A camping forum for VW bus and camper owners.
I am not sure whether this information will prove useful to you or your readers, but I wanted to share my awful experience of purchasing a fully restored 72 VW camper bus from Catch the Bus out of Alamogordo, NM.
In short, I waited a year, paid $30K and received a pretty but undriveable mechanical nightmare. It was on a tow truck to the local VW mechanic the day it arrived on a shipping truck from the supplier. $6000 in
repairs and replacements later, I am finding out that I am not the only victim
of this specialty VW bus restoration company. The egregious mistakes and
omissions are too numerous to state here, but suffice to say the company is either
outrageously incompetent or criminally negligent or both. Following are a
couple of examples before I put even 100 miles on the vehicle:
- - Throw out and clutch pilot barrings failed day one making it impossible to shift.
- - Electrical system failed, steering column was not secures, locks didn’t work, fuel leaks, etc.
- - New style (72-74) transmission was matched with old style (71 and prior) short input (“crank”) shaft which is mechanically
unsound and unsafe. Contributed to shifting problems.
- During first round of repairs, my mechanic realized CTB had installed non-hydraulic lifter and rocker assemblies with a
hydraulic engine. Mismatched cam and lifters caused #1 and #3 exhaust cam lobes
to go completely flat and spill metal bits through out the supposedly new rebuilt
- During repairs, mechanic also noticed there was no head gasket in the engine! Why? Because CTB has installed 1700cc pistons and
cylinders with a 2L block which do not fit together and are functionally
incompatible. They simply screwed metal to metal and insured near term engine
failure. I ended up replacing the entire engine including block, pistons,
cylinders, valves, etc.
Today I spoke with another Catch the Bus customer from Texas with an almost identical story. Massive failures during 15-day warranty period, supplier topped returning calls and emails, and he’s out $10K making his newly
restored $25K bus work.
If appropriate, please share this vendor review with your friends, as this irresponsible company is hurting lots of good people, putting out dangerous products and giving VW restoration a terrible name. They are also
very adept at hiding negative reviews as any critical comments are immediately
removed from their site and the author locked out. It’s not right.
Should you wish to contact me to discuss further, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me at 805-705-5954