Friday, April 15th, 2011
Haven’t posted anything on the blog for ages. Been busy with other projects and life in general to be honest. If there are any regulars out there, I did in fact manage to buy a Bus a couple of years ago - a 71 Westfalia. It needed some initial work to make it safe (new master cylinder, ball joints, wheel cylinders, brake shoes etc.), but has since sat in the garage gathering dust.
The main reason I haven’t driven it is a leaky poptop. I had a huge problem with water leakage when she was in the shop for repairs. The front elevating piece of the roof and rear luggage rack just wouldn’t line up, and despite numerous attempts to overhaul the hinges, realign the luggage rack and adjust the front brackets, I couldn’t solve the problem. It appears that the previous owner hacked a couple of inches off the large roof piece, and in combination with a badly replaced wooden bow that is supposed to match the contour of the roof, I decided to search for a total replacement from a local donor vehicle.
Months went by and still no luck finding a replacement. Slowly but surely I became despondent and as winter kicked in, I kind of gave up even wanting to drive the Bus. Fast forward to the Spring and I’m keen to get things rolling again. I did manage to repaint the cargo floor over the winter and have purchased some cool 9″ vinyl tiles from Madmatz who are based in the UK. I’ve also made a decision to remove the laminate from the original Westy cabinets and stain/seal the resulting plywood. As for the roof, I’m going to go against all the purists advice and replace the poptop once and for all. I have a scheme in my mind to cover the opening with a shaped sheet of bronze plexiglass. It sounds a bit crude, but I have high hopes that it will do the job. Watch this space for more details as I get into the project.
Another urgent task is to replace the who-knows-how-old tires. I’ve ordered 5 of the top rated Hankook 185R14 tires from a local shop, who are willing to fit them without me having to drive the Bus to their location. One less thing to worry about anyway.
I hope to post more in the coming months as I push forward in the quest to get my Westy back on the road…