I've hardly had time to write through July as we've been busy trying to balance customer projects with working on our own vehicles.
As usual (because we never know when to stop- on our own stuff, that is) a small job has turned into something waaay bigger than originally planned, consuming all our free time (not to mention cash) for the last month and a half.
That project would be our workhorse, the VW T25 van we bought two years ago just before opening the workshop.
The van was bought as something to chuck stuff in and use daily- but it also had a rock and roll bed fitted so we could get away in it on a weekend or crash at the workshop if we were working late. It wasn't perfect but we didn't need, or even want it to be, and had no plans to do any major work on it in the near future.
Six months down the line when we actually found time to look at our new purchase properly (but not before driving it to Belgium!!) we discover a few "issues"...
The first issue was fairly straightforward and sorted in a weekend- Matt did an excellent job of replacing the 1.6 TD engine with the more reliable 1.9 TDI AFN engine for more power and better fuel economy.
The second issue, the bodywork, was harder to deal with as we knew it was a big thing to get into and barely had any free time for our ongoing projects that we'd actually planned to work on, let alone the ones we hadn't.
Over the next two years our workhorse slowly started rusting through on the sills and arches- so there's a lesson to be learned here for all car enthusiasts about the importance of rustproofing your car.
The issue came to a head when Matt discovered the day before it was due to be taken for an MOT that the fuel tank was rotten and had a small leak on the seam. At that point we lost our minds and decided it was the right time to get round all the other bodywork too.
Now, one and a half months later, the van that we said we'd never restore has been treated to over £1500 worth of new parts, all of Matt's free time has been spent welding it up and it's had a few other treats, like the addition of power steering and an alarm system.
All the little bits that have been neglected over the years (and which we weren't planning on sorting all at once) have been taken care of and although we still have a few bits to finish off, we're well on our way to owning a very tidy VW T25.
CAR DIY: Replacing the Heater Fan on a VW T25
I had the unenviable job of replacing the heater fan which, as you can probably tell from the picture, was on its last legs after 27 years of service (it had been working intermittently, made a squeaky noise and occasionally smelt like burning).
Why is the job so unenviable?
Well, for starters removing the heater box from behind the dash is a nightmare in itself, and that's before you've even got round to prising apart the heater box (which, for whatever reason, VW decided at the time to bond together instead of using screws) to finally gain access to the heater fan. Once you're in there it's real horrorshow (and no, I don't mean in the A Clockwork Orange sense of the word) ours was home to a collection of snails, spiders and dirt.
However, once you've gone through all that, replacing the fan is the easy part and after a thorough cleaning of the inside of the heater box and the addition of some conduit to stop any wiring shorting out it was ready to be reassembled, resealed with some non setting sealer and put back in.
We did consider replacing the heater matrix whilst I was in there, but decided against it because:
a) There was nothing wrong with the old one
b) A replacement one cost over £100 which we couldn't really justify when there was nothing wrong with the old one and did you not read the earlier bit about over £1500 worth of new parts people?!
If the heater matrix does break in the future it will mean having to go through that ordeal all over again but I reasoned it was worth the risk for the money saved by not doing it, so we'll just have to wait and see.
Now we've got the van back on the road there's still a few jobs left to do like fitting swivel base seats, building a decent interior and sewing some new cushions but I'm really happy with what we've managed to get through in a short time and am looking forward to having an awesome van to enter into Dubs int' Dales show and shine at the end of September, our deadline to pull everything together!
My next post will be about stitching the front cab headlining for the t25.
See you next time!
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