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Acquired Westy 2000mi away... Advice???
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imdbui
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: Acquired Westy 2000mi away... Advice??? Reply with quote

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Hi I recently purchased a 86' Syncro Westy - sight unseen. Looks unmodified, with ~200k on the original motor, basic maintenance on a daily driver according to the seller.

I originally arranged transport to have her shipped from Tulsa, OK ---> Portland, OR. Was notified yesterday by the shipper that they can't accommodate the transport anymore because their route changed.

Frustrated Mad , I said to myself, "I'll just go get it myself!" and booked a last minute, one-way flight to Tulsa - as it being a holiday weekend and I have the days off.

Now I'm thinking of all the potential risks of driving a van halfway across the country, that I know nothing about, a distance I've never traveled.

-So I'm asking, what do I need to worry about?
-What should I bring?
-Anywhere I should stop along the way?
-Any advice will be taken and appreciated

Thanks!
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Corwyn Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before you drive it:
1. Replace the fuel lines
2. AAA Premium
3. Read more here, because there are plenty of concerns.
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imdbui
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corwyn wrote:
Before you drive it:
1. Replace the fuel lines
2. AAA Premium
3. Read more here, because there are plenty of concerns.


Thanks Corwyn,

I've read about fuel lines and was planning on following this: http://www.benplace.com/fuel_line.htm

Still need to source a parts store for the right hose/clamps
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slobrewer
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corwyn wrote:
Before you drive it:
1. Replace the fuel lines
2. AAA Premium
3. Read more here, because there are plenty of concerns.


Good advice though the fuel lines is probably overkill if it really was a daily driver. Do them ASAP but I wouldn't kill myself in a parking lot getting them changed over before driving her home.

To the list I'd add that you should definitely carry a cell phone and stick to a route that is well populated even if it's a little longer. There's nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of the Sonoran desert in 100 degree weather 30 minutes outside of Gila Bend. You know, just as an example that most definitely didn't happen to me after buying a daily driver 1976 BMW 2002...

Check your fluids at the start of your trip and at every stop. I'd bring along (or buy in Tulsa) a nice metric toolset and a basic selection of screw drivers, pliers, bailing wire, duct tape, etc.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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jslew
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made a similar trip a couple of years ago. Flew in and drove an '89 tin-top from Boise back to Denver in 100 deg heat. I made it, but looking back i don't know how. Ridges for valve keepers were GONE - could have dropped a valve at any time! Fuel lines were cracked, still had original coolant hoses (240K miles). Having rebuilt the engine and replaced the whole coolant system, I've learned there's just too many things that can go wrong. Would i do it again? No way!

However, it was a blast and makes an awesome story. And if you break down, you'll prob make some new friends. Just get the vanagon rescue squad app and plan your route accordingly.

Good luck! Keep us updated - i love a good road trip story
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hans j
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was watching this one on ebay, nice buy!

There is more than one shipping company out there! Just remember it's nearly 100* F around SLC right now... Drive slow and don't push it!
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slobrewer
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and if you do eventually break down somewhere consider renting a Ryder truck and trailer to pull her the rest of the way home. It won't be cheap in terms of one-way rental and gas but it will likely be cheaper and faster than trying to track down transport for a non-running vehicle.
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imdbui
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

slobrewer wrote:
Corwyn wrote:
Before you drive it:
1. Replace the fuel lines
2. AAA Premium
3. Read more here, because there are plenty of concerns.


Good advice though the fuel lines is probably overkill if it really was a daily driver. Do them ASAP but I wouldn't kill myself in a parking lot getting them changed over before driving her home.

To the list I'd add that you should definitely carry a cell phone and stick to a route that is well populated even if it's a little longer. There's nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of the Sonoran desert in 100 degree weather 30 minutes outside of Gila Bend. You know, just as an example that most definitely didn't happen to me after buying a daily driver 1976 BMW 2002...

Check your fluids at the start of your trip and at every stop. I'd bring along (or buy in Tulsa) a nice metric toolset and a basic selection of screw drivers, pliers, bailing wire, duct tape, etc.

Good luck and keep us posted!


My plan was to bring hoses and clamps just in case, and if PO never addressed them, make an on sight decision on doing them in an Autozone parking lot Confused . PO is aware of my trip, and mentioned driving to Denver and Arizona last year without issues - will also have fluids changed before I arrive.

I will pack a "mechanic" craftsman set and tape. I was also thinking of flying with my jump starter/air compressor, but I don't think TSA will allow me to.

Thanks slobrewer! Hopefully I can report back with good news.
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atomatom
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as the previous owner has your money now, perhaps ask them if they'd do it? what was the longest trip they took recently?

aside from 1000 other things, what often kills vans on the long drive home is running it on the highway for hours at 'normal' speed.

take it easy on the poor van and hopefully luck will smile on you.

you might bring: an IR thermostat (to check the temperature of the thermostat housing - should be ~190oF warmed up), a 13mm wrench/spanner to bleed the radiator, enough water to refill the cooling system if it dumps on you, various bits of hose/metal pipe to do side of road fixes, duct tape, oil, a trailer...
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kbeefy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roadtrip!
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'86 Syncro Westy. Stock for now.

2000 F350 7.3 CC LB 11' Northland Cabover

2006 Subbie OBXT

2002 Tacoma DoubleCab 4x4

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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hans j wrote:
..... Drive slow and don't push it!


This, this, a thousand times this!!

60 mph will likely get you home much sooner than 70 mph.

Mark
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest that you:
- buy a fire extinguisher;
- always have the rear hatch unlocked when driving in case you need quick access to the engine compartment (electrical fire, etc)
- check all fluid levels and repeat frequently;
- carry coolant, distilled water and oil;
- get some generic heater hose, clamps, splices, "just in case";
- Get some generic rad hose, clamps, splices etc for the same reason;
- Get a proper oil filter (Mann brand) and change the oil putting in Mobil 1 15W40 or, better yet, 20W50 oil. This viscosity will keep the oil pressure up in your tired engine.
- keep your speed 65 mph or less. This keeps revs down to around 3,500 rpm which helps prevent connecting rod breakage on your long trip. It also places less load on the engine in hot ambient conditions. If the engine has never been rebuilt before, heave a sigh of relief - - the factory WBX engines that have not been "rebuilt" do not contain re-used connecting rod bolts and are less likely to self-destruct for that reason. Mine went 225,000 miles before I removed it, still running, to install a Subaru engine.

- remove the driveshaft. You can do this even without raising the vehicle. Two 13mm open-end wrenches are required. This eliminates a possible failure point - - and the interstates never require 4WD.
- buy and carry the proper Continental v-belts;
- if you can, grab and carry as spares the following hard-to-get-in-Nebraska items:
1. the oil-cooler-to-block gasket;
2. the rubber hoses that attach to the oil cooler;
3. a spare water pump and thermostat.

- carry basic hand tools and a cheap 12V tire air compressor and an LED wand light;
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Acquired Westy 2000mi away... Advice??? Reply with quote

imdbui wrote:
...So I'm asking,
-what do I need to worry about?
-What should I bring?
-Anywhere I should stop along the way?


Good point about checking fluids at every gas stop. also sniff the air behind the license plate for unwanted smells (fuel or coolant).

Do not overfill the oil -- in fact most of these engines do better well below the 'full' mark, say half way between the marks.

It's probably too late to get your hands on a Bentley manual but you could print this off and have much of the important stuff covered:

Digifant ProTraining Manual

Money, a cell phone and AAA Premier 200 mile tows) are all good to have.

Have a back-up plan for what you will do if 'failure to proceed' occurs. May just be the names and numbers of a couple of car-haulers you have spoken to.

FWIW -- I have always shipped my long-distance purchases. Every one of them came with issues the seller didn't know or chose not to reveal. Not one of them would have gotten me a hundred miles down the road w/o a problem. Hope yours is the exception.

Stay in touch -- good luck.


Last edited by Ahwahnee on Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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imdbui
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow thanks for the responses samba!

@jslew Thanks, I'm always in search of a great road trip, but limited with my work schedule. I did think that this was a golden opportunity... but then my rational brain kicked in and got my palms sweaty... (what did I get myself into!?)

@hans j Thanks! I thought someone would recognize it. Were you the one bidding against me? Wink I did keep a bid up on uship.com, but I think that it being the 4th, the prices I got this week were 30% higher than last week.

@slowbrewer @atomatom Yes, the trailer is my plan B, that is still an option.

I'm not in a hurry, so I will definitely be taking it easy and paying attn to how she's handling the road.

My route right now:
-PDX -> Tulsa (Air) Friday 1pm
-Tulsa -> Denver by Saturday 12am
*visiting a friend in Denver, let the van cool off, do checks
-Denver -> Boise by Saturday night
-Boise -> Portland Sunday afternoon
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One word: Vanagon Rescue Squad... Laughing

Print this: http://www.vanagonauts.com/rescue/list/the_list.php
Or bookmark this: http://www.vanagonauts.com/Vanagon-Rescue-Squad74.htm

Just in case...good luck!
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rcook52459
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

enjoy the ride home is the most important and just take it easy.you'll make it and congrat's. you're goin have a lot of fun with it. Applause
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imdbui
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howesight wrote:
I suggest that you:
- buy a fire extinguisher;
- always have the rear hatch unlocked when driving in case you need quick access to the engine compartment (electrical fire, etc)
- check all fluid levels and repeat frequently;
- carry coolant, distilled water and oil;
- get some generic heater hose, clamps, splices, "just in case";
- Get some generic rad hose, clamps, splices etc for the same reason;
- Get a proper oil filter (Mann brand) and change the oil putting in Mobil 1 15W40 or, better yet, 20W50 oil. This viscosity will keep the oil pressure up in your tired engine.
- keep your speed 65 mph or less. This keeps revs down to around 3,500 rpm which helps prevent connecting rod breakage on your long trip. It also places less load on the engine in hot ambient conditions. If the engine has never been rebuilt before, heave a sigh of relief - - the factory WBX engines that have not been "rebuilt" do not contain re-used connecting rod bolts and are less likely to self-destruct for that reason. Mine went 225,000 miles before I removed it, still running, to install a Subaru engine.

- remove the driveshaft. You can do this even without raising the vehicle. Two 13mm open-end wrenches are required. This eliminates a possible failure point - - and the interstates never require 4WD.
- buy and carry the proper Continental v-belts;
- if you can, grab and carry as spares the following hard-to-get-in-Nebraska items:
1. the oil-cooler-to-block gasket;
2. the rubber hoses that attach to the oil cooler;
3. a spare water pump and thermostat.

- carry basic hand tools and a cheap 12V tire air compressor and an LED wand light;


Thank you for the list Howesight! (copy/paste to notepad.exe) I'll be loading up in Tulsa before I head out. Flying there makes it hard to bring fluids or odd shaped items with me, I'll most likely be searched by TSA. I hope stores don't close on July 4th :-/
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rcook52459
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't forget the rescue tape in case a hose cracks.
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Gauche1968
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

imdbui wrote:
Howesight wrote:
I suggest that you:
- buy a fire extinguisher;
- always have the rear hatch unlocked when driving in case you need quick access to the engine compartment (electrical fire, etc)
- check all fluid levels and repeat frequently;
- carry coolant, distilled water and oil;
- get some generic heater hose, clamps, splices, "just in case";
- Get some generic rad hose, clamps, splices etc for the same reason;
- Get a proper oil filter (Mann brand) and change the oil putting in Mobil 1 15W40 or, better yet, 20W50 oil. This viscosity will keep the oil pressure up in your tired engine.
- keep your speed 65 mph or less. This keeps revs down to around 3,500 rpm which helps prevent connecting rod breakage on your long trip. It also places less load on the engine in hot ambient conditions. If the engine has never been rebuilt before, heave a sigh of relief - - the factory WBX engines that have not been "rebuilt" do not contain re-used connecting rod bolts and are less likely to self-destruct for that reason. Mine went 225,000 miles before I removed it, still running, to install a Subaru engine.

- remove the driveshaft. You can do this even without raising the vehicle. Two 13mm open-end wrenches are required. This eliminates a possible failure point - - and the interstates never require 4WD.
- buy and carry the proper Continental v-belts;
- if you can, grab and carry as spares the following hard-to-get-in-Nebraska items:
1. the oil-cooler-to-block gasket;
2. the rubber hoses that attach to the oil cooler;
3. a spare water pump and thermostat.

- carry basic hand tools and a cheap 12V tire air compressor and an LED wand light;


Thank you for the list Howesight! (copy/paste to notepad.exe) I'll be loading up in Tulsa before I head out. Flying there makes it hard to bring fluids or odd shaped items with me, I'll most likely be searched by TSA. I hope stores don't close on July 4th :-/


Yeah, the TSA might look askance at trying to bring tools in your carry-on. Checked luggage might be OK.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

another option is to just burn it in place, rather than have it burn up during your trip
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