87 Westfalia body work

the project has started....... 

September 29, 2007 

The 'Rustfalia' is being transformed. This weekend, my brother-in-law came down and we officially started the rust removal, treatment, and prevention process. When I bought the van, the previous owner failed to mention that were several holes in the body that have rusted through. Well, since I bought the van sight unseen, I'll consider it lesson learned and let karma sort the previous owner out. Good news is, once my brother-in-law saw it, his opinion was that it is all fixable and not fatal rust. Since he spent 3 years at auto body school, I'll take his word for it. And, after seeing him work, I'm glad I did! Pictures of the progress:

These pictures were taken w/ my shop digital camera, so the full size quality is not quite as good as some of the other pics on my other pages. The rear passenger side panel was rusted through:

This panel isn't quite ready to be filled, I removed the interior panel and found the source. So, I will first wire brush and shop vac all the loose rust out of the inside, then, give it a heavy bath in POR-15. After we applied rust-mort and some etch primer:

 Picture of the front, during the grinding process:

Closer-up pic of the nose, showing some of the rusted through spots around the windshield, and the crease on that front panel:

 The front after grinding, rust-mort, and etch primer:

The front after the first application of filler: 

 Of course, this morning is raining, so the water drops are after it has dried. After the final filler coat, called icing, and primered with rose color primer:

We decided to do the window seal rust last. There are about half a dozen window seal rust spots, so we figured the best thing to do would be to remove the affected windows and do them all at once. Then, I may drive it, or have it trucked to the paint shop minus windows for a complete paint job minus pop top and luggage rack. We'll see, in the meantime, here's a pic of a couple of the holes up front:

 The following pic shows the holes in the roof. It's not the best angle, and we didn't do any work on those spots,  perhaps next time. They will require cutting and welding,  but luckily, I found some very friendly vanagon owners in WA state who were kind enough to let me cut out those pieces from their parts van. This will be a project:

 Welding has begun:

Update March 21, 2009

Today, the windows came out:



 The drivers side rust has been unleashed:


The replacement panel on the floor, note the built in seam on the left, looks like someone has learned from past mistakes. Less seams is better.



More to come....

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