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1985 VW Vanagon GL Westfalia restoration
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: 1985 VW Vanagon GL Westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Picked this westy up and a decent price (2k) has been sitting for 10 years or so guy parked it outside:( saying it had a seized motor. After months of trying to persuade him to sell it to me. About 5 stops and 3 months later and a lot of beers he finally let it go! So there is the sorta kinda back story.

I've been deployed for the past 2 years overseas and had a good buddy out there who got me hooked on these/VW in general. So not being stationed in a new spot I would drive by it everyday. Well that's the back story let's get to the meat and potatoes. Unfortunately he lost the keys both to the ignition and outside doors and gas cap. After pulling it into the garage with a jack and a winch because the steering wheel was locked I started digging into it. Inside was discussing filled with cigarettes and playboys. After cleaning it out I got right to work on pulling the ignition out (drilling a 1/8"hole worked great thanks samba forums. Pulled it out of the garage now that it can steer and gave it a bath inside and out and the motor. I thought it was a perfect time to see it it was seized. Grabbed the pullys and it turned right over oil is still black and feels like it has good compression. Stoked on that! Next I hooked up a battery but discovered you need over 800 crank amps to turn her over. Put the old on one a trickle charge overnight to see if it will holdbI have very little hope. Got a wire brush on the end of the drill and clean up small cancer spots but over all this thing is in amazing shape.

I will post photos below I seriously need help from y'all VW experts. I have a bunch of questions I wil post below. Enjoy my feed and thank y'all who follow.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

you got questions Question
we got answers Idea
about as accurate as the weatherman... Laughing


good luck,
post pikturs
and change fuel lines 1st
brake hoses 2nd
and well ok, maybe deep clean the back seat/bed 1st Embarassed
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:56 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Urmyboyblue25 wrote:
About 5 stops and 3 months later and a lot of beers he finally let it go!


Sounds like a carton of Marlboros and a stack of playboys would've had you home with the van after 2 stops and one month of jabbering.

Regardless, post pics and share some specific questions. It sounds like you got the van at a decent price...but maybe not. Time will tell. Cheers!
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1990 Westy Camper: Bostig RG4, 2wd, manual trans, NAHT high-top, Flash Silver, etc., etc.
1985 Westy Camper: 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years, converted to Syncro by Northwesty).
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Thank you for the Interest and I apologies for a late response. I am still trying to get my email to go through to get the pics from my phone to the computer. well I guess now is the time to ask you experts some advice along with some well needed tips and tricks. I am a really good mechanic but best with Toyota so VW is all new to me.
Lets get started with the questions:
knowing that it has been sitting for years and years with no fuel what is the best way to drop the tank/get a new one? or clean the old one? it looks like someone installed new fuel lines 10 years ago but I do not trust it.
next question is the gas cap is locked how can I take it off?
I found the drill the hole through and take the ignition tumbler out so it can at least steer but would it be best to take it and have a key made or just order a new tumbler and key at the busdepot for $26?
found a weak spot inside the body right above the propane tank is that spot accessible Rolling Eyes from cutting the outside or removing the stove and cabinets on the inside? Rolling Eyes
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:05 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

got a little bit further on cleaning rust now I need to decide to rebuild the 1.9 or put in a Subaru motor. im leaning towards Subaru but I do not know who sells a inexpensive kit or trans plate Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:08 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Subaru? It's a German. 1.8T FTW
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hdenter
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Before you spend a lot of time cleaning up and trying to repair surface rust around those seems, have a look on the inside of those panels. Those seems typically rust from the inside out. In particular, the seem along the bottom below the hookups is notorious for being worse on the inside than it shows on the outside. Pull the frig and cabinets to kill the rust on the inside before you waist your time trying to fix the outside... Good Luck! Many a rusted vans have been brought back to life from worse beginnings! Think about rebuilding it as a 2.2 or a 2.3 for added ponies or buy a GoWesty engine.

Hans
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

thank you for the reply, I absolutley think it is coming from the inside. I pushed in on the panel and I can hear a rusty crackle sound from the inside lower panel. next question how hard is it to take out the fridge and cabinets?
Is there any websites out there that sell the shaped steal for a cut and weld in place of the rust?
I am trying to convince the Boss (wife) to switch to a Subaru im thinking a 2.5 non turbo. I was looking at gowesty conversion kit but that things like $2600 then I found another kit but with a bell housing instead of an adapter plate for arounf $1700 from small car I think? what is the difference and do I need to pick up a manual engine bc my westy is a manual transmission?
thank you guys for all the help
-Rick
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Destructo
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Hey so about those playboys.....

Not too shabby of a starter van. Before worrying about a complete transplant, why not go and check the compression and see if you can get the old lump running first. You'll learn a whole hell of a lot about the electrical, starter and various systems of the bus which will inevitably help you out in a future conversion.
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

what should the compression be sitting at? also how do I know if the motor is a 1.8 or a 1.9?
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the joker
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

1.9 l would be a pancake type Arrow like your pic Arrow you have 1.9l Exclamation unless it was bumped up and rebuilt as some point Question
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

got a little bit of work done on the westy I pulled out the fridge and took out the sink and stove cabinet to try and get to where I feel and hear rust along that famous lower seam. I have to tell you I am amazed at how great the wiring and everything is assembled I'm slowly falling more in love with VW, probably because I have not pulled the motor yet. found out my propane tank is completely shot the bottom plate either a warranty plate or a plugged hole I cant tell but rust is eating it from the inside out. ill show in the photos below but you can see the swelling around the threads in the valve.
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Rolling Eyes
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:40 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

who can help me with dropping the tank and replacing fuel lines questions?
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61Scout
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW vanagon gl westfalia restoration Reply with quote

OP... Congrats on the van! This is a doable project for sure, but I'd caution you about loosing your momentum. Working on a van jumping around from the electrical to dropping the tank to working on rust then pondering engine conversions and so on is a sure way to loose momentum. A project of this scope can make one feel like they're being pulled all over the place. Add regular life stress of work, family, money and it would be real easy for the van to languish in the garage.

Please press the pause button right now. Take the time to organize and prioritize the project. Make a spreadsheet, or take pen to paper. If getting the van up and running mechanically is priority #1, then focus on that and leave the rest of the work. Divide the projects up into the smallest pieces you can. Tackle one project at a time, finish it, and don't start another project until it's done. Questions about procedures, which products/chemicals to use and so forth are things that should be known before a specific area is approached. Consider the budget. If you have access to whatever funds you need, great! If you need to save and bite off a chunk at a time, then start a savings account for the van.

Basically, don't be the guy who takes everything apart, scatters parts across the garage, orders piles of new parts that never get installed, then posts the whole thing up on craigslist a year later. Don't be that guy. Pace the project, stay organized and focused. While it's fun to just dive into a project, do take measures to maintain the momentum. Take a look at Djkeev's well documented vanagon project. He did an excellent job at organizing and breaking projects down into small chunks. He was also vigilant about bagging and labeling parts, which is something I need to improve upon. Anyway, at the end of the day it was 3 years before Dave had his project on the road. That's some focus and dedication there!

Also, purchase a Bentley manual for the van. It's a must have for any van owner, and can help with removal procedure and illustrations of the gas tank, for example. Good luck with the project! I look forward to seeing the progress and then that first picture camping!

-Kevin
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1986 Westfalia Weekender Wolfsburg, RJE 2.3
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Floppy Mirrors no more: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=653018&highlight=
Remove the front spindle nut with ease: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679567&highlight=
Remove the rear wheel bearing housing without messing with the big 46mm nut: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679507&highlight=

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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:18 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW Vanagon GL Westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Wow that was a reply if I ever did see one. I don't know who you are but I like you already. So I defiantly see what you are talking about and hate reading those forums where you see someone have a project then buy a ton of shiny new parts just for them to collect dust and get pushed to the back burner. I do need to sit down and make a list, thank you for the advice i really appreciate it.

Update on the Westy: My wife and I just had our one year anniversary so ive been tight on extra money. Got her wheels and tires and a lift for her jeep. I need to get a new battery because the old one is obviously shot and will not hold a charge. I guess I could hook it up and set my battery charger on crank but I do not want to fry any of the old wires (Had that happen before) I did get my new key and tumbler installed so I do not have to Hot wire it like GTA to try and crank it also unlocked the steering wheel so I can steer it now. I took it out of the garage and spun it around to have better access to remove the fridge and stove (That was not fun alone with a steep driveway and no pully system Rolling Eyes , still need to get the bench and side cabinet out. Just trying to get to the rust and see how bad it is. Once i get to it and stop/fix the rust i will pick up a battery and see if she will start up. Gas cap was locked and the key was lost of course Rolling Eyes but lucky for me after trying to drill i tried a screw driver and it came unlocked no problem! Shocked all the previous rust pickers have been buffed and painted primer over to stop it so next is making a list taking out the cabnet then picking up a battery.
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW Vanagon GL Westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Update: no one like no pics so here you go. removed the bench and side cabnet that covers the water tank. Surprisingly there was water in there after 10 plus years. also picked up a new visor clip and just a pic of how nasty the iside of this thing is. glad im taking it all out to clean it.
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW Vanagon GL Westfalia restoration Reply with quote

Anyone know of the best way to patch this rust, its worse than POR15 i might have to jst cut and weld in a new plate but the seem is completely shot im going to have to put in a new one. is there a place that sells a replacement panel?
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW Vanagon GL Westfalia restoration !Help! Reply with quote

Does anyone know of any good websites that will have the metal panel that needs replaced Luke one to cut and fit in a new one? In the pic shown above. Also pulling my motor and wondering how hard it is to give my 1.9 more ponys
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:20 pm    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW Vanagon GL Westfalia restoration !Help! Reply with quote

Urmyboyblue25 wrote:
Does anyone know of any good websites that will have the metal panel that needs replaced Luke one to cut and fit in a new one? In the pic shown above. Also pulling my motor and wondering how hard it is to give my 1.9 more ponys


http://www2.cip1.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=598

As long as the engine runs smoothly, I'd leave the 1.9 alone personally, but check out GoWesty and Rocky Jennings for performance wbx motors. Then there's the whole conversion debate. The engine thing is a whole thing. There's very little one can do without access to a machine shop in terms of adding real performance to the wbx. The best overall performance would be to do all of the maintenance to make sure the engine is running as designed. Make adjustments, change the fuel lines and fuel filter, clean the grounds, fix any vacuum leaks, rebuild the fuel injectors, and so on.

-Kevin
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1986 Westfalia Weekender Wolfsburg, RJE 2.3
1985 Tin Top, Subie 2.2 + 5MT
Floppy Mirrors no more: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=653018&highlight=
Remove the front spindle nut with ease: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679567&highlight=
Remove the rear wheel bearing housing without messing with the big 46mm nut: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679507&highlight=

-Nec Spe, Nec Metu
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Urmyboyblue25
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Re: 1985 VW Vanagon GL Westfalia restoration Reply with quote

In the process of pulling the motor today. I was looking at a gasket and re-ring but I would like to up the bore if possible I know I would like the heads to be gone though. Gowesty is asking $500 a piece for new heads. I wonder if a full rebuild is cheaper than new. For resurface, ground seats and new springs and valves
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