Discussion in 'Buying a VW Camper' started by Motspur Hotspur, May 9, 2015.
The more I look at your T25, the better it looks (especially since you've dropped the price), but when I first saw it listed I just couldn't get my head around the huge list of work done followed by, "The engine wont start now". It just seems strange to have a practically fully restored bus that's not running because of a fairly small issue. You've done all the hard work, so why not get it running and put an MOT on it?
If it was running you could probably put another grand on the price and sell it this weekend. As it stands it's a project and (although I don't doubt it's worth it) it seems like quite a lot of money. I hope no offence caused, it's a really nice van so kudos for all the hard work you've put in - and GLWTS!
My son owns a T25, a 1980 2l aircooled original Devon conversion high top. We have worked on it together over the past 3 years on and off. We have learned a lot about these vans.
In our experience the biggest issue is RUST. A rusted van is very expensive to repair if you dont weld. The high top vans are great, the pop tops are more complicated and more to go wrong.
T25 vans are heavier than the T2 more metal, more solid.
The aircooled engine is good and easy to work on. Water cooled is much more troublesome. Water jackets leak, pipework front to back prone to failure.
We had to do lots of mechanical work on the van but mostly straightforward, brakes, suspension, bearings etc.
The T25 fuel tank is a long way from the engine and is far safer and less likely to catch fire than the T2. T2 has fuel tank behind the engine and is higher than the engine and carbs. So petrol gravity fed to carbs. Personally I dont like this design at all.
T25 has rack and pinion steering which is light and positive. T2 has old style steering box and complicated steering linkages, so not as positive.
My son still has the T25 and last year I bought my own van, a T2 !!!
In our experiences of van ownership, if you dont work on vans yourself, T25 or T2, then there would be lots of added costs of maintenance, panel work, welding etc as garage costs are very high and welding work is always expensive. Panels are available but costly.
The later modern vans seem to be popular now as people want to just get in it and enjoy camping. Personally I dont like the look of the T4 or T5 vans as they dont have the classic look and feel.
If you are still looking, best to visit a few shows or club events etc. and compare and talk to owners.
I thought they had a fuel pump ,learn something everyday...
I have a T2 and mine has a filter and electric pump and pressure regulator between the tank outlet and the carb which sits on top of the engine (type 1 1600).
Many owners have trouble with the fuel gravity feeding past the carb float needle valve when the engine is off. I have experience of this myself. Also there are too many van fires out there made worse by fuel gravity feeding an engine bay fire. Even with the engine off fuel still flows.
Look on here and the Samba for fire reports. Owners must take note of fire risks and change their fuel lines and put the filter underneath the van, not in the engine bay.
In comparison, the T25 is far safer as the tank is well away from the engine slung underneath the van and the tank is lower than the carbs.
It is now running. And driving.
Get an MOT on it and I'll be tempted!
Ok I will keep u posted.
So went to look at a Holdsworth converted 'solid' pop top today. Was a really clean van, seams all there and no seam rash! Petrol tank just been replaced and new exhaust. A few minor things inside like split head rest and something on the floor was cracked - interior floor light? Not sure it was kind of a bubble.
Anyway, had to walk away before I did something naive and stupid like buy it! But finally had a chance to nose around one and really enjoyed the experience.
Engine note was superb! Surprised at how 'camper' like it sounded for water cooled tbh but not moaning!
IF I wanted to dip my feet in again, would there be anyone in the Croydon area willing to come along and give it a willing once over for me?
I think @Birdy lives/works near Croydon...
If someone else buys it ,how would you feel?
If it's the right bus at the right price then go for it. I like the holdsworths - good quality conversions with character and the solid sided pop top is a good compromise.
Re the engine sound, the wasserboxer should be pretty quiet and smooth sounding. IME they sound more like an aircooled engine just before they're about to blow up. Depends what you're used to I suppose. Have you seen (and heard) a few T25s now? What's the mileage? Any service history?
I didn't get too caught up in details as it was more of a fact finding mission today, didn't even ask to drive it! Service history was mentioned. The engine sounded smooth - not clattery like air-cooled but the tone was lovely
I've been chatting it over with the missus and it needs further investigation! One thing I'll need is an extra seat (3 kids) but I guess a buddy seat could be added? There was what looked like seat mounting rails (zig zaggy bits of metal) bolted down over the carpet, front to back so I'm guessing at some point it might have had an extra seat(s).
Interesting... I see what you're doing there but I've steeled myself to expect the worst on these things as there's always someone willing to dive in while I decide!
You snooze you lose...
Always worth getting a test drive just for the experience if nothing else - the more busses you drive the more you can tell the difference between good and bad. That said if I know a vehicle's a no I usually walk away before driving it as I don't like to waste people's time. If I'm remotely serious I'll take it round the block.
No pressure then!
Got to agree about he earlier comments regarding the 1.6CT engined T25s. I bought one about 5 years ago because it was cheap and the rest of the van was a lot better for the price than everything else I'd looked at. It was unbelievably, painfully slow though. The engines don't tend to last that long becuase you have to thrash them just to maintain forward motion.
Mine cracked both heads on a trip to the Outer Hebrides, when I pulled the engine the crankcases were also cracked in 3 places making it scrap. I was going to stick a 2l in but got a mint second hand CT for £170 and rebuilt it as a 1776. Van goes ok now but I could have saved myself a lot of work if I'd spent more in the first place. Their one saving grace is that engine parts are cheap, most are T1 compatable and those that are CT specific are really cheap as nobody wants them!
I suppose I'm saying pay that bit more, get the best you can afford, and walk away from anything that isn't exactly what you want. Same with all vans really.
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