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debbiej
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: newer model year Reply with quote

I've read the go westy comparison of model years. that there are some important improvements in the vanagon from 86 on. but I wonder if the newer years really have a better cooling system, exhaust, ignition, fuel injection and brakes? are they considerably quieter on the road? we had an 87 that we drove across country with 3 kids, and it seemed quite comfortable, smoooth and quiet. but that was in 88 and it was new...
but I'd really like some honest opinions about the differences, not counting the 1.9 vs the 2.1.
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noganav
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The newest ones (90 and 91) have better seals on the front doors that reduce noise considerably. I was surprised at how much difference it makes.

Also the 90 and 91 Westy fridges have automatic ignition which is a nice creature comfort.
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seabright_sc
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I had an opportunity to purchase a very nice 85 and asked a very reputable shop in Santa Cruz about the differences between 85 vs. 86+.... They said it was a lot of hype being overly emphasized by another a VW vanagon shop/company with a lot of online traffic/influence. As a result this Santa Cruz shop felt 84s and 85s were reasonably priced while many 86+ were over priced.

Not sure if this is true, but I do know that in 6+ years of ownership my 85's cooling and FI systems have never caused me any problems.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The front door seal change started with 88 when the black plastic vents were added to the rear side windows. It is a quieter setup.

Nearly every year van is improved in some way over the prior year. Usually small incremental changes that don't amount to enough to be the determining factor in a purchase decision. The condition is the main thing.

A typical 89 is going to be quieter and more pleasant to drive than a typical 84, due to the accumulated improvements, small as most are by themselves.

Mark

noganav wrote:
The newest ones (90 and 91) have better seals on the front doors that reduce noise considerably. I was surprised at how much difference it makes......
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Electrical wiring upgrades and transmission gear changes also came on in 89.
I prefer the 90 and 91 models as they have, on average, seen the fewest miles.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wiring is better on later models, but earlier ones have noticeably less of it run the engine. I like my 83 1/2 passenger van every bit as much as I have liked my later ones. I would say that condition trumps anything else.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
The wiring is better on later models, but earlier ones have noticeably less of it run the engine. I like my 83 1/2 passenger van every bit as much as I have liked my later ones. I would say that condition trumps anything else.


Very true.
Less is good...wiring wise.
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rubbachicken
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

power steering is a big +

it can be added

dynomat {or similar} should help with noise
central locking would be nice too
the mirrors, ours are ALWAYS getting knocked where we are nesting, the later ones would be much easier to re adjust
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 4 cars & they all have 7" round headlamps. That's how I decide.

Quote:
...asked a very reputable shop in Santa Cruz about the differences between 85 vs. 86+.... They said it was a lot of hype being overly emphasized by another a VW vanagon shop/company with a lot of online traffic/influence


Hah hah. I like those guys but yeah, they do have a real bias going against the <86.
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dynamat will not help with wind noise, but there is a thread about adding the later door seals to an earlier Van

1987-on have gray interiors; I prefer the tan/brown colors, BUT the brown plastic items fall apart easily and seem to have been made with either Chinese drywall or Brazilian dirt mixed into the plastic

I'd buy an '86-on Van in the best possible condition and modify anything I did not like
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Sir Sam
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

randywebb wrote:
1987-on have gray interiors; I prefer the tan/brown colors,


Out of curiosity, why do you prefer the tan/brown interiors? I'm of the opposite mindset so I cannot wrap my brain around your mindset(no offense intended, just curious).
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presslab
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer the brown of my '86 too. It's a nice warm earth tone (I like earth tones), and doesn't show dirt as easily. Wink
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as above & it adds warmth in the steely cold grey PNW mists - I only prefer the color
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

- less chance of 3/4 hub cracking (transmission)
(edit: '89 - '91?)
- vents on rear side windows


Neil.
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Sir Sam
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

presslab wrote:
I prefer the brown of my '86 too. It's a nice warm earth tone (I like earth tones), and doesn't show dirt as easily. Wink


When you say "earth tones" I'm with you. A nice tan, kahki, etc. But when I look at the combination of butterscotch and poo brown "earth tones" don't come to my mind.

I guess to me all the brown colors are just a little too dark, if they were lighter I might be OK with them.
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KLSteward
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seabright_sc wrote:
When I had an opportunity to purchase a very nice 85 and asked a very reputable shop in Santa Cruz about the differences between 85 vs. 86+.... They said it was a lot of hype being overly emphasized by another a VW vanagon shop/company with a lot of online traffic/influence. As a result this Santa Cruz shop felt 84s and 85s were reasonably priced while many 86+ were over priced.

Not sure if this is true, but I do know that in 6+ years of ownership my 85's cooling and FI systems have never caused me any problems.


Same here.
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

took a trip to check out an 89. I was ready to buy if it seemed the best thing to do. I drove my westy there and was prepared to leave it at my son's house and drive the 'new' one home, return on the bus and drive ol faithful home and put her up for sale. Sad Sad
I do think the 89 was quieter. I saw first hand the extra rubber to cut down' the wind noise and better ventilation design. I also think it was geared differently, for the better. I loved the tach, and the way the van took the hills. plenty of reserve power and the tach showing me how wound up the engine was. the power steering was awesome and the ride was much improved, not feeling every crack in the pavement.

but I didn't do it. the van I was considering had things going on that I wasn't comfortable with. maybe they would have been nothing, but it kind of seemed like a can of worms, while I feel my own van has almost everything sorted out by now.

before the drive home in 'old faithful', I cleaned out the shelf over the left side of the van, put small towels in between the stove/drain/cabinet. found some really nice weather stripping and stuck it around the door jambs. then a different stripping in the gap between the front of the van and the edge of the doors and the whistling fly window. very pleasantly surprised by how much it helped. it reduced the noise enough that I could have a conversation on my phone and could pick out what the remaining rattles and squeaks were coming from. the skylight is one source. I don't mind not having power steering, less to break. also I like the big steering wheel. I've appreciated the threads on things that can be done to cut road noise, and it seems like it's really worth it.

thanks everyone for the information.

so going to start chasing down the rattles, creaks and rushing wind noises.
if a better later model comes along, maybe use the loan I took out to buy it instead. but if not, that's ok too.
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