Behind the Scenes: Bus Boot Camp

There are plenty of things you can study online these days, but some topics are best-taught face to face and very much hands on.

Paul and Mark at Type 2 Detectives are well aware of this, so every couple of months they turn their VW workshop into an educational establishment. A pop-up Air-Cooled College for students of all abilities to find out what makes their old car or bus work – and how to fix it when it stops!

It’s in the Handbook…

Every participant is presented with ‘a boot camp bible’ which contains details of the day’s itinerary, and some useful take-home reference for owners to look back over when they come to work on their vehicles themselves. T2D will also sell you a tailored box of aircooled engine service parts, specific to your vehicle should you wish – many of which originate from the shelves of the Heritage warehouse.

Learning is fun

We can all recall subjects at school where we’d sit and look out the window, doodle on our textbooks or just withhold our attention from the Teacher in charge. However, when it is a subject you are keen to know more about, and the information is delivered in a way you can actually understand and relate to, learning becomes fun – in fact, many of us would have happily stayed on for detention!

Lesson plans

The sessions are broken down into a few key areas, some of which are completed as a whole group, others with smaller numbers to allow for hands-on action, giving you a chance to practice and prove to yourself that you have learnt what to do. Of course, should you not be sure Mark, Paul and Andy are on hand to run back through the process. From wiring, engines, ignition system and breakdowns it’s simple enough for a novice to pick up in a day, but equally engaging for enthusiasts a little more familiar with how things work too.

Food for thought….

Bacon sandwiches offer a warm and tasty welcome to students and act as a catalyst to conversation with regards to what cars people have and their reasons for attending today’s Boot Camp.

Regular coffee breaks keep students suitably fuelled and discussions about the morning’s discoveries can be heard around the building before a complimentary lunch brings the whole group back together. This isn’t just a spread of dried up sarnies and few tubes of crisps though, a sumptuous stew or commendable chilli are typically on the menu to take care of any spare space left in your stomach.

Travelled from Germany

Whilst the topics are typically delivered with an ‘essex twang’ this didn’t stop a Father and Son travelling over from Munich to brush up on their bus knowledge. In fact, they even benefitted from some real life fault finding practice when Paul and Mark took them for a test drive to diagnose a noise that had developed on their journey over… how’s that for service!

Points mean prizes

One of the tasks for the day is correctly setting the ignition points on a distributor, something many aircooled owners become familiar with, especially when carrying out fault diagnosis. Adjusting tappets is a second hands-on activity for all to try, with the added benefit of the engine being out of the vehicle and at a comfortable working height.

Workshop and showroom

Wandering around the Type 2 Detectives showroom and workshop is a great time to point out parts that you may have a question about. There is no substitute for seeing something in front of you, and having an expert within earshot to tell you what you need to know. It’s things like this that makes these events such a success.

Further education.

If your knowledge or confidence with aircooled engines could do with some help, then be sure to look up their  Maintenance Boot Camp here and consider booking into the next session at their Cambridgeshire workshop. It is also worth noting that they offer a complete 1 on 1 session with your own vehicle too, for the ultimate in Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 tuition.

Finally, thanks to Paul, Mark and Andy for their impeccable hospitality, and to all those who we got the chance to chat with on the day too.

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