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baja13
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« on: January 23, 2012, 02:21:20 pm »

Okay- so this "need" for a vw bus has been simmering for sometime but after working on red bug with Daniel and talking about getting a bus has risen to the surface again.  I would love a split window but I don't think its really in the budget, so I am thinking of doing a bay window bus. My hope for this vehicle to: do road trips with the family and have some off road capability.  I am thinking of doing a subaru engine transplant for increased reliability and then doing some lifting and tweaking with the suspension to improve clearance.

so this is where I seek your help: I am contemplating several options. #1 is just buying a rolling shell ( looks like I can get one for about 800-1200), getting a subaru engine(500-1500 for complete set up- used),  conversion kit (1000)and redoing the whole inside (1000?). So it looks like I might be looking at 4000-5000 range?

#2 is buying a running bus(2500-4000) with some interior and maybe converting it over later to subaru (2500). for a total of 4000-5000 again.

so any thoughts- are my numbers even close? What years should I look at? Is is better to start from scratch with a shell? Am I foolish to think I could actually figure out how to install a subaru engine?
Anyways, I just missed out on a pretty killer deal on a 79 bus up in clearlake- very nice for the money 2500 so I am kinda bummed about it.  
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 06:49:16 pm by baja13 » Logged
baja13
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 02:24:39 pm »

So a little bit of my manic side is comming out with this post because I really don't "need" a bus or can even really afford one( my wife would not be impressed if I came home with one today) but I think it would be a fun project. Never the less, I am seeking everyones and anyones opinion on the matter so when the perfect deal walks in front of me I can snatch it up.  So impress me with your knowledge and bus opinions.       
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GS
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 09:44:32 pm »

My thinking is, get a beetle rolling chassis, and "limo" it out to bus length. Smiley
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70Bugnorcal
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 11:39:08 am »

I don't know alot but I would stay '75 and under no SMOG that way
a '71 bus first front disc brake and last type 1 engine is what I want
if you would like to see what you can do with a stock bay on this web site the have drove from the bay area to Chile http://bodeswell.org/
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baja13
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 01:53:11 pm »

Thanks for the imput. As I think about it maybe I should stay with a stock engine. Now I understand that some busses have type 1 and then there are the type 4. Any thoughts on which is best?
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BadDogRacing
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 12:30:49 am »

I don't know alot but I would stay '75 and under no SMOG that way
a '71 bus first front disc brake and last type 1 engine is what I want
if you would like to see what you can do with a stock bay on this web site the have drove from the bay area to Chile http://bodeswell.org/




A Clean 71' would be my recommendation too (unless you find a deal on a Split).
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Romy
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 08:41:17 pm »

If you plan to subaru it, go with a 72-75.  They have a better transmission (002 vs the 113 of the 68-71 vintage) and if you don't subaru it right away, at least the engine in it will have more power than that poor little t1.  The '72 and up have the t4 engine, which is essentially the same engine as the t1 but with improvements, although parts are more expensive.  But if you're going subie, who cares?  Else, get a 71 because at least they have disc brakes.  A lot of t1 guys like the 71s because they're comfortable working on the engine (same as a beetle) and they have disc brakes. 

Or, get a watercooled Brazilian or Mexican bus.  They already have a radiator up front, so putting that subaru in will be easier.  Granted, the outset of $ in the beginning will be more, and you may have to jump through a few hoops to get it titled (unless you can find one already registered in the US - they do exist), but it would save you some work.
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baja13
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 10:25:50 pm »

came across a 87 synco vanagon with only 115K miles , just passed smog , good interior, etc for a pretty reasonable price $6500. Might go take a look at it tomorrow. Its alot of money! but from what I have seen and read- the price is actually fairly reasonable for a syncro. I'm just not sure if I can take a gamble with that kind of money and hope that the viscious coupler and engine don't explode.
I think that a bay window in my lower price range might be better for my needs.
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Romy
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 10:52:27 pm »

If you can do a syncro, do a syncro!  The prices seem to just keep going up, so even if it has problems, you can probably just sit on it and sell it later or fix it.  Plus, put a camper interior in one of those and they go up to 10k easy.
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baja13
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 04:16:55 pm »

the syncro didn't work out. I just couldn't spend the money, especially on a family car that my wife would have to driver most of the time. So . .. the search continues for a bay window.
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baja13
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 06:24:15 pm »

Okay- found a 1975 bus- no smog  required but fuel injected motor. Bus body is okay, a little rust, and could use a paint job. Interior a little rough but has front seats and back seat. Tin top. Last registered in 2009. clean title. Guy says engine turns over and sputters and tries to start but won't run.   The guy is asking $1500 but says he is motivated to sell and says price is neg. What do you guys think? 

Is the fuel injected motor a good one? I was orginally thinking of doing a subaru engine but the more I look into it I see major $ and time. Would it be worth it to do a little work on this engine and then have the bus up and running? the bus is in oroville- about an hour north of sac.  So I would have to tow it home. Does anyone know anything about fuel injection?   Could I put a type 1 into this bus?
Do I dare buy it without a running engine?  Apreciate everyones help Smiley
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Romy
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 10:24:08 pm »

I know a lot about fuel injection.  My bus is a 77 and I converted it back to FI from the dumb Weber it had on it.  When working correctly, FI is great on the bus (and 2.0L engine).  When not working correctly, it's a nightmare until you figure out what's wrong.

You can put in a type 1, but it's not worth it in my opinion.  The power drop will really suck unless you build the type 1, and then you have heat issues to worry about anyway.  Plus, you'll have to get a tin conversion kit to put a type 1 in place of a type 4.

For a non-running 75, I think $1500 is a bit high, unless it's some rarer bus or a really complete camper - 1000 to 1200 sounds more fair.  Got pics?
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baja13
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 10:40:42 am »

Thanks. It seemed like the guy was willing to come down on the price but I am going  to pass on this one. I am holding out for something reasonably priced AND running.
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Digger
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 12:11:38 pm »

This guy has a 70 bus,71 bug and a bunch of other misc. stuff,non vw related (http://www.williamsautocenter.com/index.asp)I have dealt with him or his web site three diffrent times with out a problem.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 12:15:13 pm by Digger » Logged
baja13
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 09:08:13 pm »

Thanks for the lead. Its actually a pretty okay bus. I'll check it out a bit further.
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