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Automatic or Manual?
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LisaThompson
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:46 am    Post subject: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

With my bad back I'm looking at an automatic Type 2 Bay Window Westy, but I'm receiving a lot of warnings that they break down a lot. Thoughts? I certainly don't want another project. Thank you in advance
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

you might be receiving warnings that ALL BAY WINDOW BUSES break down alot..
now there will be some high and mighty with really nice bays that say they never break down.. they are also the same people who tell you that a bay bus is easy to work on...

it really isn't a relevant issue between automatic and manual transaxle. both can and do have their faults.. some (many) just live with the faults of a manual because they don't understand thw witchcraft that operates inside of an automatic.
but an automatic bay bus in good mechanical order is as much a pleasure to drive as a standard in good mechanical order is.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:53 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

I do vote for the 76-79 bay automatics though. for a few reasons that they were a better design than the 73-75 automatics. both in transaxle and fuel injection.

lastly if you are not looking for another project buy a Sienna.. move along, do the things you enjoy in life instead.
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cmonSTART
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

Ya, I think at this point in a 40+ year old vehicle's life the transmission type isn't a significant factor.

Care, condition, rust etc are going to be more important to look at.

Will your back issues effect how well you can use a clutch or stick shift?
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kerian159
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

I concur with the 76-79 automatics (no vacuum lines) and much better than the early ones
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:28 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

With a bad back you might want to try sitting in a bay front seat before getting in too deep, it's not the most comfortable seating position (compared to modern cars) and there's not much room for adjustment.
As for reliability?, as mentioned it's not a new car, good preventative maintenance goes a long way regardless of what style of transmission it has.
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airschooled Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

I love all the automatics; either would be a fine choice if it is well taken care of. The earlier style prefers a stock engine configuration for compatibility, while the later style doesn't particularly care what is spinning it.

Make sure you sit in an early bay and a late bay; the seating geometry changed with the seat styles some time in the mid-seventies. I find the early bays more comfortable, but the late bays can use Vanagon seats with armrests, and some people like that.

Good luck!
Robbie
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sjbartnik
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

I think there is no such thing as an old VW thatís not a project.
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cmonSTART
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

Truth.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

LisaThompson wrote:
With my bad back I'm looking at an automatic Type 2 Bay Window Westy, but I'm receiving a lot of warnings that they break down a lot. Thoughts? I certainly don't want another project. Thank you in advance


You are looking at vehicles that have likely had at least 3-5 and maybe over 10 owners over the years, each with their own preferred way of cutting corners on maintenance. If you want to own and enjoy something this old, you need either really deep pockets or the gumption and physical ability to do all or nearly all the work yourself.
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Wasted youth
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

LisaThompson wrote:
With my bad back I'm looking at an automatic Type 2 Bay Window Westy, but I'm receiving a lot of warnings that they break down a lot. Thoughts? I certainly don't want another project. Thank you in advance


The early automatic transmissions were drafted from the Type 3 vehicle and are sometimes called the 003 series. They use a vacuum modulator that is supposed to match the valve body. This style of transmission also features an electric switch under the gas pedal for kick-down.

My 1973 bus is equipped with this style of transmission, and the pressurized ATF overcame the seal and contaminated the Final Drive gearbox oil. This is cause for the transmission to be removed and partially rebuilt. I chose to completely rebuild mine. It works great! BUT... not only did I break the pump drive due to ignorance (required a lot of effort to fix that) I also had a mystery for awhile of oddly fluctuating transmission fluid (ATF) levels. This is all settled out and it's now a great driver.

Our 1987 Westfalia has the later model automatic transmission. It is the 010 or 091(?) series and the design no longer requires vacuum modulation but does need careful adjustment of the throttle kick-down linkage. This model of transmission came around sometime in 1975, I think, but perhaps 1976. It seems like a simpler design and perhaps is a bit more robust. I am very much under the impression the parts for the 010 are much easier to find than the 003.

Both transmissions meet or exceed my expectations. The 1973 bus likes to cruise along the freeway on level ground at 65-70 MPH and the 1987 Westy easily flies along at 70-75 MPH. I would say 70 MPH for either should be normal. The 1987 model also features an ATF fluid cooling port, which interfaced with the engine coolant. I removed that cooler and plumbed in a stand-alone fan driven, thermostat controlled ATF cooler. Outside of the initial problem of the 1973 transmission, we have had great performance out of both of them.
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

airschooled wrote:
the seating geometry changed with the seat styles some time in the mid-seventies. I find the early bays more comfortable
Good luck!
Robbie

I've always wondered about that. My 1977 seat just doesn't seem as comfortable as the 1971 was.
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Abscate Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:35 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

Quote:
each with their own preferred way of cutting corners on maintenance.


Thatís classic stuff there, Wildthings
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WhirledTraveller
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

I love my 010 automatic. I cruise 70mph no problem although I prefer 65 for a variety of reasons. VW made millions of these transmissions and stuck them in a variety of vehicles up through the early 90s.

I did rebuild it at one point. 43 year old vehicle you can expect everything to break down eventually. It was easy to rebuild myself and parts are available.
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notchboy
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic or Manual? Reply with quote

Hey, I love driving my 74 auto. Fun to drive and the one thing that would make me sell my 77 manual instead.

Try not to listen to opinion so much. As said up above - there is something negative to say about any of it.
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