1990 Vanagon Carat

Post updates to your projects

1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:37 pm

I picked up this Vanagon for $4,800 from who I believe is the 2nd owner on Jan. 18th with 124k miles.

Image

He had purchased it in Feb. of 1998 from a used car lot in Chicago with 117k miles (He only drove it 7k miles in 16 years). It has a lot of surface rust spots, but the frame looks very solid. He claimed to have kept it garages since he purchased it. I mainly jumped on it due to the originality. It looks to be completely stock, even down to the factory radio. It is very hard to find an unmolested bus of any vintage these days.

The tires were awful, but I couldn't get a set of 14" truck tires on the weekend in Springfield, MO. The only warehouse that carried them was already closed. So we headed back to OKC hoping for the best. Just passed Tulsa the steering wheel begin shaking a lot. Had to stop and swap out the left front tire, it was about to blow. Made it the rest of the way without incident. The next morning there was a nice puddle of coolant underneath, right side head gasket was blown. Just another thing added to the list.

First thing I tackled was the radio. It was simply in safe mode, so I figured it would work if I could find the code. I removed it and called Fowler VW with the VIN and Serial stamped into the radio. They called me back in about 15min with the code. I wrote it on the radio itself so it never gets lost again. Not really worried about the tape deck getting stolen.

Next thing to tackle was the latch on the table was stuck shut. I had to remove the entire side panel to get access to the back side. While I was in there I cut-off the bottom couple inches of fiberglass insulation that was a little moldy and was retaining water. You could see the dreaded seem rust has already set in. But I got the table free and everything went back together rather quickly.

Image

Image

My first free afternoon I took it down to Swanson's Tire Co. downtown and had them install 5 new 185R14 Hankook RA08s, $605 out the door. It still had the original Michelin spare in size 205/70R14, but sadly they no longer make a weight rated tire in that size.

Image

The last day it hit 60 degrees I was able to replace the rear shocks. The ones that were on there were not OEM, but I couldn't find any markings to see which brand they were.

Image

I replaced them with Bilstein HDs, which I have had good luck with in the past. It took about 20 minutes per side including jacking up and placing on stands.

Image

I currently have it down at Fleet transmission getting the fluids changed, all the filters and gaskets replaced since I do not know when it was last serviced. I have never owned an automatic VW before, so I want to be sure it is going to go the distance. I also went ahead and ordered the new transmission cooler which replaces the factory heat exchanger that is known to fail dumping ATF into the coolant and vice versa. They are also going to put on the front shocks for me.

Image

It has pretty much been snowing or below 40 degrees since then so I haven't made much other progress. Next up is replacing the springs on the sliding door latch and the big one is pulling the dash to replace the front blower fan and heater core.
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby vdubjim » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:42 pm

i dont mean to be that guy, but you paid 4800 for that needing all that work and now head gaskets? :o
User avatar
vdubjim
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2019
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:21 am

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:18 am

I looked around a lot before buying. There was a Carat in Tulsa for $4k with 230k miles and the trans blown. Ones going on the samba in similar condition are $6-$7k. Very hard to find one in good shape. I expect to put $5k into it to make it decently road-trip ready. If I went for a pop-top the initial buy in would of been $10k more.
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby vdubjim » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:27 am

Guess I better buy this pop top for 1500 down the street or the tintop on Craigs now. Investing time!
User avatar
vdubjim
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2019
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:21 am

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:54 am

Yeah I just saw that one in Newalla for $1400. Curious on the mileage and if it actually runs. That could be a steal, but most likely will still need thousands to make it reliable.

What year is the pop-top down the street?
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby vdubjim » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:06 pm

Not concerned with motor when I have a Subaru chillin.
82, but diesel.
User avatar
vdubjim
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2019
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:21 am

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:44 pm

I don't think I have the patience to tackle an original diesel. Too many parts are NLA. A TDI swap would be nice, but I don't have the garage, tools, or skills to do that myself.

My main goal with the Carat is to simply fix everything broken while using upgraded components when available. Haven't decided if I will be adding on anything extra yet or not. My two considerations are an Aux battery to run the table light and radio while we are camping and a rear mosquito net. I am surprised that wasn't standard on any model that came with a bed.
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:19 pm

Just noticed the one in Newalla is a GL, not a Carat. So it most likely doesn't have the jump seats and table that generally command a much higher price. Might go check it out anyways just to see what condition it is in.
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:56 pm

Things haven't been moving too quickly between work and the weather getting in the way. I got the ATF cooler installed along with the front shocks. With new tires and shocks all around the handling is much improved. I am still a couple weeks out on getting into Darrel's shop.

I installed an ARB awning in preparation for camping season. It was a simple bolt on with brackets from Go Westy.
Image

Image

I also removed the speedometer and sent it off to have the odometer & trip-meter repaired. It stopped working the first time i reset it.
Image

Got some new levers in for the jump seats allowing them to fold up. Both of them had been broken off and I couldn't find any used.
Image

Finally I got the rear mosquito screen installed for camping.
Image
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby vdubjim » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:27 pm

Looking good!
User avatar
vdubjim
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2019
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:21 am

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby JcB6685 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:34 am

Looks good!!
Random avatar
JcB6685
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:42 am

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Fri May 02, 2014 3:41 pm

Dropped by Darrel's yesterday to take a look at the progress. He had the heads off and they only had minor pitting. Unfortunately every exhaust stud broke off and the #2 exhaust valve seat was beginning to pull out. Cheaper to just get new heads rather than rebuild the originals. While he has it he is going to replace both front wheel bearings, all the coolant hoses, fuel lines, and the complete exhaust. While the frame is solid, you can tell it spent a lot of down by the ocean (originally from FL) as most of the fasteners are pretty rusty.

I am very impressed with his Vanagon knowledge. He quickly pointed out several things that had been done incorrectly. The cat was on backwards with the O2 sensor on the wrong side, the fuel filter was installed backwards, and he found several loose grounds. Can't wait to get it on the road.
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby vdubjim » Sat May 03, 2014 8:10 pm

well on your way indeed!
User avatar
vdubjim
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2019
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:21 am

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:30 pm

Thought I'd give you all a final update. I moved to Houston 3 months ago and finally picked up the Vanagon from Darrel a couple weeks ago. He did a really good job and it ran great all the way back to Houston. Really impressed how well it takes the hills at 70mph and it is my first with cruise control. Can't recommend Darrel enough and thanks to you guys for getting me in touch with him.

We just did a 1,900 mile road trip over Labor Day weekend to attend http://bnnta.com Ran great except it developed an oil leak from either the oil pump or the crankshaft pulley seal towards the end of the trip. Not bad for such a long drive.
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby vdubjim » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:47 am

how was it this year? saw some pics, looked like its getting smaller?
User avatar
vdubjim
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2019
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:21 am

Re: 1990 Vanagon Carat

Postby dart330 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:32 pm

BNNTA was great. It is always our favorite campout. There were 106 registered VWs this year. Next year is the big 30th.

Oil leak was the crankshaft pulley and somehow one of my O2 sensor wires got damaged along the way which explains why my mileage dropped from 18 to 15 during the trip.

Next up I am going to install the GoWesty Alternator Bracket Fix Kit, a new Bosch alternator, and wiring harness all as preventive maintenance. Figure I'd rather do it in a garage than the side of the road on our next big trip.
http://www.gowesty.com/library_article.php?id=1201
https://sites.google.com/site/vanagonheadlightrelays/alternator-harness
User avatar
dart330
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 pm
Location: Houston, TX


Return to Build Status

cron
Hosted by Freeforum.ca, get your free forum now! TOS | Support Forums | Report a violation
buying traffic website
MultiForums powered by echoPHP phpBB MultiForums