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I just Bought a Vanagon - critical Checks & Repairs
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Merian
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:03 pm    Post subject: I just Bought a Vanagon - critical Checks & Repairs Reply with quote

(no I didn't but this thread is a follow up with one of your hard-workin' mods about what to do right away on a newly acquired Vanagon - that means before adding the zircon-encrusted tweezers to your new bumper...)

I. First -- Safety Items -- do Items to prevent the van from Killing you
a. Change all the rubber fuel hoses, using ethanol rated hose that is the correct pressure rating for your EFI system; use the correct clamps (NOT garden hose clamps that will eat into the rubber hose); consider replacing the FPR also and the plenum chambers where the injectors sit (aka, fuel rails - see this thread for what to use: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=613207)
** Ben's Place has this process with detailed pics: http://www.benplace.com/fuel_line.htm
- BTW, this is a good time to replace the injectors or get them cleaned

b. Change all the rubber brake hoses, replacing them with new rubber ones; also replace the brake fluid with new, Quality brake fluid (look for a high wet boiling point)

c. Inspect the tires for cuts, rips, or places where the rubber is bulging out - but FIRST check the date Codes and Load Ratings

II. Second - make sure the Vanagon will not strand you in the back-country (which might also kill you, or at least harsh your mellow)
a. take apart each engine ground; inspect it and clean it back to bare metal - there is a thread somewhere with pics of each one for the 2.1L motors
b. install a relay for the starter - VWbusguy makes a nice kit
c. buy a replacement ignition switch and carry with you, or repl. now
d. read thru this for some other issues: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=625774&start=40


III. Third - Get the vehicle onto its Long-Term Maintenance Schedule
a. get the list of these service items form the GoWesty web site - I entered this as an Excel spreadsheet for my model Van
b. check the service history you got from the previous owner (PO) - I added mine into that Excel spreadsheet along with columns for the date done, the mileage it was done at, etc. - I use an auto-color function to light it up when a service interval is exceeded. People older than me have used looseleaf binders for this.

IV. Start a Savings Account for Major Repairs

V. After the Savings Account hits critical mass, THEN you can do all those fun extras

You will need to get a Bentley Service Manual to show you how to service the vehicle


** Do Not rely on a PPO done by a shop - get familiar with your vehicle


Last edited by Merian on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:20 pm; edited 8 times in total
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is the poll? Hehe
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

YES Laughing
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Merian
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

- who wants to post links to threads for how to do each item above?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll probably do both.
Not necessarily at the same time.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: I just Bought a Vanagon - will it burn up or crash first Reply with quote

Quote:
** Do Not rely on a PPO done by a shop - get familiar with your vehicle


This. Learning with my temperamental Carat. The new car inspection had a list with almost no issues.

I've since had the shifter completely rebuilt, and have a growing list of "Concerns" that are keeping it from becoming a daily driver.

[/quote]
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen people, both locally and online, who get a Van and immediately focus on....
"I'm going to undercoat it!"
"I'm going to paint it!"
"New wheels! Look ..... these 14" things are ugly!"
"Tint the windows first thing"
"Rocky mountain Bumpers!"
"South African Grille and better LED lighting everywhere! "

And I think....... Umm....... No........ Calm down here folks........
Fuel lines ok?
Brakes Ok?
Coolant parts ready to burst?
Belts?
Plugs?
Wires?
Does it run ok or do you have aging Digifant issues?

But no....... Appearances are apparently everything!

Best looking POS in the valley right there! Laughing

Then they begin to really fix it and now it's "Oh My GOD!!!! Look at the prices on XYZ!! How dare they?!? This is just an old Volkswagen! I can't afford to keep this Van running!"
Thinks I....... Didn't you just drop two grand for wheels and tires??..........

Heavy Sigh...........

Dave
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, all this is covered in the FAQ's. Please just link the topics that already exist....
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DJKeev,

That lopsided budgeting is an automotive pet peeve of mine. How many times have you been behind a formerly nice 10 year old Honda Civic that is lowered and sitting on $2k worth of rims and tires at a stoplight? Then as it pulls away around the corner it emits a puff of smoke, and the CV joints clatter ominously, and you hear a belt squeal when they shift. I suppose when I was a kid I was also into my car's appearance, but in those days your options for improving things were smaller dime store things, or body work.

But the epidemic of kids driving what we used to call "glossy dogs" is crazy these days. Who's teaching them their automotive strategy in life? Oh yeah - Hollywood! Nevermind - case closed.
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Gunldesnapper
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote is for C. Mysterious idle issue before it breaks down.
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Gauche1968
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
DJKeev,

That lopsided budgeting is an automotive pet peeve of mine. How many times have you been behind a formerly nice 10 year old Honda Civic that is lowered and sitting on $2k worth of rims and tires at a stoplight? Then as it pulls away around the corner it emits a puff of smoke, and the CV joints clatter ominously, and you hear a belt squeal when they shift. I suppose when I was a kid I was also into my car's appearance, but in those days your options for improving things were smaller dime store things, or body work.

But the epidemic of kids driving what we used to call "glossy dogs" is crazy these days. Who's teaching them their automotive strategy in life? Oh yeah - Hollywood! Nevermind - case closed.


I see many 25+ year old Hondas on the road. Some of them look like they are driving on the original tires!
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Last edited by Gauche1968 on Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gauche1968
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
I've seen people, both locally and online, who get a Van and immediately focus on....
"I'm going to undercoat it!"
"I'm going to paint it!"
"New wheels! Look ..... these 14" things are ugly!"
"Tint the windows first thing"
"Rocky mountain Bumpers!"
"South African Grille and better LED lighting everywhere! "

And I think....... Umm....... No........ Calm down here folks........
Fuel lines ok?
Brakes Ok?
Coolant parts ready to burst?
Belts?
Plugs?
Wires?
Does it run ok or do you have aging Digifant issues?

But no....... Appearances are apparently everything!

Best looking POS in the valley right there! Laughing

Then they begin to really fix it and now it's "Oh My GOD!!!! Look at the prices on XYZ!! How dare they?!? This is just an old Volkswagen! I can't afford to keep this Van running!"
Thinks I....... Didn't you just drop two grand for wheels and tires??..........

Heavy Sigh...........

Dave


HEY, I thought bigger wheels was a safety and stability issue or something?
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
And I think....... Umm....... No........ Calm down here folks........
Fuel lines ok?
Brakes Ok?
Coolant parts ready to burst?
Belts?
Plugs?
Wires?
Does it run ok or do you have aging Digifant issues?

But no....... Appearances are apparently everything!

Best looking POS in the valley right there! Laughing

Then they begin to really fix it and now it's "Oh My GOD!!!! Look at the prices on XYZ!! How dare they?!? This is just an old Volkswagen! I can't afford to keep this Van running!"
Thinks I....... Didn't you just drop two grand for wheels and tires??..........

Heavy Sigh...........

Dave


Are you implying that these things might be machines with mechanical parts inside and OIL & GREASE, don't make me think of those horrid things. I though cars were like pieces of jewelry, there for looks with the every present hope they will attract the opposite sex.
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61Scout
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm honestly not sure what the purpose of this thread is... but in regards to the Honda crowd, there are some super nice Hondas rolling around. Sure sure, there are plenty of examples of crappy work, but that fact is also true in the Vanagon world. These folks who do crappy modifications and patch "repairs" though, are really tourists... they'll be involved in the hobby until their lack of skill or their lack of wallet gets the best of them. In any case, check out a Honda show sometime. The group is maturing/aging, and as a consequence they now have more money and greater skills to apply to their projects.


-Kevin
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is that he desires a thread that says ....

"Great! You've purchased a Vanagon, here are the must evaluate/replace items that need attention before you jump in and drive."

There is a PPI list in the FAQ section that touches on this but in a much broader scale and buried in a long list of non essential repairs.

This would be a more concrete..... "YOU NEED TO DO THIS NOW DUDE!"

We all do this now shouting "replace your fuel lines" To any newbie that wanders in...........

Dave
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Merian
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, that is the purpose of this thread - and to serve as an overall list of critical things to do first for the buyers own safety

Links to other threads could be added here to give details on how to do each procedure and we then would not have thousands of "change your fuel lines" posts

if it were not clogged up too much with off-topic posts, djkeev could make it a sticky and it could then be sent automatically to new people when they register (they already get a registration Email)
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well....... We need to see how this develops before Sticky's happen.. Right now there is little valuable information in this thread except for the "dang kids tricking out their crappy rides" post we've (I've) made.

The chosen title doesn't tell the new browser what to find in the thread..... The title makes one wonder why will my Van Crash and Burn??

It should shout about the absolutely needed checks and repairs that should be done first thing.

Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start this first IV. Start a Savings Account for Major Repairs
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

without reading it all I have a painful experience to avoid that is as important as the fuel line equation-...which id the red/white wire to the switch on the power steering pump, right side engine-- a 2000.00 dollar solution that isn't necessary is a simple ninline fuse on this wire-- people install a belt that is too short and the pump migrates into the intake manifold causing a dead short and melts the engine harness together. she may still run, but terribly. 5 months and 2k and I found it still needed bundling correctly so that it all fit in the black box again.... as bad or worse than the engine fire--
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thummmper wrote:
- people install a belt that is too short


So do we advise noobs to install the correct belt or add a fail-safe for when the incorrect belt is installed? Fail-safes make sense at times but correct maintenance is favored over endless second guessing (which seems to be the point of this thread).
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