Volkszone Forum banner
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always been a big fan of ex-service VW's and have had a few in the past.

First up was the 'Disasterbus' (a poor but literal translation of 'Katastophenschutz Wagen')





That was later followed by a T25, which also began life as a Katastrophenschutz Wagen, but when de-commissioned by the Firebrigade it was passed on to The German Techniches Hilfswerk (a sort of Civil Emergency Response Team). The livery had been taken off when I bought it, so I re-created it from some old pictures of the bus when it was in service.





I had another T25 which started out life as a German Army Border Patrol Vehicle (with a full length factory sunroof - presumably for shooting out of!) before being converted to an Ambulance. By the time I owned it, it looked like this…..



And I also used to have this cool ex German Army Trekker….



A couple of weeks ago a mate of mine posted some pictures on Facebook of a T25 Doka (Doppel Kabine) which he'd somehow found in a barn in the West Country, where it had been parked up for a couple of years.
As my mate found it…..







A T25 Doka / Crew Cab, and ex-Feuerwehr from a Fire Station 20km from Wolfsburg - Definitely right up my Strasse.

So I bought it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As it looked yesterday, freshly MoT'd and on it's way to me:



(blue light has been re-fitted already)

And a couple of pics I found online. Taken at Vanfest 2010 I think.







Anyone know the bus? Or any previous owners on here with any info about it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First job on the Doka was obviously to re-fit the blue light. That's done but pouring rain virtually non-stop for the past few days has stopped me having a proper poke around it and getting a list together of all the other jobs it needs doing.

When I first saw pictures my mate took In the barn where it's been laid up for a couple of years I thought it was vaguely familiar.

There is a plaque on the dashboard from Vanfest 2011, but I didn't go that year so it can't have been there I saw it.
Last night while looking through some old pics I'd
taken at shows looking for Doka related ideas I came across 2 pictures I'd taken at Vanfest in 2008. These are the pics I took:





Yes, the very same van I ended up owning 12 years later! Doesn't seem to have changed too much.



All the dash electrics (including the siren and PA) seem to work ok, except the temperature gauge. Knowing the T25's reputation for getting a bit hot, that's something I'd like to put right soon.
Otherwise there is hopefully not too much. Underneath is very solid and mechanically it's all good as far as I can tell so far. Mileage is low (71k kilometres, not miles) and I think that's genuine. I'll give it a quick oil change this week just for peace of mind.

T25's have a reputation for rust, but other than a few localised scabby bits, this one seems quite clean and tidy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,541 Posts
It would appear we have had a similar taste in VW's ;)

quite a few T25's over the years
2 Carats, RHD
a Double cabs, RHD
2 Disaster Buses, LHD
2 Caravelles, RHD
a Minibus LHD

well that is what I can remember

a couple of Trekkers
Bay window disaster bus
several other Bay windows including "The Stump"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any updates / further investigating finds ?
now you mention it mate..........

The Doka continues to impress.
Last week it was earning it's keep when I helped a mate move house


The truck is performing well so far. Only thing I've had to do so far was replace the alternator drive belt. Otherwise it starts on the button and drives really well - even the heater works!

Today the last owner sent on a folder full of documents for the Doka which I didn't get when I bought it.
Everything is in there from the German log book, a receipt from the Gifhorn Feuer Wehr Kommander when the truck was de-commissioned in 2008 and sold to Bus Brothers in Clitheroe, loads of service history and old MOT's and a CD full of photos of the bus when it was first imported.

There was also a copy of VW Camper & Bus Magazine with this feature in it…….





 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,541 Posts
I knew there was something about that reg number that was bugging me. I had a funny feeling it had been one of Mark's and that was going to be my next question for you.

I'm sure he sent me pics of it years ago and I ended up buying a Caravelle.

a funny old world at times :)

my old T25 disaster bus came from Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I knew there was something about that reg number that was bugging me. I had a funny feeling it had been one of Mark's and that was going to be my next question for you.

I'm sure he sent me pics of it years ago and I ended up buying a Caravelle.

a funny old world at times :)

my old T25 disaster bus came from Mark
Does anyone know if Bus Bros are still going?

They were in Clitheroe when I bought my first katastrophenschutz wagen from them in 2008:


I owned this one a couple of years later - also imported by them:


…and now this new one is also one of their imports according to the paperwork which turned up today:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,541 Posts
Mark is still in Clitheroe but I don't think he bothers with vans these days, unless of course he finds a gem and wants to upgrade his private collection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Let there be light.......





Got the spotlight, the PA system and the sirens working - just the blue light to fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
retro fit power steering

Still love this truck but the only complaint I have about it is that the steering is so damn heavy that parking can be an absolute pain. An old motorcycle accident injury to my shoulder doesn't help either!



Post Christmas plans are to swap the tyres for some big old chunky all terrain tyres, which should look good on the standard wheels, but aren't going to help the already very heavy steering.



Power Steering is also a priority job.
I've been looking at options and the best seems to be to retro-fit an electric power steering motor. A bit of digging around on the internet suggests a lot of people have gone down this route with their T3/T25's.
The one from a Vauxhall Corsa seems to be the most popular and when installed looks pretty tidy.



I'm not confident enough to start cutting and welding my steering column so would be looking at getting a kit supplied and fitted.
There are good reviews on-line for Sunflower Campers who are about £350, Green Conversion Co who are about £450 and Slaughterhouse Customs do a very smart looking kit but it's about £560 (all these are fitted prices).

Has anyone used any of these companies or can recommend another firm who can supply and fit power steering to my truck?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've decided I will fit an electric power steering kit to my Doka.



There are a few people doing kits and these three companies seem to sell the sort of thing I'm after.

Anyone had one of these kits fitted to their T25 / T3 and can give me some feedback on them?

Option 1 is the kit from Sunflower Campers near Romsey, Southampton. It is £350 fully fitted and comes with a manual switch to dial up or dial down the amount of power steering assistance. The basic components are from a Corsa power steering system.




Option 2 is from The Green Conversion Company at Stratford and is £450 fitted. They can supply the kit either permanently assisted, with a switch to dial the power assistance up or down, or with a speed related sensor which automatically gives full assistance when parking etc and minimal assistance at speed.




Option 3 is the kit from Slaughterhouse Customs in Sussex. This kit is speed related so gives full assistance when parking etc and minimal assistance at speed. It's the most expensive at £495 plus £80 for fitting but looks like a well designed and built bit of kit.






Anyone got real life experience with any of these kits on their vans?
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top