Friday, August 29, 2008

Adrian's Bus - Intro and Post #1

I've recently started taking on outside VW work in my spare time, while I'm between my own projects. I've worked on a few peoples bugs recently but have also met a gentleman named Adrian through the BugPack group. Adrian has a '72 Bus that's been sitting for some time. He needs me to get it running and safe for a cross-country trip... Since he is currently cross-country in BC, I will be posting here as often as possible so he can follow the progress.

So far the experience hasn't been good for Adrian. I found a tow company that gave us a great rate on towing the bus from Brantford here to Oshawa. Unfortunately the word came back that a tire caught fire on the way here, and the whole delivery was delayed by a week. It's a fishy story, since tires don't typically catch on fire. So, it waited in Brantford to be flat-bedded to my home.

It just showed up at 10pm, 1 hour ago. It's dark and raining, so I haven't done a full inspection, that will follow. For now it's clear the driver's front tire is flat and the tire is totally mangled. In order to move it in my driveway I pumped up the spare and installed it. As I was doing so it appears I came across the cause of the fire and tire damage...

The outer part of the rotor is fused right into the caliper.. What's more remarkable is the inner part has broken free from the outer - see the clear line half way along the surface of the rotor? This allows the wheel to spin somewhat freely now. It's not clear whether it was like this ahead of time or it was slightly jammed. The friction would have turned it red hot for it to break like that - enough for the grease in the hub to catch fire. The tow driver actually confirmed it appeared to be coming from the hub, not the tire.

I feel the tow driver has no fault in this. There was no way for him to know this was going to happen.

So one thing's for sure.. This bus will need a new tire, new rotors and pads, and most likely brake calipers. I will need to do a full inspection on the brake system to come up with a list.

I stayed home tonight to receive the bus. Tomorrow is a VW camping event. I should get a chance to look into this further on Monday so we can get the parts on order.