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Old 28-05-2017   #31
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

So what happened to the ice-creamed van?
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Old 28-05-2017   #32
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

looking vey good, what is the bracket on front grill? Am hoping its for a spare wheel, if so am gonna copy it as I have been trying to think how to mount spare on front of mine.
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Old 29-05-2017   #33
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

The ice-cream van was stripped of all the mechanical bits and now sits inside the pizza restaurant. If you follow the link you can drag the image to find it... just to the right in the picture. (a new Google service, a bit like Google maps).

Just taken a screen shot
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Last edited by Gary50; 29-05-2017 at 11:46.
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Old 29-05-2017   #34
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Yep the bracket is for the spare wheel, here it is in place

Its all bolted back in place but I can take some photo's of it in situ if that helps?

Note: the top and bottom bracket bolts are located inside the heater box on Connie. However, the heater box is totally rotten and I need to make a new one so will try to allow access to the bracket bolts - if its not too much extra work.
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Old 29-05-2017   #35
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

that would be a big help, thanks Gary. Mine is a 1984 Pandora, and my front panel looks different to yours (no brackets where your wheel frame is bolted, and two large ducts for heater) but its a step closer for me, just worrying bout front taking the weight.
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Old 29-05-2017   #36
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Quote Originally Posted by Classicandy45 View Post
just worrying bout front taking the weight.
You could always try making a cage to stow it under the floor as fitted on mine.
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Old 29-05-2017   #37
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

This photo shows the front stripped down, I've circled the mounting points.


I've zoomed in on the mounting bracket, hopefully this is clear enough? (let me know if you need more detail?)


With regard to the weight, apart from large washers at the back there are no additional supports or reinforcements. There is no structural load so the 4-point fixing takes the weight quite happily.

It's not easy to tell by the photo - the bracket roughly lines up with the front edge of the bumper. When putting the wheel back on I tend to rest it on the bumper first and then slide it onto the blots. The back of the wheel sits slightly proud of the body enabling you to fit the wheel cover.

Hope this helps.
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Old 30-05-2017   #38
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

that's perfect, thanks Gary. Will look at mine again, its slightly different, duct wise, but I think I can arrange something similar, thanks.
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Old 30-05-2017   #39
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

mine has a cage underneath like yours peter, but its the look am after as have still got hopes of a Scooby doo mystery machine look! Haha 😊
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Old 02-09-2018   #40
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Hi Gary, any further progress with Connie? You might have seen that I'm finally catching up with where you were a year ago.
I'm bothering you because I remember you were going to replace the canvas of the pop-top. As I'm now planning the same, I'm wondering if you ever found a source for the replacement that you could share.
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Old 03-09-2018   #41
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Hi Peter
I've been following your progress with a little bit of envy - all I've managed to achieve in the last year has been to strip and repaint the bumpers on Connie

Ah the joy of family life and having 100+ diy jobs to do before having the time to work on the restoration. At this rate Bluebell/Buttercup will be back on the road before I've even got the engine back in Connie

Replacing the 'canvas' roof is still on my to-do list, I want to use modern tent fabric to save weight and bulk. However, I haven't started to source a supplier yet.

To be honest, the rip-stop waterproof tent fabric isn't over expensive to buy (I estimate less than 75 including seam tape and thread (if ebay is anything to go by) - an equivalent VW replacement canvas is around 350), so I may have a go myself, once I've done all the upholstery. Luckily I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine plus, there is a campervan upholstery course not far from where I live (so I can get access to the more powerful sewing machines).

Looking at how your welding skills have come on over the last year I'm sure that sewing up a bit of canvas is well within your skills
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Old 04-09-2018   #42
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post

Looking at how your welding skills have come on over the last year I'm sure that sewing up a bit of canvas is well within your skills
I'm not so sure about that , I can hide my mistakes quite easily with welding, but sewing is a precision art!

I've had confirmation from a VW pop-top company that they can make me a replacement. It's a bit pricey but they know what they're doing as they also make them for the Super-Viking. There is also a wide choice of fabric-colours and patterns. So I'll be packing the old one off to them. I'll need to think about the re-trimming before that.

I certainly know what you mean about life getting in the way, but this summer I've just kept ignoring as many other "distractions" as I can get away with.
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Old 02-02-2019   #43
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

I've finally got some time to resume the restoration on Connie

Focus is now on getting the running gear back in and Connie moving under her own power, there's quite a bit to do. Engine & gearbox back in, rebuild all the brakes, new brake pipes and refit the fuel tank just for starters.

Here's a couple of pic's of the engine & gearbox after they have been sat on my garage floor for 3+ years.




Fortunately both the engine and gearbox turn over by hand so nothing apparently is seized. I'm working on the basis of they were working before I took them out so they should hopefully still work when I put them back. The idea being that I don't want to go looking for trouble... if I can't see it, it's not there.

(I've been acquiring a number of new parts over the last couple of years so these will be fitted as I go along.)

I've worked my way through the Haynes manual to create my shopping list of consumables and fluids etc. and a check list to ensure that everything goes back in the right place.

However, I can't seem to find the torque settings for the following...
  • Transmission mounting bolts to body
  • The 4 drive shaft bolts into the rubber flexi-joints

Can anyone provide these?

I'll post more in the coming weeks.
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Old 04-02-2019   #44
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

On the 500, with the same and only slightly smaller setup, the driveshaft sleeves to hubs is 20ft/lbs. I reckon the gearbox to body bolts will be up to about 30.
I'm glad you're back on the case Gary...please inspire me.
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Old 04-02-2019   #45
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Hi Peter

I've been following your progress with equal amounts of envy and guilt.

I'm now in the position that I could do with being able to use my garage for other projects so it gives me an added incentive to get the bits back in and get Connie up and running again.

(You have the advantage that you don't appear to have taken the running gear out of Bluebell/Buttercup.)

I'm also hoping that once she can move under her own power (and with MOT, Tax and Insurance) I'll be able to finally get on with the fun stuff and fit out the interior and start using her as she was meant to be used.

I've also started a separate thread on what fluids etc. to use as you don't appear to be able to get the Haynes quoted Castrol variants anymore. Perhaps you could add your font of knowledge to the cause?
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