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Dub Club for want of a better name is an informal gathering of two VW enthusiasts who meet in a lockup in North London. Myself (Martin Price) and Chris Leck (Prof. Originale) are the only members! The Prof. is so named as he has a preference for original specification fitments to his vehicles, but I am slowly educating him that when a part is completely knackered and rusty, it will add "Character" to any vehicle he owns.
I haven't updated any web page here for quite a time, but that is mainly because both myself and the Prof. have been working on several of his busses.
Firstly is "Alf" and was imported from the USA a few months back.
Next up is "Bert" again imported from the USA
The wiring on Bert was a complete mess, so I have been concentrating on this whilst the Prof. does the mechanical work. I have spent a few weeks on it and have changed the fusebox from the old unavailable Euro fusebox to a newer blade type one and rewired almost everything on the bus. We now have most things working and just a few "Nag" lights on the dashboard and the interior lights to sort. Almost everything mechanical is now sorted, brakes, lights, steering, bodywork etc. I think in a few weeks it will be taken for an MOT. The Prof. managed to get some new rims and tyres from eBay and we have recently fitted a new windscreen.
In other news at dub club we have been rebuilding both the Brubaker engine and aquiring parts for the Baja engine. We are toying with the idea of a turbo for the Baja, so first we have to get it ready for any extra power we might produce. Things my be a little slow at the moment as I am in the process of selling my house.
I am hoping I can get my work and home closer together so I can get on with more "Brubaker work".
Tonight was spent doing some last jobs on Bert (Grey Early Bay). The Prof. has sold it to a chap in Denmark, so in two weeks time it will be transported to Hull and then on a roll on roll off ferry to its new owner.
We were not happy will the long travel of the brake pedal, so we adjusted them all again and drove it a little to bed them in. We also adjusted the foot pedal linkage into the master cylinder and the handbrake. The brakes are now pin sharp and work just as they should. Another job was to get the last "nag" light on the dashboard working. This took about five minutes to sort. We also connected and tested the speedometer cable and fitted the front anti roll bar complete with new bushes.
We are all a little sad here at Dub Club to see Bert go, but its good to know we have saved another bus from a long slow decline to the scrap yard. With a little bit more work (mainly to the camper interior) this bus will be a really cool drive and last a long time.
The last few jobs were completed on Bert tonight before it goes off to its new owner. Firstly we tidied up the wiring and fitted some new kick boards in the footwell. These looked a little cheap at first, but when fitted actually looked really nice. Next we fitted some new heater levers to the dash (Which is quite tricky to do) and I gave the whole dash a good clean with some household wax polish. We were quite suprised at how well the interior looked. It just shows what some simple tidying and a few new parts can do. The new owner only needs to add some new door cards and some seat covers and its pretty much there.
The Prof. has just moved house and he has some beige carpet to spare. We may put some in here as it is free. It would be a good match and would be quite easy to do both the front and rear. The Prof. also spent some time in the engine bay cable tying things together. The last thing we want is for the new owner to have an electrical failure or worse a fuel leak. We double checked everything.
Of course the last job is to give the bus a face! We fitted the VW badge on the front. This area of the bus is a little dented as it did have a spare wheel fitted which does tend to rub a little on the front. The badge makes it look much better.
It's a shame to see it go. I hope the new owner takes the renovation to the next level and sends us some pictures of what he does.
The day had finally arrived when Bert left Dub Club for the last time. In the past few days we have completed the final...final jobs. This included tightening the rear wheel nuts and fixing them with locking pins, cleaning out the interior and adding a few bits of trim. At the last minute the tickover seemed to go wayward, but we felt this may be due to the lack of fuel. We added in a couple of gallons, adjusted it a bit more and it now works OK. We also could finally prove that the fuel gauge worked as whilst working on the van the tank has been almost empty.
I wasn't there to see the final send off, but the Prof. has just posted me this picture. This leaves an empty space now for a new project. We have been toying with the idea of a Porsche 914 as the Prof. has quite a few type 4 engine bits lying around looking for a home. On Monday we visited "Top Banana" a chap the Prof. knows on the VW forums. We had a road trip to Oxford and picked up quite a few bits and pieces including some sets of twin carbs and some Type 4 engine cases. I'm not a big fan of type 4 engines now due to hoe hard it is to get the parts, but we will have a hunt around to see if we can get some tinware and fan housings.
During Dub Club this week we have continued to strip down the next type 1 engine. We are not sure whether this is going in the baja bug or the brubaker. The engine currently in the Baja seems to have found a home there for the moment, so it may stay! The engine we are working on is completely stripped and tonight we managed to get the crank end gears off (using heat) and reinstalled on the new crank. The case also looks good with no signs of cracking that we can see. Some of the conrods look a little scored on the sides, so we will have a look in the stock cupboard (Which has filled up nicely) for some better ones off some of the other engines we have stripped.
In other work I had a look at fitting some gauges to the baja bug. We need a few more parts and maybe some laser cutting before we can do this.
I have't posted here for a long time, but much of the work at Dub Club is on the individual project pages. We have however been doing quite a lot of work in the week. Firstly we have been rebuilding another engine. This is intended for the Brubaker Box, but might go in the Baja bug and then into the Camper! We haven't decided yet.
Alf the Late bay has been getting a look in and tonight we assembled the front suspension. The Pof. has been hard at work with both the sanding disks, paint cans and with his wallet getting all the bits together.
This evening we continued to progress the two engines for the Brubaker and my Baja Bug. The Prof. continued to build up the engine which is to go in my Baja. We had to shorten the oil pump drive spindle as we have fitted the engine with a 3 bolt camshaft. The full flow oil pump we had was for a 4 bolt cam so we had to remove about 5mm from the length. This was cheaper than rebuying a new full flow oil pump and filter. He also completed the rebuild of the rockers complete with new studs.
I on the other hand concentrated on the engine which was in the Baja (We think this may find its way into the Brubaker) It ran really badly and we tried a new fuel pump shaft which was slightly shorter. The fuel pressure is still too high, but I pressed on and changed all the jets in the carbs to the recommended ones. For a 1600cc twin port running on Twin 34 ICT carbs these are as follows:-
55 Idle Jet 150 Main Jet 170 Air Correction Jet F6 Emulsion Tube 175 Needle Valve
I didn't change the needle valve, but did do the other 4 in both carbs. It was interesting to note what the carbs had in them and these were
52 Idle Jet 130 Main Jet 160 Air Correction Jet F78 Emulsion Tube
I'm not sure what a F78 is, but thats what it said on it! Anyhow in the week I had extended the wires on an air fuel sensor, so we could now shove this up the exhaust. We adjusted both of the carb idle screws and found that we had to take them to 1/4 turn out from fully closed to get it to run better. This indicates the main jet is still way too large. I did order a pair of 140 main jets, so I could put those in or go back to the 130s, but will reserve judgement until we have the fuel pressure dialed in and cleaned the plugs and rechecked the timing. Having said that the engine did seem much better and at least now we have the adjustment to lean the carbs out if required within the range of the adjustment screws.
After a visit from "Fish" on Sunday who helped me determine that I had the wrong plugs in the engine I had in the Baja. This evening we finalised the other engine.
The engine we had fitted is the one on the right which now runs very well and will probably find its way into the Brubaker Box. The engine on the left is the rebuilt one from the Baja, so this is the one we swapped in tonight. It went in quite smoothly and we turned it over without any coil lead first just to get the oil around the engine. The oil light went off and so we went to start it up. It coughed and spluttered but wouldn't fire. OK.... we checked the spark and fuel and both were present. We then double checked the timing....OK that was 180 degrees out! We switched the leads around and the engine fired into life. We always check and double check the distributor driveshaft keyway is correctly orientated, but once again the dizzy is not in the right place. This also made plug lead No3 too short in a standard set of leads (OK for a single carb, but too short when you have to route it over a twin carb).
We immediately noticed a knocking on the left bank of cylinders, so the engine was shut down and we rechecked the rocker clearances. One was a little out so this was fixed and then we fired it up again. It was now much better and ran very well. Tickover was very high, so we adjusted this down on each carb. The weber twin 34's I bought second hand seem to be jetted right for the job. Initially there appeared to be no leaks, but after a few minutes we noticed one at the front of the engine. We are not sure what this is, but it may be the front crank seal. This is a bit of a blow as it means the engine will need to come out again. We also noticed that there was no clutch action. I suspect we have dislodged the thrust bearing arm. This is a bit of a disappointment, but we hope nothing too serious. Generally there is always something on a rebuilt engine that makes things not perfect, but that is just how things go. Luckily with a beetle it's a quick job to take the engine out and investigate.
Overall not a bad nights work, but there are a few things that need sorting on both engines to get them 100%.
This week we have worked on the Baja engine. We removed it again only to find the thrust bearing had collapsed and we found large quantities of oil in the bell housing. We took the flywheel off and discovered that we had forgotten to put in the O ring at the end of the crank. The engine had seemed quite tight also, so we took a shim out to give a little more end float. Unfortunately we couldn't get a thrust bearing in time so was unable to re fit the engine this week. Still I did manage to change the plugs in both engines and make a better job of the blanking plugs in the manifold so I can now get more easy access to bothe the leads and plugs.
We then turned our attention to a type 4 engine in the back of the garage. We picked up this engine as part of a job lot an if you look closely under the dirt and dust it does appear to be quite sound. We retapped out the plug threads which were very dirty and then looked about for the parts we might need to get the thing going. We seem to have a complete fuel injection system and most of the tinware. Unfortunately we will need a specialist flywheel if we want to run this in the baja, but it might be possible just to put it in there without a clutch to spin it up and see what goes bang. All good fun for minimal outlay.
Progress has been slow at Dub Club for two reasons. One it is very dark and miserable at the garage and very very cold. There has been some work. The Prof. has moved "Alf" down the road to his new house and his garage is a little more welcoming on cold nights. This leaves a garage free at the moment, but there is a rumour that the garages may be sold soon and so we will be kicked out! In the mean time work continues. We have two engine projects to do. The Prof. built a type 1 engine a few years ago which is quite a racer, high lift cams autolinear case etc. As of yet he has nothing to put it in. We will try to get this fully finished and give it a run in the Baja. Secondly his rebuilt type 4 for "Alf" needs dressing fully with tinware and fuel injection. Yesterday evening we gathered all the parts for the two engines, did a stock take and made a list of anything we needed. we spent about 2 hours there until the weather got the better of us and so we retired to the new garage!
"Alf" was waiting so we fitted some better brown velour seats which the Prof. had got quite cheap. A few days earlier we had also fitted a new windscreen so all in all its looking much better now. The Prof. is not sure whether "Alf" should be sold, but I think I have convinced him to get it up and running and run it about for a while to see how he feels about it. The lure of a split screen is strong with him. This can lead to the dark side and an empty bank balance.
One further negotiation was I purchased a second camper cover from the Prof. as he no longer needs it for his van. This should prove useful at home for me so I can get my camper on the drive and free up the garage. for DIY and other projects.
Alf has been getting a lot more attention lately. We have lowered the rear of the bus on one side by 2" and replaced the donuts. We are still waiting for a second set of rubber donuts for the torsion beams on the other side. Tonight we spent quite a bit of time trying to get the rear hub nuts to release and broke a few tools trying to achieve this. I have some much stronger 3/4" drive bars at home, so we will have another go next time. The main trouble is we have the handbrake not tensioned and the gearbox out, so we cannot really stop the wheel turning. We then moved onto the gearbox cleaning. This went much better. Desert busses from the USA tend to have hot tar all over the gearbox and this bus was the same. We used a blow torch and screwdriver to soften the worst, then petrol, scraper and a jetwash to remove the rest followed by a little rotary wire brushing.
I haven't posted here for a while, but quite a lot of work has been done on the Profs' bus. The rear is now fully lowered and tonight we brought the engine down to his house and started to assemble it. It has been a long time since it was dismantled and as is the way of such things many of the pieces of the puzzle had wandered off. We seem to be short of a few brackets, but these are around somewhere and just need locating.
As you can see much of the tinware has been cleaned and painted (The engine internally is also fully rebuilt with mainly new parts). A couple of bits need taking off again and finishing, but tonight was mainly about finding and remembering where everything fits. The Type 4 engine isn't an easy build and many of the parts need assembling in an exact order otherwise they all have to come off again. The engine also looks a bit bland at the moment as it is mainly grey and black. The Prof. has a few new bits to bolt on which should make the engine look really nice when installed. I'm really keen to see how this fuel injected engine runs.
Friday night after work is a good time for working on the London based VWs in the fleet. Enfield is a fair way toward home for me and this breaks the long journey up nicely. Also by staying late into the evening I miss all the London traffic. This evening was spent stripping off all the tinware on the type 4 engine and then reassembling it in the correct order and with all the correctly lengthed bolts. We made good progress and finally sorted out how the alternator support is positioned. There are a few small items needed such as grommets etc. but we believe we now have almost everything to complete the rebuild. Hopefully sometime next week we can get the engine and gearbox back into the vehicle.
An extra day before the Easter holidays meant that the type 4 engine could be refitted into "Alf". The Prof. worked for most of the day getting ready for the install, and after work I helped lifting it in. We had decided to do both the gearbox and engine as one unit and this proved quite easy. The previous night I had waxoiled much of the rear of the bus. I was a little disappointed by the coverage with the black waxoil, but this evening it had dried out and actually looked quite good.
We struggled to find the correct length bolts, but we used what we had on hand and completed the install quite quickly. We still need to swap in the correct fixings, put in the perimeter engine seal and build up the fuel injection system. I am off on holiday for a week, but I expect the Prof. will make some progress on his own and might even get the job complete. We are both now looking forward to getting the thing running.
12/04/2016 Strange Goings on at Dub Club!
It's quite unusual for us to work on any other type of vehicle, but tonight we had the opportunity to work on a Kia Picanto! The Prof. has promised to do this for a friend, so I helped as best I could. We had to remove the gearbox and replace the crank seal behind the flywheel. It certainly makes you appreciate how easy air cooled vehicles are to work on as modern cars have very little room wasted. In addition there are so many parts to disconnect before you even start to address the fault. Progress was slow but we got the thing apart and found the part we needed to fix.
All this work on other makes left little time left, but we did manage to replace some brake lines on Alf and also do a little work on the gearbox from my bus.
Alf is comming along nicely. We have been buttoning up many smaller jobs, such as filling the gearbox with oil, tightening the rear hub nuts and the Prof. has been reassembling the fuel injection system. We really are not to far away now from getting the thing running again. One smaller job was to fit as new rear window rubber.
We had a little experience between us as we fitted a new front screen to Bert, so this went quite smoothly. Its amazing how a few new parts can turn a rusty old bus into a "Patina marvel"! Alf needs to be in good shape as it has an important engagement to perform in the near future....More on that later!
Today and last evening we both myself and the Prof. worked on Alf. Last night we spent most of the evening removing three of the windows in order to replace the rubbers. The first one was quite difficult. We used copper grease to lubricate the string and groove in the rubber. Copper grease is NOT a good lubricant. The second one went more smoothly as we used ordinary grease. The third one we tore the rubber a little, so decided to buy a new one. Unfortunately GSF are out of stock, so we will need to wait until we can complete this job. Even so we prepared the two sliding windows ready for when they arrive.
This evening was far more interesting as we got a chance to try out the Profs new mig welder. He had prepared one of the front steps, so it was just a case of welding it in.
The Prof was a little rusty having not welded for over 2 years, but with some practice he was back in the groove! Although the metal is quite thick, it's not super easy to make it look nice in such a visible area.
By the end of the day the panel was in and most of the welds dressed back (Just the front vertical lip needs doing). We coated it in primer for protection until we can get back and finish it up. It looks pretty good and much better than VW did all those years ago (See weld on brown panel to the right of the image!) With more practice the next couple of repairs should be even better.
01/07/2016 New Kid on the Block!
After a few months of anticipation there was a new arrival at the Dub Club. A 1969 early bay from the USA.
This bus was initially a joint venture, but it seems the Prof. has already purchased my half of the bus on the way across the pond! He has had a good buy as the bus is in quite good condition, no welding as far as we can see and only two owners from new. The front is dented as with all busses from the USA and there are a few scratches, but nothing too serious. The sunroof is an added bonus and seems to work OK.
As you can see the interior is in quite good condition, the only downside is that there doesn't seem to be a fuse box, so this looks like another job for me....which I am not looking forward to. The rear does have an interior, which looks a little homemade, but it seems functional enough. It is also full of parts thate the previous owner had accumulated. There are seals, glass, oil filters and such, which we have yet to go through. It looks like a lot of stuff though.
The engine is also present and the previous owner says it has been renovated recently. The coil looks new and so do a few other parts. It's a single port, but we were having a chat and it might stay with the bus as it looks quite original.
We wheeled it into the garage and then fumigated it with lots of ant powder and some bug killing coils. The garage door was shut and we could see the smoke coming from out of the roof of the garage. It looks like it has had a good dose of killer and hopefully any nasty USA side wildlife has been rendered harmless! I really like this one as its nice and original. Its just a shame as usual on delivery they bent the control arms strapping it down and the front wheels point in different directions. This looks like the first job to do! The Prof. also like it very much and I have the feeling that this one he will keep for a long time.