Sliding door overhaul

Initially this project was to tackle the sliding door hinge. It’s been a pain for some time and at one point event came off the track, causing the rear corner to hit the ground and cause some body damage. I took the door off recently and put it on some saw horses. The plan was to follow Ratwells guide to tuning up the mechanics of the sliding door, and no longer require passengers to complete a rigorous initiation session to be deemed “fit” to open or close it. After closer inspection I realized the dent left in the corner, along with the bottom edge of the door, and begun rusting more than I expected. With the list of issues growing longer I’ve decided to try and tackle all the sliding door issues in some fashion.

  • Tackle rust on door and track
  • Apply sound deadening (including replace factory foam pads)
  • Service all mechanicals related to door opening, closing and sliding
  • Install screen material over jalousie windows

The Rust

A quick look at the challenge ahead…

VW bus sliding door rust

VW bus sliding door rust

VW bus sliding door rust






Key goal is to stop the rust. Have contemplated straitening the metal but am not sure if I’ll try to tackle that or not. This is my first go around at any type of body or metal work.

  1. Grind rust off
  2. Prep area for paint (tape, clean metal)
  3. Primer. Rustoleum as close to body color as possible. Several coats.
  4. Clear coat. Several of them.

After reading my sentence above about having never done this before, I made a quick post to IAC to try and get feedback on my plan.


More to come…

Read More archives searchable again

After a bit of down time, I’ve finally gotten around to fixing the email archive search engine for Additionally, the search engine is now indexing the technical articles as well. In total, there is roughly 180k pieces of content you can search against, going back to emails in 1994. All of it regarding technical aircooled discussions.

Enjoy, and please pass along. There is a lot of great knowledge that has been shared here over the past decades.


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The Vanagon sports a proper exhaust

“Meh, this will only take a couple hours. I’ll bust it out Saturday morning.”

I should know better by now. My wife does :-D In any case, a recent post exposed our dilemma, where the Vanagon’s exhaust wasn’t exactly, well…. exhausting. The original thought was to get something welded up that would fit the extractor pipes. After calling a few shops, it seemed I was going to have to drop a minimum of $300 bucks for a muffler, and to get it welded in. Not quite was I was wanting to do. (more…)

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