Category Archives: the begining

A New Member to My VW Family

This week I decided to lower my liabilities and traded in the Audi.  It was a hard thing to do but given the current circumstances, it was the right thing to do.  The cool thing is that I traded for another VW.  Not a classic one like Kermit, but a 2005 Bug!.  From what I understand it is a limited Bi-Color Edition.




Although you can’t see them in the picture the rims have what appears to have a gear trim in red.  I really like it.  Not too impressed with the stock Monsoon stereo, although maybe I’m spoiled with the Audi tunes too.  I bought the car at Bill Jacobs VW in Naperville. They were real helpful and got me into the car for the payments I needed without paying for an eternity.  Tomorrow I will post some pics with Kermit.  I need to try to seal of the back of the bus so I can try to stay warm on the way to Michigan on Wednesday.  I guess I need to think of a name for the new child 🙂

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Posted by on November 22, 2008 in the begining


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First Trip . . . Just a short one

Well . .  .  I took the Kermit over to football practice yesterday and I noticed a growling noise in the front end.  Come to think about it, it was there on the trip back from Georgia.  After following the process outlined by Muir on the tracking down the noise, it appears that the wheel bearings are bad.  I have to go to New Jersey next week for work, so I’ll order the parts and have them here when I get back. On a side note, I will be going to South Plainfield.  On Kermit’s title, the previous owner before Woody lived in Plainfield….maybe I’ll drive by.  If I have enough nerve, maybe I’ll stop.  Back on topic, I’m a very visual person and sometimes I just don’t understand what I’m reading until I become more familar with the topic.  Speciffically auto mechanics.  The Itinerant Air-Cooled Forum, which is a spin off of the samba, has an execellent tutorial on repacking the wheel bearings.  I will definitely be using this wonderful reference in my next endevour.  part 1 and part 2.

Now as far as parts are concerned, I’m hoping that the Bus-Boys are open today.  For the millions of people who follow every post of this blog, will remember that Kermit is a 1964, but registered as a 1963.  I need to speak with Walter there to make sure I get the right parts.  His parts page lists bearings through 1963 and 1964 – 67.  If not I’ll have to do it on Monday.  It probably won’t matter as we are having a carwash fundraiser next Saturday and Certification for football on Sunday.  Probably not a lot of time to work ont he bus anyway.

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Posted by on August 16, 2008 in the begining


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Kermit is finally home

Well the beginning is at the end.  Kermit is finally home and what a first adventure it was. Because of that I have very few pictures.  I got down to Atlanta at 10am on June 26th.  The bus wasn’t complete, so woody and I went to Macon to visit one of his job sites.  After that we went to Carrollton, to Herrell Bug Parts to pick up the Hippy bus from a tune up.  Since I had admitted that I never drove a bus before, Woody said I could drive the Hippy back to the shop.  I got in the bus and it was all over the road and I began to wonder what I got myself into.  I considered backing out.  After a few miles, I got used to the Hippy and figured I’d be ok. Here is a pic of the Hippy

Saturday we worked on the bus all day.  I was helping with cleaning the glue off the doors, woody was putting the Z-bed together and Dawg was doing the installation.  Dawg deserves a BIG THANKS.  He worked till 10pm on Friday and was back at 7:30am on Saturday to help finish the job! About 6PM we were ready to roll.  Woody said no trip to Atlanta was complete with out going to The Varsity a world famous hotdog joint. We almost made it to the restruant before the first incident.  I stalled the bus on a hill and could not get it started. I was able to jump it off in reverse and we made it to get a couple of dogs.  When we came out of the Varsity, we noticed that there was a puddle of gear oil under the bus.  We called the mechanic and determined it would probably be ok to drive to Chattanooga and see what the next day brought.  I made it up there around 10PM and stayed with Mike and Diane.

I called Marilyn around 7:30 and told her the issue with the oil and she called Gene….. at 5:30am.  He was very nice and called me and gave me instructions on how to check the oil.  It checked out good and I was on my way.  I was right proud of him during the Monteagle, TN climb.   I was able to do it in 4th ~ 45 mph.  A few miles off the mountain he began to act funny.  It felt like vapor lock, so I pulled over.  I looked in the back and could see bubbles coming out the fuel pump, so I let it set.  I had some problems getting it started and a guy gave me a jump.  Got back on the road and the bus drove great; strong at 55 to 60 mph and still wanted to run.  I found that the speedo is off by 11mph (per my GPS), so sometimes the speed crept up on me.  I made it to Cave City Kentucky, the gateway to the Mammoth Cave, to get gas, I wanted to make into southern Indiana for the night.  My goal was to keep it running, but I failed.  About 45 minutes later I got it going, and made it up a hill to a stop light and it died.  Feathering would not keep the motor going.  I tried to jump it but it wouldn’t work.  I turned it around and headed back to the gas station.  I guy offered to pull me and it still wouldn’t start.  It would just jump….. like something was locked up….  I thanked the guy and said it would start later and went into the restaurant and ate.  When I got out there I still couldn’t get it started it was dark, so I went across the street and got a room.  In the morning, I rolled it down the hill and it started.  I drove around the gas station three times to make sure the bus would stay running.  The attendant must have thought I was crazy.  Things were going great!  Made it just south of Indy and needed gas.  Pulled in to the station and was able to keep it running.  I was in and out quicker than a NASCAR pitstop.  I wanted to get gas one last time before I got into the city and pulled off in Demotte, In.  Got to the top of the off ramp and he died.  I jumped it off to get into the gas station, but again Kermit died.  The battery acted like it was dead, so I pushed it to a small hill in the parking lot and tried to jump it.  It felt like it did the night before when I could not get it started, but I though the hill was too small.  On the other side of the gas station there was a camp ground called Lake Holiday that had a pretty good hill.  I asker the girl if I could roll through and if it didn’t start Ill call a tow truck.  I pushed the bus around to the hill and tried.  There was enough speed, but the engine wasn’t turning over.  It had plenty of oil and wasn’t making any noise and had plenty of power.  I can’t understand why the motor seized and still not convinced that it did.  The first thing I’m going to do is check to see if the bendix stuck in the starter and is locking up the motor.  Meanwhile, Woody has shipped a dualport 1600cc that we can use if it turns out the motor is really bad.

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Posted by on July 1, 2008 in the begining


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Wow did I get schooled Saturday.  Woody sent us some pictures of the inside of the bus and asked what we wanted to do with the upper vents in the bus.  Well we want then sealed, but I thought I would consult the experts on The Samba boy . . . .  I didn’t get the answer I was looking for.  Folks couldn’t get past the pink insulation.  I was basically told to pull that stuff out and use something else.  The pink insulation would absorb moisture from condensation and rust the bus.  So what do I do?  Well the general consensus was to use a product called dynamat, which is pretty expensive.  Another company suggested using dynamat and an insulation cover.  They even had “kits” for the bus . . .  at the tune of almost $800.00.  That is a little rich for my blood.  So after two days straight of research we found the dynamat knock off at mcmaster-carr for half the price and reflextix insulation at Loew’s.  al for around $200.00.  I love it when research works!

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Posted by on June 18, 2008 in the begining


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Woody called and said that the bus would be ready on 6/21! He said he was going to send us some pictures, so I will be editing this post in the near future.  I used my miles and got a $52.00 ticket to Atlanta.  Now I am picking my route back to Chicago.  I know I don’t want to take the expressway, but I also don’t want to vere too far off the beaten path since I won’t have many tools and have never driven the bus before.  No radio but there is a 12v outlet so I can use my ipod for the trip.  I am currently picking some good bus music and wil provide a full trip report with picts to close out” The Beginning”

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Posted by on June 13, 2008 in the begining


Almost Done!

Well, the beginning has almost come to an end. In more ways than one 🙂 Woody called last week and said that they had a tornado close to the house. No damage thank God, but he suggested we get some insurance on the bus just in case. I did. He also said that Kermit will be ready for pick up in around three weeks! We are very excited about this. I suppose I need to see about getting down there. We decided since gas is over $4.00 gallon here, I would go by myself so we would have money left over for travel.

We also spoke about the final checklist to make sure we had everything done we wanted. Woody told us he picked out some laminate for the table and counter tops. Very strange . . . it was the same one Marilyn and I picked out, but we were not sure it would match. It is called Aqua boomerang and it is a 1960’s design that fits Kermit’s personality to a T.

Something else interesting came up last week. A person read our blog and asked if I would be interested in contributing a story for a book he is creating. He sent me a couple of samples of what he has received so far and it looks interesting. I believe I’ll write on the Beginning. Which will end once Kermit is here in his new home in Chicago.

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Posted by on May 18, 2008 in the begining


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Been Too Long

I can’t believe it has been so long since I have written anything here. The main reason is I’m still having computer issues. I have had to breakdown an buy another, however I won’t have it till Memorial Day. I can save $70.00 having it sent to Michigan. Chicago is getting a little out of hand with the sales tax. Anyway we did find some lights in Michigan over Easter in White Pigeon Michigan @ Bontragers. We got a pretty good deal at $20.00 for the pair. They are a RV surplus store. We thought it was worth the ride even in the blizzard conditions we traveled.

Woody has begun on the bus. We sent him the sample of the flooring and he said he was going to get the vinyl for the seats. Guess we better get these lights to him soon!

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Posted by on April 17, 2008 in the begining


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Not a ’63, but a ’64

So it has really been bothering me that I see some ’63 buses with a small rear window and some with the large rear window.  It seems that some time during the year, maybe in August, the ’64’s came out.  One of the changes was the rear window.  These buses were still registered as a ’63.  Not that we reallly care which rear window it has or whether it is a ’63 of ’64, but rather yet another interesting piece of VW history……. I bet some of you wish that you discovered that you were a year younger than you actually were

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Posted by on March 19, 2008 in the begining


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The First Payment !

The first payment will finally go out tomorrow and we will own the bus! We are very excited. We sent along with the payment we sent a laminate sample for the cabinets and sample for the flooring. The sconces came in broken. The shade was detached from the lamp. The seller i going to send more, but I’m not sure if we will use them. The style rocks, but not sure how well the shades will hold up with the boyz. I found these lamps at Vintage Trailer Supply. They are not 100% what we want, but I think that they will do just fine.

Although mis-categorized, here is some fun stuff. This link will allow you to design your own bus! You can even print it and hang it on the wall!

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Posted by on March 16, 2008 in the begining


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One Step Closer

We moved a couple of steps closer today in the adoption process. We signed the paperwork to receive the necessary capital. They have given us three days to change our minds. I suppose this is a good policy in case something happens but all it is doing for us is slowing the process as to when Woody can get started on the bus. Looks like Monday will be the soonest we can send the check. I’m glad he is being patient with us. I wish the process moved faster on this initial transaction. I feel like I am jerking him around.

On another positive note our sconces re-appeared on E-bay last night. Marilyn made me check with Woody first…. which I did and I bought them. $35.00 after it was all said and done. This is a lot cheaper that the original clamshells we THOUGHT we wanted. I say that because I did find a gentleman who was willing to sell me a set for $250.00! He says that is market value and given the supply of these babies, I suppose he is right. If / When we ever get a SO23 I may be interested, but now Ill leave them for the collector. We are happy with the ones we have. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 10, 2008 in the begining