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68 panel - a long story short ish
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metz
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 3:04 pm    Post subject: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Young and filled with dreams I jumped on the five hour train ride to the south of Norway. It was a shitty day in November 2004 (not pictured) and the seller picked me up at the train station. I knew jack shit about old cars, but I did know that I wanted a bay bus badly. And to be frank, it wasn't so that I was keen on taking the train back home, so in the pissing rain the test drive was really all it took to convince me to buy it.

I drove it back home and I loved it.

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I wish I had more pictures from this period, but I guess the huge 32mb memory card was full or something.

Of course, I had big plans, but step one was just to get it through the vehicle inspection to get real plates on it. Well, I didn't get that far. When the clutch wire snapped, a friend (which in my book must be considered an expert in the field) offered to help. We got the engine out and quickly discovered that some welding was needed. We agreed that he would do it for a fixed price for the whole job.

We would never be that far off the mark for the rest of our lives. But we towed the car to his place and plugged in the angle grinder.

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As you can see, some previous owner had put in a window and a small roof hatch, but more about that later.

We're now around Easter time 2005. I'll try to do some posts over the next days or weeks to get up to date.

(Amazed to be able to log in here after more than 10 years AWOL. Even remembered this old username and password)
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KentPS Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Welcome back! I'm eager to hear about the following decade plus. Dancing
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Popcorn
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Abscate Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

I thought Norway was known for Fords, not VWs

Popcorn #Sleep
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metz
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
I thought Norway was known for Fords, not VWs
I'd say the VW scene is bigger.

KentPS wrote:
Welcome back! I'm eager to hear about the following decade plus. Dancing
Cheers!

So. We started digging. It quickly became obvious that what looked and even felt okay by a light tap, was crap. Behind loads of Tectyl and failed attempts at welding or even plates bolted on - lots of the structure was cracker like. Still enthusiastic, we started making things right.

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Beams, outriggers, the works.

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Some new, some fabricated.

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The handy holes in the side panel wasn't just for posing in the picture. As the window that had been put it was done so in poor fashion (like everything else on the bus), the lower edge of the window was rusting away. Luckily I managed to fine the complete side panel - top to bottom - NOS. I picked it up, so I actually think we were using the original side for metal when fabricating new parts.

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So this was the easter of 05. My friend Jon was handling all the welding and I was helping out. I learnt a lot and it was fun, even though rolling around in the gravel was quite uncomfortable.

I was quite proud of the start. It couldn't be as bad on the other side right? Or in the rear? Or in between? Oh well.
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metz
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

So, to finish 2005. The rear corner needed replacement, and the wheel well wasn't in mint condition either.

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So, we couldn't find replacement parts for this, so Jon brought out some metal skill.

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Looks easy when you've forgotten everything you can't see in the pictures.

That's what I could find from 05. I know some outriggers were fixed, but other than that my memory will have to rely on the next batch which is from 06 - the days before the smartphone were different, yes. We'll see!
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Cavilry6
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Good work!

Definitely a skill you need to learn with these old VWs it seems...and it certainly looks as though you have!
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metz
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Cavilry6 wrote:
Good work!

Definitely a skill you need to learn with these old VWs it seems...and it certainly looks as though you have!

Don't give me too much credit, I was mainly doing angle grinder work here!

So 2006 then. Since I was at uni and the bus in my hometown it was soon easter again before it was time for another bulk of work. We started looking at the rear and, and had to dig deep to find solid steel.

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Here we've started rebuilding what we had to cut away:
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And the right side:
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Bumper mounts had to come out. Half of it is new steel:
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Welding it back on. Looks nice!
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Four pieces of metal making up this part before going in:
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Left side ready:
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New rear end of the battery tray:
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At this point I could definitely start to see that this was a big job, but I still didn't have a clue.
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metz
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

For the second half of the holiday, my friend Anders came down to help Jon and me.

Here we've cut out the side panel with that window:
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Also a rare shot of a young me finally getting rid of that roof hatch:
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We'd found a donor car for metal to cover the hole with the right shape. Here it's cut to match:
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And here Jon has tacked it in place:
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I'm finding it fun to create replacement parts - even though they will never be seen by anyone ever (hopefully):
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It even fits!
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Frame part gets the OG look by Jon:
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And finally, I've bought wheels (through this very website):
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metz
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 12:50 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

On to 2007 and yet another easter. I'm not too sure on exactly what had been done since the previous picture set, but here we're stripping it down and getting it ready for lift-off:

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The good news since last time is that I bought a DSLR. The bad news is that I also bought a fisheye lens, which was extensively used through this visit to the garage. Jon is in control and Anders is happily helping out once again:
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Airborne:
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wcfvw69
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 4:49 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Popcorn
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lil-jinx Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

That is some nice work! That rotisserie looks scary.
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cmonSTART Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Ya, you definitely make it look easy!
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metz
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 4:50 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Might look easy now, but things were starting to slow down at this point. Living in another city didn't make it easier and when the scope of the project became clear, interest started to fade a bit. Actually, I could not find pictures between 07 and 16. In 07 I switched school and started my industrial design degree. Jon started getting kids and progress was slow. I never thought about selling it, though, I knew that at some point in life I would finish it.

In 2011 we moved the bus from Jon's barn to another place where could rent a spot and Jon still work on it. So most of the underside had been welded solid by Jon at this point, so we bolted on the suspension and took it down from the rotisserie.

It would be sitting a few years there without progress before Jon sent me this picture about a year ago Smile

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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 5:00 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

lil-jinx wrote:
That is some nice work! That rotisserie looks scary.

It does indeed, but the fisheye lens on the camera really doesn't help.
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metz
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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

So Jon got cracking again. The lower rear panel of the passenger side was not in good condition, so I'd already bought an original panel to replace it. Was great to see the progress when Jon sent me these pictures.

Test fitting:
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Welded on:
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Done:
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Next round I went down to help with the front passenger door. We'd gotten a new wheel well from a donor car and Jon had cut out the old one, but upon inspection we realized that the door didn't fit well. It actually touched on the lower left and top right, and the rain gutter was dropping down towards the front end. So the opening was basically like a parallelogram with one side too short.

We already knew that the whole front had been replaced after a crash at one point, and that job had been far from perfect. So now we didn't want to weld in the new wheel well knowing that the door opening would still be wrong. It was pretty tricky to correct it. With a big portion of the wheel well out, we used one of those hydraulic pumps, with a cross bar from the lower left to the top right of the door opening. With a straight edge on top of the rain gutter, we could could see the car straightened up as we pumped, but upon release it would sag back too much. We realized the A pillar was slightly too short compared to the other side, so we had to make a cut, pump it straight before we welded a bar below the wheel well to hold the correct position. Pics are limited from the straightening process, but here's a few:

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With the door opening corrected, Jon could weld in the wheel well and patch up the A pillar.

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metz
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

This page is getting heavy, but here's more. Dino has been in and straightened the roof.
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metz
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

So we're now in early November last year and Jon is putting in his last hours on the bus, finally covering up that big hole Very Happy
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The NOS panel ready to go in:
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metz
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:52 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

Time to bring it "home". My dad offered a spot in his garage for a couple of months to work on the car, so time to pick it up.

A couple of shots from the underside. Lots of new steel.

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Ready to go.
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metz
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: 68 panel - a long story short ish Reply with quote

So, safely in it's new temporary home, it looked quite sad. Years of collecting dust and grime meant for a lot of cleaning and elbow grease.

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And after a day of cleaning and scraping:
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