How to survive 'The Search'?!

Discussion in 'Buying a VW Camper' started by Motspur Hotspur, May 20, 2015.

  1. Surviving the first search...the more I read, the more I talked myself out of it. I was fed up searching, didn't have time to run round the country looking at loads of buses, bought the second one I looked at. But it did take me two days to read the restoration thread..this bus came to me through a private pm after a wanted ad.
    geordieandy likes this.
  2. I always buy fuel propeled vehicles on gut feeling . And excitement.
    Theses buses are fourty years or older . If you buy one thinking is going to cost the purchase price
    like Good jap car . Maybe change the brakes and a alternator once a year . Go away .
    And dont .come wont make it ..
    Ive had hot rods from 16 years old in new york. Mostly small block chevies .boats . Bikes etc .
    I have never seen a "machine" so finikey . Tepromental and over engineered to a certain degree than these busses.
    If you cant fix one yourself . Your in for a hell of a ride .
    I also assume everyone whom owns one can pull a motor in three hours .
    Its not the case
    Its a hobby . Hobbies cost time and money .
    Take your time . Spend your money .
    Fix the essentials first . Yourself !, dont wory about body wrk or carpets etc. if it doesnt run right.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
  3. Hello, i am an OAP and bought my first bus (a 1975 tintop) last year.

    Age and health are against me but i wanted a challenge in retirement and i certainly got one.

    I love the van even though it needs constant attention and often frustrates. Its noisy and slow and rolls about a bit but lots of fun.

    I think going to a few shows and meets and talking to owners is good and helped me.

    Go to the Brighton Breeze 2015 in October or other meets before then and you will get a good idea of what you want.

    I am not a mechanic and had a desk job most of my life, but i wanted a van so i went out and bought one at a show.

    If you dont want to risk a lot of money on a bay, then buy a T25, they are much cheaper, and learn from it. My son bought a T25 4 years ago for £2500 and we learned from it.

    I bought my van as it is solid and had a full photo restoration to prove. The new paint is not perfect, the 1.6 engine was rebuilt but is not perfect. The interior is bespoke and simple but light weight and suits my needs.

    Buy a bus with excellent bodywork and good paint. That is the value.

    Mechanical stuff is pretty straightforward and fairly cheap. Welding and panel work is very very expensive!!!!

    Good luck and i hope you get one.
  4. I went against any reasonable sound advise, i saw mine on ebay with 5 mins to go , the write up said all welding done professionally with photos to show , lots of other work to be done but a usable vehicle
    i had looked at about 5 others in the flesh , all complete rust boxes, so as i cannot weld , but looked forwards to tidying up a van i bidded with seconds to go .and "won"
    enjoying every minute of a very steady restoration with a now usable van , was i lucky , i dont realy know but i am happy with her
    Sick Boy, scrooge95 and tommygoldy like this.
  5. Well, there you go. Thats what i said.

    Well done. I suggest you get some restoration books off ebay.

    Haynes owners workshop manual, Bentley official service manual (more expensive), How to restore volkswagen bus (Mark Paxton) fantastic book with colour illustrations, Volkswagen Bay Transporter Restoration Manual (Fletcher Gillett) another fantastic colour illustrated book.

    The mark paxton and fletcher gillett books are the best and i have learned so much from these books. They are not cheap but shop around for a better price.

    You will need tools and a quality 2 to 3 ton trolley jack with high axle stands. I got mine from machine mart.

    I have learned so much from the TLB and Samba.

    First thing to do on your new van is change all fuel lines, filter etc. move filter out of engine bay to underneath tank.

    My van was restored but the fuel lines were dangerous. That includes the tank breather hoses. Mine were rotten.

    Check out the rubber coupling at the base of the steering column and replace with genuine VW one from VW Heritage. Mine was dangerously split as it was chinese quality.
    cunny44 likes this.

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