list is a horn upgrade. Any thoughts? (thoughts about the horn, not my lunacy at making a spreadsheet about my Bus restoration project Wink )

Any recomendations for suspension? I always loved how awesome The Bus did on back roads. I took it to places that scared 4x4s lol. What is my best option to maintain the off road performance?

The tent is destroyed. Pretty understandable for a nearly 50 year old van. I have made a lot of backpacking gear myself, so the idea of making the tent myself is not completely ruled out yet. The only reason I would consider making it myself is if I come up with a design change I can't buy. For example, I have an idea about making one side pop out as an awning over the door. We will often be setup in one spot for a week at a time. Is the orginal canvas still the best material for long term exposure like that? I was wondering if something from the sailing/marine industry might not be more durable.

Since we plan to eventually take this Bus into some very warm places, I'm thinking about trying to get the original AC working again. Has anyone ever seen one of these? Do I have any hope of finding parts?

Speaking of the AC, what about heating? The old exchangers were garbage when I replaced the engine, so right now it just has J tubes. I've become more of a wimp about cold as I age, so heat is not optional anymore. I had a Bug and a 914 before The Bus. In my experience, ACVW heating is not very effective, but I always had rotten exchangers. Would a set of new heat exchangers be enough to heat that large passenger compartment? What about while camping? Are there propane heater systems? There could be a benefit to adding propane to The Bus. We could then have a dual source fridge and use it for cooking. Where do people put the canister on these Buses?

OK this has gotten long enough. Sorry about all the questions, but I have a million things running through my head as I try to plan out this project.
Our goal is to hit the road for her 50th birthday, so that's November of 2017. Yes, I realize I probably WON'T be sewing my own tent with that time table and the amount of work to be done. lol

I'm pretty excited to get started. Does anyone know if there is a local VW parts place in Spokane?
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Hikelite
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1968 Campmobile Reply with quote

Well I was out looking at the carburetor earlier, and it's not original Sad
It's a Bocar. I seem to recall that brand from my bug days in the 80s. The more I read here and compare to my bus, the more stuff I find that is changed. Sad

So I need advice on what carburetor to install. While I'm certainly no purist, my preference is to remain stock, cut I'm not sure what was stock in 68.

With the 1915 motor, would a 34pict3 be able to supply enough fuel?
After reading some builds here, I'd like to put the engine back to stock as much as possible, but use the long block that is in there.

Thanks in advance for advice.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Threads To Treads wrote:
I have a 68 Campmobile I'm restoring too. I'm having a bit of a problem figuring out the water tank. What is the part number?[/img]


Hi T2T

This seemed like an urgent request, so I thought I should go look before it hit 5 years. I looked for a part number on the tank, and I can't find one. There are no marks on it whatsoever. Sorry Sad

It just occur to me that dimensions might help. Let me know if you want me to take pictures and measurements. It's a pretty basic plastic tank. I suspect you could find something equivalent and then make your own openings.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1968 Campmobile Reply with quote

Lots of searching in the forums, using the 'title only' check box next to the search bar, you'll be able to find QUITE a bit of threads about fixing stuff and preparing for trips. You definitely want to make sure your brakes, suspension, shifting and pedal stuff is all tip top, as well as electrical stuff and of course your engine and fuel system.

Regarding the ancient vin discussion,
The first digit is the car, The Type 2. The second digit is the model its based on. The 3 stands for kombi, which is what the Westfalia was built on. The 3rd digit is the model year. After that idk. lol
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: My 1968 Campmobile Reply with quote

secretsubmariner wrote:
Regarding the ancient vin discussion,
The first digit is the car, The Type 2. The second digit is the model its based on. The 3 stands for kombi, which is what the Westfalia was built on. The 3rd digit is the model year. After that idk. lol


2 = Type 2
3 = kombi (2 = transporter, 6 = pickup, etc.)
# = last digit of model year (196# if the following digit is not a 2, 197# if the following digit is a 2)
2 = (if present, indicates 1970s)
the rest constitute the serial number

Threads To Treads wrote:
I believe if you're looking for the month and year the bus was made it's in the VIN. The 3rd number from the left is the year. I have been told by professional, old school VW techs that the month is in the VIN somewhere ...

Nope.
The VIN itself gives no indication of the date of manufacture. That is in the M-codes.
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