VW Camper project – History

For those of you that have been following my VW Camper updates, I thought I’d provide a bit of history of the van since there’s no update this week. Some of you may be surprised to hear Leo and I have owned the van since October 2007.

We bought it from a guy in Hitchin and towed it home on a 5ft length of raggedy rope, overtaking cars as we went. We were young and silly back then…

Since then we’ve been working on it off-and-on whenever we have the time/enthusiasm/money. Recently we’ve realised that most of the hard work is done, so we’ve been pushing to get the last few bits done and that’s what I’ve been blogging. However, most of you won’t have seen the real hard work that we put into this project in the first few years of ownership. When we bought it, the van was totally rotten and we spent almost 4 years welding it up. Our build thread on the T25 forum is so old it’s been locked, but you can see just how much work we put in to get it welded up. It’s an epic read, and I’ll summarise it here in a few photos, but head over and check it out if you’re interested.

http://archive.club8090.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=32407

Here’s all the rusty bits.

We cut a scary amount of metal out.

Here’s some of the new bits in.

Most of the bits were odd shaped patches, which meant I had to get good at fabricating weird shapes from metal while Leo was getting better at welding with every patch.

I’ll leave it that for now, the rest is in our 80-90 thread if you’re interested. We’re hoping to get it on the road in time for some trips this summer. I bought a new indicator relay last week, so we’re hoping that’ll sort our strange indicator problem. More soon!

Top Five Tunes

Here’s a birthday week Top Five.

Macca is rapidly becoming one of my favourite producers.

I’m not usually into progressive but this is a banger!

Love the vocal hook on this one.

Here’s one for those long sunny evening sessions at the new Dunstable skatepark. Roll on the good times :)

New Feature: Dads YouTube Week

While looking through my YouTube history to get the URLs of pirate radio documentaries I’d watched the other week, I noticed some weird videos in the list. I suddenly realised that I’ve left my YouTube account logged in on the main computer in the house, so I can see everything people are watching on YouTube. When I say everyone, it’s only my Dad that uses that computer. That gave me a wicked idea for a new blog feature. Welcome to the first edition of: Dads YouTube Week.

Those of you who don’t know my Dad might not get the full benefit of this, but some of the videos are hilarious. Mainly because I can just imagine my Dad sitting there watching them. I’ll post the five best videos each week.

VW Camper progress – Bonus Update

I finished work early yesterday and Leo was around so we nipped up the workshop for an hour or so. We managed to get the clutch bled and it all works again, result! We also got another coat of paint on the spare wheel well and sorted a coolant leak from one of the radiator hoses.

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While Leo was about I took the opportunity to get the Metro up the workshop. I’ve been meaning to bring it up for ages, but with the van on axle stands in the doorway, I haven’t been able to get it through the door for a while. I’m planning on giving it some TLC. It’s getting raggedy around the edges and I want to do some work to the engine and suspension. More on that as it happens.

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VW Camper progress

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This week I was working on the van by myself. Last week when we tried to bleed the clutch the master cylinder wasn’t giving any pressure. I ordered a new one along with a new slave cylinder too. I’d heard stories of people fitting a new master only for the slave to pop immediately afterwards due to the increased pressure that the new cylinder provides. I thought I’d spend the extra £20 and prevent any potential problems before they even occurred.

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I didn’t have to take the dashboard off as I orginally thought, working in the footwell was fiddly though. The master cylinder fits just behind the brake and clutch pedals and there’s not enough room to move a spanner very much.

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New vs old. I’m hoping it’s been leaking. It looks like there’s been fluid on the outside of the old cylinder if that bubbling paint is anything to go by. Apologies for shite focus.

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This is the slave. Slightly easier due to being in the engine bay and having slightly more room around it. The only part of the clutch mechanism we haven’t replaced now is a short length of hose from the master cylinder to the main front-to-back pipe. Everything else is brand new, so we shouldn’t have any more problems with it for a while (Touching as much wood as I can).

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I couldn’t bleed it by myself so I’ve left that for next week when Leo should be back. Next is to really start looking at why the indicators aren’t working. Fun.

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Top Five Tunes

This weeks Top Five.

I’ve followed Rameses B for a few years now and I’d gone off his style a bit. I love the Ashanti sample in this track he uploaded recently though. Go and grab it for free!

I’m in the planning stages of a short film about a pirate radio station so I’ve been listening to a load of garage. This takes me straight back to school days. Big choon!

DRS – The View Ft LSB & Tyler Daley

This track featured in my Top Fives a couple of weeks ago and it was released yesterday.
I had it on pre-order and the 12″ arrived in the post today. I love the vocals and the inclusion of an MC rounds it off. LSB is one of my favourite producers. Such a good track, shame about the video.

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Buy it here: http://soulr.com/album/soul-r-065-drs-the-view-count-to-ten-vip

An evening with Jezzorx

Last Friday I spent the evening with my sister, Jess. I always like seeing her because we don’t get to see each other often and she understands my tea addiction. We also usually chat for hours about all-sorts, which is fun.

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The reason I visited was because she wanted to get some spoken word on video. Since she’s started publishing her work I’ve really wanted to shoot a video for her, so I was really excited when she asked me to shoot a piece.

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And the result? It’s live now, check it out here!

In the mean time, check out her Youtube channel for her work so far. You can also follow her on Twitter and read her blog.

VW Camper progress

Every time we get within reaching distance of being able to put the van in for an MOT something else happens which sets us back a step or two. Leo wasn’t around to come up the workshop and work on the van yesterday, but spent the day with my buddy, Andrew and he came and gave me a hand.

We started off by giving the spare wheel well a coat of paint.
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We fixed a leak in the clutch line, the banjo bolt was too long and wasn’t crushing the copper washers as it should have been, so we cut a couple of mm off that and refitted it. Then we went to bleed it. For some reason the pedal has no resistance and isn’t pumping any fluid. Very annoying, especially considering the master cylinder is deep underneath the dashboard!

Moving on, we decided to turn our attention to the indicators. They haven’t been working for a while and I was hoping it was a dodgy earth. We took off the earth crowns from one end of the dashboard and gave them a good cleanup. We refitted it all to no avail. I hate wiring but it looks like we’re going to have to do some fault finding. It looks like it’ll be a total nightmare, there’s loads of extra wires that don’t look original running everywhere!

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While we were down there we also showed the truck some love. We changed the oil, oil filter and air filter. I also had the throttle body off and cleaned it out. It was full of oil and it always cuts out at junctions. Still cuts out though.

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Lastly, Andrew wanted to have a go on the Sony A7s and went around the workshop snapping some photos. I actually really like the composition of this shot.
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Big thanks to Andrew for helping out this week. Next time I think the dashboard will be coming off to give us better access to the clutch master cylinder and wiring loom. Scary!