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My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + goodies

  CS Dungeon
Meet Stella the 1966 RHD Splitty with a 1500cc single port engine

With a budget of £12k we set about looking for a decent Dormobile RHD Early Bay. Well after almost a year of serching and getting very frustrated at what was avaliable and the money being asked for supposedly 'Solid' bay's I stumbled across an advert on for this solid 1966 RHD split with Dormobile roof and Devon interior. The Advert did state that the owner wanted a swap for a complete road ready Early Bay but this didnt stop us making contact and we eventually agreed on £12k dead

After a trip down to Eastbourne we arrived at our destination to see a bus hiding under a tarpaulin.

Once the tarp was pulled back, this is what was lurking underneath.

RHD 1966 Devon Caravette with a Martin Walker Doormobile roof

















After spending 4 ish hours with Brian who was a very pleasant guy who had all the time in the world for us and went over every inch of the bus telling us the what had been done and what was needed to be done to get her on the road.
The bus had massive history with it and had had a lot of money spent on making it solid with a all of the welding work carried out............but as you can see thats it.

We headed back to Cambridge with a lot to ponder as our original brief was Early Bay complete ready to use with no work required. Stella didnt have and electrics bar the ignition and she didnt even start.

But she was solid and a split

After a few emails back and forth with Brian (the seller), the deed was done and we had a massive project on our hands.............she was now officially ours

Now onto arranging getting her home. After trawling on ebay we came across a company who would trailer her back to Cambridge for a reasonable fee (£105 iirc)

Once at her new home, we had to remove her roof so that she would fit into the garage


We bought her with the intention of just getting her MOT'd so we could use her for a few shows and a trip to Cornwall this summer, however things soon changed and she is set for a ground up rat restoration but only for a couple of years we can afford a professional bodywork restoration

Plan of action

1: Fix Electrics

2: Engine strip down, check and rebuild

3: IRS rear end conversion and gearbox/reduction box removal

4: Front end lowering

5: Dual circuit brakes

6: Sort the steering

7: Temporarily sort bodywork

Next spring/early summer

8:Buy and fit a larger twin port engine

Approx 2 or 3 years down the line will be the final piece of the puzzle

8 : Professional bodywork restoration

Tools and materials required for this type of project

My personal preference with hand tools is Snap on but the Halfrauds Professional range is more then adequate.

This is the bare minimum you will need if you intend on carrying out this type of work or any general maintenance on your bus.

Large socket set mine is a 77pc Blue Point 3/8th drive set
Good selection of spanners
Varied shape and sizes fo screwdrivers
Pliers, cutters, crimps, hammer, mole grips, long nose pliers
Minimum of 2 axle stands
Trolley Jack


You will also almost definately need to buy these few items


These are the tools I have had to buy specially for this project.............fingers crossed there will be a chance to add to this collection



VW Transporter manual
James Hale IRS & Suspension book
Engine stand
Piston ring compressor
Multi meter
Metric and imperial feeler gauges
Brake pipe bender
Brake line flaring kit
10.8v cordless Dremmel
Digital vernier calipers
Impact driver
24" breaker bar 1/2" drive
43mm Impact socket 1/2" drive
30mm Impact socket 1/2" drive

Weekend #1

Not got any pics of this weekend but after 2 days we now have head and side lights, indicators, wipers and washers, dash lights, numberplate light, rear and brake lights and interior lights. The horn should work if it ever turns up! (been on back order with VWAircooled for weeks).
I Still need to sort the fuel gauge, hazard lights, split charge relay kit, auto choke and ICE

Weekend #2

When she arrived at ours she wasnt starting and was turning over fairly slowly. I charged her battery but this didnt really help much and she wouldn't fire up. The fuel pump and carb were leaking fuel and the fuel filter looked like it had seem better days.

So after a bit we decided it was time to remove my 1st ever aircooled bus engine. After approx 1hr I had all the bolts and cable's removed she was ready to come out!

Engine out with carb and fuel pump removed



One carb service kit and new fuel lines later I refitted the engine, set the carb and once in she started up a treat but was leaking oil and fuel from somewhere but we couldnt trace where it was coming from.

Weekend #3 & #4

During the week it was a visit to the various suppliers websites, namely Just Kampers, GSF and VW Aircooled and a few £££'s later I had purchased

New clutch
New pushrod tubes and push rods
Fuel pump
4 x Spark Plugs
Oil Strainer
Gearbox oil
Air Filter
Bosch 009 Dizzy
Bosch Coil
HT leads
Full engine gasket set
Complete new tinware apart from the fan shroud
Split charge Relay kit
Tin of black and silver Hammerite
New rocker covers

Due to leak from previous weekend and after a thread we started on here we decided to remove the engine again and give it a good overhaul with the above new items. The engine was completely cleaned, de-greased and painted.

The strip down, clean, de-grease and painting of the engine






Ready to go back in



Weekend #5

This week we have managed to source and buy a South African Early bay irs kit including driveshafts, hubs, brakes, solid backing plates and trailing arms and we also managed to buy a 'AM' code beetle IRS gearbox. We wanted the AH gearbox but time and the good price meant we had to go with our 2nd choice.
This will be changed in a year or so anyway when we fit a bigger engine


This was given a good clean, de-grease and a coat of black hammerite with the vains painted in silver. The nose cone from the bus box will be painted in yellow.


New clutch was also bought 2 weeks ago so that will go in when we re-assemble it all


The SA IRS kit also got the clean and paint treatment. These however were painted in POR15


We also had a visit onto Creative Engineering's website this week and ordered

CE adjustable spring plates
CE chassis legs
CE top mount kit
Bugpack Gearbox mount kit



The bus gearbox, reduction box's, spring plates and shocks were removed.

Special tools needed

24" breaker bar 1/2" drive
43mm 1/2" impact socket for hub castle nut
30mm 1/2" impact socket to remove gearbox from the front mount bolts
This is where we had to purchase the cordless Dremmel as the hub nuts wouldnt budge even with a pipe on the 24" breaker bar. 10mins each side and hub nuts removed and threads not damaged on stub axle







Weekend #6

While the engine and gearbox were out we decided to pull the fuel tank out. yep you guessed it, that got the clean, de-grease and POR15'd ready to go back in


After a quick trip to GSF in Peterborough to pick up

2 x Inner bearings
2 x Outer bearings
Brake shoes
Shoe fitting kit
2 x New wheel cylinders
Hand brake cables
Brake hoses
Adjuster bolts
Adjuster stars

I decided to rebuild the hubs and get the brakes done and out of the way








Oh and during the week I picked up an ebay bargain to help with the rat look lol

Empi Monza 4 tip for £10


Weekend #7 (today)

Well this week has been a fun week credit card bashing on the tinterweb
A few of the goodies which have turned up and will be fitted in the up coming weeks

CSP Dual circuit master cylinder kit


Engine and gearbox oil


Early bay drive shafts
2 x Inner bearings
2 x Outer bearings
2 x Bearing seals
2 x Early bay CV's
2 x Beetle CV's
2 x Beetle CV gaitors
2 x Early bay CV gaitors
24 x CV bolts



Split charge relay kit


Clutch cable


Headlight seals
Indicator seals
Gearbox seal kit
Fuel hose
Hand brake cables


Trailing arm bushes
Clutch cable conduit
CV grease
Fuel filter
Jubilee clips
Various clips, nuts, studs, washers etc


Empi polished crank shaft pulley


Well back to the real work after opening the box's and finding a home for everything it was time to get the grinder out and hack.........I mean cut off the chassis legs in preperation for fitting the new CE IRS chassis legs.
This was more awkward then I expected as it was harder to get the grinder in the tight spaces and the heat exchanger tubes didnt help but we got there in the end after nearly setting myself on fire




This has been a fun project up until now and we have lots of plans for it and ideas which we are considering.

Future plans/Ideas before she is ready for her 1st outing and MOT

For now it is going to be diy painted with satin black rattle can lower and with gloss white upper
Red9 double wishbone coilover set up
Porsche 944T hubs, discs and 4 pot calipers with VDubEngineering T2 caliper mount kit
Porsche 996 Carrera 4 Alloy Wheels 17 x 7j

The bus is ultimately Jo's toy and i'm the free labour with the cuts and bruises, but here is Stella at the end of today with 'my' toy....................more pics avaliable



Hope you have enjoyed it so far and one of us will keep this updated over the coming months.

More to do tomorrow and that is just to grind down the remaining bits of the chassis legs as I only did the cutting today and will try to fit the new trailing arm bushes and redo some of the engine bay wireing!

That's it for now, if you have any questions then just holla :)


  The Cleee-O
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Wow! I'm a massive Dub fan, this is looking awesome and can't wait to see the rest of it. Looking thorough as well. Can't wait to see this progress. Good work so far mate, keep it up :)


ClioSport Club Member
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Awesome thread :D subscribed!
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Wow. Thanks for posting that. It's a really good and interesting read.

Best of luck with the project and I look forward to the updates.


West Midlands
ClioSport Area Rep
  RB Clio 182
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Love the work mate nice too c people doing it themselves and not just sending it off to done garage to get all done! Nice job keep it up :cool:


ClioSport Moderator
  Whichever has fuel
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good



ClioSport Club Member
  986'S 172ph1+182FF
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

awesome, i have a real soft spot for these didnt expect a non runner needing loads of work to be 12k though. Will keep my eye on this..
  CS Dungeon
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Yep and that was a bargain to be honest, SOLID (operative word), tax exempt, RHD, doormobile roof'd are like hens teeth, if not rarer these days, very few of them around!
This has had all of the welding required done already with invoices totalling £3k for replacement panels and work carried out making her solid......all beit a crap job which will no doubt give me hours of fun freezing my nuts off over winter

Not only was she a non runner. she's been stood in a barn under a tarp for the last 14years lol

The parts above since have cost probably another £2k+ ish already and have just ordered a lkoad of new bits which should arrive early this week. That's just the tip of the iceberg haha
Bugeted for £20k ish on the project so we will see, hoping to be worth nearer £30k when finished but is going to take a couple of years.
Aim is to get her on the road by xmas, we shall see lol

Should have some updates tomorrow for you :)
  CS Dungeon
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Well today has been a busy busy day with an early start............6am
1st up was to meet a guy I have been chatting to on Piston Heads, at Stanstead services at 7:30am to collect these :D

17x9 rear's and 17x7 fronts, dont think the rears are going to fit, so will probably just buy another full set just for the 7inch fronts and then sell a set of 4 x 9inch rears


Plus also picked these up off of the same guy, the disc's will be replaced with new items once she's ready for the road.

Porka 994T hubs, disc's, carriers and Brembo 4 pot's


V-Dub Engineering Porka 944T - Splitty caliper carriers and oil seals which turned up yesterday but didnt get opened till today


These also turned up yesterday after being sent away 2 weeks ago

Flipped King & Link Pin drop spindles................£400 refurbed :eek: The idea of these being dropped or flipped is it gives the bus an automatic 3.5" drop without touching anything else!


I also managed to get the splitty nose cone painted and fitted to the beetle gearbox this afternoon. This is now ready to go back in as soon as everything else has been sorted at the back end!


Our biggest headache has been to do with the front end, mainly the steering and handling! As you can imagine these are not the greatest of things to drive. The wheel is huge and there is so much play its unreal! You have to turn the steering wheel at least 4" before the wheels start to turn, and this was supposedly with a new steering box! Which are known to be woeful at the best of times. There are so many rods, pivots, box's and ball joints its just impossible to get it tight, even with brand new parts!
This is 100year old tech after all so it was time to try and give her the feel of the modern making her much safer in the process!

Our preferred route which also happens to be the most new to the scene was the Red9 Double wishbone and coilover kit as seen below! Although expensive circa £2000 this replaces the whole front end in one kit! The only pitfall is there is a 20week wait on these kits and only 2 maybe 3 split's have these fitted!


What with the long wait and not much feedback on the Red9 kit we considered the Creative Engineering steering rack kit!

This has been on the scene for a while now, but still has a few flaw's and at £800 you dont get alot for your money. This also uses a few of the original components and kinda defeats the objest!

With that in mind, we had set about a completely different route. This maybe a bit pikey, but will be spot on if it will work! More on this later!!

So having made a decision we settled on a 4" narrowed SlamWerks adjustable beam with brand new narrowed spring leaves



I also managed to grind down the remaining waste from removing the rear chassis rail's, measured, fitted and welded the new arms in! I'm very very new to welding and pretty s**t to be honest, so no close up's of that lol


Once we was happy with everything Jo got in there and did a great job with the wire brush, sand paper and wire wool and cleaned everything up a treat ready for me to give a good few coat's of red oxide primer before Jo painted everything in POR15:D



Now with those fitted and well protected, it was time to remove the old rear spring plates and fit the newly purchased Creative Engineering ones. These new spring plates are height adjustable which effect dampening as well ride height!



Earlier on while Jo was cleaning the rear end, I decided to build up the 2 rear drive shafts and all 4 CV joints, I didnt take many pictures of this as it was such a balls ache messy job, but managed to get there eventually



Spring plates, rear hub's, driveshaft's, chassis notched and upper rear shock mounts fitted tomorrow!

Its been a long day and now 3:38am so i'm off to bed!

Last edited:


ClioSport Moderator
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

What a cracking read... as with many of the others, I'm still in shock with regards to £12,000....

Love the attention to detail and doing it yourself approach.

Keep updating this please, subscribed.
  CS Dungeon
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Hey Kev, looks like you're proper under way now...........some horror's under your paintwork too! Its good to see you're not losing heart! What
has your bodyshop guy quoted for the resto?

Dreading taking our's back to bare metal, but we did take a magnet along when we bought her her and couldnt find alot of filler, so here's hoping lol

Anyway, a few updates from yesterday and some more packages turned up today!

Spring plates fitted along with hubs and driveshafts and finished will yellow spring plate covers


So I stuck the hub back together and fitted the Porsche to Split wheel adaptors which we bought last week, these are the reason we cannot fit 9" wide wheel's to the rear and even 7's are a tight fit!


With this fitted it I just couldnt help myself but to fit just one of the wheels


  CS Dungeon
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

I think Jo kinda took pity on me constantly losing my tools amongst the rubbish, parts etc so bought me this roll cab as a little suprise yesterday :)


Here's a few parts the nice courier bought me....the bills and things needed just keep's mounting lol

We decided that due to so much of the original loom being replaced and corroded over the years we opted to buy a complete new wireing loom with a few extra wires added in to bring it upto date for more modern tech



After lots of research over the past few week's we also made our decision on the rear shocks! These are to be Gaz adjustable units so ordered these last week along with a set of Goodrich braided lines and a nice shiny new regulator:cool:


Now we have the rear shock's, I was able to measure and mark the location for the upper suspension mounts!
Typically nothing's ever easy so out with the grinder again to notch some of the chassis away so I can get the mounts exactly where I want them!
All fitted nice and snug ready for the shock's to be attached



I also managed to get down the breakers and machine shop today to make a start with my steering idea and get some measurements and design's in my head!

More to follow shortly:D


ClioSport Club Member
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Really good read, look forward to seeing more progress. £12k does seem a lot, but what do you think Stella will be worth when you are finished?
  CS Dungeon
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

To be honest she is more then likely a life long toy so that does not really matter to us, we are not looking to make any money on her, just use her as a sound investment and get what fun we can out of her!
I'd hope in the region of £25k but that all depends on how much we spend on her now and the quality of the bodywork when we get it done professionally in a few years time. If I had my way it would stay Ratty but Jo has the final say!

Next up will be a split crew cab which will be mine and I already have big ideas for this
  RS Clio Trophy
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

sweeeeeet!:approve: gotta love splittys
  My trusty lil 182 :)
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Hey Kev, looks like you're proper under way now...........some horror's under your paintwork too! Its good to see you're not losing heart! What
has your bodyshop guy quoted for the resto?

Cheers, can't wait to get to the rebuild stage like you :) PM'd you about costs. Hope you don't find too much when you bare metal her.
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

How's things going mate?
  Clio IV 0,9 Tce
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

That is awesome, and a really good effort mate.
  182 ff with cup pack's
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

awesome work wil keep updated on this. would love a mint splity
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Any update buddy?
Re: My 1st contribution to the Dub scene - 1966 VW Split Screen complete resto + good

Can tell what fubar wants!