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My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story
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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:30 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Last night, I took the spare tire off the nose to see just how bad the damage was. While I had hoped to have eche_bus's fortune with this, my hope was tempered by the knowledge that few are so lucky. Sure enough, it was pretty ugly:
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There is the usual skin deformation from the weight of having the spare tire holder there for 40 years, but it also looks like the nose took a blow to the lower portion of the tire, pushing that in further than the rest. A couple of the bolts holding the mount to the sheet metal were spinning loose so I had to go inside the bus and remove the kick panel, whereupon I found this...
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...and my heart really sank. The nose had been crunched multiple times with another nose poorly stitched in over the remnants to which the poor thing was subjected to yet another nose crunch. Looks like a nose skin is in the offing.

In other news, I got my Butty Bits throttle kits:
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One of the kits will go into this bus, the other into the 79 project bus in the garage. Also, I ordered some parts from German Supply for the 79 and along with those are 2 NOS shift couplers, one for each bus.
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I love receiving parts delivery days! Cool
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Andrew

Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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secretsubmariner
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:06 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

I love your stripey auto 79. Shocked Have fun with gertie! Looks like a badass bus ranch!
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1978 Champagne Edition II (Mar)
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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Getting ready for Amskeptic's visit on Saturday. Anyone in the Seattle area that wants to be involved with a meetup that night should let me know via PM. Colin's visit will focus on getting the '79 running, but if we have time, I'll have him give the '76 a shakedown. So with my spare time being focused on getting the '79 ready, I haven't done too much on the '76. Just a couple quick fifteen minute jobs...

The seat belt hooks were either broken or missing. Normally, I wouldn't bother with this until the bigger mechanical and electrical issues were locked down, but a set of NOS ones came up in the classifieds and I figured, what the heck, sometimes the little, easy to complete tasks help keep the motivation going. The coat hanger portion still needs to be replaced or refinished, but at least it looks better than it did:

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


The other thing I did was go through the fuses, replacing them as a matter of course, they were kind of aged with some oxidation showing and missing a cover. The seller of the seat belt hooks (Wagen Werks) also had some nice fuses and genuine VW fuse box covers so I grabbed that with the same order. There was also that blue fuse in slot 12 which would allow up to 25A on a circuit that should only allow 8A! Before:

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and after:
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I also found the fuse in the in-line fuse holder to the right of the fuse box blown replaced that as well.

On a down note, I think I'll need to rebuid/replace the alternator asap. Ever since I purchased this bus, the alternator light will stay on after startup until you get the RPMs up on that first acceleration. It''ll then go out for the remainder of the driving. On the off chance that it might help, I tried adjusting the belt tension, swapping belts with my new, spare belt, but to no avail. At the very least, I'm going to need to pull the alternator to investigate...a project for after Colin comes.
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Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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Tcash Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Alternator Type IV (4)

Good luck Saturday!
Tcash
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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Amskeptic came by this past Saturday and we spent a portion of the day assessing the health of the 76 (the first part of the day was spent reviving the 79).

To begin, Colin had me do a valve adjustment before anything else. It's been several years since I've had to adjust mechanical valves, so I had Colin double check my work on the #1 valves. It was good to find out that my feel for the correct drag on the feeler gauges was still well calibrated. The rest went well with only two anomalies...first, the valve cover gaskets stuck to the cylinder heads. We opted to let them stay there and apply a thin layer of Indian Head Shellac to the valve covers themselves. The bus is sitting for a week or so while I'm on a business trip so it'll have plenty of time to setup before I drive it again. If we introduced a leak or something, I'll peel them off, clean the heads and the valve covers and try again with fresh gaskets. The second issue that came up was that each of the intake valves needed an hour rotation clockwise to get the 0.006" gap. I don't know if they simply weren't set properly before or not, but it was consistent across all intake valves which was peculiar.

Of interest while I was in there is that the cylinder heads looked brand new inside the valve covers, no varnish or other signs of wear. Also noteworthy, is that the nuts on the valve rockers were 13mm not 14mm. Having gotten to poke and prod around the engine some at this point, I am guessing the engine rebuild the previous owner referred to was a top-end job only and that they didn't split the case. The condition of the short block simply doesn't represent itself as recently rebuilt.

After the valve adjustment, we adjusted the timing; it was quite a bit advanced, idling at 16 deg BTDC. It ran well before the adjustment, but we set the full mechanical advance to 28 deg BTDC anyway, verified that vacuum advance continued to about 40 deg BTDC. It ran the same after the adjustment so that's where we left it. In the process of adjusting the timing we discovered that my EEC valve was leaking so we took the EEC valve out of the vacuum circuit temporarily and it's on my to-do list to repair or replace the current one. While in there, his keen eye observed that the alternator was not properly in line with the fan belt and correctly surmised that the lower mounting bracket was problematic. So my alternator may be good after all and only the bracket (or fan shroud) need repair or replacing. The rest of the drive focused on trying to isolate the reason for my lumpy steering and as you might expect, not all was aligned correctly between the steering box center and the drop arm for the drag link. Another task on the list.

Overall, Amskeptic seemed satisfied (though he couldn't resist adjusting my door locks) so that when mechanicjay came by for a visit around 6:45pm, I stepped inside to fix the three of us some dinner and left them to chat up the dilemmas of mechanicjay's leaking carbs and other issues with his newly acquired bus. We had a great chat throughout the night, sticking almost exclusively to VWs and somewhere around 10pm the guys took off and I went to bed. It was a complete day of VWs, exactly what the doctor ordered.

All in all, a great time and Amskeptic's contributions to the VW community are greatly appreciated and I highly recommend you sign up for next year's itinerary in the February/March timeframe. You probably won't make a better investment in your VW that year. I regret I didn't get any pictures as we spent the day working nonstop without thought to pause and document the events.
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Andrew

Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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asiab3
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Glad to hear the visit went well! I'm recently surprised at how much time we can spent BS'ing about buses well into the nights. Cool

Congrats on the new bus; I hope it's fun and trouble-free. But not too trouble-free. Laughing

Robbie
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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:
Congrats on the new bus; I hope it's fun and trouble-free. But not too trouble-free. Laughing

Robbie


I'm sure it won't be. I already have a growing list of to-do items and if that ever dries up, I can nit pick details with the best of them.

Then of course, there's the 79...lots to do there.
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Andrew

Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Well, I finally took the new bus on its first road trip of any merit. After getting home last week from a conference in Austin, TX, we left the next day to camp at Paradise Point State Park before heading into Portland on Sunday for the Portland Bug In.

The trailer is especially nice as it keeps the interior of the bus pretty open.
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Somewhere south of Centralia, the alternator light came on. I think I mentioned earlier that I've been having issues with my alternator. Well this was the trip where it gave up the ghost. In the past, I've been able to rev up the engine and get the light to go out and stay out, but that stalling technique failed and I spent the drive from Centralia to Kelso running off my battery. Since I was heading to a VW show, my plan was to find a auto parts store, get a battery charger and nurse the battery along until I could get to the campsite, charge up, get to the show and find an alternator, swapping it in the parking lot and hopefully, be good to go on the way home.

It ended up working out well, my Optima battery served me well and got me to the campsite. According to the charger I bought in Kelso, it was down to 31% Shocked I more or less kept my wife in the dark about the details of the situation Embarassed so I don't know if this is a smile of ignorance or relief:
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I charged up the battery overnight and it got us to the PDX show. Unfortunately, there was not an alternator to be had anywhere at the show. In fact the show as a whole pretty disappointing. I don't really care about the drags or anything like that so the quality of the swap meet is paramount and it was severely lacking, particularly in comparison to the state of the show last year.

What saved my bacon was that Xevin was there (yes, Xevin, who bought my old bus, Greta). Fortunately, he lives only about 20 minutes from the show and had a couple spare alternators handy for me to pick from. By 12:30pm or so, I was parked outside his house looking something like this:
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


After a couple hours I was back on the road with no issues. Of course, I need to rebuild my alternator harness (the one in the bus was in sorry shape) and see if one of the spares I have on the shelf will work for me so I can give Xevin his alternator back, now that it's verified as okay.

Still for a first road trip away from the safety of home, things went well. Which is good as my son and I are sorting out a longer trip in early September. Maybe a week or so out, touring B.C., Canada.
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Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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dabble
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

I had a very similar experience to your alternator issue recently. Glad it worked out for you! Cool
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Xevin
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Hmmm, maybe we should put together parts lockers spread around the Pacific Northwest. Portland, Olympia, Seattle, Vancouver B.C. Think Very Happy
Although with all of around I suppose we already do Wink
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Damn that Xevin... Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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(This probably is Xevin's new signature line quote: Sunnydog said:"just the tip...")

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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Xevin wrote:
Hmmm, maybe we should put together parts lockers spread around the Pacific Northwest. Portland, Olympia, Seattle, Vancouver B.C. Think Very Happy
Although with all of around I suppose we already do Wink


We are very fortunate to be living in an area where the density of bus owners is high and are so willing to help one another out.
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Andrew

Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:02 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Took the bus (now officially named Oscar) on a week long road trip from Seattle and up through lower BC. It was a week of hectic preparations before leaving but my son and I left Seattle on time, staying Sunday night at the Washington Park campground in Anacortes before catching the Anacortes to Sidney ferry the following morning. The ferry was a pretty enjoyable experience, about $80 for the two of us and the bus and about a 3 hour or so ride to enjoy the lovely view through the San Juan Islands.

Once we hit Vancouver Island though, things got a bit rainy and we had to break out the awning:
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It served us well enough, but I'm not totally sold on it. I think the design could be done better in areas. That said, I'm not sure anyone else out there does a better design.

We spent several days on Vancouver Island, making it all the way up to Port Hardy, but really, we should have stayed to the southern half of the island, the northern half - at least what we saw - seemed to be remote timberland and not much else. Still, got the photo:
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While the north wasn't so exciting for would be adventurers, there was magical places to be found:
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We eventually took the Nanaimo to West Vancouver ferry which was surprisingly expensive - $110 CDN if I recall correctly. From West Vancouver, we drove north up the Sea to Sky Highway (Hwy 99) to Whistler. Every person in the Pacific Northwest owes it to themselves and the ones they love to make this driver. I have been to numerous places on this planet and this is simply one of the most stunning areas I have ever come across. I've driven it before and will drive it again and don't think I'll ever get my jaw off the ground.

Made it to Whistler:
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And stayed at Nairn Falls campground, which was a bit noisy being right next to the road, but still, this camping setup, I could live like this day-in, day-out:
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BTW, mountain bikers, do not hesitate, go to Whistler at once. The riding there was pretty amazing and I'm not even into mountain biking. While in Whistler, we rode the Peak 2 Peak gondola and meandered around the village a bit, did some day hiking, and found a cousin in the parking area.

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Back in the US this morning, we opted to come home a couple of days early, my son was simply glad to have cell reception again.
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All in all, the bus ran great without even the smallest hitch. I added a quart of oil about 1,000 miles in and that was it and within spec. Even my fuel gauge woke up and started reading correctly again. The good behavior must have been due to the 50 lbs of tools and spare parts I had tucked under the rear seat "just in case." Had I left any of that at home, there would have been a dire need for it, I'm sure.
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Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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Xevin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:09 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Nice trip. It's on my list. You still rolling the alternator you pick up at my place?
Just curious on its reliability. Hopefully I'll see you next week at Ben's GSBG.
I'll bring Greta.
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Damn that Xevin... Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

sunnydog wrote:
(This probably is Xevin's new signature line quote: Sunnydog said:"just the tip...")

Abscate wrote:
I dont hate anyone on the Samba - except for Xevin - who brought me cold coffee in the morning.

[email protected] wrote:
I respect Xevin and he's a turd Razz
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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Xevin wrote:
Nice trip. It's on my list. You still rolling the alternator you pick up at my place?
Just curious on its reliability. Hopefully I'll see you next week at Ben's GSBG.
I'll bring Greta.


Yep, still the same alternator. Seems pretty robust. I did pull the alternator from the '79 and will install that this week so I should be able to give you your alternator back when you're up here for the GSBG; I'm planning on going. The alternator from the '79 turned out to be a 70A alternator with a 55A pulley so I just have to get the circular boot to install in the fan shroud. I seem to recall that it wasn't a hard part to source.

Cheers.
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Andrew

Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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Xevin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Nice, no hurry. Take your time and find the part you need.
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Clatter wrote:
Damn that Xevin... Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

sunnydog wrote:
(This probably is Xevin's new signature line quote: Sunnydog said:"just the tip...")

Abscate wrote:
I dont hate anyone on the Samba - except for Xevin - who brought me cold coffee in the morning.

[email protected] wrote:
I respect Xevin and he's a turd Razz
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

enjoyed your trip post. thks for sharing
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:08 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

Good shake down for this weekend. This weekend is my shakedown Shocked Laughing But Ill have u there Wink
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RONIN10
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

My travel tools and skates are all still packed up so we should be good. After 1500 miles around BC, over the hill to Yakima should be no biggie.
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Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:10 pm    Post subject: Steering Box Refresh Reply with quote

One of the things I finally got sick of while on this past road trip was the lump in my steering. When Colin was here, he noted that my steering box wasn't on center. So after doing some reading, I concluded it was worth disassembling the box, giving it a through cleaning, re-centering it, installing it, adjusting it, and seeing what that does.

With some mineral spirits and several hours of labor, I was able to clean off the ample over spray of undercoating and get into the guts of the box. Unfortunately, I found this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It looks like some foreign debris got into the threads between the roller and worm gears and galled the heck of the roller. Since I don't have a spare steering box at this time, I had to try to make it work. I filed and sanded smooth the rough edges on the roller galling and reassembled it with some new gear oil. I also installed the new steering coupler from earlier in this thread. Conclusion, it's noticeably better, but there's still that uneven force right around the center position of the steering. Driving out to Volksfest this weekend and will be looking for a good replacement candidate while there.

Still, it sure looks pretty under there:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, A Love Story Reply with quote

So I've been quiet on the VW front over the winter and early spring, but I've not been idle, just busy with other duties. Today, I got my Konis!

Had KYB GR-2s on initialily:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Then installed the Konis:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I just installed the fronts and will do the rears later this weekend. These were adjusted to the stiffest setting. My first impressions at that setting...hitting the bump is a little harsh. You come up and down off that bump really quickly, but the small bumps are negligible. My body roll in the initial part of turns was greatly reduced. Overall it's quite a pleasure to drive. My braking straightened out a bit as well, but I think that's because my driver's side shock was blown.

I think I'll back off the adjustment about a 1/2 a turn this weekend to see if I can take the harshness out of the bigger bumps, but don't really want to soften it out too much.

Do yourself a favor and invest the $$, it makes it such an enjoyable difference. There's currently a $50 rebate on the shocks as well. Got mine from Bus Depot.

Good times, more to come as I tweak my heating system.
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Oscar: 1976 Westfalia Deluxe Camper, 2.0L FI, Manual Transaxle
The Lump: 1979 Sage Green/Mexico Beige Transporter, 2.0L FI, Automatic Transaxle
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