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Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Your motivating me to keep posting. I'm well into the groove of posting in the quiet of the last quiet hour of the day. I'll tell this bus's story the same way we work on her, one little step at a time.

As much as I liked refreshing the refrigerator and all, I wanted to take a break on that and get back in the rear of the bus. The wiring was just hanging all over in there and that seemed more important to sort out, so back I go into the compartment. I'm poking around in there and get the trainsaxle mount out and put in the "to clean" pile.


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This a typical picture I get on the things I take off. Maybe sent to a buddy for feedback, etc. This one was for some wiring I had removed from the engine compartment. Lets say that wiring has always intimidated me and I figure I might as well change that right here with the tail lights.

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The tail light lenses were rather rotted from age and all powdery on the edges so I ordered new ones, and soon after that ordered the housing as well as the wire cover plates and picked up new bulbs at the local parts store. Getting it out isn't hard and I transfer one wire at a time figuring it is the easiest way to get it right.

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But this won't do. These wires are pretty beat up. There was a trailer lighting harness that had some kind of press fit clips that jumped onto the wires and left holes in the insulation. I don't like that and figure I should get the wiring back there replaced and cleaned up. This is where the Bently manual really helped. It took me some hours and a few different reading sessions to start comprehending how to follow the diagrams, but this ended up being a great project to get up to speed on. My bus's wiring harness is intact just to about the passenger side light and the diagram shows it to run across the engine bay and dead end at the drivers side light as well as making a brief fork at the plate light and reverse indicator wire. Cool, I can handle this.

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With the light out I see I missed some coverage on the battery tray and I treat what I missed and get it scuffed and painted.

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There is an electric specific shop in town and I get a load of supplies to add to the stock I already have. Wire in several colors, gauges and lots of heat shrink. I want to get this wire bomb proof as I don't feel like getting pulled over for a missing tail light bulb and seeing how dirty an engine bay can get, I want it to have the best chance at survival as possible.

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I told Brian I soldered all the connections and he laughed, said there isn't one soldered wiring connection on the whole bus. Said he's not a fan because he sees guys run too much solder in the connections and melt up stuff bad, but thought it OK with me because he knows I mastered soldering as a Tattooer. You see, I've been tattooing from a time when pins came in loose packs of 1000 and you had to solder your own groups together with silver bearing solder and flux, so the solder wouldn't melt in the steam sterilizer. Who knows how many hours I've sat soldering, I did them all for a 4 man shop for 4 years straight before. Flux core solder is a breeze. I also wired my bike with soldered connections, but I wired the bike too tight and when I had a break I couldn't pull wire from anywhere to fix it without unclipping a bunch free from the frame. I won't make that mistake here and put nice curves of flowing wire that can breath a bit.

Reading the wiring diagram made me want to get the wire to match. If it's covered in wire sheathing I wanted to know what is what down stream. I made all the wires match with the corresponding colors as best I could with markers and several finger nail polishes.

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I get all my leads figured out and run to the passenger side and side marker.

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About this time I remember getting sick. I had a cold with a pretty bad runny nose and cough, two things you can't hide tattooing, so I stayed home a few days. I was so bored I couldn't help myself and went out and worked in the bay to finish up the wiring. I suppose I should have just sat and rested but I figured I couldn't hurt anyone alone in my garage.

It got messy and then it all wrapped up and was done. All the ground connections get sanded too. I left a long coil of wire for the reverse indicator and they all test out. Cool. That wouldn't have been as easy with the engine in place.

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After I cleaned the Transaxle support bar I felt it was a little crusty and needed refinished, so I tossed it in a box to get powder coated. I know it will never show, but like that it will be protected underneath the bus. It comes back with a group of other bits looking snazzy.

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Thanks for checking out the progress, more to come......

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Chochobeef
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Applause
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

The one downside with soldering is that it makes the wiring at the joint more fragile and subject to vibration failure. As soldering is a chemical process where one metal dissolves in another, the process of soldering a wire makes the wire thinner. Combine that with the tendency of solder to wick up stranded wire and, because the soldered part of the wire is stiff, you create a weak spot at the point where the solder ends and where the wire has less physical support. Vibration from vehicle operation can cause the wire to fatigue and break at that weak spot.

Now it's not like all of your soldered connections will quickly fail. Just keep an eye on them, and try to restrain them from flexing as much as possible.
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

telford dorr wrote:
The one downside with soldering is that it makes the wiring at the joint more fragile and subject to vibration failure. As soldering is a chemical process where one metal dissolves in another, the process of soldering a wire makes the wire thinner. Combine that with the tendency of solder to wick up stranded wire and, because the soldered part of the wire is stiff, you create a weak spot at the point where the solder ends and where the wire has less physical support. Vibration from vehicle operation can cause the wire to fatigue and break at that weak spot.

Now it's not like all of your soldered connections will quickly fail. Just keep an eye on them, and try to restrain them from flexing as much as possible.


Right on, it may play out to be a mistake, Iíll keep an eye on it.

Thatís what I like about this project and checking in here, I learn stuff every day. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

great work! It is an obsession for sure. I got into it about year ago. You just slowly move your way around the bus right. I always have another project planned out followed by 3 more once I finish it. What
What am I going to do when my bus is finished? Probably gonna get antoher one Smile
What did you use for tail light housing? Did you go aftermarket? How was the fit?
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Martaskukla wrote:
great work! It is an obsession for sure. I got into it about year ago. You just slowly move your way around the bus right. I always have another project planned out followed by 3 more once I finish it. What
What am I going to do when my bus is finished? Probably gonna get antoher one Smile
What did you use for tail light housing? Did you go aftermarket? How was the fit?


I went with the Bus Depot ďGermanĒ set. Fit fine to the bus.

The only thing I remember was I needed to split one spade with a thin cut off wheel and use two smaller connectors to get a wire to the side marker.


Last edited by WildIdea on Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

sometimes it is hard to remember you did all this along time ago, and any advise wont help you, but it may just help anyone else reading this epic thread. I think it was busdaddy or maybe wildthings that suggested that the taillight housing bolt/nut mechanism was pretty stupid when you need to get to things behind it. The suggestion of well nuts on the bus sheet metal where the bolt normally just passes thru, and replacing the countersunk bolts on the taillight housing with a phillips head bolt/machine screw would make for quick removal of a taillight housing for easy access to stuff like the battery posts, side markers, gas heaters, and the little evil vapor hose behind the spare tire well that goes bad.

That bus is going to be so clean you could eat off any part of it.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

alman72 wrote:
sometimes it is hard to remember you did all this along time ago, and any advise wont help you, but it may just help anyone else reading this epic thread. I think it was busdaddy or maybe wildthings that suggested that the taillight housing bolt/nut mechanism was pretty stupid when you need to get to things behind it. The suggestion of well nuts on the bus sheet metal where the bolt normally just passes thru, and replacing the countersunk bolts on the taillight housing with a phillips head bolt/machine screw would make for quick removal of a taillight housing for easy access to stuff like the battery posts, side markers, gas heaters, and the little evil vapor hose behind the spare tire well that goes bad.

That bus is going to be so clean you could eat off any part of it.


Thats a neat idea. I'll log it in my book for future ref. I was rooting around with my ľ inch ratchet with deep well and extension in bad light looking for the little 6mm(?) nut I dropped a few times.
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

The box of parts from the engine Brian had sent home with me got processed pretty quick one weekend, or so I thought. There were two pieces that I really wasn't happy with the finish and was a little worried I didn't make a solid enough effort on.

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The air flow flaps had me somewhat perplexed as to what to do as they have multiple materials in places. Some metal, springs and plastic fused together. Thinking they wouldn't show was OK when I felt burred, but now I was somewhat caught up and looking at maybe a second effort on them.

Kevin had just got a new sandblast booth and I was itching to test it out and got the chance one day. I taped over the plastic clips and set screws and I went over the piece really lightly and it gave it a nice clean appearance. Some high temp paint went on with some solid results. Way happy to have taken a second look at that.


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The other piece was the crankcase breather. I didn't want this piece near the sandblaster and have sand falling back into my motor so it was to get soaked in detergent. At first I sprayed whatever I had sitting around, like break cleaner and engine bright but that only yielded me a little ground. This unit had some really baked on creosote deep inside. I had to kick it up a notch.

I drop the piece in a gallon size ziplock and spray it full of oven cleaner and let sit about 20 min, then add some water followed by a dunk in an ultrasonic tank. I let it run like a half hour and just for kicks I wash it out and repeat it again as that don't cost a thing to do so. I'm really surprised at what keeps coming out of this part and eventually it gets run in the ultrasonic tank until it doesn't stain the water in the bag anymore.

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The oven cleaner blistered off some of the paint so I sand it by hand and get it degreased and prepped for paint.

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Some more high temp paint and I let it dry a few days forgotten in the window until I can't smell a trace of paint anymore. The work on these little pieces are fit in the corners of a busy work week. I don't wait to do stuff until I have huge swaths of time, I never get those and it adds some enjoyment to the days knowing I'm doing "something" for the bus.

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The plastic port at the top gets a ultrasonic treatment too and conditioning with hydrator and bolted back on the housing. A little palm size piece of neatness and the gasket gets set aside with it.

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I can't wait to see the day these go on....
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:40 am    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

That heat shrink you have corrected and carefully applied will distribute the flex load away from the solder junction. It is good to see such excellent workmanship nowadays, too rare. I set high standards for myself but you have raised the bar well above mine.
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
That heat shrink you have corrected and carefully applied will distribute the flex load away from the solder junction. It is good to see such excellent workmanship nowadays, too rare. I set high standards for myself but you have raised the bar well above mine.


Thanks for the feedback.

Iíve seen several folks on the Samba doing work I think is worth striving towards, such good examples. I think it was on Skills 68 Deluxe thread where he wrote ďI bring my A-game to work everyday, so why not for myself on my day off.Ē Or something like that, and that rings in my head ever since I read it. Balance that between asking myself if its TLC or OCD, Laughing I want to just apply myself and not get in a hurry or cut a corner if I can help it, based on what Iím working with.
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Back to my favorite part, the cabin interior. At this point it seems a little silly to be stoked to have the panel set and not get a few of them fitted. It's easy for me to pick up the phone or place an order online quick for parts and have them stack up and not lift a finger to install one. I like to have parts and supply on hand, but don't like the feeling of having a big a pile knowing its takes time to install each one.

I want to get the long wall panel set but think having the wardrobe in would be important to decide where the final set is as one end will be touching it. Before the wardrobe goes in I want to set the small hatch strip that goes behind it just in case it somehow influences how the wardrobe settles.

My parents gave me a present of a quality heat gun. I mentioned once it wasn't a tool I'd likely buy my frugal self, but knew I would break it out a ton if I had one. Putting on the thin wall strip was the first thing I got to use it on.

The panels are basically a reproduction laminate on a 3-5 mm plywood and pretty stiff. The edges are white/blondish and stand out so I get some stain on the edges to take off some of the whitish focal point. I realize I need to sand the edge free of glue to get the stain to soak in evenly. It's a small added step but now is the time to do it if your gonna. There are no screw holes predrilled but I have an old take off as a pattern to transfer the holes from. I don't want to crack the piece installing and I'm thinking leaving a wet rag on the back would help soften the area that gets drawn in. After about 20-30 mins of that I get Cat's attention to help hold the heat on the piece and with a little slow, even pressure the strip panel settles right in.

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For those that haven't worked with these repros, they are a nearly indistinguishable wood pattern from the OG pieces, right down to the very tiniest textures, But there are absolutely zero holes or internal features drilled. This adds some difficulty if you don't have patterns to work with, thankful I do, but the new long wall piece is in two parts and my original is one longer panel. I'm not going to let this frustrate me.

I started with the rear piece and then brought in my wardrobe. This made the one end known and I was able to slip the two pieces into the top galvanized lip and decide what to do with the little bit of play I had at the drivers side bulk head.

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Once I felt confident I had it in the best possible place, I marked them in places and brought them inside to lay on my older OG panel to find where to cut and drill holes. These next few pictures really show how bad my old OG piece looked and what the PO did with the stain painted over the silkscreened wood grain pattern.

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I get them all clamped together, and get a solid look at where to trace out the holes for the control module and the sink vent. I discuss it with my lil bud Clover and we decide were gonna delete the ashtray by the window. We won't be smoking in the bus and think it will clean up the area some and it can always be added.

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Back out in the garage to drill some holes and run a jigsaw in and around the marked off areas. A final clean up with some files by hand. I get a little crack around the control module and have to put on a repair of my new panel,,,,Ha! nothing like getting new parts in the mail and drilling holes in them so they fit, sounds about right, but I'm grateful to have this material to get me started. I'm sure they're blank so they fit all models or you can decide what stays or goes.


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Still, I didn't feel comfortable drilling the screw holes this way. They're such a small target and many to get right as they play off each other. I don't know what else to do, so I run the screws in the holes in the body and slip the panels in the top rail over them. I gently pull them away and get a dab of nail polish in the heads and press the panels back down to get a print. This tells me exactly where I need to drill. I've never had good results tape measuring this kind of thing and always need a practical solution. The holes get drilled and counter sunk. The panels get set and the screws align perfectly.

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Just for a trial mock up I get the control panel back in and bring the refrigerator into the equation. Now were getting somewhere. I was chatting with Kev on the phone and said I just set the long wall panels and it took me over 6 hours and he said oh yeah, I believe it, people just don't get how long these things take. Definitely worth it to me to invest the time in my bus. It's a big visual jump and feels like were getting somewhere.

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Brian send me a picture of the rods he has in hand.

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I asked him what was noteworthy about them. He replied that the one was blued from getting hot so it was junk. We bought a rebuilt German set from DPR and sent the other three back as cores. They were balanced end to end, deburred, and had oil notches added to the big end. New nuts on the rod bolts.

The crank was ground and micro polished locally to his dimensions after the new main bearings were installed and measured. "I want .0025" clearance on all mains and rods."

I'll stick to the interior, but I'm learning and reading about my Type 4 so I can keep my eye on the ball.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Super work on the cabinetry. My cabinets are in decent condition but most likely will be building some of my own cabinetry. Your furniture setup is way better than what came with the early 70's westies. I store and keep everything though. Really enjoying your updates.
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

orwell84 wrote:
Super work on the cabinetry. My cabinets are in decent condition but most likely will be building some of my own cabinetry. Your furniture setup is way better than what came with the early 70's westies. I store and keep everything though. Really enjoying your updates.


Thanks. I can't wait to see what you end up with.

I think that what you lose in coolness being a late bay is gained by a perfected interior layout. I remember my 69 had a closet by the slider and that wasn't bad, it never had clothes in it and turned into a catch all cabinet, fishing gear etc.

I think that if I got a bus and the interior was savable, I'b be beholden to repair it stock, but if it was all rotted and and water damaged I may decide to do something custom, some neat designs out there and some wood workers are off the hook with creativity. We've seen folks strip out a better set than mine and others bring back some from the for sure dead, its a personal choice and one I'm sure people struggle with. But who's to say one doesn't have two sets, one in the bus and one in storage, Laughing
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

My folks had been out of town a while and they came over for a visit. We had a lot to catch up on and of corse we got on the topic of Buses. I mentioned that I was enjoying posting on my thread on the Samba. My Dad has been reading it and my Mom was asking "Is it was like a Diary of your bus or something?" I said sure, I guess you can call it that. My entry for today starts with a look at the core of the Kitchen Block....

We had taken it out of the bus and it has just been sitting on this 4 foot table in the middle of the garage with a shaft of light focusing on it trying to get my attention. I sort got tired of looking at it so pulled up a chair and started taking pictures of it.


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My initial assessment was that it was pretty stained and dirty, with a sink and stove unit, water tank, shelves and woodwork, and some lamination. If I broke this down into manageable parts it wouldn't be tough to tackle bit by bit.

The bottoms had some real dark rings from leaky cans of who knows what.

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I strip all the hardware down and pull the sink and stove then organize the hardware. Easiest thing first....

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The water tank seems to really be stuck. I know I shouldn't force anything but I can't resist giving it just a little more poundage but it still won't budge. I check in on the search tool here and it sounds like a common problem. Someone outlines where to pry and I get the filler neck to loosen and come free without breaking. Sweet! I look at the fracked laminate around the neck and shrug.

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Problem is that there seems to be what appears to be an ancient melted red candle fused to the side of the water container. Definitely wax, and whatever dye it possessed transferred completely into the water tank plastic quite completely. I picture some wisely stored candle tucked into the cabinet for a rainy day and then forgotten to be fried behind the long wall for countless peak summer afternoons. At least I can get the wax off the bottle, but it looks like it ran into the wood at the bottom of the block. Hmmmm

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A water and light bleach wipedown reveals that rich burgundy OG stain hiding under an inch of dust. That raises my spirits.

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So far so good, once this puppy get all wiped down it gets another whole assessment. I would like to tackle the inner wood issues and reseal that before I get into any lamination issues. The side of the spare tire compartment shows signs that it actually housed a tire at one time although mine is now on the nose. I'm not sure what I'll end up with, I think for now the tire is fine on the nose and that the space for it in the kitchen block will be better served as camping supply storage.

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I round up all my sanding supply and give it a steady careful pass by hand with 220 or something lighter and it starts to dust off.

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Pretty nice! A good practice area as it is really tucked away at an angle that won't show at all really.

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Emboldened by that response, I go ahead and jump on the worse spots. Its just so weird though, it's not acting like that last side wall. It appears that the candle wax has made its way into the wood here along with whatever leaked from the cans. I'll bet it may have been petroleum products for auto maintenance liquids that leaked. Whatever it is, its clogging my sand paper. I get a little more aggressive paper, but I'm getting nervous I'll burn through some of the paper thin veneer and make it look worse.


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I just call it quits for the day. I think that's a solid first effort and I'm now getting a real good picture in my head at how its constructed and what my piece is going to need. I resign to the possibility that the bottoms might not clean up perfectly and I may have a red water tank. I can always get a liner in the bottom or a new veneer, I'm just brain storming, but sleeping on it too.


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There is noteworthy water damage to the ply in places that also give me pause. These won't sand out and make me really question ever exposing this piece to water again. We'll see, thankfully it's not worse.

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Also, pleased to report more key motor parts in house.

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Chochobeef
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Hey Wild,

For the inside pieces that aren't seen that much, could you not sand them till you are satisfied and then use a varnish/stain/sealer on it to protect what is left? It doesn't have to be a "perfect" finish like the outside.

Anyways, love reading your story. Keep up the great work and documentation.
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Chochobeef wrote:
Hey Wild,

For the inside pieces that aren't seen that much, could you not sand them till you are satisfied and then use a varnish/stain/sealer on it to protect what is left? It doesn't have to be a "perfect" finish like the outside.

Anyways, love reading your story. Keep up the great work and documentation.


Chocho, Thanks,

I tried to get some products and some heat gun work to wick out the stains but your right, I think I've taken it as far as I should sanding. A little blemish here and there will be acceptable if I give it an honest try to reverse.
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popuppopdog
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

Watching your thread with interest, I am thankful my same exact bus has so much less to do, I am way behind you my progress is slow, just getting into the engine etc. , just curious on your rebuild of the engine, what kind of bearings are you using,looks like a new cam where did that come from . Did you do an align bore and did you have to check the case deck height, some questions I am looking into.. Thanks bus on .
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

popuppopdog wrote:
Watching your thread with interest, I am thankful my same exact bus has so much less to do, I am way behind you my progress is slow, just getting into the engine etc. , just curious on your rebuild of the engine, what kind of bearings are you using,looks like a new cam where did that come from . Did you do an align bore and did you have to check the case deck height, some questions I am looking into.. Thanks bus on .


Right on! Thanks

I don't believe it needed line bored, but I watched Brian doing one on another engine in his shop around this time, so it would have gotten one if it needed. As far as the source of the cam and bearings, I don't know off hand. I will have to ask him, a lot of the choices here are his.
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WildIdea
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Hell In A Bucket! WildIdea's 1977 Sage Green Westy Reply with quote

It was good to step away for a bit and just accept there is going to be a few oil rings on the bottoms of the block. Its been said before here that some stains that look tough at first just slip away easily and others you think are gonna be easy are the tough ones. Well, that seems to be the case for me. I accept that and can live with it. Will likely be covered in supply at some point when I'm using the bus.

I get the wood as sanded and smooth as I can and hit it with an light grit at the end one last time. Wipe it down with water then when dry with a tack cloth.

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I get some light wood stain reapplied then the next day get some clear varnish on it. Makes some of the stains show up again even worse, but there is no turning back, I'm not gonna start letting it bug me all over and twist my mind forever. I said I let that go already right? Its just maddening when you pour so much effort into something and it just sits back and laughs. This bus is teaching me a lot, I guess acceptance is one of the lessons, again.

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So lots of pictures here, but I like showing as many as possible. Much more fun and informative than anything I can write.

Overall, its looking pretty nice. The wood is drying into a real nice shade, pretty close to a match to an OG piece I haven't touched. I set a shelf upside down inside to see what its looking like.

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The flip sides are another story of crud. Luckily, the filth seems to be less heartily penetrated than the ones on the bottom of the block and clean up rather nicely.

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One quiet evening and all the hardware gets detailed. Its a strategy of mine to just take on little steps and hope it minimizes the seaming enormity of the task. The drawers, doors and lid have been refinished. Now the inside of the block is refreshed as well as the two shelves. The hardware is sitting there ready now, so thats getting somewhere. Still to go its the sink/stove piece, water tank and pump, through body connection hardware, gas lines and the daunting laminate.

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Once this block stops reeking, I'll bring it into the house where its warmer.
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