Category Archives: T1

The original Transporter. What a great idea!

Air cooled heating – adjusting

Following on from last week’s article about air cooled heating, let’s get on with adjusting it.

Tools and parts

  • Items similar to – scissors, wire cutters, Stanley knife, pliers and other cutting, pulling and squashing devices
  • Axle stands or other way of lifting the vehicle enough to get underneath safely
  • 6mm spanner or socket
  • Screwdriver
  • A friend, they won’t get dirty or need to roll underneath
  • Protective items for clothing, gloves, goggles / safety glasses

Checking

Get the vehicle far enough and safely enough in the air that you can crawl underneath and still safely operate tools.

Disconnect the battery. This is optional but safe.

Take ALL of the tools with you otherwise you end up doing a lot of sit ups going to fetch the above items.

Between the rear wheels at the back of the Y shaped J tube and heading into the heat exchangers, you will see two flaps, one on either side. These control the hot air coming forwards from the engine into the J tube and up to the front of the vehicle. If required, have your friend sit in the front and move the red levers up and down – look for movement underneath!

When both levers are moving, you should see a thin metal cable moving a flap that is about 50mm long and there should be a spring and a bolt. The arm should be moving freely forwards and backwards. Most commonly the cable is either missing or jammed.

If the cable is missing, get a new set! If the cable is jammed, get some lubricant on it and try again later. Manually move the bolt using pliers and see if the cable is free but the bolt is jammed. If required, detach the cable and verify which piece is jammed. Once all is moving, check that the control arm is as far forward as it can go when the cable has the slack taken up and the level on the dash is fully open. Similarly the level at the other extreme on the dashboard should allow the bolt to fully close the flap.

Adjust the slack on the cable using the 6mm spanner / socket, release the bolt, use pliers to take up the tension and tighten again. This actually needs doing regularly.

Thank your friend kindly and let them get on with something less interesting than fixing the heating on your vehicle.

As you are under there, don’t forget to wire brush and the loose dirt, muck and other unwanted bits then paint and underseal, especially on the heating pipes.

Follow all along from the front of the heat exchangers, along the J tube, the main tube in the middle, up and over the beam and up to the totem pole. Look for holes, leaks and missing insulation. Fix them all.

Crawl out from under the vehicle, stretch, curse if required, dust yourself down, get the axle stands off, reconnect the battery and celebrate by moving the levers on the dash of your working heating.

Remove the socks from the air vents on the dash (a popular way of stopping the draughts in the 90s), start the engine and feel more heat than before. If it is still not HOT once the engine is up to temperature then you still have air leaks in between the heat exchangers and the cab. Troubleshoot every join, seal every incorrect hole and check every flap. Come along to a club meeting and we can all take a look together!

 

Air cooled heating – explained

This article will help those with an air cooled vehicle from a Split screen through to the early T25. If you bought a water cooled engine, then it does not apply!

Do you own a VW that you cannot use in colder weather without travelling in a big coat, bobble hat, thick socks and blue fingers? It is a great and effective system but with 39 years since they stopped producing the late Bay and nearly 60 years since the introduction of the Split screen, inevitably there will have been a small amount of wear and tear.

In this article, we are going to cover some of the important parts of getting some of the lovely heat from the engine up to the people at the front. That’s you.

Basics

The engine produces heat and a lot of it goes out of the exhaust system. Part of that exhaust system is the “heat exchangers” and that literally means a sleeve around part of the exhaust pipe that heats up the outside air. Once that air is warm it can warm you but it is currently underneath the engine at the back of the vehicle. We need to move it from there up to you without losing much of it.

The process

The big fan above the engine cools the engine (air cooled – the clue is in the name) and there are two big ducts / funnels, one of either side in the engine bay. These go through the metal tray around the engine, underneath, into the heat exchangers and can then enter the heating system. From there, a control flap can be opened to funnel that heat along a 90mm / nearly 4 inch tube along the middle of the vehicle from the gearbox up to the front wheel line. From there is jumps over the front beam in a squashed tube then turns up at the front at the totem pole for those of you with that funny looking piece of metal.

The first place to look – the end game

If you can get heat into the van, you want to keep it there. Windows need to be able to close fully, doors need to close with no draughts, door seals need to be good. Any original flaps, sliders and other ways of getting air into the van need to be able to seal, otherwise that good, warm air will leave very rapidly. these are all visible and easy to track down. Make sure that the roof has similarly no big holes for heat to leave.

Now focus on the insulation. If you have zero insulation in the walls, the heat is going to leave really quickly – not only when you are travelling along but also in the evenings when you are sitting quietly, drinking wine and playing scrabble. Other excitement is available. Remove the wall panels and insulate – that is an article for another day, just don’t use rockwool which absorbs moisture in something that you squash into cavities pressed against metal bodywork. You may as well just drop the whole vehicle in the sea and let the salt water rust your pride and joy!

For evenings, consider curtains which will help insulate too.

Start at the start

That big doghouse fan noted above. Does it turn freely, helping to cool your engine? Ensure all is good in there otherwise you will have a hot engine and cold passengers. From there on both sides are holes about 3 inches / 70mm diameter – check they are not rusted and letting out that precious heat. From there, they warm air goes into stretchy concertina plastic tubes that pass through the tin tray around the engine and underneath. These should be tightly attached to the fan at the top using good jubilee clips – these are inexpensive and will really help.

Now get under the vehicle, safely (disconnect the battery, use axle stands, tie back long hair and loose clothing, your health and safety officer should be standing by and so on). At the bottom of those two concertina tubes they should connect to the heat exchangers, these are boxes on either side of the engine forming part of the exhaust system and do not touch them if the engine is warm. Again, the connection from one to the other should be free or rust, rot and holes and should be sealed well by the jubilee clips.

Then the heat itself

The air from the engine has now flowed underneath the vehicle and has been pushed past the exhaust, getting hot. Both heat exchangers flow the air into a Y shaped tube, curiously called a J tube, although replacement parts may mean this works slightly differently. From there, that lovely hot air enters the tube running along the middle of the vehicle. Once again, the join from the J tube or similar into the middle heating pipe needs to be sealed and not allowing the air out.

That big tube running along the middle of the vehicle needs to be free from holes. Originally from the factory, it is a heavy steel pipe with a jacket around it. that jacket is often missing or otherwise less than perfect. Check it, refit it, replace it. Even a heavy coat of underseal will give you some thermal help as well as reducing the air loss due to holes.

Just in front of the B posts (between the front doors and the sliding door) that tube joins a flattened pip section that jumps over the front beam and up to the front of the vehicle. That can have holes and is tricky to fix. From there you are almost up into the cab area and once inside, there are usually few issues.

Opening the system

The levers on the dashboard that are red are for the warm air. The green or blue ones are for the cool air. Next week, see how to get the red ones operating as they were designed.

More brake work

Following on from last week’s post about brake shoes and drums, this week is about hydraulics. They sound scary, but are less so once you know a little about it.

The brake cylinder is the….erm….cylinder at the top.

Is it leaking or otherwise not in good shape? It is bolted through the back of the hub with a 13mm bolt. Inspect the hose as well, they need replacing after a while, especially if you see any lumps, bumps, bulges or splits. These are replaced by undoing the 11mm nuts, remembering that you will need to plug the rest of the system to stop all of the brake fluid from dropping on the floor and that stuff is slippery. I normally use a plastic golf tee pushed into the hole then cling film / food wrap over that and the pipe / bracket and some insulation tape to hold it all in place. You won’t keep the air out totally and will need to bleed the brakes at the end.

If you change the cylinder, it attaches with that same bolt. If you change the brake pipe, just do up the nuts. Paint the metal, copper grease / anti-seize anything that isn’t the drum and shoe and reassemble as noted in last week’s article (link is at the top of this one). The more attention you spend now on greasing and anti-seizing the nuts, bolts, holes, springs and so on is going to save time in the future, let it all last a lot longer and reduce the chances of problems.

Don’t forget to do the other rear wheel too!

Brakes. It.

Hello everyone, the date coincided with a well known event, so today’s post had to be about brakes. There is not much humour writing a weekly post about maintaining a vehicle!

As we start the 2019 season in the UK, you need to think about the important things for your vehicle. Engine, fuel, ventilation, warmth, power, torque. They are all irrelevant – if you cannot STOP, that’s the only important thing you need to ensure is working!

Today’s post is about the REAR original brakes on a split screen, Bay window and T25. These are drum brakes and the principle is similar across all manufacturers and we are going to look only at the shoes in this article.

Tools required

A jack to lift the vehicle
Axle stands – good sturdy ones, for a change they do not need to be enormous
Hubcap removal tool if you have standard steel wheels. You can improvise with a thick wire coat hanger!
Pliers
Sockets – 11mm, 17mm (early Bay), 19mm (late Bay)

Taking it apart

Put the vehicle in gear and let the clutch out so that the vehicle isn’t going anywhere and the wheels will not turn. Remove the rear hub caps using the removal tool or a coat hanger suitably shaped to fit into the two little holes on the side. As you yank, keep your feet against the tyre as a hubcap catching device otherwise you will scratch the expensive and shiny cap!

I find either gloves or a screwdriver to go around the removal tool makes the job much easier, so I am pulling the screwdriver not the thin bit of metal.

Loosen the wheel nuts on the two rear wheels by half a turn as it makes things far easier. Then jack up the back of the vehicle using the rear beam (the big thick tube between the rear wheels) high enough to get axle stands under that beam. Let the vehicle down onto the axle stands slowly and safely. Ensure that nothing is loose, about to fall over or anything else that could impact your safety.

Now remove all of the wheel nuts and put the two rear wheels somewhere safe. Under the vehicle is usually a popular place.

Crawl underneath the FRONT of the vehicle and start heading backwards. Towards the rear of the cab section you will see the handbrake cable coming from the front and there is a mechanism that has a cable from there to each of the rear wheels. Slacken off the bolts here to loosen the handbrake cables – you will need to adjust the handbrake anyway and the handbrake if often the reason you cannot continue and get the hub off. the bolts that you need are square and 11mm but could have rusted, take options on the tools required!

Now sit in front of one of the rear drums. There is a backing plate, understandably at the back of the circular drum. At the back of that are the adjustment screws – loosen them with a screwdriver once you expose them by carefully removing the rubber bungs. Get those bungs out, inspect them for damage and put them somewhere safe. If you pried them out, look for damage as they harden with age and may need replacing. If you got the bung out and there is no screw behind it, you took out the optional lining inspection bung. Two bungs – adjustment, four bungs – only remove the bottom two.

The screws go ANTI clockwise to loosen. They rust, so be prepared for both swearing and replacement.

Now that you have removed the bulk of the tension from the parts inside the drum, let us have the first attempt at removing the drum. There are 2 11mm bolts, they may also be rather stiff but a decent socket will normally get them off. Once those two are off, the only thing holding the drum on is rust and anything inside that should have moved and did not.

Grab the drum firmly and pull. Heave. Have another go. Wiggle it, wobble it but keep it at the same parallel angle or you can jam it. If it does not move, and if it hasn’t been off in years that is likely, hit it with a hammer – either a “dead blow” hammer or a piece of wood and a big hammer. A mallet just isn’t enough. If you still cannot remove, start adding penetrating oil and more of the hammer until it all gives.

With the drum off, review the state of your knuckles and measure the inside of the drum circle with a tape measure. As you move around, if it exceeds 253mm diameter, replace the drum. Also check it is consistent as a variation here is what causes the shuddering braking where it is on/off which is inefficient, dangerous and disconcerting.

Now look at the “shoes”, the curved pieces on either side of the middle. The outside of the curve is the brake pad, there should be 6mm on a new pad and 2.5mm is the minimum point where you need to change them.

Replacing your shoes

Remove the handbrake cable, remove the spring holding the shoes together, pull the shoes apart and remove them – you WILL get dirty. If you have anything else in there like springs, separating bars or anything else, get a picture before, during and after to be safe. With everything disassembled, clean it all and replace anything worn to the limit or rusty.

You can buy the drum kit (no, not annoyingly noisy music gear) quite cheaply from a motor factor or your chosen VW stockist and some of the parts in the kit may not be needed, don’t worry about leftovers!

Doing more brake work

If you want to tackle more, don’t reassemble things, read next week’s article.

Reassembly

Understandably, reassembling is the opposite exactly. Put the new or cleaned parts back in reverse order. Tighten the bolts and adjusters down so that the shoe just about touches the drum.

Make sure that from the original you have nothing left over, everything has been copper greased on all bolts and that no grease is on the shoe or drum. I quite like to sand the outside of the drum and paint it but it is never seen and not overly expensive to replace, but everyone is different.

Once the drum is back together fully and adjusted in situ, tighten the handbrake cable such that you can turn the drum with no handbrake but you have minimal travel on the handbrake lever to stop the wheels turning. That can take a few goes!

Jack the vehicle up, get the wheels on, add the wheel nuts, tighten them, let the vehicle down and torque up the nuts.

Test the brakes fully and feel proud. You did that.

 

 

Rebuilding the gear linkage

Many of us suffer from that indistinct, rather sloppy gear change. In fact, fixing it is a bit time consuming and will make you a bit oily but is not as tricky as you might think.

This video is for a VW Beetle but a split screen, early Bay, late Bay, type 25 and type 3 all have a similar mechanism. Buy the right parts, have a wire brush and some degreaser like Gunk handy and it can transform you gear changes!

One-Of-A-Kind VW Microbus Stretch Limo Sold For $220k

http://www.carscoops.com/2015/03/so-much-want-one-of-kind-vw-microbus.html

For VW Microbus enthusiasts, the 23 window Microbus is considered the Holy Grail. Today, we are sharing a very special unicorn: the world’s only 1965 Volkswagen Microbus stretch limousine, complete with 33 windows as well as a ragtop sunroof.

The one-of-a-kind Microbus was custom built by a VW-only restoration garage in Southern California (where else?) and took two years to complete. The result is stunning: the India Ivory-on-Tropical Turquoise bus features safari windows, front and rear; 14 side pop-out windows with large spoon latches; chrome front door frames; polished trim pieces on beltline and bumpers; and original 15-inch “crows foot” wheels in a white powdercoat.

Underneath the skin is a 2074cc VW engine that has been completely rebuilt. In fact, the engine, transmission, and gear reduction boxes have all been completely disassembled and rebuilt using only brand-new authentic components. Additional mechanical upgrades include front disc brakes, Gene Berg performance shifter, Vintage Speed exhaust system, and Blaze-Cut auto fire suppression system. The restored stretch Microbus also features LED headlights, custom LED taillights, as well as an LED third-brake light.

The cabin is undoubtedly the VW’s party piece. The Volkswagen Microbus stretch limo features two-tone brown benches with white piping and hidden pleats, which seat up to 12 passengers. The Microbus also boasts a custom wood floor, wood interior, and a high-end sound system featuring 6 JBL speakers, an Alpine amp, and Alpine head unit. RGBW LED light strips run across the entire length of the interior of the bus and can change to any color!

Following the extensive two-year restoration, the stretch Microbus finally arrived to Maui, Hawaii (where else?), to enjoy its new life as a special VIP limo for Endless Summer Limousine. Maui is long known as a popular wedding and tourism location with over 7,000 weddings booked every year.

Unfortunately, a sudden family emergency will require the owner and operator of Endless Summer Limousine to relocate, which means leaving the Microbus, the business, and the island behind. According to the eBay listing, the beautiful Microbus sold for $220,000. Despite the astronomical price, we’re sure it is money well spent for the right owner.

Danny Choy

World’s number one dad builds his daughter a VW camper van bed

http://metro.co.uk/2015/02/09/worlds-number-one-dad-builds-his-daughter-a-vw-camper-van-bed-5055170/

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World's best dad builds his daughter a VW camper van bed

Can we have a VW bus bed too please? (Picture: The Treehouser)

Who wants a princess bed when you can have an awesome VW camper van replica to lay your head down in?

Reddit user inexplorata, aka the world’s number one dad, built his daughter this incredible bed-cum-playhouse for her third birthday after he saw an ad on Craigslist for free VW Beetle parts – namely, a bumper, hubcaps, and some interior door pieces.

After picking up a $30 bunk bed, also on Craigslist, the enterprising dad set to work.

The construction, as detailed on his blog, took him four months.

Pic 1

From humble beginnings…(Picture: The Treehouser)

He did have the occasional extra pair of hands.

Pic 2

‘Helping’ might be pushing it (Picture: The Treehouser)

The build cost him a total of $100, or £65 (much cheaper than those custom-made kids’ furniture places charge we’re guessing).

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

Starting to take shape (Picture: The Treehouser)

The camper bed has working headlights and a horn that makes driving sound effects.

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

From 0-fast asleep in seconds (Picture: The Treehouser)

It also has a colourful 60s style decor, as befits the iconic van’s hippy heritage. 

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

Feeling the hippy vibe (Picture: The Treehouser)

As well as a hammock. Obviously. 

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

D’you think we could rent this out for festivals? (Picture: The Treehouser)

And one careful owner. 

2 year old for scale

Two-year old for scale (Picture: The Treehouser)

Excellent work dad. 

VW Bus Bed Build. Please credit me as "Reddit user inexplorata" Link to - http://www.thetreehouser.com/2015/02/other-projects-vw-bus-bed-part-1.html

The coolest bunk bed ever (Picture: The Treehouser)

1955 Forest find split screen

The Type 2 Owners Club welcomes all transporters from this Type 2, T1 (the split screen) up to the current T6 and the planned id Buzz.

Here is a short video on a group of friends who rescued a split screen from a Swedish forest.

 

 

‘First and oldest’ Type 2 VW campervan up for £75,000 at auction

http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/PICTURES-oldest-Type-2-VW-campervan-75-000/story-25900016-detail/story.html

A Volkswagen campervan thought to be the first and oldest in the UK is expected to sell for more than £75,000 at auction.

The vehicle is the first, and thought to be the only surviving, VW Type 2 Samba Microbus imported into the UK.

The right-hand drive bus, built at the original VW factory in Wolfsburg, was delivered new into the UK in November 1955 by John Colborne-Barber, the founder of the first ever VW dealership in the UK.

Sambas were never officially imported new into the UK, and as such ‘SGP 62’ is thought to be the only surviving example of the few Wolfsburg-built Type 2s in the country

Colborne-Baber’s long association with Volkswagen started as a result of John being approached by former army officer George La-Haye.

After the end of the Second World War, La-Haye, who was stationed in Germany, purchased three new Volkswagen Beetles, the last of which he returned to the UK with.

Colborne-Baber showed an immediate interest in the Beetle and made George an offer on a part-exchange for a Wolseley 6/80, which he accepted.

Colborne-Baber was so impressed with the Beetle he’d acquired, that he then approached Volkswagen in Germany and began importing Volkswagen vehicles into the UK in 1949

Mr Colborne-Barber, who started selling VWs after falling in love with the Beetle, imported the car from Wolfsburg and converted the interior so he could take it on family holidays.

He had the unmistakable motor fitted with a fridge and stove by renowned specialists Devon Conversions.

The car dealer held onto the campervan until the early 1960s. It then disappeared for the next 30 years until it was rediscovered in 1992.

It has been comprehensively restored to original specification with a few additional safety and convenience features, whilst retaining its completely original appearance.

The iconic camper will be sold at Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro Sale, which takes place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on the 21st and 22nd of February.

It is being offered with an estimate of between £70,000 and £75,000.

Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, said: said: “This is a fantastic piece of Volkswagen history and as such we expect a lot of interest when it comes up for auction.

“These vehicles are hugely popular around the globe and collectors are now paying some incredibly sums for them.

“This is a beautiful and rare Samba Microbus, historically important in terms of its VW legacy in the UK. It’s ready to be appreciated and enjoyed and I hope the new owner will love it just as much as the Colborne family did.”

In 1992 ‘SGP 62’ was rediscovered in the West Country after 30 years in storage. It has been professionally restored over the last 18 months as a faithful reproduction of its condition as used by the Colborne-Baber family but with a few additional safety and convenience features whilst retaining its completely original appearance.

A new bespoke period-correct Devon interior, modelled on the design that was enjoyed by the Colborne family, was created by VW expert Kevin Morgan – including an correct Osokool fridge and Dudley stove.

These rare items were sourced specially for this bus and are in mint condition. The vehicle also comes with a certificate of authenticity from the Stiftung Auto Museum Volkswagen as well as a personal letter from the son of Mr Colborne-Baber regarding the bus.