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The adventures of my 1970 lowlight More
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  • Been slowly chipping away at the bus. Modified the exhaust by relocating the rear hanger that the silencer is suspended from as the original location did not work that great. I simply cut off the old mount and re-welded it in a more suitable location. I also welded in the bung for my O2 sensor,... Been slowly chipping away at the bus. Modified the exhaust by relocating the rear hanger that the silencer is suspended from as the original location did not work that great. I simply cut off the old mount and re-welded it in a more suitable location. I also welded in the bung for my O2 sensor, I'm 95% sure it will not hit the rear valance but will have to wait and see. I also heated up and bent out the moustache bar to create a little clearance for the silencer. It's very close. The silencer is also very close to the engine hanger. 85% sure it'll be okay on that one

    The old engine mounts were pretty badly cracked so I ordered some replacements. I tried looking for uprated / heavy duty mounts but found that there is nothing available for early bay busses. What i did find however, was that the DIY tuning crowd were making up their own uprated mounts using two-part urethane.

    The idea is actually pretty simple. Use urethane to fill in the holes in the mounts, stiffening them up. This actually works quite well on an early bay mount. To do this I cleaned up the mounts (they were covered in paint) created a bit of a dam/mold using some gaffer tape, mixed up the urethane and poured it into the mount. 24 hours later it had completely cured. To I did a bit of a test by compressing both a stock mount and an 'uprated' one in my shop press and found that the uprated one hardly deflected at all.

    Another fairly major step in the project was the manufacture of some ECU adaptor boards. These are for the EFI ECUs that I supply and make manufacture and installation much simpler as they integrate the wideband controller and fuel and ignition relays onboard. The first prototype is now ready to be installed, after I make myself another ECU (they keep getting sold).

    The final step is also underway, the wiring. I've started (and mostly finished) the wiring loom. There's only a few bits of soldering / splicing to finish and then the loom can be wrapped, and that is then pretty much it. Time to get the engine in.


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  •   Harry Ganavas reacted to this post about 1 month ago
    The new overriders and headlights (excuse the finger marks). The headlights have an integrated LED 'halo' around the edge for the sidelights. The headlights themselves use a modern clear lense and prismatic reflectors which help give a brighter light. They look a bit different to the old units... The new overriders and headlights (excuse the finger marks). The headlights have an integrated LED 'halo' around the edge for the sidelights. The headlights themselves use a modern clear lense and prismatic reflectors which help give a brighter light. They look a bit different to the old units but not so much that they stand out. I've also installed LED main bulbs, which come with a cool fan assisted heat sink on the back. For installation tips please refer to the previous post. More
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  • Been meaning to update the build thread for a while. Been making some steady progress on the bus, it's just a case of grabbing half an hour here and there when I can and trying to knock off some of those small jobs. The fuel system is now installed and basically ready for the engine to be hooked... Been meaning to update the build thread for a while. Been making some steady progress on the bus, it's just a case of grabbing half an hour here and there when I can and trying to knock off some of those small jobs. The fuel system is now installed and basically ready for the engine to be hooked up. I've reinstalled the gearbox along with a new shift coupling as well as the driveshaft that I previously rebuilt with new CVs. I've reinstalled the starter motor and removed the old fuel pump and wiring.

    The engine is now assembled with a plethora of small jobs finally sorted out. I've ported the blower, whittled the throttle butterfly shaft, machined the throttle body to accept the air filter, made up some injector adaptors, fabricated some injector hold down clamps, finished off the fuel rails, fitted one of my new crank trigger sensor brackets, made up a new wider blower and crank pulley as well as properly installed the headers and tin-wear. There's a bunch of other stuff that I've probably forgotten too (ahh yeah - like reinstalling the clutch) well, you get the idea.

    So the engine is basically ready to go in, the only thing that is really stopping me is that I want to finish the loom before I install it. Well, I think I do. I'm a bit unsure. I'll decide that when I get to it.

    This weekend I finished off a couple of other small jobs that have been hanging around - Installation of the overriders and the LED headlamps. I still need to tack the headlights in place, but it got a bit too dark to do that this evening, plus I need to hook up the battery to double check the headlamp aim before I finalise their position.

    Conversion of the bus to H4 style headlights meant changing from the early bay all-in-one style of headlight assembly where the headlamp mounting is fixed to the read of the trim ring to a seperate headlight mount and trim ring. The only issue with this approach is that there are no brackets to fit the new headlight mount to. I solved this by making up some small tabs which I bent 90 degrees and held to the mount by the use of some small self tapping screws. With the brackets fixed to the headlight mount it was fairly easy to push it into the headlight bowl, where it held itself in position. Once I have fitted the battery back in the bus I will confirm the aim of the lights and then weld them in position.

    Having already converted the rear lights to LED I now have to change my flasher relay. The standard flasher relay works on a thermal strip and so needs a relatively high load to work. As the LEDs draw practically no power the flasher relay will not work and so needs to be changed for a solid-state (electronic) style of relay. Whilst I'm doing this I can also install the new fuse box mounting bracket as mine is missing.

    Still heaps to do but I feel like its getting closer to actually getting the engine back in the bus. Some of the other jobs can wait until afterwards.
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  • Took a look at the drop spindle conversion yesterday. The idea is to fit late bay drop spindles and then make some adaptors to convert to wide 5. This way I get both drop spindles and discs.

    I previously had some adaptor plates cut from 10mm steel but on fitting noted that the centres are way...
    Took a look at the drop spindle conversion yesterday. The idea is to fit late bay drop spindles and then make some adaptors to convert to wide 5. This way I get both drop spindles and discs.

    I previously had some adaptor plates cut from 10mm steel but on fitting noted that the centres are way bigger then the hubs that I have (the hubs are brand new Empi versions) I'm guessing that the original hubs are a different diameter. At any rate I will need to get some more adaptors made up. This time I will just get some blanks cut and then finish them off myself. The laser cutting was not great, it looks like they had the machine too fast as there was a lot of deflection in the cut. Not great when you need it to be accurate.

    I will machine the new ones in my lathe and then drill the holes using my dividing head - this way I can ensure concentricity and make sure that the plate is a snug fit on the hub - this ensures that the load is transferred to the hub and is not taken up by the wheel studs. The countersunk bolts stop it from looking too much like a bolt on wheel adaptor.
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  • Added some bling. Now I just need to decide if I want to chrome the badge...
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  • Haven't had a chance to do any more work on getting the engine installed but have spent a few dollars treating the bus to some new goodies.

    One of the mods that I have planned for the bus was converting the front to use the new drop spindles available for late bays. The reason for this is to...
    Haven't had a chance to do any more work on getting the engine installed but have spent a few dollars treating the bus to some new goodies.

    One of the mods that I have planned for the bus was converting the front to use the new drop spindles available for late bays. The reason for this is to improve the ride a little as lowering the front solely by beam adjusters has left the bus with a bit of a bouncy ride. The issue with this conversion is that late bays run disks with a different bolt pattern to early bays (which run drums and wide 5.) So to get the wheels to fit you need to make up an adaptor plate to convert the late bay stud pattern to early wide-5 and run the disk brake set up. Unfortunately at this stage they do not do a drum brake version and it is not possible to fit drums to the late drop spindles without a lot of modification which is not something that I want to risk with my brakes.

    I previously made up an adaptor plate (which needs machining) and purchased the drop spindles, and was looking for someone wrecking a late bay to get the rest of the parts that I needed. But after a couple of dead ends and failing at getting some sent from interstate I gave up on that idea. Somehow I recently stumbled across the fact the Rod Penrose stocks all of the necessary parts (new) for this conversion. Rods obviously had the foresight to realise that the hubs, bearings, etc are also needed so he keeps them in stock. So I've taken the plunge and ordered all of the parts required to finish the brake conversion including a new master cylinder and front brake lines.

    This now takes the list of jobs that need doing up to several hundred - lol.

    In addition to the brakes I've also pulled the trigger on a diesel space heater. Not exactly a necessity for the Australian summer but a nice bit of kit to have for those colder evenings and one to take the chill off the bus on a cold morning once I have sorted out a remote starter. I'll obviously post up about the install, as and when that happens. Next hurdle is to figure out where to install a diesel tank.
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  • Finished off machining the flywheel. I've probably taken about a kilo off of the weight. I also 8 doweled the flywheel and crank. As I didn't have a jig, I used my indexing head to drill out the flywheel and then spotted through the flywheel to drill the corresponding holes in the crank.

    As the...
    Finished off machining the flywheel. I've probably taken about a kilo off of the weight. I also 8 doweled the flywheel and crank. As I didn't have a jig, I used my indexing head to drill out the flywheel and then spotted through the flywheel to drill the corresponding holes in the crank.

    As the fan-shroud was dry, I fitted up the ignitor coil drivers and coil packs. You can see where I cut a hole behind the ignitors to allow air from the fan to cool the rear of the ignitor. This should work much better than just relying on a heat sink.
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  • Finally got some time to do a bit of work on the bus. Decided to get the final outstanding little jobs on the engine finished off. Biggest one was putting some paint on the tin. To be completely honest, as time is thin I just gave it a quick rattle can to make it all the same colour. If I had a... Finally got some time to do a bit of work on the bus. Decided to get the final outstanding little jobs on the engine finished off. Biggest one was putting some paint on the tin. To be completely honest, as time is thin I just gave it a quick rattle can to make it all the same colour. If I had a spare couple of days I might have elected to do a better job but at this stage I just want to get the bus back on the road.

    The other jobs were mounting the ignitors for the twin coil packs and putting the IACV and TPS onto the throttle body. With the ignitors I decided to forgo fitting heat sinks and make them air-cooled instead. A 20mm hole and a couple of washers behind them is enough to space them out a little and get some air flow over them.

    The IACV (Idle Air Control Valve) is a stepper based unit which is compatible with most modern ECU's I also have a two wire PWM style IACV that is compatible with Megasquirt units. The TPS is a generic unit that should work with all ECUs.

    The other thing that I started to do but ran out of time with is taking a little weight off of my flywheel. The aim here is to lighten it by a kilo or so. The stock flywheel is about 7.5kg, and the lightened ones available off of the shelf are about 5.5kg (12.5lb). If I can get it somewhere between 6 - 6.5kg I will be happy.

    Next job is to make a jig to 8 dowel the flywheel and crank.
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  • After a fair bit of a wait the components finally arrived for the Speeduino build. Also received the remainder of the parts for the fuel rail setup. On this build I elected for some U type fittings for the fuel rail to put the feed and return hoses on the rear of the fan shroud. Also spent some... After a fair bit of a wait the components finally arrived for the Speeduino build. Also received the remainder of the parts for the fuel rail setup. On this build I elected for some U type fittings for the fuel rail to put the feed and return hoses on the rear of the fan shroud. Also spent some time sorting out the trigger wheel and sensor positioning... More
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  • My Arduino Mega boards have arrived so I spent a bit of time establishing communication and uploading the firmware and baseline tune to the boards. I also connected Tuner Studio to the board. Still waiting for the components for the Speeduino before I can make it up.

    I also finished the hard...
    My Arduino Mega boards have arrived so I spent a bit of time establishing communication and uploading the firmware and baseline tune to the boards. I also connected Tuner Studio to the board. Still waiting for the components for the Speeduino before I can make it up.

    I also finished the hard piping between the engine and the disconnects that I mounted to the moustache bar. There will be a small flexible line that runs between the these lines and similar lines mounted to the chassis that run forwards to the oil cooler and filter. I'm hoping that these will be less vulnerable than the old flexi lines that they have replaced.

    I've also been playing around with some COP solutions and have found one that works pretty well. I've been trying out a variety of different COP's trying to find one that fits the Type 1 setup. I've still got a few more on order and will try them out before I decided on which one I want to use but one works very well as COP and the other works well as a CNP solution.
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  • My LED headlight bulbs arrived today. These are a direct swap for H4 bulbs and plug straight in. Just waiting for some new headlamp mounting assemblies to arrive before I can finish installing the new headlight units.

    Also received the wire for my wiring loom and the case for the Speeduino ECU....
    My LED headlight bulbs arrived today. These are a direct swap for H4 bulbs and plug straight in. Just waiting for some new headlamp mounting assemblies to arrive before I can finish installing the new headlight units.

    Also received the wire for my wiring loom and the case for the Speeduino ECU. Hopefully the rest of the components are not too far away.
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  • Managed to get an hour or so on the bus today. Started to make up the hard lines for the oil system. Need to get these done before I can get the gearbox installed as they will be a pig to got done afterwards. I made up a bracket to terminate the hard lines into and provide a solid mounting point... Managed to get an hour or so on the bus today. Started to make up the hard lines for the oil system. Need to get these done before I can get the gearbox installed as they will be a pig to got done afterwards. I made up a bracket to terminate the hard lines into and provide a solid mounting point for the bulkhead fittings. From this bracket there will be flexi-lines running across to another bracket mounted to the chassis. The bracket will be welded onto the rear bar. Need to pick up a bender as mine only goes up to 1/2". More
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  • Bought some new headlights for the bus but now need to convert the mountings to work with sealed beam units (D'OH!). If anyone has some they want to sell...
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  • Trial fitted my new overriders today, well I just kinda hung them on the bumper to see what they looked like.

    Need to move Mr Bibendum over a bit to make room for them but they will have to wait until I take the bumper off. There's a few other jobs ahead on the list (like fitting the engine...
    Trial fitted my new overriders today, well I just kinda hung them on the bumper to see what they looked like.

    Need to move Mr Bibendum over a bit to make room for them but they will have to wait until I take the bumper off. There's a few other jobs ahead on the list (like fitting the engine and gearbox).
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  •   TrevortonBuggy reacted to this post about 9 months ago
    Got a nice treat in the post today, a pair of overriders for the front of my bus. Got a super good deal on these as Jez from #TheEarlyBay arranged a group buy from Just Kampers. Top Bloke, cheers mate. ?
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  • More electrickery. Received the connectors for my wideband sensor the other day. I ordered some extra (male and female) connectors so that I can also make up an extension cable for my Innovate LM2 wideband unit. The stock length LM2 cable is not quite long enough for a bus which means that road... More electrickery. Received the connectors for my wideband sensor the other day. I ordered some extra (male and female) connectors so that I can also make up an extension cable for my Innovate LM2 wideband unit. The stock length LM2 cable is not quite long enough for a bus which means that road pulls need to be done looking at the LM2 in the rear mirror which is not exactly the ideal setup. More
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  • One more small step towards the goal; received some coil pack connectors for the twin coil packs.

    I'm kinda not looking forwards to making up the loom, which is kind ironic considering that my background is electrical engineering and I'm a qualified A-class sparky. Go figure. Guess it's too...
    One more small step towards the goal; received some coil pack connectors for the twin coil packs.

    I'm kinda not looking forwards to making up the loom, which is kind ironic considering that my background is electrical engineering and I'm a qualified A-class sparky. Go figure. Guess it's too much like a busmans holiday. Still need to source cabling and overbraid and am waiting on the plugs for the O2 sensor.

    Still haven't done any work on the bus as I've been tied up making blower kits. Hoping that I'm going to get the bus running in time for #dubsbytheriver
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  • No work on the bus this weekend as I've been busy making supercharger kits. Did receive my new lowered shocks tho. Decided to go for gas-adjust on the rear and regular oil on the front as running gas on the front tends to make it a bit bouncy.
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  • Picked up some fittings to run my replacement oil lines with. I'm going for hard lines this time as my previous flexible line got pinched when I bottomed out on a pot hole. Basically hard lines from the engine along the moustache bar, then flexible hose across to the chassis and hard lines from... Picked up some fittings to run my replacement oil lines with. I'm going for hard lines this time as my previous flexible line got pinched when I bottomed out on a pot hole. Basically hard lines from the engine along the moustache bar, then flexible hose across to the chassis and hard lines from there through the filter and cooler. Should be a lot more durable and means that there will only bet two small flexi-hoses in the entire system which will be very easy to swap out, which I generally do every few years.

    It's worth noting that normally oil hose only has a working temperature of up to 200 degrees (F) which is pretty close to the normal operating temps that air cooled run at. This means that it degrades a lot faster than it would on a water cooled car. The hose gets hard and can fatigue and crack. It's worthwhile checking and changing your oil hoses every few years
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