Tested the portable solar panel 120w with dual 75a battery’s (total 150 ampere hours) last weekend and it worked great 👍 It was two sunny days, on the night the power drops and is taken from the battery’s only. When sun goes up again on the morning, the solar panel charges the battery’s full again (green). Our 12v fridge was running all day and all night 24/7. A couple of rainy days would be problems I guess. But then I could run the engine and the alternator would charge up the battery’s after couple of minutes. 👍

Yesterday I finished and installed the complete exhaust system. You could use the original 1.6 CS exhaust system if you take the 1.6 header, that’s the easy way. I choose the hard way, using the 1.9 AEF header. Why? Because the exhaustheader ports and outlet are bigger than the 1.6 CS. Which means a little more HP. The problem is that the AEF header have a different angle than the CS one, so need to build a new exhaust system from scratch. The AEF header and enginemount need some grinding to fit/clear.

The original exhaust was 48mm, the new I built is 51mm and the silencer is from a Turbo Diesel, for better flow. Original system was one welded pipe, which I didn’t want to have on a car that should drive on crappy roads and trails. If going offroad and hit a stone not only the pipe would take a pounding but also the head on the engine! I used a flex joint, which now makes the system to flex at least 3-40mm, so hitting a stone or something hard now and the system will just bounce or slide over and the head will be more safe. Also removing some extra vibrations to the car itself.

#vwt3overland #aefconversion

Now with the engine and transmission installed, left to do is connecting electrical wirings and coolant hoses. The AEF engine used a different glow plug relay, but the original VW bus T3 glowplug relay can be used with some modification. I soldered two resistors of total 580ohm to the temp sensor wiring (at the waterflange at top of the engine, black/blue) this will trick the relay and let it glow a little all the time which is needed for the AEF to run clean/nice. The grey/green wire from the pump works like a electric choke at cold starts and can be connected to a timer relay for about 20sec. I bought a cheap timer relay from EBay that would probably work but it was so brittle and crappy. So I didn’t trust it, I just ran a wire to a switch on the dash, will work like a manual choke, almost like original but electrical rather than mechanical, bullet proof too.

Since the old CS intake and air filter box is installed on the little taller new engine, the wires in the engine compartment beside the airfilter needed to be moved upwards (around 60mm) to make space for the filterbox.

I found the diameter on the AEF water pump flange bigger than the old CS which made it impossible to re use the 90degree coolant hose. So I ordered a new 25mm 90degree coolant hose that will be jointed togheter with the old hose.

The crankcase breather need to be cut off in the end, and joined (with metal pipe insert) with the AEF hose. The connection at the cam cover is different on the AEF.

If any one need finished 587ohm resistor for the glowplug relay, let me know and I can ship some out. All you need to do then is cut the wire, crimp on spade connectors on both ends and plug in the resistor. That’s it! info@maindrive.org

Now the engine and transmission is bolted back in the bus, fits perfect! Left to do is all small stuff (But time consuming!) wiring, 587ohm resistor to the glowplug relay wiring, and a timer relay, install all hoses, fill up the coolingsystem with water, gearlinkage, cables, oil and filter, fill up all fuel lines with diesel, prime the pump, build a new exhaust and much more. Here comes some new pics…

Together with Hans Landenius a offroad transmission was built. A mechanical difflocker from Weddle Industries. This locker engages when stamping on the throttle and locks up to 100%. Which for example a LSD (limited slip differential) never do. That’s why I choosed a locker over LSD, to always have maximum traction when it really needs. The downside with this locker is that it’s noisy, clicks when turning corners (axle tooth’s is “sliding” over the cogs in the differential), but I don’t care so much about noise.

The old differential had only 2 spider gears, so it was replaced by a new stronger “Super diff” that’s made for 4 spider gears. The spider gears was the replaced with the spring loaded locker. Everything was bolted back together, measured with micrometer. Then all seals was replaced with new. New starter and throw out bearing was installed too.

#vwt3overland

Stuff is getting done, slow but steady at the moment, with two small kids there is not much time left! I have lifted the rear on the 30mm with spacers and I will lift the front 30mm too, but later on. Engine is ready to go in and transmission is getting built with Superdiff and locker while I write this. A custom beefy exhaust is made too, with a turbo diesel muffler for better flow.

I have a Thule awning with safari room for the bus, but it’s not possible to install it with ordinary brackets in the droprail (highroof slidingdoor) and I don’t want to drill it in the roof directly. So I want a roof rack that the awning can be bolted too instead.

But it’s not possible to buy a “bolt-on” complete Expedition roof rack to a VW T3 Highroof bus so I need to make one myself. I had a old roofrack laying that I could use/modify. I have been extended it 100cm and widened 40cm (total 290cm long and 130cm wide). 1000w LED light bar 133cm long, two 100w LED flood spotlights on each side, portable solar panel 120w (can be removed from rack easy and plugs into a 10m extended cable so it can be moved with the sun for maximum power). CB radio antennas, digital TV antenn/scanner and ladder is being fixed too.

Just need to make legs and brackets then it will be painted in satin black. Then Ready for safari and zombie apocalypse 🤘

Instagram:
@maindrivegarage
#vwt3overland

The old radiator was in bad shape, very rusty in bottom so it was just matter of time before it would start leaking. A brand new radiator was bought from Justkampers, thermo switch, modern universal 14″ cooling fan and hose clamps in stainless steel. The T3 bus comes original with 1 small (sucking) fan in a shroud behind the radiator, with 2 speeds. This fan was checked and worked good, also put some oil on the axle just for good measure. Then a new/extra fan in front of the radiator was installed (blowing). This one kicks in when the original fan is switched to highest speed by the thermostatic switch hitting 105celsius. This car will never overheat!

New alternator, servo pump, fan belt, clutch, oil pan, exhaust, intake manifold etc is now on the engine.

It is almost ready to go in, just need to fabricate a new exhaust system. And get the transmission ready with new seals, difflock and new gear linkage bushings etc. Then I will bolt engine & trans together and lift the whole package up in the bus. Then the electric work can begin and later on start up. New radiator is going to be installed tonight…

Have got much done on the VAG 1,9 AEF diesel engine the last days. Dieselpump cleaned up and wiring is fixed. Only 3 sensors are used now. There is alot of wiring and electric sensors that is not needed in a van. (removing immobilizer for example). I moved the dipstick hole to the other side of engine, as it is tilted 45degrees in the bus also are on the wrong side. So drilling a new hole in the engine block was needed. And the old was tapped and sealed up with a 12mm bolt. The tube from the AEF was used and modified/bracket.

The intake manifold don’t fit in the tight bus engine compartment so the old one from the 1,6 CS are going to be used, it has a better angel/shape that fits inside the bus compartment. But it’s a little smaller in diam so I made a port matching (as close as possible) for better flow. The exhaust manifold, I probably going to use the AEF, its bigger in diam than 1,6 so will improve the performance. The downside is I must make a custom exhaust and blank off the EGR valve. Hopefully worth it in the end!

New water pump and thermostat is installed. New timing belt and tensioner etc. Changed flywheel to the 1,6 CS, new needlebearing (don’t forget!) new throw out bearing, new clutch kit. I used new bolts from FEBI to the flywheel, standard size. I took the backing plate from the 1,6 as it will fit the bus transmission better. Also needed to remove two upper studs from engine bolt holes, bolts straight thru will be used instead.

All sensor need to be taken from the old engine (good since I bought all these new awhile ago) like oil pressure, water temp, glow plug sensor etc. Waterflange in alu with sensor was taken from the 1,6 also. All waterlines and hoses to oil cooler etc was removed. Next up is changing oilpan to bus cast alu 1,6 CS. The oilfiller tube has to be removed and plugged, the servopump will be in the way. Will use the cap in the camcover instead. New alternator and servopump, waterpump pulley, idlerwheel and new fan belt is going to be installed next time. Also some new resistors and relays need to be added to the glow plug sensor and relay for coldstart etc.

Transmission have also been removed from the bus now, getting it ready for overhaul and difflock, new seals and shifter bushings. More about that soon…

Another really good page for AEF conversion is Colins write-up on Brick-Yard forum, here is the link: http://www.brick-yard.co.uk/forum/1-6cs-to-aef-engine-swap_topic52595.html

#vwt3overland

The old 1,6 CS diesel was a bit to slow in hills/highways (to the point it get dangerous in traffic). So it needed to go. I don’t going to race Lemans with the bus, I just want a more modern, stronger, cheap to drive (diesel) and most important RELIABLE engine that always work. First I was looking at a AAZ 1,6/9 Turbo engine but with a turbo it’s just another thing that can brake and these engines always runs much hotter. So I decided to go with a VAG 1,9 AEF engine, found in VW Polo, Golf, Audi and Skoda Felicia.

THE NEW ENGINE

I managed to find a really lowmilage 1,9 AEF diesel engine from a Skoda Felicia, year 2000. But it is not just to bolt this engine in the bus and drive, a lot of stuff need to be changed and parts from the 1,6 CS need to be re-used and modified. But its probably the easiest conversion you can choose, if your thinking of using a non standard engine in your VW T3 diesel bus.

TRANSMISSION

While the engine is out I will also take out the transmission. And make a check up, change shifter couplings, linkage bushings and gaskets. Upgrade driveshafts to stronger, Porsche. Upgrade the differential with a difflock from Weddle Ind. In a standard “open” differential, torque is divided equally between the wheels. If one wheel slips and spins, only a fraction of the torque is utilized. The difflock eliminates this problem. Power will always be delivered to the wheel with the most traction to keep you moving instead of getting stuck, up to 100%. Then it we can do some serious off-roading 🙂

More to come soon! #vwt3overland

The wiring was a mess (for all equipment) so a new control panel with automatic fuses was installed togheter with new wiring. The 230v wiring (camping power) was also updated with automatic ground fuse and two new sockets with combined USB outlets.

The old interior lightbar was only 230v, but it was a great design so you can flip/turn the light angle. So I took it apart and converted it to 12v with LEDs. An extra LED light with two touch dim/settings was mounted up in the front of the sealing/roof also.

Under the rock n roll sofa I made space for 200amp of batteries (dual 100amp). These I connected to the car/start battery thru a relay, so the car alternator will charge all battery’s. These batteries are connected thru Bluetooth to my cellphone so I can see how much power is left and how much is charging. The solar panel (portable 120w) have a quick connection to these battery’s. Also the 5kw diesel heater is installed under the sofa. It takes air from outside and diesel from the main tank, and the exhaust is routed thru a silencer and out. It runs on diesel and 12v so it can be used anywhere for a very longtime, no need for 230v power. It has a digital display, and a thermostat so it will keep the inside toasty warm on winter. It can be started thru GSM net with my phone. I routed the heater outlets to the main floor and one to the back/bed. It works great and produce a lot of warm dry heat!

The walls, doors and roof was already insulated with 50mm cellplastic, thats very good! But I had some extra aluminium/bubblefoile rolls that I put inside some of the doors and walls for some extra insulation and vapor barier.

#vwt3overland

Have been working on the camping interior lately. The old interior was crappy and looked like shit, it had some structure wall weave/papper that hade been rolled with paint 10 times, the touch and feel was like a 40 grit sandpaper so it needed to go. But it was a good design/plan layout on the cabinets and storage. So I decided to keep the base of it and make a new outside finish on it in light grey oak vinyl.

All cabinet doors was made new in 12mm Medium Density Fibreboard and painted in medium gloss grey with paintgun. Countertop was made new in black colored MDF with semi-gloss clear coat, now with space for a portable kitchen / stove. Above the stove space I made a 12v kitchenfan with outlet, the fan is moving 3,8 squaremeters of air per minute so now you can make bacon with closed doors without smoke/smelling anything 😉

All the old gas equipment was removed, and the old fridge was replaced with a modern 12v Waeco 48L fridge with freezer. A new black sink and a new Reimo water tap was mounted. And all new waterlines, pump and 20L freshwatertank. Before the water ran straight out on the ground, now it goes into a 10L tank first, with a valve so the water can be emptyed. This is good of you are using water when you are on a parkinglot, ferry or on a big camping with neighbors.

Part 2 is coming on Tuesday…

#vwt3overland

Tested the bus on snow tonight, it rides great in snow with the terrain tires. And the heating works great now. It was -7c and inside of bus was 25+c 🙂 More about dieselheater and interior is coming soon…

Finally time for a test drive in the snow and mud. Awesome! Check out the video clips below. Tested the cab window covers from Justkampers.com and they are great when parked/camping. #vwt3overland

The bus is now finally Safetyinspected / MoT without any issues or problems. Perfect! Since this bus are rust free underneath and I’m going to use it in all weather/terrain a lot I decided to do a wax/oil undercoat on it to protect and keep it in nice shape for many years. I also sprayed inside doors, rockers etc with a thin wax/oil treatment. And yeah, the taillights and turn signals have been “smoked” for a more badass look 🙂

New speedometer and cable have been fitted, the needle on the old one was stuck! Added LED light diods to the rear engine bay, you cant have to much light when wrenching in that tight dark engine compartment, specially after the road. New modern wipers installed, and a new ventilation cover for the slidingdoor, painted in black. The old washerpump was junk so a new was added. Rear view / back up camera is now all done and is a great thing to have on a bus! More updates coming! It’s now ready for safetyinspection / MoT. Hope it goes well…

Some more stuff have been done on late nights and weekends. I have made some new doorpanels for the slidingdoor, painted in Westy grey-ish. Door was already insulated, but I added a extra layer of ThermoReflekt (folie with air bubbles) for extra insulation behind all door panels. Got a new outside door ventilation and painted it black.

Tested the new reverse lights in the dark and they were awesome! A pair of 120watts LED lights (12.000 lumen) wired to the back-up light (black/blue cable). Will add two more of these lights later on, mounted on each side of the bus.

More stuff have been done, but I save that for next post. Hopefully I can get it to the MoT/safetyinspection next week. Then I can start work more on the interior…

#vwt3overland

Lots have been done to the new VW T3 Highroof from 1983. I have got it running properly after lots of head scratching. It started and runned okey on idle when I bought it, but it had no power/torque and smoked a bit, so not possible to drive. The oil was nice and coolingwater had no oil mixed. Good!

I put the engine in TDC (top dead center), the cam and pump wheel marks lined up correct. After changing all filters and fuel I tuned the pump timing. But no change! 🙁

I decided to check the timingbelt again, it all looked right. Strange. But to be 100% sure I removed the valvecover and put the flywheel on TDC, and the camshaft in TDC on cylinder #1. The knocks on the cam should be like 10 and 14 a clock direction (valves closed). I checked the diesel pump wheel lock position it was looking right, BUT then I saw this pump wheel had a second lock position/hole. The workshop manual don’t describe this and showing only 1 locking position/hole in the pump wheel. That meaning it’s possible to put my wheel 180 degrees wrong, and pumps in fuel when the camshaft is on the #4 cylinder instead. I just loosen up the timingbelt, carefully turned the pump wheel 180 degrees and tightened it all up again. And it now runs like a champ and no smoking, awesome! VW only had this pump wheels between 1981-83 and then changed them so there where only 1 locking hole in them on 1984- onward.

I have fixed with the electrics and lights lately. New Front headlight have been installed, the old ones had bad reflectors in them and would never pass MoT safetyinspection. Turn signals did not work, not so strange when I pulled out the lightbulb holders, totally rusted out. New was ordered and installed, work great now. Rear high roof had some extra trailer/universal lights installed. Looked like shit, so they where replaced with two new LED spotlights 120watt that now are wired to the reverse back up lights. But the reverse light didn’t work, I found a loose connection (black/blue cable) in the black fuse box in the engine apartment, now works again. All lightbulbs are new and all lights are now working. The temperature gauge did not work and light for low water level flashed all the time, I noticed a black cable hanging loose besides the water expansion tank, but it had no sender and where just plugged. I ordered a new water level sender and temp sender, replaced them both and the gauge now work great again! Rear tailgate gasstruts was shot and I was tired to get it in my head all the time so replaced them with a new pair from JustKampers. Quick and great service from JustKampers as always, if you need quality VW parts those are the guys to talk to!

Left to do before safetyinspection is fixing the wipers and fan. More to come soon…

#vwt3overland

Another generation to the collection, at the moment I now have T1, T2 and T3 buses. This one is going to be the offroad bus and for autumn/winter camping/expeditions 🙂

It’s a 1983 Transporter with 1,6 Diesel and 4-speed transmission. It has a ugly camping interior already fitted that will get a refresh/restoration. A Webasto/Planar diesel heater with thermostat will be installed to the interior in future, so you can stay warm on the winter. New 12v fridge will be installed and the gas stove will be replaced with a new small portable gas bottle one.

The goal is to have it pass the MoT / Safety Inspection before the winter comes. The engine starts but is not running very well. It has a new cam, timingbelt, waterpump at the moment. Going to align the timing belt better because it squeaks at lower RPM right now. Also the diesel pump is needing adjustment with special VW TOOL 2066.

Some meaty offroad tires (Malatesta Kobra) have been fitted on stock VW 14″ steel wheels, that was sandblasted and painted. Looks badass now! The diesel tank have been drained on old diesel and a new fuel filter fitted. Also added some anti-bacteria and injectioncleaner to new diesel. New oil (15w-40 mineral) and filter in the engine too. New air cleaner filter added. Injection pump adjusted with micrometer (vw2066) up to 00,95, before was only 00,81. Engine now runs much smoother but need to align the timingbelt before any real test drive can be done. More too come soon…