’82 Westy Camper w/ Fresh 1.9L Turbo Diesel – $20k in Oakland, CA

Locating a good condition 1.9L turbo diesel Westfalia for sale, at a reasonable price, is becoming more of a challenge every day (especially this time of year), and even more so in California. Browse through the diesel Vanagon listings on the The Samba HERE and notice the current general availability is either kinda beat and rusting, or super expensive. Not much of a middle ground these days. That's where I feel this Westy comes in, though up front I will disclose a slight bias, the sellers are friends of mine. With that being said, I've obviously seen this van in person many times, and it's a winner at their current asking price of $20k. The beautiful original assuan brown paint speaks for itself, and most notably, the new engine and rebuilt transmission have less than 5,000 miles on them. This work (along with other maintenance) was done by the well respected Karmakanix in Berkeley, CA.  The engine installed was a brand new AAZ long block, with a mechanical injection pump, so no complex wiring harness, a very simple design. The transmission has a taller ratio ring and pinion, which means it might actually be new (vs. rebuilt).

This 1982 VW Vanagon Diesel Westfalia Camper comes with a working Dometic fridge, working propane tank, working 2 burner stove, working water faucet & tank, auxiliary battery & inverter and upgraded later model front seats(with arm rests!). Icing on the cake is the highly sought after South African grill and headlight kit. This is the only '82 diesel I've seen that has A/C, even though it's described as sub par. It's currently located in the East Bay / Oakland, CA area with an asking price of $20k, boasting a original 139k original miles. Find it on craigslist here.  Check out what others are saying about this Westy on FacebookInstagram, Pinterest & Twitter.… Read More About This Westy


1990 Westy Camper w/ Subaru WRX Turbo & Transmission – $34k in AZ

Sorry for the severe lack of posts over the past year or so, life is crazy.  At any rate, this particular van is what brought me out of hibernation. It's a 1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper is powered by Subaru 2.0L Turbo linked to a FIVE speed Subaru Gears transmission and features good looks and many other highly desirable upgrades.

The Engine.  Not only does it produce 225 horsepower, it's a Subaru boxer style, very similar to the stock engine proportions, which means it might be the best fitting engine swap that produces over 200hp.  The work was performed by a shop in Phoenix, AZ called Montz Auto Renditions at least 7 years ago.

The Transmission.  A fresh Subaru gears flipped 5 speed transmission, with an OBX limited slip differential. I don't know much about the OBX, but adding and LSD or TBD to a vanagon is an AWESOME upgrade. On the performance side, it will move at 75 mph (with cruise control) at only 3100 rpm, having similar MPGs compared to a stock 2.1 VW Engine.

Plenty of other reasons to own the van include....

  • Propex HS2000 heater - Installed under the fridge and connected to a fresh and legal propane tank.
  • Truckfridge TF49 refrigerator - Likely the most common fridge upgrade out there. Electric only.
  • Dual Zone Working A/C - This is usually stupid expensive to add, but it's here, and sounds like an amazing set up.
  • Big Brake Kit - Installed up front, helps you slow and stop those 225 ponies a bit ("a bit") better than stock brakes.

I don't usually see 2wd Westys above $30k that I'd be interested in,, but this one could definitely be an exception. It's a southwest desert van, likely no rust. Paint looks original and shines like it's well cared for. Wheels, tries, suspension, upgraded sway bar, extra large intercooler, house battery set up, newer tent, all of these are desirable and come with high price tags. All of this on a chassis with a reportedly low 135k miles.

The seller provided the VIN ( WV2ZB0256LH028595 ), which you could do a Car Fax or similar report with. In these types of transparent sales with lots of detail, the title report is usually clean and the mileage might even check out too.  Personally I'm a bit weary of power windows and locks in Vanagons. Those familiar with the switches and actuators work in Vanagons will usually have a kit with the parts and tools necessary to address them on the road.   On a sad note for California buyers, you probably can't pass smog with this engine setup. sad face.

Find it for sale listed on The Samba, residing in Tuscon Arizona with an asking price of $34,500.  Got thoughts on … Read More About This Westy


Beastly! ’91 Syncro 16″ Camper w/ Triple Knobs & AAZ Diesel Engine – $45k in SLO, CA

1991 VW Vanagon Syncro 16" Westfalia Camper Diesel Triple Knob $45k in San Louis Obispo, CA

1991 VW Vanagon Syncro 16" Westfalia Camper Diesel Triple Knob $45k in San Louis Obispo, CA

I pretty much dropped everything this morning to post about this awesome rig up for grabs in San Louis Obispo, CA. This beast is a 1991 VW Vanagon Syncro Westfalia Camper with a 1.9L AAZ Diesel engine, manual transmission with taller 3rd and 4th gears, front locker, rear locker and decoupler. Known as the "Syncro 16", this is a special breed of 4wd Vanagon that comes beefed up and reinforced straight from the factory. You can read the full story on the Syncro 16 history over on Vanagon.com. Of the 44,000 Syncros made, only 2,100 of them are Syncro 16"s.

Drivetrain - The engine is a 1.9L mTDI (AAZ code) with a stated 87k miles on it. It was recently given oil service, fuel filter, fuel lines, and injectors along with timing adjustment. While the seller doesn't state their MPGs, my estimate is probably up to 26 HWY with the 4wd disengaged. The transmission has taller 3rd and 4th gear, which given the van already has 16" wheels on it, it probably cruises very nice on the highway. A huge bonus for the aficionados, is this is a true "triple knob", meaning you can easily lock the front and/or rear differential, and also disengage the front wheel drive for regular driving or cruising.

Extras - Two spare tires and carriers on the rear bumper, crucial for those long Baja tours. A Fiamma 45s awning in good shape is also icing on the cake for those adventures in the hot sun. It sounds like the fridge and stove are stock, but with updated piping for the propane set up, all implied to be working. An added uninstalled bonus is a Webasto propane heater, though the thermostat is already installed.

Conclusion - Yes, it's $45k, that's some serious coin to drop on a 30 year old van. However, if you've been watching the price of syncro campers over the past couple of years, you know that a diesel triple knob in good shape will go for at least this, if not more.  My guess is it will sell in the next week or two, for no less than $40k, especially in this region. The seller didn't provide the VIN, so of course you'll want to get that and run a CarFax report or similar to get the history.  What do you think it's worth?  Let us know in the comments below, or head on over to the individual conversations about this Westy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and share your wisdom there.

Sources : The Samba Link - Craigslist Link - Picasa Photo Album

 … Read More About This Westy


1986 VW Vanagon Syncro Westfalia Camper in Quebec, CA – 30k USD Starting Bid

1986 VW Vanagon Syncro Westfalia Camper in Quebec CA

1986 VW Vanagon Syncro Westfalia Camper in Quebec CA - $30k USD Starting Bid

First off, big apologies for not keeping up with this site.  It's been a hectic summer, and my 9-5 has really ramped up recently, so my free computer time has been limited.  With all that said, when I saw this van pop up on eBay the other day, it was enough to push me over the hump and share my thoughts here.  This nice looking specimen is a 1986 VW Vanagon Syncro (AWD) Westfalia Camper with stock 2.1 L engine, stock manual transmission and 275k KM's.

While 2wd Westys have gone up in price over the past few years, syncro campers have become almost unobtainable below the $40k mark. It was listed on The Samba June 13th, 2016 for $47,500, and is currently up for auction on eBay with a starting bid of $30k USD.  I'm not sure why people have starting bids below the reserve price, there's really no purpose here. Start it at $0 if you're going to have a reserve price anyways, much more fun seeing people bid up a $40k van starting from $0.  At any rate, the auction ends on Sunday, August 24th at 5pm PST. 


Here's the scoop.

  • There's no way to know what was under the original paint, and Quebec doesn't have too many survivors due to vans being driven in their harsh winters, so see if you can get the "before" pics of the van.  It looks like a decent paint job (see the door jam photo), but it's always good to know where it came from.
  • Nice looking 16" in wheels, with 10k miles on some Nokian 225/55 R shoes. I'm a bit unfamiliar with those wheels, but you pretty much can't go wrong with Nokians on a Syncro. However, maybe they're knock offs, as the seller states they are "Nokia" tires.  Those phones were pretty durable, though you probably can't play snake with these tires.
  • It's got at the Bigger Brake Kit from GoWesty, which is always a nice upgrade.  Most folks only put these on if they've got a larger powerplant, but this engine is stock.
  • Dometic Catalina 2,500 Awning - You can pretty much call this a $grand, but be careful in windy situations when it's opened up.
  • It looks like the A/C was removed, as there's a mis matched door in the storage area above the rear bench seat.  No need to stress out a syncro engine with A/C anyways.
  • It's been LED'd out on the inside, including gauges.  This is a nice add on because they're much brighter, and drastically improves battery life when camping.
  • Not a huge deal, but I don't see the tables anywhere in the photos, and they're not
Read More About This Westy

Nice ’84 Westy Camper w/ 1.9L TDI Swap – $14k in South Florida

1984 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper 1.9L TDI Manual Transmission Ho

1984 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper 1.9L TDI - $14k in South Florida

Sorry for the lack of posts fans, May was a busy month for me, and I took my first trip to Central America for a friends' wedding.  Surfed every day for almost 2 weeks, never once saw a Westfalia, but wow all those awesome Toyota and Nissan diesels that you can't get here.  On that note, I saw this find pop up fresh just moments ago, and if it's the real deal, it's worth checking out for sure.  This van is a 1984 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper in Aussan Brown with a 1.9L TDI engine for a 2004 Jetta.  The problem is, the seller provided pretty much 0 details in both The Samba post, and the craigslist post.

The 2004 Jetta came with an electronically managed engine, and porting over this whole system to a Vanagon is very difficult to say the least.  There's a chance the engine is now using a mechanical injection pump, which is what many of the turbo diesel Vanagon swaps utilize. I'm not savvy enough to know by looking a the picture provided (below). There's also no note as to whether the transmission was regeared, or rebuilt for the swap.

At any rate, the photos show tell the story of a clean, well cared for '84 Westy Camper with likely original Aussan Brown paint, original curtains, screens, upholstery, original everything.  There's no mention of how well, or if at all, the kitchen appliances or propane function.  The main seal on the pop top is missing, and there's no pictures of the upstairs,  It looks like there was a seam rust repair near the rocker panel on the drivers side, so be sure to get the full scoop here, including a good look underneath. It also appears to have the old A/C ducting still installed, but no A/C in the engine bay, so you can probably just have all the old ducting removed and get more storage out of the deal.  No VIN provided by the seller, so all in all, this one is a mystery.

The main selling points here, are a good looking rust free Westy with a 1.9L TDI engine. At only $14k, this is going get a lot of eyeballs this weekend. What do you think it's worth?  Have you seen this Westy? Are you the current owner?  Tell us more in the comments below, or head on over to the individual discussions about this Westy on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.

Craigslist Ad -  The Samba Ad… Read More About This Westy