1976 VW T2 van resto.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:10 am
Here is a project I'm working on for a few years now.
It is my first restoration job, and I have to say it was not a good idea to start with such a vehicle.
Lot's of big flat panels and being a utilitarian van, it got a rough life. It has been welded at several places more to hide the rust than repairing it, I have sanded through several paint jobs. It was first white, most than likely it was a cop van, then skin-colored thick stuff that clogged papers like crazy, followed by a Sage Green layer to end with a peppermint and white roller like finish job and a DIY nasty camper interior.
I start to work in my grandparent's barn, I'm lucky to have this place, having no experience at all, bought an half-decent MIG welder, and start cutting hoping for the best.
It was a steep learning curve, with lots of trials and errors. I redid some works 2 of 3 times to achieve a good result. My in-laws being Ford dealer (I start the van before meeting my girlfriend, I maybe should have finished it before starting a relationship :rotfl: ), I asked if I could have some bits of help from their bodyworkers and trailer it to their Bodyshop. Well, I think they were scared to get started into this mess and it doesn't evolve a lot when sitting there. I finally decide to get it back home. Luckily, at this point, a friend of mine step in as he saw I was being demotivated, frustrated and ready to put that thing on fire... I'm not someone who asks for help, but it was more than needed at this point. He is a very good bodyworker, mechanics, welder and already have experience dealing with classic cars.
I learn a lot in a very short time from him. Tricks to weld, how to apply and sand body filler, he like U pol products and I have to say they were much easier to apply and sand than others products I used, working dings and dents, I asked him why he didn't show up before :happy: . Unluckily, he divorced, got a new wife and doesn't have much free time now. So, as it is pretty well advanced in prep stage, I don't dare to continue working without guidance on it. I also became a father, we build a house, and took the lead of my parents business in the same time. It doesn't leave lot's of free fun time. I plan to restart working on it now. Even doing small jobs, but keep moving forward. Still better than standing still.
Sorry if it is a bit long and for my spelling, I'm french spoken. Here are some pics.
1.jpg
The day I got it.

1-1.jpg

1-2.jpg
Nice old repair done with fiberglass.

4.jpg
Last edited by jeanfrancois on Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:16 am
Suite. I have to find a way to better sort the pics...


12.jpg
Removed half cargo floor to gain access to damaged cross members

11.jpg
New floor in.

10.jpg
They weld a new sill on all that crap.

9.jpg
Some clean up and fresh steel.
Attachments
13.jpg
New panel tack welded.
Last edited by jeanfrancois on Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:25 am
Suite. Sanding the whole vehicle. I try paint stripper, wire wheels, expensive 3M plastic disc to finally find that a large sanding disc on a variable speed angle grinder work best. I Sand blast inside.
Doors were in excellent shape and the rear hatch only needed to be welded on the window corner.
Attachments
17.jpg
Hatch door needed some welding around the window.
18.jpg
Luckily, both front doors were in tip top shape.
19.jpg
16.jpg
15.jpg
Sanding all the mess. I finally used a angle grinder with a large 60 grit disc.



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:28 am
Some repair done on the cargo door.

14.jpg

26.jpg

27.jpg

22.jpg

23.jpg
Last edited by jeanfrancois on Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:35 am
At my in laws body shop. As new side panels are still available, they advice me to replace them instead of trying to get them in shape. Very wise move for a better end result.

8.jpg

25.jpg

7.jpg

5.jpg

33.jpg

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:08 am
Very cool project. Sounds like you are like most of us hobbyist in that life always seems to post pone progress at times. It seems like I have little stretches of getting a lot done, and then priorities like family put things on hold for a while. My advice is to just take your time, do quality work, and keep chipping away at it here and there. And most important is to not make it a burden and have fun with it.



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:51 am
Lenny B wrote:Very cool project. Sounds like you are like most of us hobbyist in that life always seems to post pone progress at times. It seems like I have little stretches of getting a lot done, and then priorities like family put things on hold for a while. My advice is to just take your time, do quality work, and keep chipping away at it here and there. And most important is to not make it a burden and have fun with it.


Thanks Lenny.
Yes, same thing for most of us, but at 37 years old, I still have some time ahead to finish it.
The only problem, is that I have another van, a '60 bug, a '71 Audi 100 C1 and a '59 Fordson power major that are waiting their turn and my '68 bug in need of an engine rebuild :knockout: That's also another problem of most of us, can not resist buying a good project :lol:
So, new panels are in.

32.jpg


And first plastic fillers are applied.

34.jpg


As it was sitting for a while at my in law's bodyshop without any more work done, I spray some 2K wash primer to seal it and trailer it back home.
31.jpg


My barn is much less comfortable, but I'm home and more free to work on it.

28.jpg

29.jpg



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:08 am
Side panels needed some filler at the welding points, but much less than the original ones which were very dented.

30.jpg


And here is how it sits now. I remove front and rear axles so it is now a bare shell. I spray epoxy on the bottom to have good protection. I plan on using Raptor bed liner tinted the same color as the body inside the fenders to prevent stone chips.
I had the bad surprise to see a rust spot on the right front fender. Looks like some rust was hiding between the fender and the B pillar. I will have to remove the fender to sandblast the rust and weld a new one. Somehow, it is better now rather than when it is painted.
36.jpg

37.jpg


Some very satisfying pics for a DIYer.

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35.jpg


Still a lot's of work to get it done, but the hard part is behind.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:37 am
Very nice.

I agree with Lenny, when doing this as a hobby plan on life (and lack of money) getting in the way of your progress.

My '68 Plymouth GTX is still sitting in epoxy primer while I work on other people's vehicles trying to earn some $$ for parts. :splat:
1968 Coronet R/T


ACTS 16:31



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:56 am
Found some more photos.
Another nice job from a previous owner...
No rust?
10603414_10206265171212932_7749958997300480547_n.jpg


Surprise!

11069598_10206265171892949_436802907562715835_n.jpg
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