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.

The Kombi Remembered on Deutsche Welle TV

Posted January 25, 2016 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Brazilian Kombis, Video

Tags: ,

Here’s a great piece by Deutsche Welle TV celebrating Volkswagen of Germany’s stalwart South American cousin. This particular 2007 model is a 50th anniversary edition marking a half century of Kombi production in Brazil.  With a production run that began in post war Germany and finished in Brazil at the end of 2013, the VW bus should be around for a long time to come.

Kombi Life: British Columbia to Alberta Road Trip – Adventure Canada

Posted July 25, 2015 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Brazilian Kombis, Journeys, Video

Tags: , , ,

I can’t stop watching this series. OK I’m biased, but the story is just as real and believable as the people are interesting an entertaining. Of course you want to find out what happens next week! It reminds me of old TV shows where the central character rides or drives into a new town each week with a subsequent cast of supporting characters. British Columbia is still something of the wild west, even so, trying to find a decent, safe, quiet, and free overnight parking spot can be a challenge. What luck as Ben and the Kombi Crew bump into a similar bay window bus and they end up camping together.

Kombi Life: Hasta Alaska on Vancouver Island (Canada)

Posted July 17, 2015 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Brazilian Kombis, Journeys, Video, Volkswagen camper

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Amazing to think this awesome video series is produced from inside the Volkswagen van they travel in. The sheer amount or stamina and perseverance is incredible, previously in the series the engine was out multiple times. While others would have given up Ben did not. He accepts donations to the cause, but says that a portion of the proceeds goes to charity. If you’re not at liberty to take your kombi on an extended adventure this is the next best thing. Check out their Youtube channel.

Kombi Life: Hasta Alaska the Journey Continues

Posted June 29, 2015 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Brazilian Kombis, Journeys, Video, Volkswagen van

Tags: , ,

If you’re into Volkswagen buses or epic trips, you might have come across Hasta Alaska A.K.A. Kombi Life which is operated by a fellow from Jersey in the Channel Islands. His name is Ben and not only has he been traveling from Chile to Alaska for the past 3 years in a rather unique 1992 Brazilian VW bus, but he’s also found a novel way to make it all the more interesting. Anyone can apply to join the “Kombi Crew” providing there is room. So people have come and gone along the way supplying only their company, food, gas money, and general help, which in some cases has led to engine rebuilds and a nice paint job. One of the most amazing things is the great production quality of the video series, and I mean everything, technically it’s awesome, the editing is superb, and the concise and candid narrative keeps you glued to the screen. Traveling and meeting new friends can have its pitfalls, and in this recent vlog Ben recounts bittersweet memories of Sharne the spirited Australian girl who he ended up falling in love with before she had to return home. They say work is the best tonic, in this case Ben says travel, and he’s right. He got back up on his proverbial horse (read Kombi) and rode on to new adventures. The current version of the Hasta Alaska team led by Ben last heard from in Qualicum Beach Vancouver Island, Canada.

Loose Exhaust Spawns Faux Engine Noise

Posted May 20, 2015 by vivawestfalia
Categories: Maintenance, My Westfalia, Volkswagen camper



I’ve been chasing down a phantom engine noise since the end of last season when I put the bus to bed in the garage with what I first thought was simply a worn out muffler. Spring 2015 came and I eagerly set about tuning and fixing the camper for further adventures. The replacement Bugpack single quiet pack muffler went on fine and I also found one of the header to heater box gaskets was worn out too. Much to my surprise when I cranked it over and it still sounded like a box of hammers. I immediately began thinking of how to track down a new 2 litre boxer-motor to succeed the 1800, but I was too hasty.

A few days later while I was lying under the bus in my overalls contemplating its greatness, I began to idly twiddle with various bolts, you know just checking them. Suddenly there it was, a loose exhaust stud on number one at the head. I grabbed a 13 mm socket and popped it out, the nut was firmly on the stud at what I thought must be the right distance to torque up. I cleaned it up with some motor oil and gently, but firmly, put the works back in to the slot. It went in perfectly and snugged up like new. Then the moment of truth, I fired it up, music to my ears, all those crazy phantom mechanical sounds were gone and it drove like the wind with no back fire. It feels like a new engine, I now suspect the loose head bolt was working its way out getting louder over the last couple of years. The lesson here is, what sounds like bad lifters, a loose valve train or the like could simply be odd sounds being produced due to a leaky exhaust system.

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