Archive for the ‘Westfalia’ category

Camper Jam Canada 2014 Moved due to Forest Fire

July 17, 2014

camperjamcanadalogo

Canada has a VW Camper Jam, though much smaller than its British brother the same spirit is there. What could be better than touring through the Canadian Rockies in a Volkswagen camper?  Unfortunately a forest fire necessitated the event to be moved to another location also located in Alberta Canada. This message was on their webpage.

“Due to a forest fire in the area, We are scrambling to find a location for the 2014 Jam. We have a few potential spots lined up we are waiting to hear confirmation. For more up to date information Stay connected through our social media channels or if you have any questions click here

Later according to the group’s Facebook page Camper Jam was successfully moved to Drumheller, Alberta. Great events like that are always too short. Never enough time to meet everyone and check out every vehicle.

camperjam-canada-moved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Found A Good DVDA for my Westfalia

July 16, 2014

Left: DVDA before cleaned and set, and Right: After

Ever since my stock Bosch Dual Vacuum Dual Advance distributor (DVDA) failed last year I’ve been looking for a replacement. The problem is they don’t make them anymore so most people use the commonly available new Single Vacuum Dual Advance versions. The Mexican Bosch SVDA is my favorite, I run one with a Pertronix ignition in my other bus, very nice. The DVDA has two vacuum hoses that are fed from the stock twin Solex carburetors. If you run the SVDA you’ll be blocking off the retard vacuum hole on the left carb. I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to running things stock so I’ve kept my hopes up to find something in the way of a DVDA that is close to my original. I know the literature says that you should run distributors recommended for your particular engine and year, but if that were true no one would be running 009s or the aftermarket SVDAs, the latter made for Mexican Beetles if I’m right.

Out of the five DVDAs I now have, including my broken original, only one is working to my satisfaction. I’ve been to a few shows and events this summer and whenever I see one I buy it. Prices range from 10 to 20 dollars and condition from rough to usable. They’re inexpensive, which means I can afford to be wrong here and there and keep the bad ones for parts. The most recent one turned out to be rated for a ’75 – mid ’76 Bus with an 1800 to 2000cc engine, and since I have a ’73 1700 I feel it’s about as close as I’m going to get. I took it apart down to the springs and weights which looked quite good. At first the advance plate didn’t want to come out, however a little persuasion in the vice with a gentle tap from a center punch convinced it to come free.  I degreased, cleaned and lubricated the whole works and added a set of gently used Bosch points and condenser.

used-dvda-1700-motor

Now came the moment of truth, I installed said DVDA into the bus, set the static timing at 10 degrees After Top Dead Center (ATDC,) made sure it was out of gear and started it up. It ran at low idle, I adjusted to 900 RPMs or there about and set the timing with a strobe light. By the way, the dwell read 44 degrees, nice. Took the van for a spin, but it seemed a bit sluggish, went around the block straight home and checked the static timing. Went out again, same thing, not quite right. I had noticed I wasn’t getting enough advance when revved, could the vacuum can be finished? I decided to give it one more try. I reset the static timing, then got out the strobe light again. This time it was reading nearly 10 degrees out at around 20 ATDC, weird. At least I had found something to fix. I reset everything to specs and headed out for a test drive. What a difference! It was running like its sewing machine self. I think the trick is to get the idle as close to the recommended 900 RPMs then check and recheck your 10 degrees ATDC setting. I hope this stock set up with the twin Solex carbs will improve my gas mileage a bit.

One thing I should point out. The old green retard vacuum hose began to crumble and rip when I went to connect it back up. The gauge looked a lot like a 5 mm fuel line hose so I grabbed some of that out of the spares box. It seemed to fit perfectly and is functioning just fine, perhaps they are one and the same type of hose.

Kombi Tribute Video – Volkswagen Brazil

April 6, 2014

I don’t think there has ever been so much fanfare for a vehicle ending production, not even the Beetle which deserves its accolades too. I believe this video was produced by Volkswagen Brasil as a tip of the hat to one of the most successful vehicles of all time. So I guess we must accept that the Volkswagen van will not be coming back any time soon, but far from being gone many are still being driven worldwide. Add to that an abundance of affordable parts and I think we’ll be seeing a lot of bullis, buses, and kombis for a long time.

“Blue Bus” Movie – Comedy in a Kombi (2011)

February 10, 2014

bluebus-trailerHere’s a comedy about a guy who receives a last request from a deceased friend to take his old VW Westfalia on a road trip across America. It’s filmed in a pseudo cinéma vérité style. It was released in 2011, now to find somewhere to rent a copy!

bluebus-poster

 

Glimmer Of Hope For Kombi

January 11, 2014

After reading through news sites around the world I’m still seeing mention of a possible return for Brazil’s Volkswagen Kombi into production after shutdown in December 2013. Perhaps they are simply aftershocks following Guido Mantega’s hopeful efforts to save the legendary vehicle. One interesting comment I’ve noticed a few times is: “The Kombi’s fate will be decided in the next few weeks” That would be now in the first few weeks of 2014, let’s keep our fingers crossed. Today’s video is from Youtube user rebuli marco and features a 54th anniversary Brazilian Kombi celebration from 2011.

Fate of the Kombi – Update 2014-01-09

January 9, 2014

I’ve been quiet for the past week or so, “Wishin’ And Hopin’”  as Dusty Springfield sang in 1964, waiting for some conclusive news on the fate of the iconic Kombi. Here’s what I’ve found, everything including:

– The final Kombi was produced on December 20th
– The final Kombi was produced on January 3rd
– Finance minister Guido Mantega says he would try to save the Kombi
– Finance minister Guido Mantega makes a case to the save the bus and is denied (Brazilian press)
– Last shipment of 99 Kombis on their way to Danbury Motor Caravans in Britain

There seems to be some variation of the facts, and to be honest the Guido Mantega story appears to be losing steam if it hasn’t fizzled already. In reality we haven’t seen new bay window buses in North America since 1979, I remember my disappointment when I heard the news that the Vanagon would replace the bread loaf. It’s amazing I didn’t realize, until about 10 years ago, that the Type 2 was still being produced in other parts of the world. According to Wikipedia the bay window bus was produced in the following countries between these dates:

Aug 1967–Jul 1979 (Europe and US)
1971–1996 (Mexico)
1976–Dec 2013 (Brazil)[9]
1981–1986 (Argentina)

According to that list some would have been produced in the U.S. though I’m not sure about that. So a holiday through any one of those Latin American countries would certainly be interesting for the VW van enthusiast. Today’s video from a happier day, posted by Youtube user Sidney Gubitoso, is a news story from Brazilian TV celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kombi in 2007. Some great historical footage.

Brazil Kombi Factory Floor Walk Through

January 3, 2014

VW Kombi The end of a motoring era.jpg

In this piece, which was filed back early December 2013, the BBC’s Wyre Davies laments the end of Kombi production. Some of the best shots I’ve seen of the factory floor where most of the work is done by hand. Since Volkswagen Brazil has nothing to replace it with they should have simply keep making our favourite vehicle. Click the photo to go to the video and article on the BBC site.


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