Split Bus Overland Rig Build w/ 2.0 Jetta Engine

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Ohio_style
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Split Bus Overland Rig Build w/ 2.0 Jetta Engine

Post by Ohio_style » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:58 am

Cut n paste from my samba thread. Figured this was a good place for my bus project.

Backstory: This thing was found in MN by a friend of mine in 2015. He bought 3 of 4 other busses with it and drug them all back to Ohio.

As found:
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Loaded and headed home:
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I was kinda looking for a bus project to buy for my son's 3rd birthday. THis was behind my friends shop and it's fate was uncertain. We struck a deal and I drug it home

Wyatt digs it.
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It is a 64 Mouse Gray. Or was at least. there is a bit of OG paint inside the front doors and in the engine compartment. Otherwise I have found none on the outside under that green house paint. The bulkhead was chopped out, so no M Code. It's mostly solid aside from jackpoints and rockers. However, a large branch had fallen on the roof and sat, denting and rusting it out. It leaked right on the package tray and rusted it out as well. Any dent was filled with bondo before paint so there are plenty of sins on this turd.

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Last edited by Ohio_style on Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Matt Johnson
IG @zerobalancebuilds
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Ohio_style
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:10 pm

Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by Ohio_style » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:04 am

So, it sat in my shed for the last 5 years while we had other stuff goin on. I decided this was the year to get it movin'. We like to camp a lot, and have travel trailer, but also like to dispersed camp and get off the beaten path, not just stay in camp grounds. To that end, the purpose of this bus is to get us out there and be a base camp.

The plan is a slight lift, aggressive tires, sleeping for 2 adults and 3 kids, the ability to carry water and supplies for 3-4 days off grid, have some sort of self contained commode, and a shower of some sort (outside). Basically an Expo Bus.

First off is the powerplant. I had already decided to go with a modern watercooled engine. Looking for reliability, plenty of power, heat, and economy. I weighed the options and decided to keep it all VW. I have lots of experience with 2000+ VW's and had a BEV engine from a 2004 Jetta in my stockpile.

I called KEP and ordered up a kit and proceded to get ready.

Using my "engine hoist" to get it to the shop

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I weighed it and was pleased to find that ready to install it was 270#

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KEP Adapter installed. I can's say enough good things about Lori at Kennedy. Very helpful and super easy ordering process. Only took about 6 days to arrive at my door on the other side of the country.

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Mocking up the engine, playing with clocking options. This is the typical Vanagon install angle and would require some oil pan and pickup modification. It also makes air intake routing awkward and exhaust a bit of a challenge, as well as requiring to cut the body some to clear the exhaust manifold.

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I much preferred to have it clocked at the stock angle, but even with my planned 30MM trans drop, it just hit the package tray. I decided that since the package tray was rusted out anyhow from the hole in the roof, and I wanted to add a Bay access door so I could do things like check and add oil, I would cut the package tray and lift it 1" to solve all my issues.

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So with that finalized, I am now certain the 2.0 is the way to go, so I'm sending my ECU to my good friend Ryan at Eurocustoms tuning to have the immobolizer deleted, secondary air removed, and a few other odds and ends to get it started.

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I visited my parts pile and found a MK5 Gti Radiator that I believe will be adequate once mounted between the frame rails.

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Matt Johnson
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Ohio_style
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Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by Ohio_style » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:05 am

Next up is the aggressive tires and stance. I was inspired by Aaron @widefive's mouse gray bus and had to be like him, as he is my personal jesus.

I ordered up one 30x9.5/15 tire to see how bad it would be to get them on. I was pleased to find that in the rear, there was room to spare stock and upfront there was minimum rubbing.

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I's shooting for around 3" of lift I believe. Up front I plan to adjust the beam and in the rear the aforementioned 30mm trans drop. As of now I plan to keep redux boxes but I have a full early bay IRS and 3 rib waiting. I also have a later bay disc front beam, but as of now don't intend to use it. I do plan a disc brake front conversion to slow those big tars down tho.

So that's where we are now. I'm waiting on some parts and my Dcab is tying up my lift. As soon as the ECU gets here, I'll start working on getting it started and mobile under it's own power to assess the rest of what needs done.
Matt Johnson
IG @zerobalancebuilds
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMYvgl ... dSX2m4ZGWg

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doc
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Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by doc » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:11 pm

Cool project.

Ohio_style
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Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by Ohio_style » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:02 pm

Sorry, got delayed. I posted too quickly and got locked out, then my ADHD kicked in and well....you get it.

OK, I've made a ton of progress so I'll try to catch it up some here. The youtube link in my signature has videos showing what all is going on, I've been spending most of my spare online time working on showing it there, but the samba deserves some love too.

Jumping around a bit, but way back in december I had bout a Bay sportmobil top off a samba member about 5 hours away and planned to incorporate picking it up into one of our trips to pick up cars or vacation. Then the pandemic messed up everyone's schedule. Kevin was cool enough to hold onto it until august when I finally was going his way and I snagged it up.
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I'm super pleased with the minimum work that will be needed to fit the split roof profile and it totally covers all of the roof damage

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Matt Johnson
IG @zerobalancebuilds
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Ohio_style
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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:10 pm

Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by Ohio_style » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:09 pm

As I said, I sent my ecu to Ryan eurocustomstuning.com. He defeated the security immobilizer, tuned out the secondary air, second O2 sensor, evap system, etc, basically everything to make it standalone.

My good friend Chris then hooked me up with wiring diagrams and I got to sorting out what I didn't need
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Then I made this test panel to easily tweak connections and hook the throttle pedal up. I specifically choose this year engine for the drive by wire so I wouldn't have to fabricate throttle cable and linkage, just run 6 wires front to back
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I decided that rather than deal with plumbing lines to a stock tank, I would use a 15 gallon aluminum fuel cell with AN connectors. So i grabbed one of those and set it in place, then plumbed it all up wiith fuel injection line rated to 150psi.
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Then I made a bracket for the fuel pump and regulator. Fuel pump is for a BMW application and more than adequate to deliver the 4 bar fuel pressure required.


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I used an autostick starter and put everything back together. Then I cranked, and cranked, and cranked some more. It would catch and almost fire, backfire, etc. I went through and found I had fuel and spark. I traced every wire. I adjusted fuel pressure up and down. Went through the diagram a dozen times, was using VCDS to try and find something out of wack....nothing.

In a last ditch effort I decided to reverse the order the plug wires were in on the coil pack and it fired right up and ran like a sewing machine. :roll:

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Matt Johnson
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Ohio_style
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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:10 pm

Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by Ohio_style » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:11 pm

With that sorted I started going after the rest of the details.

I made mounts for the ecu. There will be a cover over this before the interior is built. I also plan to 3d print a holder for the OBD2 plug
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I got rid of the test board and started making Deutsch connector plugs for the various connections to keep each system separate and have the ability to unplug things easily.
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I found a silicone elbow with close dimensions to the throttle body and MAF (after some convincing) and installed the MAF and airfilter. I need to put another tube on it to push the filter further out from the exhaust hot air.

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I also made a set of radiator mounts. There are a set of GTI fans installed on top. I'm certain there will need to be changes, shrouding, etc required but this is the rough draft at least. There will obviously be a pan under this to protect from road and trail debris.
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Matt Johnson
IG @zerobalancebuilds
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Ohio_style
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Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by Ohio_style » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:14 pm

I talked myself in and out of IRS swapping it 4 or 5 times. Finally the pros of going IRS won out over the cons.
  • 1. I had concerns about wheel hop with 115hp and 30" tires
    2. Dropping the trans meant dropping the engine and loosing ground clearance, which I want to maintain.
    3. Way stronger transmission and easier to change.
    4.No camber issues with the lift.
So, I bought a toasted 71 parts bus, which works great because my 71 Westy needs a new front beam.


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Out came the engine, trans, and everything else.
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It became clear why the bus had been parked way back when.
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3 rib freed up.
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Matt Johnson
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Ohio_style
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Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by Ohio_style » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:15 pm

Ok. I'm back. Kids started school this week, along with all the other normal obligations I haven't had tons of time.

I'm waiting on some bushings to build the engine cross member, so the IRS swap is held up by that.

I have gotten a few small things done. My friend has a dry blasting business and I had him clean up my wheels, then I hit them with rattlecan white, then mounted up my tires.

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I have a coats tire machine, but I'm not a pro tire installer, so they were a bit of a fight. Here are all 4 installed. The rears have gobs of room. The fronts honestly are very close, they rub the doglegs in the rear. Since my doglegs are both wasted anyhow, I'm going to trim them up, then flex the bus out to measure how much lift I really need. The goal is to keep it as low as possible.

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Now that the tires are mounted up, I finally could get it off the lift. I need to tackle the front floor, as there needs to be a mount built for the throttle. I will fabricate my own floor pan instead of buying one then just cutting it up anyhow. I'm also considering upgrading to a vac boost master cylinder. I for sure will be upgrading from the stock MC at the very least.

Cutting out the floor


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What was left of the floor.

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I'm hoping I get some parts in the next few days and can tackle the IRS swap. My goal is to have all the driveline stuff sorted by the end of September and all mechanical done by Halloween

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Cy4pTGrtMtU[/youtube]
Matt Johnson
IG @zerobalancebuilds
YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMYvgl ... dSX2m4ZGWg

Ohio_style
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Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build

Post by Ohio_style » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:21 pm

Small updates. I only had about an hour of free time yesterday so I knocked something simple off the list. Progress is progress I suppose.

I had a few sheets of 20ga around so I sheared off a hunk and ran it through my bead roller. The results are eh...ok, but it's tough to roll a 3x3 piece with no table while manually running the wheel on the roller. Maybe I'll revisit it in the future.

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Anyhow..the engine is covered. I welded a 1x1 square stock piece across to reinforce it. It's as stout as the stock floor again. The plan is to use quick release fasteners since this cover comes off for pretty much all engine maintainance.

Also after a lot of consideration I decided on a brake upgrade. Ordered up Wilwood pedals, master cylinder and everything to make the clutch hydraulic. Overcomplicated maybe and maybe I'll regret it but since both clutch and brake are seized and basically everything needs replaced on them I just went for it. Another part of the decision is the huge variety of master cylinders available for this setup, vs doing 67 bus or bay or 944 conversion. With this decision made I can get to putting a floor in the front.

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Matt Johnson
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Ohio_style
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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:10 pm

Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build w/ 2.0 Jetta Engine

Post by Ohio_style » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:24 am

Last night I went out with the intent of cleaning the shop. After looking at the bus a bit, I decided to get after the transmission swap. I've been waiting on bushings to build the crossmember, but with no ship date in sight, i couldn't stand waiting longer and figured I'll make do.

So I pulled the engine back out, then got to yanking the swing axle

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Comparison of swing axle to 3 rib 71 bus transmission


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Slid the 3 rib in and quickly realized the frame horns needed to go. There is no clearance
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So, out came the saw and I removed everything I won't need.
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And back into place with the 3 rib. The trans drops about 2" and is about 1.5" longer. Rear mount looks pretty easy to fabricate up, just a flat plate and some urethane block.
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https://youtu.be/s58ger6rqXA
Matt Johnson
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panel
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Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build w/ 2.0 Jetta Engine

Post by panel » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:31 pm

Keep it up , nice work !
'65 Bus with a JDM Subaru EJ20 Turbo
Built by Germans powered by Japanese and brought together by Canadians

Ohio_style
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Re: Split Bus Overland Rig Build w/ 2.0 Jetta Engine

Post by Ohio_style » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:33 pm

Today I decided I needed to knock out the IRS swap. First I brought in the donor parts from the 71 bus I cut up.

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The first thing I did was pull the trailing arms and test fit. I had read conflicting info on bay/split interchangeability. I am quite pleased to say that 71 arms fit a 64 bus.
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Then I prepped the torsion by cleaning off the rest of the cradle mounts


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I had intended to CNC cut a set of control arm mounts, but the original ones looked pretty easy to recover. After some torch work....
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I cleaned the mounts up, then measured and measured and set angles. The bay torsion is 46" vs the split 44" width. I finally settled on reference points and set the mounts rotated down 14 degrees from level. I hard tacked them in and test fit the arm. Success!!


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Interesting side notes.
1) I always love opening torsion housings. They are almost always sealed up and the arms look exactly as they did 50 or 60 years ago. It's like a time capsule.
2)bay window torsion bars are substantially smaller than split. Bay on top.

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Anyhow. The finished product. I put split drums on and they don't fit at all. The snouts are too long to get the axle nut on. Also they sit shallow apparently, the tires are now pulled in about an additional inch and rub. I'm going to try thing drums and see where I end up. Otherwise I think maybe early bay rear?

Height wise it's at the same height as the swingaxle. It is nice that all camber is gone now. I don't thing the 2" narrower track will affect the CV joints. It's 1/2" per joint and I think they will handle it.
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Next up is to Fab the trans front mount, box rear frame rails, replace all the bushings and bearings back here, and clean paint everything
Matt Johnson
IG @zerobalancebuilds
YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMYvgl ... dSX2m4ZGWg

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