WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

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tommu
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WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by tommu » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:29 am

We would like a Bus. Preferably a Westy but I'm always open to persuasion, advise and opinions.

A late Bay or a late Vanagon would be perfect. I'm looking for reliability and usability above all else. I'm not in a desperate rush but am ready to buy if the right thing pops up.

Please - let me know if you see something to good to miss or if you need to re-home something. I'm in the LA area.

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asiab3
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by asiab3 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:07 am

So with the reliability comment, are you looking to spend a bit more off the bat for something ready to camp? Or are you ok with saving a bit up front and putting in some work to make it that way?

I find that 20k buses need ball joint boots just like 2k buses. The bug I just bought for a song has FANTASTIC oil pressure, no leaks, and shifts beautifully. A friend just paid three times that for a car and it leaks, has low oil pressure, and clunks in second. Your admittance not to being in a rush will help out greatly. Don't let your emotions in on the deal until AFTER you've signed the title.

Good luck!
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
100k miles with me.
279k miles on Earth.

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Bleyseng
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by Bleyseng » Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:00 am

Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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SlowLane
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by SlowLane » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:12 pm

Bleyseng wrote:Here is a nice westy-
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/ ... id=1977095
Keep in mind that "minimal rust" has a lot different meaning to someone in the Canadian province of Ontario than it does to someone in beautiful downtown Burbank.

Having gone through the process of importing a Canadian Westy into California myself, I would strongly advise against doing so for a vehicle that you don't have a strong attachment to (as I foolishly did). Particularly a '79, which has a number of transitional one-year-only quirks.

Were I in your shoes, and given your stated criteria for reliability, I would be looking for a late-model Vanagon Weekender or tin-top (I've concluded that the fridge, sink and cooktop in the Westfalia just aren't worth the extra cost or bother) that someone has been having engine problems with. Then use one of H2OVanagon's CARB-certified 1.8 turbo kits to install a solid, reliable motor. Just last week there was a '91 Carat that someone was selling on the SF Craigsliet for $2000 just because they didn't want to deal with the wasserboxer leaks any more.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom."
- Terry Pratchett

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Amskeptic
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:15 pm

tommu wrote:We would like a Bus. Preferably a Westy but I'm always open to persuasion, advise and opinions.

A late Bay or a late Vanagon would be perfect. I'm looking for reliability and usability above all else. I'm not in a desperate rush but am ready to buy if the right thing pops up.

Please - let me know if you see something to good to miss or if you need to re-home something. I'm in the LA area.
What's your price range?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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wcfvw69
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by wcfvw69 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:35 pm

You're living in the heart of aircooled VW bus camper land. I'd ONLY look for a bus from the dry SW USA. The number one concern to me would be rust as it's the most expensive and time consuming thing to fix. There has to be thousands of Westy's in the LA basin looking for a new home.

Your big dilemma is whether you want an early bay type 1 powered or late bay type 4 powered bus. Both come with pluses and minuses. The type 1 powered are slower in their cruising speeds (think 60mph on the freeway in stock form) and less horsepower unless you sup it up which decreases reliability. The pluses are the type 1 engines easier to work on with lots more quality parts choices. The type 4 powered later buses are more complex with fuel injection and the good parts for them are drying up. You can cruise at 65 MPH and will have more horsepower. A lot of folks covet the 1971 bus. It's the last year of type 1 powered and also has front disc brakes with power assist.

Some love the type 4 powered and others like the type 1 powered if they are not in a big hurry to get somewhere. If I was on the market for another bus, I would focus on the foundation which you'll build on. The body has to be straight, no wrecks or rust. If it's spent anytime in the rust belt, I'd run from it. I've cut enough rust and rot of VW's in my life to have learned not to buy another rusty VW again. The suspension is easy to refurbish as is the transmission and brakes on either late or early bus. The engine on the type 4 is more expensive to rebuild if done by a pro and finding GOOD parts to rebuild them is becoming more of a challenge. Some engine parts are also becoming NLA (no longer available) like the recently discontinued cold start valve on the late fuel injected buses. Replacement muffler parts and engine tin and heater boxes are also becoming an issue for the type 4 engines as well.

Do as much reading on this site and the Samba as you can. Drive both versions of the buses to see which one you connect with more. Take your time and don't do an impulse purchase. Finally, have some who REALLY, REALLY knows these VW buses inside and out do a PPE inspection before you hand over your money. It's worth every penny.
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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tommu
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by tommu » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:32 am

Oh man. I didn't realize anyone had replied. In abstaining from news, twitter and any other social media this week I checked back in. Sorry for not responding sooner.

Budget: That depends on the work that needs doing! I'd like to stick under 12K but we could go up to 18K for something really good. Maybe even higher.. I'm most willing to pay for straight body and good bones. I am least confident with body work. But yes Robbie, I would pay more off the bat for something that needed less work. I know only too well how much it costs to restore something.. and that you rarely get that back in a sale.
SlowLane wrote:Having gone through the process of importing a Canadian Westy into California myself, I would strongly advise against doing so for a vehicle that you don't have a strong attachment to (as I foolishly did). Particularly a '79, which has a number of transitional one-year-only quirks.

Were I in your shoes, and given your stated criteria for reliability, I would be looking for a late-model Vanagon Weekender or tin-top (I've concluded that the fridge, sink and cooktop in the Westfalia just aren't worth the extra cost or bother) that someone has been having engine problems with. Then use one of H2OVanagon's CARB-certified 1.8 turbo kits to install a solid, reliable motor. Just last week there was a '91 Carat that someone was selling on the SF Craigsliet for $2000 just because they didn't want to deal with the wasserboxer leaks any more.
Agree 100%. Having grown up in England and seen how silently rust can kill the most superficially beautiful machine I have an aversion to anything from a place that uses road salt. Interesting that you feel the Westy extras are not worth the time. I assumed they were an essential for me - but perhaps I should rethink that. I don't mind mechanical issues - as long as I know about them and factor them into the purchase!

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tommu
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by tommu » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:41 am

wcfvw69 wrote:You're living in the heart of aircooled VW bus camper land. I'd ONLY look for a bus from the dry SW USA. The number one concern to me would be rust as it's the most expensive and time consuming thing to fix. There has to be thousands of Westy's in the LA basin looking for a new home.
Agree - sticking to this area, or from a trusted source such as a fellow forumer is sensible.
wcfvw69 wrote:Your big dilemma is whether you want an early bay type 1 powered or late bay type 4 powered bus. Both come with pluses and minuses. The type 1 powered are slower in their cruising speeds (think 60mph on the freeway in stock form) and less horsepower unless you sup it up which decreases reliability. The pluses are the type 1 engines easier to work on with lots more quality parts choices. The type 4 powered later buses are more complex with fuel injection and the good parts for them are drying up. You can cruise at 65 MPH and will have more horsepower. A lot of folks covet the 1971 bus. It's the last year of type 1 powered and also has front disc brakes with power assist.
I'm really open to both. A good late type 4 would probably be the most sensible purchase. I'd consider something with a CA Smog certified Subaru conversion too - but that may be foolish with my lack of knowledge of the process..

Our wedding car was actually a 21 window Samba. If they weren't the price of a small of house -we'd have one in the garage right now. So spousal sign off is essential!
wcfvw69 wrote: Some love the type 4 powered and others like the type 1 powered if they are not in a big hurry to get somewhere. If I was on the market for another bus, I would focus on the foundation which you'll build on. The body has to be straight, no wrecks or rust. If it's spent anytime in the rust belt, I'd run from it. I've cut enough rust and rot of VW's in my life to have learned not to buy another rusty VW again. The suspension is easy to refurbish as is the transmission and brakes on either late or early bus. The engine on the type 4 is more expensive to rebuild if done by a pro and finding GOOD parts to rebuild them is becoming more of a challenge. Some engine parts are also becoming NLA (no longer available) like the recently discontinued cold start valve on the late fuel injected buses. Replacement muffler parts and engine tin and heater boxes are also becoming an issue for the type 4 engines as well.
Again - totally agree about Bodywork and finding a solid foundation. I feel I need to write this down, laminate it, and carry it with me.. just in case!
wcfvw69 wrote: Do as much reading on this site and the Samba as you can. Drive both versions of the buses to see which one you connect with more. Take your time and don't do an impulse purchase. Finally, have some who REALLY, REALLY knows these VW buses inside and out do a PPE inspection before you hand over your money. It's worth every penny.
This is very sage advise. I've never actually driven a bus and I don't really have any VW contacts close by. I really need to do something about that..

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Bleyseng
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by Bleyseng » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:27 pm

Why not buy Colin's Westy as it's for sale and really a nice camper.
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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tommu
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by tommu » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:44 pm

Well that's an idea..

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Amskeptic
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:22 pm

tommu wrote:Well that's an idea..
Indeed. $24,000.00

It has been hit in the front, hard enough to buckle the floor pan at the heater duct.
It has been hit in the right rear, with the worst panel weld-in I have ever seen.
It has been hit in the left rear, soon to be repaired by a competent shop.
Though the paint looks shiny and might even be high-quality, the <1995 paint job itself was horrible.
The dried-out canvas has two tears brought upon by a summer of highway driving.

Other than that, it has every part it came it with from the factory at 67,704 miles.
Colin
(almost forgot, it is a supreme joy to drive)
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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tommu
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by tommu » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:25 pm

That's more than I can contemplate at this moment in "Trump time" - but I do understand the reason for the price. It'll be hard to find anything else as trusted as Naranja. Does Naranja have solid seatbelt mounting posts you'd trust a toddler's booster seat with?

I also can't get the idea of the Lincoln out of my head - but that would turn my spacious garage into a small passage way!

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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:15 am

tommu wrote:That's more than I can contemplate at this moment in "Trump time" - but I do understand the reason for the price. It'll be hard to find anything else as trusted as Naranja. Does Naranja have solid seatbelt mounting posts you'd trust a toddler's booster seat with?

I also can't get the idea of the Lincoln out of my head - but that would turn my spacious garage into a small passage way!
Naranja has a full complement of seat belt anchors.

Lincoln would be a much more manageable $6,000.00 but need a $20,000.00 minimum restoration.

Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles

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tommu
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by tommu » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:22 am

I’m very serious about buying a 1976 Westy. It’s in Minnesota but it was originally from California. It appears to have a fully intact and stock ljet system as well as a brand new exhaust system.

From my research I need to apply register within 20 days of purchase in CA. As part of the process I need a SMOG certificate.

In order to get SMOG certificate I would need:

1. SMOG sticker indicating how to test? This may not be present so I’d need to visit the ARB REF for one :-(
2. CARB II CAT
3. A Bus that’s running efficiently!

This raises a couple of questions for me:

a) Am I crazy to do this!
b) What do I do without a drop in CAT. I know SGKent is doing great things with Magnaflow, but their drop in CAT is seemingly not yet available. Does anyone have any experience of those weld in universal CATs?
C)What would happen if I paid my fees but didn’t present SMOG cert for some months? Are there severe consequences? I can’t seem to find out online.

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Bleyseng
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Re: WTB Bus, Westy or other Camper

Post by Bleyseng » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:36 am

Brand new exhaust as in a new stock exhaust or one of these crappy Empi ones?
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

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