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Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:10 am    Post subject: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

After a crazy night and flooding in some areas, the tow truck finally dropped off our new bus. It is a 1979 Riviera Penthouse model which seems mostly complete and original, besides engine/radiator/rear bumper.


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First we plan on getting it running fully, the engine swap does run but it needs a belly mounted radiator which we plan putting in within the week.

Next up we will most likely recover the interior, and replace the cracked front windshield.
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Manfreds78bay
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Congrats! More pics please. I have no idea what the "pent house" model looks like.
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:31 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Will post more tonight after work and the weather clears up.
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alman72
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

pretty sure that is not a Penthouse from sportsmobile. I would need to see the sticker/plate to believe it. (edit- I believe it) Also , you may have to look pretty hard for a replacement radiator. they are pretty rare, as they did not come stock. Laughing
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

The motor is from a Mercury capri, the radiator is an aluminum one with dual electric fans that will be mounted to some brackets that had been added underneath. The Westy group in my area looked at it and identified it as a Penthouse model, I will find some pictures from the previous owner and post them up.

Its a penthouse model from ASI, they made them in Vancouver WA and somewhere in Oregon.
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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Now you got me curious, let's see the radiator and engine install!
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ImAddicted
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Cologne V6 is a damn fine engine, interested in seeing more of your new toy!
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Here is the motor and the mount they came up with for the radiator, we are going to attempt to have the radiator installed tomorrow.

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The bus looks to be in decent shape underneath and there is not too much rust we can see.
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Manfreds78bay
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

There is a guy I follow on Instagram that has a ford v6 six in his and he seems to like it. He mounted his rad up front like a vanagon and put a cool looking custom cow killer bumper on the front.
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Yes I have seen many mounted on the front that don't look terrible. I would like to main the stock looking front end if possible. We will see how the belly mount preforms this summer.
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

You are right about it being a Riviera Penthouse.
Here is an old brochure showing the various lines offered by ASI...

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Cars of today are so bland in comparison. It's like driving a celebration!"
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Very Happy Shocked Mad Sad Embarassed d'oh! Pray Brick wall Pray Dancing Dancing Dancing ---williamM
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Hoody
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:54 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

A very interesting mod indeed. I don't ever recall someone using this engine in a Bus. To me it's obvious if they were able to make this transplant with finesse then it was definitely owned by a seriously accomplished mechanic. There had to be significant mods made to the unibody and the engine bay to pull this off. I am curious what the builder did for the weight of the motor in terms of shocks.i am guessing but I can't imagine that engine isn't close to twice the weight of a stock type 4 engine.
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

We want to get this thing ready for camping, this has a Dometic fridge, Coleman furnace and stove. What should I look out for when inspecting the fridge and furnace to make sure I dont run into issues on the road?
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

the furnace is a very simple (old) design and is serviceable
but the electronics die from age (capacitors die)

there are replacements available both OEM and from the small DIY industry
search Dinosaur electronics with your furnace name and # if it won't start.

is the dometic fridge 2way or 3way ?
I have a 2way Norcold fridge in my 1980 ASI camper
it's just a plug in dorm sized fridge. 12v/110v
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

also just keep an eye on the motor and water temps.
we had a fordV6 in a 73 bay automatic and the old pushrod style motor was not fond of the high sustained RPMS that the stock transaxle runs at.. stay at 55-65mph even if you 'can' go faster doesn't mean it will be happy going faster.
at least till you get a feel for it's day to day and interstate behaviors

after 2 motors we went with a 2.0l type-IV motor.
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

OK good info, it is a 2 way it runs on 12v/120v. We have the ford v6 and are very aware of the temp issues. People mention rust on the furnace exhaust pipe, is this something I can see from the outside or will I need to pull things apart to inspect further? Main thing we are worried about is fumes and CO getting inside the bus.
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Removed the stickers from the previous owner:

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Looking better now:

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ImAddicted
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Hoody wrote:
A very interesting mod indeed. I don't ever recall someone using this engine in a Bus. To me it's obvious if they were able to make this transplant with finesse then it was definitely owned by a seriously accomplished mechanic. There had to be significant mods made to the unibody and the engine bay to pull this off. I am curious what the builder did for the weight of the motor in terms of shocks.i am guessing but I can't imagine that engine isn't close to twice the weight of a stock type 4 engine.


Fully-dressed, the Ford Cologne\Taunus V6 is 380lbs wet, the 2.0 T4 is 311-318lbs depending on exhaust, induction, etc. so not a significant difference.

The Capri motor, depending on the year, should yield 140hp\170 f\lb torque. It can rev to about 5k, but its torque peak is about half that. If this is the 2.9 (hopefully), check the head for 89TM or if it is '89 or newer, should have the upgraded head which should help with heat-related head issues.
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tristessa
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 8:46 am    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

Good to see you on here with the Bus not just on F-Book. My 1.8T-swapped Bus with the underfloor radiator I mentioned on your post over there did great on trip to the Bay Area last week. Single longest trip I've done since the 1.8T went in a couple years ago because work kept getting in the way. 1500 miles round trip, highest summit was Scott Mountain pass on CA Hwy 3 at 5401 feet according to the sign, with a steep windy first-and-second gear climb from 3400 feet. Never got over 210F on the temp gauge the entire trip, kept passing people going uphill and screwing with their ideas of what a VW Bus can do. Twisted Evil

Mileage sucks above 60MPH, though. Averaged 17.5 for the trip...
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Clementine79
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Our new bus! 1979 VW Riviera Penthouse Reply with quote

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