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Vanagon Essentials ~ The FAQ Guide
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Vanagon Essentials ~ The FAQ Guide Reply with quote

Last update: March 4, 2015

Vanagon FAQ Index

Clicking the links below in this index post will take you to the desired section, but will open in a new tab/window. You may also simply scroll down to the desired post/section.

This FAQ Guide is sectioned and enumerated to match the Bentley Service Manual for Vanagons.

General Info
  • Type/Model information
  • Buyer's Guide
  • Paint colors/codes
  • VIN, Engine number
  • Transmission number
  • Lifting van with jack/hoist
  • Towing: General towing info; hitches; trailers; roadside assistance
  • Insurance
  • Thefts & theft-proofing
  • Repair shops, parts/product info, technical info & online manuals
  • Engine fires: how to put them out
  • Vehicle Care/Maintenance
  • Name this part!
  • Owners' realm
  • Can the forum be split up/Can a sub-forum be added? No! Ain't gonna happen!

Engine, Cooling, Fuel, Exhaust, Ignition, Electrical
  • General info
  • Cylinder heads & valve drive
  • Lubrication system
  • Cooling system
  • Fuel system
  • Exhaust/emissions system
  • Electrical: battery, starter, alternator/charging, ground locations, solar set-ups
  • Ignition system

Engine Conversions/Swaps/Rebuilds
  • Who Does Conversions & Rebuilds?
  • General info
  • Upgraded WBX
  • Subaru
  • Volkswagen I-4, 1.8T, VR6
  • Zetec/Bostig
  • Tiico
  • Audi
  • Porsche
  • Diesel
  • Air-cooled to water-cooled

Clutch & Transmission
  • Clutch, controls
  • Torque converter
  • Manual transmission
  • Automatic transmission
  • Differential
  • Transmission swaps/alternatives

Suspension, Steering, Brakes, & Tires
  • Front wheel suspension
  • Rear wheel suspension
  • Wheels, tires, alignment
  • Brakes
  • Steering

Body (Interior, Exterior) & HVAC
  • General body information: dimensions, paint, modifications, etc.
  • Hoods/lids (aka rear hatch)
  • Doors
  • Sunroof
  • Tarpaulin
  • Bumpers
  • Glass, window regulators
  • Body accessories (side moldings, mirrors, awnings, etc.)
  • Seat belts
  • Interior trim
  • Seats
  • Seat upholstery, heating element
  • Heater/ventilation
  • Air conditioner
  • Insulation, sound-deadening & smells

  • Roof: pop-top/high-top
  • Interior panels
  • Storage & cabinets
  • Tables
  • Water tank(s)
  • Plumbing
  • Sink
  • Fridge
  • Stove
  • Propane tank
  • Seats & beds

Electrical System
For ignition, charging and related electrical, please refer to the Engine section above.
  • Instruments, radio
  • Windshield wiper & washer
  • Lights
  • Accessories (inverters and such)
  • Wiring, connections, and ground locations

Modified, Restored, Rebuilt Vans
  • Various modified vans
  • Various builds
  • Various restorations
  • Various rustorations

##This thread is locked. If you have topics you wish to be added to the FAQ, PM them to a moderator to have them added.##

Last edited by kamzcab86 on Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:26 pm; edited 58 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Type/Model information
Which model do I have/am I looking at?
Bus Buyer's Guide/PPI Lists
Paint colors & codes: the complete list
M code List
Full-camper vs. Weekender/MV debate - v.1
Full-camper vs. Weekender/MV debate - v.2
Full-camper vs. Weekender/MV debate - v.3
Riviera vs. Westy debate
High-top vs. Pop-top debate
USA vs. Canadian Westy: What are the differences?
Bay Window vs. Vanagon (reliability) - v.1
Bay Window vs. Vanagon - v.2
Bay Window vs. Vanagon - v.3
Bay Window vs. Vanagon (camper) - v.4
Bay Window vs. Vanagon (family camper) - v.5
Bay Window vs. Vanagon (camper) - v.6
Bay Window vs. Vanagon (camper) - v.7
Syncro virgin guidance
Official Syncro 16 Thread
Gas mileage comparisons

VIN, Engine number
1981+ VIN decoder
1980 VIN decoder
VIN topics
Where to find the engine serial number

a) The four Z's stamped into your vehicle's chassis are simply filler digits during initial assembly ~ all VWs are built this way. During final assembly, the vehicle receives its official VIN that you see on the dash: For USA/Canada, the Z's are replaced by the required digit information; for all other countries, the Z's remain (countries outside North America do not require the info provided by digits 4, 5, 6 & 9). If the rest of the VIN matches up to the dash and/or door jamb VIN, everything is fine.

b) Chassis number: Chassis number is specifically the year digit + sequential production number digits in the VIN. Many times parts are dependent upon your car's chassis number, which is VIN-dependent, often called a VIN-split. An example of this:
To 25-E-11290
From 25-E-11291

The "25" is not always used. The "To E-11290" would indicate the part is for all Vanagons up to 1984 (E) with VIN sequential production number of 11290.

c) All 1981+ Vanagon VINs are 17-digits and begin with "WV".

Transmission number

Lifting van with jack/hoist
Hi-lift jack
Floor jack & jackstand support points

Towing topics
What do you tow with your van?
Towing an auto trans van
Anyone tow their van?

Problems with AAA towing coverage
AAA vs. Good Sam

Custom trailer build

Trailer hitch topics
Burley Motorsports hitch install
GoWesty hitch with motorcycles?

Insurance & Accidents
Insurance ~ General Info
Which insurance?
Insuring a Westy as a Motorhome
Stated Value vs. Agreed Value ~ external link
Insurance policies for your Vanagon
How do I prove my Westy's value to the insurance company?

Insurance ~ Post-accident
Insurance wants to total my Westy
Westy insurance madness - how to deal with your insurance co. post-accident

Death of the Westy
RIP Westy Syncro
Real life crash test
Wrecked '86 Syncro Westy ~ getting fixed

Thefts & Theft-proofing
How To Post Your Stolen Van
The Samba Stolen Van Tally

Vanagon Theft Statistics

Theft-proofing Your Van ~ v.1 - locked
Theft-proofing Your Van ~ v.2

Adding a kill-switch ~ v.1
Adding a kill-switch ~ v.2
Adding a kill-switch ~ v.3

GPS locators/tracking devices

Repair Shops, Parts/Products Information, Technical Info & Online Manuals
Repair shops:
Roadhaus: List of repair shops
Vanagon Rescue Squad ~ there's now an app for that!
Aircooled Interstate Rescue Squad

Parts & product information:
List of alternate & NLA replacement parts
Product reviews
Karma - Part it forward - FREE parts (sticky)

Technical Info & Online manuals:
Vanagon Maintenance -- The Master To-Do List
Vanagon Technical Information Index
Vanagon Technical Service Bulletins

D-Jetronic fundamentals
D-Jetronic manual
L-Jetronic manual
Service Training Manual: 1986 Vanagon
ProTraining Manual: Digijet
ProTraining Manual: Digifant I
ProTraining Manual: Digifant
Service Training Manual: Solving Drivability Problems

Engine Fires: How to Put Them Out
Fire... then what?!
Putting out an engine fire
Onboard automatic fire suppression systems
Blazecut Fire Suppression System
Westy fire extinguisher: what fits in stock bracket?

Vehicle Care/Maintenance
Who uses what to clean where?

Owners' Realm
What did you do to your van today? (sticky) ~ what WORK you did TO your van today
Things your van did recently (sticky) ~ what work or play your VAN did today (any "to" posts made in this thread will be deleted)
Meet the faces behind the screen names
Stories of getting your new van

Last edited by kamzcab86 on Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:16 pm; edited 42 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

►Engine, Cooling, Fuel, Exhaust, Ignition, & Electrical

(For conversion/swap info, see next section/post.)

General info
Cleaning the engine - v.1
Cleaning the engine - v.2
Stigma attached to WBX?
Rod bolt failure!
Breather hose collapse
Cleaning the ISV
Fresh pistons and engine break in
Crankshaft end play
What is this mystery plug in the engine bay?!
2.1L DJ engine specs/info

Building the WBX engine:
Building a 2.2
2.1 or 2.2 in a 1.9 case
Pics of a WBX build
2.1 rebuild
Performance WBX motors
Supercharging a WBX

Cylinder heads & valve drive (15)
Head gasket replacement

GoWesty heads

Ratio rockers for the WBX – v.1
Ratio rockers for the WBX – v.2

Collapsible Pushrod Tubes for the WBX – v.1
Collapsible Pushrod Tubes for the WBX – v.2

Hydraulic lifters:
Official WBX lifter/tappet clatter thread
Noisy valves/lifters – v.1 (locked; use official thread)
Noisy valves/lifters – v.2 (locked; use official thread)
Noisy valves/lifters – v.3 (locked; use official thread)
Adjusting hydraulic lifters
Bleeding lifters!

Lubrication system (17)
OEM oil cooler seal replacement
External oil cooler – WBX
External oil cooler – air-cooled engines
Vanagon External Oil Cooler Install - Rear Fender

Oil pump:
Oil pump install
Oil pumps

Engine oil:
Official Vanagon Oil & Filter Thread
Official air-cooled Vanagon oil discussion thread
Official Vanagon oil weight/grade discussion
Synthetic oil discussion
ZDDP levels discussion
All other oil threads will be locked!

Oil Pressure:
Pressure sender photo (at end of thread)
Idiot light woes – v.1
Idiot light woes – v.2
Low oil pressure links
Oil pressure-related rod bearing failures
2.1-specific oil pressure questions
Dynamic oil pressure testing
Another pressure thread

Stripped oil drain plug head

Cooling system (19)
Radiator fan won't shut off
Radiator fan won't turn on
Radiator fan fuse getting hot

General info:
Adding toggle switch to control radiator fan
Can you hear your low-speed fan?

Filling the cooling system:
Coolant/anti-freeze recommendations
Coolant/anti-freeze colors
No mess system bleeding
The Libby Bong
Cooling system flush and bong fill

Coolant pipes:
Stainless coolant pipes – pt. 1
Stainless coolant pipes – pt. 2
Stainless coolant pipes – pt. 3
Stainless coolant pipes - pt. 4 ("don't use 'em")
Stainless coolant pipes - pt. 5

Thermostat housing info
Alternate cooling hoses
Blue silicone replacement hose
VW to NAPA hose conversion chart
Cadillac radiator hose for '84 Vanagon
NAPA hoses for early Vanagons
NAPA hose replacement for 1.9L
Hose clamps
Subaru cooling system with Burley pipe

Subaru stop leak
Subaru coolant conditioner warning

Fuel system (20, 23, 24)
20) Fuel Supply:
Replacing fuel lines - VERY IMPORTANT - A "MUST" READ!
E10 (Ethanol) Gasoline and the WBX - v.1
E10 (Ethanol) Gasoline and the WBX - v.2 (locked; use topic above)
Which brand of fuel do you use? - v.1 (locked; use topic below)
Which brand of fuel do you use? - v.2
Which octane to use?
87 vs. 93 octane

Gas mileage comparisons
Pressure testing
Fuel line clamps
Nice pictures of hoses and clamps
Fuel rail fix
Alternate fuel pump
Alternate Ford / Napa fuel pump and others
Fuel pump kill switch
ECU chip tuning - Look for links
Vent tube repair
Syncro fuel tank removal & reseal

Fuel tank/fueling issues:
Repairing a sticky/stuck gas cap lock cylinder
Vanagon doesn't trip the fuel pump auto-shutoff in time
Overfilling at fill-ups
Gas filler neck burps during refill
Leaking fuel during & after fill-up
Finding a puddle of gas under your van
Fuel tank leaks
Gas smell after fill-up
Gas smell after fill-up v.2
How does the 2WD filler neck attach to tank?
Replacememt gas tank review
Gas tank vents

Fuel tank re-seal

24) Fuel Injection:
MAF and FI part interchange
Replacing injector connector
Aftermarket injectors for 1.9 and 2.1
Wiring and connectors
TPS adjustment
Air-flow meter (AFM) adjustment procedure ~ Digifant
Troubleshooting rich/lean conditions ~ Digijet/Digifant
Troubleshooting stuck open ICV/ISV (high idle)
Idle Control Module issues (high idle) & cheap fix

Throttle Body (TB) fixes:
JB Weld fix for worn out TB
JB Weld fix – pt. 2
Throttle switch

Exhaust/emissions system (26)
Failed emissions

General info:
Cleaning exhaust piping - v.1
Cleaning exhaust piping - v.2
Tuned exhaust for the WBX
Fitting an aftermarket stock exhaust
Generic Bosch O2 sensor
3-wire heated O2 sensor for vans up to 1985
Testing the O2 sensor circuit ~ Digifant
Testing the O2 sensor circuit ~ Digijet

Electrical: battery, starter, alternator, ground locations (27)
Your van takes a Group 41 battery right behind & under the passenger seat.
You can place an auxiliary battery, if not already equipped, behind/beneath the driver seat; see below.

Ground locations:
2.1L vans

High torque starter overhaul
Bosch vs. high torque starter

Inexpensive alternator regulator/brush set
High output alternator for a Subaru conversion
Adjustable regulator
Subaru conversion alternator light

Alternator bracket: stripped mounting holes
Alternator bracket: broken mounting studs -v.1
Alternator bracket: broken mounting studs - v.2
Alternator bracket: broken mounting studs - v.3
Alternator bracket: broken mounting arm
Alternator bracket: modifications for reinforcement

Auxiliary battery:
Aux battery install
Another aux battery w/ pix
Biggest aux battery in stock location
Aux battery setup
Weekender aux battery relay wiring
Aux battery, microwave, inverter, & lighting install

Solar panels:
Solar panels to fit Westy luggage rack
Costco solar panel
Solar panel advice
Going Solar ~ incorrect topic number; bad link
More solar panel discussion topics

Power distribution:
Moving accessory power from main battery to aux battery ('86-'91 Vanagons)
Good Yandina wiring diagram
12 volt accessory outlets - Where are yours?
House Battery, Yandina, Xantrex & Atwood Install

USB port power:
Topic #1
Topic #2

Ignition system
No start, no headlights, no blower fan, & no wipers: Ignition switch and/or X-relay
No start, but power to accessories & fuel pump: Ignition switch, bad ground connections, faulty starter and/or connections, and/or park-neutral switch (A/T only)
Starter engages, but after a slight delay: Most likely faulty ignition switch
Cranks, but no start: no spark v.1
Cranks, but no start: no spark v.2
Cranks, but no start: no spark v.3
Cranks, but no start: spark
Cranks, but no start: Air-cooled
No crank, no start
Slow crank & no hot start
Intermittent no start
Starts then dies
Hot start: what is it?
Hot Start problem: 1985 1.9 Vanagon
91 Westy: intermittent high idle/hot start problems....
Hard start in hot weather
"Hot start" problem with a twist

General info:
Replacing & testing ignition switch ~ DIY Guide (PDF)
Installing push-button ignition switch
Distributor (dizzy) rebuild
Hall Sender/generator R&R ~ Digifant

Last edited by kamzcab86 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:04 pm; edited 56 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

►Engine Conversions/Swaps/Rebuilds

Who Does Conversions or Rebuilds? ~ in-house and DIY installs
Upgraded/Rebuilt WBX
Bus Depot/AVP Worldwide ~ PA
GoWesty ~ CA (DIY)
Rocky Jennings ~ WA
Vanistan ~ NM (DIY)
Other WBX builders

WBX rebuilders to avoid:
GEX rebuilds
Waterboxer, Inc. (aka JLP Engines/Jake Lake/Ken Morgan)
URLs related to the above:
2014 lawsuit information against Waterboxer, Inc.

Air-cooled rebuilders:
Headflow Masters ~ CA
Jake Raby ~ GA
Bus Depot/AVP Worldwide

Ben's Place ~ Quebec, Canada
The Buslab ~ Berkely, CA
Europro ~ Costa Mesa, CA
Rocky Mountain Westy ~ Ft. Collins, CO
Small Car Performance ~ Seattle, WA
Subagon ~ Redding, CA
Transporter Werks ~ Raleigh, NC
Vanaru ~ NY
VanGo Conversions ~ Seattle, WA
Wild Westy ~ Boulder, CO

Ford Zetec
Bostig ~ MA & OH (DIY)


Van-Again ~ NJ (DIY)

Volkswagen 1.8T
H2OVanagon/Stephan's Auto Haus ~ Sacramento, CA

General Conversion Info
Never ending engine conversion debate: Preferred Engine Conversion
What’s your ideal engine replacement?
Bostig, Vanaru, GEX: Which is right for us?
Subaru vs. Bostig/Zetec vs. WBX
Subaru vs. Zetec – pt. 1
Subaru vs. Zetec – pt. 2
Tiico vs. Bostig/Zetec
Tiico vs. Subaru
Tiico vs. GoWesty engines
Repair WBX or replace?
DIY or pay someone?
Engine conversion vs. resale value – pt. 1
Engine conversion vs. resale value – pt. 2

Upgraded WBX
Tencent/Vanistan Engine Review - 2008
Tencent/Vanistan Engine Review - 2010
Tencent/Vanistan Engine Review - 2011
Tencent/Vanistan Engine Install Thread - 2011
Tencent/Vanistan Engine Review - 2014
Tencent/Vanistan Service Review - 2009
Tencent/Vanistan vs. Zetec Power - 2009
Where Tencent/Vanistan engines reside

Official GoWesty 2.2/2.3/2.4/2.5 engine thread

General info:
Subaru conversion help ~ requires Yahoo account
Subaru conversion fault codes
Which Subaru engines are available for conversions?
Will a Subaru overpower my auto trans Vanagon?
Automatic rebuild options for Subaru conversion
Anything need to be done to an A/T with Subaru conversion?
Subaru "Frankenmotor" for the Vanagon - really good!
Another Frankenmotor build plus install into an AC van!
Subaru conversion temperature gauge reading
Subaru 2.2 header
Subaru fantasy header
Great Subaru header debate
Electronic dash mounted VSS
What oil are you using in your Subaru conversion?
Tom Shiels' thermostat housing for EJ22 or EJ25

Subaru 4 cylinder:
EJ22 Subaru swap into 1984 Vanagon
EJ22 in 1985 Westy
EJ25 Subaru swap
EJ25 Subaru swap – pt. 2
Subaru STI install
RMW Subaru kit build

Subaru 6 cylinder:
Another SVX install
SVX into 1987 Vanagon
Another Subaru swap
Subaru EG33 conversion adventure
Subaru H-6 conversion
Subaru H6 install (EZ30)

Volkswagen Inline-4 (I-4/I4) ~ see Tiico inline-4 below
I-4 debate
I-4 conversion info
50-degree I-4 install hydraulic engine mounts
1986 Inline Gas Vanagon Conversion

Volkswagen 1.8T
1.8T conversion details/discussion
Stephan's Auto Haus conversion kit
50-degree 1.8T install
Another 1.8T hits the road

Volkswagen VR6
Vanagon VR6 questions
VR6 in an A/T Vanagon?
VR6 engine: Can we make this fit?
VR6 swap?
Will EuroVan trans work in Vanagon with VR6?
Vanagon VR6 conversion
Vanagon Carat VR6 Project – The Build

(Ford Zetec is the engine, Bostig is the company doing/offering Zetec conversions.)
Bostig web site
Which conversion kit to buy?
Where to get a Zetec?
Final cost for Bostig?
Anyone done the Bostig conversion?
Why Bostig?
A Bostig conversion
A Zetec conversion
Still lost about Zetec
Bostig upgrades & add-ons
Bostig turbo
Bositg surpercharged
Bostig Zetec review after 2000 miles
Zetec with auto trans?
Zetec auto trans hose routing
Zetec power figures

Tiico Inline-4 (I-4/I4) ~ see VW inline-4 above
Tiico better than Bostig/Zetec or Subaru?
To Tiico or not to Tiico?
Tiico questions – where to get answers
Tiico with auto trans?
Tiico diesel
Tiico 2.0L: What do you think?
Thinking of buying a Tiico-converted van: Should I be scared?
Tiico engine fire
Tiico ticking
Tiico running crappy
Info on Tiico ECU's from FAS

Audi V8
Pros and cons of Audi V6
Audi V12 TDI
Audi 5 cyl. AAN and 3B engines
Audi 2.5L by Eurospec/Overland (w/ more AAN & 3B info)
Audi 5000 mounts & bracket strength

Porche engine in Vanagon?
Done before: Porsche 924 or 944 engine in Vanagon?
Porsche 924 2.4L engine?
Will a 944 work in a Vanagon?
Porsche 911 3.0L

5-cylinder TDI install
5-cylinder diesel characteristics
TDI conversion information
AAZ into 1988 Vanagon
AAZ turbodiesel into 1986 Vanagon Syncro
Subaru diesel

Air-cooled to Water-cooled, or vice-versa
Air to water: Anyone done it?
Air to water: Should I? – pt. 1
Air to water: Should I? – pt. 2
Water to air: Anyone done it?

Last edited by kamzcab86 on Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:36 pm; edited 23 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

►Clutch & Transmission

Gear oil recommendations - auto and manual (locked)
Redline gear oil getting a bad rap? -- ongoing general gear oil topic, with Redline being the focus
Did GL-5 destroy my 3/4 slider?
Trans temperature readings

Clutch, controls (30)
Clutch job questions and hints
Clutch pedal replacement in 1/2 hour

Torque converter (32)

Manual transmission (34, 35)
General Info:
Transmissions for Dummies
Redline gear oil debate
Syncro: Changing front & rear diff oil
Limited slip 1
Limited slip 2
2WD Limited Slip Experience
Transmission rebuild
Manual trans cooler

Shifter linkage:
Shift linkage
Shifter alignment
Odd shift pattern fix
More shifter adjustment
Finding lost gears
Shift rod ear fix
Shifter damage
Shifter repair
Shift rod repair 1
Shift rod repair 2
Shifter rebuild

Automatic transmission (37, 38 )
ATF smells like gear oil
Leaking after rebuild
Campground rebuild
Intermittent shifting troubleshooting & rebuild

General Info:
Is an A/T good for a Westy?
Should I be afraid of an A/T?
A/T cooler: Aftermarket installation guide
A/T cooler: options
A/T cooler: GoWesty vs. VanCafe vs. stock
A/T cooler: ATF flow direction
Freshening up an A/T: To-do list and what to buy
Good hints and parts source URL
Automatic shift switch install/adjust

3.3:1 Ring and Pinion for A/T
3.25:1 R&P for A/T

Swapping from A/T to M/T
Should I swap from A/T to M/T?

Differential (39)

►Transmission Swaps/Alternatives
UN1: What is it?
UN1 + Subaru install

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

►Suspension, Brakes, and Steering

Suspension ~ General info
2WD springs
GoWesty Zero-lift Springs
GoWesty 2WD Lift Springs
GoWesty Syncro Lift Springs
GoWesty 2" Lift Springs ~ Syncro review
Lifting a 2WD
Syncro: To Lift or Not To Lift
GoWesty vs. Van-Cafe springs
Shocks for GoWesty lift springs
Aftermarket springs
OEM vs. aftermarket shocks
Shock brand discussion
Koni shocks discussion
Koni shock install
Monroe shocks discussion

Front wheel suspension (40)
More travel out of front shocks
Complete front-end rebuild
Bushing kit: Buy complete & from where?
Control arm bushings: squeaks to complete failure
Powerflex bushings
Best ball joints
$45 Syncro U-joint replacement
Whiteline anti-sway bars
Addco Sway Bars
Addco sway bar install hints

Rear wheel suspension (42)
930 CV axle length
Saggy rear end
7 steps to a happier back end: fixing the Vanagon sag or Westy lean
Best shocks
Best CV boots
Broken CV bolts
Rear wheel bearing replacement
More rear bearing madness

Wheels, tires, alignment (44)
General info - tires:
Guide: Five Tire Rotation, Syncro & 2WD
Load ratings
Tire safety: load ratings, PSI, etc. - v.1
Tire safety: load ratings, PSI, etc. - v.2
HydroEdge vs. Vanco; load ratings
Tire differences
XL tire does NOT equate to RF
The need for spacers / proper ET
Heavy 2WD Westy chopping up tires
DIY wheel alignment

General info - wheels:
What fits? Ultimate thread!
What fits? Ultimate thread! – pt. 2
Safe ET (offset)
Torque specs: aftermarket and stock
Stock alloy center cap paint

Tires & wheels – 14”:
14" tire options - 2012
14" tire options for a Westy - 2010
14" tire options - 2010
14" tire options - 2010 (w/ General Altimax warning)
14" tire options - 2009

Tires & wheels – 15":
Installing Audi brakes & wheels on a Syncro
15" tire options
Modifying spare tire carrier for 215/75R15 BFG
15" wheel conversion
BRM discussion

Tires & wheels – 16":
HydoEdge vs. Yokohama & BFG....
Geolander 215/65/16
Tires for 16x7 wheels
16" in spare tire mount (dead photos)
16" tire options
Back to 16's

Tires and wheels – 17" and larger:
18" wheels

Spare Tire:
Modified spare tire clam shell to fit 215-65-16 tires
Rear swing-away tire carriers - post new questions/comments to this thread
Spare tire racks

Brakes (46, 47)
46) Mechanical components:
GoWesty big brake kit (new in-house version)
Custom disc brakes – Great thread!
DIY big brake kits
Using Ford brakes
Using Ford brakes – pt. 2
Installing Audi brakes & wheels on a Syncro
More Syncro brake upgrading
Installing Porsche brakes
Porsche brakes – pt. 2
2WD brake conversion
Jaguar big brakes
Another BIG brake thread

47) Hydraulic components:
Bigger brake booster
Caliper rebuild
Replacing flex lines/hoses - v.1
Replacing flex lines/hoses - v.2
Replacing hard lines
Power bleeding; cracks in reservoir

Rear brakes:
Rear disc conversion for 14" wheels
Rear disc conversion for 15" wheels
Another rear disc setup
Rear disc conversion with EuroVan rotors

Steering (48 )
How-to Guide: Power rack rebuild with photos
Power rack rebuild photos
Powerflex steering rack bushings
Fabricating and replacing power steering hoses (a few dead pictures)

Steering wheel:
Steering wheel exchange
Steering wheel exchange – pt. 2

Steering wheel / Ignition lock:
Ignition lock cylinder removal

Steering column "sheer bolts" - don't really sheer:
Look at this crash!

Last edited by kamzcab86 on Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:24 pm; edited 36 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

►Body (Interior, Exterior) & HVAC

(For camper-specific equipment, see next section/post.)

General information: dimensions, weights, paint, modifications, etc. (50)
Van Length: 181"
Van Width: 74"
Van Height: height will vary between vans due to suspension, load, tires, etc.; generally speaking: 77" (2WD tin-top); 81" (2WD w/ pop-top); add 2" to those if 4WD
Sinka & Doka dimensions (metric)
Lower grille opening: 27½" X 6-3/8"
Volume: 17.78 cubic meters (627.84 cubic feet) - 2WD w/ pop-top
Pop-top: Yes, all are the same and are interchangeable
Westy beds: 45” X 74” (downstairs); 47” X 72” (upstairs)
Westy tables: 16Ό" X 24Ό" (front); 16Ό" X 31-7/8" (rear)

Sinka/Doka rear window dimensions

Engine dimensions

Shell: 1375 lbs. (624 kg)
GVWR & curb weights ~ external link
Curb weights - v.1
Curb weights - v.2
2.0L engine: 300 lbs. (136 kg) - complete engine
1.9L engine: 287 lbs. (130Kg) - complete engine
2.1L engine: 350 lbs. (159kg) - complete engine
Manual trans: 91 lbs. (with oil)
Westy fridge: 30 lbs. (w/o door)
Westy upper bed weight limit

Body cavity protection using factory/aftermarket preservative (cosmoline, etc.) ~ official VW literature
Corter van restoration - body and component protection/preservation
To bra or not to bra? - v.1
To bra or not to bra? - v.2
Which bra?

Painting & Restoration:
Door handles, etc...
Emblem Repair
Best products for plastic restoration

Rust worms:
Where you might find rust
Dealing with rust
Replacing side panel sheet metal
A rustoration

Adding grab handle to driver's side A-pillar - installation details
Adding grab handle to driver's side A-pillar and above front doors
Modifying the firewall for extra storage - 2WD

Hoods/lids ~ rear hatch (55)

Doors (57, 58 )
57) Front doors:
Keyless door lock installation
Power window motor rebuild
Door handle disassembly
Interior rear hatch release/latch

Power door lock repair:
Power door lock fix ideas
More power door lock fix ideas with pix
Another Fix 1
Another Fix 2
Another Fix 3
Another Fix 4

58 ) Rear (sliding) door:
Sliding door maintenance
Sliding door horizontal roller bearings
$3 sliding door vertical roller bearing fix
Early sliding door handle fix
Extending slider door hinge
UHMW Tape: Quieting the slider door + others
Sliding door hinge repair rebuild
$11 Sliding door screen (with photos)
Adding grab handle to inside of sliding door
Sliding door handle re-keying how-to

Sunroof (60)

Tarpaulin (61)
Doka/Sika tarpaulin/canopy suppliers

Bumpers (63)
Bumper end cap repair

Glass, window regulators (64)
Window insulating blankets/curtains

Windshield, front door windows:
Windshield sealant
Removing windshield and repairing rust
Removing/installing front door glass
Replacing manual window regulator

Side and rear windows:
Slider window rattle fix with pics
Adding opening rear side windows
Later rear window vents
Replacing rear window vent material
Installing jalousie windows into a Vanagon

Power windows and other gremlins:
Power window stuck down
Adding power windows & locks
Rebuilding power window regulators
Replacing power regulators with manual regulators
Replacing power regulators with manual – pt. 2
Budget window switches
Rewinding questions with pictures
Promex Italian aftermarket electric winders

Exterior ~ accessories, side moldings, mirrors, awnings, grilles, etc. (66)
Curing floppy mirror syndrome ~ manual mirrors
Curing floppy mirror syndrome ~ power mirrors
How to install LT mirrors
Subaru mirrors on a Vanagon

Alternative grille emblems

Adding a shower – pt. 1
Adding a shower – pt. 2

Official Awning Options Thread
Dave Vickery-inspired DIY awning
$24 DIY awning
How many still have the A&E Trans-Awn 2000?
A&E Trans-Awn 2000 owner's manual
A&E Catalina 2500 owner's manual
A&E Catalina 2500 parts list

Side tents

Seat belts (68 )
Installing 3-point rear seat belts
Adding 3rd rear lap seat belt & GoWesty shoulder belts to a Westy
Seat belt anchoring

Interior: trim, accessories, etc. (70)
Dash removal
What else to do while replacing a front heater core - Dash is out in this case!

Installing a Weekender interior with Z-bed and table
Show me your interiors!

Wood flooring
Carpet & flooring options
Replacing the carpet: Should I stick with OEM?
Westy carpet replacement options
DIY cheap OEM floormats
GoWesty rubber floormats
Rubber floormat for a passenger van
VW carpet floormats

Deluxe Dash Console/Gauges/Heater Core Project
Deluxe dash console
Center console concept...and cup holder ideas
GoWesty center console
Center console ideas
Rhino Consoles-brand center consoles

Seats (72)
Rear seat won't unlatch

General info:
How to remove front seats
Installing lumbar support
Installing bolt-on swivel seat base
Installing Carat-style jump seat
Installing Porsche seats
Installing Recaros
Installing Eurovan seats into Vanagon w/ pix
Installing Eurovan seats w/ pix – pt. 2
Seat rebuilding, cleaning and heaters
Passenger Seat Reclining Mod
Arm rests – disassembly and reassembly
Installing headrests into rear bench seat

Seat upholstery, heating element (74)
Installing heated seat inserts

Heater/ventilation (80)
Curing Hot Foot Syndrome
"Quick" vent flap repair
Cable mod
Replacing front heater core – with movies!
$50 "perfect" heater core search
$50 heater core – pt. 2
Front heater assembly
Rebuilding the front heater box with pictures
Heater core replacement
Heater removal issues
DIY cold weather front heater solution

Front heater fan:
Front blower motor rebuild with pics
Replacing front blower motor
Lubricating heater fan – Mullendore Port fix ~ original topic (locked)
Lubricating heater fan – Mullendore Port fix ~ continued discussion
Heater fan

Rear heater:
Pictures of EVIL rear heater repair
More EVIL rear heater
Verbose rear heater repair
Rear heater core option
Removing rear heater: plugging the hoses/removing the T-fittings
Removing rear heater: plug or connect the hoses?

Alternate heaters:
Propex heater install locations: Pros and Cons
Installing Propex - dead photos
Installing Propex in rear cabinet
Installing Propex under rear seat - dead photos
Installing Propex under/in place of fridge - v.1
Installing Propex under fridge - v.2
Propex issues
Installing Atwood furnace

Additional aux heater info in the camping FAQ

Air conditioner (87)
Converting your A/C system to Redtek - Great thread!
A/C system upgrades: hoses, condenser, etc.
Compressors: Sanden 508 vs. Sanden 709 vs. aftermarket
Universal front A/C units
Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum
A/C condenser replacement

Insulation, sound-deadening, & smells
Sound deadening – pt. 1
Sound deadening – pt. 2
Sound deadening – pt. 3
Sound deadening – pt. 4
Sound measurements
Sound-deadening comparison video
UHMW tape to quiet slider door and other noise spots

Insulation & flooring pics
Transmission tunnel insulation – dead photos
Re-insulating engine lid
Re-insulating engine lid – pt. 2

Getting rid of "smelly van"

Last edited by kamzcab86 on Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:21 am; edited 32 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

►Camper: interior panels, roof, storage, cabinets, water tank(s), sink, tables, refrigerator, propane tank, seats, beds

Roof (Pop-top/High-top) (75)
General info:
Repairing the tent canvas & screen
Pop-top push bar/lifting mechanism fix
Pop-top extension ~ fusing the luggage rack to the pop-top
The new high-top
The official high-roof thread: care, maintenance, travel & packing tips, photos
DIY Pop-top insulation
Pop-top safety ideas
Pop-top popped open while driving

Pop-top cleaning & restoration:
Exterior pop-top cleaning
Renewing the pop-top using Penetrol
Complete pop-top restoration
What do I use to paint the pop-top?
Removing mildew/mold from pop-top
Removing mildew/mold from pop-top – pt. 2
Removing mildew/mold/dirt from pop-top – pt. 3

Pop-top tent replacement:
Definitive Guide to Replacement Tent Options
Tent replacement: Tips and tools
Replacing the tent - v.1 (photos & video)
Replacing the tent - v.2

Roof-top storage:
Luggage rack covers
Roof Racks
Roof Top Storage
More roof racks
Luggage rack cargo net
Storage Containers for the Roof Rack
Homemade false gutter : a bit more versatile

Skylight / roof vent:
Skylight install / repair
Skylight swing arm repair
New Flexarms for the skylight
Easy Sun Screen for the Pop Top Sky light

Interior Panels (75)
Installing Weekender/Multivan interior panels into regular passenger van

Storage & Cabinets (76)
Hidden Westy storage space
How to pack to reduce clutter
Stainless luggage tie-downs
Cheap Child's Cot Alternative
Storage container for luggage rack
Modifying firewall for storage
More Westy mods...
Additional storage info in the camping FAQ

Restore the kitchen trim
Laminate and T-molding (Gray laminate color: Pionite F39 SG204 N Mercury; or, Formica 927 58 Folkstone)
Gray cabinet colors (paint, laminate, trim, etc.)
Adding fridge door to rear closet
Weekender kitchen
Weekender rear cabinet dimensions

Tables (76)
Making a support sleeve for the rear table
Outdoor table mount
Modifying rear table for closet access

Water Tanks (76)
Water tank filler key
Water tank filler key – pt. 2
Contaminated water tank
Cheap DIY gray water tank
Additional gray water tank info in the camping FAQ

Westy Plumbing (76)
Fresh water supply and vent hose size: 3/8" ID
Fresh water hose replacement tips
Fresh water hose cleaning tips
Fresh water tank and hose sanitization tips

Westy Sink (76)
Replacement parts
Adding a valve to drain line
Rerouting sink drain
Sink faucet/pump replacement
ShurFlo faucet vs. OEM

Refrigerator / Reefer Madness (76)
Fridge is running, but I'm not using it: It's just the fan running, which is normal, especially if the van sits outside and in the sun. Simply pull the white fuse behind the driver's seat to shut it off (or install a toggle switch).
General discussion
General info for Dometic 182B auto ignition ('90-'91) - v.1
General info for Dometic 182B auto ignition ('90-'91) - v.2
Dometic maintenance & repair guide
Dometic 182B PDF Service Manual
Dometic 182B w/ auto igniter PDF Service Manual (1990-1991)
R&R with pix and fan install ~ photos are now gone (if anyone saved them, let us know!)
Repair shop tip
More tips and links
Lighting fix
Driving with fridge running on propane?
Ignitor mod
Door mod
Door mod & cooling fans
Replacement projects
Coleman & Sunfrost refrigerators
TruckFridge installation

Stove (76)
How to remove stove front
DIY Guide: Rebuilding your stove valves
Doubling the flame size - note: make sure your stove's gas lines, jets and nozzles are working properly and are clean, and that your propane tank is full before doing this mod (i.e. read entire thread first!)

Propane Tank (76)
Is the propane tank a hazard?
Any reason to not leave tank valve open?
Leaks / Regulator info
Leaks – pt. 2
Problem(s) filling propane tank

Tank restoration and valve purchase info
Valves revisited
Adapting to run on propane bottles
Adapting to run on BBQ tank w/ photos
Adapting to run on one pound bottle
Installing an Extend-A-Stay fitting
Bigger propane tank
Bigger propane tank and propane distribution - pt. 2
Propane tank restore (Eletrolytic Rust Removal)

Seats and beds (77)
Rear seat won't unlatch

General info:
Upper bed extensions

Last edited by kamzcab86 on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:51 am; edited 19 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

►Electrical System

Aux batteries, solar systems, ignition, etc.: also see "Electrical: battery, starter, alternator (27)" in Engine section above.

Instruments, radio (90)

Warning lights:
OXS light reset

Odometer fix ideas
Installing late Vanagon cluster into early Vanagons without tachs
Speedo plastic repair
Instrument cluster LED lighting

Aux Instruments / Extra Gauges / Tach:
The Gauge Thread
Gauge faces & tach install
Oil pressure and pressure sender install
Voltminder - a volt gauge with alarm
Installing speedo/tach from A2 chassis VWs (Fox/Golf)

Coolant Temperature Gauge:
Testing the warning light & level sensor
DIY gauge testing at home
Coolant pressure gauge ideas
Repair - verbose
Coolant sensor and possible blinky light fix

Radios/stereos/head units/receivers:
Van stereo 101
Audio installation
Official Stereo/Radio Recommendations Thread
Current radio choices - locked; please use official thread above
Receiver recommendations - locked; please use official thread above
Weather band radio with AM/FM, CD, MP3, aux, etc. that fits
Key-in power modification
Refurbishing OEM radio?

Sound insulation & audio install
Speaker recommendations
6-inch door speakers
6½-inch speakers using factory grilles

Cigar / Cigarette lighter socket:
Replacing the lighter
Green lighter bezel
Replacing cigarette lighter receptacle

Windshield wiper & washer (92)
2-way nozzles
3-way nozzles
Variable intermittent wipers

Front & side lights:
Adding headlight relays - v.1
Adding headlight relays - v.2
Installing H4 headlight bulbs for cheap – late Vanagon
Everything you need to know about headlight bulbs - thx Dogpilot
Daytime Running Lights: Installing, and modifying for high-watt bulbs
Daytime Running Lights: Factory system diagrams, installation, disabling
Party lights
Installing LEDs (includes a link to PDF bulb conversion table)
Cleaning headlamps

Headlight adjuster fixes (square lights):
Idea 1
Idea 2
Idea 3

South African grille (SA grille) & dual-round headlamps Green Vanagon :
South African grille discussion
South African grille & light installation
Where to get SA grille lamps
DIY SA-like dual-round headlamp grille

Rear lights:
Adding bulbs to the tail lights
Adding bulbs to the tail lights – pt. 2
Adding more rear light to a Westy
More rear fog lamps

Third brake light ~ options
Third brake light ~ options & how to run wires
Third brake light ~ GoWesty
Third brake light ~ with turn signals

Interior Lighting:
Interior lighting project
Indiglo cluster lighting
Cruise control indicator light
Cold cathode tube swap
Installing LED bulbs (includes a link to PDF bulb conversion table)
Installing flexible LED lighting
Simple brake warning lamp reposition mod
Emergency brake light switch

Installing an inverter
What size inverter?
Wiring up a Westy

Microwave ovens:
Van-sized microwaves

2.1L ground locations
Corrosion removal techniques
Horn upgrade via relay wiring

Last edited by kamzcab86 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:23 am; edited 12 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

►Modified, Restored, Rebuilt Vans

Modifications & Customizations
Converting a GL to a Carat
Converting a 2WD into a Syncro
Converting a Westy to a high-top
Fiberine high-top conversion
Converting a tin-top to a Westfalia camper - v.1
Converting a tin-top to a Westfalia camper - v.2
Mid-engine conversion
Breadbox build: Vortec 4.3 V6 conversion
Trailer made from a Vanagon
Build your own Doka
Another Syncro Tintop to Hightop Camper Conversion

Rebuilds & Restorations
Restoration Stories
1987 Syncro Camper (Big Red) Restoration with pictures
Corter van - Syncro restoration project
Rebuilding of a German Army Syncro
Kitchen rust: a pictorial rustoration
Footwell rust: a pictorial rustoration
I had to be brave...a rustoration
Syncro restoration
'86 Syncro restoration
'86 Syncro Westy rebuild
1988 Doka Restoration - dead photos
New Paint! Westy restoration + Carat body trim installed
Lucy, our Westy
1984 Doka Tragedy to Restoration
Syncro Westy Build Log - With Pics
1986 Inline Gas Vanagon Conversion
My Project Syncro
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