Childhood Dream – 1972 VW Bay Window Bus

For people who know me, this might not be news but I recently purchased a 1972 VW Bay Window Bus.
I always admired these vehicles and after I moved 3 years ago to California and picked up surfing, I figured it is time to follow your dream.

72 VW BUS

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As you can see, it is not perfect. But this is what I love about it. At least, there’s very little rust.
Over the next few months, I plan on doing a few minor repairs:

  • Replace Fuel Gauge Sending Unit – currently the fuel gauge is not working
  • Install a camper bed – As shown here
  • Replace the oil plug, which is currently leaking
  • Repair the starter, the solenoid is stuck often
  • Remove and fix a small area which has rust

So far, I have only repaired the locks on the drivers and passenger door, the breaking light and the dome light.
My friends and family know that I am probably the worst car mechanic in the world. I hate getting my hands dirty and prefer to just drive my car to the next mechanic and pay for a simple oil change.

When I bought the bus, I realized that I will have to become a car mechanic, otherwise it will be too expensive to keep the bus running.

First, I bought How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive – A Manual Of Step-by-Step Procedures For The Compleat Idiot , by John Muir:

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I would recommend everyone with an air-cooled Volkswagen, to get a copy of this book. It is perfect for people with no or very little knowhow. It helped me three times already and it is worth every cent!
The book has been useful a few times already:

  • Ran out of gas because the fuel gauge does not work
  • Got towed because the starter didn’t want to start anymore
  • Had to leave the car at Safeway because the starter didn’t want to start anymore

For the starter issue, I already found the cause, a stuck solenoid, and a possible solution. I will go on my first proper road trip with this gem in April and will report back how it went.
If I don’t update my blog after the first week of April, I might still be stuck somewhere in the woods with the Bus.

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