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69 bay bus "Weld Busler"
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Yarkle Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:59 pm    Post subject: 69 bay bus "Weld Busler" Reply with quote

This all started because when i was a little boy, I saw a VW thing and always wanted one..however, time and money never met to allow this, until a few years ago, I managed to get a relatively rust free project someone had lost interest in. However, soon after, time and money parted ways again..it was always one of those things my son and i were going to work on together.

This is the day I got it:

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(notice in this thread how my son grows in height and I grow in width!)

After a near death experience in 2013, I finally went to the litchfield bug in with my son, I saw things:

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and he saw buses, lots of buses and he was instantly hooked.. he was always into vws cuz i was, but he got the bus fever...

up here in the salty roads of Maine, buses are hard to come by. There was a really bad off one for sale, and my son was upset (hes got a tender heart like his momma, after we watch toy story, nothing gets thrown away for weeks) because the owner kept leaving the window down and it was getting rained on. So, my friend Dave came over to help me look it over.

Yeah, it was a Parts bus...I realized if i had any chance of restoring a bus (and the thing) with my son, id need to relearn how to weld.. So i went over Daves --he had recently aquired a split bus, and his wife was eyeing a project he had started as one too many

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=491468&highlight=vibrations

how he found it

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How we found it

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Caleb (my son) saw it, and really liked it. At the time, it had no windshield, so Dave took off the tarp to show me what to look for in a bus, pointing out flaws, good points, etc..

We started welding, and Caleb came in and asked Dave if it was ok if he could put the tarp on it, as it was startign to rain, and he didnt want to get it wet. (Despite the fact it had been in a gravel pit with a smashed windhsield for who know how long!)

So when he went outside dave said "Listen..im not trying to push my stuff on you..but if you promise not to flip this bus, and you an Caleb will fix it up, ill sell it to you for what ive got in it, ill let you make payments and ill deliver it for christmas..its never going to be a show bus, but for a new england bus, its got strong bones and is worth fixing,.

so, this was christmas:

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now before you think im spoiling the boy, i did make him pay for half of it, and he "supposed" to be buying parts.. hes paid his share off, bought a windshield and the master cylinder and some other stuff with his dog walking, lawn mowing, and cat sitting money. Now, there was some stuff DAve hadnt seen, which has turned out to be more involved than id originally wnated, but in for a penny, in for a pound...to his credit Dave has offered to help on any work, and even offered to buy it back when i found some torsion rot..stand up guy, that wrenchman

So, progress has been slow up to now, partially due to parts shortages, (floors were backorderd 3 months..grr.), work overages, honeydo list, etc.

plus ive got a traumatic brain injury from combat in somalia, so concentration suffers and I get very easily distracted and off task, but now that Caleb can drive, hes been pretty good about keeping me focused...plus, he gets to do alot of my chores since he can't do alot of the work by himself (yet)

Id like everyone on the samba whove helped me out with this project so far, but id especially like to give a shoutout to Tcash, Busdaddy and SGKent

This is getting long winded, so ill wrap up for now, but ill soon post some early work, discoveries, and updates.
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1973 VW Bus [o____o] Urklegrue thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP


Last edited by Yarkle on Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:39 am; edited 2 times in total
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!, you're a cool Dad, can you adopt me?, I could use some help financing parts Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story, the look on you son's face is priceless! I'm subscribing to this thread and hope you keep us updated on your progress! What are your plans for it?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story - thanks for posting!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...and he saw busses".
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool story, thanks for sharing what you have done so far. Please update with new photos when you can to show the work you guys have done.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:25 pm    Post subject: awesome Reply with quote

This is a heart warming post.

Happy Fathers day to you !
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the positive thoughts!!

Busdaddy: Ive been trying to get the Domeck brothers over on the thing forum to adopt me for years, if they'll fix my thing for me ill defintiley take you into the fold!

Pinetops: Resto wise, or purpose wise? Ill get further into the resto plans in a bit (im trying to keep the posts reasonable in length) , but it was a 9 seat (?) deluxe, but its now got most of the camper interior, so the plan is to make it like a "weekender" tin top westy.

Yeah, never gonna top that christmas!!

Why "Weld Busler?"

.Again, its never going to be show bus, but as Randy in Maine said yesterday, "its gonna be a FUN bus". When we started getting involved in it, I kept finding a little bit of this and that (well, alot of bit) that was going to require welding.

We happen to know a guy named Weld Butler...So i was under the bus one day, and my wife said "what are you going to name it?" and Caleb half jokingly said "Weld." My wife said "why-cuz it needs alot of welding" and from beneath the bus I whispered "Weld Busler": and the name stuck.

I am falling into the trap of --"Well, while I've go this apart, i might as will fix this" ..OTOH, hes not quite 17, so I dont want him to be breaking down and having to deal with any more than he has to..If it was my bus, id just roll it as it was and put towels on the seats..

It DID run when we got it..but at some point, someone had reused a starter cable that had apparently been used for ginzu knife demonstrations..and there were no grommets on the firewall, so we had some cooked wires one day while trying to back it into the garage--more on the wiring later--it looked fine until I crawled underneath and grabbed it from the starter side.

In retrospect, theres alot of stuff I could/should/would have checked over better, and there have been a few times i just wish id gotten involved with a 1974 bigwheel. But they are only young once, and the bus just kind of fell in my lap. AND, who I am kidding, Caleb LOVED That bus at first sight.

Early work: I figured he could start small, so he replaced some cracked lenses..this was the first thing he did by himself.

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Now, of course, i later discover the grounds are shot, so those had to come off and be rewired!
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1973 VW Bus [o____o] Urklegrue thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool story. I LOVE the pictures! As the father of three who all love buses, and ours needs some repair, I'll be following this story.

God bless you and thank you for your service!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you two have a great thing going, with the start you have. When a father and son team up, nothing but good things happen. Listen to each other, life is to short to spend it any other way, than the way you two are headed. Caleb, I lost my dad many years ago and unfortunately we never got to enjoy any shared projects. Here's hoping you two have a great future, who knows, this might be the start of something big. Keep this thing going. Peace
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nodrenin I hear ya.,.my dad died before i was born, and my stepfathers werent that type of guy, so i never got the shared project with my dad.

1977_L63H_P27 thanks!

At first, we were playing garaj Tetris, keeping both the thing and the bus in there, and pulling the bus forward to work on it. we tried to fiddle with it at least a few times a week (this was winter/spring 2014).

We found a few bad things:

Caleb used his snow shovelling money to get a windshield put in, so we intended on putting on the wipers..

but found this:

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still havent fixed that yet..since we found this shortly thereafter while trying to get the shafts out

(Dave had warned me he had never touched the wiring)

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this was one of those "wish we were fixing a 74 bigwheel " moments..

This took a long time to get figured out-- we learned ALOT from this experience..e.g.. how no diagram existed for the late 69 vw bus, When VW abandoned the `67/`68-style hazard flasher system in mid`69 Bentley never published a proper diagram to reflect the change. Same goes for the change from three 2-prong brakelight switches to two 3-prongs.

With ALOT of help from the samba, I fashioned a late 69 wiring diagram

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Tcash made this:

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heres the whole story: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=587348&highlight=

this experience gave me the confidence to try stuff a little out of my comfort zone
Im (obviously) not a professional mechanic, but I can usually pick up stuff really quick if i see someone do it.

Originally the plan for the wiring was we were just going to try and resplice the hacks by the PO...but then we ran into the melted wires in the back from the lack of grommet and recycled starter wire.

So far, ive go the wiring diagram sorted..that took a long time, and ive removed all of the PO junk..

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What was super frustrating about this is the guy took the two most critical fuse locations, and hacked into them for radios and CB's, but didnt use fuse 10..which isnt used for anything!!

More later.....
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1973 VW Bus [o____o] Urklegrue thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! I wish I had learned to weld when I was 16 or 17. I also wish I could get at least one of my foster sons to be more interested in doing some bus work with me. Oh well, they do like riding in them.

I'm also really wanting a Thing, so I think we'd get along great! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great story, for both you and your boy. I bet he is having the time of his life, and learning some stuff most of us wish we would have learned at that age. Seems to me, you are doing that parenting thing pretty good. Cant wait to see how it progresses.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Westyman,

yeah, its nice to have a common interest...Leb is one of those kids that really laid back and doesnt seem to get excited about much...but he is excited about buses!

Kirk, thanks! its a journey, but progress is being made

Back to the bad stuff:

I decided with all the splicing that would be involved with the wiring harness, it would just be better to get a main harness...I didnt want to, but in the end i think it was the right decision

The plan was we were going to pull the old harness this winter, treat the frame , then reinstall..usually up here we get a few weeks in january and february in the 50s, but not this winter..coldest, snowiest on record, and i dont have enough heat in the garage to let paint n stuff cure.

so, havent got to that yet, but :

The resto plan is (ive still got alot of back work to post, but right now we are refurbishing the beam, once thats done were going to pull the motor and trans-Im not sure how the working on electrical segued into the front beam, but forward progress is good!)

-Engine and trans need to come out, as the shift rod coupler is nasty, when the engine was rebuilt the sled tin went missing, and theres some oil weeping form the crank seal. Plus im putting the heater boxes back on, cuz it cools better and Leb can have heat..He doesnt plan on driving it once they start treating the roads, but it gets cold enough for heat before that.

then ill tackle what I found last spring...this was one of those days I REALLY wished we were fixing a 74 bigwheel!

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This really bummed me out...DAve said he hadnt noticed it when he was rebuilding the engine, so i dont know if it just let loose on the way over here. I showed Caleb the damage, and Dave had offered to buy the bus back, but Caleb was like "Dad, can't we just try to fix it? I dont want a different bus, i want this bus. Please?"

thats when it really hit me that this bus, with all of its faults, would mean far, far more to him than if (yeah, like i could afford it) i just handed him the keys to a restored bus.

So after consulting with busdaddy and skills, and alot of poking and prodding with sharp objects, i realized it looks alot worse than it really is. So we cleaned it up as best we could, and removed the bad rot, then treated it until we could get some repair parts. I also spoke with Welt in (denmark i think?)..He has a project that makes Weld Busler look tame.

This part kept the project on hold for quite a bit , as I dealt with several different people trying to get a frame patch, one guy just kind of spaced out and kept stringing me along for 3+ months, another guy wouldnt ship, another one only would sell me the whole rear end..Finally Chris Morrice in Cali took payment on friday and i had the part on tuesday..

Part of the problem is I tend to overthink things: i kept asking people for these crazy intricate cuts (green lines)..chris just cut the yellow lines-this isnt Weld, and the cuts arent the same, but you get the idea.

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this situation (probably took me a good 6 or 7 months to get that piece) and alot of other backordered parts-took almost 3 months to get early bay torsion arms too...-plus i got roped into working at least 6 days a week from june through february -that really slowed down the project.

But, since this post is all bad news, heres a pic from last night- after successfully removing a spent needle bearing from the torsion tube (thanks SGkent!)

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1973 VW Bus [o____o] Urklegrue thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very awesome! I'll be watching your progress!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, when i saw that frame rail rot, i was like:


Link


but, fixing this bus means alot more to Caleb than going and buying one from the bus store ...

one frustrating thing, is around here, there are no vw junkyards, and the stuff they junk out in say colorado is a minor fixer upper around here. i envy the people who find rust free buses out west..but i chose my habitat, so what are you gonna do? When we went out to colorado last year, i bet we saw 20 buses , just daily drivers, 4 were going to the crusher that looked like "barn finds" for new england...

but, really, except for a few hiccups, most of this stuff is really just deferred maintenance...

Back when we were still pushing the bus in and out of the garage, the back hatch woudlnt open, so caleb had to crawl through the slider, scramble over parts, and open it from the inside...so we tackled that without too much ado.

new and old..old was pretty rusted solid..i tried to rehab it, but it was too far gone

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keep it from rusting next time

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installing it--Yes im treating the rust, but we needed to get the door open first!

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I was the luckiest man in the worlds this day..that little "arm" that fits the latch was missing..now, whenever we work on something, theres always some random part that shows up..so we have a little can we put it into to...months before, some weird fiddlebit fell out of the bus, and we threw it in the can..which I promptly forgot..Caleb didnt, and we had a working hatch!

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As My wife likes to put on facebook

"My husbands "oh yeah!" shirt just about sums up how he feels when they complete something on the bus, and Boy's shirt is a VW club shirt "
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1973 VW Bus [o____o] Urklegrue thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and then the decklid hinges broke, so we had to replace them..

of course, the bolts were all stripped

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So I tried the usual, kroil penetratign oil, tapping it with a screwdriver and hammer...

Wouldnt budge, so i added some fire.

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Still wouldnt move:

I told Leb: "We are going to have to get a little rough with this"

He became concerned : ."Dad, isnt setting my bus on fire a bit rough?"

I dont know why I always try the other stuff first, these have gotten me out of more jams than any other tool-works great for the decklid, treasure chest (for my imaginary single cab), door hinges, etc.

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I showed them bolts!:

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Leb is happy the bolts came out, but still a little upset about the fire

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next time on the Weld Busler show--WHEELS!
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1973 VW Bus [o____o] Urklegrue thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the rims on the bus were pretty solid, with some dings, surface rust, etc..No spare though..dry rotted tires. Caleb helped a guy clean out his pig barn, and the guy gave him a wide 5 spare, and two 1973 seats because I'd rather he not get wiplash..hopefully it never comes to that, but...

Wheels before the blaster

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back from the blaster

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Heres another one of those new england problems.. We were supposed to get a break in february, so we go the rims blasted, but then we got three storms and a crazy cold snap...I managed to get them down to my friends auto garage just to get primer and a basecoat so they woudlnt rust over.

He doesnt have a paint booth so we just masked up and shot them friday, garage still stunk a bit on monday.

Then we waited for the weather to cooperate...it was like from february to late April!

Caleb had to sand down some of the primer raspberries:

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and sand some more

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Finally got to paint..We used the rustoleum professional..its really forgiving, and the white is close enough for our purposes;

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Back to the whiplash..We got these tires from dave for free! A couple in a 78 bus got rear ended by someone texting, and their bus got crushed between it and a cement truck. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, but the woman was in a neck brace..what if she had had lowbacks?? They basically jsut wanted a VW enthusiast to take what they needed to keep their bus running, so we ended up with the tires and a few fiddlebits. Super Nice people

These hankook RA08 tires only had about 100 miles on them

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1973 VW Bus [o____o] Urklegrue thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work!

I prefer the Rust-Oleum professional enamel on most high-wear parts, as it's easily available everywhere. I did my whole engine compartment with it, and since it will get hit with tools and possibly an oil explosion ever 100k miles, it's cheap and easy to redo. Smile

You used the screw removers AND set something on fire? Or am I missing something?

Robbie
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[quote=“sunnydog”]...the sliding door is the party entrance...[/quote]
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Yarkle Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: August 03, 2009
Posts: 1076
Location: the Hills of Western Maine
Yarkle is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL! Nope..I used the fire FIRSt..that failed, then i used the screw removers..I dunno why i dont just grab those first.

I'td be nice of the professional rustoleum came in more colors, but the white and the black work for what were doing.
_________________
1973 VW Bus [o____o] Urklegrue thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8272498#8272498 1.7 914? engine with weber progressive clone (soon to be 72 dual carb setup)
1969 VW Bus deluxe 221 -belongs to the boy
"Weld Busler" Bus rebuild thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=630499 1600SP
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