After loading up Albert and carting him to my house on a trailer the deep cleaning process started. The seats were incredibly dirty from all the car parts that were piled inside, I decided to completely remove the interior and inspect the body underneath. After looking up from underneath I was really impressed with how little rust there is everywhere. I have found some surface spots here and there I have noticed that all vanagons seem to bubble up from underneath.
Got all the carpet out gotta love years of spilled drinks, food, grease, etc.
The only rust inside was near the accelerator pedal. It’s actually the rivets that are rusty and it made a mess on the padding.
Blasting the carpets, while the improvement was some 1000x over what it was, it still wasn’t enough. That’s okay, it’s really too much blue for me anyway.
Back seats after cleaning:
The carpet looks dirty but the seats came out awesome:
With the initial cleaning out of the way I decided to start with the interior, the carpet had outright irritated me so I figured for better overall motivation I should just address this first. I started by removing the remaining ECU and harness for the old 1.9 Waterboxer, they were returned to renegade composites to be re-united with their engine.
I also removed the dash for deep cleaning and to take a better look at the main wiring harness all of which were in excellent shape. One extremely cool feature is the dash on these are metal so they aren’t going to crack.
I like that I won’t have to freeze if I ever need to add brake fluid 😉
Got the stereo installed, this head unit sucks, but that’s okay because I don’t plan on using the CD player or radio functions, the radio works great but I get annoyed with CD’s, more on that later.
After a quick trip to the auto parts store I picked up some adhesive for the carpet and got to work.
First I laid down the carpet padding that is factory, I actually plan on dynomatting the entire vehicle in the near future.
The results were immediately clear, just what I needed.
It took a week for this thing to unroll to a flat shape:
Here is a closeup of the interior after returning from the window tint shop. I opted for 5% rear and 15% on the front two windows:
Installed some nice window crank handles, these include spacers for use with aftermarket speakers:
After getting the interior pretty much where I liked it I decided it was time to install some subs. It was interesting coming up with a solution for keeping the engine compartment readily accessible and it wasn’t long before I had something functional:
Using some 2×4″ sections I created a rail that ran the width of Albert and then anchored the speaker box to it. (doubles as theft deterrent as the beam is anchored into the van) I have since added a second battery and a milk crate for storage (all anchored in) yet still allowing ample room to work around the engine, I probably would re-locate the subs if I had the weekender package.
Also replaced the old side mirrors with NOS parts:
Tip: Tighten the nut on the bottom of your mirrors all the way and put some thread locker on it to prevent them from blowing in at highway speeds. You will need to remember to position the base for optimal installation convenience as you won’t be able to move the base until the mirror is anchored onto the van.
Vanagon Clock Fix:
I was unfortunate enough to receive the instrument cluster that didn’t come with the tachometer. It’s wasn’t all that big of a deal other than the clock that is installed in the cluster didn’t work. After ending up with a parts cluster that also had a broken clock it was time to figure out what was up, so I diagnosed the issue and it turned out to be a couple of electrolytic capacitors on the back. (see picture below)
The capacitors are between 20 and 22 microfarad, you will need to get at least a 25v rated pair or higher and don’t forget the polarity once you goto swap them out:
Time to assemble the clock and put it back in the cluster, I tested the clock and it held time for about 6 hours once I was satisfied I put it back together:
Since I had a second cluster I zeroed the odometer and stuck it in with the swap. Colorado voids the mileage on cars older than 10 years anyway…
If your speedometer works but your odometer doesn’t this gear probably has much to do with it. The gear tends to slide off the shaft as the wormgear drives it, I tried some green thread locker but recommend some type of epoxy:
Putting it back together:
The new windshield looks fantastic: