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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First of all, this is a retrospective build thread, and now it’s a case of WTF had I bought! But prompted by some recent success I have had to put together a build thread. For some people who know me they will be thinking :mw

I wanted to do this after significant progress as there wouldn't have been much in the way of updates, but now the ball is rolling and I have a timescale to work on.

So why have I bought this?! Well, this was a purchase from June 2011. It was bought as a bit of a project (er clearly) and to help expand my mechanic knowledge. Well retrospectively it has certainly done that.

Just for clarity, it was never meant as a vehicle I wanted to use as my primary camper since I already have a roadworthy T4 camper, so this was always going to be project with its fate to be decided based upon progress!

Well due to no progress and basically not being able to work on it as much, it got pushed to the back of the project queue. So last year I made a promise to my little sister. You do well at uni and I will build you a campervan! She thought it was just some motivational spiel, but as time went on, and I kept mentioning the van and getting her involved with mine, and going to the odd even the idea grew on her..a lot.. And now is relying on this being a success and of course relying on the fact she gets a 2.1 or above at uni!

I first noticed this for sale over on vzi and the guy was pretty keen to get rid (surprisingly) and there were no takers, so i sent him a message, he wanted more than what I thought it was worth since the van had a suspected head gasket failure. In the end I decided it was £400 so offered him that. He inclined to agree and a deal was made in principle. The van had a few months tax and a long mot, with no advisories, I had noticed a bit of rust knocking about but I was assured it was solid; a visit with a view to purchase was on the cards.

Since it wasn't a runner (well not for long anyway) I figured I would buy one of them springy tow bars and tow it back, from Abergele to Crewe, lol...So I enlisted the helping hand of my trusty friend Dave and off we went.

These are the pictures from the add:







































Shocking :eek: I know,,,but, hey, I was a sucker for a project.. :*
After checking it over, making sure the wheels turned ok and stopped ok, had to put the spare on, engine started, glanced in the engine bay, coolant tank explosion check, oil in water and vice versa check, underneath the van was indeed solid enough, rust was advertised truthfully and came for free. So it seemed fair enough and was advertised as described, I didn’t feel the need to barter any more. Deal was done and off we went, my LWB white T4 towing on a springy bar this thing with a nervous mate in the back! His consolation was he could smoke in the cab without damaging that lovely interior!
After a nerve wrecking hour and a half, a few wrong turns, few miles on the motor way and some back roads later we made it to my dads house in crewe! Phew, the sweat and concentration on Dave’s face was award winning, especially given he could only see the back doors of my van and nothing else LOL: Looking back, I’m not certain how legal all that was, but hey, we made it :D LOL:

My Dad was prepped re this and was OK for me to temporarily use his back garden to store and work on this van; If only he knew what he had let himself into! :p :tu
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
* WARNING - THIS PAGE IS BORING - READ IF YOU LIKE ENGINE BITS & SAD STORIES :D *

So the time had now come to see whats going on with this van. We had been told it was head gasket failure. We could see it had over heated, tank had pressurised spilled its guts and there was oil in what water was left. I had looked about and the oil cooler was mentioned; but we strongly felt it was indeed the head gasket. So my Dad and I cracked on with stripping it down and removing the cyling head. I was suprised at how easy this task was really;
front rad off after deciding service mode wasn't enough, cut both belts off, rocker cover off and straight onto the head bolts. 12 head bolts later and this is what we were left with:



Bottom end seemed OK, no scoring of the bores, nice even wear for 220K! A little step at the top but nothing too bad,,this was the speak of my Dad, he was quite suprised at how robust the bottom end was considering the mileage.




Now the cylinder head, ooo dear:




The head was badly corroded, poor maintenance over the years, probably just water a lot of the time... or a bad mix of coolants. Water jackets were shot, we thought we may get away with a new gasket only, but after talking about the cracks we were put off and looked for another head. Just to clarify the cracks between the valves werent the main worry, it was the cracks leading to the precombustion chamber on cylinders 3.





looks like I am shopping around for another head..problem is that is gonna cost the same as the van new...project on hold after buying:

  • new genuine VW cambelt kit inc fuel pump belt,
  • genuine vw vibration damper pulley stretch bolts,
  • cam stretch bolts
  • cylinder head bolts
  • head gasket kit
  • NGK glow plugs
  • drive belt
  • alternator belt
  • exhaust gasket and C clips (utter barstewards these)
  • VW G12+ coolant
  • oil inc filter
  • fuel filter
  • air filter
  • thermostat
the budget was quickly running dry, especially with a holiday to ibiza on the cards :) (June 2011)
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Anyway whilst on holiday I couldn't stop thinking about it, before I had gone I left a quote running on breaker yard.com, I had looked on here, ebay but nothing was about,, but anyway a quote came back for a head that was new; well had been bought to replace but bottom had gone, so i inquired. I came with a warranty, full dressed, rocker cover, cam,pulleys, injectors, vac pump. the works,,,after a bit of negotiating, (whilst on the beach in ibiza to the dismay of the mrs) a deal was done and for £350 I got it delivered to my Dads,,, can relax now :)




So got home to this:



Shiney! I was quite impressed, all looked good,,,I did wonder how many miles the injectors had done but hoped they would be less than the current ones..the old head my Dad stripped with a socket and lump hammer! Showed me how they work, collets springs valve stem seals hydraulic lifters etc.. intriguing! Made me realize how much effort there would have been if I had bought a blank new head for a bit more, so i figured it was a good deal in the end.

So the forum came into its own at this point and managed to get a copy of the autodata information for cambelts and fuel pump timing. All is on my skydrive here

Before slapping the head onto the block we cleaned the block face and cylinder head down, put the 3 hole gasket on and went for it!

All was going swimmingly really, which isn't my luck normally,,so this is when the fun began....

We had taken the vac pump off the head when we put it on, not sure why we did now, but on replacing this we hit a hurdle,,,,I had put the vac pump from the old head into a bucket, with the vac pump and pin from the new head...you can see where im going here...we didnt know which one was which,,so we put the vac pump and pin in. Cool no dramas there....put the cambelt on,,turned the engine,,,ooh its locking out..why?? Have we timed it wrong? Is the head duff? So we check everything and its coming from the middle of the cam almost...turns out its the vacpump pin,, it was almost like it was too long. So off it came,,pins were both the same size, but what we did notice now was the receiver on the vac pump was different. Tried the other pump,, the old pump it turned out to be,, good job really as when we tightened it up it broke! Turns out AAB heads come in two flavours, and the vac pumps are matched to each one....so by process of elimination we had the right vac pump left working so on that went and problem solved. For now.

Here is some data on the AAB vac pumps I found later http://cdn.media.oscaro.com/pdf/5/pg_si_0078a_en_web.pdf and attached to this post :)



So the cam belt we earlier put on was only a temp job really, so I got a full vw kit, water pump, belt, pulley, main vibration damper big bolt and the 4 cheese head allen bolts. So went to change these and discovered the cam belt tensioner pulley bolt had been previously inserted incorrectly, in fact it had cross threaded,,,so that was the end of that for the day,,,,week,,,months...so winter came and it was a drain to come down to Crewe from Manchester after work in the week where there was no light, and it was cold! Then to top it off, I dropped the vibration damper when I was removing it and I tried to catch it, at a angle, full reach, and missed...

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Got some energy back on the project so decided to tackle a few things in 2012. Had a bit of a weird obsession with collecting T4 parts from eBay, here, and facebook, grabbed allsorts of stuff wit ha view to possible future use! Most has been, my favourites are

99p Drivers Wing - fleabay
99p Slam Panel - fleabay
99p Rear bumper - fleabay
£5 front bumper - fleabay

£30 drivers doors and a free passenger door..

So decided I best sort the cab out. Remember that red interior? well me and the mrs got high and cleaned it all off the dash and the door cards with white spirit,,bad paint job with a brush :eek:





So set about that and the doors cards, gave away the seats on here, and acquired a cab mat, single base, door rubbers, side steps, and some bilstein shocks and generic springs bits for my other t4 in a great deal for £100 at a local breakers,







Now the plan is to not keep the dash in the faded grey since the paint and white spirits has damaged so in the future when I do the body work, I will do the dash too T:

Previous owner had gone to the trouble of insulating, ply lining and painting the side door step, thanks!






Then I saw these saab leather heated seats come up, snapped em up at £70 + £60 fine and 3 points :*



The cab was coming along, but the engine and body work will not fix it self!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
man your a sucker for a tatty project you are............... but hats off mate, i wouldn't have touched it...I:
Yes I like old tatty VW's, hence my T25,,, so much more character than these T5's and new Caddies :D

But the main thing here really is its for my sister and is from the year she was born and shes cool with that A:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
so I couldnt avoid the fact the engine still wasn't running so I figured lets get on with it...this took some time I can tell you!

First thing was to get this cambelt tensioner pulley bolt hole sorted. I had figured out the thread was deeper than the bolt in use, so i could gain some exta thread with a longer bolt. It wasn't enough in my mind and figured if this went then im back at square one with a smashed up head..so i lashed out £50 and got a mobile helicoil service to come out and fix it..again I was tempted to do this but bottled it at the last minute...some things are just left to the old pro's



Was quite an interesting process and the chap took his time and earnt his money that was for sure, there wasnt a lot of room and I had actually dropped the engine off its mounts too.


When done it was time to do the cambelt,,the aab autodata was a big help and made it look like quite and easy job. So I got the correct locking tools for the pump and head from lazer for £15. Got a new VW water pump, stretch bolt for the vibration damper, 4 cheesehead allen key bolts for the crank pulley and the cam belt..

Got my fly wheel at TDC



Got the belt on and it looked like this....something not right here:





VW gave me the wrong water pump,, nice one.... now I had actually got all these and swapped out the old pump with them last year. So I had to buy another pump, great. The new one had no adjustment holes and doesnt tension the belt.So theres atleast two water pumps for the AAB and two vac pumps for the AAB. I am learning...

Pump locked into the factory position


Tightened up the bolt on the cam on the fuel pump side,,,,and whack...bolt sheared :(:( turns out the 100nm was in fact for a bolt stamped 10.9 tensile strength and not 8.9 which I had,, this could only take 85nm....so some more fun...whipped the cam belt off and cam out,,my Dad steps in and took the cam off me and left it soaking in penetrating oil for a week. He slotted the remaing section of bolt and each day he came out to the shed, used a big screw driver to turn it by half a turn each day,,it was in tight, we didnt want to drill it out and felt this was the best way,,,he's a big strong dude and probably enjoyed the challenge! A week later it was out :D

So lesson learn't there and a new bolt ordered :*:




the van stayed looking like this now for a little while,,removing the slam panel was necessary for a few reasons, access and it was rotten...well 99p later on ebay and a new one was sourced:

 

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Discussion Starter #10
So a fresh injection of enthusiasm ensued this year! It had been left for a year pretty much! In that time I had also bought and sold one van, £400 van from London Lez, and a Sycnro that was tooooo rotten so I broke it for parts in order to keep the syncro system for my van..which doesn't have a build thread yet either...cos i yap on too much it would take me for ever, inbetween vans, and using them!

So back to the rat. Right well early this year i got back on it. I got the right water pump, got it all ready to go and turn the key, video goin just incase,, and weak start..hmmm whats this. So banged the out of the starter with a mallet. It helped a little. For me anyway! But it turned over weak still. So I got a new one. Put that on. Still much of the same. I had tested the other one too and it span ok on the floor with my foot on it wired upto jump leads lol

So I fiddled. I found the ignition switch to be dodgy..well, why, it was fine two years ago and hasnt moved since! ok well so i took it off and kinda hot wired it. Yayyy starter was faster..some times..not sure why the sometime but it didnt start anyway.

So back to drawing board, was it timing, was it fuel, what was it? Easy start...well it grumbled on it, but did nowt else. So I realised I hadnt bled the injector pipes, it had been so long ago now that I assembled It i had forgotten. So pipes off back to the pump and tried again. NOthign. No fuel coming out of the IP. Why#?! Checked 12v solenoid feed, was OK. Could I see fuel in the pipes, yes I could. any air,, hmm a little. so I went to change the filter and put some fresh fuel in (cherry) but I snapped the brittle T piece on the filter



Damn expensive for what they were, then I realised I had my breaker van!

Another picture in case your getting bored again (new starter):







Why I hear you say? Well I figured fresh fuel, on the end of the existing pipes until I could get new T piece....STILL NO FUEL OUT OF THE PUMP! arrgghhhh.. So spoke to mechanic friend and he had me revisit that solenoid. Good job as I didnt really know what was going on in there. Could I hear it click open when I put a manual 12v feed onto it? Yeah. So ok lets go in it. Went in and the spring and everything was fine. So brill all looks good. But still no fuel coming out of pump. Timing was irrelevant at this point as fuel should still come out. So we resigned to the fact the pump had dried up and siezed some how and needed a rebuild. Well balls to that..fortunately in my mad ebaying spree I had bagged a 'spare' 2.4d pump :D:D Gotta love spares... But this had been stood for a year too.. Picked it up and fuel spilt all over me. Good sign I guess :cool:

WOW its a pain putting a pump on. Well the 3 bolts behind the bracket way anyway. So got it on anyway, solenoid in this was missing plunger so swapped it from my old one. turn it over and yay fuel out of the pump!! So injector pipes, then bolted onto injectors. Got timing set and off I went...did it fire?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Right did it run, well, in short, NO ! LOL:

It was verrry close to running..I remembered it needed oil at this point so did that then it was back to the drawing board with a few things. The bubbles in the fuel pipe showed me air in the system still so I went and ordered one of these


I went and got the right fuel pipes and T piece fitted, I got the fuel pump primer and purged a load of old fuel from the tank and drew through the fresh stuff, I also got the fuel in all fuel pipes and purged as much air as possible. I then retimed the fuel pump remembering the woes of recent with friends fuel pump ( was 180* out ), got the pump at factory timing... so I tried AGAIN,,
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.cough cough splutter,,,, RUNS.....then dies...

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OK that was very promising, lots of white smoke, but it killed it self pretty quick. Timing is out, moved cam fuel pump pulley by one tooth and advanced by turning towards me. Tried again,,,struggled to start, as in starter motor span very slowly,,, It had done this so many times before, but I thought it was battery getting nailed etc, but I knew this time it wasnt that.

Soooo I swapped ignition switch. Wasn't that. I saw whilst down there on the steering column lots of bad wiring...hmmm..ok whats this then spliced all over the show and the main ignition thick red wire going into an 'add on relay' turns out it was part of old alarm, so i ripped it all out and tidied up wiring.




Tried after this and brill, the starter fired nice and fast, each time and every time A: Something else fixed! Today was going very well..Whilst I was down that way I noticed the fusebox was sp and the glow plug relay looked odd. It was unbranded and looked after market. I had previously multimetered the bus bar for the glow plugs and found the voltage quite low. Figured this would not help starting so I had in my van, as you do, a complete set of relays from the breaker van I had...so I went and got the 102 relay and replaced it. This is what happened next.

 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
So finally It has life! Was beginning to think this day wouldnt come! It came at a good time since my dad was getting annoyed at a purple rat van in his garden obscuring the view from the kitchen :eek:

So all this brings us to the present time. I cba to rebuild the front back up, rad, pipes, water etc as I now have some welding to do on the inner arch/battery tray area.. may get inventive and stick a double battery tray in there and move the filter up a bit to the warmer engine bay area for vege use :D

So this has spurned a move of the van to closer to home so I can get cracking as progress has been slow really just to get to this stage so any further will take years!

so I drove it out of here (brakes didnt bind but will test em fully another day)





to here




then out on to here last Wednesday - big thanks to 'Dave the Rave 668' for his awesome transportation service.



and now its in Manchester waiting to be worked on as we speak :D :D Hopefully the updates will get a bit more interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well since moving it down to a friends unit a lot closer to home I can now commence work on this van :)

Whilst I still need to assemble the front end, connect the ancillaries, rad pipes, power steering, tidy wiring, etc I wanted to get to grips with some body work I want to do at this point and get some primer on the fresh body cuts and welds.

I have a section of inner front wing to attend to, so I figured whilst the front was off I would tackle this. Whilst moving it I noticed the sills were particularly bad. I had already clocked this a while ago and ordered replacement sills and arches all around,,some of these panels were for a previous bus I sold so the cost of these had been absorbed already,,I really want to try and keep this project's costs down as much as I can since I am giving this bus away to my sister! Therefore any help is appreciated, be that expertise or parts donations!
















So last week I got the grinder and cutting disk out and had a tackle at the the n/s sill. The inner & outer sill skin is pretty much gone! Hopefully this is the worst it gets,,possibly the other side is this bad too (hopefully not!) so I reckon I'm gonna move onto there shortly before fab time comes :) The sliding door step can be a problem, but so far this looks like it stopped before it got to bad there.





The n/s inner arch section is complete and OK to receive a new arch panel.






Fortunately the rest of the chassis, sub-frame, suspension mounts, floor pan are all fine,,needs a bit of surface taken back on the arms and above the heat shield, I will be repainting that and getting some new under seal on eventually.

There is a bit around the tailgate bottom lip that needs a bit of fabrication.





I have dabbled a bit with welding on previous van and one of my mates,,,not much though, just cutting out rusty sections, plugging holes in the floor, and some sill work,,,but i'm looking forward to the challenge of getting the grinder and welder out again and see if i can get some straight body work going on :*.

I have a friend who has a press and the plan is to fabricate some inner sills with that :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank-you for posting these pics, they make my bits of rust suddenly seem nowhere near as bad as I thought they were! T:
Lol yeah it does and it should also serve a reminder to sort them out before it gets bad, keep up on under seal, keep them arches clean! ive done some more cutting tonight, but will update the pictures tomo as im doing 12hour days what with work and this van atm T:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Right so update as promised. The rust is slowly being removed, along with some parts of the van :D I did say this was a rat van right? Lets hope I can weld these panels back on fairly straight lol So I went onto the other side sill in the hope it wasnt too bad...oh yeah i forgot when I put it in its resting place a few years ago it had a tiny hole in the top of the sill i had poked through..a few inspection holes and yes.. looks like new inner and outer sill on both sides...love it..



Then moved onto the rear o/s arch which is the worst since it had rotted through to inner skin...

Before



and after



for this side I have a repair panel and a solid body cut which includes some inner arch curvy bits, though I have managed to save a good piece of the inner arch skin.

Also lobbed the rusty rectangular section off the tailgate since i was in the rust cutting mood...

found some dodgy repairs from a previous life,,,just whacked it with me disk for fun:




Value for money as this disk has done a lot of work and not smashed up!

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hahaha LOL:

Love the thread mate. I don't often read em, i usually just look at pictures. Looks a lot like my van when i bought it, bodywork and the smashed up head. LOL:
Yup this is proper Shit isn't it haha but if I can get it looking and running half as good as yours then we are onto a winner :D
 
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