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

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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 mentioned in the descriptions, be sure to ask.
  • There's no "knobs" on the dash, in fact it looks like they're missing a stereo too.  Basically, as far as the AWD and drive train, it's a bone stock syncro without lockers or a decoupler. While the seller states there's a new drive
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Nice ’84 Westy Camper w/ 1.9L TDI Swap – $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


Beautiful ’87 Westy Camper w/ 24k Original Miles – Auction in New Jersey

Here's a head turner up for grabs in the garden state.  This 1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper has a reportedly low 23k original miles on the body and drive train, which is one of the lowest readings I've seen in a while.  Aside from a rip in the tent canvas, this rig shows to be in exceptionally good condition.  This van of course features what is likely the original 2.1L engine and 4 speed manual transmission.  It appears to be mostly stock with the exception of the stereo, dual batteries + inverter set up and fog lights.

The seller only has 15 feedback ratings, just one from this year, but yet they've already used up their Free eBay Auto Check Reports, this isn't a red flag, but it does lend to some questions.  Next, you're trying to sell a highly sought after low mileage vehicle like this, with reportedly only 23k original miles, but you don't provide a title report, just 77 words of description?  The did provide the VIN WV2ZB0256HH070028 , so you could buy a title check yourself from a service like CarFax.  If it's too good to be true, well.... But maybe?  IMO, the one minor detail that helps verify mileage is the area around the engine lid shown the engine photo.  It's barely visible, but if it hasn't been painted over, this says to be the engine lid has rarely been removed.

There appears to be a new propane tank, which I'm quite curious about.  While there's 0 pictures of the undercarriage, I wonder how much rust there is? In order for a van in the North East to age as well as this one, it has to be garaged. If if it was garaged, why did they opt for a new LPG tank?  I realize the filler valve standards are different these days, but to replace the whole tank?  They usual reason for replacing these is rust.

It appears to have a quality window tint job, but the front side windows are tinted, so be sure to check with your local DMV to see which levels are legal. This is not in California.

Aside from trying to verify mileage with a title report.  My other questions for the seller would be; "how well do the kitchen appliances work?" , "do you have all the service records?" , "why are you selling?" , "what does the undercarriage look like?"

If everything is legit and a title report checks out, I'm thinking the high bid will be in the $25k range, but the deal will likely close outside of eBay.  The auction ends on Friday, April 29th at 9:42am PST.   What do you think it's worth? Anyone know the seller? Are you going to check it out?  Let us know in the comments below, or head on over to the individual discussions about this Westy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and share your thoughts there.… Read More About This Westy


1990 Westy Camper w/ Fresh Engine & Auto Trans – Auction in Sonoma, CA

Those entwined in the Westy Camper hunt this spring will definitely be watching this auction come to a close this weekend.  There's a few reasons I decided to write about this Westy today.  It's spring, Northern California is a hot market, it has a fresh drive drain, there's a video(below) and it's in what appears to impeccable condition. It's been up on the auction block for more than 5 days, sitting at at $20k high bid after 33 bids from 14 bidders. This auction ends on Sunday April 17th at 7pm PST.

The Westy is up for sale by a dealer, Left Coast Classics in Sonoma, CA, and comes with a $27,500 sticker price on their website.  They do provide the VIN ( WV2ZB0255LH087203 ), but they haven't publicly provided any type of title report, so be sure to ask them for the CarFax report.

This specimen appears to be almost all stock with the exception of the upgraded 16" aluminum wheels, the 1,000lb trailer hitch and the stereo.  I just love when someone goes through the effort of really detailing their van.

The engine is said to be "A brand new, factory VW/Audi replacement engine was installed about 12,000 miles ago".  I'm curious, where do you get a brand new 2.1L Wasserboxer? I'd check on this, if so, it might even have some type of warranty? The seller states the transmission was rebuilt last year, but not other details are provided. I'd be sure to get as much color and documentation here as possible.

It's got all the bells and whistles of that year, including power mirrors and power windows.  If you're unfamiliar with the power windows in these, become familiar if you end up with them. While convenient, they are prone to acting up.  The kitchen is said to look great, but there's no indication the seller tested any of the appliances or propane tank.  If I was them, I'd include a video of the stove working, water tank, faucet pumping and fridge ignition. The A/C is said to blow cold, but it's the factory A/C that blows on the back of your head, taking up valuable storage space that's found in Westys w/o AC, or have the rare Behr dealer installed dash A/C, which leaves the upper rear compartment for storage.

What do you think it's worth? Have you gone to see it already? Let us know in the comments below, or head on over to the individual discussions about this van on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Left Coast Classic Link w/ stated asking price of $27,500

eBay Link

CarFax Link

VIN : WV2ZB0255LH087203… Read More About This Westy