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The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy rescue
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dabaron
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:54 pm    Post subject: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy rescue Reply with quote

i am finalizing the sale and bringing home a 1991 full westy tomorrow. it was a backyard find in NJ and sat for over a decade before being rescued recently by a very interesting gentleman. he spent some time getting this running and replaced the tires with Hankook RA-08's before driving it about 10 miles to his house. it's not a beauty queen and has some minor rust, a few dings, a crunched right rear wheel arch and there is some seam rot on the driver's side rear that will need addressed. i'm going to have it towed the 50 miles to my house since there is no way i'm driving this, esp. since it has to go over the Delaware River on the PA turnpike!

the engine will need some work since both heads leak coolant until things heat up, then it just drips coolant. it will need all new belts, hoses, and fuel lines. it has just under 120k on it so it might have a few years on the bottom end until i need to be concerned. i'll check the torque on the head bolts, check the oil pressure and do compression and leak down tests to see how it looks overall. i'm thinking i might be able to drop the engine and just do the top end reseal, water pump, and anything else that jumps out at me while it's on the bench.

the tencentlife heads are tempting, it really depends on what i find when i pull the heads. i may end up putting the split case rebuild i did last year for the tintop into the westy to get it going and do a full rebuild later this year. that would be a fun project to do with my 12 year old son.

there are some electrical issues to be sorted out. the power door locks do the cycle routine, the turn signal LED is constantly on (water in the lenses), and the ignition switch will need replaced. it is being started by shorting the starter with a screwdriver. there appears to have been an alarm system and remote starter added and that will need to be addresed as well. i'll check the operation of the windows when i pick it up.

as you will see, this is a bit of a project which i hope to have roadworthy and camp ready for Vanagons in the Valley 10 this July in Duncannon, PA. it's a lofty goal, but it's good to have a deadline to work toward.

on to the pictures!

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i think the rust on the front is from water getting behind a bra. in the photo the area is still wet from power washing it so it looks worse than it is, the seams on each end are good. a bit of sanding, some build up primer, more sanding, and a rattle can of LA5B and clear coat should do the trick (i'm being optimistic).

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the tent is well past it and will be replaced with a Bus Depot three screen model.

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the skylight will need to be completely replaced. it was covered with a large baking sheet with a tire to hold it in place, but it has allowed water in over the years. the pop top latch will need refurbished, i'm planning on getting this powder coated or painting it with a hammer finish. the pop top will get a bleach solution treatment and allowed to air out when i replace the tent.

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the driver's lower seam is rust free. the LP tank will need to be wire brushed and have updated fittings added before it can be used safely.

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the rear hatch is in good shape. it will need new struts and the electric lock actuator fixed/replaced.

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nothing a bottle of bleach, a box of magic erasers, and a shop vac can't sort out, right? i plan on removing the interior and really giving this a good cleaning. i'll remove the insulation behind the kitchen and check for leaks around the ports. i'll most likely replace all three of them.

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i have my work cut out for me, but the cabinets are in good condition and all the curtains are intact. all fabric items will be washed and all surfaces sprayed with a bleach solution.

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this is the worst of the known rust. i'll remove the rust and apply a rust convertor and then primer and paint it when i do the front. at some point in the future i'll replace the panel but slowing the rust is the priority.

i haven't told my son about the westy yet. having his own space i think will make trips more enjoyable. of course i'll need to install a USB port up there so he can charge up his phone or plug in an LED light so he can read. i can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees this parked out back.

there is no way i would consider buying this if i had not cut my teeth on the 1990 tintop. it has given me the confidence to tackle this project knowing that no matter what trouble i find or corner i back myself into, i can seek out advise/help here on thesamba.
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Last edited by dabaron on Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

Nah man, that's not how it works here.
we helped you out on the 1st one.. this one's on you..


Laughing

/JK nice score man.. and congrats on moving on up Exclamation

dabaron wrote:
there is no way i would consider buying this if i had not cut my teeth on the 1990 tintop. it has given me the confidence to tackle this project knowing that no matter what trouble i find or corner i back myself into, i can seek out advise/help here on thesamba.
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dabaron
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
Nah man, that's not how it works here.
we helped you out on the 1st one.. this one's on you..


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

_________________
1990 Vanagon GL
1991 Vanagon GL Camper
Seems like the Venn diagram of "poorly maintained Vanagons" and "unreliable Vanagons" is a circle.
-Paulbeard

Your bringing the atomic Bomb of fact to a knife fight of trivia.
-Abscate


Last edited by dabaron on Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:08 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

A large hammer and a larger vocabulary will fix anything.


Good find! Applause
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B.O.B.Wanders
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:49 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

Looking forward to watching your progress!
I've become a big fan of using Boraxo instead of bleach on the ceiling. Worked wonders for me.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

When is the divorce?
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dabaron
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
When is the divorce?


7 years ago Laughing

only thing breaking my heart is the Digifant FI system
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1990 Vanagon GL
1991 Vanagon GL Camper
Seems like the Venn diagram of "poorly maintained Vanagons" and "unreliable Vanagons" is a circle.
-Paulbeard

Your bringing the atomic Bomb of fact to a knife fight of trivia.
-Abscate
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HackAl
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

We own the same van. Same year, same color. We don't have power locks or windows. We camp often and use it every weekend in the summer. This will be our 5th season. We love it like the day we bought it. Our daughter is also 12.

I was eyeing this van on FB marketplace and asked the seller to contact me if he decided to part it out as I could use a better sliding door and rear hatch. He was confident he'd sell it. I looked at it again and thought,- yeah someone who knows what they are doing will snatch this up, clean it, get some use out of, make repairs, get some more use out it, etc.

I'm glad it found a good home.

Maybe I'll see you in the Valley!

Best,
Al
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dabaron
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

B.O.B.Wanders wrote:
Looking forward to watching your progress!
I've become a big fan of using Boraxo instead of bleach on the ceiling. Worked wonders for me.


are you making a paste or diluting it pretty heavily to make a "wash" with it?
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1990 Vanagon GL
1991 Vanagon GL Camper
Seems like the Venn diagram of "poorly maintained Vanagons" and "unreliable Vanagons" is a circle.
-Paulbeard

Your bringing the atomic Bomb of fact to a knife fight of trivia.
-Abscate
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

Don't eff it up...we're watching
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elizer Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

The underbody looks like it may be really clean.

Dont forget to add the mattress cover and top bunk mattress cover to the wash too! Dont use high heat or your will kick yourself putting the cover back on the bunk mattress cover.

Looking forward to this!
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dabaron
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

ignoring the recent thread DO NOT BUY A VANAGON, i am throwing caution to the wind and moving forward with the purchase. unless i discover a show stopper when i give it another once over, this is a done deal.

i fully plan on popping the top and then popping a top and having a cold one in the new to me Vanagon this evening.
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1991 Vanagon GL Camper
Seems like the Venn diagram of "poorly maintained Vanagons" and "unreliable Vanagons" is a circle.
-Paulbeard

Your bringing the atomic Bomb of fact to a knife fight of trivia.
-Abscate
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:17 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

Popcorn

Congratulations! Can't wait to see it returned to its former glory. And it's my favorite color.
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dabaron
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

well, the deal is done. anyone want to buy a 1991 Vanagon Westy? Laughing

it's going to be a large amount of cleaning. found some dead critters in the closet. what have i gotten myself into?


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1990 Vanagon GL
1991 Vanagon GL Camper
Seems like the Venn diagram of "poorly maintained Vanagons" and "unreliable Vanagons" is a circle.
-Paulbeard

Your bringing the atomic Bomb of fact to a knife fight of trivia.
-Abscate
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elizer Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

I applaud you on your color choice
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:15 am    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

Nice - you even got the teeny ice cube trays!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:49 am    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

"Critters in the closet"

better do some searching on mice damage and prevention.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:13 am    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

You had me at: "it currently starts by shorting the starter with a screwdriver". I love that feature!

I sure enjoyed your previous engine rebuild and the naysayers (were they all on fb?). I also like your camping trips with the kid. Most of what needs to be fix d looks tedious but doable. Also, I have great memories of learning about cars, motorcycles, etc. with my dad. The skills gained have been helpful; the time spent with dad is the best of all.

Enjoy.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

12 years ago that would have scared the life out of me!

Now, except for the bodywork, I'd be all in for the right price. Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:11 am    Post subject: Re: The mania deepens: 1991 Full Westy purchase Reply with quote

Most excellent.

In Berkeley all week, scoping Vanagons
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