Eric the Viking – August 2019

Spend since last report: £313.58. Total hours labour since last report: 45.5

When I look back through my photo reel for the last two months, I see plenty of progress on Eric. I also see two weeks holiday in Cornwall, the Just Kampers open weekend, Volksweald in Kent, RAF Odiham and some non VW related stuff too. Yes, periodically we have a life, and somehow I also worked.

Last issue, you may have seen that Eric had his roof replaced. The rear right side corner that was purchased over three years ago could not go on before then and that gets spot welded upwards into the roof. Before that I needed to find the line for the corner, so Eric needed the rear arch and since I have no idea what I am doing, I started on the nearside by the sliding door because the rear corner was in, the inner arch was in and the C post by the sliding door was good following my work on it a few issues ago.

The outer arch is a regular replacement as water collects between the inner and outer arches flicked up by the road wheels, rotting the visible edge next to the wheel. The panels available are of variable quality steel and very varied quality fit. My panel came with Eric four years ago and is an old Klokkenholm one of low quality metal and low quality fit. The new ones are apparently better shape and now are galvanized. It took a while but the original top of that panel was eased off the glued on rubber seal inside, was prepared and the lower edge was set back by a millimetre to allow the new panel to sit flush.

Many clamps later and some minor cutting and hammer tapping, the panel was in and quite close to flush everywhere.

The offside had not fared well and the inner was a mess. After chopping out a lot of it, the old outer was in good enough shape to be used to make a replacement inner. From that panel to the sill on the inside was done with a fabricated section of steel, a great deal of time and a lot of work with the hammers.

Once the inners were finished on both sides they received a great deal of primer! The outer went on easily and showed up the middle panel opposite the sliding door which is now mainly back to bare metal having had a lot of filler. Looks like there was an accident in his past and the bottom twelve inches or so is very dented. Still, I have the new wheel arch panel as a guide line when I get to final prep before painting.

With both arches in, that rear corner has to line up with its wheel arch panel, giving me one line. Getting it on over the D post took a while and some choice words. After about the tenth time, all was lined up and trimmed, clamps were added and that one was welded in too.

Once the inside was welded upwards into the new roof, the top rear corner inside was welded back in and smoothed down. All last little repairs on the inside corners were done and primed as well.

Now the outside was done down both sides and that is a good lift to the spirits.

At the back with both corners in place, the horizontal panels could be offered up that go under the back door and under the engine bay door. The inner panels of both having been replaced or repaired in previous reports. Drilling through good metal and spot welding to good metal is such a lot easier! Again much anti rust paint and thick primer to keep the little rust gremlins at bay for a while.

Under the edge where back door fits was a bit of a fiddly as it is much thinner metal, had been rusty in places and really rather damaged getting the old spreader plate out between the rear doors. It is now metal and broadly straight, but will need a smidge of filler in due course.

Standing back after sanding and priming the rear deck and trial fitting the boot lid made me feel really good. He looks like a bus once more!

Using paint stripper on the rest of the rear deck I was able to remove the added paint back to the factory white in most places. This was not deliberate as I was aiming for bare metal, but having white instead of brushed black looks better.

With only the window edges to be repaired, everything else behind the front seats is pretty much done. The garage was tidied, swept and Eric was moved backwards into the corner to give me plenty of room to tackle the next part. The front.

Keep using your bus, or working on getting it fixed. Hope to see you in a field soon.