Thursday, October 23, 2008

The '78 Parts Bus

Niamh and Grant, new bus friends of ours, made a deal with me recently where I wound up with their '78 parts bus. It has a perfect BA6 gas heater that I am going to test, pull, and sell for them. today we all met for dinner after a trip to Uxbridge to pick up the bus, where I hooked it to my Pontiac. It was quite a sight - a G6 pulling a bus, with me, Jon, Grant, and Bryon all in the car... Actually there were no issues.

After a nice dinner we got it home and Jon and Brenda helped me push it into the driveway.

Not sure what my plans are for it yet.. Worst case I'll strip the engine and tranny for spares, and sort out the rest of the parts before scrapping. Another idea is to pull the parts, then convert it into a matching trailer for our bus... Mind you, other than the bottom 6 inches, the bus sure is solid and straight, so maybe a resto is called for, with a custom modern interior, like I've always wanted to do? Or a running rat-rod? Who konws!!

Oh well, there's no rush. I would like to get the heater working and pulled soon, so Niamh and Grant can get their $$$. I'd also like to get it running if at all possible so I can move it around, but we'll see...

Oval Update...

During the Adrian's Bus posts, I had another little project on my hands... As some of you know I have a '56 Oval Window Beetle in my garage, awaiting a full resto. It has its good points (few) and bad points (many). I always keep my eye open for deals, and found a '57 Oval in Cantley, QC for $1000. From the pictures I had high hopes and got my Dad to come with me (in his car) to QC to pick it up. Special thanks to Dave Whittick for the loan of his awesome trailer...

As was predictable, the car wasn't nearly as nice as I had hoped. I could tell it had a great 4-tab hood, a great W decklid, and a workable 4 finger front clip, which is really justification enough for the price. In the end I decided the shell of the car was in worse shape than the '56 I have (specifically in the rear underseat area and rear clip). I decided to take the '57 apart and keep the good parts for my '56 while selling the duplicates from my '56 and anything not needed in the '57.

I've already made my money back. The shell is gone, and I kept the doors, fenders, front clip, rear clip (it's rough, good for the "H" only), luggage area behind the gas tank, the gas tank, the hood, the decklid, and all sorts of trinkets. It even had a perfect gas heater! Oh, and the siezed engine was easily freed up and it seems very nice!

Anyway, here are pictures for posterity. The next step is to strip some of the parts and work on them, and start integrating them into my '56 which I want to work on all winter long...

Adrian's Bus - The Final Post

As seems to be my habit, the pictures dried up towards the end of this project. The weather got cold and wet here, and Adrian didn't need the bus in such a hurry, so I got a bit of a welcome break from working on it. I needed one after doing the full braking system.

Over the past week or so I got underneath again and spent some time connecting the heat risers, heat flappers, accordian tubes, etc. I wired the heat flappers open, then fabricated a metal duct from rear to front, with flexible tubing from the duct to what was left of the steel heat tube into the cab.

While underneath I noticed the shift coupler was broken and swivelling. The pictures below show the loose coupler and the finished coupler after my welding of it. This was a last minute and much needed job.

Also from underneath I cleaned up a lot of the wiring issues.

From the topside I installed the foam engine seal and straightened out the wiring in the engine compartment. I then went to work on the wiring up in the cab, which was in terrible shape. In the end I pulled the dash pod to access the wiring and found some creative work by previous owners, including a 1' long extension to all the wires connecting the ignition switch and pod. It was made poorly and was shorting out, which solved the problem of the engine not starting with the key. I then removed countless other wires (old non-working tach, numerous aftermarket lights, radio, speakers, etc., etc., etc..). I had almost everything working when I noticed some smoke from the headlight switch, which was toast. I luckily had a replacement I was able to install. When I was ready to put all the switches back in the dash, the signals no longer worked! I hadn't remembered the rain, but after pulling the fuse box and flasher I found the flasher full of water. It wasn't too far gone, though, so I was able to dry it out and salvage it the night before it was to be picked up.

In the end I did a considerable amount to this bus:

-full ignition tune-up including plugs, wires, coil, points, condenser, rotor, cap, etc.
-hookup of vacuum advance
-battery installation
-foam seal installation
-removal and installation of new heater boxes, exhaust, tailpipe, etc
-installation of heat risers, flappers, & modification and hookup of accordian tubes
-fabrication of new heat ducts & installation
-removal of unsafe gas heater
-front wheel bearings
-rotors, calipers, pads, shoes, wheel cylinder, master cylinder, soft lines, hard lines, etc
-review and repair of wiring
-mounting of new tire
-shift coupler repair
-fuel lines, filter, etc
-probably more I don't remember

Adrian and his dad picked up the bus yesterday and along with paying me gave me a great gift of high-end chocolates which I have now mostly eaten myself. Apparently they had a trouble-free drive home. Hopefully we'll see them next year with Adrian's '72 and his dad's '73.

All welded up.

All welded up.

Clamped in place.

The loose coupler.

Bye-Bye bus.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Adrian's Bus - The Brakes!

Nearly every component in the braking system was in need of replacement. After a wait for parts, everything is now replaced, including: master cylinder, steel brake lines, rubber brake lines, brake line clips, front calipers, front pads, front rotors, rear cylinders, rear shoes, etc. I was able to salvage the rear drums, parking brake cables, and hardware.

It was a messy job removing everything, but it was nice working with the new parts on re-installation. Once everything was hooked up, I used my homemade pressure bleeder to force all new brake fluid through the system.

Once that was done I (finally) put the wheels back on and took the bus for a spin up the road. So far, so good!

Next up is the heat hook-up, engine seal, and wiring, then I'm pretty much done!!