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untit 15, Station Yard, St. Agnes
TR50PD
United Kingdom

0781 4716578

Airkraft specialises in aircooled Volkswagen and Porsche engine building, servicing and restoration.

Blog

Barndoor Samba Update #3

Matt Keene

The near side rear chassis had a large "notch" for turbo clearance. Time for some Airkraft surgery! 

 Yuck! 

Yuck! 

 Eckold Kraftformer action

Eckold Kraftformer action

 Pullmax shaping... 

Pullmax shaping... 

 Ready for welding... 

Ready for welding... 

 Tig welding action! 

Tig welding action! 

 Heavy penetration welding

Heavy penetration welding

 And the fully metal-finished item. A lot of labour, but this is the Airkraft way :) 

And the fully metal-finished item. A lot of labour, but this is the Airkraft way :) 

 Nice and original looking :) 

Nice and original looking :) 

VW Barndoor Samba Update #2

Matt Keene

So, a little bit of chassis work necessary... 

 Previous custom exhaust cut out!  

Previous custom exhaust cut out!  

 Pullmax action! 

Pullmax action! 

 Eckold Kraftformer work... 

Eckold Kraftformer work... 

 Jigging up... 

Jigging up... 

 Precision tig-welding :) 

Precision tig-welding :) 

Barndoor Samba Update #1

Matt Keene

Custom made roll-over jig was designed and fabricated from scratch in-house. The Bus can be wheeled about and the roll-over sided bolted on when necessary.  

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All of the underseal had to scraped off by hand - a very time consuming task! 

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The Samba stripped of paint and ready for media blasting... 

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Media blasting progress... 

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Three and a half days of continuous low pressure media blasting and the Bus is looking ace!  

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My previous work on an original AC Cobra...

Matt Keene

Some of my previous traditional panel work at CKL. Original AC Cobra that had had its rear wings flared to 427 spec. As the car needed to be FIA eligible, the rear wings had to be returned to stock. I handmade the aluminium wings on an English Wheel, then gas welded them on. Once on, I finished hand-shaped them with a hammer and dolly, and then wired the edges. Hope you like it! 

 Flared to 427 spec, this original AC Cobra needed to return to stock. Initially, I tried shrinking the wings in situ, but it proved too tricky... 

Flared to 427 spec, this original AC Cobra needed to return to stock. Initially, I tried shrinking the wings in situ, but it proved too tricky... 

 So I cut the flare off, wheeled up a new wing and gas welded it on.  

So I cut the flare off, wheeled up a new wing and gas welded it on.  

 The shape of the wing was only 'roughed out' on the English Wheel, as I had no buck or fsp to work from... 

The shape of the wing was only 'roughed out' on the English Wheel, as I had no buck or fsp to work from... 

 It was necessary to finish the shape by eye using original photos as the reference. The final shape was hammered and dolly'd by hand - a time consuming, but rewarding task!  I then hand-worked a traditional wired edge to the arch. 

It was necessary to finish the shape by eye using original photos as the reference. The final shape was hammered and dolly'd by hand - a time consuming, but rewarding task!  I then hand-worked a traditional wired edge to the arch. 

 The final shape after paint... 

The final shape after paint... 

 As per original - all aluminium and paint ;) 

As per original - all aluminium and paint ;) 

One happy customer!

Matt Keene

Matt came to Airkraft with steering issues - a potentially lethal situation that was completely overlooked by a local "expert" when he massively overcharged him to fix his horn wire. Quite how said "expert" missed the loose steering box is beyond me, especially as he was working right on it! Anyway, have a look at the pix as they speak a thousand words... 

 This is what £85 gets you... A bit of insulation tape! Naturally, the horn wire failed 2 hours later.., 

This is what £85 gets you... A bit of insulation tape! Naturally, the horn wire failed 2 hours later.., 

The steering column was fouling the guide tube - how could this be missed? 

 Downright dangerous and obviously something else is causing this... 

Downright dangerous and obviously something else is causing this... 

Oh yes, it's a loose steering box that has moved an inch across the axle beam! Shonky! 

 The steering box was loose and could be moved by hand. Don't know where this "expert" gets his '20 years of experience' from, but it's not the school of common sense, that's for sure! 

The steering box was loose and could be moved by hand. Don't know where this "expert" gets his '20 years of experience' from, but it's not the school of common sense, that's for sure! 

Anyway, Matt is now a happy camper having a fully sorted steering system and a working horn to boot!  

 Matt's cool 66 Bug

Matt's cool 66 Bug

Cool little 1971 VW Bug in to remedy some poor workmanship...

Matt Keene

Time for an Airkraft built 1600  

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  A quick tracking check explained the terrible steering issue....

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 One of my pet hates and a indication of poor workmanship. The tracking incorrectly set and the steering wheel off centre with the wheels dead ahead!

Grrrrrrrrr........... 

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So.... The front was toe- ing 1.25 degrees and the rear a massive 2 degree's!

No wonder!!!

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Well, this is the first time Ive ever seen a piece of fuel hose & two jubilee clips used as a  steering lock stop! Totally ineffective of course, as all it does is collapse, as above, allowing the wheel to foul the wheel arch. Downright dangerous...

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Credit where credit is due. Someone has made some nice engine bay side panels with a nice swage detail

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So, the engine has been suffering with overheating issues. A quick check revealed both fresh air heater pipes are venting to atmosphere! This is akin to leaving a water hose off a radiator on a water cooled car. Jeez, and this was from a so-called air- cooled VW specialist

 I've Seen It All Now! 

I've Seen It All Now! 

Ive seen it all now!!

This is just incredible! The customer had an extortionate bill for engine work, which included engine removal and refitting several times, only to be told his engine is scrap! Even a home mechanic knows to be sure that the pulley Woodruff key must be correctly engaged, otherwise things go pear-shaped! The result, a brand new alternator is scrap!!! Have a look at where the Woodruff key has eaten into the bearing housing. Shocking!!! 

 1300 fan on a 1600 motor. I wonder why it's running hot? Hmmmnnnnn...  

1300 fan on a 1600 motor. I wonder why it's running hot? Hmmmnnnnn...  

So, it's turns out that the owner had fitted blanking plugs on the fanhousing heater ducts prior to taking it to the "specialist". Apparently the "specialist" decided to remove the plugs and vent the fanhousing to atmosphere. His justification for doing so was that he believed it might help the engine run better! Now that's the best case of clutching at straws I've ever heard! Perhaps by the same logic he also fitted the incorrect, smaller 32mm fan from a 1300 motor as well? Kind of goes with his rational thinking... 

Well, the net result is an overheated engine and a cracked crankcase that's spewing oil. New engine time. Shame!  

 The pulley and Woodruff key

The pulley and Woodruff key

It's clear from the "witness" marks exactly what happened here. When the pulley was put on, the woodruff key was displaced and jammed between the back of the pulley and the alternator. A rookie error, but one that is easily checked as it's still possible to see woodruff key once the pulley is on! No question about...  

 A little more evidence your Honour! 

A little more evidence your Honour! 

The 1954 Barndoor Samba Project Begins in Earnest

Matt Keene

 

The Bus is one of approximately 10 Right Hand Drive Barndoor Sambas left in the world today. A very rare beast, indeed! Whilst the Bus is already in show-winning condition, it is being completely stripped and restored to original, standard specification. All modifications will be rectified along the way and any poor metalwork repairs will be professionally repaired, in-house. The paintwork will be carried out by Gavin Jones @ Trailer Queen Restorations - the best in the business!

                                    

                                   

This 2007cc turbo motor built by Airkraft will find a new home shortly

              

             

This beautiful Simon Weitz interior will be replaced with original Microbus Deluxe seats