Meet "The Green Bus" (Update - 3/31)

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Adventurewagen
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Meet "The Green Bus" (Update - 3/31)

Post by Adventurewagen » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:54 am

For lack of a better name I'll call it "The Green Bus" for now.

It's Story: I found it off an ad on Craigslist placed Monday March 19th 2007 and bought it for $350.00 the same day. It was owned by a some young guy who attended Green River community College who moved to Gig Harbor, Washington where it was later parked under some big fir trees since maybe 2002 and left sitting with the drivers side window rolled down. :pale: The guy I bought it from saved it about a year ago when he bought it off the guy who had apparently turned to drugs. It was missing it's keys but still ran well enough to drive it home about 5 miles to his house. At some point the new owners buddy backed into in damaging the front, which sucks but I'll fix that. It's been parked under cover but has had the sliding door off for the last year as well.

Here are a few Hi Rez pictures followed by smaller ones for an easier read:
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It still has the original L63H and L90D paint which is in great condition under all the oxidation. I'd say minus just a couple damage spots the bus is perfectly straight and in amazing shape albeit dirty as hell. The chrome hubcaps, the mirrors and the trim rings on the headlights are all perfect which is another clue into the great shape of the bus.
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The engine turns and looks to be complete with 2.0L FI. The odometer reads just over 60k and maybe after a bit more cleaning and research I'll be able to determine if its on its first go around, which I think it might be! It had stickers growing up into the engine and looks like it has it's own ecosystem growing in and on the bus but one look at the bus and you realize its in amazing shape.

Here is the engine: Gonna require quite a bit of work, research, cleaning and more work to get it going again. I think it will be worth it for sure.
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The rear is missing the bumper for some reason, but there is absolutely no damage to any of the connection points on the body. The rear of the bus, the hatch, the engine lid are all in perfect condition so I'm not sure why it's missing the bumper? The last registration sticker was 2002, which was half peeled of and the registration from Campus was last valid in 97. So I've got a mystery bus and engine on my hands. The worst part about the bus is the amount of filth everywhere. Having sat so many years out under a couple huge fir trees with the inside open (drivers window was left open) it hasn't been kind to it. There are areas of rust but luckily most everything is minimal surface rust only in locations where the water could basically sit. I think before it sat it was in near mint condition. Most of the worst rust is in the two front steps when you get in the bus.

The sliding door has since locked up and all the rollers seized. So it was taken off since it wouldn't stay on and is currently sitting in the bus.
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You can see the interior panels are shot but amazingly the headliner is perfect without a tear. It is in the worst moldy condition I have ever seen though. Once I saw it I figured I'd need to replace it, but last night I sprayed a little cleaner on a patch and everything magically wiped right off leaving behind a beautiful white headliner. Here is the moldy forest infested headliner. It's definately got a realistic "pine" smell to it :drunken:
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If that isn't explicit enough for you check out the sun visors!!!
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Now one of the cool things in the bus is the stereo and speakers. It's got a cool Sparkomatic tape deck and these really funky speakers attached to the headliner up by your head. I've never seen such a thing but in a way it's kinda cool. For now I'll leave it and probably just see if it works. The coolest part was when I got home I noticed a tape was still in the deck. And about as stereotypical as you could get with an old "hippy" bus as my friends tease me, the tape was Bob Marley! Maybe I should name the bus "Marley", that seems like a good name.
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Here is another "glamour" shot before I show off the booboo's. I'm guessing the windshield was replaced sometime midway into it's life. The seal is still supple and I think that might have saved it from getting any rust under it. I just can't believe the shape of some of the bus. Truly a barn find in my book.
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Now for some of the bad, ugly and MIA. Ironically the bus made it 27 years without much of a dent to its nose. In the one year the PO had it, his buddy backed into it with his Pinzaur and smushed the front in. Luckily it was hit high and no damage was done to the bumper or the lower frame part of the body or the interior, but the wind screen got it a little. The only thing I know is that when I fix this I'll wait to get it done professionally or spend the time to do it right myself which will mean little to no filler.
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Here is some of the ugly. Rust... :pukeleft: It will take a deep cleaning but I've identified some rust. Interesting thing is it's not anything like the rust on my 71. I'll give the the rust on this bus the term "organic" based on it's own condition. Generally you see rust where it's worn down and been used, but all the bad stuff on this is from where water collecting as the bus sat. So you've got 100% pristine areas next to rust bubbles with the paint still sitting on top of it. So nobody has really touched the bus since it started to rust. My goal is to keep the bus stock and as original as possible. So for now it will NOT see a new paint job. I will spot fix and tread the rust, weld in new metal in the couple of bad areas and then spot paint those. I figure I can always repaint it down the road, but it's only original once. Here is the worst of the rust, notice the potato bugs. I pulled up the rubber pad and wiped off nettles, dirt and potato bugs.
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Here is the MIA. The engine seal. I can say that I'm pretty sure it wasn't run much if at all without a seal as I can find pieces of it disintegrating all the way around the engine. The compartment has minor dirt/grease on it from use but is horribly dirty from it sitting. The battery was removed and the tray is still completely in tact although it has surface rust. I think I might have to break down and just pull the engine to give it the cleaning it deserves. I really want to get it running though so I think I'll pull it but just clean it and replace anything I need to without getting to crazy and doing one of the engine/tranny refreshes like others have done. I'll save that for next time around.
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Another MIA, the ignition switch. Apparently the PPO (Previous Previous Owner) lost the keys. So the PO ordered a new switch and started to remove the original. He was a great guy and gave me the brand new switch along with a brand new passenger mirror which was also missing. You can see the dash is also in great shape. No cracks, just a lot of fade and dirt. The wiring underneath looks to be completely untouched which is also nice. I haven't gotten to the M-Code plate which is next on my list. I was outside till 12:30am with my light and a warm jacket messing with stuff, but today I'll inventory a bit more of the bus and continue to add to this thread.
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And here is the final picture. I rented a uHaul tow dolly for 52 bucks plus insurance and tax. Only problem was it doesn't tip low so you have to pull the bus up onto the trailer. Luckily the PO had a come-along with a built in wire winch! That saved our ass and is definately on my list to purchase. Getting it off the trailer was an adventure as well. I live in Seattle and my alley is on a hill with my driveway 90* to the alley. I eventually had to abort backing the bus in and drove down the alley stopping short of my driveway. We then blocked the rear wheels, unhooked the front, put it in reverse and I sat in the bus ready to crash it into blocks setup in my driveway if all else failed. My buddy then drove my car forward allowing the trailer to roll out from under it. Luckily the very marginal breaks worked just enough to get it into the spot where it now sits. Here is the setup with my "other" car. Don't hate be because of my SUV though :pale: I usually drive the notch or the bus to work and leave this for snow days, ski days and bus rescue days.
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My goal outside of fixing the bus is to continue a sort of blog with this thread and keep track of every part, part number and cost associated with the bus to get it from barn find to a smooth running daily driver. I figure it might even help somebody to see what it takes to get something like this running again and it should be fun to look back on in the end.

So far the tally is:
-$350.00 for the bus (March 19th 2007)
-$52 for the tow dolly
-169 miles round trip to pick it up (~$32 in gas) (March 21st 2007)
__________________________________________

Total Cost = $434.00
63 Gulf Blue Notch
71 Sierra Yellow Adventurewagen
DjEep wrote:Velo? Are you being "over-run"? Do you need to swim through a sea of Mexican anchor-babies to get to your bus in the morning?
:wav:

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Birdibus
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Post by Birdibus » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:07 am

Looks like a nice find. Have fun!
71 bus, 74 westy

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zblair
The Zster
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Post by zblair » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:19 am

I will have to see the photos at home (that is blocked here dammit!), but I wanted to tell you before I read your bit about Marley, I was thinking Alf, short for Alfalfa - purely because it's green! Marley's cool though!

Sounds like an adventure on it's way brother! :cheers:
1971 T2 "Grateful Phred"
1986 300ZX "MC-Z"
2009 Prius "Amesan"

"Love something? Serve it."
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VWBusrepairman
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Post by VWBusrepairman » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:38 am

wear a mask when you work near the molded headliner. You don't want to inhale those spores.

Looks like a good project- worth the price for the complete, unmolested engine.
1968-1979 VW bus sunroof consulting, type IV engine analysis, QA technical work

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spiffy
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Post by spiffy » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:00 pm

yeah, spores!!!!!

lick the spore, lick the spore!!


Nice job, man!
78 Riviera "Spiffy"
67 Riviera "Bill"

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Adventurewagen
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Post by Adventurewagen » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:18 pm

spiffy wrote:yeah, spores!!!!!

lick the spore, lick the spore!!
You mean like this? :la:
However, that may later be accompanied by :colors: and some :bounce: leading into a bit of uncontrollable :shaking2: most likely finishing with :puke:.

Anytime you wanna come over and check it out let me know, I'll save a few patches of the spores just for you! I've got free beer and can talk bus for hours!
63 Gulf Blue Notch
71 Sierra Yellow Adventurewagen
DjEep wrote:Velo? Are you being "over-run"? Do you need to swim through a sea of Mexican anchor-babies to get to your bus in the morning?
:wav:

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Gypsie
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Post by Gypsie » Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:18 pm

Adventurewagen wrote: You mean like this? :la:
However, that may later be accompanied by :colors: and some :bounce: leading into a bit of uncontrollable :shaking2: most likely finishing with :puke:.
Gosh I miss those college parties.
So it all started when I wanted to get better gas mileage....

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Sylvester
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Post by Sylvester » Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:35 pm

Nice score, and BTW I did vote for that one. Find anything else interesting in the Bus other than the tape?
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue, I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace. Where never lark, or even eagle flew. And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod, The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

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Hippie
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Post by Hippie » Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:51 pm

That's a deal for what you paid. Looks like you have a solid bus for a project.

Rob
Image

VWGirl
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Post by VWGirl » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:05 pm

looks pretty solid... i always liked that color combo too!

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Adventurewagen
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Post by Adventurewagen » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:34 am

So after a lot of :la:'ing the headliner it's starting to look better.

I strapped on my gas mask (literally), changed into disposable clothing and started with a bucket of hot water, antibacterial soap, a sponge and started scrubbing the headliner. Here is what I've got so far:

Before and After:
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Here is another one of the middle of the headliner. By now I've done about 3/4 of the entire headliner and have gone through 3 buckets of water and soap changes. This, however, is only the first time through. I figure once I get the actual grime off EVERYTHING I'll have to go back through with more clean water and a bleach solution so I actually kill all living things within the bus. The

Image Image

I've realized now that the entire inside of the bus is crawling with living things and I think this mold might tie for the single largest living organism in the world right now. The seats were also covered in a grime and seemed to pick up even more dirt because of the angle of the seats or maybe because of the different material.

Image Image

Now that I've cleaned the seats I can see they are in pretty good shape. Most of the beading around the edges is missing or has been pulled off and the brown color has ground in dirt from all the years of use. Does anyone know of a magical cleaner for the vinyl seats that will strip off all the years of built up grime?
Sylvester wrote:Nice score, and BTW I did vote for that one. Find anything else interesting in the Bus other than the tape?
Ask and ye shall receive! I made it to the front of the bus and started cleaning the passenger seat and door. I also got into the glove box which was grotesque to say the least. It had a hornets nest in it about the size of a baseball and a pile of papers. I also found the bolts for the rear bumper which is missing. Maybe they damaged the bumper, removed it for repair and just never got around to putting it back on.

Anyway as for interesting finds, I think I hit the mother load yesterday. After cleaning myself off I went inside to go through the pile of papers I found in the glove box. Here is what I found...

The original 1979 Owners Manual which is surprisingly great shape. I've now read through about half of the manual since I've never actually seen one before. It's pretty funny how VW wrote up some of their articles. They were truly proud of the workmanship that went into the vehicle. It really differs from what you read in new car manuals.
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I also found the Warranty and Maintenance manual which listed the original owner, the salesman and the date and location of purchase. It was bought by a Mr. Denny Champion in Portland, Oregon on April 9th 1979. I even have a few pictures of scheduled maintenance visits for at least the first couple of years.
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The owners manual had a cool color ad in it, here is a shot of that. Eventually I should try to scan in the images so they look better, but these work for now.
Image Image

And last but not least I found a pamphlet listing all the dealers and distributors in North and Central America. If ever you find yourself driving through Panama and need to find a dealer give me a ring and I'll look that up for you :king:
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So thats the progress I've made for today. In the rest of the paperwork included a number of Les Schwaab purchases of tires, batteries, chains, steering alignment and I've got a failed emissions test from 94. I still need to sit down and list out all the dates and mileages for the bus but so far I'm sure the odometer has spun at least once. Current mileage is just over 60k but I can follow mileage right now starting in 94 through about 97 starting at 49k going to 69k which passes up the current reading. So my guess is now 160k mileage with a chance of it being 260.

I've got more pictures of the interior cleaning but I think I've hit my quota for this report. It's going to take me a few more days of cutting through the grime before it's really even safe to sit and work on the bus without my respirator, but maybe by next week I'll start getting to the engine.
63 Gulf Blue Notch
71 Sierra Yellow Adventurewagen
DjEep wrote:Velo? Are you being "over-run"? Do you need to swim through a sea of Mexican anchor-babies to get to your bus in the morning?
:wav:

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solexes@hotmail.com
Getting Hooked!
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Post by solexes@hotmail.com » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:12 am

WOW --- that HEADLINER is PRISTINE!!! =D>

Keep all that docuementation - on my 78 the PO kept EVERY reciept - its a HUGE stack - but I was able to figure out the bus has over 417K miles.

VERY jealous - all that for 350....MAN what a DEAL.

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poptop tom
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Post by poptop tom » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:13 am

Wow! Great work on that headliner!
The pics look phenomenal! =D>
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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Mr Blotto
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Post by Mr Blotto » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:08 pm

Want to come over and do my bathroom???

Great work!!!
1978 Sage Green Westy - 2.0 FI - SOLD WITH 109887 miles :-(

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spiffy
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Post by spiffy » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:23 pm

Wow!!! She cleaned up nice!

You must be higher then all get out from those spores...lick the spore, lick the spore!!!

(We are probably going to buy this one tomorrow, if all goes well.....)
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/ ... ?id=432116

(keeping my fingers crossed)

Maybe we can have a 'saved bus' engine rehaul party????
78 Riviera "Spiffy"
67 Riviera "Bill"

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