Back to business…
It’s been a while I know, and it’s probably going to be a while until my next post, but I thought without updates – even if it is only for a few people who actually read this – even I loose my motivation. But trust me I haven’t. I’m not aiming for perfection this year, but aiming fro great usability, visibility and safety. These were the drivers for Project 2015.
I am continuing to kill all the hacks, literally abuse committed against the bus in the past few years and hopefully by the time I finish there will be only one left (I know there will be one left – so stay tuned). Some great effort has already been put into that process by vwJim last year in the UK, but there is still a way to go until the end.
- Complete and professional wiring loom custom designed to every single electrical component and some future extras that are in the bus. The loom is designed and created by Peter Good at Volksgoods who is retiring this year after 24+ years in the business and will be creating one of his last famous wiring master pieces for the VWheelmasters.
- Closely linked to the main wiring loom upgrade a secondary loom will also be built to accommodate the Xtremevan Split Charge kit and to fully utilise it’s capabilities. This secondary system will not only accommodate the split charging but will hook all non operation related electric components to the leisure battery.
- I’m deeply involved on helping PureTek to innovate and create the most essential parts of my Visibility and Safety project. PureTek is crafting the latest tech into classic cars and VWheelmasters is all about that. Specialising in custom Bi-Xenon Projector headlights, Daytime Running Lights and LED indicators and rear lights the bus will be truly visible once all the above components are ready. This sub-project is also tightly linked to the Volksgoods loom creation and both Jem and Peter are tightly aligned on the requirements.
- I’ve chosen to operate these lights with a new Creative Engineering indicator switch the incorporates Main Beam, Dipped Headlight, Main Beam Flash, Left and Right Turn and most importantly, the much needed horn, as the old hacked one simply broke a wire:
- The SMITHs Digital speedo had a factory cracked glass that had to be professionaly replaced so I had to send it back to the UK to the manufacturer and main service Speedy Cables and along with it I sent my VDO full tank gauge and VDO oil temperature meter to be checked as both were slightly malfunctioning – the cable connector of the digital speedo then was directly sent to Volksgoods to be matched to the wiring loom.
- As you would have expected there were minor hick-ups during last years road trip. Nothing major but one of them requires to be fixed properly: we have overloaded the back of the bus and because we didn’t have much time to run-in the brand new Red9Design suspension the rear IRS setup adjustment tilted to the left. This caused the running gear to touch the inner rim of the fuchs wheels and the tyre too – causing some damage to both the tyre and the wheel. We managed to temporarily fix the problem but the car has to go up in the air so we can check the damage done properly and carry out a proper setting of the full gear – so this doesn’t happen again.
- More-so when this is done the bus can finally go for a proper dyno test and the secret of how many horses are in the engine bay will be finally revealed.
- There was a slight technical / delivery / supply issue with the brake calipers that affected the handbrake usage – Red9Design showed full support and provided long brake levers to be replaced with the current one so the handbrake is up to standard for the weight of the bus and will hopefully hold the bus without having to leave it in gear.
- The much needed seat belts are coming. Although it’s not required by law due to the age of the bus (1965) after cruising almost 5000 kilometres including an short Hungarian trip of 1200 km with the kids last summer I decided that this year it has to be done. The reason I didn’t want to rush it is I wanted to find the best solution. Quickfit SBS a UK custom seatbelt manufacturer is providing the full 7 belt solution that includes 2 period style 3 point automatic inertia seat belt systems to the front and 5 period style 2 point automatic inertia lap belt systems to the rear that come with chrome aircraft style buckles and maroon / burgundy coloured webbing that match the seat colour. On top of this (but maybe next year ) an ISOFIX bracket will be welded to the rear steel seat frame too for maximum safety.
- My safari windows broke last summer – that was partially caused by a waterbomb hit and production issue that CE already fixed so they kindly repaired my windows under warranty – this time they didn’t glue them but welded the hinges so they don’t come loose again. So regardless of the waterbomb we have been thrown at we won a special award that I’m really proud of:
- Most importantly we will have to find where does the floor pans leak water. In heavy rain the whole rear passenger are soaks with water that is picked up by the carpet. I’m sure it comes from one specific hole on the floor pan.
- We will have to find a way to block water coming in from the air vents in the front – I’m investigating ways other split owners get around the issue – I’m sure over the past 65 years someone figured something out.
- While the custom side windows were made nicely they are not perfect – I want to find better rubber seals that hold the glass better.
I’m really looking forward to this summer to see how it all comes together, and already excited to work with the experts I’m in discussion with who bring real professionalism and innovation to the project.
And if you haven’t seen the VWheelmasters Roadtrip 2014 video yet! Don’t miss to check it out.