Thursday, February 26, 2015

Windscreen Removal

Well, the prep for painting has really gotten underway now. Today's brief post is about removing the windscreen and what lies beneath. Depending on your windscreen, you may be removing it to replace it. If that's the case, you may not need to take as much care as I did. My glass was perfect, but I needed to get a look at the metal surrounding it as well as get the paint underneath it. One more seal is worth the rust containment.

Cut
multiple passes
For tools, you only really need a box-cutter / X-Acto. Extend the blade halfway. Approach the bus from the front and go to the top corner of the passenger side first. Slide the side of the knife blade against the windscreen with the sharp side pointing down. Cut the rubber seal from top to bottom by sliding the side of the blade against the windscreen. It will resist, so that's why we're only using half of the blade edge. Don't press too hard; let the knife to the work. The harder you fight it, the more likely you will scratch your windscreen. Extend the blade to 3/4 length and run the same seal edge top to bottom. Extend the blade to full length and repeat. This time, you should hear that satisfying noise of the knife against the A-pillar. The rubber should separate from the glass and just hang there. If not, gently run the knife along the A-pillar being careful not to disturb the paint. It is possible a previous owner painted the seal on, ran caulk to try to stop a leak or glued it in. Glue is not necessary for this seal. Nor is caulk, but I've seen some crazy road-side repairs go untouched for years, and caulk is definitely one of them.

Repeat
Repeat the cuts for the driver side and then the top. By now, there should be rubber hanging off the bus, or sitting in strips by your feet. Nicely done. If its an old seal, some of those cuts were very difficult. If it was anything like my first seal replacement on my bus, there were a few spots where I was able to cut right through very easily. I discovered that those spots also aligned with rust. When I cut off the seal the other day, it was only a few years old, and held very well. I'll be getting another Bus-Depot seal for the re-install later.

Bottom Cut Last
Pulled away a little bit
The best is saved for last. When I did my first seal, I had to be careful while I cut the last section. It wasn't holding very well, so I had to keep one hand holding the windscreen while I finished the cut. The newer seal, though, held strong even after I cut off the bottom. The windscreen held to the bus. It held very firm, actually. Your experience may differ, and you may want a buddy around when you make your last cut (as I did a few years ago).

Pop It Out
Old seals don't hold well, so the windscreen may just fall out once you've made your last cut. In my case, I reached one hand through the front door and pushed towards the front while catching the edge out front. This freed the sides, but the center still held. I had to grip the windscreen from the bottom near first the driver side then the passenger side and gently pull forward. Slowly, the seal gave in and handed me my windscreen. I carefully set it where it wouldn't get scratched and pulled out the remains of the seal. If yours was glued in, this could take some time. You want to get back down to smooth metal.

Now What?
glass out. rust inspection
I looked at the rust treatment I did years ago with some POR15. I was impressed. From my memory, the rust had not meaningfully advanced. Still, I needed to sand the whole opening to make sure. It looked pretty good, so I decided I would just expose the rust (read: sand and Dremel) and re-treat it. Then, I'll just handle it like any other metal panel: prime and paint with lots of sanding mixed in. Since it lives under a seal, there's no point in adding Bondo to the rust pits except as practice for visible spots I need to do later. Still, I'm going to skip Bondo'ing here.

As always seems to happen, this small painting effort has grown into a pretty big deal. Next up, removing the dash-top, more rust inspecting and sanding. Apart from deciding how far to go with paint on the interior, I think I'm almost done with the initial prep work. I still have lots of sanding and such to do, though. Unfortunately, that doesn't lend itself to print very well, so it might be a little while before my next few posts appear after this. Thanks for following along.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Removing the Slider

Continuing down my path, today's post is about removing the sliding door. Sure, the Bentley has a section about it (5.11), but like the front-door window removal, there's always a little something to clarify.

Getting at It
We start with the splash guard that covers the rail running underneath the rear window. The Bentley (section 5.10) is right in that there are 3 fasteners to concern yourself with, but at least in my case, one of the Phillips-head screws in the Bentley picture is actually a bolt and nut. The first 2 are obvious. They are Phillips head screws and come from below the guard at the rear and just front of the middle. Depending on your individual case, you may need to hit these with PB Blaster to get them to come free.

rear catch
At the front, there is a difficult-to-access nut. This is not shown in the picture in the Bentley. At least on my 1972, there is a Phillips head bolt head inside the bus that threads through to a 10mm nut where the Phillips head screw is in the Bentley picture. If you put a 10MM crescent or box-end wrench on the nut, you can remove the bolt from inside using a Phillips head screwdriver. This is not in the Bentley instructions.

Once the fasteners are removed, tap on the underside of the cover with a rubber mallet. It should free relatively easily. Within the instructions in the Bentley, a cinch-down bolt and bar is pictured. It has a Phillips head, and should be loosened first. In my case, no amount of PB-Blaster would free the cinch-down bar before I got the cover removed.

There is a simple seal between the cover and the side of the bus body. When the cover comes free, this seal will come free with it. The existing one looks fair, but a pair of replacements would be $15 at BusDepot (see here). I tossed it into the keep pile, delaying the decision until the other end of the painting effort.

Door Off
Once the splash guard is off, removing the door is actually pretty easy, but you need a buddy. Again, though, the Bentley falls just a little short. Maybe it's my reading of it (section 5.11). Before you start pulling the door off, there is one step the Bentley forgets: removing the rear catch. If you slide the door all the way open, the inner handle catches on a bracket. That bracket needs to be removed before you try to remove the door. It is held on with 3 thick Phillips-head screws.

rear support in the channel
Now, like the book says, open the door halfway. There is a break in the channel in which the rear support runs. The rear support slips through that opening. Have your buddy hold that end of the slider, taking care to keep the rear support from banging against the side of the bus. The two of you now roll the door all the way to the rear. While holding the rear-end of the sliding door (and facing the side), have your buddy take a single step back away from the bus. Then, while you hold the front edge, your buddy lifts upward, tilting the door. Keep tilting until the front top roller can slip out of the upper channel. Hold the door firmly now and pop the bottom roller out through the gap in the bottom channel (picture 5-37 might help). Set the door on something stable that won't scratch it. I used the passenger seat I'd removed and set against the side of the bus.

Inspect and Prep
With the slider fully removed, you can see all of the little rust spots which were barely visible before you removed it. The bottom edge of my door had a fair amount of surface rust, but no holes. The edge of the body, however, wasn't quite as fortunate. The front corner of the door, under the seal, has some rust spots and a few tiny holes. Some work with a Dremel got the rust removed and the holes clarified, but I need to think about how I can contain the inner side of the rust hole so the rust doesn't spread. Something I'll have to figure out soon.

I removed the door workings to make sure no rust had appeared underneath them. Other than the bottom edge, the door looks clean. I scuffed the paint and got after the rust. More work is needed there before the door is ready.

workings removed
The lower roller channel was filthy. 40 years of mud, oil and grease had made quite a mess. Using a putty knife, I scraped the bulk of it off. Then, with Goop-Off, I scrubbed it clean enough to sand without grime gunking up the sandpaper. Happy to see there wasn't any rust (just patina), I lightly sanded the lower roller channel.

Last, the body panel under the door had some caked on grey gunk that looked like concrete. Neat. After chiseling off the worst of it, I sanded the rest and roughed up the paint. The drip rail on the bottom had some surface rust, but no holes, and nothing remotely structural. A moderate sanding effort later, that area is ready for priming and painting. I removed and sanded the cinch-down bar, concluding that it will need paint to keep it from being patient 0 for the next round of rust in the slider area. I'm not sure it will work as well with paint on it, so I will look for a new replacement.

That's it for today. I still have to finish the rust sanding on the slider, but otherwise the door and door opening are ready for the next step. As always, thanks for following along.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stripping Doors

As you may have surmised from my last post about paint prep, I couldn't just stop at the nose. We'll see how far this goes.  For today, I'm focusing on getting the front doors ready. I do feel compelled to explain why I'm going for the paint this winter. Most of the recent years, I've spent my wintertime spare time on Mt. Hood, playing in the snow. El Nino or some other weather condition has hit the Pacific NorthWest with spring-like weather for most of January and, so far, all of February. Tulips and Daffodils are sprouting while our beloved SkiBowl looks more ready for mountain biking than downhill skiing. Sadness. So, I'm taking the opportunity to focus on getting the bus cleaned up and shiny for music-festival season. Onward!

Insides First
inside stripped,
sanded and taped
This seems obvious, but first, the inner door controls and door card need to be removed. The door latch and door pull are simple Phillips head bolts. Pop them into a ziplock bag marked for their respective door. The window should be lowered all the way and then the winder removed, but keep it handy. Then, carefully pull the door card with a tongue depressor (or something similarly harmless) popping the clips out of their rubber homes. Your door should have a plastic sheet behind the card. Peel this sheet off and stow it with the rest of the door bits, preferably labeling the heap in a way that's meaningful to you. As you can see in the picture to the right, here, I put everything into a plastic bag for the door, and put that bag into the hole in the door. Won't get lost that way :) Now you can get after the window trim.

Un-Trimmed
The Bentley does a fine job of explaining how to remove the window, vent wing and trim in section 5.9 of the first chapter. I wouldn't want to misdirect, but there are some opportunities for clarity in their process. The book describes removing 2 window-track bolts, and the picture shows where the front one is. The "back" one is in the middle of the window track, but below the lowest point where the window might travel. There's a picture a few pages back (figure 5-14), though the narrative in section 5.9 doesn't reference it. They are both 10mm bolts.
The book also says to remove the Phillips head bolt from the vent wing housing after removing the felt from the top of the roll-up window channel. What it doesn't say is that you need to bent the little tang on the vent wing housing downward so you can tilt the housing back to the rear on removal. But, don't do that yet. There is a missing, but helpful, step right here after the removal of the felt strips and inner scraper: removing the window glass. Remove the 2 10mm bolts which hold the bottom of the window pane to the window winder assembly. The roll-up window will now float freely in the door. With one hand, lift the window up and catch it with your other hand above the door sill, leaning the window towards the inside. It should lift right out. Once the window pane is out and you've bent the little tang downward, the vent-wing housing easily tilts back and can be removed. These steps augment steps 6 & 7 of section 5.9. Last, remove the outer scraper and chrome-y surround trim.

Outsides Last
outside stripped and sanded
The outer door handle is held on with 2 Allen head bolts (Bentley section 5.5). These can be reached much more easily now that the window is gone. If you left your window pane in, roll it all the way up so you can get to the Allen-head bolts. Once removed, pull the handle off the door and thread the bolts right back in again. Set the handle with the door-specific heap you had from the "Insides First" steps above. The strike plate could be removed at this point, or it may be taped off. User's choice. I removed one, but the other was so tightly attached, I chose to tape it rather than strip the Allen head bolts. The same decision could be made for the latch assembly. I left mine in-place and taped them for the same reason I left the strike-plates: strip fear. I also removed the pin from the door-check (Bentley 5.4), but left the unit in place. For getting at some areas with sandpaper, it proved useful to have the door able to open more widely. I looked at removing the doors, but, like the strike plates, the Allen head bolts seem paint-sealed, and I didn't want to strip them. I still might attack them with an EZ-out so I can make sure I've gotten all of the rust traces dealt with. We'll see.

The front reflector comes off with a Phillips head screwdriver. Beneath mine, I found surface rust, but that easily dusted off. You can see the rust scar in the picture. I've thought about replacing the reflectors with operable lights that key off the turn signals on the front. More thought needed there. I'm not sure it would do much for improving visibility, but its not a new idea. Scroll down to post #12 here.

Last, we have the mirrors. I closed the passenger door hard once a few years ago and the mirror glass popped out. I have had a devil of a time finding replacement glass. All that the online vendors want to sell you are the crappy Chinese-tin full mirror replacements. Boo. So, I've been driving without a passenger-side mirror for a while. I may just break down and buy the more spendy (Brazil or German made) pair of complete replacements. Anyway, the mirrors are threaded into a nut that is welded to the door on the inside. So, it just screws in and out. You may need to break the seal with PB Blaster or a pair of pliers.

Organize
Like the prior post, everything that you intend to reuse needs to be tagged and bagged. Anything you intend to replace needs to be collected together and documented. This is a great opportunity to replace ancient fasteners, and one you should definitely take, but be careful how many fasteners you put in a "replace" baggy without any labeling. You could find yourself with a vehicular jigsaw puzzle trying to figure out which fastener was for which assembly. Ask me how I know :) Keep general assemblies together. A ziplock baggy costs a few cents. Hours of trial and error later can cost you a hairline, or just some sanity. Either way, the few cents is cheaper.

That's it for today. Thanks for following along. The tear-down continues next time-

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Prepping for Paint

While working on the windshield washer effort, I got to thinking about the paint on the front of the bus. Those 2 tiny nozzles were original as is the paint on most of the bus, and the paint is in about as good a shape as those nozzles were: barely functional. So, once I got the washer bits done, I resolved to getting the paint looked at and decided that I was going to prep and paint the nose.

Organization is Key
headlight can rust
from 12 o'clock to 5
One thing that John Muir was always harping about was the need to properly tag and bag your bits an pieces. I wholeheartedly agree. No matter how optimistic you are about spending every spare moment on your project, things come up. There's a Bruin game on tv or there's a freak snowstorm you want to go play (or have to work) in. So, as bolts come off, collect them into zip-lock baggies and write with a Sharpie on the bag what the bits are for. The only exception to following this religiously is when you can thread the bolt back into its originating location (bumper bolts, eg) where they won't get in the way, or lost.

Beyond the baggies, the parts I removed needed to be categorized. Some things, like the front bumper, don't need any additional work done to them except maybe a soap-water wash or a polish. Others, like the headlamp cans need to be rust sanded, primed and painted. A final pile was created for those things which just needed to be replaced because they were beyond rust repair or a replacement was less expensive than trying to save the old part.

Removing the Bright Work
turn signal during removal
I love that British phrase for what we colonists call "the chrome pieces". Bright work sounds so much more refined. Rather than tape off things, I chose instead to remove everything and go deep on rust while I was at it. The front bumper goes first with 8 bolts: 2 each under the doors and then 2 each on either side of the belly pan. I'd hand-painted it with white rustoleum paint (see Front Bumper part 4) about a year ago. It held up okay, but the white looks dirty already. I guess I should have washed it more often. Regardless, I set the bumper into the back of the bus to start the wash/polish pile.

Once the front bumper was off, I pulled the headlight surrounds (one Phillips-head bolt and it pops out), headlamps and the cans. The original cans have rust spots on them, and the body cavities where the cans reside have a little too. Considering the bus is 40+ years old, I thought that was a really good sign. The headlight surrounds went with the front bumper. As I pulled the cans out of the nose of the bus, I labeled which side each can came from. I separated the bolts and spring and put all of that stuff into a single headlamp baggie. The cans started the rust treat pile. Next, I removed the front turn signals. The lenses are good, but filthy (clean/polish pile) but the housings were spotted with rust. I simply touched the reflector with a finger and it started flaking off. So, the turn signal housings started the "replace" pile. The housings were then joined by the fresh-air vent intake: rust appeared on the back/inside, and a replacement is available at busdepot.

stripped of what could be removed
and the sanding started
The last thing to remove (in my case) is the spare tire hanger. Held on by 3 thick screws, the tire mount appears more universal than I'd realized. It had a dusting of surface rust / patina in a few areas, but, again, it was in great shape for its age. Clearly, it wasn't original, though, as I found a sloppy peace sign had been spray-painted on the nose prior to the tire mount being installed. The tire mount went into the rust treat/paint pile and the screws into a baggie.

Now, the nose is ready for paint. Except... the windshield is still in... and won't it look funny if just the nose is painted, and the doors that match up against the nose aren't? The story continues next time.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Early Bay Windshield Washer mod (part 3)

Continuing from the last 2 posts, this part of the washer modification focuses on the electrical. Sorry it took so long to get this out. I ran into challenges getting the switch installed, as you'll see. It does work, and I've already moved on to the next big thing... which I'll get to posting about soon, I hope :)

Pump Wiring
The pump has 2 pins. I can't speak for the vanagon pump, but the more modern pump I used doesn't appear to be polarity sensitive. Meaning, you can apply 12V to either pin, with the other to negative/ground, and the pump will run the same way. Neat. I wired the pin closer to the rounded end of the plug to ground. For a ground, I used the headlamp ground, and an insulated ring connector on the end of a brown wire (brown for standard ground color consistency).
The signal or 12V pin was wired to the wiper switch with a green wire. The other pin on the switch was red-wired to the number 30 terminal on the wiper switch. I mentally debated this point. I could have used another circuit in the fuse box, but finally concluded that having a single fuse/circuit dedicated to the wiper and washer should be fine load-wise and easier to diagnose later.
I tested every connection with a multi-meter, verifying that continuity existed before moving on to the next section. I also applied 12V at the terminal 30 and demonstrated that the pump would fire when the button was pushed before considering the electrical done. I still had the switch to install into the dash, but the system was otherwise complete... but, of course, getting the button into the dash is what started this multi-post topic.

Prepare the Switch
roughed-in mount
(pre-trimmed)
Arguably, this is getting into what you have most likely been waiting for. The old switch/valve needs to be taken apart. The valve is held on with 2 long brass rivets. Drill them out with a 9/64 drill bit. A slightly larger one might work too. Once the rivets are gone, the valve pops off. Grab the small rubber disk that sits between the button-rod and the valve; you'll need that disk later. In my case, when I separated the valve from the switch, the rubber disk didn't just sit there, it jumped and ran. Chase it, you'll need it. Push the long brass rivet remains out of the switch.

Fab a Mount
With a pair of tin snips, cut a 3/4" wide strip from some grade 24 ducting. Step-drill a 1/4" hole in the center. Bend the strip into the shape in the picture here, and then drill 7/64" holes center-aligned with the larger 1/4" hole. To prevent the strip from grounding against the tabs on the switch, it needs to be trimmed down with the tin snips. This takes a few rounds of test fit, trim, etc. File the sharp edges. Your fingers and wiring behind the dash will thank you. 

Put it Together
switch during testing
Once the mount is formed, slip the McMaster-Carr switch through the hole, include the washer and tighten the nut. With 2 #8 Phillips-head screws (not bolts) each at least a 1/2" long, mate the mount with the switch. Test the fit with the knob and button (with long pin) in place. I found that the button on the McMaster-Carr switch and the end of the long pin didn't exactly meet, so some fiddling with the mount was necessary before it could be fully torqued down. We now have a working switch. But when bench tested, the pin without the rubber disk doesn't hit the McMaster-Carr button cleanly 100% of the time. So, the rubber disk needs to be part of the final equation. You can see the disk in the "testing" picture. This is where it gets interesting.

Dash Install
The old wiper switch fits into the dash by being fed through from the front (front-is-front!). The new switch with the added washer activator does too, but there's a complication. In order to fit through, the knob and button with the long pin need to be removed from the switch. If the long pin needs to have the rubber disk set onto it to properly activate the McMaster-Carr button, then how do we assemble all the pieces? It's not easy. I tried spot-gluing the rubber disk to the end of the McMaster-Carr switch. No good. I tried removing the mount, installing the switch into the dash and then re-assembling in situ. Nope. I tried a few other permutations too. I was able to get the whole thing installed and functional by barely threading the McMaster-Carr switch into the mount, and installing the dash-switch into the dash hole like that.... with the dashpod removed so I could get my hands in there. Then, install the turny-knob (beware: technical wibble-ly wobble-ly terms ahead) onto the dash-switch. Next, hold the rubber disk against the dash-switch while feeding the button with the long pin through the turny-knob and press it into the tiny hole in the rubber disk. This is hard with thicker fingers. Now, tighten the nut around the McMaster-Carr switch to set it tight. Test the action with a multi-meter to make sure the switch activates properly. If necessary, the mount can be pressed tighter towards the dash for a reliable action. After all the fiddling, mine needs a slight adjustment.

Button It Up
Once in-place, test the washer system first without water. If the pump fires up when you push the button on the dash, you can then test with water in the bottle. It will take a little time for the pump to prime, and for the washer lines to fill. Once the water makes it to the nozzles, adjust them so the stream lands in the center of each wiper path. Once adjusted, verify the tightness of the various mechanical connections (pump to body, switch to dash, etc), put your kick panels back on, and you're done! Hazah!

That's it for today. Thanks, as always, for following along. I hope you found this useful. More next time...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Early Bay Windshield Washer mod (part 2)

Continuing from the last post, I'm assuming you have the parts in hand.  Looking at the project, we have some larger logistics to figure out, and then some smaller detail construction. Again, all bus content this time, like last time. I'm going to just focus on the water part of the washer in this posting. Next time, I'll tackle the switch fabrication stuff.

Pump Location
pump mount strap
RAtwell suggests placing the pump below the tank so it doesn't run dry. I totally agree, though finding a spot you can get to for maintenance can be tricky. I placed my pump below the driver's side "floor" heat duct. To mount it, I got plastic pipe support strapping from Home Depot for about $3. The geniuses at the HomeDepot website don't list it, so I've linked it at a different supplier here. I pop-riveted a loop around the pump leaving a 3" tail. In the lip along the floor, there are pre-existing holes. I simply slipped a Phillips head screw through the hole and tightened it into the plastic tail. Easy peasy.

Running Lines
I don't have the benefit of having the old rubber hoses to show me where the replacements go (or even how long they are). For everyone else, since we placed the pump where we did, the rubber lines will move a little bit. I ran my line from the pump behind the air vent and then behind the radio slot. Since one of the benefits of this modification is to remove the risk of washer juice spraying into the electricals behind the dash, moving the pump-line-to-the-2-nozzle-lines junction ("Y") as far away as possible seemed prudent.

Old Nozzles Out
Pop out the nozzles and pop the new ones in. After wrestling with the passenger-side one, I found that you can rotate the nozzles from the outside 90* and it could pop right out. The driver-side one popped that way. Good thing too; accessing the nozzle from the cab-side is blocked by the dashboard and then the wiper mechanics. The passenger-side nozzle can be reached from behind the glovebox. I squeezed the tabs with a pair of needle-nose pliers and got it to slide out that way.
The new nozzles pop right in, but don't do it yet.

New Lines In
RAtwell, you're still amazing
Cut equal lengths of rubber hose for each nozzle-line, press them into the arms of the "Y" junction. I think mine were about 2 feet long. Run the nozzle lines through the retaining clips near the nozzle mounts and then feed the lines out through the holes the nozzles set into. Now you can press the nozzle hoses into the nozzles, and then pop the nozzles into the holes. You'll have to adjust the direction of the jets, but that needs to wait until later.
The last line to fit together is the pump output line. It simply presses into the base of the "Y" junction. Now, you should have the water system completed. It consists of an air line from the tank up behind the glove box, the water bottle, a hose (less than a foot) from the tank to the pump, the pump, a hose from the pump to the junction, the "Y" junction, 2 nozzle-hoses that run from the junction to the nozzles and finally 2 nozzles.

That's it for today. Next time, I'll get after the modifications to the early bay wiper switch to power the pump.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Early Bay Windshield Washer mod (part 1)

All bus content today. I'm going to go over how to modify the early bay-window bus windshield washer system from the original air-pressure system to one using a more modern pump. Well, this got really long, so I'm splitting it up into multiple posts instead.

Original Set-Up
For starters, we'll reference the picture on the RAtwell site (re-posted here). Although the system in the picture is for a later bay, most of this is the same for the early bus. The biggest difference is in the valve in the lower left corner. The late-bay windshield wipers and washer controls are on a stalk attached to the steering column. The early-bay controls are a switch contraption on the dashboard next to the hazard light switch. It is round, and the user twists the knob to turn on the wipers... and pushes a button in the center of the switch to activate the valve.
thx RAtwell. you're amazing
The valve allows pressurized water, air, soap through the lines from the bottle out to the nozzles on the front of the bus. The bottle on the far right sits just in front of the front passenger's foot-well. The long hose runs out the bottom of the tank and ties into the valve I just described. The short hose that looks like its coming out of the top of the bottle is, again, a little different from the early-bus, but the purpose is the same: connect a bicycle pump to that so you can pressurize the tank, and, accordingly, the system.  In the early bus, the air hose attaches to the tank like the other hose does on the bottom of the tank: press onto a nipple and them cinch it down with a plastic threaded nut.

So, with that orientation, you can probably imagine how well the system works or doesn't work after 40 years of recurring owner neglect. On my bus, the rubber lines had been cut out or at least cut up so pumping the tank just sprayed its contents all over the electrical a behind the dash. Fun. The tank doesn't usually fail, but the valves can. Or so I've been told. There are a few changes to modernize the system.

Scope of Mod
McMaster switch
First and most important is how to incorporate an electrical switch without disrupting the original dash or spirit of operation? The original button should remain with magic behind it so it at least looks the same. To work, you need a SPST (single pole, single throw) NO (normal-open) biased (push-on, release-off) switch. The switch in the door is kind of like this except it's NC (normal-closed) and creates a circuit when the button pops out. I spent quite a bit of time researching this, and what kinds of switches were readily available. You can get a cheap one, or even a set of 2 or 4 from RadioShack.

They will eventually fail, and "eventually" may not be that far off based on how much current they can handle. I was concerned with how hardy these switches are, especially with how hard the switch will be to get to once installed. Instead, I paid as much for one McMaster-Carr switch as 4 RadioShack ones. This is why I didn't solder wires and instead used insulated connectors: I didn't want to fry the switch with a soldering iron.
washer pump 1J5 955 651

Second, if we want the VW to remain totally a VW, we should use a VW pump. That's actually pretty easy, and yes, I know I have already angered the purists with my bus, but this modification shouldn't be verboten by them, IMHO. Anyway, I got a pump that fits a modern VW (part #1J5 955 651). The vanagon pump has larger more common pins for the electrical side, so it might be a better, easier bit for electrical. I had the modern pump on-hand, so there ya go. The rest of the system remains the same. The rubber hoses are replaced, the nozzles replaced. This includes the air-pressure hose; replace it with a basic hose and point the open end up behind the glove box for an air source.

Parts List
So, before we start doing, we need some parts. The pump, the switch and the nozzles may need to be ordered. Its possible that the pump and nozzles are available locally, but at the very least the switch will need to be ordered. I got my nozzles at the local VW parts shop (DIP). Part numbers (in parenthesis)

Washer pump (1J5-955-651) or you could use one from a vanagon (431-955-651)
2-pin plug (1J0 973 702 should work) if you used the same pump as I did
McMaster-Carr SPST/NO 12V switch (7397K25) link here
3 Phillips-head screws. not bolts.
6' rubber washer hose
3/4" x 10' polypropylene strap. you'll only use about a foot of it
2 washer nozzles (211-955-993)
Some insulated electrical connectors (1 ring for ground, 2 tiny female for the switch and 2 standard female for the pump if you used a vanagon pump)

That's it for today.  Doing the whole job in one post was just too much.  I hope everyone had a hapy, healthy and restful holiday season. Have a safe and wonderful new year.