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My '85 Panel Van

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bigfoot_1981 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 May 10 at 00:19
I only got round to uploading a pic the other day and a few people have asked for a few more...so here we go....

Lets start from the beginning,

I bought the van last September as it looks here, Its a 1985 1.9 DG with a weber carb running 4 Speed and it had been recently painted, lowered, saab seats fitted, ply and carpet lined and fitted kitchen unit and rock n roll bed. Had a bad gear box oil leak but got this sorted by replacing all the seals and its been great since (the gearbox that is), the engine is a different story...






The seats are really comfy, leg room is a bit tight for me on the original steering wheel so looking to get a smaller one soon



Interior looked like this when i got it (minus the tv) but I had it all ripped out, leisure battery rewired, gas connections checked and fridge vent installed and then put back together. It lacks some storage but i've got a few ideas for that...





Next step was to sort out some tunes so my Pioneer bluetooth ipod head unit from my last car came in handy.  Took a dremel to the ashtray and it turned into a handy ipod cradle Smile




After some other jobs needed over winter the heater blower was replaced and a couple of 12V sockets added. Lights were also upgraded and are now better than my Golf!!

Next step was the wheels... I've thought a lot about this and very nearly went for some 17" Fuch, I basically Photoshopped every wheel combination I was thinking of (too many to put on here) and I settled on the Fuch... photoshop image with Fuch's shown below



Then I started looking for wheels and at the same time my daily driver golf needed work and I was priced out of the Fuch option.

I had a look around on ebay and found some 17" steels from a T5, thought they looked good, photoshopped them and decided to go for it. I knew they wouldn't fit but I use CAD software at work so I drew some spacers up and got them machined from EN8 by a local(ish) machine shop.





I checked wheels for clearance and to get an idea of offset. Settled on 24mm spacing on the adapters.  Due to a slight oversight in the design, the bolts didn't clamp fully as the taper seat for the bolt was too close to the clamping face... Embarrassed anyway, a set of 6mm spacers from Brickwerks sorted this out and now everything clears and tightens (about 5mm clearance on the sliding door)

The nuts and bolts i got for the adapters had heads that were too tall so they stuck out past the wheel mounting face. An angle grinder and a long evening sorted this and i think they look pretty good...





Original dust caps didn't fit but after grinding the lip off they fit inside the adapters nicely and means I actually have a speedo again.

So, wheels on and I love the way it looks, more photo's below taken last weekend...
















I've been having cooling and air lock issues since the new year and after replacing thermostat, hoses, rad cap, and a number of other things thought it was time for another test...although head gasket was suspected i was hoping it wasn't that serious....

15 mins into test it was running a bit warm but the fan seemed to be bringing it back down



and then saw the smoke screen behind and the flashing lights of the car behind,

this was the culprit...



Got the RAC out, he bodged the hose up to get me home and after bleeding it again, set off back... beginning to wish i'd got a tow now as got home to see blue smoke in my mirrors and then realised there is a lot more damage,



You can't really see it in the pic but this smoke was pouring off for 10 mins Ouch

After letting it cool down i tried to asses the damage,



The plastic flange from the RH head (centre of pic) has actually melted and water now pisses out of the LH head exhaust port so i'm assuming cracked head at least and whatever else the extra heat has done.


The big question is what to do now.....?????

Have looked at all options really, cheap replacement, recon DG, TDI, Subaru, VR6 and others but really don't have the cash for a full on conversion.  I've been thinking about it and am really keen on a 1.8 8V out a MK2 Golf Gti.  Does anyone have anymore info on this conversion? Or know if its worthwhile? Other than the diesel bellhousing, sump and engine mounts, is there much involved?




Edited by bigfoot_1981 - 01 May 10 at 09:41
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rowlesy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rowlesy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 10 at 07:26
looks cool as! wheels look a bit like the ats cups! retro classic my man!
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always out numbered never out gunned!    RWS welding 07846 380 467 (worcs)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snakie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 10 at 08:40
That's a cracking looking bus! love the look on the standard black steel rims Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 10 at 09:44
Like those rims fella!
I thinking about a suitable replacement engine too! I know the ol DG wont last forever.
Let me know what you end up doing.


Edited by Nev - 01 May 10 at 09:45
A fool and his money are easily parted! Especially when the fool owns a T3
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigfoot_1981 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 10 at 18:43
Originally posted by rowlesy rowlesy wrote:

looks cool as! wheels look a bit like the ats cups! retro classic my man!


thanks, i'm a big fan of ATS cups and i thought the same when i saw these.

Did i see on another post that you've put a 4cyl GTI petrol engine in a T3? I'm thinking of using a 1.8 mk2 engine and just looking for a bit of advice as want to get going on it and get it back on the road...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rowlesy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 10 at 19:01
hejin loom pumps exhaust manfold or better still get a donor car! i bought the vento for 200 quid took everything i need and more and broke the rest and made about 20 quid! doka thread tells you most of my troubles!! nearly sorted now!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigfoot_1981 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 10 at 19:15
Originally posted by rowlesy rowlesy wrote:

hejin loom pumps exhaust manfold or better still get a donor car! i bought the vento for 200 quid took everything i need and more and broke the rest and made about 20 quid! doka thread tells you most of my troubles!! nearly sorted now!


thanks for that, i'll check it out
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bullifamilie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 10 at 03:40
Love those wheels, I've got a set in my shed I was going to put on my trailer but now I want them on my T3, do ya fancy making me some adapters or selling me the drawings?

Bad news with the engine, recon the DG I reckon but I'm old fashioned.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigfoot_1981 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 11 at 12:16
As i've put a link up to this on the advert, thought i'd best update a bit.

Pic shows the new engine fitted in June last year.  After nearly going for a transplant from something else I decided to stay stock, I managed to get a good re-manufactured engine from AES and it's been great since, no regrets.

During the engine fitting, it also had new clutch, new radiator and any new pipework that was needed around the engine.  Had a rev counter and an oil pressure gauge also fitted to dash as was paranoid when running it in.



Must've done around 5K miles since fitting it and apart from using a bit of oil it's needed nothing.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rowlesy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 11 at 21:44
still looks good! glad its getting sorted!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigfoot_1981 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 11 at 22:12
Thanks fella, i've had a great year with it. It's up for sale now... Moving on to a T5...
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