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 The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project

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dsimas

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PostSubject: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:14 pm

It's been such a big push, that I am posting this chronologically after the fact to get everyone up to speed. Acquiring this bus came along with rehabbing from my injuries from being attacked by the bull in June and returning to work. Ray Vallero, VW enthusiast extraordinaire, has been my partner in this. We would work on her after work, which for me is starting at 11pm.

I saw the ad on thesamba about 15 minutes after it was posted. He wanted a "fair" going rate price, and I offered him much less. He had a UK buyer interested already, who offered to wire 50% up front and 50% upon shipping from the east coast. The seller didn't want to deal with all that, so he counteroffered, which we agreed on a price and he sold her to me. I felt like the luckiest person on earth. I've wanted one forever!

She was a barn find in 1996, parked since 1978 (by the looks of the DOD parking sticker on her bumper and her condition). The seller got her in 1996 as a project, she was pretty picked out and it was a big undertaking, so he lost interest. No engine, no interior, some rust, most of the little bits pick and pulled, but OG paint an a pretty straight body (MY big draw).

Had her towed down mid-July, one month ago.








Velvet Green and Pearl White, hence the name "Velvet". She's a "walk-through", which I much prefer! I will post separate posts with the progress...
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:39 pm

time for pic's,,,,,Ray was bragging about her
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:30 pm

Cool, glad you are saving it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:48 am

Firstly, I want to get those smashed windshields out of there. The seller gave me replacements and rubber. Smile



Next we needed to get the bus rolling so that we could move it around in and out of the shop.

Initially, I wanted to do narrowed beam and drop spindles with a bug box. That would mean getting new wheels since it has 14" stock bus wheels with the VW hubcaps. That's a lot to buy. At TRP I was able to look at several buses and talk with the owners. One in particular had a decent stance and wasn't up in the air too much, and the camber sat straight rather than tucked under. It was stock with RGB's, 14" wheels. Seeing how I was in for a lot of work and expense with this bus, I decided to stay stock for now. The 14's instead of 15's, in addition to moving the spring plate a notch on the inside torsion should keep it from being too tall (and tippy).

So, we jacked it up and sent all five wheels and crappy 25+ year old tires to Les Schwab for new tires and powder coating. They blast them, acid wash, and powder coat a color (ivory white) for $30 a wheel. Smile

In exchange for some labor, she will be advertising for Ray. Timberline Signs, who did the "aged" logo on his rat rod bug, made another color matched to the white in removable vinyl.





Next, the brakes. Not looking too great after 30 years of sitting in Seattle.







I got 6 new cylinders, all new shoes, master cyl and resevoir. Bead blasted the drums, wow, aren't they pretty now, these are the same ones...





The parking brake needed some adjustment, put the new (old) wheels and tires on, dropped her on the ground and she rolls and STOPS now for the first time in ages. Got her a dress too (car cover) for half price on thesamba from a guy who sold his bus.

Also, we took a buffer to the rear corner, look at that beautiful OG german paint shine. I will NOT be painting this bus. Smile



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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:11 am

looks great


go girl go
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:24 am

She's a keeper!

Lookin' good.

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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:49 am

LOL THAT REAR END BUFFED OUT REAL NICE Very Happy

LOOKIN GOOD. I WANNA SEE IT IN PERSON.

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1972 BODY & PAN FOR SALE (PAN NEEDS BOTH PAN HALVES REPLACED, SOLID BAJA BODY, WILLING TO SEPERATE) $600 OBO (PAID $750)
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:05 pm

dsimas wrote:
Timberline Signs, who did the "aged" logo on his rat rod bug, made another color matched to the white in removable vinyl.

I TOOK A BETTER LOOK AT RAY'S CAR THERE ON THE DEMO DAY (LOOKS GREAT) AND FORGOT TO ASK WHERE HE GOT IT DONE. NOW I KNOW Very Happy

I WILL BE GIVING THEM A CALL TO SEE IF THEY CAN/WILL DO MY BAJAROD (LIKE RAY'S) WITH THE SMOG STOP INFO. MAYBE DO A VINYL LIKE ON VELVET FOR THE FASTBACK, AND MY TRUCK. I MAYBE GETTING A SQUAREBACK AS WELL SO THAT ONE TOO MAYBE Very Happy

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Call the shop Tues - Fri 8:30-5 at:  530-477-2582
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AIR COOLED FOR LIFE!!!!! Twisted Evil

1972 BODY & PAN FOR SALE (PAN NEEDS BOTH PAN HALVES REPLACED, SOLID BAJA BODY, WILLING TO SEPERATE) $600 OBO (PAID $750)
1970 PAN FOR SALE (WAS A FULL SIZED BUGGY THAT BURNT.  HAS NEW BRAKE HARD LINE MASTER BACK & REAR FLEX LINES, & NEW CONTROL ARM BUSHINGS/BOLTS NOT INSTALLED) $300 OBO PAID $350


NEED A TOW??
RENT ME & MY 91 DODGE DIESEL, TOWBAR, OR FLATBED CAR TRAILER FOR ONLY $1.00 A MILE!!
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dsimas

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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:02 pm

Very cool, Cliff! People have given him tons of compliments on that signage. Tell them that you saw it on Vallero's cars to give a plug, they gave us a deal on Velvet in exchange for putting their name under it... Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:56 pm

Now that Velvet had her "new shoes" as my friend commented, we could push the bus into the shop and onto the rack. Time to find out what the heck that stock tranny has going on.




I took Hugo for that Last Drive to donate his engine to his "big sister". I told him that being a heart donor made him a hero. I've been driving that car with that motor for 28 years, and we are building a completely new one, so it was the end of an era. Yeah, I'm a chick, I got teary.



The brass plaque in the middle of the fan housing says "Built for Dawn Romero" with the HP and torque. I got married in 1985, Romero is my maiden name. Ha!



There is no ignition switch, so we hotwired the bus. There's no throttle pedal or assembly, so we just set it at an idle and went through the gears for the very first time. Sort of like opening a present, excitement to see if we got lucky or a booby prize....



Okay, so that was anti-climactic. Sad Now we regrouped and just tried to go through the gears to see what works and what doesn't.



No third gear. Noisy main bearing. But it does work. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:49 pm

Congrats on the bus!! It looks great!!
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:27 pm

Way to go Dawn, that thing looks terrific!! Mucho Jealous-o!!
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:41 pm

I think I saw the beautiful Velvet driving in Auburn recently. Made my heart skip a beat. That and I may have drooled. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:59 am

Vdub-son, introduce yourself? Do you have a VW? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:21 pm

Discovered the M Code plate, behind the passenger seat. How fun is this?



Interpretation:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/id.php

Basically it says that the bus was manufactured on May 12, 1966. Imported for the USA into Seattle (must have spent her whole life there since that's where I got her). And it shows that she's a "Walk through model" and Mesh Platinum interior (still have many of the panels, but ratty), painted Velvet Green and Pearl White, and came with optional seatbelts (still has the OG ones with the crest on them, very strong) and 6 popout side windows.

Here's a shot of the door panel. They still have the deluxe trim and I think I'd like to keep them, rather than buy repop. This pic shows the wheels before we had them powder coated. And the popouts were duct taped here and there until I fixed the latches.



I called Robert Skinner of Skinner Classics in Vacaville www.vacavilleautobody.com to go over an entire list of questions I have about Type 2's. Robert is awesome. He does restorations of all VW's, but Type 2's are his favorite. He took a couple hours out of his busy schedule to go down my list and give me advice on who to call and where to buy and what to do. This man has "been there, done that", so I got the benefit of gleaning from all his trial and error. Go to his site link and "Like" his Facebook page, he posts about his projects and recoveries. Smile

We removed most of the panels to get to the inside because I needed to get the key codes for all of the handles. There is no ignition switch, so no keys to the bus. I am getting an ignition switch from Kevin Kilfoyl with Old Volks in Hayward (HIGHLY recommend him), and sent him all 4 of the handles and he keyed them to match the new ignition key. Smile

I went and registered her with vintagebus.com.



Went to DMV to get her registered. But I was told that I have to bring her there to get a VIN check. And then they will require me to go to CHP for a full safety check (sort of the runaround that dune buggies get). All because I made the MISTAKE of saying that it was a project with no engine. I'm too chatty and excited! Sad Then the gal said I'd need a smog too. Huh? I haven't bought a car in 18 years (since my Dodge truck which needs no smog) and Hugo never needed one, so I thought maybe '66 was just over the cusp. But then I worry about Hugo's motor, it's NEVER been smogged. Well, turns out, I don't need one, the lady obviously was clueless. Thank goodness. So, we'll have to bring Velvet to the DMV after we get everything working and roadworthy and will get a temporary permit in the meantime.


Last edited by dsimas on Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:55 pm

Anytime you buy a vehicle from out of state or if it doesn't have a California title, they have to do a VIN inspection. You can take the Bus down to them at DMV or there are places that offer verification services and can do it in your garage for you. I had it done here on a previous project of mine. It costs anywhere from $100-$250 depending on who you have do it but if it's going to be a while or a pain in the butt to take the Bus down to the DMV, it might be worth it. And no, your Bus will not be required to be smogged. She obviously is a crack whore.

Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:05 pm

silvertonguedevil wrote:
And no, your Bus will not be required to be smogged. She obviously is a crack whore.

Laughing

My thoughts exactly! lol!
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:58 pm

We luck out when it comes to vin verifications! Hubby knows a lot of cops. In fact every Friday a bunch of them ( mostly retired now) come down to his work to have donuts. We just have one of them do it for us!!

As far as DMV, they are just plain idiots. (Well except for the girl we go to at the Charmicheal Office LOL) We bought a truck from a person in Nevada. Wanted to put DP plates on it, so when we went to transfer it, (after getting the vin check done and smog) because of it's weight the office had to send the paperwork to their headquarters for approval. The weight limit for DP plates had just gone up and the truck was now ok to have them, but it was such a new law, the office couldn't do it. Anyway, that was in February of this year. We kept checking on it and getting new red permits till Monday. They finally called and said THEY lost the paperwork. WE have to go down to the local office and fill out some other paperwork now. Don't know what paperwork, but I don't think we should have to. I think they should just give us our plates and pink slip. I mean obviously it was started in our name, they gave us a temp registration paper showing it. Dummies.

So, just as a warning, make copies of your paperwork and the pink. You never know when you will need them. We didn't do that this time because usually it is a basic application for DP plates and you take them with you. I will do it from now on though!
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:55 pm

dsimas wrote:
silvertonguedevil wrote:
And no, your Bus will not be required to be smogged. She obviously is a crack whore.

Laughing

My thoughts exactly! lol!

I think that is a prerequisite for being a state employee I am sorry to say...

It makes me sad. Sad

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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Rightous Bus Dawn!! What a clean machine. I too had a '70 Bus back in the early '80's and I loved that bus sooooo much.....had a blast with it. I think after this project I might look around for a bus.....just something about driving these cool machines is so exciting.
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:46 pm

take it to the newcastle chp station. they can do a vin varification in just a few minutes for free. plus there is a officer there who is into vw's, he would love to see it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:12 am

There you go!
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:55 am

Do you know the officer's name at Newcastle that is into VW's? We need him to come join up with us! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:06 am

Blujay,
Are you coming to Tech Day tomorrow? I'd love to chat! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Velvet Thread - my '66 21-window bus project   Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:46 pm

I saw ads by Corey Bloom on thesamba under pre-67 bus parts, so rather than buy little bits from many sources, I made a trip to his house in Roseville with my list. Hit the mother lode. And since I had so many little things (lots of missing screws for specific parts, lights, switches, handles, gaskets, bushings), he lumped them all into an excellent fair price-- with no shipping. Smile

He also had a beautiful roof clip off a rolled bus. This is Velvet's worst rust. She was in a barn with no sunroof and a tarp on her. It seems that the bus must have been parked nose down a bit, the water ran down the tarp or the sunroof rails and pulled in the fresh air box area. Rotted through.



I do NOT want to cut the bus and weld the clip in, but Ray said that he can remove the interior carefully and put the clip's interior and weld it in a way to not burn the exterior OG paint. cheers

Then the water ran down to the front floor pan, many buses seem to have this bad spot. Yes, that is pavement below. She's a Flintstones Bus.





Velvet's seller included a front floor clip, with the steering wheel, throttle, shifter, pedals, etc. We cut that piece out and filled it in. I don't mind welding on the bus, I just will not do any clipping on exterior areas that will damage the paint, that will stay the way it is.

Everyone that has seen it says: Roll it the way it is. Anyone can do a ground up restoration with enough money. But OG buses have character. One man said, "They are like a woman that you love. They have a story and a history and the marks from age and imperfections add depth and maturity. We generally prefer that the woman we've loved for decades wouldn't get a face lift, and these buses are no different."

Spoken like a true gentleman.

The ragtop sunroof: There is none. The aluminum rails are there though. I have been told by everyone that John at Grumpys Metal in Huntington Beach (www.vwsunroofs.com) is the only way to go. He fabricates the entire thing to complete OEM spec. He was awesome. He mailed me color and fabric samples. And threw in some nylon spacers that he designed to make it slide better than stock (especially a problem for the buses being so large, but a purist may not want them). *And* I got a complete headliner kit to the beltline in the original off white with the holes from him for less than anywhere else. This is all cosmetic and we are pushing for mechanical work right now, so it'll sit and wait until the rain is a concern.... I can't get enough of this view:





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