Several days ago, I found a 1985 Vanagon GL passenger van for sale on eBay. 1.9 liter waterboxer, manual trans, no a/c. Nearly rust free and no UV damage inside so she’s been loved, though with 155k on the original engine I’m sure there will be plenty of material for this blog. The only major drivability problem, which the seller disclosed, is that it’s hard to get into first gear – even for a Type II, which is really saying something. (UPDATE: Now that I’m used to it, first isn’t bad. Second requires more force than it should though.) Not bad for $810.
The two hour drive home from Pennsylvania went smoothly at 60-70mph, and after owning two air-cooled busses it’s an enormous pleasure to have actual HEAT coming out the vents!
The first rest stop was about 20 minutes away. I stopped for five minutes, and there was a somewhat scary amount of oil under the engine. Went a bit slower the rest of the way home. When I got home and looked underneath, there was some oil drip, but much less. Maybe I’ll luck out and it was just overfilled by the seller – it’s a little above “full” now.
This weekend, I will seek out the oil leaks. Experienced VWers are thinking head gaskets right now, and they’re probably right, but I’m gonna cross my fingers because I won’t be able to afford a good engine for a few months.