Dirt, rust, compressed air, 2 x 4s, and a pot of coffee

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Hippie
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Dirt, rust, compressed air, 2 x 4s, and a pot of coffee

Post by Hippie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:54 pm

Well thank God the weather cooperated with a freakishly rare weather phenomenon known, I believe, as a "sunny day." For those of us in the Midwest, This is where the water stops falling from the sky and it gets really bright and blue--like in the pictures. Of course, not to panic, it is back to normal again today.

The main thrust of Colin's visit was, as planned, to really, really, attack any little rust spots or areas prone to rust. Our Bus is a So Cal Bus until '97 or so and is pretty solid--but since it turned 41 years on the road as of last December--there are some hidden (and not so hidden) issues starting to creep up.

I'm super glad Colin was here for this. His detailed knowledge of Bus construction and insight as to where they start rusting is pretty amazing.
Once the Bus was up on jack stands with all four wheels off, there was a lot of sleuthing and digging for loose caulk and brown flakes hiding in corners under caulk and undercoating. From there we used the sharp end of a metal shrinking body hammer to dig away the bad stuff until we got to good metal. All spots were treated with rust catalyzing primer and patched with RTV...larger ones patched with sheet metal.
Dang! Dang! Dang! I forgot to get a picture of Colin welding in sheet metal patches! He looked cool in my flame decorated welding mask! :pirate:

We also used compressed air to blow, in my estimation, 7.34 thousand metric tons of dirt and old rust flakes out of places I didn't know existed...Chased this with rust killer/primer.

Dirt traps! Hidden dirt traps. They hold moisture against the metal in the most insidious places and plug up drain holes (most of which I didn't know were there). I recommend this service. I can prolly hold my own for an amateur on most cars and trucks when it comes to rust abatement--but there is SO MUCH hidden-double-metal-sandwich-strange-German-engineered-drain-hole-pocket-hollow-support stuff I didn't find by myself.

Of course it's not done...not in one day...but I know what to do and where to look. I hope to have this old thing pretty much clad against the tinworm by fall.

When I thought we were done for the day, he suggested we work on the doors a little. My Bus has been hit at some time and the doors are a bit hard to close. That's where the 2 X 4 frame shop came in. It took some doing but there is a huge improvement in the door workings now. Mostly, latches needed adjusted, but the passender side front door took some really thoughful bending with the lumber. And and a couple not so thoughtful bonzai-with-the-baby-sledge-into-the-lumber swings on my part. I did chip a chunk of old paint/Bondo...but no biggie.
My bad.

He also adjusted brakes, and fuel mixture just right, and we went for a double-clutching refresher test drive.

Look at cool computer program.

Eat hamburgers.

Visit a bit.

Then he rolled off to Montana.

It was a great day!


Rob

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zblair
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Post by zblair » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:19 pm

:cheers:

So glad you and your bus are happier, Rob :flower:
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Hippie
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Post by Hippie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:54 pm

zblair wrote::cheers:

So glad you and your bus are happier, Rob :flower:
Oh yeah--always--If I ever win the lotto, I'm gonna hire him for a month!

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spiffy
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Post by spiffy » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:40 pm

This is further tickling my guilt about my neglect. Must...get....to the...body work. That, or re adjust my work ethic.
78 Riviera "Spiffy"
67 Riviera "Bill"

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Hippie
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Post by Hippie » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:17 am

spiffy wrote:That, or re adjust my work ethic.
Let's go with this one. More Bus work, less work at work. :blackeye:
Even if you just blow the hidden dirt out--that's gonna be a huge preservation, me thinks.

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locoqueso
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Post by locoqueso » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:42 am

Great story Rob. Colin made mention of the dirt under my bus when he was here. The next day I started pulling dirt off with my hands and I ended up with this pile in the garage...

Image

Most of it is from the muddy camping trip to Gelena last year. It's amazing how much can be hidden under there. I was wondering where that extra set of keys went.
1978 VW Campmobile (P-21) Westfalia - T2 2.0L F.I.- 151,000m
1982 Mercedes-Benz Estate Wagon (300TD-T) - S123 3.0L T.D. - 142,000m
1993 Dodge Maxi Van (190 SLF) InterVec Falcon - B350 Magnum 5.9L F.I. - 70,000m

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:56 am

It was indeed a rare moment of sunshine. I am 500 miles west and the rain has been relentless and the high yesterday was 52* outside of Soux Falls. Thankfully, my now-non-homicidal heater was functioning well.
Arty shot of Hippie Bus:
Image

Here is the typical rust out at the front wheel well. We peeled and cut away rusty metal, then sprayed with rust-catalyzing primer:
Image

Hippie was generous in his patience with my first welding job:
Image


Not photographed as a discrete step, was the bead of Permatex Ultrablack that surrounded the weld "seam" before it was painted with black Duplicolor Engine paint and coated with rubberized undercoat:
Image

What he was mentioning about the construction of these cars is illustrated here. Here is the other typical rust-out at the rear wheel well-to-battery tray joint. Sure you can fix this and paint it and undercoat it . . . :
Image

............ . . . but if you want to ERADICATE the rust, you have to go in the perfectly nice looking engine compartment in this example, and peel back the painted caulking along the seam, and find the breach that was allowing the water that comes in from the scoop to the battery tray to seep down that spot welded area:
Image

Hippie also supplied me with Redline Synthetic transmission oil, which I changed in the midst of the rust eradication. Results? Shifting feels exactly the same, rear axle noise is slightly diminished.

Enjoyed our day, and what a collection of models, the VWs brought a tear to my eye. If all real VWs poof! disappear off the face of the Earth, Rob will have the definitive reperesentations in 1/24 scale.

Back to my rainy hurried trek to Missoula. It is touch and go, and it looks like another 3 AM arrival AND IT BETTER NOT BE SNOWING.
Colin :cyclopsani:

(the Hippie Bus ran well after we remembered to put the wheels back on)
Image
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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spiffy
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Post by spiffy » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:43 am

Hey Colin, the weather gets better (80* to 85* and sunny) towards the palouse. Has been a low churning over N. Cal and Oregon that drove us a little nuts on our trip...as soon as we hit the Columbia river the sun was out.
78 Riviera "Spiffy"
67 Riviera "Bill"

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whc03grady
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Post by whc03grady » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:26 am

Amskeptic wrote:Back to my rainy hurried trek to Missoula. It is touch and go, and it looks like another 3 AM arrival AND IT BETTER NOT BE SNOWING.
Colin :cyclopsani:
Image

Okay okay okay: no snow, I promise.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

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chitwnvw
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Post by chitwnvw » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:48 am

Warm and rainy in Missoula. Can't wait to read the write up.

Hippie that's a cool and smart way to spend your time with Colin. I take my buses to the local do it yourself auto washes and spray high pressure water through all the drain holes, it's amazing what comes out. Then there is all that lattice work underneath that just loves to hold dirt. Who hooo.

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hambone
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Post by hambone » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:46 am

I did that very battery tray repair last winter. And had to peel away the caulk just like you described. They sure applied it fancy, with distinct ridges, very decorative like a cake. Seemed a shame to peel it off.
After getting rid of the rust, I JB Weld-ed the seam so it will be watertight again. And applied various layers of POR15, epoxy, fiberglass, primer, paint...it WILL outlive the bus.
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Hippie
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Post by Hippie » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:52 am

chitwnvw wrote:...and spray high pressure water through all the drain holes, it's amazing what comes out.
Ain't it though? Wow.
Just got back from camping. I love our Bus.

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Hippie
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Post by Hippie » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:40 pm

locoqueso wrote:Most of it is from the muddy camping trip to Gelena last year.
Oh man. I barely got out of there a day early that time.
Amskeptic wrote:Hippie was generous in his patience with my first welding job:
Image
You picked it right up. Addicting, ain't it? :sunny:

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chitwnvw
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Post by chitwnvw » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:29 pm

Why didn't you weld, Rob?

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:40 pm

chitwnvw wrote:Why didn't you weld, Rob?
Cuz he already knew how to and I didn't. I got paid to learn.
Can ya believe it?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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