Split Screen Wipers

VW Split Screen wiper blades are pretty much in affective and the use of rain-x type products are essential. A couple of suggestions to improve the force of the blade on the window is using Morris Minor or Triumph Spitfire blades. In either case they might require small modification i.e drilling a small hole  in the end of the wiper arm and using a screw to hold it in place.


Splitscreen Van Seatbelts

Seatbelts are not required in vans before 1965 which is great when your young carefree and single but the when the inevitable happens and children appear you are left with a headache on how to keep your little ones safe and within the law.

Here is a guide on regulations and camper vans although not definitive and at the end of day what price do you put on your childs safety.

  • If you intend to carry children aged 12 years or under, the seat belt wearing regulations require them to use a suitable child restraint. You should bear in mind that child restraints cannot be fitted to side facing seats.  In order to fit the required child restraints, you would need to have forward or rearward facing seats with seat belts.
  • All vehicles manufactured since 2001 must have seat belts fitted for each passenger.  If you have added seats (i.e camper van) you are outside of this law.
  • You do not need to fit seat belts for passengers in the back, however, if you are carrying passengers in the back you must discuss and declare this to your insurance company.  It is very likely that your insurance company will not let you travel with passengers in the back unless they are in forward facing seats and have a seat belt.
  • Seat belts must be used whenever fitted, with no exception.
  • It is highly advised to fit seat belts to all forward facing seats.
  • It is highly advised to never let passengers travel in side facing seats, as the effects of whiplash and other impact related injuries are very severe from the side.

The 66 Junkyard has 2 point lap belt seatbelts in the front cab already and in the rear it has the seatbelt monting points so I bought 3 Securon 217E Lap Belt with Securon spacers which are long enough to go round the rock n roll bed. Both the Britax Eclipse and Prince child seats accept 2 point lap belts and can be used for children 9kg – 18kg or 9m to 4 years so it’s a quick fix until you can install 3 point belts and or isofix bracket. I have used the ford focus isofix adapter successfully it is widely available on eBay and reasonably priced but you will have to engineer a solution to bolt it securely to your wagon.

I am going to have to come up with a solution for the Firetruck a 64 van with no provision for seatbelts so will update the post later once it’s done.

Seat Belt Fitting Companies;

Split Screen Brake Upgrades

Split screen vans as you may know come with drums all round, and if they are looked after they are more than adequate for the job however there are things you can improve.

Firstly make sure that all your brakes / shoes etc are serviceable. and adjusted correctly. As a matter of safety and something all splitty owners should consider is replacing the single circuit master cylinder, with a dual circuit one. It insures if you loose one half of your brakes you can still stop. as it splits the front and rear brake circuits. We were fortunate enough to have standard dual circuit brakes on the Junkyard as it is a late bus, that was that was until it started crumbling in our hands literally.  So having to rob the CSP dual circuit kit already fitted to the Firetruck to get us back on the road it was time to get another one, but rather than forking out for all singing and dancing CSP kit again I sourced the parts individually which saves a little bit of cash. So what do you need.

1 x 20mm Spacer (alternatively cut down the brake rod)
1 x Dual Master Cylinder (652VG0130)
2 x 12mm/22mm servo grommets
2 x M8 50mm nuts bolts and washers.
4 x M8 washers
2 x M8 nylock nuts.
1 x Brake fluid reservoir (VWHeritage sell this, unless you can source an alternative (have been told fiat panda, early golf, volvo B20 / 140 should fit.)

Changing your rubber brake pipes to braided one’s will help increase the pressure slightly and as a side note by accident after having to change all the old metal brake lines on the Junkyard with new copper pipe it has appeared to increase the brake pressure a little, the only thing we could put it down to is that maybe the copper is slightly smaller in diameter either that or it is really just a coincidence.  Anyway the drum brakes on the Junkyard are now the best they have ever been and no disc brakes in site.

Now if you really want to improve braking performance upgrading to a servo should be on your list. It is not something I have needed to do as of yet but I have heard nothing but good things about them. This is how modern car braking systems generally work and it uses induction vacuum to increase brake pressure.

Disc brake kits will arguably give you a modern more maintenance free braking system but do not believe all the hype they will not make your brakes work any better,  not without fitting a brake servo. The most popular is the CSP brake kit, there are a number of other alternatives out there but none of them are particularly cheap. If you are looking for the cheapest option then using pre 86 Porsche 944 hubs and calipers onto your bus spindles and an adapter kit is the way to go.



Engine Valve Adjustment

You use these guides at your own risk, if you are unsure consult a professional.

The VW firing order is 1 4 3 2 ….. number 1 as you are facing your engine is top right, number 2 bottom right, number 3 top left, number 4 bottom left. Valves should only be adjusted with engine being stone cold. The recommended gap for a stock engine is 0.06 inch, you should consult your engine builder on performance engines.

Tools Needed;
13mm spanner,
Flat bladed screwdriver,
New valve gaskets,
Feeler Gauge 0.15mm / 0.06 inch,
Spanner/Socket for your alternator/dynamo pulley nut (sizes vary),
Plastic gloves, Rag, Tip-ex and pencil are optional.


1.) Remove the distributor cap so you can see the rotor arm and look for the notch on it which is usually at the 5 o’clock position when facing the engine. With your spanner/socket attach it to the alternator/dynamo pulley and turn it so that your rotor arm is in line with the notch on the distributor and the crank pulley is at top 12 o’clock position, there is usually a cut or mark on it if you have not got a degree pulley, this should be lined up with the seam of the engine case this is top dead centre (TDC).

*If you are unsure that your pulley is at top dead centre then remove number 1 spark plug and put something long down there i.e. pencil and holding it firmly turn the alternator/dynamo pulley feeling the piston go up and down, when the piston is at top and the rotor arm is pointing at you this is likely to be top dead centre (TDC). I would mark the crank pulley with tip-ex once you have found it and also mark the 180 degree point if you haven’t done so already.

2.) Remove the right hand valve cover by pushing the bale down with the flat bladed screw driver until it is clear of the cover, then remove the cover, you may get a some oil spillage.

3.) Looking at the right head face on you are adjusting number one which is the inlet and outlet valves on the right.

4.) Using your 0.15mm / 0.06 inch feeler gauge slide it between the valve and check that the gauge slides through with a little resistance, if not then undo the 13mm nut slide the feeler gauge in and either loosen or tighten as required with a flat bladed screwdriver until you can only just about slide the feeler gauge through. Leaving the gauge in there, keep the tension on the screwdriver and tighten the 13mm nut up, then move on to the next one.

5.) With number 1 completed get up and go back to the crank pulley, turn it 180 degrees anti clockwise so that the TDC mark is now in the 6 o’clock position. Now go back to the head and looking at it face on number 2 which are the inlet and outlet valve on the left adjust these as in step 4

6.) With number 1 and 2 completed clean up the head and valve cover of oil and the old gasket, put the new gasket in the valve cover, place it on the head and push up the bale back on. (Some do some don’t if you want to put a very thin layer of sealant on then do it on valve cover side of the gasket only)

7.)Go to the left hand head and remove the valve cover by pushing the bale down with the flat bladed screw driver until it is clear of the cover, remove the valve cover you may get some oil spillage.

8.) Now back to the crank pulley turn it 180 degrees anti clockwise so that TDC is in line with the case seam this is number 3 cylinder. Looking at the left hand head face on number 3 is the inlet and outlet valves on the left adjust these as in step 4

9.) Number 3 now complete get up and go back to the crank pulley, turn it 180 degrees anti clockwise so that the TDC mark is again now in the 6 o’clock position, go back to the left hand head looking at number 4 inlet and outlet valves which are the 2 on the right as your looking face on adjust these as per step 4.

10.) Clean up the head and valve cover of oil and the old gasket and apply the new gasket to the valve cover, then refit the valve cover and push the bale back on give it a check with your hand make sure its all secure. All valves are completed so go back into the engine bay and put the distributor cap back on.

11.) Make sure you have cleared away all your tools there are no oil leaks and start your engine, stand back and admire your work.

Type 1 VW Engine Static Timing

1500SP Dual 34 FRD Dellorto’s

You use these guides at your own risk, if you are unsure consult a professional.

To time your engine statically you will need a 19mm & 10mm spanner or equivalent, a flat bed screwdriver and a timing light (Simply a wire with a 12v bulb in the middle and crocodile clips either end).

  1. Unclip the distributor cap from the main body of the distributor and locate the notch on the rim.
  2. Using the 19mm spanner rotate the generator pulley clockwise until the crank pulley notch/mark is lined up with the crack between the two halves of the crankcase and the rotor arm is pointing somewhere near where the notch is on the distributor body.
  3. Place the distributor cap back on the distributor body ensuring its clipped down properly and place your static timing light to same connector as the thin green wire on the coil, the other end should connect to a good earth.
  4. Loosen the 10mm nut on the distributor just enough so the distributor will turn, now turn the ignition to the first point (Don’t start the engine!).
  5. Rotate the distributor until the timing light turns on, now turn it clockwise until it turns off and then slowly counter clockwise until is just turns on, keep doing this till you get it right i.e the light just comes on, then tighten up the 10mm nut on the distributor and check the light comes on at the right place just to ensure you haven’t moved it while tightening the 10mm nut.
  6. Turn off the ignition, you have now completed statically timing your engine.

*** This is the starting point to get your engine going, you should now fine tune with a timing gun/light. As an alternative if you then measure 11mm from TDC that gives you 7.5 degrees and 46.5 mm gives you 30 degrees. Mark them with tip-ex and you have your rough timing marks. ***