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The Saga of our Westy
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: The Saga of our Westy Reply with quote

Hi all, just bought my new vanagon westy. Gray inside and out. Missing upper bunk (do you have one for sale?)

Gas tank vents leak somewhere, and front torque arms need new bushings. I just put new bilstein shocks all around, and am still cleaning the inside out.

Does anyone know where to get bushings for the front end? Does any one recommend the poly stuff?

Anyone good at running a new propane line to the stove? Anything I should know before going to my local hardware store and buying some tubing and connectors? Are the lines metric?

Van has 162K and original engine and transmission, heads seem to be redone or newer. Rear heater may be leaking, need to check under the box...

I will post pics later tonight when I get home.
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=496946 1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia with 1.8T


Last edited by kuleinc on Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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GBA 88West LA
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

congrats on new ride check chris out @t3...he lists the bushings in the classifieds here...the vents are pretty easy and i believe theres a ton o how to write ups archived here.

pixs?
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Summers420us
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put "replace fuel lines" at the top of your to-do list.
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Vango Conversions
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what you mean by "torque arm" but if you meant control arm, there are poly bushings available for the upper and lower control arms. They are available for other things too but they are expensive and the control arm bushings will have your van riding and handling very nicely and give you the best bang for your buck. They take care of the annoying squeaking as well.
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the rod that goes forward from the upper control arm...
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome! Good stuff here: http://www.t3technique.com/powerflex-bushings/

Chris is the man for the good stuff.
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I emailed chris about the bushings I need, I just don't see them there, maybe I'm doing it wrong...
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet you could easily make an upper bunk.

You could make one out of hexcell and save some wt. up high...
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molybdanum
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the bushings you are looking for are radius rod bushings. I think t3 techniques doesn't have a poly version of this, but they are still available from the dealer. If doing this job, I'd also get new sleeves that go inside the bushings from van cafe. You will definately need an alignment after getting this done.

-Dan
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Saguache
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: My "new" Westy Reply with quote

kuleinc wrote:
Does anyone know where to get bushings for the front end? Does any one recommend the poly stuff?


Kuleinc,

Gratz on the new ride, may I suggest that you take a look at PowerFlex bushings for your front end. You can find several vendors on this site who carry them (Chris at T3 comes to mind), but these are my favorite!
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does the NHV compare with rubber bushings?
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had my first break down on the 30 mile trip home from work today. Details to follow after I finish my late dinner..
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK...NOW you're in the club! Wink

Seriously though, what trouble? Hope you're rolling again soon. Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pushed my van 8 times totalling about 20-30 blocks in the first week I owned it, and it was a cream puff.

I found out about vanagon syndrome and what a bad TPS where that week.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, just got a great idea for a new thread.....
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So we drove the van home over 300 miles, no issues except thermostat wasn't letting van get any warmer than large white stripe at bottom of gauge.

I purchase new German thermostat, now engine gets to normal around red LED, and I continue driving it to and from work (30 miles ish each way), no problems until tonight on the way home.

I'm cruising down 24 in traffic so no faster than 45ish, and all of a sudden it feels like the engine died for a second, but then the power came back on and all was fine for a little while. Then a few more miles and it happens again, and this time I'm looking at gauges. When the van loses power for a second the tach goes to zero, then when the power comes back on the tach goes back up to engine speed. It starts happening more and more frequently, I get worried and pull off at an exit and stop in a safe place, engine dies.

I have trouble getting it to start at all, sometimes I can floor it and keep it running some, no idle. I putz around in engine bay inspecting connections and things (thanks Paul). I finally figure out a way to check spark by myself, and lay the back seat down to bed mode, and unplug the coil wire from the distributor cap and lay it on top of the A/C compressor bracket. I go up to drivers area and crank engine over, there is more spark than I was expecting. I re-attach coil wire to cap. I then loosen a fuel hose clamp and discover there is gas and some pressure. I don't have a pressure gauge with me so I don't know how much, but there was some.

I try to start van some more, without the slightest of success. I then go back to engine and ponder it a while, and in frustration take the air hose that goes into the body work off of the air box and try to start van. It struggles a bit, starts, stumbles a bit, but holds an idles, and then starts idleing smoothly. I go back to engine put air hose from body back on air box, and then test the van out, slowly up and down the street. All seems to be well, so I go and get on the freeway and drive home 15 or so miles without any further issues.

I THINK that something is getting hot and not doing its job, and when it cools it works again? I should mention both the fuel pump and distributor and distributor hall sensor thingies look like 1987 vintage, much like the shocks I just replaced with bilsteins....

Paul awesomely offered to lend me a box of spares so that we can go on our trip this weekend. I carry a near full tool box with me in the van, just in case, and found it does no good without spare parts. Although, I was not able to figure out what had failed.

Does anyone know if a fuel gauge can be attached to a fuel rail or something similar so I can monitor fuel pressure if this happens again? I did listen for the pump doing its prime thing when the key is switched on and confirmed that it was at least making noise...
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats exactly what mine did, it never left me standed though. Smile
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tomkat73
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will let others reply - but the instantaneous off/on thingy sounds like a bad ignition switch. Very difficult to duplicate and troubleshoot...most of us carry spare(s) as these are a constant FAIL item. $8 item from the usual suspects.

Mine first failed on the way home to Seattle from Yosemite a few years back. We bucked into Reno with my wife shifting gears while I turned and held the key 'just so'.

J's VW fixed me up in a day...now I carry a spare and Samba printout to fix it.
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did some research, anyone think this has to do with D15 plug? I assume Paul's box of spares he's lending me will have a spare ignition switch. What a silly thing to fail...
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harbor Freight has a cheap (all their stuff is crap, but sometimes beats real $$ spent) fuel pressure gauge. I would start there... I have had the same problem, chased it down to a pinched fuel line between the filter and the fuel rail. Came out of nowhere also.

Just what happened to me... could be lots of things with yours though.
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