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I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter
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vintageracer
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:16 pm    Post subject: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

I am a longtime member here however I have rarely posted at all. I read a lot and learn from all the knowledge here on the site. I would like opinions as to which Westfalia Vanagon would be best to build for my daughter and why you think so.

My daughter has always loved and talked about the VW camper buses from an early age. She just turned 16 last month. One of the Vanagons will be the father/daughter project during her remaining High School years.

She currently owns 2 Westafalia Vanagons.

VAN 1 is an Air-cooled 4 Speed 1981 Westfalia Full Pop Top Camper Van with factory A/C and 101,000 original miles. It was purchased first a little over a year ago in Texas. Virtually rust-free. Some surface around the window seals. Originally beige repainted light blue by a previous owner that is now faded and really needs a repaint or a wrap. A couple of small dents in exterior otherwise very good. All glass is good. Pop top roof is good with Nice original canvas. Camper is totally complete inside with good cabinetry, stove, refrigerator, sink, OLD STYLE propane tank, 1 table, nice dash pad, decent carpet and flooring. Front seats and cushions need redone/replaced. Steel wheels with hubcaps and nice but older load range C Hankook Optimo tires. The bumpers are good but missing the rub strips.

This van was purchased from a friend who is a big VW guy with multiple vans, transporters and bugs. This was a running and driving van 4 years ago. The engine developed a "Noise" that he thought might be a rod knock therefore he removed & disassemble the engine. Upon inspection of the engine apart he could NOT find anything wrong with the engine. Maybe is was the valve noise problem that many folks talk here on the forum about the Marvel Mystery oil seems to solve who knows?

As the van stands NOW it is a roller with the engine still disassembled and out of the van. I have new pistons, jugs and some other new parts for a rebuild plus all the original parts from the original engine. At a minimum this van needs and engine rebuild. I am also aware of the shifter problems associated with these early Vanagons. I am told the trans shifted fine prior to removal of the engine. I expect to do all the fuel hoses, brakes, A/C all the other stuff these vans need to make them fun and reliable.



VAN 2 is a 1985 1/2 Westfalia Weekender Full Pop Top Wolfsburg Edition 4 Speed with Factory A/C and 137,000 miles. This van has ALL the 1986 features seen on late 85 productions Vans with the exception of still having the ceramic fuses. We recently purchased this van from the elderly owner of the last 3 years. He originally purchased this van for the good running engine to replace the bad engine in his other 1985 Westy Weekender that he owned HOWEVER he decided this van was a much better van than the one he already owned and never did anything with either van. This was a Running and Driving van 3 years ago that the elderly owner purchased the Westy and drove it home 250 miles with no issues. He parked it next to his other van and did not drive it again. I have made no effort YET to get this van running.

This van has a good body with NO window rust and NO chassis rust and mostly original paint. This van was originally sold in San Jose California when new. It has had the rear hatch replaced due to accident damage many years ago. The paint is original brown with the exception of the rear replacement hatch which was repainted along with part of the left rear quarter panel. All the glass is good along with all the window seals. The bumpers are nice with the correct rub strips and this van has 14 inch VW aluminum wheels with NEW load range correct tires. The Pop-Top is Nice along with Nice original canvas. The underside of the van is nice with very little build up of grease or other crud that typically indicates a problem. The A/C system in this van is in the upper cabinet and also has vents along the curb side roof and dash.

The interior is overall in good condition. The rear cabinet is nice. The rear cushion needs recovers along with the rear seat bottom and left side jump seat. The front seats are OK however I would probably replace with Eurovan seat in both vans. The "Bolt In" refrigerator for this van is missing. The dash pad in this van is cracked. The rest of the dash in nice. The carpet is much nicer in this van. Nice Aftermarket CD radio system. The "Weekender" table and other items are all complete.

Due to sitting I expect to replace all the fuel hoses, water hoses, reman the fuel injectors, new muffler, the brakes, coolant and A/C system to get the van running and driving reliable ASSUMING the engine runs good????

Now that my daughter has "Both" types of Westy (Camper & Weekender) she "thinks" she likes the Weekender better as that will fit her idea of what she wants better with more room inside without the camper stuff that can be taken with you if needed in a Weekender.

What we have here is an Air-Cooled Westy Camper versue a Water Cooled Westy Weekender.

MY QUESTION:

Given the descriptions above about both vans, taking into account this will be for a young girl, the needed work/maintenance to get both van driving/reliable, the needed cosmetics WHICH VAN WOULD YOU BUILD FOR YOUR DAUGHTER AND WHY do you think said van is the one to build?

I look forward to reading your responses, opinions and suggestions as to helping us make this decision of which van to build for a young girls dream!
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Last edited by vintageracer on Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:27 pm; edited 3 times in total
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

both van types will have their own myriad of mechanical issues.
so in the aspect of learning and parts availability neither are better..

IMO both will require an engine teardown and refresh/rebuild before I'd send my daughter out on the road..

but given your story, and the intended uses. I would go with the 1985.


also I'm sure you've already had 'The Talk' with her.. but ... tell her you're installing a GPS tracker & satellite camera on the interior...
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raoul mitgong
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

Having a decent heater would be nice. I vote 85. But get the 81 running so she has a spare.
-d
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

it sure sounds like you're leaning towards the weekender. I'd fix up the weekender. A few reasons why:

- along with your camp gear comment, an ARB fridge can be kept when van sold
- no window rust. That rust can happen for a variety of reasons, but to me its a warning sign. Especially if a van has been repainted.
- 85 has better sliding door
- this weekender has newer tires, OEM alloys can look really cool IMO
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Slimvest
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

Whichever one has the dent in the sliding door already. Wink
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mikemtnbike
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:55 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

Does the 85 have power steering? If it does, and the air-cooled probably doesn't, I bet your daughter would love some PS.
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scottz
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

The 85 for sure. It will be more valuable when it's done and has more comforts.
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RicoS
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

vintageracer wrote:
. . . WHICH VAN WOULD YOU BUILD FOR YOUR DAUGHTER AND WHY . . .


I would redo the air-cooled because the most fastidious guy I have ever known, Mike Popovich, aka The Tube Guru, owned both an air-cooled and a waterboxer and he told me the air-cooled was the better, and preferred, van.

If you ever would meet Tube, you would know within 10 minutes you could take his opinion regarding ANYTHING to the bank.

Richie (near The Burgh)
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

Without a doubt, the '85. I'm not much of a fan of the WBX engine but the 1.9WBX has more power, better reliability, better fuel economy, and less expensive parts than the 2.0 air-cooled along with better passenger heat. If an engine conversion was desired in the future, there are more good water-cooled options available and a swap would be easier than on an air-cooled. The non-engine changes made as the years progressed were all for the good also.
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vintageracer
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

Slimvest wrote:
Whichever one has the dent in the sliding door already. Wink


Both STILL have perfect sliding doors with No dents or damage.

Amazing!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

Without question, the water cooled unit.

Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Without question, the water cooled unit.


I've owned both. Another vote for water cooled.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

85' for the wbx heater and window defroster.
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hdenter
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

'85!! Both for the better engine and because (IMHO) the weekender set up is much more practical.

Hans
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

I have to vote for the 85. I think your daughter has the final vote on a close call...
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

A 16 year old daughter that actually owns or wants an aircooled anything is an opportunity. Water cooled luxuries and conveniences can come later in life. The last couple of years I've been running my water cooled Vanagon in the winter without the heater fan running so that it only works when you're moving forward, just like an aircooled VW and it's perfectly fine. Take the back roads with the aircooled VW to stay away from the 70mph fanatics and she will have more rewarding adventures on the road.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

Slimvest wrote:
Whichever one has the dent in the sliding door already. Wink


Laughing Laughing Laughing

As a father of two daughters, both of whom damaged my vehicles in high school, I laughed out loud at this. And yes, one was a van sliding door. And the driver side too just for good measure.

My vote goes for the weekender. Reason is (and I own both campers and weekender (Multivan)) that I think the weekender interior is better suited to a driver of high school age. More utilitarian; carries more friends. WBX engine is better I think too. It has heat.

RonC
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:17 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

Get her a fiat 500. My friend's comment while shopping for his daughter, when she expressed an interest in a vw camper: "I'm not buying my daughter a car with a bed in the back."
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dobryan Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:19 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

The '85 for all the reasons stated. Enjoy! 😀
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: Re: I Need Your Help and Input as to WHICH VAN TO BUILD for Daughter Reply with quote

I had no problems with a 1984 rabbit while in HS, kids will find a way. has nothing to do with a bed at that age..
it's best to leave condoms in a dish next to the butterscotch's and bury our head in the sand..

as for that one guy who said aircooled, well I do still own both and I'm not taking that advise to the bank fo'sho.

pablum wrote:
Get her a fiat 500. My friend's comment while shopping for his daughter, when she expressed an interest in a vw camper: "I'm not buying my daughter a car with a bed in the back."

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