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question about used westy for sale. opinions?
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subway
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: question about used westy for sale. opinions? Reply with quote

so i have wanted a westy on and off for about ten yrs, i went to go look at a 83.5 today it has 134k on it. its in about as good of shape as i could see a 28 yr old vw being in. honestly it was pretty damn clean. i looked it over very well, the motor has a oil leak around the front pulley and there seemed to be a little oil on the top side of the motor and oil pan as well. the body is super strait, there is only 2 small rust bubbles near 2 different windows no rust in body seems, no rust under the bus, i lifted some carpet and checked once again no rust. the only thing i could really find wrong with it is that most of the suspension bushings are starting to crack which is normal for a 28 yr old car i would assume. also it needs tires, they are dry rotted.

i drove the bus and everything seems in working order, the interior is all there and there is no rips or holes in the top. the seller will take no less than 7k, does this sound like a fair price? i have looked in the classified section and they go for that much or more but those are all west coast vehicles, this westy is located in VA. any imput on this would be greatly appreciated. thanks
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levi
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you checked out the 89 full camper in Fredricksburg for about the same price? Can't tell from pics of course, but if it's not rusty, man....
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mtwrench540
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: vanagons Reply with quote

you are in no.va? check out aleric in oakton,va! find one of his posts on samba and email him,his tag is aleric h. maybe you can hook up with him,he's very knowlegable!
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subway
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey i did not check out that 89 in person, but i did see it on cl . 7k is the top of my price range really and i dont want a air cooled.

id like to go subi or zetec powered down the road
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: question about used westy for sale. opinions? Reply with quote

<<i drove the bus and everything seems in working order, the interior is all there and there is no rips or holes in the top. the seller will take no less than 7k, does this sound like a fair price? >>

If the current owner/ sales person tossed in 5 new tires, the suspension bushings & the rust repair--this would be too much.

<<i have looked in the classified section and they go for that much or more but those are all west coast vehicles, this westy is located in VA. any imput on this would be greatly appreciated.>>

Keep looking.
It's winter, and a perfect time to be cutting a deal on a summertime vehicle.

That Van your looking at can / should be had for maybe $4500.00--- tops--Repaired & with the 5 new tires.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard to tell without knowing how much if any mechanical work is needed. A hyper maintained van is worth way more than most people would be willing to spend and way more than what people will tell you here.

A clean van is a good starting point but you have to know what it may need. You don't want to be surprised by one of the big expenses if you didnt price it in. An engine will be about $4K. Many other common repairs cost about $1000 and the number of things that can cost $1000 or more is surprising; transmission, coolant system overhaul, even brakes and front heater and a new set of 5 high quality tires is pretty close. On a camper, upgrading the fridge might run up to $1000 if you have someone do it, or adding a heater. So it is worth asking about maintenance and how often the van was taking on long trips (which is a good thing). In this case, for sure I would want to know the conditon of the engine.

I think you have to take it to a VW specialist really to get a good idea of condition. Some people think they have a gem when what they really have is a van that has been sitting for years and will need 2 years of TLC.

IMO, if it is in awesome mechanical condition, it would be worth 7K. But the dry rotted tires are a red flag to me. That tells me it probably wasn't hyper maintained and at 7K for an 83 I would expect a lot. Depending how much you like it, spending $150 to have it checked out would be worthwhile.
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subway
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the reply's, the van has been primarily used for summer trips to natural bus GTG, the owner is old and only uses it for camping trips but when talking to the daughter she told me the mom does not use it much
. now that her daughter sold her van, the mom is following suit

the person selling it is the owners daughter, i actually called about the daughters bus that had a deposit left on it the day i contacted her, she informed me her mother had a matching bus. i saw both westys today when i looked at the moms westy. the daughter had just sold her 84 that morning for 6k and the guy was coming back for it to pick it up. the 83 is in much better shape than the 84. i have a friend who was into air cooled vw's but got out of the scene about 10 yrs ago. he is a mechanic by trade and a good one at that. so i am trying to get him down there sooner than later to check it out. anyone know of any reputable vw shops in the richmond/fredricksburg area?
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

any maintenance/work paper work, what's the story on the engine and the leaking oil? IMO $7,000 too much. Good suggestion getting in touch with Alaric.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider this;

It's a the first 1/2 year water cooled Vanagon.

It's hard enough locating NLA parts for 86 on up Vans.
1.9's are getting more difficult to find new stuff for.
This should be in the back of your mind prior to agreeing to the asking price, and part of your negotiations.
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subway
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have decided to pass on this westy, i dont want to just rush out and buy one cause i want it. i am going to keep my eye out for something though. thanks to everyone here. you have been most helpful
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seanjenn
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

$7k is too much for an early, bone stock, Vanagon Westy. About 2 grand too much.
There are plenty of better vans out there for less money.
My friend's 85 Westy was only $5500, rust free, rebuilt engine and needed NOTHING to go cross country...a few times.
He spent several months looking, but came away with a proper van at the correct price.
Most people trying to sell their vans are just completely out of their minds price-wise. Keep looking, you'll find a better deal. Cool
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subway
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, i am going to keep up the search for a westy.
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campism
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

subway,
This one near you is currently being savaged on the Yahoo Vanagon list and exemplifies the ones to avoid:
http://richmond.craigslist.org/cto/2721540942.html

This one is for sale near me and 100 miles from you, but might be too much money for the van. It sounds nice but is a little spendy for you, even if the low miles and advertised condition are genuine. Keep looking. There are still good buys out there. If you aren't familiar with Vanagons, the money spent to have a pro do a pre-purchase checkout for you is money spent wisely.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1229380

Good luck! I spent a couple years researching Westies and when mine came along was able to recognize its worth and had the good fortune to be the first to call about it.
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reluctantartist
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to realize here is most people will tell you not to spend more than 500 for an air cooled or for a diesel, no more than 1500 for a pre 85 and no more than 3500 for a newer van all the vehicles going for those prices are money pits . Really the pricing will be all over the place and for good reason. Some aircooleds are in far better shape than a 1990 and vice versa. I think the most important thing is to make sure the body has no rust unless you are a body person and that kind of work is easy for you. Next you want something that has all of the work history. Even the work I do myself is recorded and the receipts for the parts are kept. Look over the work history and that will tell you a lot about its value. It sounds like you are prepared to pay for a well maintained van. But the people who have well maintained vans are not the ones going to sell it for these ridiculously low prices but you will be less likely to have to turn around and put $5k right back into the vehicle. Even an original low mileage vehicle it is a crap shoot since parts age over time and yes some do have a shelf life. So it would still need to have work done to it to be reliable. Find another vanagon person close to you to help you look and yes be patient, better to miss out than get a can of worms, there are still a few gems out there.
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well said.
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BillM
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have bought and sold many Vanagons over the years. When I
buy one that doesn't have verifiable documentation for
a engine/tranny rebuild from a reputable source I assume
that they will have to be done. I also figure in a radiator,hoses,pipes,etc.
even if the van has 40,000 original miles on it. Age is working against
you regardless of how it was stored. Even though I prefer to find something
that hasnt been touched the best deals I have gotten are buying
A project someone started and couldn't finish. The down side can be
reversing the hacks,jury rigs,crappy wiring, done by the Previous owner.
(like a set of jumper cables with the ends cut off and battery terminals
clamped on to replace the main power cable)
Some people do get lucky and find a rig that after a little tlc they are driving but I want to be able to hop in,turn the key and drive cross country without
any worries. Just plan for worst when shopping so you have no surprises and
dont buy on emotion. A good "vibe" won't do shit for you when the head gaskets decide to dump during rush hour.
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campism
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one in the DC area that might be worth a look. Ad says it needs a clutch but it could be nice and in your price range if you can talk him down a little. I know a guy who's driven past it a couple of times in his work truck but hasn't stopped yet. Get moving.
http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/cto/2796766799.html

Stephen
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subway
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i actually went to look at it today and bought it, it will need a clutch soon. has a little chatter when it takes off. but seems drivable for a little. needs front pads and will need tires, but i plan on upgrading to 16 in rims and tires so i can put audi breaks on. came with a new go westy top and new sky light

oh it has power locks, windows, mirrors, power steering and ac Very Happy
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RBEmerson
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you did pretty well for yourself. Welcome to the fun!

One thought on the 16" sneakers - keep an eye on your total height. With 15" sneakers on our '90 Westy, we assume we can't clear anything under 7'. That includes many garage doors. Even then, I can think of parking garages we can't use (some are posted at 6' or 6' 6" clearance). As best I can measure, the highest point (the sky light) is about 6' 9" off the ground.

I agree that the stock brakes leave something to be desired(!) but keep in mind the Law of Unintended Consequences when it comes to changing rims. It might be easier to put in some good grabby pads and see how things go with your current rims (15"?).
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Last edited by RBEmerson on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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subway
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks! this will most deff be fun. i love to camp, go to festivals and shows. it just seems more logical to be in a westy. plan to take the gf and the dog on some nice trips once we get it fully road worthy
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