Van For Sale
1985 Westfalia Weekender - Bostig Engine Conversion
Price: $16,500 OBO
Very solid van overall. Unlike many vans for sale out there, we spent our money on functional upgrades vs. flashy ones. Your van won't do you much good with sweet rims and a nice paint job if it's an unreliable hooptie. We have the ball rolling with very solid mechanical upgrades and fixes. It's ready for someone else to put the final touches (mostly cosmetic) on it.
Average condition cosmetically. On the plus side, it doesn't include the thousands of dollars of premium that you'd pay for a pretty body and paint job. We use the van all the time and don't think twice about it.
Approximately 198,000 miles. The Bostig conversion is about 3.5 years old with approximately 22,000 miles. (64,000 miles on the engine.) Would not hesitate to drive across the country tomorrow. Lots of people selling stock Vanagons say this, but let's be real, a stock Vanagon engine will never give you the same confidence, and is a huge liability when it breaks down. The stock engines simply cannot compare to something that's 20 years newer. Would you want a cell phone from 1999 or 2019? That's what I thought.
The van is still used on a regular basis, so the mileage will be slightly higher than listed here. Located in Kill Devil Hills, NC.
All upgrades and repairs listed below have been completed in the last 2.5 years.
Bostig Engine Conversion completed January 2016. This is the cream-of-the-crop for Vanagon engine conversions. If you want a reliable Vanagon that you can actually use, this is what you want. A reliable van = more fun! If you don't believe us, just take a look at this article.
$8,827.43 in parts alone
Upgraded High Capacity / Clearance Oil Pan (HCOP)
New gasket as of May 2019. Originally used a “liquid” RTV gasket, which in hindsight was hard to work with and resulted in a very small leak. Installed a new mess-free “cut” gasket. Doesn’t leak a drop now, just how it’s supposed to be!
Upgraded Bostig Exhaust Heat Shield
UltraGauge mounted on dash for digital read-out
Nearly all peripheral components were replaced with brand new parts during the conversion; IAC, emissions hoses, coil pack, spark plugs, etc.
Was part of “Retail Group 5” or “RG5”. The Retail Groups are the finished, polished released of this conversion. You will likely see older “Group X” conversions when searching for vans for sale. These Group conversions are still great, but they are not as refined as the Retail Group conversions. (i.e., the older Group conversions cost less than the finalized Retail Groups.)
New Bosch fuel pump
New Clutch Slave Cylinder
New front windshield
New rear heater core, valve, and hoses
New exterior sliding door handle (installed after pics were taken)
Two new headlights
New power steering rack
New power steering fluid reservoir
Instrument Cluster Foil Repair kit installed
Transaxle gear oil flushed and replaced. Shifts great. (Unknown status on being rebuilt. I would assume it is all original.)
All original curtains included. Everything in great shape except for the curtain behind the driver-seat. Some of the plastic sliders have fallen off. Still functions pretty well though. Looks to be an easy fix, I have never cared enough to look into it.
Includes a Google Doc spreadsheet that has tracked nearly all maintenance as well as a gas mileage.
Includes Bostig manual PDF with my notes during the install
Includes the SCT X4 tool used for data logging and loading custom tunes (if needed, not likely) for the Bostig.
Minimal rust (besides the lower seam rust) due the van living most of it's life in the Southwestern USA. The vast majority is superficial.
Roughly $400 in spare / uninstalled new parts included with the van. This includes but is not limited to: full set of external LED lights, new (backup) thermostat housing, brake hoses, fully new skylight assembly, and probably other stuff I’m forgetting.
Current NC safety inspection (required for registration)
Clean North Carolina title in-hand.
Last and certainly not least, this has to be one of the most documented vans out there. Up to this point, all of the content on Vanagon.org has been achieved using this van. You can literally see exactly what has been done to this van before showing up in-person.
Approximately $11,000 in total upgrades, repairs, and spare parts. Just to be clear, this is only the cost of parts…no labor. If you count labor you can add another $5,000 - $10,000. People seem to like to advertise that price, so I guess we should say, “$21,000 in total upgrades, repairs, and spare parts”, ha. Also does not include basic maintenance costs like oil changes, brake pads, etc., and doesn't account for the cost of the van to begin with. A stock (no Bostig) Vanagon in this condition runs about $6,000 - $10,000 in the USA depending on your location.
Needs Some Work
For better or worse, I’m going to be brutally honest here. Most of these are very minor and have little to no effect on day-to-day usage. Unless you’re buying a $40,000+ Vanagon, you will have issues similar to these to varying degrees; sellers usually don’t point them out for you though!
Classic seam rust on the driver's side rocker panel.
Minor body damage on driver's side door and wheel arch, resulting in partially broken door handle. (Still functions perfectly.) The previous owner forgot to apply the parking brake one time and it slow-rolled into a light pole.
Paint is in average condition for a 30+ year old vehicle except for the front…most of the clear coat has fallen off resulting in faded paint. The previous owner had a "bra" on the front that did the damage. Pro Tip: Don't ever put a bra on any of your vehicles if you care about the paint!
Dash is original, faded, and cracked on the passenger side.
The sliding window lock on the sliding door is broken.
The screen for the aforementioned sliding window is partially detached from its frame.
The interior is the original brown corduroy. It's in ok shape considering the fragile fabric, but definitely showing wear.
Radio does not work.
Front seats each have one "floppy" arm rest.
One of the latches on the engine deck lid is broken. Functions just fine.
No air conditioning. Previous owner removed most of it to open up cabinet storage. Air conditioning can be added to the Bostig conversion and supposedly works very well.
Skylight leaks in heavy rain, but I have a new one ready to install which will be included with the van if I haven’t installed it by the time of sale. ($220 for full skylight assembly including a new screen and cover.)
Pop-top tent has some small/medium tears on the driver side. We have duct taped them closed from the inside. Functional, but obviously a little ugly. Don’t really notice much from the outside. Otherwise in decent condition.
Front defrost blower does not work, however, once you're moving there is natural air-flow if you have the defrost vent opened.
Windshield washer pump is broken.
The gas tank will need to be resealed and/or replaced in the relative near future. It does NOT leak but you can smell gas fumes after each fill up, which means the evap seals/hoses are going bad. Also, there seems to be minor debris which is ultimately found in the fuel pump and/or fuel filter. A quick flush of the pump every few months would be prudent until everything is given a good once-over.
Pop-top exterior could use a good cleaning.
Suspension is in decent shape, but showing its age. The rear end has the classic “Vanagon sag”.
There is a VERY slow coolant leak at the two plastic “T’s” near the rear heater core. I have two new aluminum T’s ready to install, but have been avoiding it simply because I don’t want to open the system. Was planning on doing it the next time I needed to flush the whole thing, but that isn’t due for another year or so. I add about 8oz. of coolant to the overflow reservoir once every 1 - 2 months.
Tires are approaching end of life…probably another year or so. Currently stock 14-inch. We planned to upgrade to 16-inch once these wore out, but at this point we’ll just leave it for the next owner to decide what they want.
Cable for the UltraGauge needs better routing so it’s out of the way. Functions just fine as-is.
Relatively firm on price, especially because I keep fixing things. I have yet to see a lower priced Retail Group (remember, not just “Group”) Bostig Vanagon Westy (Camper or Weekender) in the whole USA. But, I suppose I'm open to legit offers. Worst I can say is no!
For reference, here’s current Bostig vans for sale on The Samba (a popular VW classifieds site):
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