In the VW community theres a lot of rust (even more true in the pacific northwest) and we now know far more about rust than we might have ever hoped. There are 2 kinds of rust. Surface rust, which can be easily sanded off and protected to stop the rust...and what is generally known as simply "cancer". This is because once rust reaches this point it cant be solved or stopped. The only option is to simply cut out a hole big enough to remove any of the rust and weld in new metal.
We have been pleasantly surprised to find very little cancerous rust anywhere on our bus, but we weren't about to put everything back together without dealing with the problems we did find. Problem is...at least here in Vancouver, almost nobody is willing to deal with this kind of rust because: a. it never goes well b. its always worse than you think it is, and c. owners are never happy to hear about a and b
Luckily, we found the right man for the job. In fact, Barry may be the perfect man for any job related to old VW buses! I might have attempted these repairs myself if we were still in portland, or had access to a welder, but it wasnt exactly one of the amenities in our small condo. Lets face it...now im stoked i didn't have that as an option...as i would have slaughtered the bus instead of what ended up being nothing short of metal artwork.
We highly recommend Werke1!! Barry is a genius, and while i understand he does mostly full bus restorations...we were glad to hear he would handle these issues for us too his bigger projects.
Had green panels welded into both front floor sides
Cutout the worst rust in the bus, right behind both front wheel wells and patches both the wheel well and the cargo floor/bulkhead
And MOST importantly...got him to graph in the donor dash to get rid of the gigantic hole!!
In case you forgot what this looked like before...someone had cutout a horrific hole in the dash for a clock that could have been seen from across the highway. A real pity since the dash is the centerpiece of these old buses.
We cant get over how great it looks! We almost feel like its okay to take the bus back out in public again! and since i couldn't bring myself to build the floor or cabinets over the rust...we can finally move ahead with the camper plans =)