10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

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Jivermo
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10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Jivermo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:24 am

https://photos.app.goo.gl/KdEY1c2m0kItfkTt2

As many know, exoticdmv (Marc) and his fiancee, the lovely Eliana, have been preparing their 1978 Bay Westy for this epic trip. Both are avid birders, and are hitting the North American migratory birding spots during their drive. And then, to top everything, they are getting married in Alaska! You can follow them on Instagram @birdingbybus. We’ve had their bus at my place for the past 10 weeks, and have been working on just about every part of the bus. Colin spent three days down here, on his Miami jaunt. The days ran into a blur for me, but Marc had gone home, every evening, and detailed what we had done that day. It certainly made interesting reading for me, and I thought I’d share it with the Itinerant family here. It’s a blood, sweat and tears saga:
VW Mechanical Log - Valentina Dec 2017-Mar 2018
Getting Valentina ready for the big trip...
12/21/17
Replaced steering coupler
Removed and cleaned the contacts for the battery ground strap
Fabricated an alternator shield out of a plastic motor oil bottle and installed it between the alternator and the alternator tin (wasn’t a perfect fit so ordered a real one afterwards)
12/30/17
Replaced exhaust system components: muffler, catalytic converter was replaced with straight pipe, added tail pipe. Replaced muffler strap which required some tweaking and metal grinding as the muffler strap did not fit properly on the right hook which was bent. Scraped and metal prepped starter battery tray. Removed right rear marker light which was rusted on by one of its bolts. Replaced battery ground strap.

12/31/17
Replaced thermostat and thermostat cable. Replaced alternator plastic cover shield. Began draining transaxle fluid. Removed paint on sliding door seal. Replaced side air vent cover with original stock white cover with horse on it.

1/4/2018
Changed transaxle fluid with 3 quarts of Sta-lube gear oil SAE 85W90. When we drained the old fluid a few days ago, metallic fine metal was adhered to magnetic drain plug along with 2 fractured off gear teeth. Fluid may have been low. Mileage: 93721. Eliana continued to work on cleaning up the battery trays which both have rust damage from battery acid.

1/5/2018 - Body work. Mar-hyde or POR-15, primer, and Dakota Beige paint in multiple areas including battery trays, upper rear pop top corners near the gutter drains, rear panel behind the bumper, right side mirror junction, right rear marker light, inside of fuel intake port, front door footsteps, and the nose grill left side around the orange headlight. Removed rear bumper to access slightly rusted area of rear panel. Hammered metal crimp out of an area on left rear panel which was collecting water. The right side battery tray and the right front door footstep received a small fiberglass patch over a rusted out hole. Eliana and Ian cleaned and greased the rear pop-top hinges with white grease and also lubricated the interior pop top hinges —> slides open much better!

1/6/2018 - Body work. Mar-hyde, primer, and Dakota Beige paint in multiple areas including battery trays, upper rear pop top corners near the gutter drains, rear panel behind the bumper, right side mirror junction, right rear marker light, inside of fuel intake port, front door footsteps, and the nose grill left side around the orange headlight. Removed the positive battery terminal connector to clean contact surface. Glued multiple areas of peeled-up veneer or the rear facing cabinet using a wood glue “Titebond II”.

1/7/2018 - Body work continued. Mar-hyde on battery hold down clamps. Installed right side mirror (used blue Loc-Tite on threads). Changed hose clamp on oil filler neck. Removed and cleaned belly pan. Cleaned backings of taillight housings. Replaced both rear side marker lights with after-market reproductions; push pins didn’t hold properly so replaced push pins with stainless steel hardware (nuts, bolts, washers). Replaced left taillight housing with OEM VW Brazil replacement; electrical connections were slightly different so needed modification.) Used old bulbs and old plastic housing backing for taillights.

1/8/2018
Spray painted belly pan with rustoleum primer followed by rustoleum gloss protective enamel gray
Finished priming and painting starter battery tray
Put in starter battery with battery mat
Began removal of right heater cable, greased channel
Drove— transmission/shifting was good. Exhaust sounded great. Fan belt a little wobbly.
Right wiper nozzle partially blocked. Unblocked using compressed air and thin metal wire for cleaning.
Tested left taillight — partially works; turn signal not working.

1/9/2018
Picked up bag of metric belly pan bolts/washers and copper washer for oil pressure sender from Over Atlantic (mobile auto parts /fasteners) [later on these were determined to not thread in properly]
Primed and Spray painted (gray) inside belly pan
Performed wiring modification on new right taillight housing. Spent time troubleshooting lighting failures. Some bulbs not illuminating and flashers / turn signals flashing fast or not at all. Discovered that flasher relay (side of fuse box) was wet and not functioning properly. Source of wetness = windshield washer fluid hose above dash? Fuse box was slightly wet. Or leaky windshield? Need to remove/replace old tubing.
Bulb contacts were off on taillights; fixed.
Rear side marker bulbs were both blown; replaced.
Tried pulling on broken right heater cable; wouldn’t budge. Put bus front wheels on ramps; squirted penetrant into cable channel using gravity to carry the fluid downhill.

1/10/2018
Worked more on freeing up right side heater cable. Applied penetrant, worked back and forth a little bit but barely budged. Used a come along winch and put a lot of pressure from the front end but could not be freed.

Sanded and applied Mar-hyde to edge of outside propane cylinder bracket, in preparation for some paint touch up work.

Replaced oil pressure sender unit with new copper crush washer and used Permatex adhesive. Was planning on tightening to 14 foot pounds (24mm deep socket), but torque wrench didn’t even make it to 10 foot pounds and it seemed super tight, so didn’t want to crank on it. Ran engine and did not see any oil leaks at the oil pressure sender; need to continue to monitor.

1/11/2018
Removed all washer fluid tubing as it was leaking at the pump junction and at the T-junction above dash.
Purchased 9x 13mm bolts for changing out rusted exhaust system bolts (Mitchell’s)
Purchased washer fluid tubing (Kendall Auto).
Did research on why the right heater box/flapper connection is so unstable. Appears to be a missing/broken bracket on the right heater elbow connection between the heater box and the flapper box. Ordered a new one from Avery’s ($35). Also ordered a new wiper motor.

1/12/2018
Removed broken right heater cable. What worked was cutting the cable short in the front, grabbing the wire (not the rubber sheath) and pulling out the wire. Success! Sprayed lubricant in channel and blew through (blowing out dirt/grease) with compressor. Replaced right heater cable; attached to dashboard controls with C-clip; lubricated with clear wire jelly and ran through proper path; attached with all necessary hardware at heater flapper. Getting the metal clip across all 4 cables at the bracket under dash was a bitch!

Removed broken bracket at right heater tube elbow between heater box and flapper. Replaced with intact elbow (had bracket) from Ian. Added hose clamps to right plastic accordion tube. Replaced belly pan with new bolts (actually, didn’t fit perfectly, need new bolts.

Tested engine: new thermostat works; heater working well! Fan belt a little sloppy. Exhaust sounds good; lighting works but flasher relay may be having problems.

Primer on edge of propane bracket.

Misc notes:
Brown wire — bottom (light from the battery section)

1/15-2/12 (Marc in New York)
Eliana & Ian tackled:
From door rubber foot steps: installed and glued in with “Goop”
Replaced emblem plugs and glued in with Goop
Plugged up holes near emblem with goop

2/13/18: Done by Ian
Heater hose (duct to rear bench seat) — installed new 2 1/4” heater hose (from H&H Classic Parts) and added hose clamps.
Front of VW — sanded it, two coats of primer and 3 coats of paint. Filled in the holes with goop. Used emblem clips and installed with goop.
Side front door rubber steps — sanded, patched right side hole with fiber glass. Mar-hyde, primer and painted. Installed rubber steps with goop in the holes to keep them on better and keep water from going in holes.

2/16/18 —
Transmission fluid change with Sta-Lube 85W90. No significant metal chunks in transmission fluid this time.

Opened valve covers. Removed rocker assemblies, push rods, and push rod tubes. Replaced all the push rod tube seals (inner and outer) with brown Viton seals. Pulled hydraulic lifters in order to check for wear, very slight ‘dish’ wear on only one lifter (on #3 intake). Replaced everything and did valve adjustments (turned out 1 1/2 on all). Checked head stud torque nuts at 23 foot-pounds+ (good).

Dropped engine to address ongoing oil leak, change engine fuel hoses, and troubleshoot fuel gauge sender.

Addressing oil leak: Inspected the gallery plugs where Colin had previously patched them with JB weld. They looked good. There was some suspicious (but not definite) leak trails coming from the main seal.

Replaced the main engine seal (with a GoWesty Sabo seal — previously was a Victor Rein orange seal) and graphite O-ring in the flywheel.

Sanded and resurfaced pressure plate and flywheel before reinstalling.

Ian worked on changing out older fuel hoses on the engine.

2/17/18
Engine still out.

Troubleshooted fuel gauge sender unit. Old one had gasoline inside the float and seemed to be a wrong size. Replaced with one that Ian had and recalibrated.

Reinstalled engine. Changed fuel filter and additional fuel hoses under bus.

Re-wired the taillights as the parking light / brake lights were not working as a dual contact bulb.

Eliana glued the side door seals/gaskets on the front door corners with yellow 3m adhesive. Painted bumpers.

Drove and checked afterwards for oil leaks. Saw a little oil pooling near distributor and at push rod tubes on driver side. Colin mentioned the distributor o-ring and the breather gasket?

Lubricated various hinges, latches, sliding door track.

Checked for water leaks at rear hatch and pivoting vent window in cabin. Both leaked and need fixing.

2/18/18:
Replaced front brake pads with Pagid brakes (cut grooves in pads)
Sanded front brake discs
Replaced front wheel bearings with FAG bearings (made in Spain / Vietnam)
—> right outer bearing was burnt because adjustment was too tight

Lubricated front end (5 nipples with Ian’s blue grease).

Checked shock absorber bolts (upper and lower on all 4 wheels). Right rear upper shock bolt was loose. Tightened up and resolved noise in back.

Reconfigured muffler orientation and painted exhaust system.

Exhaust system’s Inboard left U-tube has a leak. Permatex Ultra Copper adhesive and a flange gasket.

Thin gasket VS composite gasket for exhaust. Can use two of the thin ones if you can’t find the composite one. Glue the two together and let them sit overnight.

Adjusted tailgate to close opening
Tailgate seal (temporarily installed)

2/19/18:

Replaced driver side door handle gaskets.

Replaced wiper blades (may have helped with wiper motor speed; tested and timed speed).

Began replacement of washer fluid hoses. Had to remove driver side washer nozzle. Area below nozzle was rusted so sanded and applied mar-Hyde.

Painted edge of propane bracket.

Addressed exhaust leak at inner U-pipe on left side. Removed bolts from inner part of the U; bolts were loose. Will add a new gasket and RTV tomorrow.

Found a bad light bulb, driver side front turn signal (outside small bulb).

Found evidence of water leaking at front windshield seal (lower corners and bottom
edge), also engine hatch seal was pretty wet and seems problematic.

2/21/18

Ian fixed exhaust leak left U-tube (inside of U)

De-greased and cleaned new cooling fan from Avery’s (took 2 hours+)

Primer and paint around driver side windshield washer nozzle

Installed windshield washer tubing and new driver side windshield washer nozzle

Waxed body under bumpers (before putting on bumpers)

Installed freshly painted front and rear bumpers

Changed small front turn signal light bulbs

2/23/18
Cleaned and applied Mar-Hyde to rusted areas of Rear hatch door seal area and rear engine door seal area.

Installed Vanagon cooling fan (compatible) but still having fan wobble.

2/24/18
Took Valentina’s cooling fan and put it on Ian’s bus to see if it was out of balance — It worked flawlessly on Ian’s bus. So the cooling fan itself is apparently not the source of the fan wobble.

Cleaned, primed, and painted the rear hatch seal area and the rear engine door seal area.

Finished painting the heads of the rear bumper bolts.

2/25/18
Changed passenger door handle gaskets

Installed and Glued rear hatch rubber seal (only glued upper corners)

Installed and glued engine rear door hatch rubber seal (glued across upper horizontal section only)

Replaced battery ground strap

Pulled fan hub/crankshaft rear seal (cooling fan end); razored a raised gouge at 6 o’clock on the inside of the case seal contact surface (someone probably stuck a tool in there)

Replaced 5 sections of fuel hose on the fuel vapor lines & added fuel hose clamps.

Ordered 2 fan hubs, seal, bolt/washer, alternator bracket and alternator nut from Kentucky

2/26/18
Ian razor-filed high points inside of engine crankcase, near rear cooling fan hub seal where someone pried and damaged the metal. Removed Woodruff Key and razor-filed sharp metal edges. Also razor-filed some gouges at the end of the crankshaft.

2/27/18
Sealed under entire outer edge of front windshield with black Windshield Sealant from CR Laurence Co.

Removed alternator and all alternator brackets and bolts/nuts

2/28/18
Purchased rebuilt Bosch Alternator at Karl’s German Auto
Received from Randy in Kentucky: 2 fan hubs, cooling fan end seal, alternator adjustment nut, alternator C-shaped bracket, center bolt and washer for bolting the cooling fan onto the crankshaft.
Ian worked on freeing up Randy’s alternator adjustment nut that was locked on to a broken bolt

3/1/2018
Installed rear engine/cooling fan seal (broke the first one where we used Permatex sealant around the edges and seal busted due to hammering using a wooden dowel. Ian subsequently devised a different system using a PVC collar and a large washer for evenly distributing the pressure during install. On the new seal, we only used grease on the inside of the seal, no Permatex). Installed Randy’s fan hub (torqued center bolt to 23 ft-lbs) and installed cooling fan (3 bolts torqued to 13 ft-lbs).

Installed rebuilt alternator. After the first install, we had an electrical short and the battery had some major sparking! Had to completely remove the alternator to investigate. Turns out one of the larger washers on the inside-back of the alternator was making electrical contact with the inside back cover (electrical burn mark noted on edge of washer and contact point on back cover) causing a short. We decided to swap the problem-washer for a smaller washer, insulate the electrical contact surfaces with GC-Electronics brush-on insulating coating as well as Scotch medium-grade Linerless Rubber Splicing Tape, and create a small “dent” in the cover plate over that contact surface to minimize any metal-to-metal contact. Also straightened the alternator sliding bracket using a vice and hammer. Reassembled/reinstalled alternator, and placed the C-shaped alternator bracket lower it its range of positions to accommodate for the lack of adjustability of the alternator in the alternator sliding adjustment bracket where the 6-mm alternator bolt seems to ride on the upper edge of the sliding adjustment track. (This seemed to help some, although the alternator is still a bit stiff to adjust at the higher positions). Re-installed fan belt.

Swapped out old starter battery for a new Interstate battery (cranks nice and fits the space better where we should be able to install the battery hold down clamp).

Tested the engine briefly — looks like it may be “running true” with no fan wobble! Hallelujah!

Noted some unusual erosion holes in the rubber on the brand-new engine back door seal. Weird.

3/2/2018
Finished re-installation of new alternator, engine tins, fan guard, etc.
Engine runs with good balance — no fan wobble, good tension of fan belt, seems to finally have a “true center”.
Installed battery clamp and battery mat on new Interstate starter battery.
Purchased a new Interstate Deep Cycle battery for auxiliary battery.
Water tested front windshield with hose; windshield appeared water tight but noted fair amount of leakage coming through the nose around the front left side blinker light and a small amount of leakage around the right washer nozzle. Caulked around left front blinker light seal with white DAP silicone sealant. Preventatively caulked top of right blinker seal.

WHEW!

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Bleyseng
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Bleyseng » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:40 pm

Wow, what a ton of work but should be worth it for a trouble free trip!
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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Amskeptic
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:17 am

Good Lord, you have been busy. I have a vague recollection of wafting through at some instant or another.
I hope The Great Journey goes well for Marc and Eleana.
I suspect that you will have earned the red carpet entry at the Pearly Gates when you eventually decide to pay a visit.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

Jivermo
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Jivermo » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:32 am

I prefer to wait on the Red Carpet, thank you. When I get to the Pearly Gates, I shall hand Saint Peter my 13mm wrench, and he shall let me pass. Marc and Eliana are commencing their journey as we speak. Man, I feel as though I just graduated from the Kollege of Westfalia Knowledge.

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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:08 pm

Jivermo wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:32 am
Man, I feel as though I just graduated from the Kollege of Westfalia Knowledge.
... and I reckon that you feel some of the weight I feel for every Volkswagen I have worked on as I watch them drive off to their next adventure.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

Jivermo
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Jivermo » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:30 am

Marc and Eliana have made 500 miles since their Miami departure, and are in St. Marks, Florida now. I believe that they may stop for a confab with Colin in Pensacola on Wednesday. No real issues, so far.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ws0r3anp2NLkeIjx2

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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:30 am

Jivermo wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:30 am
Marc and Eliana have made 500 miles since their Miami departure, and are in St. Marks, Florida now. I believe that they may stop for a confab with Colin in Pensacola on Wednesday. No real issues, so far.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ws0r3anp2NLkeIjx2
Oh they did too. And they were still gushing at how helpful you were.

viewtopic.php?f=77&t=13575#p228606
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Bleyseng
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Bleyseng » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:49 pm

Well, they are here in Seattle doing exhaust leak repairs with the parts they found in Kelso, Wa.
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Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by 71whitewesty » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:38 am

Cool! They sure blew through Oregon fast. So nice they can get help or places to work on their way. I’ve been enjoying their bus/ birding posts. Sure looks like fun.

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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Jivermo » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:02 pm

It’s great of you to host and help them, Geoff! I hope you can figure out the heater. We had it blowing hot and hard here in Miami, not that it’s ever needed here. Good luck.

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Bleyseng
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Bleyseng » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:32 pm

Fixed the:
Exhaust leaks at the muffler, 180 J tube to heat exchanger
Heat air control flaps as one was missing, the other stuck closed. New flap and installed proper pins, made RTV gaskets adjusted the center heat control cable and amazing heat flows out of all ducts.
Grease front suspension
rotated tires,
Oil and filter change to Driven 10/30wt high zinc oil
All this only took two days to complete as every task was a challenge!
Onto Alaska!
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

Jivermo
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Jivermo » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:14 pm

Far out!

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Bleyseng
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Bleyseng » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:43 pm

Time to wash up Valentina to go to Canada
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Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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Bleyseng
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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by Bleyseng » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:43 am

This is what I spent a day doing.........
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Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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Re: 10 Weeks Prep, for Miami to Alaska Journey.

Post by SlowLane » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:35 pm

Hope they take the time to check out the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary once they get across the border. It was a special place for my wife and stepdaughter when they lived in Ladner, BC.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom."
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