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Another poor sap with Bus fever
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KentPS Premium Member
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Location: Palm Springs, CA #45Exit
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:53 pm    Post subject: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

Hi everyone...
I barged into SamboSamba22's thread ("Should I buy this bus?!? '74 camp mobile") a week or so ago with my "new" bus story. And was advised by a couple guys to create my own. So here goes...

I had a 1971 Campmobile in the mid-80s, and have missed it ever since I sold it to pay my last two quarters' tuition at Cal Poly. Back then, tuition was pretty cheap, but I was also pretty strapped, so it was either school or "The Boomer". 30 years later, I'm still questioning my decision. Idea
Boomer was a great bus. He never gave me problems, and never complained when I was learning how to adjust the valves, and rotated the crankshaft the wrong direction. DOH!

So for the past few years, the Bus fever has been rising, and I've been searching the usual places for an affordable bus. Dayum! Prices have gotten a bit crazy, compared to the Boomer years. No one wanted a bus back then.

BUT I lucked out a couple weeks ago with a 1976 Riviera that came up on eBay. It's got a few problems (well, hopefully just a few), but I'm more confident in my mechanical abilities now than I was back them. So bring on the challenge!

The first challenge.... getting the Bus from Missouri to So Calif. It's taken 3 weeks, but it's due to be delivered on Tuesday. And I feel as excited as a six-year-old on xmas eve.
I'll show the pics as I saw them on eBay....

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Overall, it doesn't look too rough. A bit of damage and some rust in the expected places. According to the seller, it runs "when it wants". And he included a short YouTube video of it running the day the ad was posted, and it sounded decent.
When it was picked up for transport, it made it onto the trailer under its own power. Woo hoo! (even tho I had to pay a $150 surcharge in case it didn't. And a $200 surcharge due to its height. But don't get me started on that road.)
.
So here are my thoughts on how to proceed with this bus...
I'd like to have it as alternate daily transportation, in case my incredibly reliable Mazda Tribute with 186,000 miles decides to take a break. And it's a camper, so of course it's for those 3- to 5-day getaways for camping in Malibu, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Grand Canyon, or any of the other amazing escapes that can be found relatively nearby.

Since it's not going to be a show bus for me, I plan on making it a reliable source of transportation, and to stop any deterioration (and maybe reverse the ravages) in case a future owner decides he/she would like to show it.

Living in the Sonoran Desert of So. Calif, rust is not an issue. I can't even remember the last time it rained, although, ironically, the bus is due to be delivered on a day with a 40% chance of rain. (Maybe it's a good omen that the drought is ending?!?). And salting the roads....well, you get the idea. This isn't Missoula. We save the salt for Margaritas.

As soon as the bus arrives, it's going into the garage for a couple weeks to replace fuel hoses/filters and brake lines, belt, check timing/compression, change all fluids, drain gas, and an assortment of various things. (If it sounds like I know what I'm doing, it is almost entirely from reading every tech article and Bay forum on this site. It has been an invaluable tool, and steers me to getting and reading Bentley, Muir, and the Haynes Restoration book. You guys' knowledge has started to permeate my skull and, while not being proficient yet, has given me enough info to know what to look for and what to be aware of. Yes, Tcash.... 9 ft-lb. Got it!) Lol. Laughing
So between the "Stupid Questions" sticky and this thread, I'm hoping to have fun and learn a lot.
Thanks Tcash and SambaSambo22 and PineTops for your encouragement. It's meant a lot. And I feel inadequate, having such a boring handle of KentPS. Lol

On the road to the desert...
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_________________
-Kent-

1976 Riviera, my 1.7l FI chrome yellow VAN - "Chloe"
--> Whatever you do, have fun doing it! Smile

WildIdea wrote:
"I must say, how can you be in a bad mood driving this vehicle full of vibrant color.
Cars of today are so bland in comparison. Its.... like driving a celebration!"


Last edited by KentPS on Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Tcash
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

Congrats!

Riviera Stuff FAQ

Welcome to TheSamba, Bay Window Bus Forum!

Tcash wrote:
Every Type IV engine owner should know this!!!

If you over tighten the Oil Strainer bolt, you will brake the engine case!
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There is a Oil strainer in there.
TORQUE THE STRAINER BOLT TO NO MORE THAN 9 FT. LBS.


Tcash wrote:
Here is a little information. Good Luck

Pictures would be cool.
How to post photos/How to post a photo in the Forums

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I am thinking of buying a VW van
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Up in smoke... Bus fires... don't let it happen to you!
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Early Baywindow Bus Parts Book
Late Baywindow Bus Parts Fiche
Type 2 Wiring Diagrams
Model and Year Variations
Type 4: Secrets Revealed
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PARTS INTERCHANGE MANUAL
Youtube Videos

There is a ton of information located at the top of the Forum section.
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Tcash
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

With the Carburetors you may have problems smogging it in CA.
Good luck
Tcash
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Wasted youth
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

Great score! Please review my thread about 'German chocolate' about how I got my bus ready for smog. You will need to do this because the cutoff year is 1975.
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KentPS Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

The carbs may cause the problem? I hadn't thought about that. Thanks... I'll check into it. They were just rebuilt last month, according to the listing.

When I bought it, I thought the Calif DMV only required smog checks for vehicles 25 years and newer. It wasn't until the eBay auction ended that I looked it up on the DMV website. Wadyaknow... all vehicles with model years 1976 and newer require it. Embarassed This happens to be a 1976.
(Edit: I lived in Seattle in the 90's, and up there, smog isn't required for vehicles more than 25 years old. I got it confused with Calif. That oversight is gonna cost me! Shocked )

I did check the smog laws in Missouri, and checks are required in the county this bus Is coming from. So maybe it will pass? I need to ask the seller when he last did it....or if he did it. It may have sat inop for the two years he owned it.

Btw... There is the YouTube video of it running right after the carbs were rebuilt. Since I can't figure how to post from YouTube, search "1976 Volkswagen Riviera with rebuilt carbs".[/youtube]
_________________
-Kent-

1976 Riviera, my 1.7l FI chrome yellow VAN - "Chloe"
--> Whatever you do, have fun doing it! Smile

WildIdea wrote:
"I must say, how can you be in a bad mood driving this vehicle full of vibrant color.
Cars of today are so bland in comparison. Its.... like driving a celebration!"


Last edited by KentPS on Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tcash
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote


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BUSBOSS
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

KentPS wrote:
Wadyaknow... all vehicles with model years 1976 and newer require it. Embarassed This happens to be a 1976.


You are correct sir. You will need to restore all of the fuel injection equipment to pass the visual inspection portion of smog even before they sniff your tailpipe.

Congrats on the bus! These buses must be on the endangered list when California guys are buying from Miz to get one. I have a '76 too so feel free to reach out.
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Tcash
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

If you get lucky it may be titled off the door sticker as a 75.
Good luck
Tcash
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

Thanks BusBoss and Tcash and WastedYouth.
Swapping carbs for FI can't be that difficult....right?!? Rolling Eyes

This bus may be inop in my garage for longer than expected. But I'm still excited to get it. Only two more days till it arrives.
_________________
-Kent-

1976 Riviera, my 1.7l FI chrome yellow VAN - "Chloe"
--> Whatever you do, have fun doing it! Smile

WildIdea wrote:
"I must say, how can you be in a bad mood driving this vehicle full of vibrant color.
Cars of today are so bland in comparison. Its.... like driving a celebration!"
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KentPS Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

Tcash wrote:
If you get lucky it may be titled off the door sticker as a 75.
Good luck
Tcash


That sounds too good to be true. 👍
I assume the only way to find out is to go for a pre-check? I don't have it yet, so I can't check any of the plates.

Oops! Should that have been posted in the StupidQuestion sticky? Razz
_________________
-Kent-

1976 Riviera, my 1.7l FI chrome yellow VAN - "Chloe"
--> Whatever you do, have fun doing it! Smile

WildIdea wrote:
"I must say, how can you be in a bad mood driving this vehicle full of vibrant color.
Cars of today are so bland in comparison. Its.... like driving a celebration!"
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williamM
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

I'm just down the I10 in Quartzsite and just got a bunch of FI stuff for a 2.0 I'm building- if you need some help- give us a shout.

Ironically this (my blue bus) came from Palm Springs about 8 months ago.

I'm trying to get a bunch of Rivi owners together for a gang purchase of top tents- let me know if you would be interested.


[img]
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[/img]
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Wasted youth
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

DON'T... take that anywhere near a Smog Shop yet. Don't risk getting tagged as a Gross Polluter, which in its current state is.

You have a long but rewarding road ahead of you. Don't give up. Start reading about the Fuel Injection system. A GREAT place to start is in the Bentley! Cool You don't need any shop to tell you a damn thing about that power plant. Everything you need to read about is right here on the Samba, the Ratwell pages and of course, your Bentley.
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aerosurfer
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:27 am    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

Wasted youth wrote:
. A GREAT place to start is in the Bentley! Cool You don't need any shop to tell you a damn thing about that power plant. Everything you need to read about is right here on the Samba, the Ratwell pages and of course, your Bentley.


And an even better place to start is the fuel injection manual...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/manuals/afc_fi_training_troubleshooting_manual.php

Question for the California smog guys, does the visual inspection differentiate between the early style EGR and later?

Would it be a fail if you put a 78 federal system into a 75- early 76 with the full throttle switch and/or TB EGR? Or as long as it works and sniff right? What about the reverse?

I'm only talking federal, non Cali system.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:15 am    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

WELCOME Kent.
Important suggestion by wasted youth about early involvement with a smog shop. Find out exactly what year model you have via the VIN numbers on the dash, left door jam, and right side eng comp. It will be a good idea to look at the engine case to see what letters are present, which will identify the engines year and specs. Many smog related repairs are in limbo til this is resolved.
These veh's had a rectangular orange colored emissions label glued onto the fan shroud or underside of the eng comp lid.
Lets see what you can figure out at your end and hope for the best. Calif takes it emission's program very seriously.
Hope this helps, Bill.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:52 am    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

aerosurfer wrote:


Would it be a fail if you put a 78 federal system into a 75- early 76 with the full throttle switch and/or TB EGR? Or as long as it works and sniff right? What about the reverse?

I'm only talking federal, non Cali system.


I would imagine that the average smog inspector is not up to speed enough on the finer points of '75 vs. '78 L-Jet systems on a VW Bus to say just by visual inspection what year it's from.

But he/she damn sure can tell the difference between FI and carbs just by looking. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:57 am    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

Thanks for the guidance guys!

I've just read the AFC FI training manual, AeroSurfer, and it was very informative. Now on to Bentley. I'm eager to look at all the plates, rockerarm, to see what I've got and how to proceed. Tomorrow is the scheduled delivery day, so I'll have lots of time to read tonight when I can't sleep. Lol

WilliamM: How did I miss out on that bus?!? I thought I knew every one of them in the valley. I hope you have a great time with it. And thanks for the offer of help. I'm sure I'll be looking for all the help I can get.

And I am definitely taking WastedYouth and Rockerarm's insight to avoid the smog shop. I guess I would have been in a world o' hurt if I had gone with my gut reaction of pre-testing it.

Tomorrow is the big day, so I'll have a bunch more info then. And work is heating up, so I won't have as much time as I've had these past couple weeks... but there's always time to play with the bus, right?? Very Happy
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-Kent-

1976 Riviera, my 1.7l FI chrome yellow VAN - "Chloe"
--> Whatever you do, have fun doing it! Smile

WildIdea wrote:
"I must say, how can you be in a bad mood driving this vehicle full of vibrant color.
Cars of today are so bland in comparison. Its.... like driving a celebration!"
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

KentPS, congrats on the bus. I would like to issue an advance apology for the CARB requirements you are about to lose sleep over. With the help of the fine folks on this site, you can get it correct. I'm not going to say it will be easy, but it will be possible with hard work. And it will be fun in the end! Very Happy

EDIT: It looks like I see the 72-74 heat exchanger setup going into the muffler in one of the pictures. I do not know if this will be cause for a visual failure point on the smog test, but it's something we'll have to consider, later down the line.

aerosurfer wrote:

Question for the California smog guys, does the visual inspection differentiate between the early style EGR and later?


Depends on the quality of the referee… There is a functional test of EGR required on 1976 buses. My ref held the engine to about 2,000 RPM and disconnected the EGR vacuum line. The engine changed in RPM then, and it changed again when he hooked it back up. I do not know how this would be done on the '77 and later mechanical linkage system. There might be literature in their Secret Books detailing the systems as well. My guy was impatient and lazy, so he just asked me. But he also tested me regularly when I asked for a pre-test the first time, so just find someone who communicates well and understands human beings.

Robbie
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Last edited by asiab3 on Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:07 am    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

sjbartnik wrote:
aerosurfer wrote:


Would it be a fail if you put a 78 federal system into a 75- early 76 with the full throttle switch and/or TB EGR? Or as long as it works and sniff right? What about the reverse?

I'm only talking federal, non Cali system.


I would imagine that the average smog inspector is not up to speed enough on the finer points of '75 vs. '78 L-Jet systems on a VW Bus to say just by visual inspection what year it's from.

But he/she damn sure can tell the difference between FI and carbs just by looking. Very Happy


Well, lets put it this way. If the avg smog inspector doesn't know the difference between model years and what goes on a certain year/model, then Calif's Bureau of Auto Repair certainly will be paying someone a visit. As I previously said this state takes its Smog Program very seriously, and violators can have their license suspended or revoked. I have heard of flagrant violator shops have the state show up and lock the doors with everyone's toolbox inside. Back in my dealer smog days the process was a visual inspection, function test of base timing and EGR function, and finally the sniff test. The state had bait cars where the timing might be advanced 4degrees and a bb was in the EGR hose, or purposely blocked EGR port. They might show up in the later afternoon when a dealer might be busy with folks getting off work and waiting for a smog test.They made it easy to diagnose. Commissioned mechanics, always looking for shortcuts would skip these tests and go to the sniff test. Car would pass and the state would come back to the dealer and wholly hell would be upon us. And that was 25-30 years ago.
But, lets not put the cart before the horse as the original poster needs to verify some critical data.
Hope this helps, Bill.
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rockerarm
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

Hi. Referee's do not perform the normal/smog inspections. They have a specific function.

https://www.bar.ca.gov/Consumer/Referee/Referee_Centers.html

We are getting ahead of our selves here. Info is good if it is correct. I'd rather stay out of it for a couple of reasons, that I previously stated. If this bay is found to be a '76 or newer, then tech's who have Calif's smog license or others, such as SGKent, who have dealt with this very same issue should help out.
Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: Another poor sap with Bus fever Reply with quote

[quote="KentPS"]Thanks for the guidance guys!

Tomorrow is the scheduled delivery day, so I'll have lots of time to read tonight when I can't sleep. Lol

WilliamM: How did I miss out on that bus?!? I thought I knew every one of them in the valley. I hope you have a great time with it. And thanks for the offer of help. I'm sure I'll be looking for all the help I can get.

Tomorrow is the big day, so I'll have a bunch more info then.


Quote:
Got in touch with "Amishcanvas"- they may start producing a replacement top canvas that dosn't look like a london rain coat.
If your interested- e-mail me.
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