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A 56 Restoration - The beggining of a few years
Scratch - February 24th, 2014 at 03:29 PM

*** Photobucket kept all my pics... So they're now useless. Ill try and repost but it will be easier to batch. Scroll straight down if all you want is the pics!.***

I finally found the bus I was after. Pretty amped. I probably payed to much but you get sick of looking after a while (literally years) and I know it'll be worth the effort.

I've just pulled the interior, windows, eng/trans and cut the floor out. I am also an in the process of mounting the van on a rotisserie I bought off eBay. Any help/info on mounting would be great..

one of these...

As you can see, I've got a long way to go. I'm getting all new chassis gear from Das Resto parts ATM, so I'll let you know how that goes.

Anyone have a good way of getting the doors off? I've tried Map Gas, Penetr8 and Loctite freeze and release. No luck. They have obviously been there for nearly 60 years.


vwpizza - February 25th, 2014 at 06:00 AM

Looks to be a nice project,look forward to up dates.
To release the door screws I use a large good quality Phillip Head Screw Driver with a long metal rod welded across it for torque,9 out of 10 this does the trick..
Cheers Dean...

68BUS - February 25th, 2014 at 09:10 AM

I have always had good luck with those impact screwdrivers. From trade tools they are only about $15 but they work really well.

Nice looking base. It is quite interesting the way that the red sunburn has hit everywhere except that side panel.
I take it it is original paint all over that has sunburned like that or has it been partially stripped at one point in its life?

Scratch - February 25th, 2014 at 10:20 PM

I've tried an impact screw driver. Does'nt seem to budge it. I'm just letting it sit in Penetr8 at the moment. Ill keep trying.

Yea the paint is original I think. I'm pretty sure it was half under a garage. Only the van's rear 4 lower inches have much rust, on initial inspection anyway. I'm thinking that parts were shaded, as the roof is flawless.

Working on the rear mount for the rotisserie today. Planning on bolting on a bracket to the torsion bar cover bolt holes, engine mount bar and a sway brace on the bumber mount.

Klaus - February 26th, 2014 at 07:00 AM

You need to heat them cherry red then let them cool or drill into then a little and weld a high tensile bolt to them that gets 90% out ..nice bus don't paint it :)

curbo - March 17th, 2014 at 04:35 AM

That is sooooo nice, I am searching for a Bus just like that, well done
Will be watching this resto

vw54 - March 17th, 2014 at 06:57 AM

If there still stuck drill the heads of the screws to get door off then drill center of left over screws to use easy out

if you bang too hard with impact driver you will push the door pillar out of alignment creating more work better off drilling

Good project all new metal is it going to be full resto or modified ???

Scratch - March 17th, 2014 at 03:10 PM

Thanks Guys,

I've spent a lot of time the last few days. Still just breaking the car down which is a little disheartening. So no worthwile pics. I used easy outs to a good standard and I agree on the bashing, I think things were starting to move a bit. Got all but one out. Which was my fault. Number rule of easy outs... Always drill all the way through in case it breaks. I guess you learn these lessons the hard way.

Still waiting on my chassis parts from Das Resto, apparently they moved warehouses or something. Plan is bare metal restore as a semi daily driver in the beggining, ideally rust free so I'll never have to do this again (on this bus anyway). Once I can afford a big Type IV engine 4 disc brakes IRS etc it will get the works but that is down the track. I just want her back on the road as was.

Klaus - March 17th, 2014 at 06:35 PM

Don't paint it as plenty of restored busses around and not enough buffed up og paint busses, that will save you money for engine

Kuchster - March 17th, 2014 at 08:37 PM

Agreed.. Would really hate to see this bus painted.. I'll buy it and you can find one to paint instead?? :lol:

Klaus - March 18th, 2014 at 09:54 AM

Here's my 57 never to be painted and a 56 panel from uk

Scratch - March 18th, 2014 at 06:12 PM

Ha, I've spent too many years looking to sell her off. Only one I've ever wanted since a kid, and I'll keep it forever. I'd love to leave it og, but the chassis is in dire need or repair and there is a resonable dent in the front. It was close for an ankor wax job but given the amount of work to just get it back on the road ie, it needs new cables, brakes, electrical, glass etc painting is going to be the easy bit.

The TNT guy from DasResto came today but I missed him. Dang.

Hopefully get some new pics up soon.

Carl and Emily - March 18th, 2014 at 06:54 PM

Really nice looking bus.

It is yours to do absolutely as you wish,.. how ever,..

if you would like to save the paint there are ways to blend the repairs. Just ask on here for examples.


Klaus - March 18th, 2014 at 07:46 PM

Dents add character , plenty of ways to get dents out without sacrificing og paint , fix chassis and paint underneath og paint busses will hold there value better than painted as you can see what's been repaired without all the hidden filler ..your bus just don't regret ripping old paint off n sell it halfway thru as the body work will cost more than mechanical , I've just replaced 3/4 of my DC chassis without affecting the paint

vwpizza - March 18th, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Your bus do what you like,don't listen to any of us tossers on here.........

Klaus - March 19th, 2014 at 07:38 AM

Hehe .. I just get shitty when a bus gets stripped as I bought one that had half its perfect o g paint removed

Scratch - April 18th, 2014 at 08:38 PM

Progress has been super slow. I have been away with work for a few weeks and the time I have had has been spent learning to weld. I put the first chassis repair in today and as my first weld on the car I'm pretty happy with how it went. Now its grinded you would never know...

I set the next one up but have decided now is probably the best time to Fish oil the inside of the chassis where the repairs are going in. They're the box section for the rear outrigger/jack supports..
Original before clean and repair.

What do people do with repair panels regarding topcoats etc. I've got the short side rocker ready to be welded, Im just not sure whether to seal it on the inside with a clear top coat or something. They are the baby poop green in the photo below. Thoughts?

Scratch - May 11th, 2014 at 08:44 PM

I have still been away with work. Progress has halted at the moment.

Im still chasing an answer to sealing repair panels. Do people clear coat them or just leave them as is? Also what are people's experiences with epxoy primer for the chassis?

Jayess - July 11th, 2014 at 07:19 PM

Nice bus and great to see another one saved, paint is paint a very personal thing , Im not painting mine and Id never sell but its a Splitty they are worth a bomb whatever the paint job !!Good luck hope to see you on the hiway soon.

Scratch - August 23rd, 2015 at 12:08 PM

Hey guys,

Long absence on this post. We just had a little girl... and so the Car has gone off to get some body work done, mainly the front skin and A pill

I'm in the process of rebuilding the front bench seat. Has anyone got any tech data or photos on the rear portion of the front seat? My lower is actually very good but the back rest is trashed. I'm at a loss as to how it goes together. Any one built of these before? I'm going long way round and re-springing it...

Originals below.

wombatventures - August 25th, 2015 at 01:08 PM

Congrats on the new "aquisition"! She'll grow up to be a VW lover because of your Bus.
Is your Type 3 still in the family as well?

Scratch - August 26th, 2015 at 08:56 PM

Haha yeah thanks, she wont get a choice...

The type 3 is still around, although its not getting a lot of use over winter. I managed to find a front bench rear in ok condition, although it does look a lot different to the one I had. I'm pretty sure it came out of a latter year splitty. I guess it doesnt really matter as long as its sprung! I'll post some pics up for future reference for others.

Progress pick of the bus at the fab shop

wombatventures - August 28th, 2015 at 07:36 AM

Where are you getting your fab work done? Do they just work on VW's or on other makes as well?
Trying to find VW friendly businesses in SA for when I get stuck into our projects.
Sept 13 is Dubs by the River at Morgan, interested in giving the Type 3 a run?

Scratch - July 14th, 2016 at 09:48 PM

Long time between drinks. We've just moved (2000Km) and I've lost my shed... I had to sell the type 3. Wive's orders.

The works being done at Unique Fab, in Pooraka. They have an awesome collection of VWs and other stuff they're workin on, It's why I asked them to do the work - A few of their custom jobs are flawless.

Update pictures, again I've passed all the body work over, not mine unfortunately.

Scratch - July 14th, 2016 at 10:04 PM

My project this weekend, Axle tubes back on the transaxle, RGB back together. RGBs were in pretty good nick, didnt need to replace anything other than standard consumables.

I've been having a bit of trouble working out how to set the play with the axle tube retainer and the gearbox. Im just going to put new gaskets back on. Three came off so I'll match that and see how it feels. I've read using a dial indicator and jiggling the axle once the retainers torqued, measureing the play that way.

vw54 - July 15th, 2016 at 07:52 AM

Nice job lots of time and effort there

Scratch - July 17th, 2016 at 08:09 PM

Weekends work, in between child's naps. No brake back plates yet. Im not happy with the finish where the gaskets go and have been sanding them a bit flatter - hopefully no leaks!


Scratch - March 4th, 2018 at 07:28 PM

As per the top message... I've deleted some posts with an eye to batch uploading.

As a side bar the serial number puts it as Dec 1955, not 56. It has several Barndoor parts fitted like the engine mount etc. Yet to be confirmed bit I'm pretty sure it made in the Wolfsburg factory before the move to Hanover?

Condition on arrival.

Rocked up at 3am!

Why I bought it (among other things) Made in Germany!

The start

Scratch - March 4th, 2018 at 07:29 PM

Scratch - March 4th, 2018 at 07:31 PM


When it came out...

Picture with first baby for time lapse reasons.