87 Westy is done

2 years, thousands of dollars, blood, sweat, & tears. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

August 23th, 2009

The Westy is finally done! I can finally declare victory! Man, oh man, what a journey. Put the finishing touches on  it on Sunday.

Lessons I have learned: 

  • Have a supportive wife! I had originally bought the Westy for my wife's birthday, and she has been patiently awaiting its completion. Thank you sweetie for your support. 
  • Thanks to Zoltan for taking on the body work and paint project. He was a brave man to take on 'Rustfalia' and did a fine job with the body and paint. I am very pleased with the outcome.
  • Label the shit out of everything! When I disassembled anything, I labeled it and put it in a box. I used blue painters tape and sandwiched screws to keep them together. For the cabinetry, I taped screws and bolts onto the cabinets right next to their respective locations. This system proved to be invaluable when it came time for reassembly.
  • Expect everything to go wrong! I had purchased a used engine with new AMC heads and thought it was a good move. 8 helicoils later, and a trip to the machine shop with one of the heads, I had the engine back together after several months of headache.
  • Never purchase a van sight unseen. The person that I had bought the van from neglected to tell me about any of the rusted through panels or holes in the body. This added significant length to the project, unnecessary headache, and money that I had to put towards body work. Karma always wins, 'nuff said.
  • Us vanagonauts have an amazing wealth of information and access to parts on the internet. Thesamba.com, vanagon.com mail list, van-cafe.com, gowesty.com, busdepot.com, oeveedub.com, the list goes on........None of my progress would be possible without the publicly available knowledge that we have access to.
  • Rust! Respect it and treat it properly using harsh chemicals and pay attention to details! You will be glad you did.
  • Fresh paint: I was amazed at how nice interior pieces turned out after painting them. I repainted everything I could and it made a huge difference in the overall appearance. We have a 'new' westy!

I'll post more of my ramblings as time permits, on to the pics!


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