Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Ok guys My wife wants to take a 900 miles trip this summer.
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
allsierra123
Samba Member


Joined: August 19, 2006
Posts: 1462
Location: Tecate, Baja California MX
allsierra123 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Ok guys My wife wants to take a 900 miles trip this summer. Reply with quote

I get differing stories on how reliable the 2.1 WBX would be on trips. Am I being overly paranoid in not wanting to take a trip like this in the van? It seems to run pretty good especially now with most of the cooling system replaced. Up next is doing the fuel lines. But are these engines really prone to major mechanical failure or is it going to be something small that more than likely will fail.
_________________
95 GMC Yukon 6.5 TD 2 Door Tow pig/ Daily driver.
91 Vanagon GL. 1.9TD Conversion Sold
81 Vw rabbit 1.6 Diesel. Sold
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
syncrodoka
Samba Member


Joined: December 27, 2005
Posts: 11337
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
syncrodoka is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I drove my truck straight through 1400 miles to get it home. When my girlfriend and I go kayaking and camping we log on at least 700 miles. I rarely carry tools and never carry extra parts. Make sure the car is in good mechanical shape(engine compression test, leakdown test, tune up etc.) and drive it- that is what they were built for Very Happy .
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
EricD
Samba Member


Joined: November 06, 2006
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle, WA
EricD is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an 87 Westy. I did a 5000 mile 9 week trip last summer with my wife and daughter (20 months old at the start). We did not miss a single hour due to mechanical problems - including two 11000+ ft passes in Colorado. We did a 1500 mile trip down to California the previous summer (with 8 month old) and had the head gasket go 30 minutes out of town. That problem cost us a week, but it wasn't too bad because we hadn't even gotten out of town yet.

Personally, I wouldn't blink at a 900 mile trip. We do 3-400 mile trips almost every weekend in the spring and fall.

I have come to believe the 2.1 is pretty reliable IF you stay on top of the preventative maintenance. I do travel with lots of tools and a few spare parts, but have seldom gotten them out for more than an oil change.

Use the search. There are lots of posts on people's travel kits and the types of preventative maintenance to tackle before a big trip.

Go for it! Isn't this the type of thing you bought the van for? If you do happen to break down, there is no better car to be stuck on the side of the road in than a Westy!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Wildthings
Samba Member


Joined: March 13, 2005
Posts: 42680

Wildthings is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 84 is a junker by most peoples standards, yet we just took a 7500 mile trip in it. Not quite trouble free, but close.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Dogpilot
Samba Member


Joined: October 03, 2005
Posts: 4205
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Dogpilot is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, when I was sitting in the cab of the tow truck this summer being dropped back in Laguna. I asked the driver what was the most frequently towed vehicle he saw. "Late model BMW's" So you can have a super high end, expensive, high tech cruiser and still flirt with towing. So if you get most of the issues up front, you should be trouble free. Get AAA, and keep the suppliers phone numbers handy. There is always one of us crazy Vanagon folk somewhere along the way to help.
_________________
Geology with a Syncro rocks!
86 Syncro Westy AKA "The Bughunter"
98 Disco I
08 Range Rover SC
08 VW Rabbit S
1951 O-1G
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
shoblime
Samba Member


Joined: December 28, 2007
Posts: 43
Location: State College, PA
shoblime is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless a given vehicle is seriously, fatally flawed, it comes down 90% to maintenance. For most cars, should they be maintained, 90% of the time you're going to get where you're going. There has been very little incremental quality increase for most cars. Yes, Vdubs (and many older cars) will suffer catastrophic or major failures of vital systems. These repairs may run hundreds to thousands of dollars. $500 of prevention is worth $2000 of repair.

Of course, anyone with a new car can tell you just how much they cost, as well! Engine light problems? Computer issues? All those fancy new electronics dying young? This too will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. The difference is the VW will cost thousands only when it needs a new engine or transmission; a "fancy" new car will cost thousands to fix suspension or brakes or transmission or replacing the 6 catalytic converters or big dollar emissions and electronic controls.

The simplicity of previous decades is gone forever. One could argue the vanagon is ALREADY beyond the primal simplicity of a bay or split. As more features are piled on, a multitude of potential problems emerge, hence the late model BMW being a prime towing suspect. They are fancy and advanced and make you feel pretty cool when they work, but as soon as the electronic climate control, power mirrors, seat heaters, and variable cams start to deteriorate you are looking at BIG $$$$$$$$ to keep your car on the road as long as a bay window has been puttering about.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Lanval
Samba Member


Joined: June 09, 2007
Posts: 905

Lanval is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shoblime's points are well taken. I live in South Orange County, and I see plenty of high 5 figure cars busted on the side of the road. Personally, I like having a shot at getting myself going again ~ those guys have no chance.

Bear in mind that these cars were trustworthy enough in their day to sell millions (I drive the Air-Cooled version); yeah Go Westy makes it sound like the air-cooled motor is a piece of junk, but after I have it rebuilt, it'll be plenty strong to take the westy North to Oregon for next year's holidays. If the engine/auto is well maintained, there is no reason you couldn't drive 10,000 miles should you wish. Many people have. And think of it this way: In the age of the internet, you can have a turnkey engine shipped to you for $3500-$6500 depending on what you want to have installed. You ain't buying a late model engine for that kind of money.

Best,

Lanval
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
CF
Samba Member


Joined: February 17, 2005
Posts: 802

CF is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

worse case scenaro is that you will towed in to one of us on the rescue squad or airs list and help you with parts and labor if any.i have a 1.9 in the shed if you need any major part and if you are contributing to Larry Chase pay it foward fund there is a chane of a big releaf there.if there ios a ny thing majorly wrong.

yes,
Larry i have a complete running 1.9 motor in a crate for the pay it forward fund.all i need is the a address to ship to.that's my donation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
J Charlton Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: August 24, 2007
Posts: 1465
Location: The True North Strong and Free
J Charlton is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would you please post some info on the "rescue squads" and pay it forward fund.
Thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
wavanagon
Samba Member


Joined: September 17, 2007
Posts: 400
Location: Everett, WA
wavanagon is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

allsierra, don't get too paranoid. Tune it up, check it out pre-trip(fuel lines!), drive it for a week prior, then go! Carry a small bag of tools, a couple of cheap replacement parts to be give you peace of mind and enjoy your trip!
_________________
1988 Vanagon GL - For Sale
1987 Westfalia
2008 Audi A4 2.0T
http://wavanagon.googlepages.com

Dirty from working on your Vanagon? Buy soap from my wife!
http://www.teatreesoap.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
Yellow Rabbit
Samba Member


Joined: August 31, 2005
Posts: 834
Location: NoCo
Yellow Rabbit is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It took me a good year of ownership before I felt confident that I would not break down on a long trip. I believe the feeling was caused by reading about too many break downs etc, on this forum. Keep in mind that nobody writes about the thousands of trouble free miles they have driven. Life's an adventure and the Westy is a perfect vehicle for that journey. Even if you have problems, years down the road you will look back at the tow truck experience as just another adventure.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
techbot
Samba Member


Joined: June 12, 2007
Posts: 44
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
techbot is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely understand the pre-trip nervousness.. My wife and I took our honeymoon in our van (bunter) cross country and back (here's the thread)... before leaving I was having all kinds of second thoughts.

We had only owned the van for about 3 months prior to our trip. But before embarking we did plenty of preventative maintenance and had a pre-trip inspection by Volks Cafe. I downloaded the entire database of Road Haus mechanics on my laptop (in the event of not having internet connection) and packed several tools and extra parts. I also scheduled an oil change and check up by a Volkswagon mechanic (found via Road Haus) in Boston.

We went 7500 troublefree miles! I wouldn't have done that trip in another vehicle... Our mantra the whole time was that if we break down it's just part of the fun. Make sure to pat the dashboard every once and awhile and give your steed some thanks. Go for it!!
_________________
1991 Westfalia Multivan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
VanagOnly
Samba Member


Joined: September 04, 2007
Posts: 81
Location: NYC,NY
VanagOnly is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best peace of mind is to get AAA with the 100 mile towing option,along with the PM(paranoid maintainence)
_________________
87 Wolfie
Past rides:72 Bus- RIP
72 Volvo 145 wagon-RIP
76 Jeep Wagoneer-RIP
67 Bug Dad's Daily-Project
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ToddWESTY
Samba Member


Joined: November 01, 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Playa Del Rey
ToddWESTY is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: October Reply with quote

I ran up to Seattle (from Los Angeles) and back in October. I didn't have a single hiccup. However I made sure that upon leaving I had the appropriate spares, tools, and a charged cell phone.

My path North was took me up the Coast the whole way....then back South on I-5.

Being prepared is the key to an enjoyable trip.
_________________
GO WEST
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
MattVW
Samba Member


Joined: October 13, 2007
Posts: 210

MattVW is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just make sure everything, I MEAN EVERYTHING is up to snuff. Carry some extra parts, the bently etc.. With that you should be fine.

That goes for any engine, old or new. As long as it's taken care of it should be fine.
_________________
-Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
klucz
Samba Member


Joined: February 14, 2006
Posts: 1062
Location: Chicago, IL
klucz is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you drive it around locally for a while and work out the bugs you should be fine. Just don't shortchange anything that seems 'iffy'. Some tools and a AAA card and you're set. 900 miles is nothing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
invisible
Samba Member


Joined: July 03, 2006
Posts: 38

invisible is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with everyone else. get AAA and get it tuned up. when i bought my van for $800 i took it to gowesty and had them look at it. they said it was strong and that was that, i took off after owning it for a month on a 1000 mile trip to the middle of nowhere, and then got back just fine! these vans are meant to go!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
90Doka_Guy
Samba Member


Joined: April 08, 2007
Posts: 528
Location: South Jersey
90Doka_Guy is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be the 27894123 guy to say this: get a AAA card and get going. Have a mechanic take a look over it if you think it'll give you more of a peace of mind. Once your on your way try not to get overly paranoid about it breaking down. Whatever happens, happens and a trip is much more enjoyable if your not constantly worrying if the van is going to break down. I can remember taking countless trips across the country to cali in the vanagon (pulling a trailer too) as a kid and i can only remember once where the van broke down enough to cause a delay. I think it was something with the thermostat housing.
_________________
-87 Westy
-90 Vanagon
-90 DOKA
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
danfromsyr
Samba Member


Joined: March 01, 2004
Posts: 12750
Location: Syracuse, NY
danfromsyr is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

get familiar with your van, and it's upkeep and maintenance.

the best tool is an alert ear, not a paranoid one.

resourcefulness is one of the best tools in your toolbox.

on a ~900 mile trip from NY to DC
I had a CV thumping coming into a remote campground after dark (rangerette said they were full, I pleaded and stayed)

in the morning, I rifled thru the contents of the camper..
and removed the eye wash dropper from the Med kit, dumped it out, added 3oz of 15w40 , crawled under the slightly jacked up bus, cut a small slit up high in the offending CV boot (was dry as leather) and applied said motoroil..

this near miss is what saves you a cramped ride with a greasey gus and makes you a hero in your families eyes..
the fault.. I hadn't ever attended to the CV Joints on my bus in the 2yrs I owned it.. that is my fault.. not the VWs

on a ~2200 mile trip from NY to FL I had the throttle cable chafe thru on the starter +pos cable creating a high arc short.. DEAD CABLE..

on the side of the sunshine skyway bridge (tampa) with a train to catch in Orlando (car train kicks butt IMO)
I emptied out the camper on the shoulder, and pulled out the camp twine, a 3 ft section of vinyl tubing and passed it thru the rear underseat via a top cut off a drygas bottle (think funnel/sleeve) and tied to the throttle arm.
had to operate the throttle in my 4spd through Tamp Sat afternoon traffic to Clearwater (~70 miles) found a home depot, and bought 25ft of garage door cable, cable lock clamps, and polyethelyne tubing. replaced the entire ru nof throttle cable front to back in the parking lot.. about 25 mins all done.
couldn't hand the van over to the train loaders with a "pull this rope throttle" Embarassed

I'm still driving on that garge door cable set-up..
again not the fault of the van, though that WAS a NEW cable ~12mo
but it shouldn't have been able to chaffe. my fault as the installer

lesson,
stuff will break.
be resourceful with materials at hand
/McGuyver off.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
RCB
Samba Member


Joined: September 05, 2005
Posts: 4144
Location: San Francisco-Bay Area
RCB is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings allseierra 123, With the nearly 600 postings like you have..I would say that if the wife wants you to come along on the 900 mile trip, you have done your homework and are ready to hit the road. If you run into any trouble on the way..contact any of us and we would certainly be glad to help in any way we can. Happy Trails and take many pictures...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB