It’s been awhile since I updated anything about the 1965 Rat Beetle. Moving slowly forward but hopefully it can be ready for Safety Inspection this spring/summer.
All of the old (complete!) brake system was thrown in the thrash and replaced with brand new parts. New shocks all around too. New wheel bearings. New hoses, brakelines and every nut/bolt is new in the brakesystem. Fenders have been removed for clean up and new blackbody/ship paint applied to underside. Going to be re-installed with new bolts and seals, anti rust wax etc.
Engine have been worked on also, valves adjusted, new oilsump/gaskets, new: sparkplugs, dist.cap, ignition coil and wiring, rotor, condensator, restored Solex 30-pict carb, new fuel lines everywhere, new exhaust system and all gaskets, restored 12v generator and new Bosch charge relay and 12v generator stand, new fan belt and pulley, new throttle cable etc.
That’s it for now! Next up is transmission overhaul and then test start the engine for first time in 20 years…
The sliding door handle on my 1983 VW T3 bus have been very hard to move/open the last 2 years and now it finally gave up and wouldn’t open the door anymore. But inside still worked fine. I thought first the wire inside the door had jumped off, but it was a lot worse!!
But was cheap and easy to repair, took me about 1 hour and the door is like new now! Time well spent!
The fridge problem started last summer, and since it still cools and runs (could be used) the problem have not been fixed until now. The issue was that I just runs and runs until the battery’s was empty. So I changed to a new Waeco thermostat. But it was still behaving the same. Next thing to replace then would be the fridge controller unit and would cost around 300euros to buy as new spare part. A new fridge around 600+euros.
Instead I bought a 20euros universal digital temp controller and wired it in, replacing the old mechanical thermostat. It now works great, keeps the temperature more stable and uses less energy. I can even see the present temp inside the fridge on the display, and I can now change temp settnings without open the fridge door (and letting all cold out). If you have the same problems with your Waeco or Dometic 12v fridge I can really recommend to upgrade to a digital thermostat instead ? I also added a extra computer fan for better ventilation inside the cabinet on hot summer days, compressor will be happy 🙂
The plan with this T3 pickup is to make it a daily driver. You can ride 5 persons and still have a big flatbed that you can load with almost 1 ton of stuff on. Now a ton of work need to be done, everything in the chassi, brakes, steering, transmission and engine needs to be replaced with all new parts to make it as dependable as possible. Also some rust and bodywork needs to be done also. Engine was junk, a 1,9 DG petrol. It’s going to be replaced with a bigger 2.1 DJ/WBX with 112hp.
This pickup will be used on winter which means it will get a new undercoating and rockers and doors sprayed with wax-oil on inside. Engine will get a engine warmer and inside will have a diesel heater with remote control. Here comes some pics!
Early start of the camping season 2020!Usually at this time of year we have a lot of snow and temperatures around at least -10 Celsius. But not this year, almost no snow at all and temperatures around +10. So we decided to drive higher up in Sweden to find some snow, mostly for the kids but also to try some winter camping. We drove 300km to Kläppen in Sälen, Dalarna here in Sweden.
Everything worked fine, bus handled the snowy roads very well and heat was no problem at all, the bus i very well insulated in floors, walls and roof. Dieselheater worked awsome too during the days. We had lots of fun in the snow, had a campfire grilled some meat and had a good time inside the warm bus, playing games and watching TV. We had a constant inside temp of 23-26+ celsius inside the bus.
Here is some pics, the last picture is me using the kitchen stove as a engine heater 🙂
The T3 army camper now have a winch with a pulling power of over 4-tons! I made a own bracket so I can remove the winch quick when I not need it or move/mount it to the rear of the bus. Because if you drive down a ditch with the front first, what use do you have then if the winch is mounted solid to the front end? Now with this bracket I won’t have that problem. This makes it more flexible. A winch is also good to have for removing bigger trees that have been fallen down on over small backroads etc
Last weekend we spent a night in the wilderness. Not very far from home, we cooked burgers, drone photographing, walked in the woods, watched TV in the warm bus while it started to rain. A movie is coming very soon! Keep an eye on the YouTube channel.
Some additions to the T3 have been done. A axe with holder, perfect for campfires or trees and branches laying over small dirt roads. Also a 20 liter spare jerrycan have been mounted on the tailgate. I have two cans I choose between, one with diesel or fresh water. Good to have in remote places.
I have changed my old 1.6 Diesel to a 1.9 from 1999 in my 1983 VW T3 bus. The engine code is AEF and it can be found in VW Polo, Skoda, Seat and Audi. When I started this conversion I was suprised how little information it really was about doing this swap. So I made a video collecting this information and what parts needed and problems that I had to solve. So hopefully this will help others that is thinking about doing this conversion. Good luck!
A Ruby red 1965 VW type 1 Beetle. Solid project, not much rust at all. Will get new paint and interior, engine overhauled, new chrome trim, new rubber seals and new brake system and more. Pics coming soon and maybe a simple video serie on the YouTube channel. Stay tuned!
Have finally got something done on the old VW Karmann Ghia chassi. Its being converted from swing axle to a better independent rear suspension. It’s just mocked up and tack welded at the moment, test fitted the new rear discbrakes. The fork/frame have been clearanced for Porsche 5speed 901 transmission and also reinforced, welded all around. Probably I will reposition the IRS brackets further in, and mount the trailing arms on the inside of the springplates. Then I will get about 1″ more space against the outer wheel arch and can then fit wider tires. Driveshafts need then be shorter also of course, the left VW type 3 automatic driveshafts are shorter and would be perfect or buy new shortened EMPI’s. Next up is to fabricate front transmission mounts and 911 (or maybe VW) gear linkage.
Added a solarpanel to the roofrack on the bus. But we also have a portable solarpanel to use when parked in the shadows or just need more power. Roof panel is Monocrystal 120w and the portable is also 120w mono, so a total of 240w solar power and 200amps of batterybank, they are also wired to the car alternator so charging when driving. We have a pretty sweet setup now!
The T3 bus is now ready for summer vacation. Engine conversion and transmission is all finished now. Took an hour testdriving it on some dirtroads, all good. We are going to drive up north to Norrfällsviken in the high coast of Sweden. Nordic VW TYPE 2 club is having a bus meeting there.
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.
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! email@example.com
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.
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 ?