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Should I be afraid of an automatic transmission??
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cheeseisgood
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 12:57 pm    Post subject: Should I be afraid of an automatic transmission?? Reply with quote

I've always prefered manual, but have recently seen some vanagons(88-92) that I liked that were automatics. Should this be a deciding factor?
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aside from the occasional leak or a bad trans cooler, they are fine. They need service just like anything else. Change the cooler when you get it. Change the fluids. Make sure no leaks. It will be fine. Go read at GoWesty about them. They are tough. Be aware that the automatic to final drive seal can leak which is common problem with the 3 speed autos from that vintage. A good shop will be able to tell, if it is "intermixing." There are few real bad problems with them. Then again, they are still just 3 speed autos. You learn to live with that.

Mind you the 4 speed has a problem part in it too, that breaks. Go read at GoWesty about that too.

I usually will favor a 5 speed above all. But, most have 4 speeds. I got my 85 Westy with an automatic and it makes driving less of a chore. The manuals give better fuel economy and tax the engine less.

It is a toss up. The autos are just fine and are no more or less bother than the manual.

-W
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levi
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had both and prefer the manual.....but the automatic is a strong tranny.
My mpg difference:
17 average automatic
23 average manual
big difference! More than 30 %..
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sc-surfer
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My '79 bus had an automatic, and I loved it. I have always been a manual trans. guy, but the automatic was easy to drive and super reliable. The above mentioned gas milage issue is the main downside.
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seanj
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a buddy of mine has an auto westy, 91 i think. at about 200k miles of road trips all over the country the engine finally went but the tranny still works like it did the first day he bought it. also i have an 82 vanagon auto that i was worried about at first but after driving it for a year i no longer have concerns. works dependably all the time although the loss in mileage is kind of a drag.
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Big B
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I doing something right?
I have an auto and on flat roads, I am getting artound 21 mpg, once I got 23mpg, but the wind was behind me.
I always keep my tires inflated to top pressure, the drag from four tires running low can add up.
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ianstone
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big B wrote:
Am I doing something right?
I have an auto and on flat roads, I am getting artound 21 mpg, once I got 23mpg, but the wind was behind me.
I always keep my tires inflated to top pressure, the drag from four tires running low can add up.


you keep them to the top pressure rating on the tire? or the top mfr reccomended (VW) pressure settings for the tires (diff for front & back)

that's how i have mine set and i'm getting about 16mpg

(87vanagon, 2.1L)
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Big B
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top man rec, I also just put on a new cat and tune up, mabye you need a tune.
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levi
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Low tire pressure can really cost you........
When I first got the 1.9 I couldn't understand why I was only getting 17 mpg.
Bumped tire pressure up to max, and now I average 23, and it handles a hell of a lot better.
BTW, I havent had a tune-up in 5 years, havent changed the plugs, the rotor looks like crap, and my last emissions test ( last month ) only barely passed, and I'm STILL averaging 23.....go figure.
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mikegoode
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 88 Wolfsburg Vanagon had an automatic trans in it-and was still shifting smooth when I sold it with almost 140K on it. On a 6,000 mile trip from Chicago to CA and back with 4 people and luggage aboard, we averaged 23mpg by keeping the cruise set at 65-68mph. Above 70mph, the drop in fuel mileage was very noticeable. That is one thing I do not understand-especially in the mid 80s when higher end cars started seeing 4 speed automatics a lot-was that VW had the Vanagon, obviously a great vehicle for long distance trips, and of course the Vanagon was expensive then too, and they cheaped out and left a 3 speed automatic in it.

But the automatic was fine, shifted real nice etc. I have since driven a manual Vanagon camper, and while more work, it made much better use of the engine's available torque.
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supplicationjam
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an automatic and only get 14 mpg around town, about 17 on the highway and about 19 with a good tailwind Very Happy . And that is tuned with new cat, o2 sensor tuneup and new injectors. I haven't a clue how come everyone else gets better mileage. Maybe I'm totin' around too much stuff in my westy.
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ianstone
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

supplicationjam wrote:
I have an automatic and only get 14 mpg around town, about 17 on the highway and about 19 with a good tailwind Very Happy . And that is tuned with new cat, o2 sensor tuneup and new injectors. I haven't a clue how come everyone else gets better mileage. Maybe I'm totin' around too much stuff in my westy.


things that make you go HMMMMMMMMM


but really - why would the manuf. reccomend different pressure settings for front and rear...

is it more wear/tear on the tires itself to have them fully pressurized like that? I wonder why this makes such a significant change in riding
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Big B
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ianstone
I should have been more specific; when I say manyfacturers top inflation specifications, I am referring to the tire manufacturers, not the Vehicle specs. The difference in vehicle specs, is to reflect the difference in vehicle weight distribution, you have more weight in the rear on a Westy, thus the higher pressure in the rear tires.
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