Update 6/19/2009

SOAK is just around the corner! We’re really gearing up to get this baby connected.

I picked up the welder from Kelly O’Toole (www.industriousdog.com) so we can do the “big stuff” welding.  Russ is securing some welding rod. While in Newberg last night I swapped out the vanagon starter for a late bus 091 starter (different clocked solenoid location) so we can just bolt that right in. Also picked up another box of L-Jet goodies from the house so we can finish putting the engine setup together. Should possibly have it running tonight!

Left on the list:

  • Connect up the shift coupler to the trans
  • Mount Fuel Tank
  • Run Fuel Lines
  • Mount Fuel Pump
  • Mount Computer
  • Run Wiring Harness on Engine
  • Bolt in Starter
  • Weld Brackets on Mustache Bar
  • Install Intake Tubing (AFM/Boots/Airbox)
  • Mount Clutch Master Cylinder Reservoir
  • Bleed Clutch Hydros
  • Exhaust?
  • Head Temp Sensor
  • Set Timing

We’ll see how far we get tonight!

Thanks for checking in!

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Update 6/17/09

Hey all,

While Heather was resting trying to fight on a sickness, I decided at about 10:45 that it would be a good idea to hook up the clutch. Hah! I ran the front hydraulic line (the one with multiple bends) first and then ran the last piece to the rear once that was in place.  I also had to bolt the slave cylinder in place as well as connect up its short line + flex hose.

Once all this was connected (took a lot longer than it took to write about!) I temporarily hooked up a master cylinder from the ’70 bus brake system and added some brake fluid. I pumped and pumped with the rear bleeder open not expecting anything to really happen (figured the master was going to be a butt and need manual bleeding). Nope! Next thing I know there is brake fluid pissing from the transmission area. Yay! Closed the bleeder and did a few purges of air using a stick in place of a helper. Have decent pedal and may need to do more bleeding but at least it is operating!

Exciting progress as installing a hydraulic clutch master/slave combo into a baywindow is…a bit of a challenge.

More photos.

Thanks for checking in!

Update 6/16/2009

Last night after an eye doctor appt. and some parts acquisition Heather and I stuffed the engine into the engine-bay, finished bolting it up, and finished the custom cutting on the engine tin. The rear engine support bar, being from a Vanagon, needed to be cut to allow the engine to raise high enough to get the saddle bolts in. The act of making the Vanagon tin on the Type IV fit into a baywindow bus is rather tricky! The plasma cutter and a pair of tin snips made quick work of this task.

Once the saddle bolts were in and the engine hanging from this, we attempted to install the starter. Unfortunately things hits the rear cross member (that the saddle is mounted in to). So, we need to get a different starter.

Russ picked up the clutch hydraulic lines as well as supplied some more hardware for the engine-to-transmission bolt-up. Hopefully we can start hanging fuel injection components (fuel lines/computer/wiring harness/etc.) while I finish the clutch hydros and start bleeding the system.

Back to the grind!

Update from the Weekend!

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!

Update 6/12/09

More progress!

Last night while in Newberg I tore down 4 axles (2 automatic & 2 standard transmission variants) and rebuilt 2 of them for use on the gasoline engine (front bus). New boots, new grease, and re-clocking to wear the axles on the opposite side of the races. Should work quite nicely. The rear two axles will be built later on as once CV joint was contaminated with metal as well as heavy scuffing on a few bearings.

Tonight the plan is to hang the rear brakes (shoes/wheel cylinders…all new) replace the rear brake hoses, install the t-fitting in the rear brake lines, and then start working on hanging the transmission in the bus. All of this while juggling preparing the unimog for service Saturday AM doing Search and Rescue personnel transport.

Photos and such later!

Small Update 6/11/09

Did some more work on the front bus last night. Dropped the pads in the front calipers and bled the brakes (gravity bleeding worked pretty good!). Pedal feels pretty good! 

Tore apart the rear brakes and found leaky wheel cylinders as well as shoes down to 15-20%. Time to replace while I have it all apart. The rear is getting new shoes, wheel cylinders, and hoses. I am also adding a t-fitting into the hardline to continue the brake signal to the rear brakes of the rear bus. That way, 6 braking axles (very nice!) We’ll use some sort of steel braided line between the two halves…something that won’t fail. 🙂

More updates soon! Thanks to all that have donated!

Update 6/10/09

The past couple days have been a recovery from the last weekend of crazy working. On top of this, I’ve been rebuilding the front brakes on the front bus. 

I stretched the plasma cutter torch out as far as I could (to reach the front bus from the 220V outlet in the garage) and needed to back the bus up about 3 feet. That is about the time I discovered that the front right brake caliper was hanging really bad. So, I pulled the calipers/hoses/pads & moved the bus back to do the cutting for the clutch master cylinder. The last couple nights I pulled the calipers apart, picked up re-sealing kits, polished everything and re-assembled. Pads come in today so I can throw those in. I also replaced the brake hoses (others looked original) so the front is 100% rebuilt. Rear brakes seem to function nicely so I think a simple clean and adjust will be in order for them. 

Some more updates on the articulating link. After getting some input from MANY sources/friends/smart people, we have made a list of options for connecting up the two busses. On the current favorite list is a ball/socket combo from a Bulldozer or Bladed piece of construction equipment. This type of joint would be MORE than strong enough for the application and would be easy to service. So we are on the lookout.