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Jul 17 2016

Westfalia Restoration – reassembly part 2

The reassembly started earlier in the week and it looks like it will take about a week and a half to complete. Considering how much there is to do that’s an amazingly short time.

Yesterday’s post covered the first few days of getting the wiring, lights, dash, & Westy top back on (with the out-of-sequence pop top being put back on which happened Friday). I skipped a few steps and there has been more progress since Friday as well so let me bring the restoration closer to being up to date.

Foot Well

Two of the last pieces to get installed into the cockpit were the rubber step pads in the foot wells. Volker has a technique he uses that purists probably won’t approve of but I certainly do. And the purists may already have noticed the first step toward this in earlier pictures. The original design has a seam through the middle of the foot well and the rubber pads are held in place with rubber knobs that are pressed through holes in the body. This first photo shows the top & underside of the pad.

pads

Foot well rubber pads

Volker’s technique seals up those holes so no moisture get in from underneath. He also closes up the seam so there’s no recess for grit or water to collect in. You might have noticed that in earlier photos that showed this area as it was being worked on. Here’s what it looks like before the pads got reinstalled.

Foot well

Prepared foot well

So off with the knobs and in with some robust glue.

Rear

Another of Volker’s techniques is to work his way around the vehicle restoration in a regular pattern so the little details don’t get overlooked or forgotten. It’s oh so easy to jump around from one area to another when there are oh so many things that need doing. Once the cockpit was ready the rear end got attended to.

There was wiring in place for a trailer. An old style and at some point it had fallen down and been worn by a belt or pulley. That got replaced with a current version, nicely tucked in behind the license plate.

Then the license plate wiring got repaired and the lights got replaced. The lights came as a gift from Stuart in Ottawa. He had some NOS Hella lights which he had these because he’s also into restoration – his project is a Bombardier Iltis which was made from mostly VW parts.

Then on to tail lights with a check on the wiring and cleaning up the lenses. Once those were in place and working a new seal for the back hatch was installed. The last parts to get installed in this step was the bumper. This involved drilling holes into the newly repaired corners. This was done as carefully as all the rest of his work of course.

Since it was bumper time Volker also did the front. The front used to be chrome but very pitted and rusty. I had looked at getting a heavy-duty GoWesty front to match the rear but the style had changed so I would have had to replace both. Volker offered to swap in a solid one from a Doka and we agreed it would look good. I mentioned that I’d miss the look of the rubber bumpers and he told me it would be no problem to add them. Looks good to me!

Slider and floor

Another new seal went into the opening for the slider and some of the hardware for it also got installed in preparation for putting the slider back on. The seal is held in place with a weatherstrip adhesive unlike some of the others that are just a press fit.

The previous owner had replaced the carpeted floor with a smooth vinyl wood-look floor and while it held up well for 15 or so years it was due to be replaced. I found the same product at Home Depot but opted for a slightly different colour for the wood look. It’s easy to work with as it has adhesive overlapping panels and is easy to cut. The original sub floor provides cushioning and sound deadening. Once the floor was in place the little propane Sunlite catalytic heater got put back into place.

Insulation

Did I mention Volker’s been working long hours to get Babe back on the road in time for my trip to Quebec? Remember she only got painted last weekend, everything in this and the previous blog entry have happened in the week since. You can bet the days were long. And with the exception of the work John and I did on Friday to help all of this has been just him. This man is due for a holiday!

In preparation for putting the interior panels back on, including on the hatch and slider, he got some new insulation to replace the old stuff that was there. This will provide additional sound deadening to the already installed Lizard Skin as well as temperature control for those cool nights. As you can see from the photos the new Roxul is considerable thicker than the old.

Before installing any of the sections every accessible cavity got treated with Krown rust protection. That should help avoid a repeat of the rust problems that prompted this project in the first place. And after the insulation was in the panels got put back. Definitely getting there!

More To Come

So all of this still doesn’t get to Friday when John and I were there to lend a hand. I’ll save that for the next post which will including installing the slider & hatch plus all of the windows. That was quite a day. And more happened yesterday too! I heard Volker took a much-deserved day off today and went to the beach with his wife so perhaps I can get caught up with blogging before he does any more work!

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