Moving forward with the Splitscreen Camper restoration, we started on the bodywork giving it the love and attention it deserved, so off we went all (Welding) guns blazing… see what I did there? not impressed? well I thought it was quite clever!
First things first. We needed an order of action. The body needed refurbing, no question. We’d previously agreed to fit a full-length sunroof, samba windows and side windows. Modifications first or strip back the original body to see what we were really up against?
It wasn’t a hard decision, the only sensible way to proceed was to get all the cosmetic crud off the Splitty, stuff like paint, primer, filler corrosion etc. Then replace any metal needed to get the van back to factory specification. Once that process was complete, the vehicle needed to be prepared and put in a high quality two pack primer. Then we could work on the sexy bits like the roof mods.
This marvelous little Splitty was in amazing condition. Not surprisingly though, the ol’ girl had seen all sorts of people of varying degrees of skill tinker and tamper. Some more skilled than others. But overall, truly remarkable. We needed to replace one outer sill along with a partial front step. Apart from that we were delighted to find the Splitty in very fine fettle. Probably helped by several layers of paint over the last fifty years!
Two tasks left before we could tackle the roof. There was a massive amount of elbow grease needed to get those big flat panels straight and dent free along with making sure all the gaps on the doors were as they were when they left the factory. No easy task. Then finally get the whole van in a super high quality primer ready to take the various top coats we would apply. Read about that in our next installment.