1954 RHD 23-Window Deluxe Restoration

I still need the following parts: Whats done:
* entire center frame from front of cargo floor rearward
* new cross pieces
* new outriggers
* frame de-rusted, POR-15'd and painted, from cargo floor back
* transmission cleaned, inspected and painted
* spring plates removed, cleaned, de-rusted, POR-15'd, painted, greased and re-installed. Need to order bushings.
* bought all new fasteners for transmission re-install,
* bought new rear-wheel cylinders, need to finish cleaning brake parts and re-install
* wiring harness removed

Repro body pieces to get still:
* jack points
* cargo floor
* belly pans

Pieces to fab:
* cab floor?
* pieces of edge of cargo floor

Body pieces to be sectioned:
* entire driver's side - I have an NOS piece for this (came with the bus, luckily!) its actually just the rocker and wheel arch that are bad, but I'll put in most of the new piece.
* doglegs - I have a _lead_ on some which are kinda scrappy, but not too bad. I just hope my contact (a fellow listmember) comes thru.

* front frame - Same person has a front end with good pieces for these, which I'm s'posed to get soon after he returns from Germany. These will replace the pieces I fabricated last summer, and correct one of the bigger boo-boos I made: the cargo floor is 1/4-1/4" too low on the passenger side, and 1/4" too low in the driver's side, in the front. I don't know how that happened, but it did.
* lower nose - I have these pieces on order from Das Bulli Haus. I will do these shortly after the frame sections, so I can put a wiring harness in. The upper nose is fine except for a couple surface rust spots.
* rear corners - I have no leads on these pieces yet
* cargo door frame - I have no lead on these pieces yet
* seat wall - the area behind the front seat, which closes the front wheel wells on each side. The pieces are coming from the same listmember
* seat bulkhead - pieces coming from same listmember
* driver's door jamb - same source
* front floors - ROFLMAO/ROFCMEO
* passenger side wheel well - probably get this from Das Bulli.

Though this sounds like a lot, once I finish the frame, I'm to the point where a reasonably modest amount of work will yield major cosmetic improvements.

The story:

In early January in 1996, I bought this bus, a right hand drive 23-window deluxe, body number 106362, chassis number 107934, engine number -20-0816018, from Charlie Hamill in Southern California. The bus came from Sweden, where it had been originally purchased and driven until approximately 1969, according to the registration paperwork. Swedes drove on the left hand side of the road until 1967.

What's significant about this bus? This is probably the only example of this particular model (model 244) in the US, and one of only 3 or 4 in the world.

The 1972 911 Targa I sold to buy this bus :(

I think the pictures tell the story! These are some of the pictures that were sent to me, with which I had to make the decision to buy (or not to buy) the bus. My only beef is that it wasn't a good set of pictures, there should have been more angles taken, and there were no pictures at all of the driver's side.

Initial Evaluation:

The bus is rusty, but reasonably complete. It is missing various trinkets such as taillights, center brake light, reflectors and semaphores. I am planning a full restoration. Most of the lower structure is going to need to be replaced, including rocker panels, outriggers, center sections, belly pans, and jack points. I will also be replacing the lower section of the nose and the front floors.

These are pictures I took myself after it was delivered. I think they show its condition more clearly.

Major Problem Areas

Plan of Attack (as of 1/13/96)

My first job is to start liquid wrenching every bolt I can find. I'll keep re-soaking them over the next several weeks.

While those are soaking, I'm going to cut away some of the more useless metal underneath, such as the rotted away belly pans and portions of the outriggers and center sections. When the weather warms a bit, and the humidity comes down, I'll start media blasting portions of the underside and lower areas of the bus to remove the old filler, paint and rust, so I can get a better idea of what I am dealing with.

In general, I plan to start with the underbody first. First I'll cut away the useless rotted metal, then sandblast and primer the underside. This will let me evaluate its condition better. Then I'll weld in the new center sections and outriggers. I'm not sure what I'll have do with the actual frame rails, which are rusted thru in spots. I might also cut away the cargo floor, which is rusted out in the corners and has lots of holes through it. This will also make it easier to replace pieces underneath. Once I reach that point, I'll be able to decide whether to replace the frame rails or to just section pieces of them. I might be able to get away with just reinforcing them. We'll see.

Once I'm done with the underbody, I will replace the rockers, the wheel arch on the driver's side, and the corner section on the driver's side. At this point I will also have to make a decision about what to do about the rear cargo wall section which has rotted thru into the wheel well (or vice-versa) and the areas of the front seat back wall that have rotted thru.

Then I will work on the front floors. Almost the entire floor area needs to be replaced, as well as some of the seat bulkhead. There are also portions of the front undersection, such as the box sections around the pedals, that will need to be replaced. Both doglegs (the areas underneath the front doors) will need to be replaced.

Parts Needed

Here's a list of parts I am going to need to complete this project. If you have any of these parts, or know someone who does, please e-mail me

Comments? Suggestions? Gripes?
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