Engine Compartment Restoration

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Engine Compartment Restoration

Post by Treehive on Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:29 am

I apologize in advance if this thread should be located elsewhere. I dropped my engine with the assistance of a friend a couple of weeks ago, and my first order of business was to scrub the engine compartment clean. There was at least 36 years of gunk, not to mention the crud build up due to my terrible oil leak. After a laborious first session using Simple Green in a diluted mix, I was informed that I could use the product at full strength without damaging the OG paint. I DID see some paint loss, but it was minimal. It lightened the color of the paint more than anything. Here is the driver's side before:

Driver's side after:

^^^Note the areas of rust that I have exposed. I will have some questions about how to combat that is a sec.
Middle B4:

After:

Passenger side B4:

Passenger side after:


Ok. I think that looks 100x's better! Smile Now to the meat and potatoes of this post. After dropping the engine and cleaning the engine compartment, I was inspired to do as much as I can to treat the rust that I have exposed and restore (I use this term a bit loosely) the engine compartment to its original beauty.....the biggest problem I face? I have never done any kind of work like this before, so I will be relying primarily on the experience of those who frequent this forum to help steer me in the right direction. I'm trying to stay away from the "other" forum for the time being.

Where to begin? First off, I would like to address the surface rust in the engine compartment. You can see the rust I am talking about in the "after" pics I have posted. How do I remove the rust? My friend loaned me an electrical grinder that I can buy more attachments for. I'm thinking a hard wire brush attachment? At first, I was trying to save as much of the OG paint as possible, but now I am thinking about spraying the engine compartment black instead of the OG color. Any thoughts on that? After rust removal, I figured sanding the areas down and then applying a primer/rust preventer. Thoughts?

I discovered this area under the rear apron on the driver's side. I have no idea how to treat/keep this from spreading. Is welding in order here to do the job right?


This area concerns me as well. It is located between the driver's side wheel well and the body. Heavy duty wire brush and then primer/rust preventer?

Close up:

Now on to the battery trays. Both are gone Sad Is it possible to tack weld new trays in without damaging the exterior of the bus? A few pics just for fun. Here is the driver's side:

Passenger side is rusted all the way through:


Ok. I think this is a good starting point. There is a lot I would like to accomplish before the engine goes back in. I'll just use this thread to ask any questions about different projects as I go. The main theme of this one? TREATING RUST. How do I do it properly? What tools do I need? Tips and pointers? If there are welders that frequent this forum, I will probably have some work for you before all is said and done. If you have read all of this, thanks. If you haven't, I don't blame you
Razz Thanks
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Treehive
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Re: Engine Compartment Restoration

Post by bumblebuggy on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:49 am

The battery trays may (not likely) be able to be tacked in without destroying the outside paint depending on how much clean metal is left after you beat the rust off. To poperly repair rust, it's nessesary to clean any and all rust off with a wire wheel/sander/grinder until you get to clean metal. Part of the problem with that in the engine compartment is all the nooks and cranies you won't be able to get to with power tools. Honestly, you can go really nuts on it or just get it "good enough." Is your goal a complete resto of the bus or just make it presentable to cruise until you can pull off a resto? That is what you should be asking yourself. If you're going to just get it running and semi-respectable, I would go with a cleanup of as much rust as possible, install new trays (either welded or Riveted), a coat of POR-15 or Rust Bullet (I've used both with good results) and a top coat of black. Then slap it all back together.
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Re: Engine Compartment Restoration

Post by zabo on Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:35 am

i agree- I prefer rust bullet just because it requires less prep
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Re: Engine Compartment Restoration

Post by Treehive on Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:38 am

Thanks Glenn. I am still struggling as to whether or not to do a complete resto of the engine compartment. The Treehive looks fantastic on the surface, but there are nooks and crannies that need to be restored (like the engine compartment) that I want to address....at least to the point of determining how far I want to take it.

What do you think of that rust behind the rear apron? Is that a job for a professional, and, if so, how much can a do by myself b4 i take it to a body shop. The cheaper the better....It would be nice to bring it to a body/paint shop b4 I put the engine back in, so I can have new battery trays welded/attached. By that time, I hope to have as much of the surface rust removed and the areas primed.

Please keep the thoughts and opinions coming. I'm hoping this experience will help me when I finally get my first KrUSty Beetle Smile
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Re: Engine Compartment Restoration

Post by bumblebuggy on Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:12 pm

If the rust is on the apron itself (bolts on), just buy a replacement apron and be done with it. It's hard to tell from the pictures where exactly that rust is. If I was not planning on a full resto in the next two years, I'd go with a general cleanup and a quart of Rust Bullet. To conserve the exterior paint, I'd rivet some new trays in and rock the bus till I got my KrUsty bug. My Goal would be to prevent the rust from becoming any worse until such time as I was going to tear the bus completely down and start a full resto. Welding isn't that hard. Just about anyone with the motivation and the time can do it. Home improvement warehouses sell MIG welders that are great for sheet metal reapair when they're set up for gas. You can pick them up for around $400 new and maybe 1/2 that if you're able to find a used one on Craigslist. I taught myself how to weld by reading online information and using scrap metal.

Check out my neglected blog from my bus build...
www.busbuild.blogspot.com
and metalwiz...
www.metwiz.com
and Miller has some online stuff you can look at...
www.millerwelds.com

The $ you spend on a welder will save you a fortune in body work. You just need to know that you CAN do it if you make the effort.
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Re: Engine Compartment Restoration

Post by peregrine67 on Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:36 pm

While you have the engine out go ahead and take the tank out and clean it out and replace all the breather hoses.
I'm headed up to look at a parts bus this weekend. PM me a list of things you might be interested in and I'll see what they have.
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