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Getting our first Westy tomorrow...
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mtlyrba
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:50 am    Post subject: Getting our first Westy tomorrow... Reply with quote

...and I've been combing this site for hours. I'm a computer geek who works from home. I can work from anywhere (just need broadband and my Droid phone solves that problem) and my dream is to work from everywhere. If all goes well, we'll have an '88 burgundy Westy tomorrow afternoon. Then I just need to find places isolated enough to camp but still in Verizon's network coverage area.

Thanks for all of the great tips. I hope to learn a lot in the months ahead and contribute when I get to know what I'm doing.

--Eric
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campism
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to be the first to tell you to change your fuel lines.



Enjoy the new camper and your plans to work from it, but don't let that ruin the camping!
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FNGRUVN
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd give my left lugnut for that lifestyle.
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motelvw
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd give my right. We've got a few more years of "normal" living before we go fulltime in our Westy. Can't wait.
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bjrogers86auto
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:15 pm    Post subject: westy Reply with quote

Congrats!

Our westy is just over a year with us. We managed an across the country and back trip this past summer...including Grand Rapids, MI. (stayed at the Army core of Engineers campground)

Recently we discussed selling EVERYTHING! Put the profits in the bank, all our belongings in storage and taking off. It's not a bad idea. Leave of abscence from work...ahhh....maybe.

Anyhow, enjoy the van...they have lots of issues...but popping the top and popping a beer are two things that just go together.

Brian.
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elpedro
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting our first Westy tomorrow... Reply with quote

mtlyrba wrote:
...and I've been combing this site for hours. I'm a computer geek who works from home. I can work from anywhere (just need broadband and my Droid phone solves that problem) and my dream is to work from everywhere. If all goes well, we'll have an '88 burgundy Westy tomorrow afternoon. Then I just need to find places isolated enough to camp but still in Verizon's network coverage area.

Thanks for all of the great tips. I hope to learn a lot in the months ahead and contribute when I get to know what I'm doing.

--Eric


...and you'll want a decent electrical supply system (solar?) to feed your laptop and droid. Best of luck with your purchase! BTW make sure you have good, recent, properly load-rated tires, ya know, after you change your fuel lines.
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mtlyrba
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome. What's up with the fuel lines?


Link


Made the trip home fine. Really a strange transition driving down to pick it up in my V8 Touareg and driving home in this. This is more like driving my golf cart. Right now, I am sitting in my driveway on my laptop - picking up WiFi from the house and have an extension cord run from the garage to the hookup. Power light is yellow. Not sure if it has the extra battery or not, will have to check tomorrow. It is really clean and we think we got a great deal for $7,500.

But seriously - What's up with the fuel lines? I'm going to comb through the service records he provided, but I'd like to know what the problem is.

So far, I have watched the Big Lebowski on my laptop with the sound run to the AUX port on the aftermarket stereo. Bit of a twist on a drive in movie. The fridge seems to be not working. I've got my Coleman portable heater running. I've boiled water on the stove and tested the sink - both work great. Also drained the water tank as it is supposed to in the 20s here tonight. If it wasn't I would probably be sleeping in here tonight. We popped the top and my boy hopped up there. Pulled the bottom bed out to see if the wife and I fit - we do. Then we just swung the chairs around and hung out for a while. Now sitting in the back seat with my laptop on the table. Previous owner forgot the front table, but will be getting it to me. I seriously think I could work like this. This is SO cool!

Ride was really rough - is that normal? I was thinking about looking for 16s and new tires. I'd really like some more rubber meeting the road. Think that would help the ride? Or am I looking at shocks/struts?
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old fuel lines are notorious for cracking and spewing fuel all over a hot engine thus causing the whole shebang to go up in flames Shocked
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campism
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is the deal with the fuel lines. I went to a local junkyard this week to check out an '89 on their list and it turned out to be a van I've seen driving around town that had suffered an engine compartment fire. Not pretty.
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hasavan
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:54 am    Post subject: Ride Reply with quote

Quote:
Ride was really rough - is that normal?


I well recall my first ride in my westy and like you, "is this normal?" Yes they do seem rough and hit road imperfections hard with those heavy tires, but after you get used to it, the van lumbers along and will lull you with her gentle rocking motion and comfortable amble.
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bjrogers86auto
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:43 am    Post subject: the ride Reply with quote

Part of the rough ride feel can be attributed to the tire pressure. Kind of like riding a road bike compared to a mountain bike.

We did the same thing last year when we got our van...had lunch with the kids out there...had some tea a couple times...and on occasion just found myself sitting there with the side door open staring around the neighborhood thinking I got the world by the short and curly's!

We didn't get a front table with our van...so I made a custom made one instead.[img]
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
[/img]Kinda fun.

Along with the fuel lines is the gas tank reseal...pretty easy and nice to have it all done.

P.S. The Grand Rapids we went through was in Minn not MI.
Brian.
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woggs1
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mtlyrba wrote:
Thanks for the welcome. What's up with the fuel lines?





Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


You asked Smile
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50 Kafer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does'nt looking at that picture just scare the pee out of you?
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juanb
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey mtlyrba,

Congratulations! I talked with the guy on Friday, and I think I would have been there first, but hesitated when he mentioned the van was from the east coast, and the couple of little rust issues it had. I would have gone to check it out anyway but I had too much work and going to Sebastopol from Emeryville on a Friday is kind of a drag Sad Anyway, glad it fell on appreciative hands!

I think you got a good deal. Is there anything to the rust?

-Juan
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mtlyrba wrote:
Thanks for the welcome. What's up with the fuel lines?
.....

But seriously - What's up with the fuel lines? I'm going to comb through the service records he provided, but I'd like to know what the problem is.

So far, I have watched the Big Lebowski on my laptop with the sound run to the AUX port on the aftermarket stereo. Bit of a twist on a drive in movie. The fridge seems to be not working. I've got my Coleman portable heater running. I've boiled water on the stove and tested the sink - both work great. Also drained the water tank as it is supposed to in the 20s here tonight. If it wasn't I would probably be sleeping in here tonight. We popped the top and my boy hopped up there. Pulled the bottom bed out to see if the wife and I fit - we do. Then we just swung the chairs around and hung out for a while. Now sitting in the back seat with my laptop on the table. Previous owner forgot the front table, but will be getting it to me. I seriously think I could work like this. This is SO cool!

Ride was really rough - is that normal? I was thinking about looking for 16s and new tires. I'd really like some more rubber meeting the road. Think that would help the ride? Or am I looking at shocks/struts?



Congrats.

The BL is my favorite movie. It lives in my Westy!

Fuel lines? The posted pic should say it all. Most, nay almost all Vanagon owners are quite passionate about their rides. Comments about changing fuel lines are all well meant.

You don't have Mcphereson struts. Shocks? Maybe. Some owners inflate the tires quite high to help with cross winds (buffeting)

There's a ton of info here on the fridge (assuming it's the stock Dometic) Basically, test it on AC first. If it works, then try it on DC, then LP and go from there.

I'd suggest putting some cheap vodka + water in tank and running it through the lines. Mainly to keep sink pump from getting wrecked. Even if you drain the tank, likely there would be residual water remaining in system that would freeze.

Hopefully not doubling up answers,

Neil.
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FNGRUVN
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: the ride Reply with quote

bjrogers86auto wrote:
Part of the rough ride feel can be attributed to the tire pressure. Kind of like riding a road bike compared to a mountain bike.

We did the same thing last year when we got our van...had lunch with the kids out there...had some tea a couple times...and on occasion just found myself sitting there with the side door open staring around the neighborhood thinking I got the world by the short and curly's!

We didn't get a front table with our van...so I made a custom made one instead.[img]
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
[/img]Kinda fun.

Along with the fuel lines is the gas tank reseal...pretty easy and nice to have it all done.

Cool table! You did a nice job on the inlay.

P.S. The Grand Rapids we went through was in Minn not MI.
Brian.



Cool table! You did a nice job on the inlay.
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bjrogers86auto
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:43 pm    Post subject: table Reply with quote

Thanks, that was my first attempt at that kinda thing but it turned out pretty good. I have another one made that's a little different for a Christmas gift but I can't show it till after...my brother-in-law might be lurking...

About the van on fire scaring the pee out of you...the goons I work with get pretty excited about ANYTHING fully involved in flames. But it's pretty sad seeing something that can be prevented so easily.

Another maintenance issue that hasn't yet been mention are the cv joints.
They are cheap to redo...as long as they don't look like mine did and need to be replaced.

Ahhh...the fun we have. B.
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hippiepilot
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeez you could probably sell those tables. Nice job Cool and welcome...
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Last edited by hippiepilot on Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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psych-illogical
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on the purchase. Sounds like a good deal to me. Yup, old fuel lines can crack and leak thus causing the dreaded engine fire. They are relatively easy to change, as long as you can work a utility knife and install a hose clamp. Fun little afternoon project that really makes you feel better. You can find a kit from many of the Vanagon vendors or you can buy bulk fuel line from the local NAPA store. Just be sure to get the high pressure (fuel injection compatible) stuff.

I've had mine 5 years now. It's my 2nd Westy. The first was a '69 bay and it was about 20 years in between Westys. Waaaaay too long. I still just love to hang out in mine. I'll frequently go out to have lunch in it when I'm at work and I always just grin when I'm hanging out in there. Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me and my wife did that for a little over a year, you deff want to havea solid relationship with the wife before getting in the confines of a westy Laughing

I'd still be doing it but we had a kid, babies don't mix with this idea.
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