Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Phoenix - A 1971 VW Westie returns from the Ashes
Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 9, 10, 11  Next
Jump to:
Forum Index -> Bay Window Bus Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
peteandvanessa
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2009
Posts: 931
Location: Sacramento
peteandvanessa is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Phoenix - A 1971 VW Westie returns from the Ashes Reply with quote

My Son recently purchase a really nice 1971 VW Bay Window Bus.

Here it is in all it's glory.

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


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


We installed a rebuilt Steering box, refreshed a few things and relocated the Fuel filter and fuel lines. An replaced ALL of the fuel lines.

Then this happened last Saturday on the way to a meet.
We suspect either the brass inlet to the carb broke free, or the fuel overflow vent lines leaked and started the fire.

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


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


No one was hurt, but the Bus was burnt out. The body is still pretty solid and is still a "roller".

So we had it towed to a local VW Enthusiast garage.

The VW community rallied round, so this Sunday we will begin the clean up and tear down. The VW community has already sourced a lot of parts for us to help us with the rebuild, without them we would have collapsed and just cried

It's going to be a long road, but Phoenix will literally rise from the Ashes.
_________________
My 1974 Standard Build Thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568220&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

My Son's 1971 Bay Window Westie Build Thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7295189#7295189
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Bala
Samba Member


Joined: December 04, 2003
Posts: 2548
Location: Austin, TX
Bala is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dang, that's sad.
Hope those rear panels aren't too warped from the heat.
Awesome that you've jumped so quickly into getting it back on the road!
_________________
1976 Westy

1966 Beetle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
JDub113
Samba Member


Joined: June 08, 2009
Posts: 683
Location: Reno
JDub113 is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Main thing is that you are both safe! I've been meaning to head to the hardware store to buy a bigger fire extinguisher just in case. I've got a small "Kiddie" brand and will probably just mount another inside somewhere.
_________________
84 Wolfsburg Edition Westy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
peteandvanessa
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2009
Posts: 931
Location: Sacramento
peteandvanessa is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JDub113 wrote:
Wow. Main thing is that you are both safe! I've been meaning to head to the hardware store to buy a bigger fire extinguisher just in case. I've got a small "Kiddie" brand and will probably just mount another inside somewhere.


My humble advice would be to get the biggest Fire extinguisher you can (like the one's you might see in an office). My son tried to tackle the fire with a medium sized Kitchen Fire Extinguisher, it didn't even come close.
_________________
My 1974 Standard Build Thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568220&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

My Son's 1971 Bay Window Westie Build Thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7295189#7295189
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Bala
Samba Member


Joined: December 04, 2003
Posts: 2548
Location: Austin, TX
Bala is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peteandvanessa wrote:
My humble advice would be to get the biggest Fire extinguisher you can (like the one's you might see in an office).


And, to add a little to that. See if you can find a local "safety supply" store. I have one near my house and they sold me a nice one with a metal handle/nozzle. This style can be re-charged. I would stay away from disposable extinguishers. As a bonus they said if it every needs a re-charge, just bring it by and they would do it for free! Smile
_________________
1976 Westy

1966 Beetle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
justcruzin
Samba Member


Joined: July 31, 2005
Posts: 1493
Location: United States
justcruzin is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm the enthusiast that is storing the bus for them. I can tell you that the metal is just as it was before the fire, solid. The only area that looks to have got weakened is the rear door. We have a replacement for that so not a concern. The fire department did knock out every window except for the wing windows and door windows. That is why it looks so bad. We are going to have a burnt bus cleaning party once the insurance is done with it. I think after that, all will be surprised on how well it did survive the fire. Smile

The Phoenix will rise again!

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

_________________
Kim
Sacramento, CA

1964 Split Window Bus
1966 Beetle Build Thread= http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=472933
1969 Delivery Van= http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=566282
1970 Westy Build Thread= http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=479538
1971 Squareback Build Thread = http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6652459#6652459
1970 Single Cab, Samson = http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8022609#8022609
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
my59
Samba Member


Joined: August 13, 2003
Posts: 2877
Location: connecting the dots
my59 is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justcruzin wrote:
The fire department did knock out every window except for the wing windows and door windows.

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


That was nice of them. Look on the bright side- nothing quite like a new windshield! Great to hear there a bunch of people helping out.
_________________
my59: Well son, my grandfather died before I got to drive it, so does that answer your question?
our79: sunroof bus w/camper interior and 2.0 FI
Other:'75 MG Midget, '77 MG Midget in boxes, '12 Jetta, 77 Mercedes 300D
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
wcfvw69
Samba Purist


Joined: June 10, 2004
Posts: 11338
Location: Arizona
wcfvw69 is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad the bus is being saved! Did you figure out why the fire started?
_________________
Bill

**Restored German Bosch distributors for sale or I can restore yours**

**Restored German Pierburg fuel pumps for sale or I can restore yours**

My 1970 bus refresh thread- http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=598191

1970 Westfalia Bus
1969 Convertible Bug
1967 Standard Bug
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
peteandvanessa
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2009
Posts: 931
Location: Sacramento
peteandvanessa is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wcfvw69 wrote:
Glad the bus is being saved! Did you figure out why the fire started?


There's two leading culprits

1) The inlet to the carb might have pulled loose
Possible, but I did refresh all the fuel lines from the tank to the carb, but the inlet to the carb was not wired up.

2) Possible leak from the Tank vent lines, these are hard to see and to get to I believe

Either way we won't know for sure.
_________________
My 1974 Standard Build Thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568220&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

My Son's 1971 Bay Window Westie Build Thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7295189#7295189
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
peteandvanessa
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2009
Posts: 931
Location: Sacramento
peteandvanessa is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justcruzin wrote:
I'm the enthusiast that is storing the bus for them. I can tell you that the metal is just as it was before the fire, solid. The only area that looks to have got weakened is the rear door. We have a replacement for that so not a concern. The fire department did knock out every window except for the wing windows and door windows. That is why it looks so bad. We are going to have a burnt bus cleaning party once the insurance is done with it. I think after that, all will be surprised on how well it did survive the fire. Smile

The Phoenix will rise again!

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


Wasn't sure you wanted to be named in the thread Kim.

All I can say is, if your VW (Bus or Bug) ever needs help from someone, then you CANNOT find anyone better than Kim, her Husband Bob, and Dewey (friend of theirs) and Cody (their son). Dewey's truck even got kicked out of the garage for the Burnt Bus, dedication!!!

Without their help and resources we would be lost as sea, crying in a heap and totally down.

They gave us the hope we can come back from the ashes and come back we will Smile
_________________
My 1974 Standard Build Thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568220&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

My Son's 1971 Bay Window Westie Build Thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7295189#7295189
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
asiab3
Air-Schooled


Joined: April 04, 2012
Posts: 8896
Location: On Tour!
asiab3 is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry that this had to happen Sad

For the education of us all, could you tell us a few things?

Fuel line brand, size, and age?
Clamps? What kind?
How hard did you pull the old line to get it off the carb? (Hint- if you pulled at all you likely loosened the inlet nipple.)
Did you have a metal line through a grommet through the firewall?

Best of luck getting it rebuilt!
Robbie
_________________
www.airschooled.com

[quote=“sunnydog”]...the sliding door is the party entrance...[/quote]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
peteandvanessa
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2009
Posts: 931
Location: Sacramento
peteandvanessa is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Robbie.

See comments below:

For the education of us all, could you tell us a few things?

Fuel line brand, size, and age?
All the soft fuel lines were replaced from the Fuel tank to the Carb, I also relocated the fuel filter to under the chassis, well away from the heat exchangers and header. The fuel lines were brand new.
I purchased two sizes of fuel pipe from my local Flaps store (I think it was around 5/16" and 1/4" or there abouts. I initially put on the larger diameter pipe, but after fitting I wasn't happy with it, it was a little loose, so I removed the larger fuel pipe lines and installed the smaller diameter fuel pipe which fitted well. The fuel pipe was the Non-Braided type.

Clamps? What kind?
I used the screw type clamps

How hard did you pull the old line to get it off the carb? (Hint- if you pulled at all you likely loosened the inlet nipple.)
I pulled the old line off the carb, it had been on there a while, it was pretty easy to pull off, I didn't really have to pull that hard to remove it. During removal I didn't notice any movement or play in the brass inlet pipe to the carb. However, I should have wired the clamp around the inlet to the carb.


Did you have a metal line through a grommet through the firewall?
I checked this during the installation. The hard line through the firewall went through a rubber grommet. When I first installed the new soft fuel pipes I noticed the hard line had a nick on one end that was close to the heat exchangers. I therefore went to the trouble of pulling the hardline out and inspecting it. Sure enough, there was a nick in the hard line at one end, so I cut about an inch off the end that was nicked, filed the ends down smooth with a file and then re-installed. After start up I also checked for any drips or leaks from all lines, right from the bottom of the fuel tank to the fuel filter, onto the hard line, then to the fuel pump and then onto the carb. There were none. I'm pretty particular at checking these types of things, because of the potential fire risks.
That's why I'm thinking it might have been the fuel vent lines from the tank itself. About 2 hours before the fire, we filled the tank full of gas. It was a pretty hot day that Saturday (about 100 degrees), so if I was to guess, I think that some of the fuel passed into the vent pipes (I did not inspect the vent pipes, because I didn't even realize there were vent pipes on a Bay Window Bus), then somehow leaked onto the hot heat exchangers and headers and started the fire.
_________________
My 1974 Standard Build Thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568220&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

My Son's 1971 Bay Window Westie Build Thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7295189#7295189
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
RixiesRide
Samba Member


Joined: August 31, 2005
Posts: 701
Location: Stockton, CA
RixiesRide is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is so disturbing! I've been watching this bus on CL for a couple of months, even sent the link to the kid in Socal who was looking for a pre 75 bus.

My thoughts were I should just get rid of my two fixer-uppers and buy this nice pretty bus and drive away with no worries. A bus that clean doesn't need any work, right?

Just glad no one was hurt and it's awesome you have such a great group to help.
_________________
1973 Wild Westerner "Mr. Peabody"
1967 Beetle "Sherman"

http://s13.photobucket.com/albums/a269/RixiesRide/WW/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
matt94gt
Samba Member


Joined: April 29, 2014
Posts: 245
Location: Victoria BC, Canada
matt94gt is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow sorry to hear about this. Glad to hear your local VW club is helping out.

Im so paranoid about this happening. Im going to do my lines, and ill be sure to check the vents as well.
_________________
72' Sunroof Bus - Kansas Beige
http://www.vw-mplate.com/mplate-21257.htm

Build thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7257521
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
peteandvanessa
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2009
Posts: 931
Location: Sacramento
peteandvanessa is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RixiesRide wrote:
This is so disturbing! I've been watching this bus on CL for a couple of months, even sent the link to the kid in Socal who was looking for a pre 75 bus.

My thoughts were I should just get rid of my two fixer-uppers and buy this nice pretty bus and drive away with no worries. A bus that clean doesn't need any work, right?

Just glad no one was hurt and it's awesome you have such a great group to help.


Yeah it was a pretty clean Bus, that's why my Son bought it, it's a bit smokey and dirty now Shocked

Please, please check the vent lines, just as a pre-caution, especially if you live in a hot area.
The other thing that caused more damage from the fire was that the ledge above the engine bay area was pop riveted in. I don't know whether that's usual from the factory or whether the ledge is usually welded in. Because it was pop riveted in, the heat from the fire softened the rivets and the ledge fell down, which allowed the flames and heat to get inside the passenger area which set the seat foam on fire causing more fire damage to the Bus.

If the ledge above the engine area was welded, in the fire would have been contained in the engine bay and we would have just been looking at a motor replacement, engine deck lid replacement, wiring and minor paint refresh.

As stated above, the Bus metal work is largely intact. All running gear, wheels, brakes etc are operational. So at least we can be thankful for that. We will find out more on Sunday when we begin the teardown, but we plan to rip out everything from the inside, pull the motor, all wiring, deck lid, dash etc and then clean it up best we can.

Then we start the re-build process. My Son plans to do most of the work himself, with help and guidance from Bob and Kim. We plan to do the basics, single interior drivers seat, new dash, windows, refresh the motor, new wiring etc and then treat it as a rolling restoration.

The Bus was to go on Treffen 16 from Canada to Mexico in a couple of weeks. So we had to do a switcheroo and now he will be driving his 58 Bug on the trip. The 58 Bug now has the biggest Fire extinguisher we could buy.
just in case.

Will post pics of the Sunday teardown (if the insurance company inspects the Bus before Sunday).
_________________
My 1974 Standard Build Thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568220&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

My Son's 1971 Bay Window Westie Build Thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7295189#7295189
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
justcruzin
Samba Member


Joined: July 31, 2005
Posts: 1493
Location: United States
justcruzin is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a pic of the piece Pete speaks of in the above post.

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


You are looking at the bottom of it. We flipped it back up off the motor to inspect it better and to turn the motor over. It appears that maybe the PO cut it to possibly put a larger motor in, then when he sold it, he pop riveted the piece back in. That's just a guess, can't figure out why someone would cut such a big section out other then a big motor??
_________________
Kim
Sacramento, CA

1964 Split Window Bus
1966 Beetle Build Thread= http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=472933
1969 Delivery Van= http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=566282
1970 Westy Build Thread= http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=479538
1971 Squareback Build Thread = http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6652459#6652459
1970 Single Cab, Samson = http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8022609#8022609
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
peteandvanessa
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2009
Posts: 931
Location: Sacramento
peteandvanessa is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Fuel Tank Vent Lines (I certainly wasn't)
See pic below from the VW Service manual, section 3 page 5, (I saved it from the Bus fire).
The older Bays have a vent system with tubes that can rot away over the years and leak. If you get a chance, please see if you can check those, even if it's for peace of mind. In the pic, it's the lines marked as 2

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

_________________
My 1974 Standard Build Thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568220&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

My Son's 1971 Bay Window Westie Build Thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7295189#7295189
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Mike C
Samba Member


Joined: September 18, 2008
Posts: 303
Location: Albuquerque
Mike C is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How would you check the vent line? Pull tank?
_________________
Bone stock 1970 non-walkthrough "Station Wagon" bus

[quote="1977_L63H_P27"]As mentioned before, it's a 9-passenger Deluxe. The true "station wagon" of buses.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
peteandvanessa
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2009
Posts: 931
Location: Sacramento
peteandvanessa is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a private message from another Bus owner, who let me know the following (which is really useful info and I hope they don't mind me sharing the following)

"You are thinking that '71 tank vents are the same as later years. They are not.There is only 1 tank vent and its pretty much centered on the top of the tank and near the rear side. A short piece of hose connects it to a bent tube that then, with another short piece of hose, connects to the steel vent line in the body. That connection is in the upper right rear corner of the tank compartment and the tube then enters into the engine compartment in the very front top right side corner."

So from that evidence it would seem the most likely cause then was actually the carb Inlet barb pulling free. I can't confirm that either way since the carb was melted completely in the fire.

I guess there is a slim change that the tank might have sprung a leak (but not likely), I'll check that when we start to strip the Bus down and report back here when we get closer to that task.

The other alternative is that there was a small leak at the bottom of the filler hose (see pic below), which might have started the fire. Again, I'll inspect this when we get to that area.

In the meantime, here's a few pics of what a 71 Tank looks like from the gallery which also shows the rubber filler neck and the vent line. When we pull the tank I'll inspect the vent line and filler neck too. I'd presume the only way to inspect those areas, is to pull the engine and drown the rear fire wall down to view the tank area.

The reason why I'm laboring the point, is because I want to do my best to try and stop this happening to anyone else. Most of us know about the carb inlet and relocating the fuel filters out of the engine bay, but if I can at least point out to check the tank area (if you can get to it) and it saves one Bus, I'll be a very happy man Smile

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


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

_________________
My 1974 Standard Build Thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568220&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

My Son's 1971 Bay Window Westie Build Thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7295189#7295189
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
matt94gt
Samba Member


Joined: April 29, 2014
Posts: 245
Location: Victoria BC, Canada
matt94gt is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing those pics, I always saw schematics of that filler hose, but its good to see actual photos. Is there anyway to remove the rear panel to just take a peek at this without pulling the entire motor?
_________________
72' Sunroof Bus - Kansas Beige
http://www.vw-mplate.com/mplate-21257.htm

Build thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7257521
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Bay Window Bus All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 9, 10, 11  Next
Jump to:
Page 1 of 11

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2018, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB