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Ambulance Fan Restoration
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 10:37 am    Post subject: Ambulance Fan Restoration Reply with quote

Not the only restoration thread on the forum but i thought i would document my little project. It is for my 1965 Micro which has been done for many, many years. Two option i never found back in the day were Ambulance Fans and a Trip Speedo. One down. One to go.

It has been a while since i have worked on anything VW so this should be refreshing.

I started with a fan unit i got knowing it had a broken knob and did not work.

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It is OG SWR and complete.

After taking pictures i confirmed it did not work and of course started to take it apart to figure out why.

Matthew


Last edited by matthew henricks on Wed May 20, 2015 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all honestly i am farther ahead right now then what i have shown so i am going to post individually each step till i catch up.

Action list for this project.

- Figure out why the motors are very tight and hard to spin.
- Locate an alternate face plate if i can as i need a BG unit and this one would be a shame to re-paint.
- Locate a new handle.
- Sand-blast and re-paint all parts.
- Replace a few pieces of hardware that are boogered up from the last guy who tried to take it apart.
- Figure out how to freshen up the hardware.

I have searched and read through the other threads on this topic. Some good stuff. I hope to add a few new tidbits. Below are the two best ones i found.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7670956#7670956

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6...e+fan+knob

Matthew
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taking the unit apart is easy....if the screws are not stripped. I was not that lucky. Got it all apart but will need some new hardware. (More on that in another post.)

With the motors removed i was able to apply 12V and found that they both work. Cool. That was my biggest fear. I did find that they were both VERY sticky. Neither motor would get up to full speed and both ran hot. Time to remove the fan and pull the motor out of the housing.

One nut on the fan nose and the fan comes off. Two screws on the housing and the motor pulls out of the housing. At least it is supposed to. Both of my fan blades were stuck. Some heat, penetrating oil and time and one of them came off. The other is not going anywhere. Wonder why.

Unit 1.

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Found the inside of the fan blade to be rusty. Looks like unit were stored fan blade down for a while and water got into the backside of the fan at least 1" high. (No picture) That rusted the fan to the shaft. Bummer.

Some fluid and 12V and Fan motor #1 freed it up to run full speed. All is OK on this unit and i will not have to take the motor apart. I have not decided yet if i will pull the contacts and clean up the rotor. (Re-cut them on the lathe)

Unit #2. After many days of heat and soaking it still will not come loose. Even had a fire when the penetrating oil ignited due to heat. Scarey.....

You can see from unit #1 (already painted) that there is a square key on the shaft and in the motor. This is different from the fan shown here.

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You can also see the rust that was causing the motor to drag. water got into the fiber pad and rusted the pad to the shaft. (Do i want to take this apart.....????)

Unit #2 joint is hopelessly locked. Unfortunately i boogered up the nose of the fan and the thread before i figured that out.

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After all the heating, soaking and prying, #2 fan did free up so it does work. I am not going to separate them and you can see that i already painted the fan blade. I will fix the thread later.

That is all for today.

I know i am going to need some parts so if anyone is reading this i need to locate:

- New front panel as i really do not want to re-paint this one.
- Hardware. One phillips pan head. (Frame to face plate)
- Hardware. One pan head sheet metal screws. (Motor to frame)
- Hardware. six Grommets.
- Hardware. Three switch terminal screws.

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Don66bus
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 8:40 am    Post subject: Fan repair Reply with quote

I do not have an ambulance fan nor the need for one, but I have to tell you that I appreciate this careful description of the repair process. It is a model for any other repair thread.
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Don. It is nice to know someone is following.

I decided to rebuild the one motor that i could remove the fan blade from. I am not sure i can get the other one apart without removing the fan so it may not get a rebuild. Will tackle that another day.

Lots of pictures. Will add comments as we go.

The motor before i started. It works but i want to see if i can free up the front bearing more and clean up the armature stack and commutator bar. I am also curious. I took lots of pictures of the wiring before i started. Not posting them here though so take pictures of yours first.

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Removing the screws. These are all that keep it together. They were a bit tight from age but easy to remove.

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Here is a close up of the nose and what i really want to investigate and clean up. Recall that water got in here and really added alot of drag to the motor. Likely the shaft or bearing oxidized.

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You have to pry off the front nose sheet metal which carries the bearing and the brush holder. First unsolder the wires and remove the brushes. You will likely have to pry the bracket off of the motor laminate stack. There are pins in the bracket that align the bracket to the laminate stack so be careful as you can start to separate the laminates as shown.

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All apart. This spindle of course is still in the front bearing.

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Watch out for these two discs on the back side. One is flat. The other concave. The concave side goes towards the flat one. It then pushes against the ID of the rear bearing to sort of pre-load the system.

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All apart. You can see the oxidation on armature stack, the armature shaft as well as the wear on the commutator Bar. Note in front of the commutation bar is a phenolic disc. Don't damage that.

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You can see here the front bearing is a bit crusty. You can also see the felt has oxidation absorbed into it. That has me thinking that the bearing is actually a bushing. Otherwise i do not know why the felt is there.

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It is a bushing. That is good as cleaning it is less critical. The bushing Id is what the shaft slips on. The bushing rotates as shown to align the shaft and allow a less precision assembly. I think the felt is either to hold lubrication to allow the bushing to adjust or as a damper. The rear bushing is the same construction as the front.

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Note that the back side of the front bushing has a washer. Don't lose it.

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The armature assembly on the lathe getting cleaned up. I re-cut the commutator bar, used light sand paper and steel wool to clean the rest.

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All clean and ready to go back together.

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Assembly is opposite of disassembly. Things i did aside from clean everything i could.
- Added oil to the felt. I used light oil
- Clean the brushes.
- Double check the picture to put the parts back in the right places.
- Check the condition of the wires. O am not re-wrapping the wires since the motor is OK. I suppose that if you wanted to convert to 12V this is where you would do that work. That is WAY beyond me and i will be running a resistor to drop the voltage. Check out this thread for more 12V info.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=627739

- I will be replacing the wires going to the motor switch. I am still looking for some vintage looking wire for that.

That is all for this update.
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the last few weeks some work has taken place.

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So what does Zinc Sulfate, Epsom Salt, Corn Syrup, Vinegar and Water have to do with VW's???

.
.
.
.
.

It is time to learn how to Zinc plate parts.

The hardware for the ambulance fan look terrible and you just can't go out and buy the same stuff new.

I know.... who cares right. You can't see it. More than a few have asked me that. Well I care. I want all parts of my bus to look good so here we go. Call me anal. Call me a geek. I fit both i am am OK with it. Very Happy

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To start the fasteners were oxidized and a few had been destroyed by over zealous use of tools.

First you sand blast them but how???

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Toss them in a old detergent cup, place two rare earth magnets on the bottom and they will stay put for some light sand blasting. You have to flip them a few times but it works. Then, as shown in the picture above you store them in Denatured Alcohol so they do not flash rust again.

A few of the screws i went over with a file to repair damage from removal. I would have rather replaced them but without someone going through their bucket of bolts it was not going to happen. I am too far removed from daily VW interaction to have my own bucket any more nor do i know someone who would check theirs. So fix-em.

I will not bother explaining the whole plating process as you can read it here.

http://home.comcast.net/~rt66tbird/website/zincplating.html

I mixed a 1/4 size batch and used four anodes. You do not need that many but.... I also used a 800ma 12V power supply and cooked them for 10-20 minutes. I did burn a few parts learning but overall it was easy.

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The end results are nicely zinc plated parts that will not oxidize right away and leave a decent factory look with the right hardware.

Matthew


Last edited by matthew henricks on Sun May 31, 2015 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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EverettB Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. What parts are the little circular tubes (barrels) above?
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of us face this problem. That SWF/VW logo after 50 years looks....well tired. How do you paint the housing without destroying the logo and when you do how do you accept a new looking housing with a very old, tired logo.

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Well. Re-make it.

Lets make some new water transfer decals to replace the old ones.

Artwork is first and the hardest part. I figured with some google work i could get the SWF logo and VW logo then get the original font. Put it together and wala..... NOPE!!!

SWF logo. Well sometime in the last 50 years it has changed. (Google it if you would like. It is blocky now. Not swoopy.) I took a close-up picture of it and went to Auto-CAD to digitize it. Turned out good.

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VW logo. Similar issue. The logo that SWF used is different then the standard logo. Same solution.

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Putting them together i used powerpoint because i do not have a fancy software package. I scaled them from the original and placed them in a border. I then worked out the text as close as i could as i could not ID the original text.

Looks close.

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I then took this into paint to color the back ground yellow.

After that moved int back to powerpoint as a picture and further scaled it to match the original.

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Print it on some white decal paper from ebay and try it out.

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Then stick it on a newly painted housing.

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Looks just like it did back in the early 60's.

Matthew


Last edited by matthew henricks on Sun May 31, 2015 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everett.

The barrels? They go inside the grommet that connect the motor housing to the fan face frame. The barrel goes inside the grommet after it is mounted to the frame and the mount screws goes through the barrel. I will detail that later when i build them up. (Have to replace my grommets and still have not located close ones)

Matthew
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Help!!!

We have all seen this happen to the knob.

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But rarely see this for an affordable price.

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Does anyone have a good used or NOS switch handle they would be willing to loan to make a mold? I have a master mold maker willing to help me make a mold to re-pop these. No damage will come to the original parts. Would need the piece for about 4-6 weeks.

(Pictures lifted from the gallery. If you would like me to remove them just let me know.)

Matthew
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So any advice out there on this.

The motor below has its fan hopelessly stuck.

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Recall the interface looks like this with the shaft and that square interlock system:

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I have:
- Soaked the back side of the fan using its "cup in WD-40 and PB blaster for over a week with enough penetrating oil to back fill past the square interface.
- Applied axial force on the fan by prying from the motor housing.
- heated up 20+ times and doused it with perpetrator to try and get it when it is hot and shock the joint.
- Left penetrator on the nose for 4 days to try and seep in.

It is still stuck. This motor was the weaker of the two and while the front bearing is really free now the motor is still weak.

Any ideas?


Last edited by matthew henricks on Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried using a bearing/pulley type puller or making a similar type one with three legs?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the dents around the 3 spot welds holding the hub into the blade cup someone's already been trying a puller, I'd be tempted to drill the welds and use a puller on the remaining hub, then weld it back into the cup.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have mentioned, great write up.

Perpetrator not perpetrating? Try 50/50 acetone and ATF as a penetrating mix. Superior to anything else on the shelf.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shaft is mushroomed from the puller.

I'd use emory cloth like a shoeshine boy style and smallen the shaft.

Soak soak soak then pinpoint propane/mapp flame the fan hub while tapping lightly around where the jaws would grip IF you used a puller.

Then maybe soak, heat, try puller.

During the week it's soaking tap on the hub thrice a day or more.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shaft is mushroomed already as noted. I have not tried a three jaw puller per say. Just two point and the nose is collapsing as i apply force on the base of the fan. A puller would continue that damage at this point. I think it is close the tearing.

Will try ATF and Acetone. Had heard that once. Guess it is real.

Have already used pointed MAP gas. Did you know that residual WD-40 will flash explode when it gets too hot and force you to change your underpants??? Found that one out with MAP gas. Scarey....

Have also been taping the shaft which lead to the mushroom. VERY soft metal.

I think the trouble is inside the fan on the hub. It is rusted to the shaft so any tapping or pulling on the fan housing is removed from the hub.

Drill it out. Interesting. Could then straighten the cup and weld it back. Balancing would be interesting. Hmm....

Anyone ever replace a shaft on a motor? Is that even possible?

Matthew
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So thinking about this; I would try soaking it in the 50/50 solution for days then assemble a gear puller on it with some tension applied and cold soak that whole assembly in a freezer overnight, colder the better. Pull it out and immediately apply heat via MAP or propane torch directly to the fan housing while slowly increasing tension on puller. Ideally, as the thinner fan metal heats and expands much quicker than the colder shaft, it should pull off.

Maybe even try that method before soaking and if unsuccessful, soak and repeat?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A thread restorer file of the correct pitch would cure the mushrooming problem, any FLAPS sells them.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those fans can really be a pain in the ass to remove from the motor shaft I just gave up when restoring my unit as if got the motors running freely whit out removing them.

So a tip to all who are trying to restore the fans:
If you dont really need to remove the fans leave them there you can take out the motor cover to lubricate the other end of the shaft.
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will try a few things this weekend.

In a way i am kicking myself as i probably could have gotten the unit freed up but i am now past the point of no return unless i give up on the motor working. I'm not there yet.



So. Another plea. Anyone have a handle they would care to loan out to make a mold? I am working one possible angle but until then i am still looking for a loaner.

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