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Author Topic: Build Thread - Shasta Bus/Inception, Past, Present, & Future  (Read 26774 times)
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BadDogRacing
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« on: March 13, 2011, 09:35:17 am »

In response to and motivated by mikehtiger's "We need some build threads!!!, I will try to re-create and continue a build thread documenting the find, extraction, clean-up, and ongoing outfitting changes to my "Shasta Bus".
This thread will get quite busy with text and will also be heavy with pictures as the documented evolution is explored, re-lived, and continues.

Welcome to the first of my build threads and hope you enjoy this rather lengthy and epic saga.

~greg  
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 06:01:21 pm by BadDogRacing » Logged

BadDogRacing
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 09:46:13 am »

June 2008

As found. Picked up this 1964 Kombi for my 2009 Assault on the Shasta Snow Trip. The Bus has literally been sitting abandoned in a field up against a tree since the early 1980's.
I want to thank my good buddy Brian Watts who originally found the Bus and for making me a screamin' deal on this Beauty! So here are some pics from the very beginning....




[/quote]



How it looked when I got it on the trailer:









Had to put this decal on it:

« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 07:40:46 am by BadDogRacing » Logged

BadDogRacing
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011, 12:40:39 pm »

I know this Bus build thread may seem senseless to some being that this is a Baja forum, but there will be many crossover tips, ideas, and the familiarities will become more frequent especially in the engine and trans applications.

Here are more pics from the initial acquisition:

This is how it looked in the engine/trans bay. Keep in mine I had to install a trans to make the Bus a roller. There's tons of cob webs and accompanying spiders there at this point, but there were many more when I first opened up the deck lid. As the trans was installed it was raining spiders the whole time.



It had these nasty mold and fungus covered seats in it when found. They looked to be out of a Camaro. They had their own unique stank.



I pulled and pitched those buckets right away. Sadly the Bus was a "non-walkthrough" and the bulkhead that originally ran across from pillar to pillar behind the seats was removed.



Another disappointing find was that the overhead air box was also hacked out.

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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 12:45:02 pm »

After the first day of cleanup. Took the pressure washer to it, inside and out.
Painted up some wheels and found some hubcaps. Installed headlights. tail lights, and turn signals.





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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2011, 12:56:58 pm »

The hunt for needed parts started next.. One of the main goals in this Bus build is to use as many recycled, saved, garage sale, and swap meet pieces as possible. Keeping our pact, as we did with our first Shasta Bus (The Mushroom Bus), we hope to construct another top contender for the race to Mt. Shasta City.
Lessons learned form our first assault, we will build a faster, stronger, more comfortable, and lighter vehicle than the first year. With the help of fellow VW fanatics, we had a jump start with six months to our deadline. In the first year we took on Shasta, we obtained a Bus and started to outfit and modify it just two weeks before the event. This year we would have the luxury of time.
Our goal was to set a new record by smashing the existing record of 10 hours in convincing fashion. Although it's not really a rally or a race, our involvement has brought a new competitive feel to the event.
Veterans of this event have almost ten years of experience under their belts. When they heard a team of accomplished VW Drag Racers were in the mix, the smack talk started.

"Those Drag Race guys have no idea what they're in for!". "They are totally out of their comfort zone!", and when we showed up with our tire chains already installed...."Those guys are Pussies!". The teasing, albeit in fun, was relentless. We stared to second guess ourselves about being chained up. Being Newbies at this event, and I for one not much of a fan of cold weather, we started to think maybe we were in over our heads.
Well the tables quickly turned as we raced away from all the ill prepared "experts". In the most demanding conditions ever experienced during this event, we made a name for ourselves beating the next team into Shasta City by over 3 hours. Not bad for three guys that are more at home taking a trip a quarter mile at a time.

Our original plan was to purchase a Bus each year, run Shasta and then sell it on ebay. The bus from the first year went for big bucks when we sold it. Not only did it pay for the trip and all the expenses, but it left us with a decent profit.

The Bus I write about now, I acquired from Brian Watts. Like the Bus from the first year, this one had a certain Magic to it.....a certain Mojo. I can't really explain it, but if it took us on another memorable, exciting journey, and safely got us back home, it would have performed as expected. I may have to change the original plan of buy, race, and sell. This one may be a keeper!
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BadDogRacing
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2011, 01:02:36 pm »

Sidebar:

For those that are not familiar with my previous participation in the SST, these links will take you to my journal and documentation of the 2008 SST. My first participation in a Bus known as "the Mushroom Bus".


Chapter 1 includes all the prep for our trip now at:
http://deutschstahl.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2604&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Chapter 2 A Four Wheel Adventure Will Soon Bring You Much Happiness
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=278655

Chapter 3 Chasing the Ghost of The Shasta Snow Trip
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=278271

Chapter 4 Shasta Snow Trip: The Run to Castle Lake
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=278417

Chapter 5 Shasta Snow Trip: "The Dog Leg"
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=278723

Chapter 6 Shasta Snow Trip: Preparation Is Everything
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=278842






FOOTNOTE: I do not claim any of my recollections of this adventure to be accurate or true. This entire story may just be my imagination running wild. With that said, I have always found Truth to be funnier, stranger, and more far fetched than Fiction.
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2011, 01:06:52 pm »

Overall the Bus is amazingly clean, almost rust free.....almost.
The main area that is affected is the front floor. Unfortunately the previous owner put shag carpet underneath the rubber mat. It got wet and never dried out. The carpet acted like a sponge soaking the the metal till it rusted away.



Easy fix would be to purchase a complete new front floor pan, fit and weld it into place. But, to keep with our promise to go low budget, I just happen to have a donor Bus with an OK floor section. It's a 68 Bay but the floors are similar. I'm going to try to cut the floor out and fab it to fit the 65.

Here's a pic of the donor Bus right after I hacked the front off to get better access to the floor.



Certainly not the best method, but it is a cheap method. It will take some time, but with the slow down in my daily activity at that time, I got a little bit done each day.
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2011, 01:14:28 pm »

Once I got the floor cut out of the donor bus, I used the original floor mat as a template and trimmed the Bay window floor to fit.





My original plan was to install the floor as one piece. The more I inspected how far the rust had really penetrated, I decided to cut the donor floor in half and install it as an overlay.





Second half took a bit more time in trimming to fit around steering column and pedals. A little hammer and dolly action, some spot welds and I'll call it good enough. I don't want to do a complete weld in job cause who knows?, Some day down the road I may decide to do it right.



This is not a great method for floor repair, but it will work OK for my needs. Next step will be to POR-15 on what's left of the original floor and also on the patch floor. Then some seam sealer and Beutel Tape (thanks 74class11!).

Once in place, I gave the repair a couple more of coats of POR 15. Doesn't look too bad considering.

Hack Job? Yeah....but I remained true to my budget plan and innovated as needed. The floor repair remains intact as of today.


« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 01:42:32 pm by BadDogRacing » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2011, 01:24:24 pm »

Another Sidebar:

Some vintage magazine coverage from our first year of Shasta.....


Here's a picture of the team from the April 2008 edition of Ultra VW.




Here's a picture of our 2008 entry in another magazine. Text may be hard to read. This is an edited version of a story I sent to Grass Roots Motorsports. Although they have not published the story in it's entirety, this article was printed in their sister magazine, Classic Motorsports, July 2008
(a European magazine generally about British sports cars and the like).








here is a better shot. This is the original picture submitted to Grass Roots Motorsports.







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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2011, 01:34:41 pm »

Soon I started on the first transaxle build. As you can see in this picture, a few minutes with a power washer goes a long way.





The Bus once again is found without rear wheels. I loaded up the transaxle (pictured on the bed of my Car Carrier) and off it went to the rebuilder.





While the Trans was out I pulled the shift rod. I cleaned, painted, lubed, and re-bushed the entire assembly.




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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 02:03:55 pm »

I continued to gather parts as needed. I always tried to find a bargain but is some cases didn't penny pinch and just bought new. Things like brake components, cables, couplers, and window rubber were ordered as needed.






I converted to late model dual chamber master cylinder. I splurged and went ATE German.





New wheel cylinders, shoes, seal kits, and shocks.






New LED light bulbs for the rear and H4's for the front that would be fitted with the Super White Zenon Bulbs.
















« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 02:05:43 pm by BadDogRacing » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2011, 04:42:35 pm »

Cleaning the interior was an ongoing chore. I was torn about the wood interior panels. Although at first I thought they looked kinda retro-cool, they were pretty beat and splintering apart. I figured to just leave them alone for now until I had a chance consider other options.

I convinced myself that creature comforts would be kept to a minimum and I would only use recycled items for the interior. I pledged to stay low budget on the interior.

Seats were a must and again I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in that department. I had a fairly new cheapo, universal racing seat that we bought for one of the Buggies. Problem was it didn't fit because the base was too wide.
I sat it on the base where the driver's seat goes. I immediately like the way it fit and looked. Then I got one of our old poly seats and gave it a trial fit. Didn't like that one at all.
Although I would need to fabricate some sort of base for the first seat I tried, it looked like it would work the best. Problem was, I only had the one seat.
I went ahead and mounted up the drivers seat. At least I would be able to test drive the vehicle. I would continue to look for another single seat or a matching set.








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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2011, 05:05:58 pm »

I combed thesamba, craigslist, ebay, swap meets, garage sales, as well a dig through my stores for other needed items.

Trucker mirrors were a gift from another VW Bus Buddy:





Bitchen bumper was another gift. I later had it modified to a slide in reciever:





Assorted handles, some for limited applications had to be obtained:






Instrumentation and CB Radio was ebay and swap meet stuff:





Went through my assortment of early Bus wiper motors and found a good used:





This box of goodies (window latches and dome light bases) were scored at a Bug-O-Rama swap. Gotta admit I bought the dash basket new....had to have it!





Traded the Berg shifter out of my Car Carrier for a stock unit:







« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 05:08:19 pm by BadDogRacing » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2011, 05:12:53 pm »

I have collected an assortment of tires for the Bus including these studded snow tires (currently for sale) and the Tractor Claws.











« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 11:38:57 pm by BadDogRacing » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2011, 05:19:41 pm »

There were a couple of areas that needed some rust repair. The cargo area along the cargo door openings needed some attention as well as the front window frames. I cleaned them up with Metal Ready and Marine Clean then applied a couple costs of POR 15.








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