I get asked for links to other people’s sites from time-to-time, but usually have to say a polite no, mainly because I don’t actually have a dedicated links page
and never really wanted one, and often these ad-hoc links don’t warrant a post in their own right. However, I’ve decided to make an exception for a site that I was contacted about. Kombi blog is – or will soon be – hosting some trip reports but for the time being I’m more interested in the how-to guides that the site owner is putting up. It’s one thing to refer to a service manual with grainy black and white photos, but a good walk-through with large colour photos is always so much easier. Unfortunately the site is built with frames (ugh!) which makes it difficult to provide direct links to these how-to guides, but just look at the menu options on the left for ‘Renovations’.
With the van completely empty and looking shabby, I really needed to get on and finish the job. The interior was mostly done (well, the new doors I cut out needed routing – so that I can put trim around the edge – and hinges, catches etc) but while the van was empty I decided to give it a make-over (see previous post for the list).
The hardest job was putting new windows in (or old windows with new rubbers). I really needed a swear box, especially when the helpful leverage supplied by screwdriver slipped and scratched the freshly tinted windows! This was not an easy job, and I am not looking forward to doing it again. Ever.
Here’s a bit of the progress from that part of the refurb, done over 12 hours:
On the Saturday just gone, I finally put the refurbed interior back in. It was a bit of a jigsaw, and I discovered that I was missing one piece (thankfully, not a crucial part, and one I can make up out of MDF quite easily). There are still some final bits of work needed – some trimming, floor, and a few other odds and sods, but basically the donkeywork is all done now. And here’s the (almost) finished result:
Well, the restoration on the units has been going pretty good. It took a couple of weeks of filling, sanding, re-fixing old joins and applying finishing touches (fablon vinyl covering and edge trimming), along with a bit of painting, varnishing and good old-fashioned cleaning. The bed/seat is recovered and everything is almost ready to go back in, although I still have to finish the cupboard doors – just waiting on finding the right router part so I can cut a groove in the doors for the trim to go in. You can see the progress in the photos below:
Now, it just needs somewhere to go, right? This weekend I bravely took to the existing interior. Once I’d pulled up the first bit of laminate floor, well, I was committed to it then. Over the next hour and a half or so, I unscrewed and pulled out the various fittings until the back of the bus was completely empty. It looks positively cavernous in there now!
Before the refurbed interior goes back in I’m going to get a few jobs done on the inside, namely:
- Wire brush all the floor and re-paint with a black rust-proof paint
- Sand all the bodywork above the suage line on the interior from the bulkhead back
- Remove the windows with the knackered seals, also replace the pop-out windows for new (non-leaky) windows
- While the windows are out, re-tint them all – easier to do on a flat surface, and can actually put the rubbers over the top of the tinting, woohoo!
- Paint the interior above the suage line white
- Lift up the pop-top, blitz the inside with a range of toxic chemicals to remove damp spots and what have you!
Sounds like a lot, but nothing too troubling really. Can do it all myself, the only question is how quickly? Watch this space!
Long time no blog post. About time I did something about that and I have just the reason – a long overdue refresh of the interior of our VW Camper (aka our Ethel).
Last week I collected an old Dormobile (D 4/6) interior from a guy in Slough . Originally he wanted just £50 for the units and the fold-out bed, then it went down to £30 but when I actually collected it he had a change of heart and decided not to take anything for it. Perhaps, in removing the units, he realised just how much work would be involved to put them right.
So, for the next few weeks I’ll be cleaning and sanding the units, re-screwing all the joints (with counter-sunk screws that I’ll fill over and sand for a flat finish), covering entirely with new Fablon (sticky vinyl covering) in Beech finish, and putting new hinges on everything. The only hurdle I’m expecting, to be honest, is finding some trip to apply to the edges of the doors – I may need to improvise somewhat!
Once all the units are in good shape inside the house, I’ll take out the existing interior and start plumbing in the new ones. I’m hoping that will be the easy part.
So, I’ll update the progress on the blog, partly for my own records, and partly in the hope that someone searching for door trim for Dormobile units might chance upon this site – and if they do, please let me know where I can get some!
… she would probably look a bit like this:
So, I don’t have a split-screen bus, so I can’t do a proper job of recreating Filmore from the film, so the Photoshopped version will have to do!
Heard about this just a couple of days ago, saw it on the Maplin web site today, had to have it this evening!
So, that’s my Xmas present from Manda come early then!
Check out the other pics here ….
I was sent a link a little while back and it’s taken me a while to get around to posting something here. I don’t understand the text on this site but that doesn’t matter – it’s good enough that there are loads of pics of a hard looking camouflaged Kombi making its way through various South American terrain:
And I think there may have been an engine repair or two along the way …
Go check out the site for yourself – this is one well-travelled bus.
I knew it would happen. Just a couple of weeks ago I was having a discussion at our monthly VW meet-up about the film Cars, specifically about the VW split screen bus called Fillmore and how it must surely only be a matter of time until someone painted up their bus to look like Filmore, stuck a couple of card inserts in the windscreen for the eyes and then make a few pennies off Disney/Pixar or the local cinema for promotional purpose. Just a matter of time, I said …
Apparantly the kids love the Filmore lookalike (can’t imagine why … I jest) so the owners might well keep it like this for some time to come. Now, if they could only work out a way of keeping the eyes on the front while driving – and staying legal – that would be so cool!
… so don’t go telling me how gosh-darn jolly good it was otherwise I’ll use much stronger language in my reply! Seriously, though, this was the year that I really should have been there but forces conspired against me. Why should have I been there? Because:
- I own a Volkswagen. And it’s a van/bus/[your pet term of choice here]
- I haven’t been to nearly enough shows this year – Bristol Volksfest was basically it! (I can’t count Wroughton Classic – that was a stone’s throw away for me)
- A book called Campervan Crazy was launched there on which Manda (the wife) appears – front cover, no less, and which features a piece that I wrote for the book, along with a two-page spread inside the book (p132). It even includes a full-page photo I took back at an early Bug Jam (or was it Beetle Bash?) of Dubhenge that includes me brother
- A design that I did for the Vanfest printed programme – one that I knocked together, to be honest, based on some photos taken at earlier shows – ended up being chosen as the winner by the organisers. So, not only was the bus on the front cover of the book to be launched at the show, it was also on the front of the programme handed out to everyone on their way in … but not me. (I also missed out on the opportunity of free camping all weekend and entry to the show – a tidy little saving I never made use of)
So, why wasn’t I there? Because:
- People insist on having weddings. 3 in one month for me – 4 in a 6-week stretch. Crazy … Anyway, that took care of my Friday and Saturday.
- People insist on having birthdays. It was the wife’s in the previous week and the Sunday evening was reserved for her folks to buy her dinner somewhere out of town.
- Volkswagens insist on having ‘issues’. In the week before Vanfest, the alternator went and needed fixing. I managed to get the van on the Friday night – so I was in time for the show – but with just a small window of opportunity on that Sunday I didn’t think it was worth it.
So, did I miss much then?