Call to old hippies.

No worries to through bolt to pop
top … rain gutters are strong enough to lift the van with too … I nice solid place fit bikes is to install yakimas , etc. on rear door.

Rebuilt does not always mean too much with these and it really depends who did it and with what parts … BIG Difference. Thats why you always hear of blown _____ fill in blank here.

These engines are extremely durable and hardy but suseptable to heat. Lots of little tricks to get them dialed in and not running too lean or with too much advance … cannot be done by the book by some newby tech in the local oil change place. … you just hafta know. If looking for what parts would cost, grab a "Hot VWs " magazine from news stand … I think you will be pleasantly suprised at what you see parts cost wise…

Yep, 65 / 70 is about as these like to go with a well done stockish engine but you just have to get the mindset … something that happens pretty easily once you get behind that big wheel with your feet directly under it and gaze out the “panoramic” windshield. Once you own one, it you never get it out of you system.

The high ground clearance, long suspension and engine over drive wheels makes them great off road and no problem to drive on sand either. Put some snows on it in the winter and bring on the fun. Engines LOVE the cold air.

Rust not to big a deal out here butttt … main thing on the bus is the rear frame right around the torsion bars … if that is rusted bad, hard to fix. Also ask if has ever had rear axle problems or has new drums on rear just to see.

wasserboxers … scrublink what year ?

I love these things.

– Last Updated: Sep-18-06 4:39 PM EST –

Some long stories synapsized.

Have plowed through snow over the bumper with studded snows.
Have pulled Mexicans out of the sand..... in Mexico.
Been pulled over (for going too slow) with a keg in back while driving with combined fellow drunk idiots shoelaces tied together and run around the outside of the bus to for a makseshift throttle cable to get home.
Taking shots of bus going up on three ( just yank the wheel ) wheels on freeway.
Been blown UPHILL @ 10 mph in a desert sand storm.
Installing a new clutch on the road with a 10 mm, 17?mm, vice grips, a screwdriver and a skateboard for a jack. .
Have driven non-stop so long that I wake to the police tapping on my window while I am asleep sitting @ a 7/11 with a sandwich in my hand .... hopeing they do not ask me what state I am in.
Went 98 mph (hell bent for 100) behind a truck on a long downhill grade in Colorado.
Have said "Never again" after crossing the U.S. in one ..... 3 X.
69,70 and 71 Westfalia.
Had many unforgetable AND forgetable moments with the sprit of adventure the bus has build right into it and jonesing for another.
No hippie here, but look like one I guess + my Grandmother is in one of the picture collages of the spiral bound Idiot Manual for VWs.

Check this out
First thing is go get some pints of colored paint and go to it.

It will run way better.

here’s some inspiration:


– Last Updated: Sep-18-06 5:25 PM EST –

This thing was gone through by a reputable Vw freak so is actually in good shape. I have no illusions of it being a grand vehicle. I am also looking at a former "Bread" truck. Kayaks would fit inside and if I built a little platform you could still walk into the back from the front. The biggest pain in the ass in any gear intensive endeavor is loading and unloading gear. Once something is loaded I don't like taking it some places as gear is easily stolen and hard to replace. The VW struck me as an interesting way to make it to the put in or camp site. So you have to leave a little earlier and it takes longer. I don't recreate to set speed records. (not yet anyway). I will eventually find something worthy of converting into my paddleing vehicle. If its the bus I might even be able to take it with me on the river. We had a balloonist up here who made his into a ballon gondola. He used to pack his stuff right inside and drive off after he landed. I am sure I could float one and with a long enough paddle or pole make it work. I think finger painting the outside would be the way to go for a new finish.


Love it … I painted one of mine
with the curb paint in the back @ the gas station I was working at … LOL … wow, that was another life.

Appears the decision is made, just the
bread box standing in the way of getting the VW. If you want it, jump on it. He who hesitates is lost when it comes to buying vehicles and used kayaks.

This is true.

– Last Updated: Sep-18-06 9:35 PM EST –

The VW is a little more on the strange side which fits my persona. The "bread" truck might actually prove to be more practical. I have visions of hammocks inside. I don't follow follow the pack as you can see. Before I can bring anything new home I have to finish fixing a friends car. It and the donor car are sitting in my driveway taking up valuable real estate.


Old hippie response…
These things were a major hobby vehicle 30 years ago.

If it’s a labor of love, go for it. As a former owner of Brittish sports cars, I can relate. There is nothing like driving “your” favorite ride. Regardless of time spent tinkering, and hitchhiking. At least now we have cell phones.

Some folks had VW’s that ran forever without problems, but they were the exception. I repeat…30 years ago. I doubt aging has enhanced reliability.

If you want to get where you’re going, at least most of the time, I wouldn’t buy one.

Or, just find the time and money to do a complete restoration, and it will be as good as it ever was, back in the day. Maybe.

How to mount your boats will be the least of your problems.

Sorry for the jaded hippie response,


Saw one on the Ferry
Old hippie bus with the pop top camper, seen on the Ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle Labor Day Weekend, with two kayaks on top and two young hippies inside. At least one of the boats was old school fg kayak–thought it might have been a C1. I chatted them up.

I wouldn’t mind having an old pop-top bus for sleeping in, but I wouldn’t want to drive one. People fondly recall the old vehicles, but one of the reasons today’s cars cost so much more than they used to is that they are better.

The ol dubs were supposed to have oil changed every 3K, points serviced every 3k, and valves adjusted every 6k. You get that van, I hope you like working on cars. One advantage is that they were relatively easy to work on. Expect to rebuild the engine about every 40K. I don’t know about you, but with the miles I put on, I could never live with the maintenance requirement.

And forget creature comfort. No heat, no AC, but that vehicle did have one thing I wish cars still had, a great venting system. And I think somebody already mentioned SLOW, right?

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD. Who, as a young hippie had a '69 bus and several bugs. Middle aged and less hippie, had an 84 Vanagon, a huge improvement over the old bus, but it was never the same.

I’ve had three VW’s, two bugs and one
van. My books said adjust the valves every 4k miles, not 6. You musta had later models. The bug motors from the late 60’s were crap. 66 back, good. 72 forward, fine. Even more than with a regular motor, the oil change is most important. I tried to change mine every 2k. As I recall, there is no filter. With a van, I’d put in a bigger after market oil cooler too, especially if driving in hills or hot areas.

Most replacement parts are made in brazi
or mexico, two of the last places where bugs were built. The best solution is to have three engines. One would be in the vehicle, one ready to be put in it, and the other in repair. When the one in the bus goes out or sound bad, take it out, put the rebuilt one in, hopefully you’ll shortly be finished with the one that is in the rebuild stage and be able to start on the the one just removed. It doesn’t hurt to have a spare transaxle or two around also.

Maintenance issues.
I change oil in my fleet of vehicles every 3K anyway. There are conversion kits to replace the points with electronics. I drive about 100K a year on average. No one vehicle usually goes much past 15K. The specialty vehicles about 5K or less. Long trips I take the plane. It seems to work for me. I was never in love with the VW. I just liked the fact that it was odd. I am attracted to odd vehicles in ways even I can’t explain. I will find something to replace the wagon as boat hauler in the next month or so and take it from there. Even if I get something more conventional it won’t be fast or comfortable so those are the least of my worries.


Because the van is air cooled, air flow
is an issue. Vans seem to run hotter than the bug. People would put scoops on the side air intakes to help, but with modern electric fans for car engines, one of those would appear to help greatly. The heat is what causes VW’s to drop valves, as much as improper maintenance. With the newer bug engine, the valves were hydraulic, so the problem was reduced. Gas mileage is sucky in the van…maybe 16 to 18 is the best I ever got. But, it will be better than the bread box.

auxillary oil cooler
Had one of those in my 71–still burned valves. Boy, does this thread bring back memories. For all the problems, I lived out of mine more than not for a couple of years climbing and fly fishing. Stuck a trailer on it and hauled a bunch of stuff from Iowa to Montana. Drove it from California to Montana and Montana to the mid-west a bunch of time, and more trips to Yosemite from the Bay area and from LA than I can count. I am very fond of my Eurovan, which I use for meditation retreats and kayak symposia/camping, but I loved the bus.

serious road rage concerns:
In their time, these relics shared the road with much more polite & patient drivers, drivers who actually stopped at stop signs & lights, yielded to oncoming traffic, and didn’t try to run you off the road for driving the speed limit.

Imagine being in front of a modern driver who has a 300hp car that can hit 60 in 5 or 6 seconds…ten times faster than you can…and THAT’S HOW FAST HE WANTS TO GO!

People today get road rage if you slow them down for even a few seconds…believe me, getting stuck behind you is going to bring out the worst in many a driver.

Another hazard would be trying to merge into 75mph freeway traffic safely: you’d almost have to wait until there was nobody in sight, while everyone behind you is blaring their horns & making impolite gestures.

I just don’t think a vehicle that underpowered is safe on todays roads.

Depends on where you drive
None of that would be much of a concern where I live. I drive about 30,000 miles a year between work and personal, and only a small amount of that needs to be on freeways. Besides, our freeways are not so congested that merging would be a problem. Usually the entrance ramps are very long, and even when they are not, big semi-trucks do it all the time, and rarely does anyone have to move for them for it to happen (like when Illinois invades this state on Friday night, and when they leave to go home on Sunday afternoon). Around here, a slow vehicle in the right-hand lane doesn’t usually mess things up too badly. I can see how this could be a problem in some places, though.

vw van
I used one as my field vehicle in Zimbabwe, out in the middle of nowhere along the Zambezi River. It kept chugging along, and never broke down on me. We sure got good at changing tires fast, since the mopane thorns tore through them. There’s nothing like hearing roaring lions coming closer to speed up your tire-changing skills.