Well this weekend we got a bunch of work done on the project. With the axles, transmission, and engine in hand, we decided to stuff it all together and get started getting the front bus driving and registerable.
We first needed to make some additions to the brake system (a T-fitting) to allow the brake signal to reach to the rear bus. This was installed making new bubble-flares on the end of the lines. The new line was crimped off to await the connection of the two buses and replacement of the line into the fitting. Once this was in place, we dealt with the fiasco of trying to figure out the transmission mounting as the transmission we had to install had no front mount. Grr!!
Heather made a special trip to Newberg to pick up the right parts, and returned with another transmission and nose-cone setup to install. We swapped all this over and got the transmission placed. A hole had to be cut in the body into the old fuel tank compartment to allow the clutch slave cylinder to fit (off of a Vanagon). Once this was done, the transmission was test fit into position. It fit sweet!
While Heather was in Newberg, I finished the installation of the clutch master cylinder into the front frame of the front bus. We decided to go with a hydraulic clutch setup due to the ’78 orgionally being an automatic (thus no clutch cable tube). Plus not having the cable that needs to be regularly lubed would be an advantage. The down-side is that it took quite a bit of McGyver type construction to make it fit. The plasma cutter, welder, and some steel made quick work of this. Photos later.
Once the trans was mounted up, we did some vehicle moving and got the engine into position behind the bus. Since this engine was out of a vanagon and we wanted to preserve the alternator type/location, we needed to cut the engine tin to fit into the baywindow body. We did a lot of trimming Sunday night however some final trimming needs to be done tonight before the engine can be bolted up. Also, the rear engine support bar needs custom mounts becuase the vanagon support bar is much wider and won’t directly bolt up. Not a big issue, just more time with the welder and plasma cutter.
Overall lots of custom pieces are having to be made…however that just makes this project that much more interesting. 🙂 No luck on the trunnion ball yet…however we have dad working on this part of the project. Once this is acquired, we can start welding the two together.
Check the photos below!