View original topic: 82 WestyRabbit Restoration Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
82westyrabbit Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:04 pm

This is my 82 Diesel Vanagon. I purchased this in the late 1980s with just over 100,000 miles. Predictably (with me in my 20s) the diesel engine did not hold up very well. At which point I installed an 87 Gulf GTI engine with Bosch CIS fuel injection. Then I eloped in the van, and I proceeded to drive it for another 150,000 miles. I have taken it out of several years of storage, and now it is time for a restoration/fix-up of the van. So far, I've taken out the entire undercarriage, sanded the entire bottom of the van, and painted with both Chassis Saver and Monstaliner. I am in the process of installing new polyurethane bushings from T3Technique, and putting the bottom of the van back together. I will try to post more pictures as I move forward. I will do my best to keep this thread up to date. This is the first build log I have ever done. :van_ltblue:


Vanagon Nut Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:15 pm

Nice mileage on that diesel to gas swap. 150K miles ont that 1.8? Great stuff. Nice back story too. Youre a commited Vanagon owner!

Are, were you, running a single outlet "toilet bowl" exhaust on that 1.8 for all those miles?


82westyrabbit Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:51 pm

Yes I am running the toilet bowl exsust. I'm thinking of of changing to a fox manifold as I am building a new exsust but I have three toilet bowl manifolds and no fox manifolds. I will see how it goes. I'm thinking of putting a aba engine in but what I have runs pretty good and I have a spare.

danfromsyr Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:18 pm

still running the stock diesel gearing?
though if you are that's not bad gearing for the ups & downs of New Englands back roads. esp with a 85hp gas engine that likes to rev..

82westyrabbit Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:41 am

I have a aircooled transmission in it now. The gearing is just a little to tall so I run smaller diameter tires to make up for it. I have the diesel gear box and a 5 speed. I think I'm going to mix and match part to build a transmission with the right gearing. It's pretty flat most of the places I drive in southern New England. I have a lot of parts to sandblast and put together before I worry about freshening up the engine and transmission.

82westyrabbit Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:54 pm

Hello we are making forward progress. Sandblasted and painted all the front end parts and pressed in new ball joints. Now all the parts are ready to be re-installed in the vehicle. Also sandblasted and painted engine carrier bars and mounting brackets. Once this is completed, it will be time to make new brake lines. :vw:

82westyrabbit Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:36 pm

I put most of the front suspension back together today. Now I'm waiting for brake parts and brake lines. I was unable to get the top sway bar links pressed on, so I will have to do those on another day. I worked on getting set up to put new metal brake lines in, but so far I have not been able to find a source to buy new ends for the metal lines. I am waiting for new backing plates to be able to put the front brakes together. Over all it was still a good day. :vw: :van_brown:

tschroeder0 Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:17 pm

nice work!
get rid of those bouncy KYb's and put something that will stop the nose dive-Rancho,Koni...

newfisher Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:08 pm

I saw the title and thought someone had bought and was restoring the Westy that a buddy of mine and I grafted the upper half of a rabbit onto the roof of the van. Complete with rear hatch outer sun deck. Oh the 80s!

82westyrabbit Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:21 am

Not much visible progress this weekend. I insulated behind the radiator. I also replaced most of the metal brake lines. Then I sent my radiator out to be flush and tested ( all metal radiator ). Next I Replaced the front sift rod in preparation for a five speed transmission. Now I'm waiting for some front brake parts so I can finish the front brakes.
:vw: :vw:

Gizmoman Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:07 am

Nice work!
Oh to have a lift!

82westyrabbit Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:55 pm

It is a parking solution. I didn't have enough lot line to build two car garage. So I went up instead. That's the van's permanent parking spot. The wife's Miata fits nicely under it when the van is not so far apart.

82westyrabbit Thu May 04, 2017 4:46 pm

Finished installing all new brake lines, new stainless steel front to back radiator hoses, and new front shift rod and bushings. I had the radiator re-built, and I reinstalled the radiator. I started reinstalling the engine mount brackets. The next thing to do is to re-seal some of the seams on the lower part of the body
so that I can put monstaliner on the lower section of the van. :bus_blue:

82westyrabbit Sun May 07, 2017 6:49 pm

Today I used A wire brush on a drill to clean out the lower seams. When I finished with the wire brush, I cleaned up the rest of the seams with a sandblaster. Than I scuffed down the paint and primed with self etching primer. I ran out of time before I could apply the seam sealer. Hopefully I can get the seam sealed some evening this week.

Vanagon Nut Mon May 08, 2017 7:56 am

the blue on under carriage is a really cool colour.

Nice to see the progress. I noticed the rad rebuild. Speaking of cooling...... has stock of Tiico coolant pumps with the "proper" cone shaped impeller. I never searched to any great length on this but most FLAPS, and even my local VW guy, only offer up the paddle wheel impeller type pump. Just a thought.


82westyrabbit Mon May 08, 2017 7:10 pm

That's good to know. I have not yet figured out what I am going to do to freshen up the engine and transaxle yet. Hopefully I will get the monstaliner on the lower section this weekend and then I will start to think about the engine.thanks

82westyrabbit Mon May 22, 2017 5:48 pm

I pulled the front carpets out today anticipating cleaning them up and getting them ready for painting, but they look so good I only did the left side front.

I was also quite pleased when I looked in the front battery boxes.

I finished the seam sealing and prep work, so that I could put monstaliner on the lower section of the van.

Now I have lots of stuff that I can put back together. The rear suspension is ready to be reinstalled with new bushings. I have to figure out what extra wires I want to run to the front of the van so I can reinstall the gas tank. :bus_blue: :vw:

82westyrabbit Fri May 26, 2017 6:37 pm

After painting and monstalining the front floors I was able to Dynamat Them.

I used more dynamat than gowesty recommends. But a lot less than some other people use. I reinstalled the front carpets with the original cork flooring under it.

The carpets look pretty good for a vehicle with over 250,000 miles on it. I will probity lizard skin the back inside of the van when I get that far. But right now my priority is to start working on getting the engine and transmission reinstalled so I can start driving the van this summer. :vw: :bus_blue:

82westyrabbit Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:41 pm

I finished installing the rear suspension with new bushings and spring pads. re-packed the rear bearings, installed new seals, installed new backing plates and all new rear brake parts. I'm waiting to make it to a friend's house so I can press the new rear wheel studs. Then I can install the new rear brake drums. Then I can start thinking about the engine and transmission.
:bus_blue: :vw:

westspeleo Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:25 am

Thanks for logging your progress! I'm currently working on my rearend and now I'm sitting here looking at your pictures to see how mine SHOULD look :D.

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