Month: February 2017

On doubling down

UUUPPPPDDDDAAAATTTEEEE

No furniture yet (see genchat for personal BS updates), but the first thing I got running was the 3D printer:

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Time to rip out the old single centermount progressive carburetor. It served me well as a stopgap, but I’m tired of 13MPG and it running like shit when cold.

However, the new dual-mount carb setup (that arrived one day before I had to move) didn’t come with a tee for the brake booster vacuum line. Since I had already started disassembling the bus for the swap, I had to make do with the tools I had on hand.

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And installed:

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This is the Dual 40mm Kadron (Brosol) carb setup from lowbugget.com . They take the carbs they can find in kits, bush them (most EMPI carbs etc don’t come with bushings on the throttle shafts, etc), mill the mating surfaces flat, drill and tap for vacuum advance, re-jet them for your particular application, and file out and fix the fuel spray holes.

A stock 40mm Kadron kit costs around $300-400 from various sources, and these from LowBugget cost me $750. That’s a lot of money, and it took them FIVE weeks to make, but so far they seem worth it. Even with minimal “tuning” (balancing by ear, not with a gauge just to run up the street), they’re already better than anything else I’ve ever had. I’ll update later with MPG numbers.

When I ordered, he asked me my engine size, whether or not I needed to pass emissions, my load (do I tow / run a camper / daily runabout / street racer / etc), driving style, and a bunch of other questions.

On idioms pt II

Kicked up on the curb, so I have a little more room when underneath.

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The driver’s side is/was technically worse. The foam is overspray from when I did the interior sealing and insulating last year.

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Ripped some of the foam out (so it won’t get in the way / be on the other side of things I’m welding), and broke out the other KLOKKERHOLM EINSTIEGBLECH, INNERER TEIL.

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This is the “easy” version, and was pre-cut for clearances.

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Again, the magic of welding

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Covered in weld-through primer

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And, I went a bit crazy covering the bondoed areas.

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Not pictured: I did some more welding on the passenger side, ground down the welds a bunch, and used a veritable metric ton of seam sealer to cover up all of my shame.

On idioms

“A grinder and paint make me the welder I ain’t.”

The bus technically doesn’t have a passenger side sill plate. Way back when I first got the bus, you saw me [badly] weld a driver’s side outer sill on. I still have the inner sill to go on the driver’s side, but welding upside-down sucks so much that I’ve put it off. The bus clearly sat on the wet ground for awhile with no axles in place, because the only rust on the bus is right where it would have contacted the dirt. Rest of the body? Solid. Bottom 2-4 inches (in places)? Holy shit. Time to continue fixing that.

The sliding door seal is a square piece of rubber, that goes in four channels around the door opening. The bottom channel is actually a part of the sill plate, which had been MIA since I bought the thing:
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Inside view:
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That front jacking point isn’t looking too hot, either:
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(I’ll have to fix that later, when money eventually pokes its head again. Maybe next tax season?)

The PO (previous owner) had already started on the passenger side. This is the piece near the rear passenger wheel. It looks riveted on, which scares me a bit, but nothing I can do about it right now.
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Time to break out my freshly-purchased KLOKKERHOLM BAGSKAERM / KARROSSERISIDE, SIDEPLADE HOJKE!
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Or, simply, RIGHT ROCKER PANEL, BUS
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:shrug:

Now, the outer rocker panel, that holds the door seal and is the part that you see, is one solid piece. I only had to trim the end length a bit. The inner rocker panel, however, has to be trimmed and cut around where the frame rails intersect it. They sell pre-trimmed inner rocker pieces, but they generally cost more, and are difficult to find sometimes. Only the driver’s side was available trimmed when I purchased this metal, so I used it as a kind of “mirrored template” for the passenger side piece, and cut the corresponding holes out of the passenger side with an angle grinder. In this pictures, you can see both the inner (notched) and outer (smaller, straight) rocker pieces.
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After a lot of fettling and bending and hammering, I have the outer one mocked up in place with a few sets of vice grips.
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Okay, there’s about 2-3 hours missing here. I’ll describe what I did: I tacked the outer rocker panel on, hammered it into place a bit more, cut away some/most of the rotted inner rocker panel, test-fit and trimmed the inner panel some more (this was about a full hour of it), tacked the inner panel in place, and then finally spent about 45 minutes just tacking the pieces together with my shitty buzzbox welder and nonexistent welder skills. Somewhere in the middle, I broke an LED light bulb in my work light, and got UV-burns on my arms.

I think I’m going to need about 2…gallons of seam sealer. Prepare your souls for what you’re about to see.
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Welders are magic. They allow me, a random average Joe off of the street, to transform metal, electricity, and time into a complete scrapheap, effortlessly. What a time to be alive!

Oh and then the sun fell and I finally fit the door seal, the whole reason for today’s adventure. But whatever.
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The side door seal I fit today is a genuine German-made seal, that cost around $60-70. The seals I fit on the doors last weekend were aftermarket Brazilian door seals, which were $50 for the set of 2.

Buy the genuine German stuff. Sometimes — and I hate to say this — but the German-worshipping greybeards on TheSamba are right. Like a broken clock, but sometimes yes.