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1982 Diesel Westfalia reliability
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DSVW
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: 1982 Diesel Westfalia reliability Reply with quote

Hi, I'm considering the purchase of a 1982 Westfalia, full camper, with a Diesel engine. Engine has a little over 100K, and a new timing belt. Is this a reliable motor? Anyone have any experience with the ownership issues on something of this vintage, with a diesel. I have read that they were underpowered. Just wondering how desirable these Westfalias are, and what a fair price would be for a relatively rust free example.
Thanks.
DSVW
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Mike Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The diesel is best described as difficult. It is slow and it is usually a case of when not if you will have to put a new engine in it. It is not too difficult to do so and there are a number of good power plants you can put in but it will cost $3k to $10k to do so.

Personally I would only look at a diesel if I wanted to do an engine conversion.

They only made the '82 diesel for one year so it has the most NLA parts of any vanagon. There are work arounds but expensive.

Also be aware it will have its 31st birthday this year. It is a geriatric vehicle. The potential to replace lots and lots of stuff is there.

If you still want to go this route, one of the easiest tests to see the condition of the engine is to have it running, disconnect the crankcase breather at the rocket covers and rev the engine, if you see and or feel a strong output of dirty crank air then the engine is on the way out. Frankly I would be surprised to see a 100k 1.6na pass this test.

I would pay very little regardless of rust for this vehicle. You will be putting a lot of money into it if you want to seriously use it. Max I would pay would be $2000 and it would have to be mint.

Regards

Mike
'82 Westy diesel AAZ
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Salem7
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 82 Westy diesel. I find it slow, but that is half the fun of owning a unique vehicle. Sticking to the back roads at 50MPH will get you where you want to go, it is not a freeway type vehicle. I disagree with the previous post, most engine parts a readily available from many sources, as the 1.6NA was used in a wide variety of VW early diesels. The 1.6NA is straight forward and relatively inexpensive to overhaul. The engine with TLC will last well, no complicated electronics or turbo problems to repair or keep after. Body and chassis parts are the same as all Vanagons so you will have the same NLA or available parts issue as any other Vanagon owner.

I bought mine with the intention of doing an engine swap. After having the van awhile and getting some sound deadening material installed and the intake system back to stock I find it sufficient and fun to drive. I now have no intention of doing a swap

There are those out there that that unfairly malign the diesel Westy, but there is a following for them. Lots of time it is the journey that is fun. If I am in a hurry I drive my TDI Jetta. BTW I get 32-34mpg in the Westy. 125k on the odo now, head and clutch job @15k ago. If you like it buy it!
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1982 Westfalia 1.6NA diesel. Converted to Turbo 1.6 and sold.

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joseph928
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: 1982 Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus I have to get into this. Had a 1982 for over 6 years. The only problem I had with it all that time I had it,water pump belt and battery . I loved it, great MPG, easy to work on and only paid $3,000 for it sold it last year for $5,000. Yes it's slow , the only thing it will outrun is my moped. Never had a problem getting parts. And yes did I say it's slow! You learn a new way to look at life go by, slow but I loved it! Very Happy PS- in six years put on over 50,000 miles of trouble free driving ! Yes I would get another one if I could find a good one at a good price. How about a nice 83 with a 5 speed? Wink
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Last edited by joseph928 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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morymob
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If not already done plan on either replacement/re-sealed or re-seal of your injector pump, fuel additives do in the old type seals.
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mappley
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's underpowered. Arguably the slowest vehicle on the road. I've had 2. 1st one had blown engine which I swapped for a turbo diesel and sold off, second I blew myself and am in the process (contemplative stage) of putting a 1Z in.
If you don't plan on going more than 55 on the flat with a tailwind, and 25-30 on anything more than a slight temporary incline, then it's the van for you. Great fuel mileage! Will absolutely infuriate the road ragers and even the boarderline r.r's behind you on the mountain passes, which can be dangerous.
Any engine swap will need to include a transmission swap since the gearing on the DZ coded diesel tranny is inadequate for anything but the 1.6 n/a, except maybe the 1.9 n/a. Anybody done a 1.9 n/a conversion on an '82 and kept the DZ tranny?

All that said, it is a Westy Vanagon, the coolest and bestest vehicle on the planet, plus if you do an engine conversion at sometime, it's got diesel tags so you won't have to smog it.
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karl wolf
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a 1982 diesel Westy from an auction, drove it for about a week. Engine was running OK, but about run out. I sold the engine before removing it. I put in a 8v 1.8 gas from a low miles 85 GTI, and an air cooled trans from 1984. Built a down pipe to use a 1980 dual outlet exhaust manifold. Built a left side motor mount. Built a fuel injection harness, knock senser ignition harness... Done with the intent that it should pass smog test as a 1984/1986 GTI.
20 MPG, @ 40% throttle will do 80 mph... Takes a while to get there. Never been to top speed.
And, yeah I've had a couple of VW's, sold their parts- etc.
Karl
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Gizmoman
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a rust-free 82 diesel that the PO put a 1.9 AAZ turbo diesel in and also ran veg oil. I paid way too much but it is in very good condition. He did a semi-decent job on the swap. Oh, the tranny was changed to a gasser as well.
The van ran good for a few adventures and I turned up the boost to 15 and the fuel just a tad as well. What I failed to do was install an EGT sensor figuring I could use the water temp to keep an eye on things - bad idea.
At the top of a long grade out of Riverside (heading for the 395), I lost power and white smoke started billowing out the back.
Long story short - I have spent a year rebuilding it (still in the process).
Tons of money as I am determined to have more HP and better reliability at the same time. I removed the veg oil stuff - had to pay an extra 250 to get the pump re-built due to all the crud baked on the internals. Custom "laminova" water to air intercooler, EGT sensor, practically new everything but the block, on and on and on. . .

I personally couldn't stand to only do 55 max as where I live you need to do a few hours of freeway to get anywhere. I also daily drive it if I choose - again, all freeway. Putting on the back roads is sweet but 70 is nice when needed Wink
In all honesty, I would never have a 1.6 and taking one on the freeway is self-serving imho unless there's no traffic. Where I live, that's very rare.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:05 pm    Post subject: vanagon diesel timing belt bentley manual photo Reply with quote

photo identifying mounting plate with a black arrow (not black-the pix is very dark) "check that marks on sprocket, pump and mounting plate are approximately aligned." see page 23.3, 02-186, (2064) What? I don't want to be a spoil sport, I don't quite understand how much variation is allowed.

I have been trying to get my timing belt set up on my t125 with a diesel. It seems that every time I have the cam lock in place (2065A) and he locking pin on the injector pump, and trying to set the tension to 12-13, the TDC mark on the Boss, the flywheel shifts about 1/2 to 3/4 inch away from the engine - to the right. Yes I have a Bentley and am on 23.3 Diesel injection pump/ valve timing. I am also having problems about the belt shifting toward the block? Embarassed No pride left, I just want this thing fixed. [email protected]
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: vanagon diesel timing belt bentley manual photo Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:

I have been trying to get my timing belt set up on my t125 with a diesel. It seems that every time I have the cam lock in place (2065A) and he locking pin on the injector pump, and trying to set the tension to 12-13, the TDC mark on the Boss, the flywheel shifts about 1/2 to 3/4 inch away from the engine - to the right. Yes I have a Bentley and am on 23.3 Diesel injection pump/ valve timing. I am also having problems about the belt shifting toward the block? Embarassed No pride left, I just want this thing fixed. [email protected]

Your best bet is to enlist in the IDI forum. Tons of info on timing there
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82 Vanagon Westy - AAZ 1.9 TD, HE200 Holset, WAIC, 27.75 dia tires, Electric power steering, 5-speed AAP w/.078 5th
Oversize spare carrier - stock location (no longer for sale).
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: vanagon diesel timing belt bentley manual photo Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:

I have been trying to get my timing belt set up on my t125 with a diesel. It seems that every time I have the cam lock in place (2065A) and he locking pin on the injector pump, and trying to set the tension to 12-13, the TDC mark on the Boss, the flywheel shifts about 1/2 to 3/4 inch away from the engine - to the right. Yes I have a Bentley and am on 23.3 Diesel injection pump/ valve timing. I am also having problems about the belt shifting toward the block? Embarassed No pride left, I just want this thing fixed. [email protected]

Your best bet is to enlist in the IDI forum. Tons of info on timing there
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82 Vanagon Westy - AAZ 1.9 TD, HE200 Holset, WAIC, 27.75 dia tires, Electric power steering, 5-speed AAP w/.078 5th
Oversize spare carrier - stock location (no longer for sale).
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: vanagon diesel timing belt bentley manual photo Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
photo identifying mounting plate with a black arrow (not black-the pix is very dark) "check that marks on sprocket, pump and mounting plate are approximately aligned." see page 23.3, 02-186, (2064) What? I don't want to be a spoil sport, I don't quite understand how much variation is allowed.

I have been trying to get my timing belt set up on my t125 with a diesel. It seems that every time I have the cam lock in place (2065A) and he locking pin on the injector pump, and trying to set the tension to 12-13, the TDC mark on the Boss, the flywheel shifts about 1/2 to 3/4 inch away from the engine - to the right. Yes I have a Bentley and am on 23.3 Diesel injection pump/ valve timing. I am also having problems about the belt shifting toward the block? Embarassed No pride left, I just want this thing fixed. [email protected]


Assuming your t125 is similar to the various other I-4 diesels, then when you are tensioning the belt, you should have the cam lock in, but cam sprocket loosened on the cam and the bolt just barely snug so the sprocket can still turn. The pump lock should *not* be in. You should rotate the crank CCW a few degrees (10 or so) then back to TDC without going past. This will place all the slack in the tensioner area (as it is when running). If that is all done correctly then the crank will not move when tensioning the belt.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:41 pm    Post subject: REALLY LIKE FLAGSTAFF Reply with quote

mY BROTHER And I went over to flagstaff, followed on ariving of a 3-4 ft snow. We took our 1964 split window. Spent the night and headed for cottonwood with the speedometer reading zero, as the front wheels were cutting a path for the rear wheels to follow. That was many years ago - I think vw deisels in vanagons were brand new, then. A good friend worked at GAS motor pool in F. I was at Goldstone tracking station, mojave desert.

I am going over to a shop to make arangements to get my 19 deisel fixed, not planning on another trip to Flagstaff, AZ, My dad passed away about 2 years afterward
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello there, I have a 1982 westfalia (diesel) I was driving it the other day and this red light started flashing top right hand corner of where the speedomoter is. I got home i had smoke coming out of both black vents in the rear of the vehicle and the next day there was a puddle leak? It's my brothers vehicle he is out of the country at the moment, i dont know what to do. First question, the white box behind the battery am i able to fill that with water? second what is a ball park of how much this is gonna cost to repair? thanks so much any feedback would be much apreciated.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ohh that doesn't sound good.. when lights flash you should pull over immediately. you are likely to need alot of help (and $$) to correct this.
you probably should start a new topic with your issue as it'll take some time and alot of replies from our resident experts.

Click ---> this to open new topic

Heidi25 wrote:
Hello there, I have a 1982 westfalia (diesel) I was driving it the other day and this red light started flashing top right hand corner of where the speedomoter is. I got home i had smoke coming out of both black vents in the rear of the vehicle and the next day there was a puddle leak? It's my brothers vehicle he is out of the country at the moment, i dont know what to do. First question, the white box behind the battery am i able to fill that with water? second what is a ball park of how much this is gonna cost to repair? thanks so much any feedback would be much apreciated.

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Dampcamper
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Smoke" or "Steam"? (Yeah, I know, it isn't really steam if you can see it...). Puddle: coolant (antifreeze) or oil? I'm guessing coolant since the reservoir is empty? Maybe there is a hose burst/leaking? Fill that tank back up, just use water for this test, see if water is running out anywhere. If you decide to run the engine you'll need to add a lot more water, there is a "bleeding" process to get the air out of the system so you don't (further?) damage the engine. Beyond that, if this is your first time down the repair path, try to find a guide, somebody who can show you. Some of those engine coolant hoses are no longer available so you might need to get creative.
If the engine is toasted, you can look around for a good-running used 1.6 liter Rabbit engine, you'll have to swap a few parts (oil pan, oil pickup from the oil pump, maybe alternator bracket, anything I forgot?) over because the mounting angle is different in the Vanagon. Same engine, different angle.
But as Dan sez, you don't want to drive it with any indicator lights flashing. They are telling you that something bad is happening right now, not maybe, not off in the distant future. If your horse starts limping, you don't just ride him home really fast, you get off and see why.
Good luck!
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Heidi25
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, thank you guys!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Diesel Westfalia reliability Reply with quote

We own a 1982 Diesel Westfalia and it has been in the family since 1982 and we find it to be reliable for how we use it. We use if for camping and fairly short distances of travel for camping on non highway roads. We find it is a great vehicle for this application. We do not use it as a daily driver.

If you decide to purchase it, this is an excellent forum to be part of. We have some excellent expert that are very helpful. Yes, you will have some challenging moments and expense, but there are tips and tricks that can be very helpful.

For example, tip number 101 for the 1.6 Diesel posted on this forum (sorry, I am not sure who posted it, but I think it was Andrew A. Libby) is as follows and I hope this helps.

"The basic maintenance items like changing your oil, oil filter, fuel filter and air filter all apply. Timing belt must be changed every 60,000 miles, 10 years or when it gets soaked with diesel - whichever comes first. Timing covers should be in place. Anti-vibration clips should be on the metal lines. A clear line to the injection pump should be in place for easy diagnosis of air infiltration into the fuel. Injector nozzles should be tested and replaced if necessary along with the timing belt every 60,000 miles. Valves should be adjusted every 15,000 miles. Glow plugs should be tested/replaced whenever starting becomes an issue. Cranking speed is more important to a diesel so battery, battery cables and start all need to be kept in good condition. "Changing your fuel lines' is a lot less important on a diesel. The diesel doesn't degrade the rubber fuel lines nearly as quickly, none of the rubber lines are under pressure like on the gas engines and if they do leak, diesel is MUCH less volatile. That's all of the diesel specific items I can think of. The other items like brakes, trans, suspension, etc... are all the same for gas or diesel vans."



DSVW wrote:
Hi, I'm considering the purchase of a 1982 Westfalia, full camper, with a Diesel engine. Engine has a little over 100K, and a new timing belt. Is this a reliable motor? Anyone have any experience with the ownership issues on something of this vintage, with a diesel. I have read that they were underpowered. Just wondering how desirable these Westfalias are, and what a fair price would be for a relatively rust free example.
Thanks.
DSVW
1967 Fastback
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Salem7
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1982 Westy diesel 1.6 NA. It is a great vehicle, easy to work on, never a problem with parts. Like all the other posters said it is a 50 mph vehicle and slower going up grades. If you keep the original intake system and some sound isolation material it is reasonably quiet. We use it for camping and going to events, when we have a HQ with comfortable seating and many amenities. In any VW Van the journey is the adventure, not how fast you get there. Besides if I want to go fast I hop in my Sunbeam Tiger
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: vanagon diesel timing belt bentley manual photo Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
photo identifying mounting plate with a black arrow (not black-the pix is very dark) "check that marks on sprocket, pump and mounting plate are approximately aligned." see page 23.3, 02-186, (2064) What? I don't want to be a spoil sport, I don't quite understand how much variation is allowed.

I have been trying to get my timing belt set up on my t125 with a diesel. It seems that every time I have the cam lock in place (2065A) and he locking pin on the injector pump, and trying to set the tension to 12-13, the TDC mark on the Boss, the flywheel shifts about 1/2 to 3/4 inch away from the engine - to the right. Yes I have a Bentley and am on 23.3 Diesel injection pump/ valve timing. I am also having problems about the belt shifting toward the block? Embarassed No pride left, I just want this thing fixed. [email protected]
..driven the 1.6 for the last 30 yrs, but in several jettas ...tightening the timing belt can be a little tricky but easy enough to do..a little of touch and feel is involved along with some belt slackening …while still keeping the cam and pin lock in place, try to do the same for the crank..I insert a wedged wooden dowel into the flywheel area..then I loosen up the cam bolt a couple of turns and hit (whack) the pulley with my plastic hammer freeing the pulley from the tapered mount on the cam…then re-checking the crank position before adjusting the tensioner to where I " think " it should be for its final setting, but not beyond it…re-check the crank again and if OK, then tighten up the cam bolt…hopefully any adjustment now that has to be done to the belt and tensioner is so small that it makes no difference to all 3 postions...
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