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85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

When impact damage is deep, it stretches the metal. When the panel is brought back to level, there will be excessive metal causing a high spot. The only way to deal with this is to shrink the panel. I heat shrink the area with a torch, focusing on small shrinks at the line where the panel was hit. This will distort the metal a bit and it will need to be re-planished to get back to it's original shape.
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The steel gets thicker in the areas which are shrunk. Once hammered back to shape, a body file is used to confirm it's flat as well as shave off any metal standing proud of the surface.
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Any slight low spots will fill with polyester primer. I still have a little rust spot to take care of prior to installing the fenders, but I'm going to move over to the other side.
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Bulli Klinik
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

No patterns needed for this repair. Lay it out, cut the blank. 18 gauge.
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Wheel in a linear crown with an inner tube on the upper wheel.
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Brake the flanges.
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Adjust the flanges in the shrinker to match the contour.
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Always check your progress.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I like my replacement panels to have a relaxed fit and a nice tight gap. I blasted the surface rust off of the mating surface at the rear of the panel. Scrubbed it with Ospho until there was absolutely no surface rust, then sprayed on some Weld-thru prior to tacking it in. I really dislike working with this Weld-thru, but I know that it would keep me up at night knowing I didn't do everything I could to prevent any future seam rust.
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I'm tacking this with a TIG torch and no filler rod.
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Tack, let cool, tack, let cool, planish, tack....
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I was good and ready to do the finish weld when some weather rolled in and made my shielding gas useless.
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Next step is to finish weld the patch as well as address the body damage forward of the patch. A little rust repair on the opposite side and it should be ready to receive the fenders. Once I get the fenders in and primed, engine compartment paint then engine. This damn thing is way too heavy to push solo.
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Bulli Klinik
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:54 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

greggearhead wrote:
This thing's gonna be super nice!


Thanks man! It's going to be a keeper. I have to admit that I'm really excited about this Bus!
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

A little more work today. I gas welded this side because the TIG wouldn't reach. Similar technique. Tack with no filler rod. Burn in the weld. Planish and file.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

This thread feels like itís revealing answers to secrets long held by three monks living in a monastery sitting on an unmapped range of mountains on a hidden continent.

I thought all these problems were solved with bondo.

Thanks for the great thread!
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:59 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind reply. Hopefully some of this info helps other Buses get restored to a higher level.

One aspect of what I'm doing is to try to get an ideal solution for seam rust. It plagues the Vanagon community. Id like to get a reasonable idea of the time it takes to do near-complete seam replacement on portions of the Bus which are prone to rust. Unless you live in a particularly dry climate, your Van will eventually need this type of repair. Topical treatments only prolong the inevitable.

I think if folks are aware that the opportunity for quality repairs from a specialist are out there, at rates comparable to a production body shop, they will send it my way.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I had a chance to finish the weld on the passengers side. It was TIG'd then planished.
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I trimmed off the tail end of the fenders due to a little seam rust starting to show.

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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:53 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I found a little more rust in the rear slam panel support and patched it.

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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I ordered my fenders from Bus Depot after a discussion on the phone with the sales rep. He recommended the the fenders as they were a newer version from Europe rathen than the Klokkerholm panels they generally carry. I specifically asked if they were Klokker's because I know what they make and I have a direct account with them. Assured of what I bought, I was a little surprised to open the box and find panels from two, different manufacturers. One of which being Klokkerholm. After a call to BD, I was told that this is what they shipped because this is what was available. Just a first-hand account of parts availability...

Both panels are of the same gauge, about 19g. One looks e-coated with no identifying marks and the K-holm is in a traditional K-holm black with a smattering of rust under the paint. K-holm leaves a bit to be desired in the quality of the stamping, but that's what you expect when you pay for a K-holm part. I was expecting something a little nicer. With that being said, both parts fit ok with a little pushing and bumping.
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Klokkerdoodle:
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Ruffles from the crappy pressing had to be planished to fit well.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:46 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Lots of holes drilled and punched.
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A good coat or Weld Thru on all the mating surfaces.
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The Weld Thru has to be cleaned from all the holes prior to welding. I use a piece of stainless aircraft cable cut to length, wrapped in electrical tape and chucked up in the drill to spin in reverse. A longer cable can be used to reach hard to get to areas.
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It took some pushing and pulling to get the panel into the right position. I used this port-a-power tool.

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With everything in the right position, I burned in the welds making sure I had a nice, tight gap.
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The most forward holes I welded from inside the wheel well. The others were welded from inside the Bus.
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Next step is the panels to the rear of the fenders, then some primer.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 5:13 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Time's been a bit tight but I managed to get a little more done. I punched the holes in the upper and and lower rocker. The two parts were clamped together and punched as one unit. The plan is to get both sections installed then weld them together to the inner ledge (which does not yet exist).
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Marked and trimmed for an accurate fit.
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Tacked it up with the TIG
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No filler rod. Just fusion welds and a minimal gap.
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Last edited by Bulli Klinik on Sun May 13, 2018 5:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I cleco'd a strap to pull the panel against the Bus so I could weld it to the B and C pillars.
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A small but valuable tip if you decide to do a long side rocker; make the panel just a little bit short, maybe an 1/8". I've found that perfectly fitting panels don't fit quite perfectly once this much welding has been done. I've done long sides in the past that have swelled after planishing leaving a ton of shrinking to be done.

I prefer welding right to left so I begin my tack on the the right and align the panel so it is barely shy of the seams lining up. Once this side is tacked, it's not going anywhere.
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After tacking with the panel in a very relaxed position, it may or may not come up short on the left side. I planned a little room for it to grow. In this case, it came up just a little shy.
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No problem. I use a dulled chisel on the backside of the panel to push the edge over to the B-pillar. When it's nice and tight, I weld. The little bump in at the bottom is where the cleco is holding it to the B-pillar. This will get bumped over when the cleco is removed.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

No real progress to report on other than receiving the special order canvas tent from Bus Depot:

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I gave up hopes having the Bus running by Summer and have instead been spending a lot of time travelling on my bike, which also doubles as my shop mule for tugging this heavy-ass Bus around. At least it's German. Smile
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Will post when I have the opportunity to come up for air from the sea of life and work on personal projects again.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

BRAAAPPPP!!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Is that a sunbrella canvas? I was looking for a yellow one and that's all I have seen. Looks nice
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

It's a canvas tent, not sunbrella. It was a special order through Bus Depot.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:05 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

I spent a little more time on the Westy.

Prepping the engine bay:
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Then primed with epoxy and seam sealed.
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Then shot with paint. I have some fresh paint ready to use for the outside, but I decided to use the leftovers from my old Panel to shoot the engine bay and interior panels. This paint is 14 years old! Needless to say it awhile to stir it up.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Since I was on a roll, I stabbed the motor in.
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But while installing, I noticed the engine support bar was bent. I took it off while in the Bus and straightened it with the help of a torch.
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Next step will be to get all the wiring and hoses hooked up. Then I'm going to drop the tank, clean it and replace all the fuel lines. The slave cylinder for the clutch was locked up tight so I have a new master and slave cylinders coming.

I've never ordered from Rock Auto, but it seems to be a great place to order from. You type in the part you're looking for and a list comes up with all the available items, the brand, country or origin and pricing. I paid about $50 for the both items.

On a sad side-note, my BMW was stolen along with a 65 Vespa from the locked yard at my shop. A shitty way to start my birthday week.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: 85 Westy refresh. Plenty of questions to follow. Bulli Klinik Reply with quote

Looks so fresh and clean in that color.
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