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Jadewombat December 27th 2015 20:05

Dulce the GL Bus
Long time lurker and occasional poster here. Digging my heels in again to get the old girl back on the road. 1966 11-window, non-deluxe T1 bus.

Brief high points of my history with her:

Bought her back in 1998 in Tucson from some hippy, earthy chick. It ran on 3 cylinders and the body was decent. I paid $2500 back then and I thought that was a lot!

In 2001 she was a rally support vehicle for a pro-rally team (Galant VR4) based in Phoenix. We went to hell and back again keeping up with large diesel trucks in the mud, rain, gravel roads at 75mph, and a foot of snow at the North rim of the Grand Canyon...she never once broke down on me

Several mods. over the years, '75 front bus disk brakes with booster, hydraulic clutch, rear air suspension, two fuel injection systems (CIS then L-jet), won a "VW spirit" award at a show in Lafayette, LA one time

Finally got tired of the old swing axle leaking, ripped it out to replace it with later bug IRS trans. and bus components and Mercedes CLK rims

Jadewombat December 27th 2015 21:12

I'd buff the paint and it'd look OK for about a week, then would fade again and finally got tired of the goofy fender flares a PO put on there and put my bus in jail--the paintbooth for 1 1/2 years which was 1 year and 3 months longer than that crackhead promised me it would take to repaint the bus.

It turned out pretty good though.

Moved a few times over the years from Tucson to Lafayette to Mandeville (Louisiana), then put the girl in storage for a couple of years while we were overseas in Ecuador, which brings us to Houston.

I stuck with the T1 engine I built a few years ago which has a 110 cam, 1.25 rockers, straight cut gears, etc. I swapped to MS before we moved to Ecuador, but really didn't have a lot of time to master the learning curve.

Towed her over from storage here earlier this year and I've been busy doing welding on her here and there plugging up holes from all the years. :)

My neighbors, friends, and family think I'm a bit off for not get it running first than doing all this metal work the last couple of months, but there's still no windows in it and I wouldn't risk even driving around the block with the Texas cops here.

Anyhoo, my welding has been getting better and better over the years as well as my orange (HF junk) tools being traded out for decent (American) ones as well as getting into metal work the last couple of years.

I welded a work table for myself and my father-in-law helped me get the 3 in 1 machine on top of it over the weekend. We used a couple of pulley blocks I bought from a nautical supply place in Galveston. Man, it's so much easier to do stuff with a workspace now. Sorry for the crappy pics.

Jadewombat December 27th 2015 21:15

I've been lightening and fitting some 944 seats a friend of mine gave me a while ago. Again, I've learned a few things over the years and hacking, cutting, and drilling more holes than is necessary (actually on the bus) is like nails on chalkboard to me. I used the stock mounting points to fit the seats.

Jadewombat December 28th 2015 11:24

My old GL bug I at the autocross in New Orleans a few years ago next to my buddy's S4. I sold that bug before we moved to Ecuador.

Last summer I spent some time putting the front bumper back on the bus, mounting and wiring up with a relay the fog lamps on the bus.

Jadewombat December 28th 2015 11:44

The MS installed. It was running like poop. I spent a couple of weeks of evenings just trying to figure out why the EDIS wasn't working then wound up going back to the 009 just so it would run. It then ran, but barely. The tune was so far out I couldn't tell if I was making it better or worse.

I know people have had a lot of success with these, but MS has been by far the biggest headache system I've ever dealt with over the years and I've dealt with at least a dozen FI different systems. You get what you pay for though. Cheap ECU and scattered information in all directions.

Some of my welding. I've been doing thinner materials the last few months.

The front passenger sheet metal plug welded. I was responsible for maybe two of those holes drilled in my younger days, the rest were POs.

wrenchnride247 January 4th 2016 22:17

Looks good so far. Keep pics coming.

Steve C January 5th 2016 19:29

great read, keep us informed

Jadewombat January 5th 2016 21:52

Thanks Guys, I appreciate it ;).

Not too much to report, but I've been steadily working at getting the rear bench seat mounted. It's out of a pickup truck and has been trampled on by various dogs and kids (shop helpers sometimes) over the years. It's just a little dirty now, but all three seats will be recovered in grey leather at some point.

I popped the sliding track off the bottom of the bench seat as there's no need for it to slide and I'm fabbing up a different frame and straight posts on the underside to tie into the two rearmost stock mounting holes on the floor.

Sorry for the crappy pics:

Jadewombat January 10th 2016 18:50

That's better. Up and off the floor and at a good height to look out the side windows and not block the rear view.

Jadewombat January 21st 2016 13:06

I've been welding the middle area and all the holes. Some PO did some pretty good drilling back there. A lot of the holes were plugged with caulk about 3/8" big. Some pretty good rot waiting under the passenger side middle row seat mount as you can see here also.

Jadewombat January 23rd 2016 22:24

Shifting towards the drivers' side...more holes. I'm pretty sure the bus didn't leave Hannover 50 years ago that way.

Jadewombat January 25th 2016 18:31

So somewhere in the history of my bus near the passenger side in the mid-section someone used a giant hole saw, decided that wasn't where they were going to put Daisy's sink or flower stand or whatever it was, then cut a new hole all the way through right next to it. Probably took about 2 minutes to gouge that hole and the half moon piece of 16ga. metal you see here took me a little over an hour to fab. up. At least I have the metal working tools at this point in my life to do this kind of stuff.

wrenchnride247 January 27th 2016 20:31

Metal work is fun to me. Looks like you're doing a great job so far.

Jadewombat February 2nd 2016 15:53


The metal under the passenger side middle seat row 2 mounts was completely gone. I debated trying to save those mounts, but I have no plans to fit a middle row seat anyway. I replaced that area with a rectangular portion of metal, but easily reversible if the next person another 50 years from now decides they want to go that way. :):D This section is pretty much patched back up and the rusty areas back under control Just some stuff up the cab floor area that needs to be gone over again.

Jadewombat February 15th 2016 21:36

More stuff up front in the cab area. Water dripped down the inside of the door and ate away the lower pillar and floor here.

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