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  View original topic: True or False: A '91 Westy that has been driven gently... Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
tourmaline Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:16 am

and cared for very well but has 200,000 miles on it (only 50,000 miles on dealer rebuilt engine)

is superior to

a '91 Westy that has been driven so hard that many major components have had to be replaced (including new engine 15,000 miles ago and tranny) in it's low 70,000 original miles lifespan.

Would you say that this is true? I am fantasizing about buying a '91 Westy: one has 200,000 miles on it but is still in wonderful shape with its original parts but a rebuilt engine....the other '91 has only 70,000 miles on it but has many major things that have been replaced (has 15,000 mile new engine, new transmission, and more...) on it indicating to me that it has been driven hard and abused.

So I'm wondering if the one with 200,000 original miles that has been babied might just be the better choice?

wenholzm Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:23 am

Buy them both, that way you will lots of parts. :lol:

DAIZEE Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:25 am

It depends on what kind of 'file' there is on each. If lots of info re maintenance, et al then that says a lot more than no file or little documentation. Don't go by verbal report only. Engine wise you are comparing 50.000 to 70,000 (sorta), condition of metal, cleanliness, wear and tear all speak to issues, also brakes, tires. I don't know a lot about vanagons but I have been driving my own cars for more than 50 years, some brand new (often) and lots of used and a few really old but sound. So much of what you see, hear goes into decision making. Have you got any one around who knows Vanagons?

tourmaline Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:32 am

Hi Daizee,

Yes, maintenance records, receipts, etc would certainly be very important. I forgot to put in my original post that the 70,000 vehicle had a new GoWesty engine put in about 15,000 miles ago. I'll edit my post. :)

DAIZEE Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:36 am

So same year, 50,000 vs 15,000 miles, All as I said and how its been taken care of and where it lived most of its life! But I do expect other gals and guys to jump in. Are the engines the same size and same kind, model?

buildyourown Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:09 pm

I'd rather have the later van with the newer parts.

The parts on the gently driven van are still high mileage and 19 years old.
At this age, you really need to assume that every system is on it's way out if it hasn't seen major recent attention.

87Enterprise Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:18 pm

Start with body rust, move on with what works and doesn't ( as in headlight switch, heater controls and A/c etc.) drive both, what feels better, which makes you happy, soon you start to narrow down which one feels better, Then the one that makes you the happiest take to a shop and pay for the engine to have a leak down test done , tranmission oil plug removed for metal shaving, Brake pads checked and drive with the tech and if any thing pops up, move on to the other and repeat. :!: Good luck and don't let anyone make up you'er mind for you. Stock parts are just that stock, most of the time a phone call away and 2 to 10 day away in shipping.

syncrodoka Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:32 pm

Quote: Then the one that makes you the happiest take to a shop
Be sure that you take it to a shop that works on VW's and knows vanagons.
Good luck

marklee Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:43 pm

try and read John Muir Idiot book chapter on how to buy a Volkswagen........took is advice and have never bought a bad one in 25 years.....

Rocky Mountain Westy Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:46 pm

One of the most unreliable parts on a Vanagon is the odometer and speedo cable. mileage doesn't mean much at this point. Have them both inspected by a Vanagon specialist.

Good luck,

Terry Kay Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:52 pm

If the one with the low miles has been hammered on and hung out wet to dry--it's done, worn out.

But so is the unit with 200,000 miles.
It's allegidly been babied, but it's been run around the block more than once or twice--
Your thinking that mechanical parts don't wear out with big miles?
Here in the real world they do---

This dream your having is a bad nightmare--forget both of them.

87Enterprise Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:55 pm

Listen to RMW and a tech will do more for you if have a six pack of barley pop between the front seats, this will slow down the speed of the inspection and more time on the van! :D

Rocky Mountain Westy Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:00 pm

Terry Kay wrote:

This dream your having is a bad nightmare--forget both of them.

Come on now Terry, We all drive vans with 200k and they are a pleasure to drive. Many of them drive like they have 70k miles on them. There are lots of high mileage vans out there that are worth owning. That is one of the advantages to owning Vanagons.

I think the best advice has been brought up several times already. Get them inspected by a specialist.

Corwyn Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:04 pm

C-A-R-F-A-X !

http://www.carfax.com

Terry Kay Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:08 pm

<<Listen to RMW and a tech will do more for you if have a six pack of barley pop between the front seats, this will slow down the speed of the inspection and more time on the van!>>

Good idea---

Get the guy your relying on all Mimmed up so he misses half the stuff he's supposed to be finding---

I should have thought of that one--

Toss in a Mason Jar of Moonshine along with the Barley--
The guy will find stuff you never even heard of-- :roll:

Terry Kay Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:14 pm

<<C-A-R-F-A-X >>

Means absolutley nothing.

If the vehicle has only been serviced by the original owner, never been at the dealer for any warrantee, or in a state, county or township with no emissions testing, the CarFax isn't going to tell you one thing about that vehicle.

Christopher Schimke Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:15 pm

I would say that it would be wise to consider either one of them, but purchase a Vanagon based on actual condition rather than the mileage or stated maintenance records/schedules. Documented records are a different story, but be sure to scrutinize the time lines and the source of those records.

As has already been said, having the vehicle examined by someone who really knows them inside and out will be the best money you will spend.

And by the way, at 200,000, a well maintained Vanagon should not be considered a senior that should be put out to pasture (in my opinion). Sure, it's going to need ongoing maintenance, but all vehicles do. If the interior, chassis structure and body are all in good shape, and there is good documentation on the engine and gearbox, the rest is simply routine upkeep.

Just for the record, my daily driver has just a hair under 300,000 documented miles on it. I am the second owner. The first owner kept records of EVERYTHING. It still has the original engine (1.9) (new head gaskets at about 200,000) and it has great oil pressure and compression. Runs great! The gearbox is all original with only regular lube changes. I would not hesitate to drive this van across the country, right now. It's proof that with good maintenance, these vans can rack up some serious mileage...and there are other vans out there with even higher mileage than mine...much higher.

Rocky Mountain Westy Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:18 pm

Terry Kay wrote: <<C-A-R-F-A-X >>

Means absolutley nothing.

If the vehicle has oly been serviced by the original owner, never bee at the dealer for any warrantee, or in a state, county ot township with no emissions testing, the CarFax isn't going to tell you one thing about that vehicle.

Agreed, CarFax is not GOD when it comes to buying used cars. I think it's information is way overvalued.

insyncro Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:24 pm

Nothing beats a detailed inspection and test drive by a professional.
Have the van appraised.

dylan

debbiej Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:33 pm

Are they close to the same price? Aside from major mechanical components there are lots of minor things to consider. I think the condition of th body is important. Whistling doors and windows are a pain, dent are expensive; rust is a nightmare.
So if you get the vans checke and mechanically they both are good, make pro and con lists for each based on what's important to you



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