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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone posted pics or a "how to" on repairing the strengthening beam below the battery/diesel fuel filter area (95 t4 caravelle). There is so much info on here I may have missed while searching. I have seen replacement panels are available, but am hopeful I can make repair plates. I haven't done any welding for some years so need to re-learn.

Would like to know what I am letting myself in for....
 

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I'm in the middle of exactly that repair now and regretting it a bit.
Don't know how bad your outrigger looks but as you dig deeper it will inevitably get worse. As the left outrigger is under the battery bay and the floor has rotted too so I am having to go a long way back to find some metal to weld to.
The shape of the outrigger is not a right angled box section, it has a wide end and a narrow end with a twist inbetween so your plate making skills need to be quite good.
If your welding skills are a bit rusty this will be a valuable re-learning experience for you.

Its all do-able but if I had my time over again I would buy a good part from a reputable supplier, they seem to be available for about £40. Cut out all the rust and repair the floor of the battery bay then weld in the new outrigger.

I'd be happy to hear how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I have cut out all the rot (I hope) and made some templates out of thin card board for the repair plates. I have managed to talk a work mate into doing the welding as he is a trained fabricator/welder and has a four post lift in his garage/workshop. When I looked into the cost of a new welding mask, wire etc and the fact that my welding gear has been sat in the back of the garage for so long, I know he will make a far better job of it than I can.

Iam just waiting to deliver the van to him as I write this. I will take some photos of the cut out sections and post later so others can see what might be involved.
 

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Morning Tony, i spent all summer last year cutting away and welding my beloved van, http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=300632&highlight=total+strip theres loads of pics of different parts of the van i had to weld, it seemed to take ages at the time but knowing that my van was eventually going to be solid again kept me going, good luck with it, post some pics up so we can have a look
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, just got back from dropping the van off at my workmates. I have stripped the front end off (headlights and front bumper mounting area etc. by unclipping all the cables, connectors etc only about 20 minutes work (the bumper and grille were already off). The radiator hinges that allow it to move forward have had the pins pushed out to release it from the front panel and the radiator has been supported on some strong string tied around wiper spindle. I thought we were going to have to drain the coolant and remove the rad completely then realised there is the power steering cooler on the front as well. The 12 bolts were then undone and the whole front panel removed. This has given much better access to allow the horizontal panels to be cleaned up properly and repair plates made. The front end is quite heavy and two people are needed to move it (and possibly a third if you have forgotton to undo anything).

Taken a few pics but short of time to upload now. Will add them later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok so here are the photos. The areas were all bright shiny metal at the time of cutting them out a week ago. The van has been sitting outside in a damp atmosphere since and will obviously need re-polishing before welding starts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Morning Tony, i spent all summer last year cutting away and welding my beloved van, http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=300632&highlight=total+strip theres loads of pics of different parts of the van i had to weld, it seemed to take ages at the time but knowing that my van was eventually going to be solid again kept me going, good luck with it, post some pics up so we can have a look


Wow, i'm glad my bus is more solid than yours was when you started! Amazing write up and a great guide for anyone thinking about buying a T4 to see where to look for body rot.

You have done an amazing job, well done. Really like the colour as well. Thanks for the info. T:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jobs done. My workmates welding is far better than i could have achieved. Only took a couple of pics but the rest is to the same standard.

 
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