Westfalia Restoration – reassembly part 3


I’ve gotten the reassembly effort up to this past Friday, now let me get it up to today.

Volker had given me the heads up that there were a number of things he needed extra hands for and one in particular that needed at least two extra people. So I reached out to my VW buddy John to see if he was available. At first I had thought it would be next weekend and John wasn’t available but before I could even ask around to find someone else Volker let me know it would be Friday the 15th. I guess John was just meant to be Babe’s pop-top guy because he was available and so we made plans to meet there. I had a few parts to bring along like the glove box and the water tank that I’d been either storing or cleaning. I also intended to clean the flocking on the inside of the pop-top and hoped to get there early enough to have it done before John arrived. He also had to leave around lunch time to get back to Toronto before one so I didn’t want to be the cause of any delay.

That didn’t quite work out as planned but we did get the top up and John left about on schedule.Those photos you’ve already seen. I’ll add this pair of pics that Volker took the two times John came to help though.

Installing the Slider and Hatch

After we got the top on Volker went about preparing a few other things and I set about cleaning cabinets. When he was ready we set about carefully reattaching these two big doors. First up was the slider.

As seen in the earlier post the door had been reassembled.The hardware had also been prepared and the channels greased.  There aren’t pictures of it being back in place because our hands were full. Here’s what I do have though.

Then came the back hatch. While the door could rest on a support the hatch had to be held up so the top hinges could be reattached. My neck was less than thrilled with the job but it all worked out well. Again there was a little fiddling to get the adjustment and position right for it. All of a sudden she was looking a lot better though.

slide in place
Back hatch and slider back in place

The Magic of Windows

Then it was time to put all of the glass back in. I’ve never done this. Haven’t even seen it done.I had bought a complete set of new seals and all of them were ready to be used.

Volker warned me that it’s hard to do and very important to do it right so we’d take the time to make sure they were all done correctly. In total there were 6 windows to put in place and we started with the front. Seems I have a magic touch…

In between set and go there was a lot of finesse provided by Volker and a little muscle provided by me. It went it easier than expected though. From there we went on to the back hatch, then the two rear side windows and finally the middle windows with the aluminum frames. They were definitely the hardest to get in as they are a tight fit but they all went in on the first try. If I thought putting the slider and hatch on made a big difference, having all of the windows back in is huge! Oh… and some very special stickers are still in place so she has kept part of her old character. The big rear window sticker from the 2010 MTB World Championships in particular. but also a number of others. Here’s a gallery of windows.

I worked to get the windows clean after that while Volker went on to the next assembly steps. We both called it a day around 6pm. Volker got up Saturday to do some work on her though…

Curtains and Cabinets

From the outside Babe is getting close to done. Still a few things like fuel filler, mud flaps and the like but not much more. Most of the rest of the work in inside. Putting all those wonderful Westfalia parts back in and turning her into a camper. Volker started by putting in the curtain tracks. Before I left I took two of the straps which had broken snaps that I will repair tonight.

Then he moved on to the cabinets. They all had to come out is a certain sequence and they also had to get put back in the same reversed order. One part of the cabinets will be empty for a day extra though. The old Dometic fridge is being replaced by a Truck Fridge. I’m told I’ll love it and I’m confident I will. It’s one of the reasons for the house battery & solar power upgrade. While the old Dometic could be run on propane, 12V & 120V the truck fridge is only 12V.

So… this finally gets me caught up with Volker! Until tomorrow when the rest of the cabinets go in followed by the fridge.Then there are doors to put back together and attach plus putting her new shoes on. Not much more to go.

It won’t be long before she’s ready for a test drive.

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