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57 Kombi
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Dubskii
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:28 am    Post subject: 57 Kombi Reply with quote

I've been a regular Samba viewer for a number of years now but relatively new to the VW game. Tried for years to buy a split window but could never afford or find the right one. Got my feet wet with a great first Bus in a solid running, OG paint, minimal rust 69 Sunroof Deluxe but even after I purchased it I was always on The Samba searching for a split window much to the extreme dismay of my wife.

The early splits always interested me. I dug the bullet turn signals, small hatch with the kick stand and ice pick door handles among other things. After several failed attempts to purchase various splits that popped up on occasion, I finally found and early Bus (1957 Kombi) that was running, braking, sort of rough around the edges but moldable into my liking in mid 2015. The Bus was located in California several hundred miles from me. After talking with the owner, an elderly gentleman, he informed me that the Bus was at Skinner's Classics and to call Robert to get the skinny. After several conversations, pics, videos, etc (felt bad for Robert) over the course of a week or so it felt like a good deal to me. SOLD! Sight unseen!!!

Now, being a very conservative and frugal person I am still shocked to this day that I bought it sight unseen! Makes my palms sweat to think about it and believe me, my wife was not thrilled (more on the wife topic later). However, it gave me comfort that an expert and well respected person like Robert visually walked me through the Bus and answered my questions several times over, put it up on the rack, etc. I would not have done it had that not been the case. A few wire transfers later, I now owned a split. Robert shipped the title to me and then I had to nervously sit back and pray a Bus was delivered like the one I had seen in the pictures. CRAZY I know.

About a week later the Bus in the pictures showed up in front of my house early in the morning. The transport guy fired it up to back it off the trailer and it damn near woke the entire neighborhood. It was so loud and sounded like a machine gun. Well, at least it started up and I could steer it into the side yard of my house and assess from there. SUPER EXCITED!!!

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I have now owned it for approx 6 months and figured it was now time to start my own build thread.

Next up, assessment, future plans and a bit of the Bus's history.
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69 Sunroof Deluxe - Montana Red/Cloud White (Sold)
57 Kombi - Dove Blue http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=648240
WTB Early Dove Blue Bus Driver's Side Door
WTB Joe Heishman VW Arlington, VA License Plate Frame or Other Memorabilia


Last edited by Dubskii on Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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williamM
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:29 am    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

welcome to the asylum . looks like a great bus
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obus
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

nice oldie! 1st matter of business ditch the bumper and use it as wall art!
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Pinetops
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Congrats! I hope you'll keep us updated.
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G-wood Todd
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Congrats. Looks like a solid start. Look forward to progress pics.
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and take the kids for instance "Are we going in the Volkswagen bus?" and they say "Yay!" and clap their hands and if it's a glorious day you can slide the sunroof back and let a little of the glory in and all of a sudden, it stops looking funny.

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Dubskii
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:54 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Assessment

Note: Some of the below items have been posted previously on other threads.

Electrical:

Looks like the OG wiring with some definite hacks. Some exposed wiring. Turn signals didn't work. Brake light wire from brake switch was connected, for some reason, to the horn, no transaxle ground strap and a few other minor issues. All of these items were corrected a few months ago with help from several Samba members. Overall wiring works now but not wired per 57 wiring diagram

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Body:

Did the magnet test all over. Had great magnetism over most of the body. A few spots here and there but overall very pleased. PO took the cheap way out and had the incorrect lipped rear wheel wells welded on. Long and short outer rockers will need to be replaced at some time; inner rockers looked and felt solid. Some crust on the lower portion of the drivers and passengers door. Portions of the cargo floors will need replacement. All new window seals. PO had removed rust, etc prior to painting dash, window/door jambs and POR 15d the underside.

Mechanical:

The 40hp engine was in terrible shape. Leaked like a sieve and absolutely no power. Bus came with a new transaxle, rebuilt RGBs, new gas tank, new hard and soft brake lines, wheel cylinders and pads and a host of other items.

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Interior:

Wood, wood, wood. Too much for my taste. PO spent a lot of time cutting panels. Had kind of a deluxe/standard/kombi grab bag. White steering wheel painted black, ivory and black knobs

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Future plans:

Definite changes to come to every aspect of this Bus. In no particular order my wish list:

- New engine/transmission
- Debating on a 3" lowering job.
- Front disk brakes.
- Sound proofing.
- Interior change as close to OG as possible
- Safaris
- Body work
- Paint

Yikes. Sounds like a lot and very expensive!

As previously mentioned. My wife was not happy until I sold my 69 (No room for two at my house).

Picture of both prior to sale.

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

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69 Sunroof Deluxe - Montana Red/Cloud White (Sold)
57 Kombi - Dove Blue http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=648240
WTB Early Dove Blue Bus Driver's Side Door
WTB Joe Heishman VW Arlington, VA License Plate Frame or Other Memorabilia
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EDragnDean Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Have the exterior sprayed to match the interior. Replace the bumpers and roll it as it is.
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G-wood Todd
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Not a fan of the wood interior panels either. You could paint them a matching stock gray color.
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and take the kids for instance "Are we going in the Volkswagen bus?" and they say "Yay!" and clap their hands and if it's a glorious day you can slide the sunroof back and let a little of the glory in and all of a sudden, it stops looking funny.

-Volkswagen ad
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Pinetops
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Those wood panels look pretty nice, if you don't like them you could sell or give them to someone who would. Don't trash them.
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bullifecal
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

burn that wood
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mg6770
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:57 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Pinetops wrote:
Those wood panels look pretty nice, if you don't like them you could sell or give them to someone who would. Don't trash them.


Yea don't trash em'. A camping guy like myself would be glad to take them off your hands. Fo-rilla gorilla, I'm in San Diego.
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Dubskii
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:22 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

So a little history of Bus. According to the PO, he purchased this Kombi in 1977 to use at his family's California cabin. It's primary function was to haul fire wood up, down and around their property as needed. This continued for approximately 2 years until around 1979. The PO couldn't recall why, most likely some maintenance related issues, but it ended up getting parked underneath some trees on the property where it sat for the next 36 years. After constant hassling from the locals, the PO decided to pull this old girl out and get her back on the road in late 2014/early 2015.

History prior to 1977 is unknown. The PO couldn't remember who or where he had purchased this Kombi. It's life was varied in the painting department as it has a coat of red, yellow, white, blue and now primer. I am hoping that there is some decent OG Dove Blue underneath that I can strip down to.

As pulled from the woods (Not the best quality picture) and cleaned up a bit.

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I ordered a Birth Certificate back in August or September of 2015 and still haven't received it. Curious to find out what options, etc she came with. VIN number is 23XXXX so if I looked at the information on The Samba correctly I believe her to be a February 1957 production. My last email conversation with the VW Museum indicated it was taking upwards of 9 months to get them shipped out. Hopefully soon...
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69 Sunroof Deluxe - Montana Red/Cloud White (Sold)
57 Kombi - Dove Blue http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=648240
WTB Early Dove Blue Bus Driver's Side Door
WTB Joe Heishman VW Arlington, VA License Plate Frame or Other Memorabilia
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Dubskii
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Sorry. Yes the bumpers were taken off (god awful) and the interior panels will be put to good use.
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69 Sunroof Deluxe - Montana Red/Cloud White (Sold)
57 Kombi - Dove Blue http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=648240
WTB Early Dove Blue Bus Driver's Side Door
WTB Joe Heishman VW Arlington, VA License Plate Frame or Other Memorabilia
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Dubskii
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

I felt that the first order of business was to clean up any wiring issues I could find, (exposed wiring, bad connections, etc), fix turn signals, brake light, clean battery terminals, added a transaxle ground strap and polished up any ground connections.

Then ordered a host of small odds and ends from Wolfsburg West and CIP1 such as side and rear view mirrors, deck lid brake light, accelerator cable and repop drivers door handle. The Kombi came with 4 OG long spoons and 2 short spoons. I wanted all matching long spoons so two of those were picked up as well along with a VW emblem. At the time I wanted the ivory look for the cab so knobs, etc were picked up. I noticed the steering wheel had been repainted black at some point so I began the process of stripping the paint. The paint stripping did not turn out well so just left it alone knowing I would eventually replace the steering wheel.
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69 Sunroof Deluxe - Montana Red/Cloud White (Sold)
57 Kombi - Dove Blue http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=648240
WTB Early Dove Blue Bus Driver's Side Door
WTB Joe Heishman VW Arlington, VA License Plate Frame or Other Memorabilia
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Dubskii
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

I have been reading some paint stripping threads lately and I let my curiosity get the best of me. I bought some Citristrip and some plastic razor blades and got to work. As I mentioned previously there are multiple layers of paint on this sucker. Undeterred I started in and holy crap it is a ton of time and work! This is what I have uncovered so far in various stages.

Roof
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Roof and it looks like someone used some decent grit sandpaper.
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Rear Corner. Paint removed but not cleaned up.
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Rear Corner. Cleaned up
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I am liking what I am seeing so far but again...a lot of effort to get to this. I have noticed a few bare metal spots are showing up (to be expected). Should I hit those with some clear rattle can acrylic as they are exposed so they don't start to rust up? Curious to hear peoples thoughts on continuing based on what I have uncovered so far.
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69 Sunroof Deluxe - Montana Red/Cloud White (Sold)
57 Kombi - Dove Blue http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=648240
WTB Early Dove Blue Bus Driver's Side Door
WTB Joe Heishman VW Arlington, VA License Plate Frame or Other Memorabilia
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Pinetops
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Clear coat would work but it may get in the way somewhat Oil, wax or grease would also probably keep them from rusting too quick if you wanted something easy to remove. Don't feel obligated to save that original paint unless you just want to. It looks good on that corner but the roof has a lot of paint loss. Like you said, it's a ton of work. If I were you I'd probably keep going just to get an idea of what the OG paint is like and then decide.

I guess it also depends what your budget is.
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StockNazi
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

I can see some swirl marks, so it looks like whoever painted the bus in the past did at least some sanding before painting.

I would keep going and see what you find under the rest of the paint.
You could use a small touch up gun, or get some spray cans mixed up and touch up the bare metal spots. You could also clear the entire bus after stripping.

Worst case senerio is you will have a good original paint base to paint the entire bus later on if you decide to do so.
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Dubskii
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

Agreed. It would be nice to see what is underneath although I have a good idea of where the problem areas are. I will strip the paint as time permits.

On another note I have been breaking in my new 1600DP with an A1 Exhaust for the last several months and have put on approx 400 miles.

1600DP/A1 Exhaust
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Old 40HP vs 1600DP
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I paired this with a FF trans and kept the RGBs. Everything runs great but I am beginning to regret the smaller engine choice and feel I should have gone with a peppier motor. I am now looking into upgrading to 1776 or larger. If this is done, I will lower the Bus with WideFive flipped spindles, a SAK, 175/55/15 front tires, 185/60/15 rear tires and all new Meyle front end components.
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69 Sunroof Deluxe - Montana Red/Cloud White (Sold)
57 Kombi - Dove Blue http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=648240
WTB Early Dove Blue Bus Driver's Side Door
WTB Joe Heishman VW Arlington, VA License Plate Frame or Other Memorabilia
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Braukuche
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

There really is nothing to lose. Should you chose to repaint it all that crap would have to come off anyway. Only difference is if you think the dove blue is not salvageable and you simply want to strip it and then seal with epoxy or paint it you can use a much more aggressive paint remover and do the job in a fraction of the time.
Nice bus by the way!
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Dubskii
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:43 pm    Post subject: Re: My 57 Dove Blue Kombi Reply with quote

I have been keeping track of my MPG as I break in my engine. I do mostly around town driving with some freeway cruising here and there. The furthest I have gone in one trip is approx 30 miles. Looking at my mileage logs I am only getting between 16-18MPG. This sounds way too low. I was expecting 20-25MPG when going with a 1600DP. My set up is a 009 Dist, Bosch coil, elect ignition and a 34 PICT 3 carb. What gives?
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69 Sunroof Deluxe - Montana Red/Cloud White (Sold)
57 Kombi - Dove Blue http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=648240
WTB Early Dove Blue Bus Driver's Side Door
WTB Joe Heishman VW Arlington, VA License Plate Frame or Other Memorabilia
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