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The owner of this rare 1963 Volkswagen Type 2, 23 Window Bus brought it to us to check it out after another shop did what they called a “full restoration”. Rust was already starting to bubble up under the paint after less than a year. After realizing what had (or rather, hadn’t) been done to it, the customer decided that he would like us to redo the restoration. After stripping the body, we found a lot of body filler covering rust, dents, and improper panel patches – almost an inch thick in some places.

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Yikes! Good luck on it and we can't wait to see a real restoration done on it.

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Thank you. We've got quite a bit of work done on it already, but still much more to go. I will keep the thread updated daily with more information and photos of our progress.

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Looks like the first restoration was done on a TV reality show.

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Looks like the first restoration was done on a TV reality show.

I don't think they used the full week. 6 days in and they're like "Early reveal!"

I'm excited to see this fixed.

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We could tell when this 23 Window Bus came in that there was rust hiding beneath the paint. When we stripped the paint off, we found a lot of body filler covering rust, dents and improper panel patches - nearly an inch thick in some places.

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After stripping the paint and body filler and media blasting the body of this 23 Window Bus - we were able to remove most of the surface rust. The roof and inner sections were in decent shape, needing very little repair. However, we did find a lot of rust on the dog legs under the front doors and lower sections of the side doors, which would need to be repaired.

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Edited by Kiddys Classics (see edit history)

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Due to the amount of visible rust on the chassis, we decided it was probably a good idea to remove the belly pans to see what kind of damage they may have been hiding. Removing the pans, which is normally no easy task, was effortless due to the amount of rust, and nearly fell apart in our hands.

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Initial inspection of the front nose showed a very small rust hole beginning to emerge. Most shops would merely repair the small hole, and leave it as is. We cut the entire lower front section away and revealed hidden rust. We continued to cut away the rusted areas until there was no rust remaining. New patch panels were fabricated in house to replace the cut away areas and welded on. Then the outer skin was replaced with a new purchased panel.

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Edited by Kiddys Classics (see edit history)

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Having been incorrectly repaired previously, there was extensive rust damage to the passenger side rocker which had to be completely replaced. Here, we cut out the rusted, damaged area and fitted replacement panels in their places.

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After removing the belly pans, we could see that the rust damage to the floor would need to be repaired. The damaged areas were cut away and replaced with both new panels and in-house fabricated pieces that were unavailable in the market.

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The lower part of the cargo doors' inner structure was rusting away. The outer skin had been poorly repaired and covered with body filler. The lower sections were cut away and repaired with replacement panels.

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* Still in Progress, will update when completed

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Excellent work! Do you know if the first "restoration" was priced accordingly? Did they get what they paid for? Just curious.

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Sounds like the first "shop" did a "spray and pray".

They should be made to eat all the rust they covered up.:(

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Excellent work! Do you know if the first "restoration" was priced accordingly? Did they get what they paid for? Just curious.

Thank you, I don't know much about the cost of the first restoration, and honestly I don't want to ask. The owner of this vehicle is very happy with what we are doing to it - and although he wants it yesterday, more importantly he wants it done right this time. A large percentage of our work comes from other "Restoration" shops and our best customers are ones who have been through the process before and appreciate the documentation, both written and photo. The whole reason we are posting these photos is that I genuinely feel that some people - both shop owners and customers - don't know how deep rust actually runs in panels. I think they also feel that covering rust holes with body filler is just what you do. I hear it all the time, "Can't you just ................." I am not here to argue the points of what is right or wrong, we just want to help keep potential restoration customers knowledgeable.

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There was extensive rust damage to the driver side rocker, and had to be completely replaced. Here, we cut out the rusted, damaged area and fitted replacement panels in their places.

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Signs of hidden rust were showing around the driver's side seat latch. A new floor section and the new latch area had to be fabricated in house.

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Similar to other vehicles, the battery tray became corroded from the battery acid over time. The rusted area had been poorly cut away and repaired prior to the vehicle coming to us. Since we have repaired these sections before, we know the reproduction does not follow the body contour correctly. We cut away the center section and replaced it with a reproduction tray, eliminating the body contour issues.

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As seen in the Belly Pan Removal, the heater tube was badly rusted. It is common for these heater tubes on VW Buses to corrode due to the nature of their design. Hot air from the exhaust runs through the tubes and once the motor is shut off, it cools which causes condensation. The outside is wrapped in insulation, which traps additional moisture in the area. The entire tube was replaced and the heater tube manifolds were repaired. The tube was then wrapped in a reproduction of the original wrap insulation material, hand stitched and clamped in place.

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