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Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me!
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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:46 am    Post subject: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Hi samba people! Happy Friday!

It's been a long time since I've posted anything on the Samba. 2017-18 saw me divorced, which meant I had to sell off all of my cars (65 Bug, Clipper Buggy, 72 Deluxe Bus, 68 Bug Daily). Everything happens for a reason, and coming out the end of that with a good head, and a positive heart was all I could really ask for.

Then this happened: "Hey I have a totaled Bus down here, it's not that bad I think you might want to see it", came the call from my friend. SO I did, and this is what I found.

Bus was hit in the rear drivers corner, and punted like an giant inflatable beach ball into the car in front, so the rear corner, and the nose section are pretty much awful, as you can see...

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It's a 1971 Sunroof Deluxe Transporter. Decoding the M-Plate (done by a buddy since the M-Plate website has gone) shows it to have been Kansas Beige with a Pastel White top from the factory, with the two rows of black seats and beige and black door panels, and a sunroof.

It was painted black at once point in its life, and then this...this....copper color over red wine/burgundy....which I detest with all my might. However, color is small fry compared to some jobs that need to be done on these old bangers, and I was able to get in, start it up, drive it around, fiddle about inside, and really check out if this was something I needed in my life.

It was.

The previous owner was an amazing guy, super nice, super honest, and since he had been paid out from the insurance company a figure I couldn't really believe, he was happy as a pig in shit to sell the bus. Money changed hands and I drove it home. On the way home I was very thankful for the dynamic - its almost unheard of to drive an old bus home having paid that little, and I knew it. I'm not bragging here, simply glad for others that "good deals" are still out there and dropping $15k into a bus isn't the standard yet. You just need a little bit of luck, is all.

A little fiddling with the turn signals and wiring to the brake lights was all it needed to get it home legally. And of course I sat and listened intently to every noise, creak crunch rattle and bang..... seemed to be a good one despite the body damage.

This happened in October 2018, winter and spring was eventful, I shall update this thread for your enjoyment soon.

Thanks for reading! Thanks for being a great resource! The Pilch.


Last edited by The Pilch on Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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McintoshType2
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Nice looking bus, quite the steal for that price!
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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

McintoshType2 wrote:
Nice looking bus, quite the steal for that price!


Thanks man! It's pretty dry, the frame is excellent and everything works except the sunroof mechanism. I am working on updating the thread now Smile
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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Seeing as she seemed to run and drive very nicely, I was motivated and happy. No pulling to either side, brakes are excellent, a little slow but an old type 1 in a bus isn't going to be mind blowing.
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I got on with trying to tidy this bus up a little. In my old home, I had a four car shop and could restore and work on cars without worrying. I lost all that, so now I have a driveway, so I made the best use of my time and got on with it.


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I know I know, it's not the right way to do it, but here are my reasons for doing a quick hack job:

1) I don't have a shop big enough to do a full restoration, which is what I want to do.
2) I don't have the money to do a full restoration yet.
3) I want to enjoy this bus in 2019, as a camper, and its October 2018, so there's no time for a full restoration
4) Local cops didn't like me driving about with that rear end and I was pulled over a few times and asked to fix it, despite the lights working fine.

So, the rear end damage will be fine for a season, and with a little help from my Golf and a come-a-long, the front end was tidied up too...


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and a spare tire holder welded on.

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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

I donated the rear seats to my friend who was instrumental in finding me this bus in the first place, and soon enough I found a z-bed on the local classified and after insulating the floors (which were rust free) I started building up the cabinet for the bed.


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and decided on a wood floor that I was given by another great friend


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I've never liked low back seats in any car, and although moving further away from original, I decided some captains chairs would go in, and I picked a pair of these up which I'm told are from a Vanagon.


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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Next a quick check of everything. Brakes are brilliant on this bus, so it needs nothing. PO said they were changed recently and I believe him.


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I went for a drive. That's what it's all about. I kissed a girl on this drive. That's also what it's all about Smile


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The Po told me that in rain, when he stepped on the brakes, a giant puddle would slosh forwards and come in through the sunroof. Not my kind of onboard shower system, so a quick look showed the drain holes all plugged up. The mechanism for the sunroof was also toast, so it all came out and the sunroof, for now, is a manual slider. It took forever to get the mechanism out but I was pleased when it happened...


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I used the old trashed sunroof cables, attached them to my drill, fed them up all six drain holes and span the cables in there for ages...
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When I poured water along the channels, this happened! Success!

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I took a few minutes to polish up the chrome wheels (which I don't like as much as white bay rims but they will be fine for now)

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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

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I took the squished front bumper off, and hammered it back into shape. It's getting there for now


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I also bought some Hankook RA's because the tires on it are all car tires and old. Not a good combo for a bus.

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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Things were moving along ok, but it was getting bitterly cold so I used the last warmish weekend to paint the top white and rid myself of that awful copper color forever.


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and seeing as I run a graphics shop, I added a stripe, to break up the strong contrast a little. Also to give it some temporary character. And a late bay bumper, given to me by another buddy. That should get the cops off my ass.

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Hobug
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

I love the stripes!
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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Things seemed to be going pretty good with this bus. Sure, I would like to take the entire thing apart, blast it, cut in a new nose and a new rear quarter, and paint it inside and out the OG colors the M-Plate told me it once was. But I can't do that right now, I don't have the money, or the space. For now, she's ready to drive and enjoy!

Or so I thought.

The PO installed an electric fuel pump. This is a good thing, as I always switch the mechanical pump out in my VW's anyway. I took the old one off, which was still in place, and put one of those block-off plates on, and put the mech pump in a ziplock bag with some hose, as a back up pump.

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It was then that I noticed a pretty significant oil leak coming down the tin from the shroud, which is blatantly the oil cooler seals. Damn it.


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Oil cooler seals are such a pain in everybody's ass. A complete nightmare if you don't have a service hatch. In fact, I'm not even sure if the fan shroud can come off even with a service hatch. So out came the motor.


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I decided, being a bit of a spaz with engines, to take it to VGM and have Dave go through it, as well as do the oil cooler seals properly. While it was over there, I was able to take some time to clean the engine bay which was caked in oil. Quite an unnecessary amount of it actually. But it cleaned up good...

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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

When the call came, I wasn't surprised. Something about the amount of oil in the engine bay, and quite how slow the bus was in general had my mind thinking a little bit. I wasn't devastated or surprised or even alarmed. Weirdly.

"Yeah the case is barely held together, it'll need case savers or a new case at worst, it has major blow by in two cylinders and low compression. I would advise doing a top end, if I can save the case".

This motor was not put together very well at all. Well, shit. Of course not.

A christmas miracle ensued. I came into a little bit of money. I told Dave to go ahead.


It was a Brazilian case from a later model (later coveted because of the thicker stronger conrods) with low compression pistons, as you can see.

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I had Dave do his magic.

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Throughout the engine build he kept me updated with pics and texts to my phone, on everything he was doing, and explained it to me in a way I, an engine spaz, understood. This was impeccable service from Utah's best VW shop and a great friend.

In less than a week, the motor was ready for me to pick up...

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and put back in the bus


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Where I then had to weld up the cracked mustache bar before putting the exhaust back on etc etc.

From mile 1 it ran fantastic. It's still running amazing.


Last edited by The Pilch on Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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67_13Deluxe
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Man that bus is looking good!
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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

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I've been enjoying driving it. Until the battery died.

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Installed a new battery and checked the alt and wiring, which was hacked a little but I figured it out.

Here's the first camping trip. It was cold but fun

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Nice morning View

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Ive added some new panels that I made for the interior

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and found this which was missing

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Finished making my table
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My vent windows were seized shut. I got them open and with the sunroof open, summer is lovely and breezy

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Did a mountain climb, in 100F heat, and the little motor did so good!

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Except for a weird unidentified wire that caught fire!! Could have been really bad!

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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

67_13Deluxe wrote:
Man that bus is looking good!


Thank you! It's a 25 footer Very Happy
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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Hobug wrote:
I love the stripes!


Thank you! I think it saves the awful color scheme the bus sits in right now. Just!!
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metz
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Good job, man! Surely making the most of it.
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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

metz wrote:
Good job, man! Surely making the most of it.


Thanks metz, right now yes I'm just wanting to enjoy having a bus again Smile
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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

Tomorrow there is a little VW show I want to attend, so I thought it best to clean the bus up. Last week, I went up a dirt road to 7000ft and covered everything in and on the bus in the finest Utah dust. It was not pretty. As soon as I pushed it outside the garage, Utah Monsoon weather hit. I drove around the block a couple of times which acted like a pressure washer. That's about it, it's coming down hard out there. Thanks weather.

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The Pilch
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

I got the bus all cleaned up as best I could this Saturday,

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and drove out to Provo, Utah, for a VW show- it was great! Here's some bays for your enjoyment!





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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Totaled '71 Sunroof Deluxe, totally came to me! Reply with quote

great resurrection thread.
but humans don't resurrect so well, and this image makes me cringe.
a piece of advise if you aren't going to slip a jack stand or big block of wood under the bus while it's supported by just a jack,
slip the tire you took off under the frame/beam/rotor.. those 8ins will save your life or toes/leg/hand.

if you were 'just' changing the tires and not working on the brakes, ignore my advise above.

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