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Old 03-25-2012, 05:44 PM   #16
a1fa
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There has never been front engined T3...
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:44 PM   #17
Chad M
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There were more than T3's in the 90's. Remember the Rialto, Vista Winnebagos? They were all front engined VWs.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:53 PM   #18
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I have a 85 Westy 225,000 miles (w/new engine), 15" BFG A/T tires and GoWesty clone bumpers with hitch. Gets 20mpg and I have towed (on a Kendon trailer) two f650Gs's ( right at the towing capacity) with no problem.



I wouldn't trade this 4-person sleeper for anything other than a like equipped Sprinter or Sportsmobile. That aside, if you want to stuff bikes then you need a van w/ a front engine and barn doors.....Sprinter or poss the new Ford Econoline/Transit clone. Mods can be made on the Eurovan camper to slide the seats fwd on track but the length is just not what the Sprinters have. I've seen two sprinters here in SOCAL with a westfalia-like camper poptop package and sliding rear seat for motorcycles... They pushed the rear seat fwd, ramped the bikes in and away! At site, offload bikes, push seat to the rear, pop the top and you have a Westfalia like camp package....all with a price though....But, awesome to see

If seriously looking for a Westfalia and you have the cash for a new engine, find the best looking/shape one and drop in a Subaru Water Boxer 2.0-2.2 CARB certified. Night and day and the engine was made to be there...but the van is a love hate relationship. Those that love them do and work the issues on this unique vehicle.

nomad5326 screwed with this post 03-27-2012 at 09:57 AM
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chad M View Post
There were more than T3's in the 90's. Remember the Rialto, Vista Winnebagos? They were all front engined VWs.

I saw a VW Rialta on the freeway the other day. Nice camper.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:21 AM   #20
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Don't "aks" me anything.....

I love my T3 Vanagon Westfalia kombi.... My life would be empty without it. I pretty much live for it now.. We got the air cooled version, because it was available, and cheap. Wasserleakers make good conversions to TDI, 1.8T or ZTEC conversions (bostig.com)....

I stayed with aircooled, got me a new motor. Not in any rush or getting away from things. All I wanted is that my engine runs cool, last long, as reliable everytime i turn the key... We replaced everything in the restoration, and it is almost complete... can't wait.

The next thing is interior, and exterior paint.

Now for the price, I've seen them go as low as $1000 for aircooled, or $3000 for wasser leakers in very good shape externally in internally......

They are fun... Can't wait to take my wife, and the dogs for a road trip.
What kind of mileage do you get with the air cooled motor??
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #21
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~ 20+ mpg...
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:44 PM   #22
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I have an '85 Westy weekender and I love the thing. It had a tired 1.9 wasserleaker when I got it - ran great, but no oil pressure and eventually it just barfed it's head gaskets (I do recall it getting about 17mpg or so). I did the Subie EJ22 coversion and it's awesome - about as fast as you really want to go in a VW van, but will pull itself up hills reasonably well and go the speed limit. Also gets a few mpg's more. I like the weekender since I honestly don't camp in it as much as I'd like - it's pretty practical. Even with 2wd it gets around pretty well on backroads - ground clearance is decent and the wheelbase is comparable to a Wrangler's. As noted earlier, don't plan on putting anything larger than a Trail 90 inside it. Currently working on stouter bumpers, and wheels & tires are next on the list.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:46 AM   #23
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They are definitely overprices but I love the look of them. 20mpg is pretty terrible. Surely full loaded and having to rev it to get whatever power out it has will drop the mpgs significantly. Would I be better off with a v8 conversion van with the rear seats removed, surely the gas mileage will suck but at least i'll have the power and torque to get it moving with less revs.

Is that the european zetec engine, i didn't know they were sold in the US?
we had an old vanagon water boxer put 425K on its odo but that was broken much of the time. The fuel injection quit working so the only way it would start was if I unplugged the fuel pump and plugged it back as soon as it started. It was my wifes car and she loved it. We bought her a ford f 250 and couldn't believe how the fuel bills dropped the ford got 25% better fuel economy. We are coming close to 400k on the ford and she still misses the old vanagon.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #24
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My dad was big into the westies, I bought a '71 westy from him and kept it for 10 years or so. The 71 was the last of the aircooled upright motors, and it had disk front brakes. I only took it on one or 2 trips a year so sold it. No way a motorcycle could fit in one, but I was able to carry my R65ls in my 70 window van which I could load by myself (after taking the tank and seat off). The interior would need to come out to fit a bike in a westy

Terrible handling, gutless performance, and poor mileage were its hallmarks. Great to party in though. Dad got a mid eighties westie which was pretty cool, NG powered fridge, ok highway performance. He bought a used speedo that he would pop in to extend the warranty ( to like 150k miles) which got him some free head gasket replacements, but when they went out after the warranty went out he got the FWD eurovan. The canadian eurovans could be had with tdi and a 5 speed standard transmission. Shame they never made it to the states, dunno if you can import a used one or not.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:40 AM   #25
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Here is my van. If it had 100 more HP it would be perfect. Always wanted to give it a new engine but it's low on the priority list compared to other distractions...



My monkeys sure love it. We've toured a ton of places in this van.


I'm attached to it because it is unique though if I could swap it for a Sprinter with a small garage in the back (like the Lopes 55 SMB) it would be gone quickly. There is just nothing out that is so tiny on the outside (the turning radius is tiny) yet pretty spacious on the inside.

It will haul bikes too. I always enjoy showing up riding or to the races with this thing since most people we pass on the road can't get their heads around a 'hippy van' pulling motorcycles. I have a class III on it too for my single bike carrier as well. Fun stuff

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Old 03-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #26
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There has never been front engined T3...
You're right but there's been Mk1 LT. Front engined, T3 vintage but with much more living space.
Check VW Florida, one of the best factory spec campers ever built.
Probably you have none in US but very popular in Europe.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:35 PM   #27
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You're right but there's been Mk1 LT. Front engined, T3 vintage but with much more living space.
Check VW Florida, one of the best factory spec campers ever built.
Probably you have none in US but very popular in Europe.
No we don't get any of the VW LT trucks, America is well known for not allowing a lot of cool vehicles from other countries same goes with motorcycles, we would rather keep selling lowrider cruisers and huge lifted trucks than have vehicles that makes sense, pretty sad but such is life.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:05 PM   #28
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79 Westi

I have a 79 westi and am thinking of getting a small trailer or a way to hang the F800GS on the back. I have seen another member with an 800GS on the back of their bus. The top speed on these things is about 65- maybe 70 but as a previous poster mentioned- you dont want to go any faster. The whole idea of having a nice bed (x2), fridge, stove, sink, storage, solar panel(my own mod) and diesel heater (another mod) is awesome. Despite the crap handling, noise, some air cooled smells and slow speeds- it is a fun vehicle to get to places - this is coming from a BMW 800GS and 73' Norton Commando rider with an Audi S4 in the garage ! I have never felt impatient in my bus and part of it is because I feel the vehicle puts the driver in the right frame of mind (I know sounds wanky, but trust me on this- every bus owner I know who has seriously traveled with their Bus talks about the Zen) and Who doesnt need additional Zen these days? especialy after a good dirt bashing session. What the bus does have which most people miss is a crap load of low end torque - I have had 8 people in it plus camping gear and was cruising at 60mph. Find one with a clean engine and not too much rust - get 1-2 handbooks and you should be right. The VW bus clan are a serious cult - a lt a lot like DS riders, if your on the side of a road a bus will ALWAYS pull over. If you break down you can always take a nap, cook a meal or jump on your bike ! If I had the money I would convert mine to a subaru but people usually do this on a wedge >80's westi. If I REALLY had the cash I would get a Sprinter and call it a day but a Sprinter will NEVER have the same effect of a Westi pulling into any place and been a great conversation starter.

Cheers,
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:06 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by marksbonneville View Post
No we don't get any of the VW LT trucks, America is well known for not allowing a lot of cool vehicles from other countries same goes with motorcycles, we would rather keep selling lowrider cruisers and huge lifted trucks than have vehicles that makes sense, pretty sad but such is life.
Don't worry you've got cheap fuel and a very big land with great nature. In Turkey a litre of unleaded gasoline is around 2.5dollars and riding my R80GS Kalahari (Turkey is one of the few countries r80gs basic and kalahari sold as new between 1996-1997) is a luxury on long journeys.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:54 PM   #30
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I lived in one from 1978 to 1979. Then drove it across the country to move east from Colorado. Owning one changes your priorities and perceptions. They're not fast vehicles, but you don't care anymore. They can be a roving party, a good time machine, a get away from civilization. They're like the difference between a dual sport bike and a crotch rocket. When you own one, speed isn't your top priority anymore. Most fun vehicle I ever owned. Mine was a '71 air cooled classic. Pop top.
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