The Buseque is a cool grill from the UK, while it’s a little pricy ($400), I still have to have one!
The Buseque is a cool grill from the UK, while it’s a little pricy ($400), I still have to have one!
by Kurt Ernst – Reposted from Hemmings Daily
Volkswagen Transporter production in Wolfsburg, 1950. Photos courtesy Volkswagen AG.
It began with a simple idea, sketched on notebook paper by Dutch Volkswagen importer Ben Pon in 1947. Inspired by the Plattenwagen, a flatbed factory hauler built from the wartime Kuebelwagen, Pon imagined a Beetle-based bus that could meet the needs of commercial customers and consumers alike. The result was the Type 2 Transporter, which entered production on March 8, 1950, and remains in production (entering its sixth generation) for global markets today.
Two years after Pon’s notebook drawing, the first prototypes were completed. The initial four Transporters shown by then-factory-manager Heinrich Nordhoff in 1949 included two panel vans, a bus and a Kombi, a model with removable rear seats for hauling passengers or cargo. Nordhoff was well aware of the needs of buyers in postwar Germany, saying, “These vehicles won’t be handled with kid gloves, rather they will be treated roughly and recklessly.” The Transporter, or Type 2 as it became known, would need to be both simple and sturdy to meet these expectations.
Underpinning the various Transporter models was a unitized body mounted on a ladder frame, powered by the Beetle’s proven air-cooled, horizontally opposed four and using the car’s axles. The 1,131-cc engine produced a modest 18 kW (24.1 horsepower), but that was considered sufficient to haul up to eight passengers or 750 kilograms (1,650 pounds) of cargo, albeit slowly.
Priced at 5,850 DM (then the equivalent of about $1,395), the Transporter proved to be an immediate hit with tradesmen and retail customers, quickly becoming an essential part of Germany’s postwar economic growth. Initial production at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant was limited to 10 units per day, but by the end of 1950, improved efficiencies allowed the automaker to achieve a total output of 8,001 Transporters.
In 1951, a Transporter with a camper body was shown at the Berlin Auto Show, adding to the bus’s commercial success and model range. Four years after production began, Volkswagen built its 100,000th Transporter, and by then the product portfolio had expanded to include 30 different variants for the domestic market. Though demand continued to grow, production in Wolfsburg (which also assembled the Type 1 Beetle) was capped at 80 Transporters a day, forcing Volkswagen to break ground on a new factory, in Hannover-Stoecken, in March of 1955. One year later, in March of 1956, the first Gemacht im Stoecken Transporters rolled off the assembly line.
The 100,000th Transporter rolls off the Wolfsburg assembly line, 1955.
In the United States, the Volkswagen bus remained a common sight on dealer lots through the third generation (sold from 1979-1991) and into the fourth (introduced in 1993). Slowing demand and rising costs saw fewer and fewer Eurovans (the North American name for the fourth-generation Transporter) on these shores, although Winnebago did build a mini-motorhome on the platform from 1995-2003. Even as sales declined in the United States, they remained relatively steady in Canada and Mexico, but by the time the fifth-generation Transporter was launched in 2002, U.S. and Canadian customers no longer had the option of buying one. Later, VW would test the family hauler waters again with the Volkswagen Routon, a rebadged Chrysler RT platform minivan introduced for the 2009 model year. It was not a success.
In 2015, Volkswagen will introduce its sixth generation Transporter, now built in both Hannover-Stoecken and in Poznan, Poland. As with the Amarok pickup, the Chicken Tax (a 25-percent tariff on imported light trucks) means the latest generation likely won’t be imported into the U.S., either.
In the quest to get better mileage, still 14mpg, I’m looking for solutions. One thing I can do is decrease the size of the main jet so the engine doesn’t run so rich. I’m thinking I have a 130, so I should use a 127.5. I also wanted to see what was originally in the carb. Yes, I know I can take the carb off and look, but with me in Chicago and Kermit in Mi, it’s rather hard. I found this list….
Stock Solex Jets
28 PCI... with removable Venture… Venturi =21.5 mm… Main Jet = 117.5/122.5… Air correction jet =180/200…Pilot jet = g50… Idle air jet drilling = 0.8… Power fuel jet = no…Emulsion tube = 29
28PICT-1… 1961-1965.…Venturi = 22.5 mm… Main Jet =122.5… Air correction jet=125z/130Y
Pilot jet =g55… Acc pump jet = .50…Idle air jet drilling = 150… Power fuel jet=1.0mm
Accelerator pump feed = 1.1-1.4cc/stroke…First year of Automatic choke.
30 PICT-1… 1966-1967…Venturi = 24.0 mm… Main Jet = 125… Air correction jet =125z/135z
Pilot jet = g55… Idle air jet drilling = 150… Acc pump jet = 50…Power fuel jet = __
Accelerator pump feed = 1.1-1.6cc/stroke…Larger Venturi
30 PICT-2…1968-1969…Venturi = 24.0 mm… Main Jet = 116/125… Air correction jet =125z/135z
Pilot jet = g55… Idle air jet drilling = 130/135…Acc. pump jet = 50… Power fuel jet =60
Accelerator pump feed = 1.3-1.6cc/stroke…First year for Power fuel system which draws
fuel directly from the float chamber under full load at high Speed.
30 PICT-3…1970…Venturi = 24.0 mm… Main Jet = 122.5/112… Air correction jet = 125z
Pilot jet=65… Pilot jet air bleed = 135…Acc. pump jet = 42.5… Auxiliary fuel jet = 45
Auxiliary air jet =130…Accelerator pump feed = 1.3-1.6cc/stroke…Idle speed is controlled
by bypass around the throttle plate.
34 PICT-3...1971-1974… Venturi = 26 mm… Main Jet = 127.5/130… Air correction jet = 75z /80z
Pilot jet =g50/55… Pilot jet air bleed = 147.5…Acc. pump jet = 42.5… Auxiliary fuel jet
=42.5/47.5… Auxiliary air jet = 90…Accelerator pump feed = 1.3-1.6cc/stroke…Larger
34 PICT-4…1974 (Calif.)…Venturi = 26 mm… Main Jet = 112.5 to 130… Air correction jet = 75z…
Pilot jet =55 to 60… Pilot jet air bleed = 147.5… Acc. pump jet = 42.5…Aux. fuel jet
=42.5… Auxiliary air jet = 90…Accelerator pump feed = 1.1-1.7cc/stroke
Float weight 1961-1967 = 5.7 grams and 1968-1974 = 8.5 grams
Had a great weekend camping! Started off the trip on Thursday to get the bus all packed. Found out my friend was playing at the Ball Joint in Battle Creek. I’m not sure if I have heard ever him play with a valid ID….. man those were the days. They sounded great and it was a real treat for me to see them.
Friday we went to the Irish hills camping to a place called the Jado campground, which is a few miles east of the Michigan International Speedway. We had about 20 buses total which I understand was more than last year. I heard about the event via flyer at the Buses by the Beach.
There were some folks there I met from the Dixie Bus event last year, which was very cool. I’m beginning to see how a close community that us bus folks are! They are the head of the Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Club, who hosts the show in Ypsilanti that I have wanted to attend. Of course, I met many new folks as well. It wasn’t long before the boys were part of a crew. They spent the weekend at the marsh trying to catch frogs. On Saturday the worlds largest slip and slide was erected for young and old alike to enjoy. My back has been feeling pretty good lately, so I stood my some other folks, chatted with them and watched.
Saturday evening, we had popcorn, hotdogs, meat balls, a nice fire and band to entertain us. The guys traded off playing so we had music from about 5pm till dark. One of the hosts was a long distance coach of the musicians, so they were willing to play for donation.
Sunday we had a community breakfast. I was making blueberry cobbler, which I promptly burned. At least some folks there knew I could actually make it. Need to learn to cook over the fire. I used charcoal last time. It rained on breakfast, but that didn’t damped out spirits we moved to cover and enjoyed the morning. Can’t wait for the next trip!
Well . . . I thought I was going to bring Kermit back home today, but I just can’t get the electrical right. I may have made matters worse 😦 . I had everything working and the bus wouldn’t start. DAMN . . . novoltage to the coil. I saw the the coil wire the the ignition was not connected. When I connected it . . . POOF. . a little smoke. I discovered that the coil wire from the coil was on the wrong fuse. I corrected that and everything was fine… well except that when the lights are on, so are the brake lights…. of corse no break lights and the right turn signal doesn’t work. With the lights off the right signal in the rear is realy the flashers . . . Dragola . . . BUT. I did find a guy in Coldwater that has experience in VW electrical work, so I left the bus with him. The good thing though is when I did take him out, he ran strong at 50 / 55 mph (according to GPS). The speedo cable broke so when the electrical is fixed, I’ll replace it. Another positive note is that I got the wiper moter going. Just tok it apart and worked the armature for a while, but when I connected the wires . . . POOF . . . Hopefully Pete will get me going again.
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 🙂
I asked in my last post what else could happen and I got an answer. Seems Kermit has a minor electrical problem. When I turn the right turn signal on, both tail lights and license plate light blink too. The front works fine and the left works as designed. Who needs turn signals anyway? According to this article in the Chicago Sun-Times, 57% of Americans don’t use them anyway. However at $75.00 a ticket, I think that I will see what I can do th get the right one operational. I have been looking at the wiring diagram for my model year and it is helpful to a point. I wish I could see the schematic diagram of the switches, which would help a lot. Anyway I took some data on the directional swich and came up with the following:
So the data appears to be correct for both the left and right signals, so it is probably a bad ground. Something is not isolated. Not sure if this will get corrected before Spring or not, Going to take him back to Michigan over Thanksgiving to sleep in the Pole Barn in Athens for the Winter.
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!
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