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82 WestyRabbit Restoration
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 7:02 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

One more take on putting Town and Country seats in the front of a Vanagon. I started out - taking the tracks off of my old seats and following the directions of FRX in the Town and Country Forum. There is no question in my mind that if you are driving a tin top this is the easiest and best way to do it, and that sets your seats at exactly the same height as the newer tin top seats. Unfortunately, part of the reason I did the swap is because I had the later model tin top seats on the swivel bases on my Westy, and it just plain puts the seats too high up. So with my van being an 82 with manual steering, it is just too difficult to get in and out of the vehicle with the seat at that height. From there, I mounted the Town and Country seat right to the swivel base like C2MRDALE did, but I can never do things the easy way.
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In my case, I just made two brackets out of 1 1/2 inch steel. I made them long enough so that I could put the back two bolts right through the swivel base and the front two bolts bolt to the front of the swivel base. Like C2MRDALE, I had to narrow my swivel base.

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I didn't cut mine back as far as C2MRDALE. I cut it back just to the point where I can still use the stock seat, but I narrowed it up.


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There is only a little more than 1/8th an inch clearance between the inside of the upholstery on the seat and the swivel base.

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As you an see, the seat is sitting right on the carpet. It is as low as it can possibly go. I may go ahead and put some small 1/8 or 1/4 inch spacers just to give me a bit more room between the seat and the carpet.

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Picture of the seat installed. Although the cloth seat may not go perfectly with the dark brown carpets and the door panels, it completely matches the Westy cabinets. So I feel like it is a really good match to the van.

I now feel like I have more space between the seat and the steering wheel than I did with the original Westy seats, and it would be very easy for me to adjust it higher if I felt that was necessary. Now getting in and out of the van is not a problem. John
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Time to join the masses.
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I scored a seat from a 2016 dodge caravan. I'm impressed with how close the tan seats match the tan interior in my van. I will have to work on making brackets for them to fit this weekend. I had a very hard time deciding weather I wanted to redo the old seats with sofine products or putting in caravan seats. But when push comes to shove the caravan seats costed me $150 from a junk yard and the sofine seats would've been much more money than that. once the caravan seats are installed I will figure out a matching rear seat from sofine.
John
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

82westyrabbit wrote:
Not in my opinion. It does take less force on the brake pedal but for a normal stop but when push comes to shove it seems to take about the same force to lock the wheels on pavement. It took more to get the brakes to bleed out than I thought it would and I had to readjust the rear brakes to make them feel right.
.... When I rebuilt the rest of the brakes I left the front brake alone because they were pretty good but now itís time to do them. ....
I am ordering some sewfine stuff to reupholstered the seats but the wait is six weeks at the moment. John


I'm sure you know this fact better than me, but there sure are a lot of factors that play into brake performance.

On my '81 I installed a new booster in 2008 so I'm sure it's fine. Years later I totally rebuilt my rear brakes. Braking was ok but several years after that I had user supplied new rotors, pads, rebuilt callipers installed by a shop. Braking improved slightly in that the brakes feel like they engage sooner with slightly better grab. The old rotors were within spec, not burned etc., brakes worked but I always wondered if the old callipers were that good out of the box. Maybe the improvement lies in the callipers and-or pads but since the shop bled my brakes after new caliper install.....

Could bleeding methods and-or a pro type pressure bleeder better help to ensure that all air is bled out of the callipers?

On my '81, using my home made "air" pressure bleeder, I use low pressure. ~ 10 - 12 PSI.

I had a look again at the quilt your mother made. Really nice. Skills required to do that kind of thing is beyond me!

When you're done re-upholstering, you'll have a new van!

Neil.
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1981 Westy air cooled to 15ļ ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50ļ ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Not in my opinion. It does take less force on the brake pedal but for a normal stop but when push comes to shove it seems to take about the same force to lock the wheels on pavement. It took more to get the brakes to bleed out than I thought it would and I had to readjust the rear brakes to make them feel right.
If the stay at home thing ever lifts I will install big brakes on the front. With the way I drive the van and where I drive it they are not really necessary but like tvís you must have the biggest diagonal. I just want to machine the early spindles and hubs to prove I can do it. When I rebuilt the rest of the brakes I left the front brake alone because they were pretty good but now itís time to do them. I would really like drilled and slotted rotors just so I can look at them as I get into the van. I am ordering some sewfine stuff to reupholstered the seats but the wait is six weeks at the moment. John
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

82westyrabbit wrote:

In my case my old brake booster was junk. The master cylinder was leaking brake fluid in to it and it had a small vacuum leak because of that.
The BMW brake booster certainly changes the feel of the brake pedal but I would doubt it makes the van stop any faster. I didnít like the feel at first but I have gotten used to it.
I didnít have any symptoms with the old booster except that when you shut it of the you could feel the brake booster stop working.


Quite interesting to get a comparison on an early model year Vanagon with (presumably) stock brakes.

It sounds like the old booster was working pretty much up to spec?

Do the brakes "bite" or "grab" any faster than they used to?

Enjoying the pics!

Neil.
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1981 Westy air cooled to 15ļ ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50ļ ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

VE7TBN
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Thanks for the update. I always appreciate your posts and straightforward thoughts as opposed to saying this mod "s the most amazing thing ever!".
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Past: 1985 Westy Camper - 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years to Northwesty who converted it to a Syncro).
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Just sort of a up date on the BMW brake booster

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My brake booster came from advanced auto parts for like $130 delivered.
The brake booster shaft was a lot longer. I had to cut one inch off the shaft then tap the threads about a half inch deeper. I tried to install it with the dashboard in(it came out that way)but I had to pull the dashboard to reinstall it. The BMW brake booster was a relay tight fit I had to slot the bracket about one eighth of a inch to get it to bolt up still hitting on the top bracket in the van
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I didnít want to risk finding worn out pedals when I got in there so I repainted a good used set I had from my parts van
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I was working with limited tools so I would be embarrassed to say how long it took me to install it.
In my case my old brake booster was junk. The master cylinder was leaking brake fluid in to it and it had a small vacuum leak because of that.
The BMW brake booster certainly changes the feel of the brake pedal but I would doubt it makes the van stop any faster. I didnít like the feel at first but I have gotten used to it.
I didnít have any symptoms with the old booster except that when you shut it of the you could feel the brake booster stop working. Not my favorite mod but itís a job done. John
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Yesterday I replaced the brake booster with a BMW brake booster. My old brake booster was giving problems. When I shut the van off it would not hold vacuum. The brake booster had a very small vacuum leak. As I suspected when I pulled the master cylinder off it had been leaking brake fluid into the brake booster. To change the brake booster seemed to me to be a lot harder than the threads I read made it seem. I wanted to change the brake booster with the dash still in place, but that was not to be. When I tried to install the new brake booster it hit hard on the upper support bracket. The only way it was going to fit was if I slotted the holes and moved the brake booster down about an eighth of an inch. I also had to clearance the air box in one spot about an eighth of an inch - not enough to make it leak. In addition to having to shorten the rod where the brake booster connects to the pedal, like all the threads said Iíd have to, I also had to tap the treads deeper onto the rod so that I could get the rod to adjust properly. I had pulled used pedals out of my parts van to make sure that when I got everything apart I wouldnít find worn out pivot points with no way to deal with it. When I had it apart I regreased things and replaced both pedal assemblies even though my old ones were in excellent shape. I had repainted these and they looked better. unfortunately I ran out of time. I think the brakes need to be re-bled. Now the pedal is mushy when it never was before. And although I measured the input and output rods before I installed the new booster, if bleeding doesnít fix it I will have to revisit the lengths of each rod. The bake booster was bought at Advanced Auto Parts for $100 plus a $30 core charge. The unit was built or rebuilt by Weaver. The part number cross checks to the part number everybody recommends. I meant to take pictures and document but the whole thing fought hard enough that to just get the job completed was all I could do in a days time. Unfortunately I wonít get to rebleed them until late next week. John [/s]
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Yes Neil it is running pretty well. Security is getting used to me carrying car parts back and forth and bicycles. Company flys me home weekends so they see me a lot. Valvecovergasket I do like organizer. There are two more snap on pockets that are available that would be useful but I have other plans for that space. The go westy hookup boxes are of vary good quality but not sealed as well as I thought they should be just after I install them someone here was talk about them leaking so I took them back apart and resealed them. They have been great since then.
I removed the brake booster as I suspected the master cylinder has been slowly leaking brake fluid into the booster. The BMW brake booster I bought to replace the old one has required a little more modification than expected. I will post more on that if I finish the project tomorrow. John
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valvecovergasket
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

that organizer looks great on there!

curious what issues were had with the gowesty hookup boxes? when redoing ours it seemed like they sealed at least as well as the factory stuff that came off
have you had any issues?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Sounds like the bus is running well John. Nice you're "walking the walk" using it as your daily driver. Person inspecting your suitcase must've been a Vanagon owner/operator. LOL.
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1981 Westy air cooled to 15ļ ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50ļ ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

VE7TBN
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:59 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Just routine maintenance today. I changed the oil. Now that the van is living in Dallas instead of western Massachusetts I changed the thermostat to a 80 degrees Celsius so the the temperature gauge runs at the bottom of the red light instead of the top (87C thermostat). Installed a new temperature sensor that fixed the engine from surging a little at idle only when cold. Hopefully it will help the fact that my fuel mileage went down by 20% in the last few months. I got all the parts together to install a BMW brake booster. The last time I was home I got a second set of pedals ready in case I have problems with worn out pivot points on the old ones (I was shocked security didnít give problems with them in my suitcase). I also drilled and taped the clevis so thatís ready as well. Maybe I can tackle that job on Thursday. Shelter in place is giving lots of time to work on the van but not to go home. John
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

I am sure what gets stored in there will change over time. I am sure I will find a creative way to deal with the resistor. I just ran out of time and needed the van to get work. John
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:44 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

I'm sure I'm not the only one to think of using that space for tools but good to see it in action. I'd say it's money well spent. Nice to have easy and quick access to a "top ten" tool selection. I'd even thought to install a table there that could drop down but maybe not enough room for that?

On my '81 I extended the fan wires so I could mount the fan resistor up near the radiator. Not saying its a good place for it but it may keep it cooler and certainly makes future replacement easier. Would it be possible to install a new resistor outside of the heater box so you don't have to open up the heater box again?
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1981 Westy air cooled to 15ļ ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50ļ ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

A day of maintenance. I changed my clutch master cylinder. I promised my self that i wouldn't spend the big money on the westy organizer.
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my van is my home base at the moment it's a pain doing routine maintenance when I'm 1,700 miles away from my tools. so i needed some convenient storage. I pulled the dashboard a few weeks ago to lubricate the fan moter. ( I just can't bring my self to drill holes in the van ) Unfortunately the resister was bad but now I have a one speed fan. I will have to install a jeep resister at a later date. the van now has 9,000 miles since i installed the new engine. up to the slave cylinder hasn't require non elective maintenance.
John
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Nice work, mom! That's super cool.
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"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

For my birthday this year, my mother made me a quilt for my van. She captured the VW spirit well.


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This is the front view


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This is the back view

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Then we laid it out in the van

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I don't know if you can see the quilting detail in the red/burgundy section here, but if you can, it is cool.

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Close up of main picture

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Then she made us pillow cases

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Thanks, mom, you are the best.
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Yes. I had them lamanated then I used 3m spray adhesive. I like the look. We will see how it holds up long term. The head liners are next. John
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

Well isn't that cool ! Sliding door and cabinet bottom !..... You just glued them on or ?
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82westyrabbit
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Reply with quote

For my slow season, I have been very busy, and I haven't been able to do much work on my van.
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I installed new hookup boxes from GoWesty; although after doing some research, and hearing that people are having problems with them leaking, I'm thinking that I'm going to take them off and seal them better. I still have to make a block-off plate for where the refrigerator vent used to be.
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No VW van is complete without bumper stickers and a dog. Here is my start to my sticker collection. I am unwilling to put stickers on paint so they are just going on the back window.
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I decided that I did't like the look of the wood paneling. So I am laminating old aviation charts over where I had made new door panels and headliner. So far I have only completed the sliding door panel and the ceiling on the headbanger cabinet. John
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