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Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2022 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Well, as I have explained to my children, one of the many hidden costs of off-shoring our manufacturing capacity in exchange for lower prices through employment of inexpensive labor is the loss of a quality-control function at the manufacturing level. Rather than incur the cost of inspecting parts, they seem to simply ship everything and let the end-users sort through the defective units. Because they are inexpensive to acquire, there is a tendency to simply shrug the shoulders and say "you get what you pay for."

Here is a picture of brake fluid leaking from the pressed mating of the plastic reservoir body to the metal reservoir threaded fitting. It's a crappy picture but you know... "you get what you pay for." Lol.

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Here is the replacement, which has been pressed properly, but is missing the crush washer. So, save that.


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Here is a picture of the two special tools needed to do the job. My wife's Turkey baster for the fluid extraction (new one in the kitchen, this one is forever mine now), and a Park Tools 28mm cone wrench borrowed from the bicycle stand.

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Ok. Back on track. Walking progress towards the bus getting on the road, today's achievement was new shock absorbers. I'm going with KYB Excel-G, a set of four (4) delivered to my door for a hundred bucks.

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These are gas charged, so my practice was to leave them strapped until bolted in place, raising the suspension with a floor jack to line up the bolt holes. Once they were fastened in place, I cut the strap.

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I had one slip out of the strap while manipulating it, however, and found that the gas pressure in these is much, much milder than the gas pressure in gas shocks for a 3/4-ton American truck. So my practice was really unnecessary here.

On the front shocks, the lower sleeve of the old shocks predictably froze to the mounting studs on the trailing arm. After trying the PB Blaster, and then the torch, I finally just thinned an edge of the sleeves with a small cutting disk and then chiseled them free.

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I just used hand box-end wrenches for the installation, guestimatting the force at about 30 pounds. The lock washers are in there.

Checking off the to-do list and dreaming of springtime... the shocks are done.


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1966 Sportsmobile Camper https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
72 Super Duper http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672387
(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2022 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Little steps make up the long journey.

Tonight the brakeline grommets came in and she got fresh clutch and throttle cables.


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72 Super Duper http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672387
(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2022 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Shasta inspired tires for this camper.

Maxxis Bighorn 27x8.5r14

Load Range C


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Mounted right up and onto the bus with no difficulties whatsoever. I'm not driving yet but manouveres in the barn lock to lock and seems to be ample clearance. Here's some pictures.

Stance

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Front

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Rear

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AS350driver
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2022 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Looks awesome!
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2022 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

I wondered why the clutch cable clevis pin (at the pedal end) was installed upside down and the locking tab fell off in my hand when I unclipped it.

After wriggling it out I see that some predictably frugal aircooled owner was probably trying to wring the last little bit of life out of it by shifting its location somewhat. Shocked

I decided to forgoe that little bit of remaining metal, left it on the table and installed a new one. Wink


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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2022 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

AS350driver wrote:
Looks awesome!


Thank you for the pep. All my local crew runs low riders, immediately slamming anything that joins the herd. I'm the lone wolf with long legged girls and nose in the air. Very Happy
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earlywesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 5:06 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Buggeee wrote:
AS350driver wrote:
Looks awesome!


Thank you for the pep. All my local crew runs low riders, immediately slamming anything that joins the herd. I'm the lone wolf with long legged girls and nose in the air. Very Happy


Good choice! Following along and enjoying the updates. Cool bus!
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

I generally pounded out the worst of the dents in the front bumper with hammer and dolly, chased the threads with tap and die, mounted it up and....

It's arts and crafts time!

Rust-Oleum International Harvester red, fogging with satin black, and a coat of matt clear. After this, I may do it again with a brown fog instead. Well see.


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1966 Sportsmobile Camper https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
72 Super Duper http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672387
(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
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Last edited by Buggeee on Sat Mar 19, 2022 12:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Oh yeah, I just fogged in some red oxide primer and a light dusting of the red over that and matt-cleared it again. I think this is it! Should lose even a little more gloss as it cures.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Wow! Looks great! This bus is lucky to have found the right owner.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2022 6:50 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Bugeee this is the money shot. I love these.

Maxxis Bighorn 27x8.5r14

Load Range

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Have you considered simply starting with a nicer bus? I don't know what your skills are, but the race is easier if you can see the finish line. If you are not a runner, don't start off doing a marathon.
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 7:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

I'm starting in on the battery tray so I can have a battery.

Be gentle, this is advanced level for me. I have been studying. I started by cutting out the center of the old tray with a cutoff wheel. Some off the outer spot welds had already separated, which was convenient.


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Then I separated the remaining seams with an air chisle to remove the remnants of the original panel. You will be kind to notice that I removed the seam that had been sandwiched between the wheel well and lower splash guard. I am very proud of that, having studied how these originally overlapped.


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Here is the wreckage.


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Then I dry fit the replacement battery tray. It is an Auto Craft part. It fits absolutely perfectly. You can also see how it slips right into place with the wheel well and lower splash guard.


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I have lots more work to do. That is as far as I made it today. Here is how it looks from the outside. Much less disturbance that I expected.



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I found this fiberglass treat.


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1966 Sportsmobile Camper https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
72 Super Duper http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672387
(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

After stripping off the filler for inspection, I have ordered a corner piece and will move on to other areas until it arrives. The metal is actually quite thick, and the pinholes are isolated, but it's still a lot of mess and hammer marks.

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1966 Sportsmobile Camper https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
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(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2022 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

I'm playing with the engine build while waiting for the rear corner sheet metal to arrive.

Here, I am converting the single relief case to a doghouse oil cooler. In part because this old case with 10mm head studs pushing a bus around needs all the cooling help it can get, and mostly because doghouse coolers and tins (flaps, thermostat, etc.) is all I have to work with in here in my barn.

The doghouse cooler is getting new seals between the mounting fixture. Notice the all-important sheet metal Hoover Bit that goes in with the top two studs.

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It needs this 6mm to 8mm step stud because the doghouse cooler mount has an 8mm hole. I got a bag of 10 so they are on the shelf if I strip an oil strainer stud some day.

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Notice the special conversion oil cooler seal, which is coded green. On the one side it fits the small holes in the case, and on the other side it fits the large holes of the doghouse cooler.

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Wait! Don't bolt it down yet. Now is the time to be a good fellow to your future self. A later model captive nut can be installed into the case so you don't join the "three outra four ain't bad" club out of frustration when you give up on the the loose nut and bolt that were already hard enough without a doghouse cooler getting in the way of your old hands.

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This captive nut measured 17/32" at the smooth shank. I didn't want to go smaller with the hole because I did not want to accidentally crack the case.The closest drill bit at the hardware store was 9/16 (18/32). I worked the hole up successively through the box of bits. The teeth of the captive nut did catch on the 9/16, but it was not going to be a tight press fit - so before I pressed it in with the bolt (drawing it in from the other side) I smeared some JB Weld on the teeth so it would commit to its job here. There's probably a more professional way to do this.

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I wiped off the excess epoxy and here it is in service.

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Voila! Cooler installed.

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(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2022 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

We have a huge stack of one million egg cartons, so I find uses for them when I can. Here I am sorting the bits from disassembling the single port heads that were in the parts stash.

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I found that the intake valves were in excellent condition, and were real VW valves, so I am keeping those. The exhaust valves were discolored a bit, had some play, and one was mushroomed on the tip so I had to grind it to safely remove it without damaging the valve guide.

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The adjusting screws are worn to the point of revealing inclusions, and have smashed edges and generally look worn out.

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Through the magic of internet blogging time travel, the new stainless exhaust valves, adjusters and a full set of regular valve springs has already arrived.

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Here I am lightly lapping all the valves before assembly on the one head. Then I did the other head too.

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The engine got a full set of new AA 85.5mm pistons and jugs, now sittting lopsided with one head on and torqued to specifications without difficulty.

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The other head is back off and on the bench because one of the lower studs slid right out off the case before I could get through the first round of 7lbs of torque. Thankfully it's in a blind hole so I am tearing that side down for a time sert (case saver). I'm not switching them all over to case savers with 8mm studs because prior hands have already installed a couple of 10mm inserts here and there on some studs, so I'm just living with the situation and the 10mm studs. The 10mm time sert kit has a tap guide, which I understand is no substitute for a jig, so keep me in your prayers.
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2022 8:00 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

WARNING: This process is not sanctioned by any competent mechanic. This is a discussion of my backyard shenanigans performed by me, without owning a drill press, or a jig, and having no fear of failure or of trashing a case if things go awry. This engine will not be abused in my care and there are already a hundred reasons I will need to avoid overheating this little gem. Smart people use tooling to ensure that the studs are straight, not old eyes and dumb luck.

That being said, I found this all to be quite fulfilling as I make use of stuff, like this case, that I had sitting in my parts stash. As mentioned earlier, one of the lower studs slid right out, mushy magnesium case threads and all, before I could get through the first round of 7lbs torque on one of the heads.

From what I understand, the old cases with 10mm studs face this risk when overheating because the 10mm studs don't expand at the same rate as the other parts of the engine when hot, causing the resulting tightness of the heads to be more tight, stressing the weak link, which is the magnesium threads in the case at the base of the head stud. I don't know if that is what happened here, or if some prior gorilla just over did things installing this stud.

VW went to 8mm studs to better match the expansion rates and mitigate this risk. Best practice would be to have a shop properly install a full set of case savers (threaded inserts) to allow for the use of 8mm studs. I am not doing that here, and someone has already installed some 10mm case savers in some of the studs, so I am living with what I have and moving forward in my own ignorant way.

Have you ever read the Grapes of Wrath? Remember when they did that thing with the engine bearings in the middle of a junk yard? Wow. That's some hardcore engine survivalism. But I digress...

I dissembled that side of the engine but have not split the case. This stud hole happens to be a blind hole, meaning it has a bottom and does not go all the way through to the interior of the case. That means two things to me. One, I won't be pushing magnesium shavings into the interior of the case. Two, I better not punch a hole in the bottom and push magnesium shavings into the interior of the case.

So, I stuck a probe in the hole and took a Sharpie marker to make a depth gauge out of it.

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Then I used that depth gauge and the Sharpie marker to mark the tools that will be going in the hole letting me know when they are getting near the bottom of the hole.

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The Time Sert kit comes with a drill bit, a countersink bore, a thread tap, and some short inserts. This particular kit also comes with a thread tap "guide", so I spent the extra money to get this particular kit.

The drill bit is sized conveniently to basically clean the threads out of the existing hole, so it follows the existing hole very easily. I have never had a worry of getting this part crooked. Every step of this experience involves some light weigh oil (or 30w if handy). I used air-tool oil.

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The second step is to cut a little rim around the edge of the hole with the counterbore tool. The counterbore tool slides in the hole, but is not a real precise fit so there is some attention needed to keep it straight. This was more challenging here as there is a little raised ledge where the cylinder meets the case. I spent a lot of time on this part so that I could get the shoulder of the counterbore below that ledge. The shoulder of the counterbore is not a cutting edge, and is designed to stop the progress inward, so it took patience to essentially wear away the little ledge. This was neccesary though, so that the shoulder of the insert would sit lower than the mating of the cylinder and case.

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After that is done, the tap is used to cut threads into the case to receive the insert. I have got these crooked before, on things that don't really matter. I can't get this crooked here though, because the force holding the head on is supposed to be straight in relation to the case, especially when expanding with heat. Thats why smarter people use tooling instead of dumb luck.

In comes the tap "guide". It's just a tube so you can hold the tap, but it was helpful to me. The little step on the case for the cylinder makes the guide less useful than it would be if you could hold it flat against the surface. It would be more of a "guide" if that was the situation. Here, though, it could rest on the step and I could watch for uniform gap around the remaining area between the guide and the case, and also hold the tap while I turned it. So it was really helpful for me to have.

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I had been using a shop vac to suck out shavings after each step in the process and now it was time to evacuate the hole with some brake cleaner, followed by compressed air so there would be no oil residue or metal dust.

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The little inserts that come with the kit are the short ones, 14mm in length. I ordered a bag of inserts that were 20mm in length, to better match the length of the stud threads. You can't go full depth with these though, because the installation tool travels beyond the insert. So you need 6mm or 1/4" remaining depth beyond the insert.

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Here I use the depth gauge to check that I'll have room for the tool beyond the insert.

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Then I put some red Loctite on the insert where it mates with the case so it is a permanent installation. It's never coming out now. I figured it was already expanded into place so rotating it out would never be an option. That might not be a good thing, but it is what I did. The stud does not belong in the picture here because the Loctite is between the insert and the case. There is not any Loctite on the stud.

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To install the threaded insert, the kit has a driver that screws into the insert. The driver needs oil on it. The insert is tapered inward towards the bottom and the driver will drive through it, expanding the insert tightly against the wall of the case. First, I used the driver to thread the insert into the threaded hole I made in the case.

Now is the time to share that I only used an 8mm open end wrench to accomplish all this. I'm supposed to be using a t-handled tap tool that would have been of great assistance in keeping an even pressure on things, etc. However. The existing stud to the left of the hole in this picture was in so tight that I could not remove it with double-nutting the stud. It just would not budge and the stud would flex and I don't know if it is glued in there with loctite or what. I just decided if it wanted to stay in there so bad, I would let it rather than create even more work by damaging the case there as well.

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Once the insert is in place, the driver is driven through the insert, expanding the insert against the wall of the hole in the case, stopping short of reaching the bottom of the blind hole. It then looks like this.

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When the driver is unscrewed, it leaves the insert in place ready for duty.

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As luck would have it, the stud looked as straight as the others and here is the long-block assembled with both heads tightened to specifications of 22.5 ft lbs.

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1966 Sportsmobile Camper https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
72 Super Duper http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672387
(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
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AS350driver
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

Looks like a solid repair to me. School is in session, for those willing to learn. You can probably drive it around the world like that. Reminds me of repairs my dad did back on the farm to our and other folks tractor and truck engines. Farmers that couldn’t afford the John Deere, IH, and Massey Ferguson dealer prices and down time for a full engine rebuild would bring them to him, just trying to get til the end of harvest. Most times his barn rebuilds lasted way longer than expensive dealer ones. Knowledge and careful attention to detail while using reconditioned and good used parts can compensate for fancy machine work and brand new parts.

I really like the route you’ve taken with this bus.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

I spent the good money ($150) for an unbranded California Import Parts "highest quality OG thickness" corner and am really glad I did. To me the extra hundred bucks is worth avoiding the resentment of a thin, wavy piece.

The lines look crisp, and the dimensions and depth of the steps and curve of the body are all spot on! The die that is stamping this out for them must be in good condition.

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O.k. here we go. Welcome to an amateur's first split bus reconstruction. Please forgive the occasional blurry pictures, I was wearing gloves.

The scariest thing I've ever done to a Volkswagen looks like this. There is no turning back now:

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Lined up the front edge and made a mark. Then I lined up the back edge and made a mark.

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Then I stretched some painter's tape and eyeballed a line, setting the tape touching the bottom of the marks.


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Then I cut across the bottom of the tape to get the old corner out of the way.


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Then I pulled the tape off...

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...and slid the new corner into place over that edge and spent some time lining up the gap for the engine lid and the body line of the front edge, to get the angle of the new corner piece correct.

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Then I drew a line.

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Then I carefully cut along that line. Then I carefully ground down the spot welds of the seams and separated the remnants, cleaning up the edges with a sharp chisel and lightweight hammer, gently tap tap tapping. Then grinding again, to clean up the edges.

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And this is where I am, ready to start inventorying and repairing the inner structures.


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1966 Sportsmobile Camper https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
72 Super Duper http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672387
(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

AS350driver wrote:
Looks like a solid repair to me. School is in session, for those willing to learn. You can probably drive it around the world like that. Reminds me of repairs my dad did back on the farm to our and other folks tractor and truck engines. Farmers that couldn’t afford the John Deere, IH, and Massey Ferguson dealer prices and down time for a full engine rebuild would bring them to him, just trying to get til the end of harvest. Most times his barn rebuilds lasted way longer than expensive dealer ones. Knowledge and careful attention to detail while using reconditioned and good used parts can compensate for fancy machine work and brand new parts.

I really like the route you’ve taken with this bus.


This might actually be the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me. Thank you so much. Cool
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1966 Sportsmobile Camper https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
72 Super Duper http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672387
(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
SnowDaySyncro wrote:
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2022 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Buggeee's 1966 Sportsmobile Camper by Travel Equipment Corp Reply with quote

More preparation


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1966 Sportsmobile Camper https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
72 Super Duper http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=672387
(adopted out) 61 Turkis Pile https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728764
SnowDaySyncro wrote:
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