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True or False: A '91 Westy that has been driven gently...
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<Nothing beats a detailed inspection and test drive by a professional.
Have the van appraised.>>

Well, this is all good advise.

Better have Jesus, Superman, or Obama do the appraisal.

Let me be more politically incorrect.

Nobody, nowhere can pop up with a crystal ball and give you the golden wave off on any vehicle, let alone a 19 year old ride that nobody knows one thing about--except the guy that's off loading it.

Buying a car, truck or Van is a known & a unsavory big crapshoot.

Take Daizee for instance---

No--forget about that deal.
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MichaelRpdx
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: barley pop suggestion.

I'm leaving a pack of line caught, smoked Alaskan King Salmon for my shop. They can enjoy it at work.
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tourmaline
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, I love reading the responses in this thread. Some great advice here.

Someone asked about the prices: No they are not in the same league. The 200,000 mile Westy is approx. $12k while the 70,000 mile Westy that's seemingly been driven hard is around $25k. A huge price difference.

Loogy: I think I love you. ha! Seriously, your post is great. I truly agree that mileage itself is not a good indicator of when a vehicle needs to be retired. If a car is driven gently and maintained thoroughly by a qualified mechanic, I think it can keep going reliably year after year.

Terry: I appreciate your honesty and humor. BUT I do think that you are thinking a bit pessimistically about this. The concensus in this thread, which I agree with, is that paperwork and mileage are fine but the real clincher in the decision is the result of a thorough inspection by a qualified Vanagon mechanic. I think that if one does their due diligence, then buying a vehicle doesn't need to be a crapshoot. I was stupid when I bought my '82 Westy. I took it to a mechanic who basically just kicked the wheels, looked for an oil leak, and then pronounced the vehicle as sound. He was wrong. After I bought the vehicle I discovered my engine compression was terrible among many other problems. Like I said, I was stupid going into it. Once bitten, twice shy: I won't be burned again. I'll be certain that any Westy I buy has been inspected on every level, and I think that when one does that then there is very little chance of having major unexpected problems.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One bitten twice shy---a good rule of thumb to buy any ride.

I run this show on the Titanic theory.

Them poor folks were guaranteed safe passage on a ship that couldn't be sunk.

Buying anything used is like taking a boat ride.

Better have your lifeboat all picked out and have the davit crank ready.

Make sure that whoever inspects that Van has a Boroscope bolted to his forehead.
Make sure he checks out all of the bearings from front to rear, in every cavity, orfice ,journal, race & hole, & gets a little greasy during the iron clad inspection proceedings.

It's still a almost 20 year old vehicle any way you look at it.

25k for a 91 Westy?
Where in the heck are you?
Dubai?
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Last edited by Terry Kay on Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:09 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Californio
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me the issue is not just which is the better van. It's whether anyone should be driving these, especially long distances, without mechanical skills. Or, I guess, without a bunch of extra, unwanted money sitting around in a bank account.
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tourmaline
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry: Seller is asking more than 25k but I think he'd come down several thousand so I put 25k. His reasoning, I can only assume, is because the vehicle has low mileage, plus he's put thousands into it for new GoWesty engine, tranny, etc.

Californio: That is a good point. That's why I am so focused on buying the most reliable vehicle that I can, because I don't have a lot of mechanical knowledge. I really don't think that that should bar me from enjoying owning and driving a Westfalia camper though.

But yes, I am being forced to learn mechanical skills and knowledge by owning a Westy. Believe me, if there was a class - even an online class - for Vanagon Mechanics 101, I would be the first to sign up.
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87Enterprise
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey tourmaline, there is a place where you can learn how to work on Vanagons, It's right here on the samba, good people such as the folks trying to help you now. Just watch out for the class clown!
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seems to me that both of those prices are really, really high.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You most certainly can absorb some of the info, and digest some of it.

However, as far as mechanical apptitude & Vanagons go, a bunch of folks in Vanagonland would benifit from a hands on Vanagon 101 class.

Sucking typing into your grey matter isn't going to help you get the job done.

There are a bunch of cave men present and accounted for here.
What once was a simple job is a back , knuckle, and head scratching affair here in Vanagonland.

What once made sense & once was easy doesn't happen anymore simply because along with hard to find no longer available parts--- nobody wants to bother to procure the proper tools.

With knowledge you'll need the proper tools to go along with the educational process.

24k for a 91 is over the line.
For that kinda squid it should be brand new--inside & out, underneath, & the powerplant should be brand new--

You must be in Saudi Arabia or The left coast--
You just nail a portion of Bernie Madoffs stash?
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Odometer readings don't mean anything as mentionned. Since I got mine last April the dash has been changed 3 times originally in miles but not recalibrated for the kms. My converted diesel engine has been changed X 2. It is only heresay how many miles/km on either engine. I only know the total engine hrs since the first conversion and I noted the engine hrs at the 2nd installation. In my case I can not state anything with surity but I do have some history and lots of data in my life time and I will readily admit to unknown mileage.

So what you see and what you are told many not be. It's never a simple thing buying any vehicle and especially Vanagons. If I were going to do it again I think I'd only do it thru a known Guru. Have to say that my first (Westy) did me well, just really a drunk when it came to gas.

I think that so many people have filled you in now and you should realize there is no easy answer. Mega efforts go into buying a Vanagon, even the 91's are old but age is not THE consideration.

OMG I just saw the price. You did say it has a GoWesty engine but even I know that price is really really really high! I'd say walk. He'd have to come down like more than $10,000 to even be considered IMHO well unless its Tom Hanks that is. Mabe a Syncro but a 2WD.?

CALIFORNIO: I think that statement is stupid, real stupid and very judgemental. I had a big bank account, I made a bad decision but I've accepted that. If someone wants to buy anything, then it is not for others to make blanket negative statements. Why don't you just offer +ve advice or not participate. I'm not sure I've heard anything that ignorant in here. Who made you god? Say you are sorry to all who aren't mechanical or don't have the facilities and even if someone buys on a budget that's not for someone to judge. I'm really ticked off now. It's almost like an old era chauvinistic comment.
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83.5 Vanagon L Riviera Model with 98 1.9L TD AAZ 4 speed Daily Driver 3 out of 4 seasons (sold)
84 Vanagon GL Wolfsburg Westy WBX 4 speed (sold)


Last edited by DAIZEE on Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tourmaline
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry: Your posts have made me laugh a great deal. Thanks for the fuel-injection of humor. Very Happy

I love reading posts on the Samba, but it's not definitely not a classroom, it's many people's experiences, opinions, and educated guesses, which are quite valuable. This forum would be a nice supplement to an actual class (we had online class forums to discuss the material in some of my university classes), but nowhere near as authoritative as a real class taught by an actual Vanagon mechanic with many years experience.

Regarding the prices...Yeah, the $25k seems pretty overpriced. That's probably why it's been waiting for a buyer for nearly a year. I don't think I'd pay 12k for the other vehicle, I would probably go up to 9 or 10k, but not over that...
And when did I ever say that I have that kind of money? If you read my original post, I said that I'm fantasizing. I am saving my money to purchase a '91 automatic Westy, but I'm nowhere near ready to buy yet. I'm just doing research at this point.

Edit: Daizee, just saw your last post. Thanks for your input, good to know that the 25k is WAY high. I hadn't realized that before hearing people's reactions.
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GMByers
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tourmaline,

Your topic is definitely gathering some dialog. I think that after you make your decision, you should have a few post purchase follow-up questions such as;

what are the best shocks
what are the best tires
what oil should I use
and of course the most important, what is the best engine conversion

Very Happy
Gary
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RicoS
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: True or False: A '91 Westy that has been driven gently.. Reply with quote

tourmaline wrote:
So I'm wondering if the one with 200,000 original miles that has been babied might just be the better choice?


There's an old Sicilian saying (at least an old Sicilian told it to me): The seller ALWAYS knows what he is selling, but the buyer SELDOM knows what he is buying.

Richie
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ACCURATE!!!!
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84 Vanagon GL Wolfsburg Westy WBX 4 speed (sold)
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Californio sez-
Quote:
It's whether anyone should be driving these, especially long distances, without mechanical skills. Or, I guess, without a bunch of extra, unwanted money sitting around in a bank account.

DAIZEE replies-
Quote:
I think that statement is stupid, real stupid and very judgemental. I had a big bank account, I made a bad decision but I've accepted that.

If a driver is able to fix the van or diagnose a problem and kludge a repair to get to a repair place they will save themselves money and possibly their life if everything goes wrong. Is that a bad thing?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject: Re: True or False: A '91 Westy that has been driven gently.. Reply with quote

<<There's an old Sicilian saying (at least an old Sicilian told it to me): The seller ALWAYS knows what he is selling, but the buyer SELDOM knows what he is buying.>>

Don Corleone knows---

Make the seller an offer he can't refuse--12 would be on the money--
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Re: True or False: A '91 Westy that has been driven gently.. Reply with quote

RicoS wrote:
There's an old Sicilian saying (at least an old Sicilian told it to me): The seller ALWAYS knows what he is selling, but the buyer SELDOM knows what he is buying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Market_for_Lemons
But that's DEFINITELY not a reason not to get another Westy if that's what you're dreaming about.

JMR
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tourmaline: you've gotten lots of view points and lots of good advice. You can't fantasize over this. You must get serious and have a plan and have all your pins in a row. i.e. have your resources lined up and why not ask those resources (the one(s) who will be assessing potential purchases) to pick their knowledge/brains.
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84 Vanagon GL Wolfsburg Westy WBX 4 speed (sold)
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RicoS
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:30 pm    Post subject: Re: True or False: A '91 Westy that has been driven gently.. Reply with quote

jmranger wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Market_for_Lemons
But that's DEFINITELY not a reason not to get another Westy if that's what you're dreaming about.

JMR


The reason NOT to get a Westy if you're DREAMING about one is that along with the Westy, you'll get get a good yentzen.

Richie
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd go look and drive both, have them both inspected, especially if you yourself don't know what to look/listen for mechanically, and go from there. Asking which is better on the Internet is like throwing darts. Just know that no matter which one you get, you'll be repairing something sooner rather than later. Laughing Razz

As for Carfax: I was told by the PO of my van that they bought it from the original owner. Running a Carfax revealed that they had bought if from the 2nd owner. It also showed that the van spent its entire life in California. My Cabriolet on the other hand had obviously been wrecked to a small degree, which the original owners said nothing about (being a dreamy-eyed 16-year-old, I wasn't looking too closely either); running a Carfax decades later, no accident history was revealed which means the original owners most likely didn't report the accident (or file an insurance claim). I'd run a Carfax anyway; sometimes little tidbits of info can be revealed that even the current owners don't know about.
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