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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:44 pm    Post subject: AC Vanagon Owners Reply with quote

Hey all its been a while since I've been around,

I just picked up an '82. Its a fixer-uper. Laughing No you can't see pictures... yet. What do you think of yours? What are the first things to do? to check? to maintain? Any well known problems? I've had a bunch of VW's but never an Air Cooled. I have the Bently and John Muir's book. Three cheers for a new old VW! Laughing Let me know if you you have any suggestions. Thanks
--Chris
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much of a fixer upper is it? Is the body/frame clean? I have a 82 Westy that I have invested much time and $ into, and I did not initially consider it too much of a fixer upper.

For starters I would check all of the fuel lines. Does it currently run? Need a bit more info so we know where we need to start......
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I don't think it is too bad. 140K mi, a couple of little rust spots at the bottom of the sliding door and under one of the windows. The window seals will need to be replaced eventualy. It runs well, needs a battery. Checking the fuel lines is on my list. The PO said he had a brake line burst and he replaced it so I will be checking those. It needs an antena and a sliding door handle and a paint job. When I get it I will go over the whole thing. I am just looking for idiosyncrasies of the AC vanagon. I have had diesels for the past couple of years.
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mattography
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would check your vacuum tubes,


FUEL LINES!!!
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Engine bay seal to make sure you are keeping cool. Check all of your FI plugs in the engine bay along with the grounds. I would also look for any holes in the rubber boots on the CVs. If changing the gear oil check the plug it has a magnet on it and can tell you a lot.

Lastly this is a very helpful site.

www.ratwell.com
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have an 81 aircooled westy

first, fuel lines (spot a trend here?) - I know you already mentioned it, but just as a reminder, do it.

next, make sure the complete engine seal is in place, as well as the muffler shield below the tinware and above the muffler itself.

3rd - get a CHT sensor. Go the Dakota Digital route and put it under the #3 plugwire.

otherwise, just your normal stuff. change the oil, set your timing/dwell/etc.
Id probably change out the plugs, points, condensor, cap, rotor, and clean up all of the grounds for the FI system.

before you start thinking about paint too much, get it really nice and clean, then wax it and buff it to see where you stand. you might get quite a bit of use out of it, just fixing the mechanical stuff as it comes up before you have to take that leap into paint. (not to mention its always such an expensive project, moreso than it usually seems (initially).

good luck. send us some pictures damnit!
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also you will want to check the heating system - exchangers, tubes etc...
Those parts get dysfunctional and the heating system has to be perfect for it to work good
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey thanks for the replies. In order:

I would check your vacuum tubes,
--Did you mean vacuum lines or are you making a joke about the age of the beast? Laughing

FUEL LINES!!!
--I hear ya. There is a strong smell of fresh gas from around the passenger rear wheel well when I start up the motor. I will have to get under there and check it out

Engine bay seal to make sure you are keeping cool.
--Looks good, you mean the hatch seal right?

Check all of your FI plugs in the engine bay along with the grounds.
--How do I check the FI plugs? I assume you mean make sure the contacts are clean and solid for the grounds correct?

I would also look for any holes in the rubber boots on the CVs.
--Will do

If changing the gear oil check the plug it has a magnet on it and can tell you a lot.
--The owners manual says replacing gear oil is not necessary but I will check it out. It is real hard to get into first gear and first and reverse make funny noises when I am getting started. Could this be the clutch? Any ideas?

Make sure the complete engine seal is in place
--Is this the crinkled black rubber seal that joins the tin to the body? It looks good.

The muffler shield below the tinware and above the muffler itself
--Will do

3rd - get a CHT sensor. Go the Dakota Digital route and put it under the #3 plugwire.
--Good idea

Heating system - exchangers, tubes etc
--Well I was starting to gloat about the fairly nice heat I was enjoying until smoke started pouring out of the dash vents. It stopped when I turned the heat lever to COLD. Any ideas?

Here are the pictures:
Needs Antena
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Rust
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Interior
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More rust
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Side and rear window seals
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I've had worse rust but it will take some work, especially the window sill and door sliding jam. I don't really care about paint, and I don't mean high quality. I just want to get it all one color. I have had so many vans that were all speckled with primer, I can't roll quite that ghetto where I live anymore. It runs pretty good. The PO said he did the points, timing, and plug wires and now it runs much better than it ever did but the wires aren't new so I don't know. It smells like it is running a little rich, which is easy to adjust on carbs but I've never messed with FI. Also the exhaust pipe right before the cat is gone, I'm basically running straight pipe.

Thanks again for your input,
--Chris
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vw_nick
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Methanolab wrote:

Engine bay seal to make sure you are keeping cool.
--Looks good, you mean the hatch seal right?


no, he means the one that seals the engine to vehicle, separating the upper half of the engine (up inside the engine hatch area) from the lower half (under the van)
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Basilbomb
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cylinder head temp gauges are a MUST. It is quite possible to blow your motor on a hot day if you don't have one of these. And if you have the $$$ for the digital ones great, but you can get an aircraft quality one for far less

http://store.wagaero.com/index.php?cPath=15_24
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Andrew A. Libby
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a parts van to me. I can't even imagine spending the amount of time and money necessary to abate that rust with it only being a 7-passenger...

You'll end up with the equivalent of a $10,000 investment in an air-cooled 7-passenger van that is worth $3,000...

Andrew
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nay sayer! Thats just a little surface rust except the window sil and door post. $10000! someone is takin' you for a ride holmes if youve ever payed that. Thats a day or two of play.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Methanolab wrote:
Nay sayer! Thats just a little surface rust except the window sil and door post. $10000! someone is takin' you for a ride holmes if youve ever payed that. Thats a day or two of play.


The problem your going to find is that your surface rust is mosly on the other surface or underneath.

This looks just like what happens when rust is "repaired" and it has started to rust again from the inside out.
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Andrew A. Libby
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually hate being a naysayer and so almost deleted my post before submitting it. I am quite familiar with rust and what it takes to repair it. Just trying to shed the light of reason. Good luck with the project.

Andrew
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I appreciate any and all input. Razz Like I said its a fixer-upper. The only way to know for sure is get out the grinder, huh? I'll post pics when I get around to opening her up. I rebuilt the entire side of a '67 chevy van once out of fiberglass and bondo. It had been broad sided AND the entire rear quarter and all the metal up aroud the gas tank fill tube were gone to rust. I ain't skeerd. Its a work/play truck anyway and the price was right.
--Chris
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vw_nick
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you're better off not to take out the grinder... just patch up such that it's safe to drive (and will pass inspection if need be) and enjoy it for a year or two. rattle-can over what is bleeding through and rock on.

I say this because I made the same mistake with my first car, a '74 beetle. I could have enjoyed driving it around all summer and probably the summer after that but instead I decided to "fix" the rust... there wasn't much left of it after I chipped all the rust away and I never did drive it again. When I turned 19 I moved from VT to TN to escape the stuff. (honestly, I'd live back home if it wasn't for that)

If you find really do enjoy the van, save up some dough as you drive it around to purchase another one from below the salt belt (ie, more south than PA, or towards the west) you'll be amazed by difference, plus, it'll cost less to have it hauled home on a commercial vehicle hauler than 1/4 of the bodywork you'll put into yours, even if it doesn't run. (some haulers won't take a vehicle that doesn't run, wile others charge an additional fee to winch it on the truck)
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Andrew A. Libby
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VW_nick, you hit the nail on the head.

Andrew
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More naysaying Laughing
You boys have no sense of adventure to battle the rust monster. If more people would take care of thier stuff the east cost would have more VW's! This is just egging me on more. Now I will actually have to do something on it. I do agree about enjoying rather than laboring over. There is a delicate balance and order to things. First comes safety and inspection, etc. which I am not pressed on. This is for fun. I am glad for the interest I will keep you all abreast.
--Chris
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mattography
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Methanolab wrote:
Hey thanks for the replies. In order:

I would check your vacuum tubes,
--Did you mean vacuum lines or are you making a joke about the age of the beast? Laughing


I was talking vacuum lines. I dont know what I was thinking!! Laughing
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Last edited by mattography on Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vacuum tubes have a warmer, mellow sound, not like the harder edge of solid state. Wink
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mattography
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink
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