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Cat and Walter
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dig those exterior grab handles...
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cheri
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:12 pm    Post subject: Help and information, please! Reply with quote

Please forgive me if this is posted in the wrong place. I'm new.

I found the discussion of the brown Westy camper quite enlightening. I would have looked at this bus and not had a clue that the front end had been altered, or that the tire didn't belong on the rear.

I'm looking to purchase a vanagon similar to this one, been watching ebay, and just learned about this fantastic site. How can I go about finding a decent vanagon? Is there a guide that exists? Can anyone give me general advice?

In order of preference I'd like a pop top without the camping equipment (these seem to be rare), or a full camper, but would settle for a basic vanagon. I don't know enough about them to have a year preference. I suppose condition is more important than the model year.

I used to have a 91 Vanagon and never had any problems with it. I loved it and regret ever letting it go.

So anyway, I'd be grateful for any comments or suggestions.

Thanks,
Cheri
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r39o
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheri,

Go read around our site, especially the things in the stickies. You should get a good idea about things. I was very cautious for several months and paid to have a few vans checked out. ALL vans need something, I found out. Just what exactly, you never know until you look. Then on Friday at lunch time a deal comes up and on Sunday, with all caution tossed to the (desert) winds, we drove our 85 Westy rescue project a scant mile or two and she blew. Whatever, we had a good deal and towed it home. We love the end result. We are within budget too. So look around and be prepared.

-Walt
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"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!

1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one actually seems like a pretty good deal: 87 Westy with only 70k original miles, no weird front end changes, no spare tire hanging on the rear hatch etc.... $9500. Considering there is an 86 listed for $16,750, an 83 for $8,500, a 90 for $11,500, and another 86 for $8,500 among other higher priced westy's, I'd say this one's a keeper, looks better then some of these others also.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=307342
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cheri
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:42 am    Post subject: lots of 84s and 85s Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply and the encouragement, Walt. I'm sure I will find the right bus eventually.

I'm noticing that there are an inordinate amount of 84 and 85 campers out there. Is there a reason for this? Are there model years to avoid?
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Classically, the 86 - 91 vanagon's are considered the "best of the vanagons" however I would think that plenty of other people here might think otherwise Smile If you run a seach there is plenty of threads about the different years, gowesty has an article that is pretty good at explaining the different models. I guess it boils down to personal preference, good luck!

http://www.gowesty.com/campermodeloverview2.html
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jaybeat
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject: How about this one? Reply with quote

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=352514

Newbie here...what I don't know is how big of a deal this is:

Quote:
Currently vehicle is in need of new knock sensor control box and is a non runner, part is available and is a 4-6 week back order out of Germany.


Also, would the Audi engine complicate the importation from Canada?

Cheers!

Jay
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lovedavdubs
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: How about this one? Reply with quote

jaybeat wrote:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=352514

Newbie here...what I don't know is how big of a deal this is:

Quote:
Currently vehicle is in need of new knock sensor control box and is a non runner, part is available and is a 4-6 week back order out of Germany.


Also, would the Audi engine complicate the importation from Canada?

Cheers!

Jay


I hate to take a dump in your picnic basket, but if you really are a newbie you may not want to jump right in to a Syncro. VERY expensive to maintain. This is a direct quote from GoWesty

Quote:
1986-1991 Syncro (4WD) Vanagon: VW offered the Vanagon in a full time all wheel drive version called the Syncro. It was offered in passenger van, Weekender, and Camper versions (but not the in MV). These models all command a much higher price tag. These all wheel drive Vanagons are way cool, but way expensive not only to purchase, but to maintain as well. They cost $5,000 and $10,000 more than the exact same non-syncro vehicle to purchase, and EVERYTHING about them is more difficult and expensive to repair. My advice is to stay away from the Syncro unless you REALLY want all wheel drive, and the word BUDGET is NOT part of your vocabulary.


That looks like a nice one though Wink
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levi
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: lots of 84s and 85s Reply with quote

cheri wrote:
Thanks for the reply and the encouragement, Walt. I'm sure I will find the right bus eventually.

I'm noticing that there are an inordinate amount of 84 and 85 campers out there. Is there a reason for this? Are there model years to avoid?

I've got an 85, and prefer it to the 86 and 87 that I had. Why? Hard to say...
Rolling Eyes Maybe it was the crappy gas mileage I got from the auto tranny in the 86 (15-17), and my 4 speed 85 never gets lower than 20 in the city, 24 highway. Maybe it's cause the engine seems bulletproof, and the 2.1 has a tendency to spin the rod @150,000 (or so I've heard). I did just lose my waterpump, but that's been the only major problem I've had in over 5 years now of nearly constant travel around the continent. If I pay someone else to do it, that'll be 325$, but I'm doing it myself for about 70$. By the way, every 84 that I've seen has NOT had power steering. Could be a deciding factor for you.
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jaybeat
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Re: How about this one? Reply with quote

lovedavdubs wrote:


I hate to take a dump in your picnic basket, but if you really are a newbie you may not want to jump right in to a Syncro. VERY expensive to maintain. This is a direct quote from GoWesty

Quote:
1986-1991 Syncro (4WD) Vanagon: VW offered the Vanagon in a full time all wheel drive version called the Syncro. It was offered in passenger van, Weekender, and Camper versions (but not the in MV). These models all command a much higher price tag. These all wheel drive Vanagons are way cool, but way expensive not only to purchase, but to maintain as well. They cost $5,000 and $10,000 more than the exact same non-syncro vehicle to purchase, and EVERYTHING about them is more difficult and expensive to repair. My advice is to stay away from the Syncro unless you REALLY want all wheel drive, and the word BUDGET is NOT part of your vocabulary.


That looks like a nice one though Wink


Fair enough! Are 2WD Dokas a lot more reliable/less expensive to maintain?

There's this one:

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


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=351322

and this one:

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


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=340838

and this one:

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


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=293178

Very Happy Very Happy

Any thoughts, wise ones of Samba? Laughing

Cheers,

Jay
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r39o
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: How about this one? Reply with quote

jaybeat wrote:
Fair enough! Are 2WD Dokas a lot more reliable/less expensive to maintain?

"a lot more reliable" - maybe

"more reliable" - probably (less to break)

"less expensive to maintian" - YES! Go price syndro specific parts.

Syncro has more parts, heavier and hence more to go wrong.
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"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!

1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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Alan Brase
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
Yep, you really can't tell if it's a deal or dud until you see it up close and drive it.
danfromsyr wrote:
I am curious on the spare tire mount..
nice clean van..

Would make me want to look at the front end real close, could have been hit like was mentioned above, used parts from a newer van (the bumper is from a newer one too), and for some reason couldn't put the spare back in the right location.
That mount is a total hack job, I wonder if the struts hold the tail gate up? Rolling Eyes

Well Mightyart, I'd second that: See it up close and drive it.
WRT the spare tire carrier: Not my favorite, either, but I doubt the vehicle knows the difference between 40 lb of spare tire and 40lb of bicycle and rack!
Perhaps the owner wanted to carry 2 spares? Not a bd idea if going a very long way or perhaps to Alaska!
I'm no fan of the square headlights , but were better when new, I guess.
Al
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Al Brase
Projects: 67 sunroof bug, 67 Porsche 912 Targa, 70 Westy
Dec 1955 Single Cab pickup WANT 15" BUS RIMS dated 8/55, thru 12/55
To New owners: 1969 doublecab, 1971 Dormobile
Vanagons:
80 P27 Westy JUL 1979, 3rd oldest known US
83 1.6TD Vanagon, 87 Wolfie Westy daily driver, swap meet home
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mordeaux
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a deal for Cheri or for anyone else with the inclination:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...AMEWA%3AIT
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mordeaux
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By deal I mean POTENTIALLY a good deal.
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cheri
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:18 pm    Post subject: was there a hybrid year in 85/86? Reply with quote

Thanks Mordeaux and Kevin. Can't tell you how much I appreciate the info. I'm not really looking for a non running project, but I do realize that any van I find will need work.

I have my eye on this one, and would appreciate comments. Of course, it's a good distance away from me.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=349419

All comments and suggestions are welcome!
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levi
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there another one, same model, color, auto tranny, new engine (it says)40,000 miles ago.........looks like a much better deal, and at nearly half the price Cool
sorry don't know how to paste it over, but it's the one from maine, orr's island, first page.
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that weekender looks like a pretty decent deal, if you don't want the full westy gear. Personally when I was looking for my van I passed over many weekenders because I had my heart set on the full deal. Looked for over a year to find "the one". Saw quite a few duds and overpriced "projects" too. I believe these vans magic, you don't find one, it finds you! Tune in and you will know when your van has arrived Very Happy

Best of luck!
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r39o
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: lots of 84s and 85s Reply with quote

cheri wrote:
I'm noticing that there are an inordinate amount of 84 and 85 campers out there. Is there a reason for this? Are there model years to avoid?

They are not the "preferred" models. They are bascially, the first waterboxers. There are many differences mechanically between them and the 86 and up ones. Some parts, notably hoses, are getting harder to come by. They use Digijet injection where the 86+ use Digifant. They come stock with a pathetic 1.9L 82 hp engine. Tough as nails, but slower than the 86+ 2.1L 90 hp engine. BUT, where the 2.1 has a tendancy towards a low oil pressure problem, the 1.9 rarely has the issue. (See stickies about oil pressure.) From a electrical point the 86+ used the same wiring setup and fuse boxes as other period VAG products. My 85 has the earlier setup. Does not seem to be an issue (except I am well versed with the later wiring and the earilier uses different connectors with hence different tools to work on. No big deal, wiring in not an issue, it seems.)

Cosmetically they have different colors inside. Mine is tan Some have more brown. Some have cloth that falls apart. Mine not, for example. My friends 85 has a cord material that did not last. The 86+ typically have gray which seems to hold up and is more modern looking.

This all above is described in many places. Try vanagon.com to start. Or the wiki. GoWesty.com too.

Models to avoid. This is a religous area I will try to tread lightly in. Generally speaking: Up to early 83 we had air cooled. Not alot of power to push those big boxes around. In 82/83 there were (slow German postal based) diesels too. Late 83 are the beginnings of the waterboxers and their quest for more power and better emissions. Lots of production changes going on to 85 to deal with whatnot. 86+ seemed pretty stable mechanically with all sorts of issues corrected. Best US years seem to be the ones close to 91. Africa kept building them until just a few years ago with a much diiferent power plant. Mind you lots of people convert their vans to some of these later parts.

For me get the van that you like best. You can always upgrade / repair the mechanical things. Remember I am being general. Go read around, the details are written about adnauseum.

Have fun, I am...
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"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!

1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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r39o
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: was there a hybrid year in 85/86? Reply with quote

cheri wrote:
I have my eye on this one, and would appreciate comments. Of course, it's a good distance away from me.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=349419

All comments and suggestions are welcome!

This is the one that typically the material likes to fall apart on. Plus it needs A/C work which can cost real money. The power steering is another area which can cost as the usual failure mode is bad seals which appear as a leak. The crossover pipes are metal and only need to be tight. Never seen one leak. I think the rack is bad. A few seals have been replaced. The skylight seal was also one of the few things replaced by the PO of my beat van. So they must all go no matter what. I ti a nasty leak, and an easy cheap fix. Unless that van comes with records, I think scant little was really done to it. At 165K it WILL need things, if they have not been done. Water hoses will fail. Trust me on that one. The trans is the very solid 3 speed, just needs service. CVs will need help one of these days. Diito the front suspension. Shocks, brakes and other normal wear items will be due, unless already done.

I am always suspecious of wordy ads that have not real meat. That ad states the heads were done and a few other things. It doesn't state things like what tires it has and how old. Or when it had a good tuneup that checked leak down and oil pressure. When was the trans serviced? How about the brakes and so on.

I think that van was bought cheap to flip or something like that. Get the facts and get the van checked out, if you really like it. Spend the $100, you will be far ahead if you do that.

Now, for me the real show stopper is the fact that it is an East coast van. All the more reason to check it out first. If it were $3K - 4K, I'd kick the tires and look close. At 5K+ I want to be sure I don't have to sink big money in. The Power Steering is big money (new racks are $600 and unless you know a used rack is good because you saw it in action, I would stick with new.)

So go get it checked, if after looking at it, you really like it.

BTW: Don't let how clean it is or how it drives fool you. It can some major stuff needed attention and seem to be just fine. I noticed that plenty of times when I was looking.

Good Luck,
Walt...
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"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!

1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this one is half way decent and has a pop top, then it should make a good deal at $1100.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=355217

This would be how to buy one, as they ALL NEED WORK! Quote me, and I have have written this before, that nobody sells a car with no problems. Sometimes for other reasons a perfect one is sold, but rarely.
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"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!

1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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