78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

marley16kristin
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:12 pm

78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by marley16kristin » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:30 pm

"Tootsie" - my first bus. I have never owned a classic car and basically have "never" done anything to any vehicle up until now. This is gonna be painful but I am so excited to learn and I am completely in love with my 1978 Bay. Tonight was a first for me, I know this is going to sound ridiculous but I changed my first fuse. haha I'm all in. So...the reason for changing my first fuse is because my brake lights are not working. I'll get to that in a second.

I posted today on facebook with a quick question and everyone was so nice and so helpful. It was the old adage - historical versus regular plates. I'm living dangerously with the historical plates and I like it! We are titled and registered and off to the races. Because everyone so nice on FB today, I thought lets just put it all out here and see if I can learn a thing or two.

I came home after the DMV and took off the previous owners plates, which surprisingly was not that easy. I was feeling quite adventurous and took the covers off the tail lights. I can tell I need a new bulb for one of the brake lights. I was going to call a general auto parts store and see if that is something I can just pop over and pick up? or are these vintage as well? (I know all of these questions are going to be so dumb - sorry in advance!). The left brake light will come on when the lights are on but will not come on when you hit the brakes. I took that bulb and tried in the right side and it doesn't work period. I went to my trusty manual and changed out all the brake related fuses, no dice. By the way, I am now out of 8amp fuses, are these regular fuses I can pick up anywhere? That was a lot for my first day, so I thought I would read up and start a thread on my new project to see if I can get some guidance. I'm a quick study, I just need a group of bus aficionado friends who have A LOT of patience.

I bought the book How to keep your Volkswagen alive (idiots guide) and I'm just going to read it cover to cover as many times as necessary or at least until my registration is due again in 2050!

I live in the Cleveland area and I am also looking for a good mechanic, someone I can trust and who also may teach me a few a things. The previous owners gave me a tip on winter storage out near where they live (hour and 1/2 from me) but am curious if anyone has a lead on a good storage place in Cleveland relatively inexpensive? We only have a one car garage.

Buying this bus is the best thing I've done. She is in great shape. There are some rust areas around the windows that I need to address, but I am hoping just to meet with a mechanic and get an overall assessment and possible tune up with advice on what I can/can't do. And of course any/all help from you all is greatly welcomed and appreciated! I'm hoping to get involved in this group and start living that VW Bus life. I'm planning to go to the meet up this month so please come by and say hi. It will be a pleasure meeting all of you. Thanks in advance.
1978 Bay "TOOTSIE"

Kooper271
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:26 pm

Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by Kooper271 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:27 pm

Welcome!

All of the bulbs can be found at any parts store.

You may want to replace the housing for the tail lights. The lenses held up good to uv light but the housings generally do not.

Best quality is hella. They're probably tough to find.

Second best are the Brazilian ones from busdepot. They're around $50 or $60 each and fit with a slight modification.

You should probably check and replace your rubber brake hoses and fuel lines. A leaking fuel injection line can cause a fire, while a collapsed rubber brake hose will cause your brakes to seize.

The Idiot book is great as a supplement to the Bentley. I use both but you really need a Bentley if you don't already have one
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toolbox
Posts: 859
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:58 pm

Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by toolbox » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:03 am

Buy 2 of these http://www.busdepot.com/211945241rk

These will help you see better http://www.busdepot.com/0301600118 need the bulbs too http://www.busdepot.com/78155


The bulbs for the tail lights are 1156 and 1157 and can be found at any auto parts store.

Fuses should be available at a good auto parts store. you only want White and Red, Blue is a no no and could hurt things.

Might want to call Bruce or Chuck and pay for a comprehensive inspection before you go needlessly replacing things. The first thing on the list should be EVERY SINGLE FUEL LINE, VENT LINE, FILLER LINE, SENDER O-RING and VACUUM LINE. This will cure 80% of drivability issues and your Bus will not reek of fuel or catch on fire.

As the new owner you will need to undo years and years of hacks and band aids that have been done by previous owners and less than qualified/familiar mechanics. Even though this is a simple vehicle they were advanced for their time and not all mechanics understand how the systems operate and interact with one another.

Post a bunch of engine and other pictures and we can tell you a lot of what is going to be needed.

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wwebner
Posts: 3470
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Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by wwebner » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:18 am

Sounds like your brake lite issue may not be bulbs, more likely brake lite switch ( on master cylinder) or wiring. You are going to need to learn how to use a VOM and a test lite. Or as Toolbox mentioned,contact Dualport or Chuck.

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CraigOnTheBoat
Posts: 469
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:10 am

Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by CraigOnTheBoat » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:36 am

Buy 3 buses and keep 1 in rotation.
58 Single Cab
64 Campmobile
Where's My Syncro Chuck?

marley16kristin
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:12 pm

Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by marley16kristin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:51 pm

Anyone know a good phone number or way to contact Bruce, Chuck, or Dualport?

I read about the brake light switch on the Master Cylinder and was ready to go under the bus but figured I better ask some questions before I get in over my head...literally. Is the brake light switch an actual switch? One you turn on or off? I read in another thread that its more of a pressure switch and after removing the pan I might need to flush some things but they were talking about a Beetle (wasn't sure if was the same for buses), and that sounded a little complicated for a girl who literally only changed her first fuse yesterday haha.

I'll go to the auto parts store and get some white and red fuses, and make sure all the fuses currently in the bus are white/red and new. I'll also go ahead and pick up the bulb for the light that doesn't work because I know for sure the bulb is blown.

I think its probably best to have someone look at Tootsie first and give me some pointers.
I'm going to pull her out and take lots of photos.
You guys are the BEST!!!!
1978 Bay "TOOTSIE"

marley16kristin
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:12 pm

Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by marley16kristin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:13 pm

Got some photos. She runs great as far I can tell. She shifts well, starts up no issues, sounds good, etc, but then again I have no idea what I'm looking for. Husband has owned some older VWs and he says it runs well. He doesn't know much about cars either though. The only things are she does smell a little like fuel after being driven for a long period like someone pointed out so I'm sure the fuel line and all lines need cleaned, she does gurggle or cough as my mom says (who has also owned older VWs in the 60s and 70s), and the battery light comes on when I start her up but goes off as soon as you hit the accelerator.

She seemed to be in great shape when I bought her. She came from New Mexico and apparently was a barn find. Interior is all original and pretty pristine. The owners here had her shipped and put less than 2000 miles on her in 10 years as it was for the wife and she never learned to drive stick shift. They didn't know much about buses either so I have no idea what work has been done by them. They did give me a huge stage of paperwork and a shoebox of little parts. The only issue I found with her were the rust areas around the windows which I would like to address soon so it doesn't get bigger. (I've added some photos of the rust). I'm guessing she is going to need new seals and they look old. The NM owner painted her and I'm guessing put the original windows seals back on but I could be wrong.

Ok here she is...
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1978 Bay "TOOTSIE"

marley16kristin
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:12 pm

Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by marley16kristin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:15 pm

More photos...sorry they seem so big and un-rotated.
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1978 Bay "TOOTSIE"

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Dual Port
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Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by Dual Port » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:20 pm

My cell is 440-263-9282 and my shop is in Berea on 237 near the turnpike. I'm good with electrical and general stuff, but Chuckie is way better than me at specific Bay stuff and type 4 engines (which is what you have). Chuck's shop is on the west side near Berea and Triskett roads.

As for the brake lights, take your pan off (if you have one) and look for the creature I have circled below, it's your brake light switch. (The picture is from my '66, yours will look slightly different) You will now need a test light or voltmeter. There will be wires on the switch, it should have 12v at one terminal with your foot off the pedal and 12v at both terminals with 10+ lbs or more pressure on the brake pedal. It is common for the switches to fail, but it's also common to have wiring problems or a dozen other reasons the brake lights don't work. Find the switch and check power, or check/clean the fuses for a start. A test light works good for that, too.
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Good Luck!

:mrgreen:
Last edited by Dual Port on Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bruce Amacker
'66 Deluxe Bus
'65 Standard Bus

Kooper271
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:26 pm

Re: 78 Bay - newbie member, newbie owner, beginner

Post by Kooper271 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:29 pm

To summon Chuck you need to:

Go into your bathroom at midnight with all the lights off
Light two candles
Close your eyes while facing the mirror and whisper three times "Progressives are better than fuel injection"

When you open your eyes he will be there!
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