I drove the Van in 105F and that was the first and only time the radiator fan came on. Rear view mirrors also upgraded to larger sturdier and nicer late model westy units. The shift linkage was knackered so it would only go into first and third gears. Downside: You have to open the glove box and reach to the ball valve to start or stop heating - nothing I would recommend while driving. On the diesel powered Vanagons, the starter is on the top of the trans, and on the gas models, it is down on the side slightly. You can click on any image to get the full size picture.
I keep waiting a Westy, of many configurations, but I realize renting Yurts and driving our bullet proof Forester is a less stressful all around option. It was rebuilt with new filler and bleeder valves and is topped off. All air ducts were cleaned out as historically crazy stuff gets into there! It also takes a bizarre size and ply rating tire that I'm sure is easy to find in Europe, but is a real pain to find in the states. One thing to note: I've removed the original heater valve that directs the hot water from the engine to the heater core with a simple hose bib ball valve. It has been meticulously taken apart and has gone through a complete and extensive restoration back to factory new like condition. I didn't like the original Westfalia cabinet setup waste of space and very limited visibility while driving and don't like the idea of doing dishes or cooking inside the Van.
It had a four speed transmission, but it felt like it needed six. From what I've read 1200F is ok to have for a certain amount of time but I'll tried to keep it under 1000F all the time. Very spacious inside and still pretty easy to drive around and park. The diesel Vanagon is distinguished by its dual front grilles. Next to go was the front sway bar mount, which simply sheered in two. Take a look at Vanagons and you will notice that many of them are missing this handle. The stove top works perfectly and the grill top still has its original blue plastic protectant on it.
Propane tank and hardware was completely removed from vehicle, sand blasted and power coated to perfection. I decided to remove both the engine and the tranny together as a single unit. I remember marveling at the gas heater, hoping it would work. Cooked and slept in it for a month. But it had the big sun roof that actually worked and the interior was pretty decent. Standard features also included front bucket seats, a rear window defogger, two-speed windshield wipers, vinyl upholstery, and a folding rear bench seat that provided additional cargo space. There was no where to get a new one in the world but from Volkswagen.
But even that is too slow for most people, got passed all the time. I couldn't source the right part and figured spot fixing would only last until the line burst someplace else. In the short time I owned the van, I used it to transport new windows for my home, and lots of other things. I also received a replacement trans from an early '80s gas powered Vanagon. This van set for years we have changed most parts , runs great till it warms up and if you shut it down it will not start , leave it till the next day and it will start up first try , changed air co.
Westy also has a new clutch disc, a new throw out bearing, a new needle bearing, and a new pressure plate as well as a resurfaced flywheel with engine work done. It came with a pop top, a rear seat that folded out into a bed, a refrigerator, a stove, a sink and a pantry. The Vanagon was fairly well equipped with rack and pinion steering, power-assisted brakes, and front and rear independent suspension. The Vanagon was also available with an efficient 2. We test drove our prospective vehicles. Anyone else can buy anything they want. One time I actually did crack the dash hitting it in frustration.
Windshield wipers restored with new shaft seals. These actually had 48 horsepower. A lifter collapsed and the push rod hammered a hole in the block. No significant damage to the erzats-wood-tile floor…but then, that was the Bay Area. Fellow Vanagon Listmember, Ken Wyatt, found it in a salvage yard and shipped it to me for a very reasonable amount. I sold it with 196,000 miles and the new owner drove away happy. It's now more like a weekender with more storage but no table :.
Back seat folds into bed and has a refrigerator that runs off 3 deep cycle batteries. . The main reason that I wanted this specific model was the engine conversion possibilities. Limo tint on all windows in the back - no need for curtains during the day and keeps the inside temperatures down in summer. Lastly, folks often drive too fast anyhow. If I was a rich man… well the even the T5 latest in the line is not quite the same as a syncro vanagon.