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The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build
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Ceckert64
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:02 am    Post subject: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

Hello all! I finally got my first bus Dancing So, a little back story, I got my first VW 5 years ago when I was 11, it was a 64 sunroof bug painted like Herbie, it was a complete Lemon, I worked on it with my dad. We got it running within the first day, but it was completely gone. There was fiberglass over the floors, bondo everywhere, long story short, I had to replace all of the lower 8 inches of the body, and itís ending as a full Resto, almost done. One day at the junkyard getting parts for my bug, a rain storm hit and I ran into a bug but it was leaking horribly, so then I ran into a bus a went in the pop top, and I just thought that it was so cool. I had thought a split window would be cool before that but realized that they arenít as great for use. I started researching bus more and lurking in these forums and I decided I wanted to get a Westfalia bus. Then this December, I bought a 70 Squareback that I was going to flip to get some more money to put towards a bus, but I fell in love with it, all original and lots of documentation, and a great car and I donít have much into it (less than I paid for the bus Shocked ). So, Iím a bit of a newb to busses but have done tons of research, so bare with me on a few things Very Happy

When I first started looking, I thought I wanted to have a 71 earlier since it had the older styling and had at first avoided the 72 as all the one year only parts scared me off from them at first. But I wanted disc brakes and the T4 engine and was in the mind set of doing that. But I realized I really wanted a 72+ as the styling on the later ones still looks pretty good and more they are more practical. I wanted a solid start, no rust turds again! I ideally wanted a 76+ interior with the stove fridge, all those fun things, so I figured the bus in my price range would not have an interior so I decided to snag one from the junk yard, I started a thread on it I also wanted a pop top but in my area they seemed to be rotted to nothing in my price range or very expensive projects, and just hard to find. I decided I would look more for tin top Westys and passenger busses in my search since there isnít as much of a premium for them and possibly add a Sportsmobile top.

I had found a bus I almost got, a 75, but the title situation was sketchy and it fell through. I had seen this bus here on The Samba and it was intriguing. I had at first passed over it since it didnít have an engine, but I thought about it more. I was able to get it for $2200, which I feel is a good price for a pretty solid bus, it has new brakes, new brake lines, new wiring harness, new tires, new windshield, new battery trays, bumpers, complete interior, and most all the parts except the engine. I put a deposit on it a few weeks back on it since I decided I was going to go for it. I had my uncle check it out that literally live 3 minutes away first.

Fast forward to yesterday, me and my dad get the uhaul and head from Midland to Indianapolis! All 5+ hours. Special thanks to my dad for going with me to get it and driving there and back and letting me get it! I bought the bus from a Samba Member Rustynugs. The bus was in Wisconsin and his friend flys planes and spotted this field of VWs. Eventually they went and knocked on the door and asked if the cars were for sale. He has gotten a few from there, this one was inside a barn. He started work on it but decided to sell one of his projects, heís a very nice guy, he got all the parts packed in the bus for me when I got there.

I think the bus may have spent some time in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) as I found a tag on the key chain from a bar up there and there is a ton of red clay/sand stuck on the frame rails and there is some red clay in that area. The odometer read 92k miles, I belive thatís original and it was mostly a summer cruiser.

The bus is in really good shape, itís the original color, itís had one respray. It needs a few things though. I needs some rust repair in the front floor, and some of the front ducts. It looks like water got in the fresh air vent, rusted through that and then the floor Crying or Very sad The left rear corner needs a few spots fixed too. There are a few misc pin holes. The under coat chipped off in the wheel wells and all beautiful Sierra yellow paint Very Happy

Okay, enough blabbering, picture time!
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Some of the interior. The Ac unit under the buddy seat, is that dealer installed? I have only seen one picture of one and the manual for it.
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Some type of toy gun in the head banger.
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I have found a ~73 D-jet 411/412 motor at the junk yard, I know there are a few differences in cooling tin and did the 411/412 have domed, flat, or dished pistons. The dished pistons help keep head temps down, correct? Iím thinking maybe do FI vs the OG dual carb set up. I wouldnít build anything extreme, I would keep the internals stock, probably 1800cc solid lifters.
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1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild


Last edited by Ceckert64 on Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:08 pm; edited 2 times in total
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calvinater
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:14 am    Post subject: Re: My 1972 Sierra Yellow Westfalia bus Reply with quote

Wow you are going whole hog, type1,type3,and now type 2.
And you are not out of high-school yet.
What kind of job do you do to earn all that money?

Good luck and have fun!
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Ceckert64
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: My 1972 Sierra Yellow Westfalia bus Reply with quote

Here are some pictures from the morning, the one really bad pic is the bus and a Carvana car vending machine in the background, the other is the nesquick bunny
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I decoded the M-plate. It seems to be a very early 72, started production on it in July. What is ďUSA, East reserveĒ for destination?
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More pics
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Itís been raining all morning, we are roaming the bus backwards since there is no windshield installed. A lot of the car was blasted, where the primer is, and some of itís formed rust. Some of the engine compartment was bare metal and has rusted since yesterday due to rain. I brought spray paint but forgot to put some on the bare metal Embarassed

It will probably be a few weeks or month before I start working on it, as I have other projects to finish. Once I get home today I will probably clean and inventory everything.
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1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild
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Ceckert64
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: My 1972 Sierra Yellow Westfalia bus Reply with quote

calvinater wrote:
Wow you are going whole hog, type1,type3,and now type 2.
And you are not out of high-school yet.
What kind of job do you do to earn all that money?

Good luck and have fun!

Thanks! Yeah, I think Iím a little VW addicted Laughing The bug was a father son project so my parents payed for half the parts for it. I sell, not much of value left, but I sell tons of stuff on The Samba, Iíve redone a few gas heaters. I also work on a farm near me, I used to work for one of our neighbors too. Also I just donít spend money on anything else. I also have parted a 65 bug. I usually try to use parts from the junkyard to save money, and then get a few parts I donít need and sell them and cover the bill and maybe get some extra $. My Squareback and the bus are all my project and money though. I know my parts sales were more than enough to cover the Squareback. They covered the bus a fair bit too. Iím also probably not going to keep my bug once itís done and put the money towards the bus.

Thanks! I will fun for sure!
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1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild
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RalphWiggam
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1972 Sierra Yellow Westfalia bus resurrection and rebuild Reply with quote

Looks like a good starting point. Have fun during the process.

I'd think you could turn that into a driver for around 8k if you don't care about looks.

If you do care how it looks, you better start being REAL nice to your parents.

My dad bought my bus when I was 4. I learned everything I know by watching and helping him work on it.

Closing in on 300k miles now and still running the matching engine to the bus.

Have fun working with your dad on it. I can guarantee you will look back on those times fondly one day.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: My 1972 Sierra Yellow Westfalia bus resurrection and rebuild Reply with quote

Really cool! 1972 is a unique year for sure. Mine was built in 10/71 so it's very close production date to yours.

Start looking for the rear bumper and bracket/supports, they are one year only. And if you decide to go FI, it's not an easy conversion, but it can be done. Ask me how I know.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: My 1972 Sierra Yellow Westfalia bus resurrection and rebuild Reply with quote

mikewire wrote:
Really cool! 1972 is a unique year for sure. Mine was built in 10/71 so it's very close production date to yours.

Start looking for the rear bumper and bracket/supports, they are one year only. And if you decide to go FI, it's not an easy conversion, but it can be done. Ask me how I know.


I think I see at least one bumper in the bus parts?

Congrats, I love the Weekenders, We're in WA state and would never have a "rag top" anything up here - including a full Westy.

I had an MGB and literally had moss growing INSIDE the vehicle due to its canvas top leaks and rain up her 4 out of 7 days. Smile
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Ceckert64
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: My 1972 Sierra Yellow Westfalia bus resurrection and rebuild Reply with quote

RalphWiggam wrote:
Looks like a good starting point. Have fun during the process.

I'd think you could turn that into a driver for around 8k if you don't care about looks.

If you do care how it looks, you better start being REAL nice to your parents.

My dad bought my bus when I was 4. I learned everything I know by watching and helping him work on it.

Closing in on 300k miles now and still running the matching engine to the bus.

Have fun working with your dad on it. I can guarantee you will look back on those times fondly one day.


Thank you, it will be an adventure for sure!

8K? That seems like a lot. I will do all of the work except maybe redoing the gas tank if it needs it.

Iím pretty nice to them most of the time anyways.

On the 300k, how many times have you rebuilt it?

I do enjoy working with my dad on projects, he usually helps me out when I need it.

wagohn wrote:
mikewire wrote:
Really cool! 1972 is a unique year for sure. Mine was built in 10/71 so it's very close production date to yours.

Start looking for the rear bumper and bracket/supports, they are one year only. And if you decide to go FI, it's not an easy conversion, but it can be done. Ask me how I know.


I think I see at least one bumper in the bus parts?

Congrats, I love the Weekenders, We're in WA state and would never have a "rag top" anything up here - including a full Westy.

I had an MGB and literally had moss growing INSIDE the vehicle due to its canvas top leaks and rain up her 4 out of 7 days. Smile


Mikewire, I really like the 72s also! Yours is pretty close!
I do have the front and rear numbers and brackets. I was happy it came with bumpers, the guy I bought it from said people were offering him 400 for the rear bumper.

Wagohn, I was looking originally for a pop top but the tin top is nice, it will be less of a pain than a pop top might be.

Moss wouldnít be fun Wink

So, the last day or so I cleaned up the interior and itís all in pretty good shape. The only peeling laminate is on the sink cover fold out. The rest is all perfect still. The vinyl is in pretty good shape too. I took out the jump seat AC unit for now, that will be one of the last projects.

Yesterday I went to adjust the emergency brake and noticed there was a gap between the axle nut and the hub and the nut was hitting the splines. So I realized thatís not good and took it apart, turns out the stub axle is from a 68-70 bus and is too long so I have to go get a new one from the junk yard.

The front floor needs some patching, the front vent let a ton of water in, rusted the front vents through and let water go onto the floor and rust it out. Someone had fiberglass repaired it so I ripped that out.

I think the rear corner are so bad because there was an engine fire at some point and Iím guessing it didnít get painted inside and cause the metal to rust out bad.

So far, itís pretty cool this is the 447 bus made in the 72 year, I would have to imagine itís about the earliest 72 tin top Westy left.

So I think Iíve figured out the history on this bus a bit. So the OG owner bought it new and only drove it in the summer time camping. It seems they like the UP as there was red clay on the bottom of the bus and a bottle opener from a U.P. Then one day it had the engine fire which scorched a bunch of paint so then it got a respray to cover it. At some point it looks like the rear quarter was hit and then they started doing body work but it may not of been painted, then it sat outside for years and was overgrown based on the fact that there are grape vines that had attached to the rear vents and the antenna. Then this VW guy from Wisconsin ended up with and and blasted some of it and blasted off the bondo, Iím guessing he put the fiberglass in the front floors. He had it in a barn. Iím pretty sure he passed and then it sat. So, the guy I bought it from had a friend that flys planes and is into VWs and he was flying and saw this field of VWs. Eventually they go knock on the door and there is and older lady that lives there and she said they were all for sale. Mine was in one of the barns but I guess there were a ton outside. So the last PO bought it and took it back with a couple other busses from there to Indianapolis and he started doing some work on it but ran out of rooms so he put it up for sale and I got it. Now itís made itís way back to Michigan again.

Here are some pics of the Jump seat AC, I will get some more of the bus posted.
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_________________
1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild
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wagohn
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: My 1972 Sierra Yellow Westfalia bus resurrection and rebuild Reply with quote

Ceckert64 wrote:

Here are some pics of the Jump seat AC, I will get some more of the bus posted.


Interesting, dont think Ive seen a "jumpseat AC unit" before.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:40 am    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

is the keychain/bottle opener from The Gay Bar?
Glad you got her here with no problems.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

alman72 wrote:
is the keychain/bottle opener from The Gay Bar?
Glad you got her here with no problems.

Laughing Lol, itís nots, it from the hide away bar in Swinn. Happy it made it back safe also. I Just got to the junkyard actually, no engine today though
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1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild
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Ceckert64
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:58 pm    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

What a day! I went to the junk yard and scored big time, I had gone out to look for the complete engine from the 412, all the way in the the very back corner was the bus it was in. I looked in the back and I saw a little grill cover and I thought, is there actually a gas heater back there, well, I throw open the engine hatch and the sits a complete BN4 gas heater and all the parts! Shocked I about had a heart attack out of excitement Laughing I have been wanted one if I got a bus and didnít expect to find one, but itís amazing. I got my stub axel, gas door, skid plate ( though I think itís later), fresh air vent pieces, sink vent cover, water tank fill pipe and cap, a computer for my Squareback (can you have to many? Very Happy ), a few other parts, and the accelerator pedal, wow, was it hard to find a decent one and bracket, most all of them were rotted out.
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1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:05 pm    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

Well done!, I don't see the temp control cable for the heater, out of photo?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

how were the hornets? nice score! i saw that heater before, but my ride is a summer queen. a little fall too, but no need for a heater.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

Sweet score on the BN4 Cool Laughing

I know the feeling. Plans for it? Restore and run it? You know 1972 was the first year they ran this later type. Perfect for your bus.
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Ceckert64
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:05 pm    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
Well done!, I don't see the temp control cable for the heater, out of photo?

Well... I saw the cable in there but I didnít know where it went so I left it d'oh! I know found that it sits under the drivers seat. I also left the outside air intake pipe as it was rusted, next time I go back I may get it. I also need the cover for it and the dash knob.
alman72 wrote:
how were the hornets? nice score! i saw that heater before, but my ride is a summer queen. a little fall too, but no need for a heater.

No hornets today, Tons of fly, when you went in the trailers they were in there buzzing around like something dead was in there. I wonít be driving it in when they have salt on the roads but the extra heat will be nice, thanks for not taking it I guess Laughing
notchboy wrote:
Sweet score on the BN4 Cool Laughing

I know the feeling. Plans for it? Restore and run it? You know 1972 was the first year they ran this later type. Perfect for your bus.

Thanks! I have the gas heater obsession too Laughing Iíve just been messing with South Wind/Stewart Warner gas heater because they are cheap and plentiful here Very Happy I will be restoring it for sure! Iím definitely thinking of running it. No, I didnít know 72 was the first year for this style. Iíve checked out your gas heater threads. This is the dealer installed style heater which made it a ton easier to get out. The heater doesnít look too horrible, the salt didnít completely destroy it. So it has the passenger bus air duct, Iím thinking, would anyone be interested in a trade for a westy one? Laughing Gas heaters are just fun little projects to get going, it will probably be far down the line before I get to this gem.
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1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild
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orwell84
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

Finding a complete BN4 heater with all the accessories ranks among my best junk yard scores ever, especially when I found the switch with the timer that goes on the dash. It was an absolute game changer for making my bus comfortable and extending my driving season much longer than before. Once I understood how they worked, I found it easy to maintain and service. There are newer heaters available but the BN4 installed as the factory did is probably the cleanest and most efficient use of space even today.

I envy you for being able to have access to a junkyard with bus parts. Treasure hunting in junkyards is long gone where I live, at least for aircooled VW.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

I have one of those jump seat a/c units also. I took I out of a battered 72 Westy that I bought in Gurnee, Il, in 1985. The A/c unit only fits the Westys with that jump seat, but I am pretty sure only for the ones with the higher backed jump seat(72-73 only?). I liked it because it solves the problem of under dash access with a/c. But I think it is an inefficient use of space under the, and I think the ducting could be optimized. I have yet to complete the install of a/c in my 73, but there is a sticky here about doing so that is a must read(I think it is by Bala, and called something like" Installing DPD air conditioner in bay window bus".
All a/c s for that period were aftermarket, and there was some sort of tie in with VWOA and at least one a/c manufacturer, the afore mentioned DPD. In later years, and before factory air in about 1986 they had some sort of assembly line in fort worth where VWOA would ship the vans to have a/c added, so it was a semi factory air. Your van was much to early for that, and so it was probably dealer converted using the VWOA kit including that jump seat evaporator unit.
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Ceckert64
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:57 pm    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

orwell84 wrote:
Finding a complete BN4 heater with all the accessories ranks among my best junk yard scores ever, especially when I found the switch with the timer that goes on the dash. It was an absolute game changer for making my bus comfortable and extending my driving season much longer than before. Once I understood how they worked, I found it easy to maintain and service. There are newer heaters available but the BN4 installed as the factory did is probably the cleanest and most efficient use of space even today.

I envy you for being able to have access to a junkyard with bus parts. Treasure hunting in junkyards is long gone where I live, at least for aircooled VW.


For sure, I would say itís probably my best junkyard score, or tied with finding a roof rack for my Squareback. This may be a stupid question, but do you need the separate timer to the heater? Isnít there a timer built into the switch? I would have to imagine that it helps, yeah, stock heat is good but I would have to imagine with the bus you start to lose a lot of heat the makes it to the from vents over all the distance. Gas heaters are nice from the amount of heat and theyíre just fun to fix and a cool accessory.

Itís definitely nice having a junkyard like the one I go to thatís fairly close, a little over an hour away, the prices are a bit higher than just normal parts, but yesterday was only $130 which is still amazing. The reason itís so expansive is that heís a VW enthusiast so he buys them up, there are probably 15-20 busses, probably 5+ of them were 71 busses most panel busses converted to Sportsmobiles.

Tbob wrote:
I have one of those jump seat a/c units also. I took I out of a battered 72 Westy that I bought in Gurnee, Il, in 1985. The A/c unit only fits the Westys with that jump seat, but I am pretty sure only for the ones with the higher backed jump seat(72-73 only?). I liked it because it solves the problem of under dash access with a/c. But I think it is an inefficient use of space under the, and I think the ducting could be optimized. I have yet to complete the install of a/c in my 73, but there is a sticky here about doing so that is a must read(I think it is by Bala, and called something like" Installing DPD air conditioner in bay window bus".
All a/c s for that period were aftermarket, and there was some sort of tie in with VWOA and at least one a/c manufacturer, the afore mentioned DPD. In later years, and before factory air in about 1986 they had some sort of assembly line in fort worth where VWOA would ship the vans to have a/c added, so it was a semi factory air. Your van was much to early for that, and so it was probably dealer converted using the VWOA kit including that jump seat evaporator unit.

Interesting, let me know when you get yours done, I have mine out for now but would like to get it working, but itís missing the evaporator, and a bunch of under side brackets for it were hacked apart. I might have to look for the sticky, Iím sure there are quite a few similarities.
There are a lot of VWOA accessories out there, it seemed they usually made a pretty basic car and let the dealers mess with accessories. I have the owners manual, itís practically new, but there is no stamps writing or anything in it.
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1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild
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Ceckert64
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: The 447th 1972 bus, A Sierra Yellow Westfalia Tin top build Reply with quote

Here are pics of the junk yard, all the car in the distance are newer. I took the pictures from on top of a dune buggy on top of a 412. https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=2039138 https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=2039137

I realize that I donít have many photos of the actual bus, so here you go
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I put in the bug net and childs cot from the junkyard
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The interior
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The frame is super clean, the scaly red stuff is actually clay, clean behind it. This was from when it was on the U haul still.
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Then the tooted front floor, rusted from the inside out. And the fiberglass used in the ďrepairĒ
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_________________
1964 sunroof Beetle Restoration "Herbie"
ďDonĒ 1965 Factory sunroof parts beetle-SOLD
ďJoannĒ 1970 Elm Green Squareback
1972 Sierra Yellow Tin Top Westfalia Camper + 1700cc Type4 engine rebuild
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