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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Meet Niknak, my brother in laws T3 hightop and my new winter project. Its going to be weather dependant as its too high to fit in the garage though atleast its under cover (sort of), so progress might be slow.
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I've had a quick poke around today to see what work needs doing. For a 37 year old converted panel van its not too bad.
Dented panel filled with 1/2" of filler.
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Other corner had been filled and a seam sanded into the filler. Gonna need a new lower panel welding in
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A little work to the arch
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plus some work to the bottom and rear of the snorkel box.
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Hole here into the engine bay is going to be fun to sort with the engine in.
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The usual T3 rot location at the end of the sill where the rubberised factory underseal stuff has dried out, cracked and let water in.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sill under the sliding door is mostly solid, though the seal retaining strip was 90% rotten and had caused the sill to become holed a bit.
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Rear valance is shot. Its been damaged, is bent, rotten and was full of mud so is toast.
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Theres also a rotten exhaust hanging off it.
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Sliding door needs work as the mechanism is worn so it likes to fall off sometimes.:ROFLMAO:
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Drivers door is missing the bottom 2 or 3" of metal inside and the outer skin is pretty knackered too.
Think a replacement door is probably the best option. Will have to see if i can find an early door in Marsala red as that'd just mean the top half would need painting white.
The lower half of the body is painted a faded red thats turning pink so it'll get painted Marsala red to match the inside next year once its warm enough to paint outside again.

Its running a 1.9AAZ turbo diesel from a passat though it was fitted without the turbo, probably using the original 1600 or 1700 diesel inlet and exhaust manifolds and exhaust and its gutless. Big parts list is needed to fit a turbo to it though.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good luck dude. :)
I've got another similar one lined up for the same kind of work too. Not being able to get that one undercover is a PITA though.
Theres enough hardstanding next to my garage that i can build a carport over it to keep the worst of the winter weather off. Should be able to add sides on it too once i remove a road sign thats just accidentally fallen over. ;)

Good luck with it mate - might be worth checking the trailing arm mounts as well (you can put your finger inside and check to see whether it’s crusty and your finger goes through.

I got inner/outer sills for mine from AH Schofields as their panels are of a decent quality.

Those snorkel boxes tend to rot out where water gets in through the rear air vents. I’ve got a magnetic strip behind the vent so the water runs off of the gutter and behind the strip and away from the vents (not my pic but you can see how it works):

View attachment 296585
Trailing arm mounts are 100% solid which makes a change, though one has taken a whack so the bottom ear lobe shaped bit is bent.
One on my caravelle was completely toast.
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I think the rubberised sealant under the arches failed and let water in behind it as underneath it was just rusty wafer thin metal. The inside of the snorkel boxes is still factory fresh paint.

I used a cable tie attached to the bottom couple of vents on mine which stopped rain getting in as it always ran down the lower back corner and dripped onto the snorkel box floor.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A carport (with back and sides) on the hardstanding to the right of the garage would solve a few problems. Its big enough for 4 cars to sit on so hopefully i can also make it high enough to also get the motorhome in at the same time.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fitting the turbo is out of the equation now as the parts list easily adds up to £5-600 plus the cost of a decent turbo.
The 1.6TD manifold has a obscure mounting shape so theres not many turbos that'll fit and the AAZ manifold off the passat the engine came out of won't clear the side of the engine bay or engine lid as it puts the turbo too high. :rolleyes:
I'm hoping a good tuneup with the injection timing set correctly will give a bit more power. It currently runs out of puff on motorway grades.
The specs for a 1Y code (basically an AAZ without the turbo) should be putting out about 63 BHP and 91lbft of torque which you'd expect to be just enough to keep ahead of trucks on a hill but isn't.
Its running an unknown 4 speed petrol box and 185/75/14 tyres instead of 185/14 so somethings not quite matched or adjusted properly. It'll run 70+ on the motorway until you get to a hill so maybe the gearing is too high?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The 1Y 1.9D engine is basically an AAZ without the turbo. They both have the same compression ratio at 22.5:1 and they use the same block and head.
I think this AAZ was fitted using the original 1.6D inlet and exhaust which is probably pretty restrictive for a 1.9.
My old 1.6 petrol bay westy had 50BHP (minus the few horses that escaped over the years) but it'd still sit at 60ish and not slow down on motorway inclines. It probably weighed a little less than this hightop but not by much.

It looks like the turbo adds an extra 11 BHP and 20lbft of torque (both at nearly the same RPM give or take a couple of hundred revs).
1.9D 63BHP @4400 and 91lb.ft @2000.
1.9TD 74BHP @4200 and 110lb.ft @2400.

I know a couple of degrees of injection pump timing makes a massive difference to how they run, though without the proper measurement equipment its just guesswork to set it.
It doesn't smoke excessively so it can't be that far out though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally got an afternoon to chop some rot out.
Inner structure behind the back valance corner is toast.
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So i chopped it out. :oops:
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Other side is just the same so it'll get the chop too. Doesn't look tood bad to fab something up though.
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I really need the towbar out of the road but the drivers side 3 bolts are being a PITA to remove.
:rolleyes:


Rear of back arch gone.
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So is the bottom of the rear corner.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I thought the edge of the snorkel box floor was OK but it was so thin i just chopped it out.
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Wire brushing off the factory rubberised underseal stuff shows its not too bad. I've seen some where the whole vertical face is non existant under the sealant. Still a fair amount to chop out though.
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This should be fun to sort as access isn't great. I need to figure out how the air filter housing unbolts from the inlet manifold so i can get a grinder in.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Its a wee bit rotten. Mostly around the back end though, so i assume its spent a few years parked in a hedge backwards. Or maybe in a pond going by the amount of mud i've dug out of the box sections of the rear valance.

It has some really impressive filler work thats replaced the metal and a rear hatch seal that seems to be only held in with the roof lining carpet. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Got the other side of the rear valance inner structure welded in this afternoon.
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Bit annoyed i trimmed the top left edge down slightly too much. It'll still work though it means i need to be extra exact drilling the holes for the plug welds.
I made a couple of templates for the outer skin too. Just need to buy more steel as theres not quite enough left to fit it.
Welded up some of the holes in the D pillar too. Seems everything is covered in silicone sealant down the passengers side of the D pillar along the rear hatch.

I also chopped the tailpipe off though to be honest it only needed a little waggling and it fell off. Had to tie the silencer up with some rope as theres no drivers side mount left on the end of the silencer. Its also missing the mounting rubber off the mount on the engine too so i'll have to make something to bridge the gap and support it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Starting to loose the love of this camper. Where ever you look theres just more rot hidden under the rubberised sealant.
Got the bottom of the snorkel box welded up this afternoon.
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Put new welding wire in (a different brand than i usually buy) and struggled to get good welds with it. Same spec as the other stuff i usually get too. :unsure:
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This should be fun to fix as theres very little access on the engine bay side of the panel due to the plastic airbox and intake manifold. Tried to get the plastic airbox base unbolted but even after all the bolts were removed it wouldn't come off. Theres two snapped bolts which i assume are still holding it on but i can't get them out.
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
we all get to the point where we fall out of love with them i reckon.

i find it's something stupid like attaching a shiny bolt and then i'm in love with them again.

gutted for you about the welding wire, hope you can fix it, it's crazy how something so trivial can make all the difference isn't it x
I think it was down to the fact the new steel i used has a coating on it. Tried welding a piece of old stuff and it was fine. Must remember to give the weld edges a bit of a sand before welding.

Gonna have to get the lower part of the air filter housing off as theres no space to get in to weld the engine bay side panel up. I think the M6 mounting bolts just screw into a nut so the broken ones shouldn't cause it to be stuck. I assume its been silicone sealed into place like everything else is. Atleast once its out i can get the remains of the snapped bolts out easily enough and just replace them with new.

How it should look vs how it does look.
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