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The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh
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advCo
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

Howdy bus folk. I'm in uncharted territory stepping out of the lonely little Ghia corner of The Samba. A couple weeks ago a buddy of mine acquired two early Bays sight unseen, a standard and a Westy. I went over to help him clean them out and evaluate their condition - and I let him know that whichever one he decided to keep, I wanted to buy the other. After some deliberation, he decided to keep the sun-baked standard, which meant I get the Westy. YES! I've always wanted a Bus, and even more so a camper - and this old girl just kinda fell into my lap. The pair were bought and lived in Louisiana until '84 when they were both parked.

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After cleaning out about 2" of dirt and grime on the floor (lots of rotten plywood, squirrel nests, etc) and really getting a good look...the thing is SOLID. It appears to have been painted to imitate the Champagne Edition (I'm no expert but I think that the Champagne was only a late model ['78 only?] option - someone please correct me if I'm wrong).


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I didn't take any pics of the interior but the majority of the camper gear is in there, some intact, some not. The sink cabinet is busted up so I'll use it as a template for a new one. The jump seat and stool that go behind the cab are missing as well. The "closet" and passenger side cabinet are all there as well as the bench seat and table. OG front seats are there as well and the covers look like they will clean up.

I'm planning to pick up the bus and get it home in the next couple of weeks. Normally I don't start a thread until I actually have possession of a project Laughing but I'm too amped about this purchase. Very Happy


Right off the bat I know it needs the battery tray replaced, bottom of the windshield, front apron, a few patches on the front floors and some work on the doglegs. The floor, rockers and majority of the body panels are straight. Looks like someone started to pull a few dents on the drivers side front and rear quarters but just drilled the holes and left the dents Evil or Very Mad so I'll be fixing those as well. I want to keep the paint , but we'll see what happens.

That's all for now, I'll post more pics when I drag it back to the house.

Cheers
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'68/'70 Ghia Coupe Project
'70 Westy Project - Champagne I Wannabe
A bunch of vintage Japanese motorcycles
"Much ingenuity with a little money is vastly more profitable and amusing than much money without ingenuity." -A. Bennett
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

That looks remarkably solid at first glance. It has survived the decades well.
Have fun with your new project
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

69 or 70, I cant Tell which .....
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
69 or 70, I cant Tell which .....


Tin top is a '71, pop top is a '70. (Disc front/narrow 5 rim, and then rear side markers and wide 5 rim, respectively.)

--

The '77 Champagne I was painted the white over dark brown, like your '70 Westy. (The '78 Champagne II was the light brown over dark brown.)

Nice scores!
Robbie
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advCo
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:55 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

I plan to haul the bus home this weekend if the weather holds, so look for more pictures early next week.

In the meantime, I have a question. I am cleaning up a type 1 engine from a '70 Ghia project that is currently on hold. The engine from this bus is currently in the standard (in the first pic), but I will be getting it at a later date.

Am I correct in assuming that this engine will slide right into the bus, tins and all? As far as I can tell the only major difference is the bus motor has a 38a generator, and the Ghia a 30a.

I hope to run this stock 1600 motor for a while to get the bus on the road. and build a slightly larger displacement (thinking 1835 or 1915) engine using the original motor to this bus. I would like to be able to cruise comfortably at 65 without killing the thing, as I plan to travel distances with this bus. Thoughts on this?
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advCo
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

Got the bus home this weekend. Took about 2 hours to get it cranked up on the trailer.. and to everyone's surprise it rolled right off the trailer when we got it into the yard.

Here's some pics of the exterior, some good and some bad. The two rear lower corners are pretty rough, and the front drivers side is tweaked pretty bad. The steering column is actually slightly off center on the hole in the front floors, I'm hoping nothing is tweaked in there.




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'68/'70 Ghia Coupe Project
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A bunch of vintage Japanese motorcycles
"Much ingenuity with a little money is vastly more profitable and amusing than much money without ingenuity." -A. Bennett
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advCo
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

Some interior shots:

Front floor, driver's side needs replaced. Its hard to tell from this pic but note the position of the steering column in the hole. Will address that soon.
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"Casco" Fan, made in Bridgeport CT. I have a buddy who restores vintage fans who told me this is from probably the mid to late 60's. Pretty cool, it will stay but I'll probably relocate it.
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Here's the motor that's in the standard (it spins!), should be the original motor for my bus.

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Sink cabinet has seen better days
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Inside the "closet"
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Dug a metric ton of squirrel nest out of the cabinets. This big nest caused some rot on the passenger side rear sheet metal that will have to be addressed.
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Found the children's cot for over the front seats, mostly intact!

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With the bed in place

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Stripped the entire interior out, vacuumed everything up and sprayed everything down with bleach. Let it air dry overnight.

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While the floor appears rusty, it seems that the paint did its job and is bubbling off while there is clean bare metal underneath. This photo was taken from under the rotted wood base of the rear seat

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"He pulled the mirrors off his Cadillac ‘cause he doesn’t like it looking like he looks back"
'68/'70 Ghia Coupe Project
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A bunch of vintage Japanese motorcycles
"Much ingenuity with a little money is vastly more profitable and amusing than much money without ingenuity." -A. Bennett
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

Not too bad for the south east. Have fun!

I gotta get my interior gutted this week, it’s been several weeks since I work on my ‘71.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

Thanks, Rich. I was surprised how easily the interior came apart.

I snapped a pic of my M-Plate and punched it into the decoder. Looks like my factory installed rear seatbelts were removed at some point. Pretty cool stuff though.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

I pulled the crusty old wheels and dry rotted tires off last night. I'll be prepping them for a repaint and new rubber within the next couple weeks. Going to pull the hubs off after our trip out to Big Bend this weekend (wishing I was taking the bus...maybe it'll be ready next time Laughing ) and check the condition of the brakes and hardware.

Planning to clean up the drums and have them turned, grab new shoes and have them arced to the drums (if I can find a local shop to do so), and new lines all around. I'd love to reuse the wheel cylinders and masters and rebuild the stuff if its savable.

The pair of buses did not come with paperwork when my buddy bought them. He has been in contact with the seller, and she has been very helpful up to this point. We've been looking into getting bonded titles for the pair, when I had the idea of asking the PO to file for lost title. Well long story short, a couple weeks ago, she had mailed my buddy some paperwork for the buses. He hadn;t seen it as it went to a friends place that they were having their mail forwarded to (the long part of the story). Anyways, it turns out that the package included the title for his Deluxe, as well as the 2 OG owner's manuals that came with the buses. Sweet! The seller's brother was the owner of my Westy, and she has agreed to look for the title (it exists) and if it can't be turned up, then she will help obtain one. Definitely a step in the right direction, as a bonded title will run me over $1000 here in TX! That saved money will buy most of what I need to get this old girl back on the road.


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Also, I'm trying to figure out what color was used to respray the bottom half of the bus. From the Type 2 color chart, it appears that:
Agate brown 77-79 L86Z
is the brown used on the Champagne edition, but looks a shade or two lighter here.
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I want to grab a pint or a few rattle cans so I can touch up any areas that need rust repair or bodywork. Its actually a pretty crappy respray, but it makes the bus look like an old, well worn boot and I love that. Since I need to do some repair on the lower lip of the windshield, I'll probably remove the brown paint from the bump out around the sides and rear, so I can use that break line and paint up my repair in pastel white.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t recommend putting a bay up on jack stands in your horribly uneven yard with fire ant piles underneath it. I need to block it up better before I climb underneath it that’s for damn sure. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I need to get rid of some Ghia corpses and parts so I can park this thing “indoors.” My fiancé gave the bus a wash the other day and despite being pretty dull the paint came pretty clean.

And this is what a floating loaf of bread looks like:

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I’m going to pull the transaxle as it’s hanging low and only by the front mounts. CV boots are torn to shreds so they’ll need replaced. Battery tray and the left side tray are both gone. I’m sending back a bunch of Ghia repair panels I bought a few days before I found out about the bus, so I’ll turn that credit into a bunch of sheet metal for the Westy.

Stay tuned Cool
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

If you didn’t support the tranny you have already probably bent things.....
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:02 pm    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

TomWesty wrote:
If you didn’t support the tranny you have already probably bent things.....



^^^ This, unlike most type 1 motors, that tranny is supported by the mustache bar on the motor. You need to support the rear of the tranny for motor removal.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:53 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

TomWesty wrote:
If you didn’t support the tranny you have already probably bent things.....


Unfortunately this is how I got the bus, with the motor removed and the transaxle already hanging down in the back - so the damage is done. I will post some pics when I’m back with the bus, but I assume the shift rod and forward transaxle mount will be pretty boogered? Anything else I need to look for to fix or replace? THis is my first experience with the Type 2, but I knew it didn’t look right just hangin’ low like that.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:24 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

Good on you for the find. Unless I had a sentimental connection with that bus I would park it and part it, but I’ve already been through the process of getting a field find bus in wayyy better shape than that and spending tons of dough and time getting it presentable again...never again! All the little bits on these will break ya!

Maybe best case patch it and drive it until it falls apart.

How’s the underneath? The beam, etc?

Best of luck!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

Looking for some advice - I have a 1600 that came out of my stalled 1970 Ghia project that I will put in the bus until I get the original motor cleaned up. I have receipts from the mid 90s of a 'top end rebuild' about 10k miles prior to when the car was parked. I've taken all the tins and accessories off to paint and clean.

Should I pull the heads and cylinders, make sure the rings move freely and are not rusted, lap the valves, and put it all together with new gaskets?

OR, put some MMO in the cylinders (I oiled them months ago when I first brought the car home), turn it over a few times every couple days, and run it. Compression check when I get it started. I've never had this motor running.

I've heard opinions go both ways when bringing them back to life.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:41 am    Post subject: Fuel tank and firewall removal Reply with quote

Got some time to work on the bus yesterday. First things first I unbolted the CV joints from the transmission, disconnected the shift coupling and pulled the transmission all the way out. Everything looks pretty straight, the very end of the shift rod may have a slight bend to it but i should be able to heat it and bend it back.


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Then, I pulled the fuel tank for cleaning. This is a pretty simple procedure but I figured it might be helpful to share a step by step process for the early bay since I couldn't find much documentation.

First, remove the engine Very Happy . I don't know if this can be done with the engine in place. Probably, but I'd imagine its a PITA and I'm assuming you'd have to remove the fan shroud, carb(s), and maybe some other crap off the long block. Anyways....

Open the fuel filler cover, on the passenger side of the bus and remove the (3) bolts with a 10mm socket.
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Behind the engine you'll find the "firewall" or a piece of sheet metal separating the fuel tank cavity from the engine bay. Remove the voltage regulator and disconnect the fuel sender wire, label the wire and set them aside. Remove 6 philips head screws from the left and right side of the firewall. Note that the uppermost 3 screws on each side have a flat washer.
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Climb underneath and look up. If you have the transaxle in place you'll have to work around it, so have fun with that Laughing . Take a flat blade screwdriver and clean the dirt and grime off the channel closest to the engine bay. Early bays have 4 sheet metal screws holding the firewall in place from underneath. Expose them, and remove. This is kind of a crappy pic as it was dark out and an awkward angle, but you can see the location of the lower screws.

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Pry up the metal tabs that hold the firewall in place at the top. This may not be necessary, but I did it anyways. Use a large flat blade screwdriver and a block of wood as a fulcrum. I found that the 15/17mm wrench actually worked pretty well as a lever to pry the tabs up.

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Now you can wrestle the firewall off and expose the tank. Mine had some sealant along the lower edge that I chipped away with a flat blade screwdriver and hammer.

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The tank is held in place by the two metal straps, which are fastened to the sheet metal shelf below with a welded bolt at the base of the straps and a long stud and nut underneath.

Look underneath the shelf that supports the fuel tank where each strap ends, and you'll see the threads from the welded bolt. I don't know why they VW didn't use a shorter bolt, but whatever. Grab a wire brush and clean the crap off the threads, then remove the nut and washer from each side. I recommend using a pair of needle nosed pliers to grab the strap near its base, and using pressure against the tank to keep it from twisting and/or bending and breaking while you remove the nuts with a 13mm wrench/socket. Bend the straps upwards where they turn down so they stay out of the way while you remove the tank.

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Unscrew the small phillips screw above the fuel tank that holds the fuel sender ground wire in place. Put the screw back in the hole so you don't lose it. While you're here, pull the breather tube out of the cloth section of hose that attaches the it to the tank. The metal breather hose stays in place.

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Loosen up the clamp on the piece of rubber hose that connects the fuel filler neck to the tank. Reach in with a long pry bar and leverage it off. Remove the actual fuel line from the nipple at the bottom of the tank.

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Now, we're ready to pull out the tank. Tilt the front (toward the driver's seat) of the tank upwards to clear the fuel line nipple, and pull the tank foward.

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Now you're ready to replace or clean the tank.
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'68/'70 Ghia Coupe Project
'70 Westy Project - Champagne I Wannabe
A bunch of vintage Japanese motorcycles
"Much ingenuity with a little money is vastly more profitable and amusing than much money without ingenuity." -A. Bennett
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:43 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

This is a great project, buddy. The paint color makes it look like it’s in worse shape then it really is. Its actually a very buildable bus. I love early bay westys! Is your friend gonna fix up that other one then? It looks like a bus I’d buy, myself. 😎
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

BusJunky wrote:
This is a great project, buddy. The paint color makes it look like it’s in worse shape then it really is. Its actually a very buildable bus. I love early bay westys! Is your friend gonna fix up that other one then? It looks like a bus I’d buy, myself. 😎


Thanks, I think the pics do make it look worse than it is. Although it isn't great... LOL.

My buddy is going to get his on the road and I will probably help him out with some of the sheet metal repairs, getting it watertight, etc. The standard bus is actually a little worse off as far as rust goes, but the interior on his is very complete, OG door panels, headliner, etc. all in great shape.

Not much progress lately as I need to buy an extension cord for the welder so I can get it to the bus.

I decided to pull the rear hatch door off because the window seal was leaking like a sieve. I vacuumed out over a gallon of water after a 30 minute rainstorm here the other day (when it rains it pours in Texas). It'll stay drier with a tarp over the hole for the time being. I think we rescued these buses in the nick of time..with that much water entry another year or so would have been devastating for this bus.

I'm going to get rid of the deluxe trim because this ain't a deluxe. So I'll weld up the trim holes and buy the plain rubber trim. Oh, and I need to get rid of that RED!

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On the way are the repair section between the decklid and the rear hatch, window seal and if my budget allows a few more sheet metal parts for the back end/engine bay area. Hopefully I can straighten the decklid skin as its pretty tweaked, I may just end up sourcing a straight one from the classifieds.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: The Champagne Imposter - My '70 Westy Refresh Reply with quote

I'm trying to subscribe to the "one thing a day" principle even if its something small, ordering a part or going to the hardware store. Last week I pulled the rear hatch off in order to evaluate the damage. Its pretty rusted out along the bottom of the window channel. Eastwood was having a sale over the weekend, and I bought myself a shrinker/stretcher and some other bodywork essentials such as seam sealer, weld thru primer and epoxy primer.

For whatever reason, both of our buses came with rear hatches with deluxe trim. I cleaned up the beltline and set out to close up the holes from the deluxe trim. Disclaimer: I've been welding for about 5 years now, but I haven't done much with sheet metal, and even less on a vehicle. So I figured this is a nice easy job to start out with. I filled the holes and smoothed them. I went a bit too aggressive with the flap wheel, which isn't really the right tool for the job - I'm waiting on some Roloc grinding discs that I ordered over the weekend before I keep going. The spots I filled ended up being about 0.05 mm low when checked with the straightedge, so I will be careful of that moving forward. Anyways, one small step forward. Once I get in the shrinker/stretcher I will begin fabricating the repair pieces for the rear window.




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"He pulled the mirrors off his Cadillac ‘cause he doesn’t like it looking like he looks back"
'68/'70 Ghia Coupe Project
'70 Westy Project - Champagne I Wannabe
A bunch of vintage Japanese motorcycles
"Much ingenuity with a little money is vastly more profitable and amusing than much money without ingenuity." -A. Bennett
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