Our latest project is the ultra-desirable 23 window VW Bus. Our clients are looking for a complete restoration so they can enjoy this Bus at local events. She is fairly complete but has a bit of rust and bodywork that will be required. We plan to get her stripped down to bare metal to see just how much work will be needed. We’re excited to get started and transform this into a Bus they will be proud of!
The hand sanding and stripping has begun. The flat sections are especially vulnerable to distortion from sand blasting so we remove the paint by hand.
Windows needed to come out. The curved one are impossible to replace so we were very careful with them. We marked each one and carefully began removing them. We wrapped them all up in bubble wrap for safe storage.
Our client stopped in with family to check out the progress. Her daughter made a discovery that we did not notice – the louvers were different on either side of the bus. VW changed the direction of the louvers and it appears that this bus received some bodywork at one point that used the incorrect type. We may choose to replace that entire panel as there is more damage on that side anyhow. But this quirk is almost an interesting part of this particular bus’s history. We’ll strip it completely and then lay out the options for our client. We’ll let her choose which direction to go in.
Media blasting helped get more of the crevices and strip previous bondo from the body. This truly gives us a clear idea of the bodywork required.
We discovered the extent of the work required after the media blasting was completed. Jesus will be busy! We sealed the body to keep rust at bay.
A fair amount of bodywork is required on this Bus – in fact it will be the most labor intense part of this restoration.
We’ve ordered some replacement metal and have begun the metal repairs.
Jesus has been using his hammer and dolly technique to shape sections that were dented and previously shaped with Bondo.
This side panel was replaced, poorly, at some point in the bus’s life. The additional damage to the wheel well opening made replacing this section a ‘must-do’. First we needed to pull it off and then we will add a new panel to replace – with the correct louvers!
The rear corner of the bus had been hit at some point. Jesus reshaped the corner. We will sandblast it and reweld it back into place. The following sequence shows the bent original condition and then the straightened version.
The rear tailgates have been refitted and are looking much better.
Some delays in getting replacement parts to repair panels that were too corroded have slowed the bodywork process – thx to COVID19. Panels have come in and we have continued to work on the bodywork.
More progress on the exterior shell.