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STL 1973 Thing
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ente_kaefer
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Joined: August 22, 2013
Posts: 231
Location: St Louis, MO
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 11:39 pm    Post subject: STL 1973 Thing Reply with quote

Who says you cannot find a 'decent' VW Thing in Missouri . . .

I've been wanting a VW Thing since I received my drivers license back in 1977. As I was in high school at the time, they were out of my budget, so I settled on my first of what was to be many VW Type 1's, a 1969 Bug.

I sold two Type 1's that I had back in the summer of 2010, and when I found a 1973 Thing on St. Louis Craigslist in the late summer of 2013, I mentioned to the 'boss' that Daddy *really* needed to have another VW.

I got lucky . . .

The person who owned the car was in the US Air Force, stationed in Italy, and had the opportunity to extend his tour of duty with his family. He purchased the Thing while stationed in South Carolina, and it was his daily driver. When he received orders to Italy, he drove it back to his family's farm, located about a 90 minute drive south of St. Louis, MO. The car had been sitting in a pole barn for about three years, and rather having it sit any longer, he decided to put it up for sale.

Mechanically the car is in *great* shape. Place key in ignition, hit gas pedal twice, and it fires up with no hesitation. An owner previous to the one I purchased the car from replaced the floor pans with sheet metal, welding back in the rails for the front seats, and actually did a pretty good job. The car has been repainted at least once, and from what I can tell the only rust is an area to the left of the lower hinge of the drivers side door.

Since I've purchased the car I had to replace the main brake line from the master cylinder to the 'T' in the rear of the car.

I went to Lowe's and purchased some 1 x 2 boards to make duck boards for the floors. Also sanded down and primed the floor pans.

Work remaining to be able to get the car inspected and back on the road is:

- Replace turn directional assembly
- Replace all brake shoes, cylinders, and master cylinder
- Replace rubber brake lines
- Bleed brake system
- Replace exhaust system
- Replace wiper blades

Once I have it back on the road, items to get to when time permits is:

- Repair rips in the roof
- Locate window frame for left rear door, item was missing when I purchased the car
- Locate BN-4 heater and all related bits, a previous owner removed the heater. I need to pull the gas tank to see if the pump for the BN-4 is still there

I've posted some pictures of my car to the gallery, search 'STL 1973 Thing' for the items that I posted.

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Ron Domeck
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Joined: August 05, 2007
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Location: louisville Ky
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice looking. Will you have it ready to come to Branson July 25-27? If it can't be driven you can still tow it, we don't care what Things look like and everyone likes to look at someones project. We have had cars roll in being pushed in, bare metal cars and even a rolling pan.
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stl_stadtroller
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Joined: June 22, 2009
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Location: St. Louis
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy smokes!! Good for you!

I searched for a good un-molested Thing around STL for over a year. Ended up flying to Milwaukee and driving one home.

Caravan to Treffen? I don't know if he's on the Samba, but I'm rolling down with a 181'er from Washington/Labadie MO.

BN'4s are fairly plentiful.. but will require work. I had trouble finding a functioning thermostat unit. You can see if the pump is there w.out removing the tank.. crank the wheel all the way to the right and then peek down on the driver's side firewall under the gas tank, sorta just over the master cylinder. You'll see if it's there or not.

I also have a complete set of yellowed & crispy side curtains.. I'd like to sell as a set though, but I'm cheap.

PM me if interested in curtains or a GTG!
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Brian W
St. Louis, MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch Top Westy | '73 Thing | '87 Syncro Westy: Subaru EZ30D powered | 2002 VW Winnebago Vista
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citroen
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks good this is what you are looking for on the gas heater fuel pump just turn the wheel and look under
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74 Cosa
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a real nice stock Thing. Show us more pictures.
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icekoffee
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Location: The sticks, Missouri
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man things are gathering in the STL area fast! Great looking thing
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1967 Deluxe 21 Window
1952 Zwitter
1973 Thing
1959 Deluxe 23 Window
1982 Rabbit Pickup 16 Valve Swap
1982 Rabbit Pickup Diesel
1981 Rabbit Pickup Beater
1983 GTI
1970 Class 11 Clone
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ente_kaefer
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Joined: August 22, 2013
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Location: St Louis, MO
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m getting closer to the point where I will be able to get this vehicle on the road, the day job and my ‘honey do’ list withstanding.

I was able to install this evening the “Universal windshield wiper blades” that I ordered from The Thing Shop. It appears that a previous owner was able to install replacement Bosch wiper blades to include the plastic bit that attaches to the metal wiper arm. The plastic bit that attach to the metal wiper arms, marked B9, I was unable to source locally. The vehicle only had the passenger side wiper assembly when I purchased it.

I did order and receive from Clark Callis a pair of the industrial heat shields that a previous owner had removed from the vehicle when the exhaust system was replaced. Clark makes these units as ordered, and I have to admit they have the ‘factory produced’ look! Highly recommended!!

A previous owner installed a ‘Monza’ type exhaust system on the vehicle. I purchase last year a header exhaust system that has the tail pipes going through the rear bumper, similar to a stock exhaust system. I also order last year ‘J’ tubes to replace the set installed on the vehicle.

To get my Typ 181 on the road, the work remaining is:
• Replace exhaust system
• Replace brake shoes, brake cylinders, master cylinder, brake lines to the master cylinders
• Bleed brake system
• Replace exhaust system

Once vehicle has passed inspection and is on the road, the work that I would like to get accomplished next is:

• Replace stock speedometer with a Type 1 type that I have that is dated December 1966.
• Replace fuel gauge and sending unit with a float type as used on pre 1967 Type 1.
• Locate all of the bits for a BN 4 heater, and install same in the vehicle.
• Repair tears in the roof
• Locate left rear passenger window

We’re fortunate out here on the frontier to have a local source for air cooled VW parts in St. Louis, MO, Archway Import Auto Parts. The owner Jim, and his staff, are outstanding! I have been going to them for almost 15 years now for all of the bits that I have needed for all of Type 1’s that I have owned.

As for Branson, I work a double shift every weekend, and I do not believe I will be able to make event.

Dang, and it is almost in my ‘backyard.’

I may try to see if there is any interest in the early fall of 2014 for Thing owners in the St. Louis, MO, metro area to get together, maybe rent a pavilion a Sylvan Springs, BBQ, and then motor on down to Ted Drew’s afterwards.
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had time last past weekend to remove the Monza style muffler and J tubes installed by a previous owner. Gads, that exhaust system had been on the car for some time, it had the asbestos "O" rings where the J tubes attached to the exhaust system. Exhaust system was actually in pretty good shape, it may have passed Missouri inspection, but I wanted a newer system on the car.

Cleaned the underside of the engine, I will admit the previous owner took good care of the car, no leaks from the value covers, or from where the push rod tubes meet the engine block. Also did a first cut cleaning on the engine compartment, it was really dirty from sitting in the pole barn for three years.

Have a minor issue to deal with, the key cylinder will not remain in the ignition lock, it will come out when I attempt to remove the key.

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Checked the Thing Shop, the are presently out of stock. I'm going to assume I will need to replace the entire ignition lock assembly, and then locate a rubber boot to cover it as my car does not have one.
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77kafer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ente kaefer, I bet that p38 comes in handy every so often.
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Overheard on 27 June 07, one lady to another when they saw my Harli in a parking lot at West Point, "maybe he found it on the clearance aisle at the Volkswagen dealer"
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

77kafer wrote:
ente kaefer, I bet that p38 comes in handy every so often.


Yes, the P-38 is a very handy thing to have on the keychain !!
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, progress . . .

Install this evening the new J tubes as well as TRI-MIL exhaust system that I purchased in the Fall of 2013.

I painted the TRI-MIL bits with three coats of VHT black header paint after I received it.

I need to clean the rear tin and air filter canister as well as hose, and install same, before I take the car out for a spin to allow the paint on the TRI-MIL to set up.

Next, replace brake shoes and springs, and bleed brake system . . .
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, this picture says it all . . .

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Right front shoes, springs, brake cylinder, rubber and hard lines replaced, wheel bearings repacked last week. I was also able to replace the master cylinder with a new one.

Left front drum pulled, gads, I have never seen spider cobwebs covering brakes shoes before . . .

Time permitting this weekend, will get the left front pads replaced, as well as springs, brake cylinder, shoes, rubber and hard brake lines.
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mondshine
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work Mike-

Here's a tag to hang on your dash for the maiden voyage:

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(neuer motor tags were used on JU87's re-fitted in the field)

Good luck, Mondshine
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argh, had to finally 'throw in the towel' in reference to getting the kinks worked out on the brakes on my car. It has been at least 15 years since I last overhauled an entire VW brake system, and it seems the only time I had to work on the brakes was very late in the evening, so I most likely did 'something stupid.'

I hooked my car up and towed it to a local shop that specializes in air cooled VW's recently to have them determine what I did wrong when I overhauled the entire brake system the summer / fall of 2014, and fix it.

When it get my car back, I need to decide if I will go with a BN-4 heater, or try to adapt a diesel cab heater. I am leaning towards the diesel cab heater . . .
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, the shop where I took my car to called me back, it appears that the reason I could not get any pedal pressure when I attempted to bleed the brake system was due to one retaining pin being in the wrong hole for a brake pad, and that I flipped a set of the brake adjusters.
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting ever so closer to getting this car on the road. The shop that is working on it called me that they have a steering wheel that is much better than the one in the car, as well as a complete set of the engine 'gravel guards' that they will be installing. Also had them replace the points with the electronic ones. Now I need to hope it will pass Missouri state inspection with the tires that are presently installed on the car once I get it back . . .
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, all of the work on my car has been completed, picked it up yesterday after work. The shop noticed that my rear rims are 15 inch, VW Bus rims, that a previous owner mounted 14 inch radial tires on. My front rims are VW Thing, 14 inch, rims, so I looks like I will be replacing all four of my rims.

They noticed while checking the pedal cluster that the hook on the arm that the front portion of the clutch cable attaches to was ready to break off, that would explain why I felt 'slop' in the clutch.

I also learned a bit about the electrical system of the Thing. It turns out the issue I was having with my high beams not 'clicking' on and off was due to a relay, and that the reason I had no lights in my speedometer was due to the rheostat in the head light switch being bad.

Now that I have my car back, I need to update the list of 'stuff' to finish so I can make the trip to Kubel Treffen Ost . . .

A 'Special Mention In Dispatches' to Brian Widener and Richard Nischwitz of Motor Cars, Valley Park, MO, for getting all of the items completed on my car. These two definitely know air cooled VW's, *high recommended* if one in the St Louis, MO, area, needs a place to take their car to for any kind of work.
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ente_kaefer
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exceptionally warm day today, pulled the cover off the car and took it out for a spin, all appears to be ready to get the car inspected next week. There are a few 'tweaks' that I want to do, and then off to Kubel Treffen Ost !!

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mondshine
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good Mike-

The spot on your driveway makes me think that's an un-retouched photo Wink.

Keep an eye on that coil for leaks......most aftermarket oil filled coils aren't made to be mounted "VW style" (upside down).

See you in July!
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GI Joe
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great!! Cool Always good to break hibernation for a drive!!

We had a warm(50*) day here today too!! Got some stuff done on my road rig, no Thing action today.... Sad
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