So now we’ve identified the Bus we’re going to make Rat Style – a deluxe bus with walk through front seats – its time to make it solid underneath. Our requirement is for a welded solid bus with excellent running gear that on the outside looked like … well crap really.


Starting with that the passenger rear corner – a very common rust area around the battery tray on a VW camper. Here we can see a super fitting green funky panel (called funky green after the colour of the primer that KlassicFab uses) being fitted to the rear corner;
new rear corner from klassicfab


And here is the new battery tray fitted to the other side of that new corner. This particular tray is the version up to 1966 with the stud – meant for the strap version of the battery clamp;
battery tray klassicfab


Instead of welding new material to the drivers side we chose to cut, straighten and then re-weld the corner to be straight. Here we see the work in progress with the valence fitted to make sure the gaps are right;
VW Camper rear corner cut and reweld


Next is the short rocker panel – called this as its a. short and b. a rocker panel. Its the same profile as the long side but a fraction of the length. Here we see it about to be welded into place – note the use of clamps to maintain the gaps and surface height;
Campervan short rocker sill replacement


The cargo door sill area seems to be about the most common rust areas on a VW Camper – ours was no exception with perhaps more rust than actual metal. Here we used an inner sill and an outer from Klassicfab – their fit and profile are quite good;
Cargo rocker replacement campervan


And here the lower lip is being welded – note the multiple holes drilled for plug welding;
Lower vw cargo door panel welding


Time for the front floor, a post and dogleg – this area on our bus was so badly rusted it was virtually missing or hanging off. KlassicFab again for an outer floor, lower dogleg inner & outer, and finally an a-post lower;
vw camper cut floor and dogleg


And the ‘after’ picture to show how it all ended up;
klassicfab front floor and dogleg welded in place


Same deal with the drivers side – here we see the floor cut out ready to take the replacement outer;
vw camper floor rust cut out


Resulting in a fully seam welded floor section that hopefully lasts another 20+ years – maybe not in the UK but we can hope. We were able to save the lower dogleg on this Bus – all that was required was a step;
drivers floor replaced with funky green


Taking shape – next is putting it all back together in a rat style..

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