Billy the Bus's Blog

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Before primer and After primer

Rusty cab floor

The main project I'm working on in Billy this spring is the cab - new seats, paint metal work, new visors, door panels, etc etc. I figure by partitioning the work between rear and front, I'll focus on one thing at a time! The new bed in the rear has distracted me for a while, but I'm back to the cab for the next few weeks now.

I've had a pair of Porsche seats ready to go in since autumn. Me and my Dad fitted the passenger seat back in November, but the other one has been sat waiting for a time when I know I can finish the job in one session (having a car without a driver's seat, though perhaps a good theft deterant, is not the smartest idea). We're going to do that next weekend, so watch this space.

Before we do that, I decided to paint some of the metal work in the cab, such as the floor and the bulkheads that the seats attach to. I've found a fair bit of rust under the rubber mats, which is a shame. But I've rubbed them down and I'm about to coat them with some primer, and we'll see what happens.

Rock n Roll Bed 2 - Cushions

OK, so call me a cheapskate, but having spent £100 on the R&R bed, I decided I didn't want to spend another £60 on foam. Partly on an environmental tip, but mainly because I was feeling skint at the time, I decided to see what sheets of foam I could get for free via Freecycle.
Ideally, I wanted 3" or 4" thick foam, but I managed to get two sheets of 2" instead. In order to sandwich them together, I made kinda cotton pillow cases using old bed sheets (again, from Freecycle :) and stuffed the foam into them. The result is pretty comfy!

The next thing is I need to make some proper covers for the cushions, and I've been looking at fabrics. I had thought to do it in denim, and I've taken a few pictures of a few different types of denims. But there are also a few other options in there too. Not in a hurry, so might have a long thing about it first :)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Heating problem solved...

Back in November, me and me dad were trying to work out why I had no heating in the van.

It's a common misconception that VW campers are cold and have no heating - one of the founding principles of an aircooled engine is that a ruddy bloody big fan blows the very hot air away from the engine. On the camper, there's a bunch of conduits and stuff that carry that heat from the engine along pipes to the front of the van, depositing the hot air on your feet and up the dashboard.

Often the heat exchangers are gone, or the pipes are knackered, or there's simply not enough oomph to get it all to the front. Having ruled out all of these, we were baffled why the pipes were hot to touch, but there was no blowing air. We assumed there must have been a blockage in the pipes somewhere, and I took a length of hosepipe home with me and was going to start trying to do a dynarod effort under the van.

Needless to say other things got in the way and I never bothered. But last night, driving home, there was a huge fluttering crackly noise, and FWOOF a whole load of crap came out from my dashboard vents, including what looked like feathers/fur/hair or something. And now... I have hot air coming through :) If the stories are true about Billy's life during the 80s being spent in a barn going nowhere, then maybe something crawled up and made a nest and died in there. It finally got dislodged. I just have to pick remnants of it out of my dashboard vents now. Eugh. But still... result!