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swallowtail lee

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About swallowtail lee

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    iDubber

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    northampton
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  1. Jude the bus! 1971 Westfalia T2 Early Bay window Bus

    W/C 12/12/2016 Update. Got a few hours after work in Tuesday to do a bit. Managed to clean up the outriggers and floor to start trial fitting the inner sill, whilst I was at it I found more rot in the innser splash back and also the front jacking point needs changing it could probably be repaired but I’ll opt to swap it out I think. Tacked in place Once all welded into place I drilled the holes where im going to plug weld it to the sill strengthener and gave them both a nice coat of por15. That’s it for this week, although I’m going over to do some more in a minute. Hopefully get the strengthener in and make a start on the B Post. Update. 01/01/2017 Happy new year!! I’ve made a little progress over the xmas break from work. I think I’ve managed about 20 hours over the unit. Firstly I trimmed back the b post to good metal and cut down the replacement post I got from schofields. Matched it up and welded it in. Then I did the same with the outer panel. I then made a small plate to fill the gap from the inner and outer B Post panels. Tacked it in: I’ve left it there for now as ive got some repairs to do to the top hat and splashback. I decided to move to the C post. I couldn’t find a replacement anywhere and the existing post is pretty much rotted away so i done a bit of digging on google images and it seems most people make their own. So I did a bit of measuring and fabricating of my own. I don’t think I did too bad for a total novice.. I’ll let you guys decide though! Haha Chopped back the sides to good metal and nice and straight for ease. Now that the C post was in I could finally mock up the side panel/sill and also the short sill at the back that meets the wheel arch. Side panel and sill mocked up. They fitted pretty well considering I pretty much guessed my C post position and measurements.  Started tacking the panels into place. I opted to butt weld rather than step one of the sides as I’ve read its best practice. Although when I was welding it in I thought it would’ve been a lot easier to step one side. I did blow through in two places which was highly annoying. Pretty much welded in now, I have some pin holes to fill and also need to blank off the old electric hook up. The panel joint where I welded them together seems to sit a little proud. I think I will try beat it back a milimeter or two. Obviously it will need a thin skim of filler no matter what, I might leave it to the body shop to decide whats best. That’s it for now, wife was getting tired of being a bus widow! Haha.
  2. Jude the bus! 1971 Westfalia T2 Early Bay window Bus

    Tried my hand a welding for the first time, bought a Schofields ‘correct contour’ panel, cut out the rotten section and matched a new piece from the panel. Drilled it where it fits to outriggers. My panel was ever so slightly too small on one side which made for harder welding, schoolboy error! It took me a while to get the welder set up correctly so it penetrated well and didn’t blow through, think I did ok for a novice…… It’s not too cosmetic here as its under the interior flooring. Can’t wait to get my teeth into the sills. I think I’ll feel like I’m making some progress then…. Still needs a bit more welding and then grinding back again. Ive since cut that poxy welding stick off! Haha [url=http://s440.photobucket.com/user/pudgeylee/media/bus/E7DF5CBF-D53A-45E8-81B4-82D3FE51144F_zpse9o8cifw.jpg.html]
  3. Jude the bus! 1971 Westfalia T2 Early Bay window Bus

    Yeah im well chuffed with the unearthing the history. Awesome, what bus you got? any pics? i just want to get this to a solid state then just enjoy it, like you said they are never perfect! haha. what bit was you missing? i picked up a buddy seat at busfest thus year for £30, that i was missing from the westy interior. they were over 100 sheets on ebay
  4. A retrospective Build thread of my Swallowtail.

    Ah cool!! thanks for that. do you know who made them?? Yeah C2 mate, lowered on 30mm springs. Spaced 15mm all round. sits and rides really well imho. the c2's look poo standard. far too high. the 997 & 991 look a lot better.
  5. Jude the bus! 1971 Westfalia T2 Early Bay window Bus

    Pahahahaha i never looked at it that way!! its all her fault.....
  6. Jude the bus! 1971 Westfalia T2 Early Bay window Bus

    New smoothie hub caps came: The following weekend was VW Action at Santapod raceway, we’d been going to this show for about 15 years in various VW’s but never in a camper! Queuing to get in, beer in hand: Another camping trip, cramming them in before the summer ended: On the way home this time, the grinding noise coming from the wheel was getting really bad, I climbed under the van and it looked as if the inner cv joint is rubbing on the gearbox casing  I drove very carefully home and decided to that would be its last voyage this year, I started to prod at the various little rust scabs, which soon unearthed a little more than I was expecting: Gutted is an understatement…. I really should’ve taken a magnet with me when I viewed the bus… all the panel lines looked ok-ish as well. Some pretty skilful filler work! Haha Started stripping the interior: Dropped the bus off to my unit at work for the winter, hopefully have it back on the road by the spring, that’s the plan anyway! I figured I need to learn to weld, QUICKLY! Started getting violent with the grinder: From here it looks like the drivers side needs: Inner, middle, outer sill, rear inner & outer arch, B&C post bottoms, outer step. Passenger side looks a bit better and the sliding door track looks in good order, luckily!! Needs, Outer sill, middle and inner sill repairs. Rear outer and inner arch, front inner and outer step. Front needs the panel and dents sorting, windscreen surround bottom. Apart from that its mint!! hahahahaha I sent some photos off to a decent VW bodyshop and got a quote to do all the welding and paint th outside of the bus, £12,000!!! Exactly the same amount as I paid for the bus.. That would make it a 24k van plus any mechanical or other improvements.. could’ve bought a splitty….. I’ve decided to do as much of the work I feel comfortable with and then see about getting a shop to do the final bits…. That’s the plan anyway. I plan to keep the bus for many years so I don’t mind either way. While all this was going down, I tried to contact the last US owner named on the import documents. But to no avail, I did however stalk his twitter and found a couple old pics of the bus! Before he got it painted: After, circa 2012 Whilst I was removing the interior and pulling out the rock n roll bed, I saw what I thought were a few dollars down the side of the bed, it was a wallet!! Complete with drivers licence, I Facebooked the name and found someone matching that name in ‘merica. I took a chance and sent him a phot of the wallet asking if it was his… The next morning I woke to find a notification on my phone. It was the guy! He messaged back saying he’d lost the wallet in his cousin’s van back in 1994 on the way to a family get together: I then received a message from his cousin, the previous owner!! Turns out he’d bought the van off an old lady in Michigan, who had slid off the road and hit a guy, who bounced off the front passenger side of the van – causing that dent in my photos. She then parked the van up and didn’t drive for 20 years, my man then bought it from her, ‘restored’ the van and whilst he was at college, his mum sold it!!! How rude! Floor needs a bit of work also:
  7. Jude the bus! 1971 Westfalia T2 Early Bay window Bus

    I had a good poke around the van and all seemed ok, couple of scabs, inner sill needed patching. Took it out for a drive, bit strange at first being LHD and also never driven one before, I had been a passenger but never the pilot. After getting used to it, it drove really well. I still have the image of my wife sat on the Rock ‘n’ Roll seat, hands in her lap, looking back at me in the rear view mirror with the biggest smile! I wasn’t quite as excited, my thinking was along the lines of; all this money for a basic tin can that looks like a SMEG fridge! (not a fan of the cream paint). I told the guy we’d have a think, went and got mcdonalds and travelled back home.. Wife was keen, I wasn’t. I knew it was probably about the right money and she kinda sold it to me that I’d always wanted one and we could sell it if I changed my mind.. obviously we bought it. It had just a few weeks MOT remaining so Simon put it through an MOT for us, it failed! Welding on the inner arch splashbacks – both sides and also brake master cylinder was leaking. He was quoted £500 for the works and I could either have the bus for £500 less or i pay what we’d agreed and he’ll get the work done, I chose the latter… Just over a week later the bus was ours to collect! I took the morning off work and called in a favour from the little bro to take me to go get it, still a little apprehensive yet excited. Got down there, paid the man and jumped in the driver’s seat, it was then when I was looking down at the dash I noticed some rot around the bottom of the inside of the windscreen, I thought to myself if there’s rot there then there’s surely going to be a whole lot more! Not usually the first placed to go is it, on the inside…. A little bit gutting but I was still excited, I knew this was going to be a lifelong project…. Filling it up ready for the 90 mile journey home. The whole way home I had the biggest grin, I was now sold! Loads of people taking photos on the motorway and a couple thumbs up! I was pleasantly surprised that I could cruise along at 65mph (on the speedo) It seemed to feel quite content and stable. That evening I picked the wife up and went McDonalds’, again… We pulled up in a nearby retail park, shut the curtains, put the table up and got right down to it… eating dinner Whilst sat there we both was thinking of the memories that must have been made in this van in the 45 years. How many babies were conceived, how many times its been used to move house, holidays, breakdowns etc etc. we would later find out!! Stay tuned…. Before I got the bus I won a set of original steels on ebay complete with hub caps for £10 and It turned out they were round the corner from a site I was working at that weekend, Sent them straight to the powder coaters and ordered white band tyres: Wife mucking in, That weekend we tagged along to my parents camping trip: y The bus was awesome, didn’t miss a beat on the 350 mile round trip. The only issue was a slight grinding noise coming from the driver side rear wheel. Camping wise I found the westfalia interior very well thought out and the bus was extremely warm at night!
  8. Hi there, I thought I’d start a build thread to document the happenings of our early bay - Jude the bus. I’ve always wanted a bus, but I never had the spare money or it’s never been a good time to get one. I’ll start with a bit of back ground and a story! If you can’t be bothered to wade through my boring journalism, skip to the pictures!!  This summer I was on the lookout for a 60’s mustang as I’ve always fancied a yankie motor, the wife wasn’t quite on the same wavelength though… In the beginning of July this year I went to look at a 69 mustang, absolutely loved it but something was niggling at me, when would I get the time to drive it, would it just be another car sat on the drive for 6 days a week. 2 days after looking at the mustang, I dragged the missus to the local classic car meet in a local village, whilst milling about we stumbled on a pink and white fully restored late bay, really nice but massively girly and pink, not really to our taste but we continued to ask the owner some questions about the bus. It turned out it was for sale, when we asked how much- just out of curiosity really, the guy replied “25 thousand”then added “and a bit” we sort of nodded and wandered off. It was then the wife turns to me and says “what about a camper?” she’s always loved them as much as me. The seed was planted! That evening we started looking in the usual places for buses, I’ve always fancied one and im quite particular about my motors so I had a bit of a criteria: It had to be an early bay, mostly original, tin top, import preferred as usually less rot, and be a camper! That same evening we stumbled on a pretty original Westfalia US import, tin top. It seemed to tick all the boxes! Cut a long story short, the next day we were on the way to Woking, about 90 miles from us to look at the bus. Within the first 30 mins of the journey we saw 4 early bay’s! We sort of joked that it’s a sign…. The bus was located in a boarding school, with a resident house master being the current owner, nice chap called Simon.. This is what we were met with:
  9. A retrospective Build thread of my Swallowtail.

    aaaaaand finally washed!! first time in years... no filters on these pics, totally looks filtered up though, weird.. i was literally like a kid at christmas, couldnt stop smiling. still not 100% done now, need to clean the interior, bit dirty from all the pain the car has endured and the bay needs some wiring tidying and a new washer jet hose. few shakedown problems discovered on the test drive: clutch needs adjustment, needs new oil cap, slight leak, brakes need adjusting/further bleeding. gears could do with fine tuning a bit think thats it....
  10. A retrospective Build thread of my Swallowtail.

    just a little throwback to july 2007:
  11. A retrospective Build thread of my Swallowtail.

    In the mean time, foobar'd around with the steering column as one of the welds had cracked, got a new off Brad Mcgee! Legend! for free too, and my lil Bro Lewis picked it up from Sheffield for me! Cheers lew! Tried fitting it but its slightly longer than the swallowtail one, i have noticed when driving other mk1's the steering wheel feels more on top of you than it does in the swallow!! So bought a welder and welded up the original column, refitted... got the car MOT'd. passed with flying colours. dude made a comment about this sills.. which are 100% solid. tidied them up after his insults, the paint was flaking slightly at the very bottom. helmet. Bought another headache: stay tuned for the build thread on that piece of dump!! car seeing daylight for the first time in years: im sure if he was a person he would be squinting and shielding his face Finally got the swallow home, i was so paranoid driving it back, got stuck at a busy set of traffic lights with smoke coming out the bonnet, pulled it over into a side road and the smoke had stopped. i had about 3 fire extinguishers on me anyway! i think it was just the paint curing/burning off where everything has been painted. car at home, still hadnt even been washed here:
  12. A retrospective Build thread of my Swallowtail.

    new period plates, car is now tax exempt and has been since 2015!! so i can legally have black plates!! i've opted for the plastic and ribbed foil type, i actually prefer them to the pressed metal plates... thanks to the mrs getting these done fro me burdeee made my own bespoke battery leads. how cool am i!!? haha new bosch battery just hanging in the background Love, love, love these centres. they were in the boot of the car in a bag when i bought it, i have never ever seen them on another car or in any images online. NOWHERE!! i think they really complement the basic poverty spec of this car with the black accents here and there. New zinc coated wheel bolts, no stone unturned.... looking wheely good now. Upskirt Shot after a lot of messing around and some reference pics sent through from my main man James Henderson, love you James!!! i finally got the little beast wired up and running!!! video !!!! like a little sewing machine... http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq130/pudgeylee/Adolf%20the%20Golf/th_D28A8CF2-83AE-4DBB-8481-E798C60970D5_zpsevps7pi8.mp4 Made it out the unit and ran out of fuel, don't like leaving a lot in the tank whilst in storage...
  13. A retrospective Build thread of my Swallowtail.

    resurrecting this thread yet again!! car is now done, so true to this threads name, its retrospectively!!! progress pic: got the original steels that came with the car blasted and powdered: got my original RM's painted and refreshed:
  14. A retrospective Build thread of my Swallowtail.

    Yeah that aftermarket one I've got is poor, I've got my original but it's all nasty and stained. Any ideas on cleaning them up? What are the differences from the swallow to the later ones?
  15. A retrospective Build thread of my Swallowtail.

    So excited to be driving this again!
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