Belgian 1976 Bay resto.

Discussion in 'Restorations' started by Jean-François, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. I realize that I've been registered for years and never post anything...
    Here is my 76 bay project that I start about 10 years ago... I bought it in running condition, but with lots of work. I first planned to just weld new cab steps, make it roadworthy and get it MOT...
    In fact, I did just begin to restore a 60 Bug as my first project when I bought it and really wanted to do the Bug first.
    Well, one thing leads to another and what I though was an easy project turned into a big mess of complete restoration! Restoring a Bay is not a good idea as a first project... And the bug is sitting since...
    Sooo, here it is the day I bought it. I didn't plan to buy a bus at this time, but it was reasonably priced.
    1.jpg 1-1.jpg

    Cab steps had been repaired with fiberglass directly on the rusted panels.

    1-2.jpg 4.jpg

    9.jpg 10.jpg

    Some braces of the frame were damaged as well as the cargo floor. I removed it to gain access on the chassis.

    12.jpg 11.jpg

    After sanding a thick layer of filler, I had the pleasure to discover a panel just hold by a few spot welds.


    And another good surprise...

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  2. As it has been repainted several times, I decided to bare sand it. Too many layers of paint only lead to problems.
    I tried several ways to remove the paint and finally found that a 200mm 80 grit disc on a die grinder was the most efficient, but if I had to do it again, I would cut all the bad parts and have it sandblasted. I would have saved a lots of time, money, and would have be much easier to weld.

    I sand blasted the inside.
    An old guy I know was a metal worker. He teaches me a few tricks to repair panels.
    One of the most useful was trying to avoid sharp angle while welding sheet metal.
    It avoids to burn through when reaching the top of the angle and prevent metal wrapping.
    I also did learn a lot watching David Gardiner DVD about metal shaping.
    Simple and understandable.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
  3. MorkC68

    MorkC68 Administrator

    Some good repair work jean-Francois, looks like you know metalwork!

    Good luck with the project & keep us posted on progress :)
    Jean-François likes this.
  4. My parent's wife are Ford dealer. As I had more or less finished to weld it, I asked if I could get some help to prep the body. They kindly allowed me to bring it to their body shop. They advice me to cut the whole side panels as they were wrapped. As panels are readily available, I cut what I already repaired and start again. It was a smart move as only a little bit of filler was needed to get the panels straight. Panels fit well, but you need to weld the hole of the gas cap, which is in the lower right rear panel. Parts are from VW Brazil.
    First filler applied on the front. I weld all the wind shield lower bay.
    I spray it with wash primer to prevent rust.
    Progress at the body shop were slow and I didn't wanted to ask every 15 min the workers to check my work.
    I didn't felt confident enough in my work, I never did any body work before and a bay is quite hard to do with all those big flat panels.
    I was lucky again as a good friend I didn't see for years, and who is body worker, propose to help me learning to apply body filler.
    I trailer my bay back to my barn and we start working.
    New panels only needed a bit of filler on the factory spot weld.
    My friend Rudi told me to remove the front and rear axles and clean everything to make something nice underneath. I didn't planned to go that far, but well, I didn't planned anything when I started to restore this mess.
    After a lot's of sanding, we spray some fuller on it.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    PanZer, jivedubbin, MK-Bay and 13 others like this.
  5. We did well to prep the body and reach the stage of almost ready to paint it, but Rudi divorced and didn't had any more free time to come help me.
    The project stall at this point for 3 years.
    During this year Le bug Show, (I have a 68 Bug and 86 westfalia), the question of my bay came back again if it will be finish one day... As my in law's sold their body shop, I was looking for a place to have it painted, who will do it correctly, but as we just build a house, without forcing me to sold a kidney.
    A friend advice me a guy who already did body work for him. He gave me a fair quote and we agreed on the price. I think paint is when lots project stall because it is not easy to find a shop that will do it nicely and at an affordable price. Paint products aren't cheap, needs a lots of man hours and unlike other steps of restoring a vehicle, you have to do it all in one time.

    I build some body dollies to move it.
    bay body dolly 2.jpg
    bay body dolly.jpg
    Let's go the paint shop. It was September this year.
    As the painter takes it as a side job, I don't really know when it will be done. I just ask if it is possible to get it back for spring.

    Ho, I still don't have decide which colour paint it. It was Pastel white. I do like red, or something like savhanna beige or Chinchilla grey...

    bay body dolly 3.jpg
  6. Kruger

    Kruger Sponsor

    Nice that you could use an Elektron spot welder, awesome bits of welding kit! :thumbsup:
  7. Merlin Cat

    Merlin Cat Moderator

    Nice work so far @Jean-François :). I liked the colour in the beginning.
    Jean-François likes this.
  8. Sure it was! They had a brand new Gys spot welder but still use this one. It had a cooling problem and I had to wait it to cool between a few spots, but it was very easy to use.
    Kruger likes this.
  9. Me not that much.
    I'm leaning for Lotus white, savhanna beige or prairie beige. I wanted it red first, but it seems really hard to find a nice one that will not make it looks like a wannabe Ferrari or fire fighter van. And I'm a bit color blinded too lol.

    Edit; why did the forum change b e i g e in magnolia?
    Merlin Cat likes this.
  10. Merlin Cat

    Merlin Cat Moderator

    :) there are certain words that the forum automatically changes, I’m not sure why b e I g e is one of them tho!

    will you do the whole van the same colour? I like that in a pale colour.
  11. I really like single colour busses - lotus white all over would be my vote :)
    Coco likes this.
  12. I really like your work Jean, we lived in Mons for a few years and liked the Belgian work/life style. Light colour paint best in my opinion, darker ones show any imperfections.
  13. Yes, I plan on a single colour. I like the look af the t2a with the white roof, but I try to stay more or less close to the t2b factory style.
    Merlin Cat and nicktuft like this.
  14. We live in the Ardennes, not far from Durbuy. Belgium is quite a complicated country. Small, divided by a langage border,with the Dutch side wanting a far right politic and the French side on a more and more left politic. Commnunist party is now in the governement! Otherwise, nice people and some nice places to live ;-) I especially like my area. Its countryside, not too crowded and peaceful.
  15. We passed through in the summer, had a night in Profondeville and a night in the woods near Bastogne, lovely area, very jealous!
    Jean-François likes this.
  16. matty

    matty Supporter

    I think the Beige thing came about due to prototype bay (early bays) only coming in that colour
  17. Lazy Andy

    Lazy Andy Supporter

    And don’t forget 0rang.e!
  18. I asked my painter to paint a sample with the colors that I hesitate.
    Lotus white, savannah b-eige and java green.
    What would be your choice?
  19. Lazy Andy

    Lazy Andy Supporter

    What’s wrong with me?! I just want to guess what car the wing has come off!

    My opinion.... Java Green to the gutter - a little less common than all white or beig.e
    paradox likes this.
  20. I like the Savannah B eige. My van is red and was painted 6 years ago and parked outside and the red has dulled quit a bit over time.

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