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Purchase advice - Chicago area [Update: Got one!]
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ELO78
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:02 pm    Post subject: Purchase advice - Chicago area [Update: Got one!] Reply with quote

My wife and I are considering purchasing a Vanagon. It would serve as a second vehicle Ė mostly for me to drive three miles to work on the days that I donít bike or walk, but more importantly for road-trips, vacations, and other fun outings. We feel that a Weekender model (pop-top; no kitchen) would serve us best. We have one kid, with another due in February. Tent camping is something that we enjoy; we hope to continue it with our kids.

I have no experience servicing my own vehicles. That said, my momís husband is a hobby mechanic, and thereís a chance that he and I could work together on the van, but Iím not counting on it. I would likely be finding and using a local mechanic for most work. Based on other purchase threads that Iíve read, it seems like the best option is to buy the nicest, most reliable, and most sorted-out van we can afford. Thoughts?

On to the WBX versus the various conversions....it seems that each have their supporters and critics. Any recommendations for someone that will likely not be doing their own maintenance, and values reliability and lowest cost of ownership?

As the thread title says, we are in Chicago Ė the suburbs, actually. So, rust is on my mind. I would try to find a van with the least amount of rust (ideally none?). I understand that this may lead me to purchase a van from the west or southwest. What are options and practices to combat rust? The van would likely be driven in the winter, although we could do our best to limit this.

Iíve tried to search-out and read other threads with similar topics, which has been extremely helpful. But, anything else that I should be looking for and considering?

Thanks in advance for any comments or discussion!


[Moderator edit 7/20/16: Title amended for update since buying advice is no longer needed.]
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ELO78
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This van caught my eye as a good example of something that could work well for us. Thoughts?

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1840629
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ Looks very well sorted...go for it!

FWIW: If only driven for a 3 mile commute, you'll hardly ever get the van up
to operating temp. At least once or twice a week I'd make sure you get out for
a 20-30 minute drive, purpose being to help burn latent moisture out of the oil,
etc. Sounds crazy, but I'd even put a few nail holes through the bottom of the
muffler to drain moisture from there...prevent premature rust-through...

Cool

- Dave
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<EDITED TO PROTECT INNOCENT PIXELS>
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Mike Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks very well sorted. It has many of the best upgrades. AA transaxle, bostig, T3, California, nice.

It is nice to comment on a buy thread where the vehicle being considered is a good one that has the potential to be reliable.

Sure the price is up there, but represents pretty good value.

M
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you probably will be having it serviced at a shop my number one thought is to find top candidates and ask them what they're comfortable working on. Do they specialize in Vanagons? Conversions, and if so, which conversion. Then when you find possible vans you can bring them to the shop for a pre purchase inspection.

The van in the ad looks nice.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

$25,500.00 for an 85?

Lot's of nice stuff, but way overpriced for around here.
The Zetec is a good choice for a power plant--the steel replacement bumper's will work well for you on the Kennedy or Dan Ryan.

I believe you'll have a heck of a time getting anyone to work on it besides yourself in this neck of the woods.
You are not on the left coast--Vanagons are in the big minority here, and not too many places will even look at them.

That's my large word of warning.
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...but you'll love the Peloquin LSD in the winter... Cool

As far as shop options:
http://www.roadhaus.com/shops.php

...and every corner garage has seen thousands of Zetecs by now...
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Last edited by dhaavers on Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:09 am; edited 2 times in total
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolish move destroying a 25 large vehicle with an alleged new paint job in the liquid calcium chloride & other garbage the City of Obama tosses on the road.

It'll be a rust bucket in no time--peloquin hauling it through the salt or not--

He'll have the oil pan off on the first ice packed snow drift--snow covered parking lot concrete stop.--

POW!!!--All done.
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ELO78
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
Foolish move destroying a 25 large vehicle with an alleged new paint job in the liquid calcium chloride & other garbage the City of Obama tosses on the road.

It'll be a rust bucket in no time


Besides not driving it the snow, is there work that can be done to (e.g., undercoating?), or routine practices that can be performed on (e.g., daily washes?), a van to prevent or limit rust?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long you lived in the city?

Look around and see the rest of the salt eaten vehicles --

If you have a shop / garage to perform all of the washing, waxing, undercoating, whatever maintenance on your own--it'll still rot.
Watch the body seams melt away as you watch--glass surround mouldings are another good place for metal melting.

You parking on the street?

Wave goodbye .

A West coast 30 year old vehicles won't last long around here--they rot pretty quick.

Unless you have heated indoor parking 24/7/365, and don't drive it in the winter, that 25.5 large for that van will be money tossed out the window.
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is just a few threads away from yours (for now at least):

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=638447

Check the FAQs here for more.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL--

He's have to dip the entire vehicle in Waxoyl or whatever this other stuff is once a week to keep the calcium chloride from eating the Van up.

He'll have a heck of a time seeing outa the glass with the "dip it" all over the Van--good idea--

You don't have a clue--- Rolling Eyes

Driving anything here in the winter is like you left coaster's parking on the beach 24/7--watching the waves coming in.

Old sheet metal doesn't have a chance.

If he wants a nice van for the summer --park it in the winter--inside,& heated.
Then it'll be fine for the long haul.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which raises the point I thought originally but didn't state: is anyone able to use a Vanagon as a daily driver through the winter in Chicago. When I lived there in the 80s everything turned to rust. Newer cars seem to do better but I wonder about a Vanagon.

And this raises my other thought: OP, have you considered buying a domestic van? It would cost about half as much, be less prone to rusting (because it's less than half the age of a Vanagon) and be more disposable. Alternatively, consider making the Vanagon a summer-only vehicle.
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Past: 1985 Westy Camper - 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years to Northwesty who converted it to a Syncro).
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where you live it needs to be a three season vehicle.
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Join the Vanagon Rescue Squad on the VanAlert app.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"have you considered buying a domestic van? It would cost about half as much, be less prone to rusting (because it's less than half the age of a Vanagon) and be more disposable."

If your saying re- saleable your right.
Vanagons failed in the entire midwest for VW.
If your saying being able to find a larger parts purveyor on every & any corner, your right there too.

I can envision this van the OP's looking at not starting one -20 below morning and having the tow truck driver scratching his head looking for the battery.

It's a 3 season ride only here for sure.
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Last edited by Terry Kay on Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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ELO78
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the feedback! I appreciate the honesty!
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foolery
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live right in the city. I would never drive my van in the snow. If you do I would get weekly car washes including a good wash on the bottom. I garage mine all year long, but as soon as the snow starts it never leaves.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you drive in Winter's salt enhanced slop, the last thing you want is a heated garage or a spell of warm weather!

You Want the metal eating poison to remain frozen.....
Keep parking in a warm place and turning the solid ice to a salty brine every night ..... your rust will be accelerated!

Dave
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take two dishes and load them up with liquid calcium chloride.
Toss a naked piece of sheet metal in both.
Throw one in the freezer, one on your work bench.

Watch what happens to both pieces of steel.
Document the rotting away difference.

Too miniscule to measure.
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ELO78
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More good discussion! Thanks!

So, let's say I use the Vanagon for spring, summer, and fall, always parking it in my unheated garage. Then I park it in my unheated garage for the duration of winter. My primary vehicle will be used during winter, pulling in and out of the garage, right next to the Vanagon. Is this a death sentence for the Vanagon?
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