Adjusting the Valves on your VW Greatly Improves Performance

Posted September 4, 2016 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Maintenance, My Westfalia, Video, Volkswagen camper, VW, VW Beetle

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Although the bus was running very well at the beginning of spring I felt it had lost some of it’s get up and go by late summer after a number of reasonably long road trips. Certainly I had tuned it t perfection, but I had left out one thing, the valve adjustment.

Driving the ‘74 Westfalia seasonally I probably put on about 3,000 miles in the past 3 summers, perhaps a bit more. Three thousand miles is the recommended interval for valve adjustment. To my surprise the valves were quite tight, .004 inch or less when I ran the feeler gauge through the tappets. As usual number 3 exhaust was the tightest as its cooling is impeded by the nearby oil cooler. The stock gap for intake valves on a 1974 Type 4 bus engine is .006 inch. The exhaust setting is a bit more confusing, if the motor still has the special sodium filled exhaust valves the gap should be .008 inch. However, I see debate on the Samba with some people setting them to .006 inch with good results. My personal experimentation found .008 to be a bit noisy and I settled for something closer to .006 or just closer to .007 for the exhaust. The fact is I don’t think I have sodium filled valves as a previous owner gave the engine a top end rebuild about fifteen thousand miles ago.

Then the great joy of sealing up the valve covers, finding they don’t leak, and putting the gas pedal down to find the bus has new found easy glide power. Like an almost new engine the bus is once again making as much as it can out of its potential 70 horse power. There is no need to jack up the car for this procedure. Happy motoring, and don’t be afraid to set your valves yourself.

The videos are from Chris Vallone at Classic VW Bugs dot com though the same principles apply to buses both upright and Type 4 engines.


Beach Wood Wheel Chock for the Bus

Posted July 21, 2016 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Maintenance, My Westfalia, Volkswagen camper, VW


Wheel chock made from a piece of drift wood.

It’s a simple thing but very useful as the parking brake cable on a bus is very long and can sometimes give way enough for the vehicle to start rolling. Call me paranoid, my dad’s bus once rolled down the driveway into a tree, and yes I park in gear. We often head to the beach in our ’74 Westfalia to enjoy an afternoon by the sea. I love looking at all the variations of beach wood, some natural or in this case man made. This block struck me as being the perfect shape and size to become a VW bus wheel chock that would fit easily behind the driver’s seat. I gave it a dash of orange paint from a rattle can and made a grip from the remains of some old lawn chair webbing, and voila!

Jerry Seinfeld Spotlights a Westfalia

Posted June 18, 2016 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Celebrity Bus, Film & TV, Journeys, Volkswagen camper

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Jerry Seinfeld’s “new” show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a simple concept and it works well, especially when he chooses a 1977 Volkswagen Westfalia as the vehicle for his comedy. Here he teams up with fellow comedian Jim Gaffigan in the camper juxtaposed with the streets of New York. It’s ironic that they both claim to prepare for their routines, yet this seems fairly natural and off the cuff. If you’re a fan of both Volkswagen campers and the long running TV sitcom Seinfeld then this is the video for you. Click the picture to watch.

Hasta Alaska – “You could not write this stuff”

Posted June 3, 2016 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Brazilian Kombis, Film & TV, Journeys, Maintenance, Video, Volkswagen camper, Volkswagen van

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Good news/bad news, Ben finally gets his U.S Visa! But…the Kombi is in a bit of a fix. From Vancouver to Haines Alaska, and now Whitehorse in the Yukon, the Kombi Life adventure continues. A must watch video in the series.

At first I thought, why is Fidel Castro putting out that fire? Maybe it’s just the angle, it is in fact Ben’s incredibly helpful friend in Haines who saved the bus just in time. And I really want one of these T-Shirts! You can support Kombi Life by purchasing one here.


Hasta Alaska Adventure hits Bureaucratic Snag

Posted March 12, 2016 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Brazilian Kombis, Journeys, Video

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So close but so far away, I can’t believe this four year journey could be at an end. As Ben explains in this new video, U.S. immigration has denied him a tourist visa therefore preventing him from returning to Alaska to finish the trip in summer 2016. My only input is that since Ben’s dog Alaska and his travel companion are currently in Canada, he could join them and file for another U.S. tourist visa from Canada. This section from the U.S. Immigration site offers hope.


You can show your support for Ben, Kombi Life, and the Hasta Alaska trip by sharing the video on social media.


Wheeler Dealers search for a Kombi in Brazil

Posted March 12, 2016 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Brazilian Kombis, Video

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I can’t believe I missed this one. Here’s a promo for the British TV series Wheeler Dealers, this time they’re off to Brazil where the bay window bus was manufactured until the end of 2013, albeit from 2006 with a water-cooled engine. They’re in search of a bus to fix up with around $18,000 in their pocket. Now to find the full program.

Car S.O.S. Restore a Devon VW Camper

Posted February 18, 2016 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Film & TV, Interiors, Maintenance, Rescue, Video, Volkswagen camper, Volkswagen van

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carsosvwcamperThis is so nice to see. These guys have a great work ethic, all they want to do is give a retired gentleman, who is recovering from a stroke, his dream back. Fun and games as they conspire to sneak the bus away for the restoration. The video is also quite educational for those looking to fix an old Volkswagen bay that might have been sitting, this one sat for 17 years, but thankfully  in a garage. I liked the explanation of the torsion bar suspension and brakes. Let this be motivation for those upcoming spring VW bus projects out there.

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