Loose turn signal switch housing – A quick fix

Every time our bus goes in for her annual safety inspection, I wonder what quirk of this 40+ year-old vehicle might trigger the dreaded pink sticker of failure.  Let’s face it, after so many years parts and pieces do not always work as they should and while we owners often find ways to live with these imperfections, safety code says the part or piece must work as intended.  So far, knock on wood, Moby passes her inspection each year, but I give some credit to the inspectors at our garage and their acknowledgment of Moby’s age.

As a prime example, the turn signal switch is a bit finicky and has been that way since we got the bus.  Now when I say finicky, I do not mean the signals sometimes work and sometimes not.  The switch is very reliable in working the lights which is what probably saved us each inspection to date.  The problem is the switch housing and the fact it no longer mounts to the steering column properly.  Because of this, the housing Continue reading

Weatherproofing the pop-top canvas

The elements, be they the unseen harmful rays of the sun or the obvious strong force of wind, take a toll on the integrity of the pop-top canvas over time.  Exacerbating the effects of nature, owners often contribute to the canvas’s demise by accidentally tearing, puncturing the canvas during use or setup, and, unfortunately, by neglecting the buildup of dirt and canvas-devouring mildew.  Being careful with the canvas will help with the former issues and for the latter two, like all bus components, the canvas requires a little bit of attention now and then. Continue reading

New side-view mirrors – A comparison and review

When I first started this blog, I never really intended to specifically review products or companies with which I deal. For the most part, I simply wished to report how I completed my projects and provide information about the parts I used and why, with no expectation of people following my path beyond gaining some insight or additional information for their own use. Buying parts is a personal endeavor in which some favor low cost over quality (which I did in my early VW days because of budget constraints) and others endure horrendous costumer service because of vendor reputation for very high-end parts. That does not even take into consideration that climate, varying degrees of care and maintenance, quality of installation, and many other factors come into play with overall satisfaction and success.

My perspective on writing product reviews changed a few months ago after a request for a such a review landed on my blog’s doorstep. In mulling the situation over and conferring with a few people whose opinions I respect, I realized that with some project Continue reading

Occam’s razor (Front door inside latch)

Today I finally faced the prospect of disemboweling the driver side front door, a task I kept postponing because this would be the third time in as many years.  Not that the door is usually difficult to work on mind you, but I just did not relish the idea of taking it apart one more time.  State law, however, forced my hand this past week as I prepared to pass the annual safety inspection, a venture sure to fail without two functioning front doors.

Ironically, this story has its beginnings with last year’s inspection, when on the way home, the driver door window lift channel broke.  Upon fixing that issue, I found the inner door handle no longer opened the front door which compelled me to spend most of last year rolling down Continue reading

It’s suddenly a bit breezy in here (broken front window) Part 2

Part 1 of this project outlined the process for removing the front window from the driver-side door (passenger-side would be the same).  Here, I will detail the assembly stage.  Through much trial and error, I discovered the order in which all the parts go in is not as forgiving as the order in which they came out, so I hope this post will save someone quite a bit of time and frustration.

After the job is done, but before gluing the vapor barrier back in place, I HIGHLY recommend verifying that the door still functions – in all manners intended.  Why do I make this recommendation?  Well, it turns out I buggered the latch mechanism somehow and currently cannot open the door from inside the cockpit.  It still works from the outside, but that means I must lower the window to reach the outer door handle to let myself out.  At some point this spring, I will have to dissemble the door card and remove, yet again, the vapor barrier to find out what happened.  The fun will just not stop 🙂

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The first piece to return to its place is the outer scraper and trim.  Fitting it the door is fairly simple as the tabs for the chrome trim simply slide into the door frame.  At this stage, only install the outer scraper and bottom half of the trim.

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It’s suddenly a bit breezy in here (broken front window) Part 1

It was one of those days when everything progressed smoothly with not a hint of trouble as I drove the bus over to our local garage for her annual safety inspection; a task past buses trained me to abhor.  Yet, once again, Moby passed with flying colors and happy VW chatter at the mechanic’s shop.  I could not have been more pleased because any issues brought to light during inspection would invariable complicate plans for our annual October camping trip.  I left the shop excited for our impending campfires and, at present, a leisurely afternoon drive home – the long way home. Continue reading

New front floor mats

The PO installed very nice reproduction floor mats in Moby before we bought her.  The rubber is a heavy gauge, very flexible, and has not shown any indication of drying out or cracking over the years.   The walk-tru mat, however, was cut a bit wide causing a slight buckling towards the rear of the mat.  Not a huge problem by any means, and one easily solved by trimming the mat, but I never got the chance.  I found an original walk-thru mat in good shape on a trip to a junkyard and a few months later, stumbled upon an original front floor mat for sale.  They turned out to be perfect additions to compliment all the other interior upgrades.

A shot of the reproduction mat that came with our bus.  The smaller square mats are a year older than Moby, having come out of my father's 1970 Squareback.  They've lived in every car I've driven.

A shot of the reproduction mat that came with our bus. The fit was great and aside form a few small details, looked just like an original mat.  The two smaller, square mats are generic Rubber Maid car mats.   Having come out of my father’s 1970 Squareback, they are a year older than the bus. My father gave them to me when I put my first car on the road and these mats have lived in every car I’ve driven since.

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