Originally Posted by El Guero
I have had dreams about going on goofy adventures in a Westy and you may have figured out how to remove the major bummer of such an undertaking
Is the VW to Subi conversion common or straightforward at all?
The biggest aim of the project is to have a functional camper/daily driver type bus. Even if i had a completely functional in every way brand new stock motor in there, it still wouldnt be functional. God bless the guys that can deal with 60hp in a 3600 pound truck but for the terrain around here that's just begging to be rear ended.
Its hard to tell some times if its straight forward, i think it's pretty straight forward and actually not that hard at all in a carving-an-elephant sort of way. Theres nothing really tricky about it that i can tell. For example: There is no cooling system, so you have to build one. But a cooling system is just a series of tubes and a radiator, with a fan coming on when it needs to.
The sub thing transformed my beetle from a godawful slow dont-take-it-on-the-interstate and maybe-it'll-start-today sort of vehicle to a 7% grade at 70mph, starts-when-it's-4* out sort of vehicle. I've put 15k miles on the beetle so far and have only had obvious problems (radiator mount wasnt good enough, rubbed a hole in the radiator, old crappy rad hoses developed leaks, things like that).
It's pretty common elsewhere (aus, uk, etc) and more so with watercooled vanagons (i like the bread loaf shape myself). The good thing is theres /lots/ of space to work with with a bus, i can tuck the rad lines up under the floor, computers have spaces to live in and so forth.
Originally Posted by Nailhead
Please don't take this wrong, but isn't that a lot of trouble to go to for a vehicle that seems to have rather bad case of Tinworm? I mean, I could see it if you were working with a rust-free barn or garage find, but it seems to me you could just as easily have named him Rusty.
Meh, it is what it is i suppose. It's kinda hard to find any rust free buses, especially in my price range. If its rust free its restored, and if its restored i couldnt afford it. Rust is something i can fix along the way if i want. The rest of it is in pretty good shape (does need new seats, brake work) so I think it's worth it :)
As far as the extent of rust is concerned its not too bad actually. Both front dog legs (the little joggy thing under the front doors) need to be replaced (one is bent actually), part of the body rail under the not-sliding door side needs to be replaced, part of the lower B pillar, and i think a little section under the front apron. Theres nothing structural at all, and the vast majority of the flat panels are rust free, i think theres one blistery spot. When i got it, i made absolutely sure the frame and pan were rust free, they are. Body panels are easy to replace, frame pieces not so much (at least safely). It does need paint though, obviously! I'm thinking desert tan (flat) or something along those lines.