My 66 Sundial

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jayvanman
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My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

Hello there everyone I am going to introduce you to my first proper project. I found her in California when I went over to pick up my Singlecab with the 911 engine, which some of you may have seen for sale, and to chop up a couple of earlybays for parts.

It was only through knowing the people I meet on my 1st trip that I came by her. I consider myself to be lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to have come across a van with a full original camping interior. Ok granted it all needs replacing but it's all.

I did own a 59 double door which I made an interior from scratch. I took my time over it and did the best I could but I just felt like something wasn't right and I put it down to the rubber (t-bar) trim that finishes everything off, I just couldn't get it and after all my hard work it just didn't look done properly.

Not so this time.

All the original metal edging is still attached and there will be no need to measuer cut, measure cut, measure reashape etc as I'll have templates :-)

I'll put some photo's up and tell you a it about the state she was in when I found her and work so far.


SO, LADIES AND GENTLE MEN INTRODUCING........

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She's seen better days.

Before I tell you about the work so far, want to tell you about the state she was in and how I come across her.

As I mentioned I found her in California whilst going to see a friend and collect some parts, it was this friend who put me onto her. I was told that a guy had left her on his driveway for 24 years without touching her. He had died and his widow wanted it gone and a chap had picked it up and it was him that I went to see, he lived about 20 miles from my friend.

When I got there she was sitting on 2 flat tyres, a 2 seized wheels and generally looking sorry for herself, but I could see- now how do we say it - the potential in her :wink:
I didn't buy her straight away but had a think about it. At this point I would like to say that before I left England a friends father had asked me if I could find a splitty that didn't need too much welding, would be nice if it had an engine, and also a camping interior. I had flown to LA at my own expence to see a "nearly rust free, just the floor needs repalcing" and had found this monsterous piece of s**t.

BEWARE OF CHEAP DEALS FROM THE U.S. THAT SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. THEY PROBABLY ARE !

rear hing snapped
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dent ( can't see it that well in the photo, but trust me .....)
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door not aligning and not the screw for a hinge
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front damaged and full of filler, headlight missing
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bottom of door rusted through and if I remember did line up, in fact none of the doors lined up
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cut dash
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Gapping rusty hole
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another rusty hole , this time in the tailgate-with no glass
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this one I liked, the lower hinge on the rear cargo door had at some point been bent back so that the hinge part conected to the c pillar was bent back into the body, and remember folks all you need is a new floor 8O
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front door when closed
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the split pillar had quite a dent, no glass
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rusty window frame, no indicator, and a bolt for a hinge.
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The next day I called the guy and we agreed a price and I organised transport to take it back to Steve's place where I could have a go at doing something with it.
1st of all I had to get the wheels off but the brakes had siezed. Now I'm no mechainic, but Steve has only ever done VW stuff, I had to turn the wheels so I could gain access to the star wheels to loosen of the brakes.

I ended up taking the wheel off putting 2 bolts back in and gtting a massive leaver bar and hanging off it. the wheel gave a little at first but was still stuck, after while I could move it about 2 inches quite freely by hand but only 2 inches. I though this a bit odd, even more odd was the mud coming out of the holes for the other 3 bolts, I put the screwdriver in and had a fiddle, there was something in there-mud, or rather the nests of these bugs out there.

So the wheels weren't siezed after all, just the drums full of mud mud. Handy.

Fortunately for me Steve had some wheels lying around he said I could have so later in the day I could move her about. the hand brake worked but not that well.

The interior was all there, just ratted a bit. The last owner must have been a bit of a hippy as the whole thing was a bit of a 70's time capsual. Check out the tassles they're everwhere, and the cover on the RnR bed
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not sure if it's the original sterio but check out the 4or is it 8 track cassette, who remebers those-you're showing your age if you do :lol:
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roof in good condition
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spice rack full of mechanical stuff
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underside of doors aint too bad
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Full of junk, there was 3 big jigsaw puzzles and wrapping paper and all sorts of worthless stuff, but I did find a book with a log of the work that had been done from the mid 70's and also an old paper soaked in oil, but it's always fun finding an old paper with the date.
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he who sins grins
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BJ1
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by BJ1 »

Excellent find! It's great to find a van with real history and one that has been enjoyed for decades. I love the tassels and the covers and the 8 track (yes I remember them but a tad too modern for me). The old girl looks pretty solid and straight. Are you sure it was mud in the rear hubs? One of my cali vans had the rear hubs full of insect (wasps?) nests built from a sandy substance - I think they were using the rear inspection holes as an entrance. My advice is to get her up and running, clean up the interior so she's liveable, get an MoT and registered ready for next summer, and take her camping. Then sort the interior and body next winter.
1966 SO42 Westy in Velvet Green - on the road at last!
1967 Devon from Devon still in Devon
1967 Sundial from Idaho
1971 Westfalia from LA
1971 patina Delux from Montana now living in Germany
1972 Devon now owned by No 1 son!
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jayvanman
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

thanks for the input BJ1.

I have some more photo's to post and the include some more of the "cali mud beast" but I really don't think it was wasps, i'm sure Steve said it was a "worm" but I've found their nest at the top of the bulk head and under the windows etc.

I've viewed other peoples post on their vans, lee - the young guy with a split- is really interesting but has just made me realise how much work is involved. If I had the skills and the place i would find the time but sadly I'm short on all three.

i have put an ad out there for a welder needed in trade for parts in bristol and have had a responce from a guy who needs a rear 1/4 section for an early bay so hoping to trade parts for labour and some cash or more labour but he lives in St Austell and I think he has a family but there is an agreement in the making i'm sure.

More pics to follow, of the front floor esspecially for the welder so he knows what to expect, basically it's shot with holes you can stick your feet through. I have a new front floor, so with the prep done he can weld the floor in and a few other bits and we'll all be happy. Failing that I'll be buying my own welder and this is going to take some time. I hope not. I'd like to have her out and about next spring. I did get a quote on having her welded up and sprayed-to a really high standard mind- but it was way out of my league.

My ultimate plan is lowered with drop spindles and IRS. new brakes-to include discs at the front but not sure if porsche is worth the extra expense, I've got new pop out frames and seals + a set of steel wheels and will powder coat the same colour as the front and rear safari's I got from Wolfgang(STEVE) and then there's the engine and the elecs which there is a problem with at the moment but I might be able to fix that my self.

Well there's the plan now it's just putting it into reality.

And on top of everything else I'm training for the London Marathon next year and also want to do some Triathlons some more Marathon's which hopefully will include the New York Marathon next year and before 23rd May 2011 complete an Ironman, so i'm going to be busy.......
he who sins grins
Split-Lee
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by Split-Lee »

I heard my name ;)
Project looks sweet mate and why not have a go yourself, my split is the first that me and my dad have ever done, he was more into mini's when he was younger!

Good luck!

~Lee
My 1962 11 Window Splitscreen Project!!

www.thanetclassics.co.uk
Classic Car Club in Thanet, Kent.
Serving the Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs areas.
m1xmag
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by m1xmag »

Well it certainly needs some work but hey dont they all - looking forward to seeing this progress from her starting position.

Its amazing the chains that lead to vans like this turning up - a van version of 'Who Do You Think You Are' almost!

Get cracking ;)
'67 Sportsmobile
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I'm not giving up yet.....
Rod Knox
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by Rod Knox »

that's a great van you have there, same interior as mine, don't over restore it and lose all the character :wink:
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jayvanman
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

OMG

I could scream !

I have just spent the last 3 hours typing in and uploading photo's only to lean on the key board and for this pesky computer to load another page and when I went back.... it hd all gone !

sometimes don't you just hate technology

I've had enough !

If sombody can tell me how to retrieve it i'd love to know
he who sins grins
MartT
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by MartT »

Hi ... like the project :)

I can see you're trying to get the welding done with little cash outlay, but if you draw a blank on the old barter system, I can recommend Mark at Vdubresto. He is a just north of Bristol. (Rangeworthy area IIRC).
He's doing my bus at the moment ... check out the '66 RHD Split resto started at last' thread

Good luck
Martin
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jayvanman
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

thanks rod knox, thats sound advice. I think you have a very valid point .
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jayvanman
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

OK to carry on with the story.


so I got the wheels free and put some tyres and wheels on her from steve's yard and after steve had had a look at the engine and turned the crank shaft he stoped and half said half laughed something like "geez boy you've got some compression there, she may actually go, come and see me at the shop and get you the parts you need"

Later in the day I was back at the van armed with

fuel line
fuel filter
feul
6V starter
earth lead
live lead
spark plugs
leads
oil
battery
and a carb spacer as the live wire on the choke was nearly touch the alternator/generator.

Before I left for the States a friend of a friends dad had asked me to find him a split that didn't need to much in the way of welding and would be nice if it had the interior, a gear box, and an engine. Let me tell you that is a tall order most vans are stripped of the interior but he said if I could find one and get it back to the UK he had a budget for around £6K-£7K.
I had told him I had found this van and he wanted pics. but steve had dial up internet and, honestly, it would take about 8 mins to load 1 photo. after the computer crashing several times during the day I finally got to loading 5 at a time, do some work on the van, load another 5 etc. I think you'll agree she's pretty clean.

straight gutters
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little dent on the b pillar
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bit of a problem with the cab floor !
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ding in the wheel arch
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Straight front and surpizingly on rot around the front windows :)
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seals under cargo door needs replacing
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I managed to get everything done except 1 of the plugs, which I thought if I tried any harder to turn I would brake it so it stayed in there, and the starter motor. Now this thing had me stumped. For the life of me I could work out how to manage to fit it past the chasis and gear box etc. After some time trying I was considering taking out the engine, but it was all gravel and would have been a pain in the ass trying to balance an engine on a trolley jack on my own. Thankfully Steve got home shortly after and although I didn't like asking him for help, as he'd just finished work he was happy to oblige.

"can't get it in there eh, let me have a go I haven't had one beat me yet.......oh.......hmmmm..........hmmmmmm" came the mummering from under the van "ok now lets........huh......" for a moment I didn't feel so dum as if steve couldn't do it ..." ah there you go".

ok but it nearly had him.

So now with everything in place I jumped into the drivers seat put the key in the ignition and after her sitting for 24 years I turned the key and..........nothing. Not a sausage. No click nothing. but there was a little yellow light ( if I recall correctly)

OK so there was a wiring problem.

"Don't worry we'll try and bump her" and with a bit of rope she was pulled around steve's drive area. I had her in second and lifted the clutch and with a cough and a splutter and some smoke the rope came off, but it did sound like she was trying. again we tried and again cough cough cough then a splutter. She was getting somewhere so we tried again. splutter splutter splutter cough she caught coughed and then after 24 years of sitting idle she spluttered and smoked her way back to life.

I couldn't believe my luck.

She was running , but definately needs some major attention, smoking and the plug I couldn't get out wasn't probably working but she lived again.

Steve - you the man !

That's all for now, I want to post this before I lose it like I did the last time, more again soon
he who sins grins
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jayvanman
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

It's been a while so I wanted to give you an update and get you all closer to todays date and show you some more photo's.

I may have told you that during my 1st trip I had bought a bay window single cab with a 911 enigine in. she was a lot of fun to drive and a little strange, turning corners one way was really easy the other not so ? she rattled, it was a noise like the door not shut properly but over 70mph hit rattled really loud and was at a speed of a kango-DROVE ME MAD. but i just put up with it as I'd checked the door numerous times. after about a week I found out it was the drop down side catch rattling in the hole of the side.

She got me a lot of attention ;-)

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Oh by the way there is a book by Lonely Planet "make the most of your time on earth-1000 travel experiences" 1 of them is to travel the highway 1 in a convertable and there is a double page photo of the scenery, I didn't realise at the time when I took this photo but the one in the book must have been taken within 1 mile from where I took this.

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but she was a bit of a rotter
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but she was cool and i'm so glad I bought her.
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he who sins grins
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jayvanman
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

I had been driving here for maybe 2-3 weeks and the reason she was driving funny became apparent when I stopped to get directions. As I got back in I noticed that one of my front tyres seemed bald. It was, but only one side-alignment. The tyre was almost showing wire and the other side like new. The guy in the garage told me if alignment is out by 1/2 inch it's bad. my steering arm bar had been bent and my alignment was out 1 1/4 inches ! I shortly after bought my double door and drove her instead and put the singlecab into storeage.

Both vans were shipped together and collected a really nice guy by the name of DAN, if you need a vehicle moved you should use him. very reasonable and takes good care of your prized possention.

DAN CAR TRANSPORTER 07971 557 480.

During the time it took for the container to arrive I had asked a farmer/B N B if I could store my 2 vans for a few months and they were delivered by Dan together where they sat for about a year.

The single cab failed to sell at santa pod and I ended up selling her on ebay to a guy from Germany.

But back to the sundial.

At the begining of June I started work again and earning some money and decided it was about time I did something about the Sundial. I knew she had potential and I had big plans for her but I basically needed to pull my finger out.

So I started by taking out the interior.

1st the bulkhead seat and fridge.
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which is in a bit of a state
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The big panel has seen better day aswell

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And the rot has spread, being outside over the winter hasn't helped

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When I took off the big panel I found these curious things, there are several of these cocoon's on the van and it was these that had "siezed" my wheels. I'm not sure what they are but I have had a look inside and they are like a damsel fly.

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he who sins grins
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jayvanman
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

Next I had a sweep up and found all this !

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but I started to feel that I was getting somewhere

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next I had to get the overhead shelf out but when I found this screw I realised that the next job had to be the cupboard as I couldn't turn the screw driver. Funny how you can find out how things are put together by taking them apart.

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falstaff
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by falstaff »

Hi Jason,

Tassel-tastic!

Seriously, that's a great interior. I've recently got more of my 65 EZ interior together (got a fridge and water/tap unit since you came over to the Dub Shop).

My two pennorth on the welding-versus-cost thing. I know where you're coming from, but I'd say after being round buses a lot while mine was done, and having seen everything from home-brew bodge to pigeon-.... to semi-pro work come in...you *do* mostly get what you pay for. I also thought about buying my own welder and having a go if I ever get another bus, but in reality it's not going to happen. It's obvious from what i've seen that good welding takes a lot of experience, and years of experience working on these buses, knowing the fabricating tricks, and all the little tricks and short-cuts, and pit-falls. What seems expensive at the time usually isn't in the long-run. Whether you choose to use Clive or someone else (you seem to have decided that already), I'd get the job done properly. Anyone can buy a cheap mig welder and some grinders, but I think it comes down to experience. Maybe I would say that - and I'm not tryign to promote anybody - but I just dont think a good job can be done cheaply. God knows we'd all liek to save a bit of money on these things :)

Keep the updates coming....

Ben
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jayvanman
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Re: My 66 Sundial

Post by jayvanman »

Thanks for your concern Ben but I thought I had got lucky but yesterday I checked out the post my welder has put on here regarding his 21 window and now I'm happy to give him the work.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=59817&hilit=samba

I would have liked to give Clive from the "old dub shop" the work but I am struggling to get the spare money into the van and John is doing it for some of the parts I have for sale so it helps me out and he's got time on his hands and wants to do a job for somebody so he can get some pics up on his website so it helps him out aswell.

Not only that I'll have it back in a week and can start to do the fun stuff like rebuild the interior where as all that would have to wait until prob Feb next year when I'll have the money to pay for the work.

Having said all that I can appreciate what you are saying. Yes low priced jobs would normally equal low quality work but like so many things with this van I think I have got lucky and been in the right place at the right time.

:D :D
he who sins grins
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