Monday, August 24, 2009

van front grilleIt's not just modelling projects that kick around for ages, I manage to prevaricate with VW stuff too !

Just under the windscreen on a VW Type 2 campervan, there is a grille. It's not for the radiator, you don't get one of those on an air-cooled vehicle, it's to cover fresh air vents. Behind the grille bars that are normally painted body colour, is a plastic mesh. Ideally this is a different colour, in fact if it isn't, the van looks odd. A bit like when it was painted the spray gun operator couldn't be bothered to take it out or mask it off.

On my van the mesh had been removed for painting. There is body colour inside the vent area. Despite this, the mesh was an odd assortment of colours, mostly light blue but with a bit of white and dirt. It looked horrible. I suppose at least there wasn't any rust what with it being made of plastic.

Anyway, nearly 2 years ago I bought a replacement part to improve the look of the van. I suppose I could have cleaned up and repainted the old one but that's too much effort and for the money, wasn't worth the effort. The new mesh panel has been a feature of our dining room ever since.

But no more. On Saturday I removed the spare wheel, unscrewed the metal grille and threw aside the old mesh. In went the new part and as the manual says, re-assembly was the reverse of the above. Fortunately as I had been in there before all the screws were greased so nothing stuck. I was a good boy and checked the air in the spare (not enough) and cleaned and waxed the bodywork behind it.

van front sans grille

Now, I hope not to being fiddling with the vents again for a while but that might not be the case. Around the opening flaps you can see some while draught excluder which stops the worst of the wind whistling through and into my face in the cab. On the back of the old mesh there were strips of gaffer tape to seal things up further. The new mesh is sans this refinement so if the cold blast gets too much, I will have to do something. Perhaps a more permanent fix with black plasticard would be a good idea. If you don't live in the tropics, this primitive air conditioning is more trouble than it's worth in my opinion.

Still, the job went well and the van looks a little bit kewler for it. Not bad for an hours work.

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