Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it!
Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
bnzelener
Samba Member


Joined: February 03, 2020
Posts: 22
Location: Fort Collins, CO
bnzelener is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:14 pm    Post subject: Deal or no deal? Update: Bought it! Reply with quote

Hi Westy folks! I hope this is the right place to post this. Please correct me if not.

I've recently become obsessed with Westfalias. I'm 28, I live in Colorado, and I want to get out in the summers and camp at trailheads. I also think it would be amazing to take my time driving up the west coast in a Full Camper.

I've been hunting on Craigslist and Facebook marketplace for the past week to see what Full Campers go for. Initially it looked like I'd be spending at least $10K to get anything in running condition.

Then this popped up: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/631295724273375/

It's a 1987 Westfalia manual transmission Full Camper for $6,500. It has the original engine, which was rebuilt at some point. The odometer has 125K miles on it, and the seller says that the odometer was broken when she was given the van by a family member and believes she's put on 5-10K in her ownership.

I took a test drive in the van yesterday. Here is an album of pictures and a video I took. Cosmetically she's in rough shape and everything is grimy, but she started up just fine and seemed to drive with plenty of gumption. Here are some things I noticed:


    - There are some signs of rust in the seams as I've heard to look for, though not as much as I expected considering the overall condition.
    - Kitchen hasn't been used in her ownership. Fridge door won't stay closed. Unknown condition of propane/water tanks.
    - Power windows are non functional. She cautioned me that putting them down might mean they stay down.
    - Door interior panels are in sad shape. Wiring hanging out, material is warped.
    - Canvas in pop-top is rotting and ripped.
    - Paint is stripping on the kitchen control panel.
    - Cushions are in OK condition, but definitely need cleaning. Driver seat is ripped.
    - Hatchback won't stay open.
    - Stereo does not work
    - Speedometer is broken. She shoved a shoe into the dash to quiet the clicking sound it produced.
    - Sliding door handle is in the van, but not on the door. She left it this way because she can just open it from the inside.
    - A smell of oil was hard to ignore as we were driving.


Luckily I live in Fort Collins, home of Rocky Mountain Westy. They are going to do an inspection of the Westfalia this week and give me their report on its condition.

My question is: is this a great deal?

I'm willing and excited to do some cleaning/repair and put some money into a Westfalia that is a great deal at the start. However, if this is just an appropriately-priced-for-its-condition Westfalia, maybe it would make more sense to buy something in better shape for $10K and start from there.

Thanks so much for your insight!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
dlb154
Samba Member


Joined: December 27, 2006
Posts: 314
Location: Reno, NV
dlb154 is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

It looks and sounds pretty rough. For a first Westfalia purchase, you'll need to have money or DIY time. The price looks fair and would allow you to invest in these repairs.
If the appearance doesn't bother you and the chassis isn't rusted out... and it handles decently while driving (correct load rated tires will improve handling), negotiate on the price.
Most people would not want to start with something so rough. That helps your chances for negotiating a lower price.
How does it shift? Any odd sounds from the transmission? Does it require an emissions test where you live?
It's a project - but that can be the fun part too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Ride-Fly
Samba Member


Joined: May 25, 2015
Posts: 433
Location: PDX
Ride-Fly is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Seems like an Ok deal. Have you seen the Westy in Longmont that is in the Samba classifieds? If I was hunting for another Westy, I’d seriously consider this. Honestly, before I opted for another direction, this was the one I wanted to get, but the seller didn’t seem very interested in selling. I.e, wouldn’t respond to my emails and texts. But it seems they are more eager to sell since they just updated the ad today.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bnzelener
Samba Member


Joined: February 03, 2020
Posts: 22
Location: Fort Collins, CO
bnzelener is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Ride-Fly wrote:
Seems like an Ok deal. Have you seen the Westy in Longmont that is in the Samba classifieds? If I was hunting for another Westy, I’d seriously consider this. Honestly, before I opted for another direction, this was the one I wanted to get, but the seller didn’t seem very interested in selling. I.e, wouldn’t respond to my emails and texts. But it seems they are more eager to sell since they just updated the ad today.


Oh man, I hadn't seen that. Thanks for pointing it out. I assume you mean this one: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2327302?

I'm sad that it's an automatic. But really love everything else...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
elizer Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: May 02, 2016
Posts: 1062
Location: VA
elizer is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

My vote is no. The seam rust behind the stove is nogo. You are going to have to replace some metal. I think you will be better off starting off with something in better condition.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Zeitgeist 13
Samba Member


Joined: March 05, 2009
Posts: 10180
Location: Port Manteau
Zeitgeist 13 is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Automagic is more robust on these 2WD vans than the manuals, so I would seek those out. They also drive very nice
_________________
Casey--
Volkswagens powered by Volkswagen
'89 Bluestar TDI
'01 Weekender VR6
Oly Bulli
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bobhill8 Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: June 09, 2017
Posts: 266
Location: MA
bobhill8 is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

As someone who jumped in with little experience a few years ago, my only advice is to focus on the important stuff - engine, transmission and rust.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Wildthings
Samba Member


Joined: March 13, 2005
Posts: 43007

Wildthings is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Remember that this is a 33 year old vehicle and with most 33 year old vehicles you are lucky to get someone to haul it off for free.

On the good side most of the dents appear to be in the sliding door, which means they can be fixed by just finding and installing a straight door and doing a bit of paint work. Assuming this van actually has around 160-200K miles on it, the engine may well be ready to let go. That is about all they get before a rod decides to aerate the block.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Eric_Taylor
Samba Member


Joined: January 21, 2011
Posts: 269
Location: Bend, Oregon
Eric_Taylor is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

It's a tough call because it's a running and driving late model van for under 10k, and in general those are hard to come by, even if they are rough.

It's the body work that really is hard for me to get over and would push me away.No rust or damage? DONE DEAL. The mechanical stuff and the clean up can be fun, especially if this thing was a driver.

If the body work were good, you'd have a long way to go until you hit market value for a nice one and could do a Subaru swap or similar, pick all your choices on camping upgrades, etc. etc. In many ways, that's how I would start if doing it over. The body work though? Man that's gonna be a deal breaker for me. I would hate looking at it all the time and fixing it right is holy shit watch out expensive! I guess it would depend on your tolerance for the body work.

Personally I'd offer $4k for it and see what happens. If you get it for that, screw it, just enjoy it. If you can't then maybe it was not meant to be.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Yellow Rabbit
Samba Member


Joined: August 31, 2005
Posts: 856
Location: NoCo
Yellow Rabbit is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Considering one of the world’s largest parts suppliers for these old things is in your hometown, you might try calling Van Cafe. Maybe they know of a local van for sale. At the very least they might be a good source to pay for a pre-purchase inspection.

I agree, the Longmont van appears to be much nicer than the first one.
_________________
1985 Westfalia GL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
nineteensixtyfiveVG
Samba Member


Joined: August 03, 2009
Posts: 446
Location: San Diego
nineteensixtyfiveVG is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

did you get any pics of the underside or floors? could be a decent deal if its really solid underneath
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bnzelener
Samba Member


Joined: February 03, 2020
Posts: 22
Location: Fort Collins, CO
bnzelener is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Yellow Rabbit wrote:
Considering one of the world’s largest parts suppliers for these old things is in your hometown, you might try calling Van Cafe. Maybe they know of a local van for sale. At the very least they might be a good source to pay for a pre-purchase inspection.


Yep! It's headed to Van Cafe / Rocky Mountain Westy on Thursday this week. Based on the feedback here, I'm going to ask them specifically about the body and engine condition.

Thanks everyone, I really do appreciate the insight. I've reached out to the seller of the Vanagon in Longmont and will follow-up with what I hear back on the one here in Fort Collins.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bnzelener
Samba Member


Joined: February 03, 2020
Posts: 22
Location: Fort Collins, CO
bnzelener is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

nineteensixtyfiveVG wrote:
did you get any pics of the underside or floors? could be a decent deal if its really solid underneath


I didn't, which I'm now kicking myself for. I'm hoping that Rocky Mountain Westy will do a full look-through of the undercarriage in their inspection.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bnzelener
Samba Member


Joined: February 03, 2020
Posts: 22
Location: Fort Collins, CO
bnzelener is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

bobhill8 wrote:
As someone who jumped in with little experience a few years ago, my only advice is to focus on the important stuff - engine, transmission and rust.


Thanks much. Going to use this as a north star once I hear back on the inspection.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bnzelener
Samba Member


Joined: February 03, 2020
Posts: 22
Location: Fort Collins, CO
bnzelener is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
Automagic is more robust on these 2WD vans than the manuals, so I would seek those out. They also drive very nice


It sounds like there's a Jetta engine in it now. When people do engine swaps, do they keep the original transmission?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bnzelener
Samba Member


Joined: February 03, 2020
Posts: 22
Location: Fort Collins, CO
bnzelener is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

dlb154 wrote:
It looks and sounds pretty rough. For a first Westfalia purchase, you'll need to have money or DIY time. The price looks fair and would allow you to invest in these repairs.
If the appearance doesn't bother you and the chassis isn't rusted out... and it handles decently while driving (correct load rated tires will improve handling), negotiate on the price.
Most people would not want to start with something so rough. That helps your chances for negotiating a lower price.
How does it shift? Any odd sounds from the transmission? Does it require an emissions test where you live?
It's a project - but that can be the fun part too.


It seemed to shift OK for the age - but unfortunately I don't drive manuals all that often so I can't say for sure. She did go into gear without too much finesse.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
16CVs Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: February 22, 2004
Posts: 3110
Location: Redwood City, California
16CVs is online now 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

I would not consider it a great deal ! But not the worst I have seen. Depending on what the PPI shows up with the running gear.
What bothers me is the deferred maintenance, when I see thing like the Speedo not being fixed my mind wanders to what else is just left to the point that the only thing getting fixed is what stops it from rolling. Using that stick to hold up the gate is a bad idea, One day you will or someone else will try and cut its there and pull on the deck and bend the lid or rip the hinges out of the body.
That van will need 3K -5K thrown at it in short order. The windows are easily fixable. Take them out and send them to me in a box and I can make them better then new. It needs a tent and the drivers side seat rebuilt as well as the Speedo and dash lights.
I'd also bet that the brakes have never had the fluid changed, as well as the gas lines. I would also not be surprised if the steering rack did'nt leak.
If you were going to take it any distance I would advise new SS coolant pipes and all plastic in the cooling system replaced.
Just remember that what you pay for the van is just the cost of admission. The nice thing about buying a ratty van is that once fixed you know what you have.
If the engine is sound, I'd offer her $5K and be prepared to walk away.

Stacy
_________________
1987 Syncro Westfalia Triple knob (bastard)
1989 Syncro Tristar Triple knob "Swedish"
2013 Jetta Hybrid a true "Zwitter"
Samba member # 14980
Call anytime number 650 722 4914 .
Keep Your van running and upkept tastefully for the love of the hobby.
Don't let your van end up in an "abortions" thread.


Last edited by 16CVs on Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sodo
Samba Member


Joined: July 06, 2007
Posts: 5953
Location: Western WA
Sodo is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

bnzelener wrote:
When people do engine swaps, do they keep the original transmission?


Yes they do.
Often they keep the original gear oil too. Wink

There's ONLY the Vanagon transmission.
There is no other transmission that will fit.

The words "no" and "fit" are used in a rather offhand manner.
_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Yellow Rabbit
Samba Member


Joined: August 31, 2005
Posts: 856
Location: NoCo
Yellow Rabbit is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Another idea is placing a want to buy ad on Craigslist. I did that and ended up with an inexpensive 60k mile Westy. Sometimes these things just work out.

If you want to get a good idea how well these things perform on the road, you may consider test driving one up to Horsetooth. That will give you an idea for your patience level and how well the cooling system works.
_________________
1985 Westfalia GL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bnzelener
Samba Member


Joined: February 03, 2020
Posts: 22
Location: Fort Collins, CO
bnzelener is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Deal or no deal? Reply with quote

Yellow Rabbit wrote:
Another idea is placing a want to buy ad on Craigslist. I did that and ended up with an inexpensive 60k mile Westy. Sometimes these things just work out.

If you want to get a good idea how well these things perform on the road, you may consider test driving one up to Horsetooth. That will give you an idea for your patience level and how well the cooling system works.


Haha, I love it! That's a great test of patience. I've ridden old mopeds for a while now and appreciate the slow roll. With a manual Westy, what gear are you in for a climb like the Horsetooth dams?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB