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Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value
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T91Carat
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:16 pm    Post subject: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Being the middle of a Subaru engine swap had caused me to consider what to do with my 2.1 engine. Which is running well, other than low oil pressure. Its gonna need a bottom end rebuild. My reason for the swap.

Through the course of my daily Vanagon browsing I cannot help but notice that it seems Vanagon engine cores are demanding quite the high dollar.

On CL here in CO there is a 1.9 asking $1000.00 and here today on The Samba classifieds I see an air cooled 2.0 also asking $1000.00.

Are there so few of our rebuildable cores left that they are demanding that high of a price? Or is there just a group of people with pipe dreams of getting that much for the core?

Have original motors jumped in value? In the future is there an increasing value for vans with original motors and matching numbers? Not that it would effect my actions with my van, I drive it for love and it takes all my money.....

Any one else notice this increase in core prices?
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Is this a whats my engine worth thread?

If so I wanna play - 1.9L water boxer with 120k miles - not sure on pressure
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tencentlife Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Wbx cores in good rebuildable condition are plentiful, there's no end in sight for supply of either type (core availability is definitely NOT one of the reasons I moved out of engines). Laypeople just don't know what they're really worth, but it's honestly not much when they're so easy to get. So it's follow-the-leader, they look at existing ads and peg their price to the already overpriced offerings, and the low-ballers see that and raise their prices, too.

If you want to move yours, with shipping at $200-300 you really want to sell in your local, or at least regional, market, so price it appropriately for your market and it'll be gone fast without the logistical hassle.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

I have paid $400-500 for good running 2.1L engines that were pulled to do swaps. I would say an engine with low oil pressure isn't going to be worth much at all.

Last edited by Wildthings on Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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T91Carat
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Not really, was not looking to sell or get a value for mine. Is really just a shocking observation that I wondered if it was a common trend market wide and not just here in the Colorado, California and PacWest where there seems to be a larger number of Vanagons available and on the road.

I am actually thinking of holding onto it and rebuilding it. Have never torn down the water cooled 2.1 all the way, could be a fun learning xp.

GoWesty also is charging a 1000.00 core charge, which would say you could possibly get at that in an open market for one. I could have sworn a few years ago that was a $600 core charge, but could be remembering it wrong. Not dinging GoWesty, they rock, cost I am sure is tied to market and availability.

Prices seem to be going higher, does that mean the avialblity market has shrunk that much? I know its been almost 2 years since I have even seen or any of the local junk yards have had a Vanagon here in the Denver area. All the local yards tell me that they get snapped up before they even make it to the yard cause of the value of their parts.

Already know my van is a money pit.... Totally ok with and accepted that long ago. You can not put a price on love.
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mellowslow
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

I paid $750 for a running Waterboxer in 2011.
Sold it for $500 after 2 camping seasons.

Had another running 2.1 in 2014 with leaky heads sold for $350 and shipped to the middle of the country.
Now Im sitting on another 2.1 longblock that Id love to get $200 GoBucks from the GoWesty core buyback program. Never cover the shipping though.
I think the core deposit on an engine purchase may be a different thing.

Id trade it for beer or something good like that if I knew it was going to an enthusiast. There are a few around here. I may end up recycling it.
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candyman
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

$200 provided all the ancillaries are there
Gowesty is in no way an assessment of true value
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tencentlife Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Quote:
I think the core deposit on an engine purchase may be a different thing.


Correct, as a business it's a very different thing. Core deposits (remember, up front they're not fees) are artificially high to ensure the builder gets a core in return. A few customers choose to keep their core and eat the deposits as it is, but if the core deposit was reflective of open market price, then other customers would figure they could get more on the open market and avoid the return ship cost, and the builder's core supply wouldn't keep up with production. Since some cores returned are already not rebuildable, builders are always having to procure make-up cores anyway, having fewer returned means more energy spent searching, and cost to ship borne by the rebuilder.

Having a hefty crate deposit is further assurance of a return, since the crate has no real market value for the customer, but great value for the rebuilder as an investment that can be used again and again. As an engine builder, I really hated having to spend my time building crates, even though my $200 crate deposit was more than the time and materials cost. I just always had better uses for my time.

I was always pretty generous about core refunds, I think in 10 years building the wbx I declined only a handful of 2.1 cases. Damaged parts were mostly pushrods and tubes, even so maybe one in four of my core refunds had any deductions. From what I can gather some rebuilders are not so generous, and perhaps less than honest, because as the judging authority it's pretty easy to use core deposits as a source of cash as well.
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michaelbteam
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Two years ago I sold my solidly running, complete 2.1, in the middle of a swap for $1000. A traveler with a tired engine saw my ad and was able to have the shop do the switch after he saw it run.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

I just bought a 1.9 with 88K miles on it for $300.00. Long block without the ancillaries.
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Bills85Westy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

I just sold a running but tired 2.1 with no major issues for $200 and was glad to get it.
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mikemtnbike
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

I'm currently watching my local lists for a core to rebuild for...fun?...anyway, I'm prepared to pay up to $500 depending on condition. In case you were wondering about the interested buyers side of the equation...
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Last year I sold a 2.1 with declining oil pressure for $400 - $500. The buyer saw it running in my van with an OP gauge attached. $1000 seems steep unless diagnostics can be done with the engine running and its in great condition with some fresh bits (fuel lines, hoses, coolant tank, exhaust...pick a few).
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

The majority of prices in the classifieds on the Samba seem inflated compared to the rest of the world to me. But if you need a part that is NLA, the Samba classifieds are a good place to start your search and yes, its simple capitalism 101 Supply and Demand.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

then there's the ancillaries.
pricing seems high to me as there should be far more supply of orphaned ecus, Afms, idle motors and cooling system bits and bobs
but sellers seem to prey on the desperation of those trying to play parts darts in diagnosing or wishing to carry spares on road trips..
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Yondermtn
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Supply and demand both seem to be significantly higher in the West for used engines, especially in running/useable condition. I'm always looking for one of these pulled for a swap 2.1 engines and never seem to see any within a reasonable drive of Chicago.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

Ive ground down a few overpriced sellers by offering 1/4 of ask, then having a couple of shill offers, then offering 1/3 to 'outbid' the market.

Funny thing is, if they offered at 1/2 of their original I would just pay it and move on.

Hogs get slaughtered, too.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

T91Carat wrote:
...GoWesty also is charging a 1000.00 core charge, which would say you could possibly get at that in an open market for one. I could have sworn a few years ago that was a $600 core charge, but could be remembering it wrong...


When I got my GoWesty rebuild 12 years ago the core charge was $1,000. Just a number to motivate the buyer to follow-up on the return.

I do not recall how much of the thousand I got back, certainly almost all of it and I have no recollection of feeling I was not treated fairly.
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raoul mitgong
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Core Engine - Costs/Value Reply with quote

I was excited until the second sentence. I'm looking in the Denver area and not finding any recently. I passed on a $250 engine in good shape this spring and have been kicking myself since. I've seen running engines listed from 250-1300 but most are in the 4-800 range.
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