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Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard
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Longmont1302
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:09 pm    Post subject: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Iím belatedly starting a thread on this bus:
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The floors are rusty, it has no glass, and itís been painted with a broom (by children) several times. They even painted the engine:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
It lived its entire life at a childrenís camp in Minnesota, where my dad works summers as a handyman. The campís owners bought it new in Germany and had it shipped to the states. I believe it was last licensed in 1998. When my dad mentioned I was interested in the bus, the owner generously gave it to him as a gift. My only problem is that I live 1000 miles away in Colorado.

One of my coworkers, Corinna, owns a 1960 Beetle. When I mentioned to her I could own a 1961 11-window standard if I could only find a way to drag it home, she said she and her partner had a truck and trailer and theyíd be glad to help. I thought she was joking, but she wasnít. We left on Friday afternoon and arrived at lunchtime on Saturday. My dad and his friend helped us out. They had moved the bus a little and replaced two tires, but couldnít get it out of gear: the cabin floor is so rusty thereís nothing to bolt the shifter on. Nevertheless, in short time we got it on the trailer and headed west.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

In hindsight, I should have removed the battery, as it bounced its way through some rust on the way. We received a lot of attention on the trip, mostly by Batman fans. I also wish weíd had time to go through a car wash (particularly to spray some gunk on the engine), but we made it home safe and sound by dinner time Sunday.

I have begun the process of taking the house paint off. Underneath I found the original mouse grey. So far one of my favorite methods is Citristrip Gel, towels, and a plastic scraper. Before it got too cold I got most of the aftermarket paint of the rear and much of the passenger side. Itís still a work in progress: the last bits of paint are the trickiest to remove without taking the OG paint, too.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Iím hoping to perfect my paint removal technique before I attempt the nose. With some Samba help, I also managed to bust the shift coupler apart so I could hope to turn the engine.

During a December visit, my dad and I set a goal to start the engine (likely for the first time since the late 1990s). To prep, I replaced the plugs, wires, coil, and distributor cap, and did my best to rebuild the carburetor and fuel pump. When the fuel pump didnít work, we just ran the hose to a gas can positioned above the carburetor. With a little help from my neighbor Bill, we made it happen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip_vM_8qaR4&feature=youtu.be

Since then Iíve got the fuel pump working (finally had to spend the big bucks on a WW diaphragm) and set the valves. This weekend I tested the compression: #1: 95 lbs, #2: 95, #3: 85, and #4: 90. Given that we're at 5,000 feet and the battery was nearly dead, I figure this is better than I could have hoped for after sitting in a field for 20+ years.

My goal is to get the aftermarket paint off, replace or clean the gas tank, replace crucial sheet metal (engine compartment, cabin floor), do the brakes, possibly replace the wiring harness, and otherwise do the absolute minimum necessary to drive the thing around the block with these guys. Repeatedly.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

My next step is to pull the engine. While I have a Bentley manual, if anyone could point me to more detailed split bus engine removal instructions (suitable for a for a first-timer) Iíd be grateful.
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Lind
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

how does the M-code plate read on this bus?

1961 Mouse grey buses are something special.
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Longmont1302
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Lind wrote:
how does the M-code plate read on this bus?

Let me know if this isn't in focus enough:
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Lind
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Longmont1302 wrote:
Lind wrote:
how does the M-code plate read on this bus?

Let me know if this isn't in focus enough:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Awesome. Like most of the other '61 mouse grey standards, it is a tourist delivery bus. Looks like 2 popouts, and USA specs of course. The plate on my '61 reads almost exactly the same, except mine got 6 popouts.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=434605

I still have not seen a '61 mouse grey that was delivered to the USA. There is a single known Canadian delivered '61.
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AC Mack
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Interesting M -Code 156 indicates ----- Second rear view mirror / Also used on Tourist Delivery Program.
I realize this is probably in reference to a outside passenger side mirror.
Is that a mirror above the passengers head ?
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Burlyhammer
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:14 am    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Awesome bus. Looks like youíre on the right track and well on your way.
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obus
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

cool bus. Mouse grey is a great color
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Lind
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

AC Mack wrote:
Interesting M -Code 156 indicates ----- Second rear view mirror / Also used on Tourist Delivery Program.
I realize this is probably in reference to a outside passenger side mirror.
Is that a mirror above the passengers head ?
[img]https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/1758290.jpg

I think that the M156 = second rearview mirror is from a different model or year. For some unknown reason they stamped USA bound tourist delivery plates with a different style than normal USA delivered plates. I believe that M139 and M156 are standard on USA delivered buses, but are just wrapped into the 300 series USA spec code. Also a tourist delivery bus says M GRAU, while a USA delivered bus says M GREY. They stamped it to match the language of the first destination, not the final destination.
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Clara Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Longmont1302 wrote:
Iím belatedly starting a thread on this bus:
.................It lived its entire life at a childrenís camp in Minnesota, where my dad works summers as a handyman. The campís owners bought it new in Germany and had it shipped to the states. I believe it was last licensed in 1998. When my dad mentioned I was interested in the bus, the owner generously gave it to him as a gift.

During a December visit, my dad and I set a goal to start the engine (likely for the first time since the late 1990s). To prep, I replaced the plugs, wires, coil, and distributor cap, and did my best to rebuild the carburetor and fuel pump. When the fuel pump didnít work, we just ran the hose to a gas can positioned above the carburetor. With a little help from my neighbor Bill, we made it happen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip_vM_8qaR4&feature=youtu.be

....
My next step is to pull the engine. While I have a Bentley manual, if anyone could point me to more detailed split bus engine removal instructions (suitable for a for a first-timer) Iíd be grateful.


Awesome look on your dad's face at about 13 sec. !!! Very Happy

Get an Idiot Book for instructions on pulling the motor. Very user friendly for the non mechanic. It was first published in '69, so these were cheap used cars and it was written for the average owner to take car of services etc.

FWIW, you can manually change gear under the bus by moving the shift around under the front floor. Not while you are driving, of course, but when it's parked, to get it in neutral.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/search.php...ton=Search
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Longmont1302
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:13 am    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Thanks to all for the encouraging words.
AC Mack wrote:
Is that a mirror above the passengers head ?
Yes. It's missing the mirror itself, but it's a cool contraption:
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Longmont1302
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Clara wrote:
Awesome look on your dad's face at about 13 sec. !!! Very Happy
Thanks, Clara. That's actually my neighbor, but it is a great smile. My dad was right there, too. He was only visiting for a few days, and this was the morning he had to leave, and in the 23rd hour we got the distributor to move and made it all work. Good times.
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Manfred58sc
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Cool Bus, and great story!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Your kid's faces is the best picture I've seen in awhile. That inside mirror looks like an original VW bus outside mirror.
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Car quest carb cleaner worked great for removing house paint from a car that I had once without attacking the original paint. Acetone worked great on getting a repaint off of the original without attacking the original on my bus. Try in an inconspicuous spot first.
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AC Mack
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Cool Bus !!! Could you possibly post a pict of the dash ? Thanks
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

AC Mack wrote:
Cool Bus !!! Could you possibly post a pict of the dash ? Thanks


I was thinking the same thing.... does it have a MG dash?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Longmont1302 wrote:

My next step is to pull the engine. While I have a Bentley manual, if anyone could point me to more detailed split bus engine removal instructions (suitable for a for a first-timer) Iíd be grateful.


Bentley publishes many manuals. Which one do you have??
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Longmont1302
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

AC Mack wrote:
Cool Bus !!! Could you possibly post a pict of the dash ? Thanks
You betcha. I have some more paint removal to do here, and the ash tray is toasty.
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Last edited by Longmont1302 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Longmont1302
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

Eric&Barb wrote:
Bentley publishes many manuals. Which one do you have??
The big blue 1950-1962 Workshop Manual.
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Longmont1302
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Forest Find 1961 Mouse Grey 11-Window Standard Reply with quote

BarryL wrote:
Your kid's faces is the best picture I've seen in awhile.

Thanks. My 9-year-old totally has the "Alfred E. Newman meets Ed Roth monster-driving-a-hot-rod" look figured out.
BarryL wrote:
That inside mirror looks like an original VW bus outside mirror.
Huh. Never thought of that.
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