Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

The quintessential people and stuff mover.
User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:21 pm

I was planning on using a standard coolant manifold and running the small car pipe around the back of the engine compartment and had things roughly installed but it wouldn't fit right and decided it was not the fit I was looking for and decided I needed a reversed coolant manifold.

Image

here is just a quick shot of the coolant hose coming off of the thermostat housing headed up to the transverse pipe and up to the coolant bubble

Image

I decided on the Small car reversed manifold which came with the replacement head pipe that gives a feedback to the thermostat on the factory pipe to make sure it does not over heat and it takes the stock 1.9/ Syncro temperature sensor for the gauge.

Image

Next I finished installing the intake manifold for the last time

Image
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:11 pm

I started by cutting the pipes square a little further forward

Image

I purchased a set of Go Westy coolant pipe repair kit to try and add the flared ends back to the pipe and to give some rigidity back to the pipes but again after trying to figure out installing them on the cut off ends and didn't like they way it was fitting. I decided to use my heat gun to cut the factory ends out of the pipes to install in the cut ends.

Image

I used the hammer and heat gun to install the ends in the cut down pipes. I used the heat gun to soften the pipes to to allow the steel ends to go into the plastic pipes

Image

After they were both installed I cross drilled them and put 2 rivets in each pipe to help hold the metal inserts in place and help prevent the hoses from slipping off

Image

and then I installed the hoses after flushing out the pipes

Image

I have most of the hoses installed just the supply from the drivers side to the feed to the rear heater core and the front heater core and then the cooling system in the engine compartment will be finished.
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:02 pm

Well after tidying up the intake, installing the exhaust, and finishing up the cooling system I got the van to fire up.

[BBvideo=560,315]https://www.youtube.com/embed/RJFVFomUX-w[/BBvideo]
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:48 pm

Here are some pictures to show what it took to get to the video of a running van.

Here is an overview of the engine:
Image

I am using a KEP air filter and housing i got from a friend after helping him modify the Vanagon KEP carrier to to fit his bus.
Image

Cruise control vacuum canister will get mounted behind the tail light I needed to close up the vac port hence the connected vacuum line.
Image

My exhaust is very quiet but the muffler is a bit far back and it all hangs a bit low and the muffler is a bit far back.
Image

Here is power for my VSS Cruise control and an extra for a fog light addition.
Image

The Cruise switches are mounted using Vanagon switch mounts
Image

The subaru switch is going to get mounted up here and protrude out the side of the column cover
Image

Here is a momentary switch with a lighted ring for switching the cruise control on and off.
Image

I also mounted the ECU and relays under the back seat like the later vans using a grommet from a later van though I did drill my hole in a better location in relation to the Westy bench.
Image

I rewarded myself my mounting my Truck mirrors I love the viability with these.
Image

well it runs but it seems like every time I try to start it is the first time it has started since the codes have cleared so I need to meter out my power wires to make sure I have things correct and maybe try out my spare ECU.
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:53 am

After letting it run for a while in the Garage trying to bleed the cooling system some the ECU has had a chance to learn more and seems to be starting better hopefully after some actual drive time things will run smoother.

Well I Wanted to do a small project and upgrade the Kitchen Lights from the 3 incandescent bulbs to some LED strips I had been given to play with.
Image

I found out that the power wires for the light are stapled to the spice rack so in order to get to get access to the back side I ended up needing to remove the entire spice rack in order to remove the light from the van, after getting it out it was fairly easy to convert first I opened it all up.
Image

Next I drilled out all of the rivets and removed the paper insulators that held the sockets for the incandescent bulbs to the fixture.
Image

I chose to run 2 strips one on each side of the light and the light strip came with 2 wires soldered on one end so I cut from their, I soldered 2 jumper wires so they would be in a loop
Image

Then I stuck them down and wired them to the switch in the light the only big modification I made was drilling a small hole in the plastic for the wires to run through from the end of the LED strip to the switch.
Image

Image

Finally the fruits of my labor for this project is a brighter light that uses less power so I can be less concerned of it killing the batter as I do not have a house battery yet.

Here it is just after install with the garage lights on:
Image

Here they are on with the Garage lights off:
Image
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:53 am

After letting it run for a while in the Garage trying to bleed the cooling system some the ECU has had a chance to learn more and seems to be starting better hopefully after some actual drive time things will run smoother.

Well I Wanted to do a small project and upgrade the Kitchen Lights from the 3 incandescent bulbs to some LED strips I had been given to play with.
Image

I found out that the power wires for the light are stapled to the spice rack so in order to get to get access to the back side I ended up needing to remove the entire spice rack in order to remove the light from the van, after getting it out it was fairly easy to convert first I opened it all up.
Image

Next I drilled out all of the rivets and removed the paper insulators that held the sockets for the incandescent bulbs to the fixture.
Image

I chose to run 2 strips one on each side of the light and the light strip came with 2 wires soldered on one end so I cut from their, I soldered 2 jumper wires so they would be in a loop
Image

Then I stuck them down and wired them to the switch in the light the only big modification I made was drilling a small hole in the plastic for the wires to run through from the end of the LED strip to the switch.
Image

Image

Finally the fruits of my labor for this project is a brighter light that uses less power so I can be less concerned of it killing the batter as I do not have a house battery yet.

Here it is just after install with the garage lights on:
Image

Here they are on with the Garage lights off:
Image
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:39 am

While I had the spice rack on the drivers side removed it seemed like the right time to remove the curtain track on the passengers side to install the speaker and rear wiper harness I had pulled out of my parts van to clean up the wiring in preparation for a stereo upgrade and adding in front speakers. I also had to pull the front head liner to access the top of the A pillar and along the way I discovered another large rodents nest and likely the source of the smell when it sits out in the sun.
Image

Once I found that nest I decided the insulation over the cab was trash so I pulled it out
Image

so after removing a whole bunch of the interior I pulled a wire up the A pillar and snaked the stock harness up and pulled it all the way back to the rear cabinet for the speakers I don't have many pictures of this process as I worked alone and just kept working but now I have factory speaker wires for the rear speakers rather than the wires my father ran through the kitchen for my grandparents

Image

Image

And since I had the headliner out it was the right time to pull the luggage rack from the top to clean under it and add screens to the drains, this is what I found when the luggage rack came off:
Image

I cleaned the roof and forgot to grab a picture but I did get a picture of the screens I used, I wanted screens with a dome to allow some junk to get up there and still let water drain between cleaning.
Image

I used some super Glue to gold the rubber gasket to the bottom of the fiberglass:
Image

pushing them up from the bottom:
Image

there is a bit of the dome sticking out the top:
Image

All screens installed
Image

Finally getting the luggage rack back up on the roof.
Image

After getting the luggage rack all installed it was time to install the reflexit insulation I bought to replace the removed roof insulation and used a good coat of supper 77 applied to both the roof and a heavy coat applied to the insulation and stuck it in place
Image

then finished re installing the interior now no one can tell any difference except when the light is on though the smell should be better.
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:18 pm

Well last weekend I purchased another VW this time adding a Syncro Doka to my list of vehicles:

Image

Image

Image

last weekend my friend Jeff and younger brother Daniel borrowed my brother in laws truck and a friends trailer and drove to Ontario to purchase it and trailered it back and put it in my grandparents barn until this spring. the Doka like my Westy has been off the road since 1995ish and will require a fair amount of work to get it back on the road including a head gasket or install of a spare engine.
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
Jadewombat
Posts: 1440
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2002 2:01 am

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by Jadewombat » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:37 pm

Quite a find.

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:42 am

Well in preparation for putting the Westy on the road and taking the Syncro off the road I needed to put on a front licence plate bracket so the front bumper had to come off and when I did I saw how crusty it was from sitting in the barn.

Image

So I picked up some chrome polish and spent some time rubbing it on to clean it up and got a nice shiny front bumper:

Image

The other issue I had was with the conversion not wanting to start on the first turn of the key it would just turn over and after a little cranking I could switch it off and try again and it would start. I also kept getting a code for the neutral safety switch which on Subaru's was resolved by replacing the neutral safety switch. I had tried purchasing a switch and installing it as I had left the standard plug on the harness but it only worked if I fiddled with it, I had had a thought about using the stock switch on the top of the shift lever on the transmission but was not going to work in the end I decided to use a lever switch on the clutch arm.

I started by installing a M8 Riv nut in an enlarged hole in the slave cylinder Bracket

Image

I cut the pigtail off of the stock switch and attached it to the normally closed contacts on the switch so that it showed the neutral signal and mounted it to a Piece of angle Iron because it needed to be perpendicular to the direction of articulation.

Image

After that was complete I mounted the assembly to the slave cylinder bracket with one M6 to help prevent rotation and plugged it in now the van starts like it should and has been a blast to drive.

Image
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
fusername
Posts: 6806
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:26 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by fusername » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:10 pm

how in the hey did you find a syncro doka?
give a man a watch and he'll allways know what time it is. give him two and he can never be sure again.

Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:52 pm

well look what the cat dragged in well Fusername, well this winter I was putting around on tos classifieds and so the non running Syncro Doka listed for sale not running but decent bones, looked at some finances and got up the courage to ask my wife if I could and she said I could. She even said that she new eventually it was going to happen. So then I got my brother in laws truck, a friends trailer, my brother and another friend and we drove out to Ontario and did the deal currently it is sitting in the barn above your westy roof. but this reminds me I owe every one an update on what I have been working on on the 85 westy.
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:19 pm

So I owe some updates here they are starting back in the spring before I started driving this thing everywhere.

The faucet seemed to have been robed from this van at some point likely to fix an issue with the 87's faucet so I got one from a friend and wired it up and put some water in the tank to see if it would work and successfully I had running water, I did run some bleach through the tank and drive around with it for a bit as well as running it through the lines and letting it sit there before consuming any water from the tank.

Image

After getting it running and driving it around just a little bit and it started knocking in the rear so I ended up rebuilding the factory axle I did this the morning of the Spring Dust off. I had a set of spare axles from a parted van so I rebuilt one of those then just had to remove and replace the one axle.

Image

Image

Image

Image

After this I did make the drive to the Dust off but just ended up parking in the parking lot but after the axle it made the 100 mile round trip without any issues.
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:35 pm

So after getting it driving I knew the front brakes were not right so I wanted to just replace the pads but one caliper was seized and was not going to budge I had ordered a set of pads but could not find a cheap caliper and already had the parts to swap to later spindles and later brakes with a possible future brake upgrade so what started out as a pad replacement turned into a knuckle and brake swap:

Image

didn't even pull the rotors off

Image

Image

Again with no real prep time and wanting to drive the van I ended up using the parts I had on hand and installed the knuckles and brakes on the westy.

Image

Image

Image

Vacuum bleeding was not giving me the pedal I wanted so I had a friend help me two person bleed the brakes and while he was there we swapped the bearings on the sliding door over and it moves nicely now.

Image

Image

and then I started using the van quite a bit.
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

User avatar
ajdenette
Posts: 717
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Resurrecting the 1985 Westy

Post by ajdenette » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:07 pm

So after fixing the front end up it was time for inspection and luckily it passed I had taken the old Vanco 2's off of the Syncro and put them on the Westy when I bout new tires and put them on my Vanagon Alloy wheels and had them slated for the Westy when it went on the road but used them last season on the Syncro rather than the 10 plus year old Vanco 2's I had been running. Here is the inspection Sticker:

Image

next it started running around

I needed to run some stuff up to my parents and enjoyed driving it around so I took the Westy:

Image

Image

I also used it on Mothers day and took my wife,my parents, my younger brother, and I out to my grandparents house who were very ecstatic to see there old 85 that they drove all over the place then had sat in the barn all those years and I had spent an entire summer trying to get it back on the road so it was a nice day and arrival there. We left my fathers parents house headed to go see my mothers mothers. It was time for my wife to get in the drivers seat for the fist time she has driven the Syncro when we were moving and when her car broke down, she had also driven the 1987 westy but did not do so hot but with the subaru engine it is a different van. on our way out Rt 90 in western mass headed up the big hill from Westfeild up to Blandford the weather turned south and started to snow then in the middle of the hill traffic came to a stop my wife pulled the e brake stood up and walked to the back stating she was not doing it meaning inching up the hill so I had to hop in the drivers seat and make it up the hill it did well the van still needs the front blower replaced but I have not had the drive to pull the dash to do the job so the rear heater had to do all the work because we were not moving fast enough for the ram air to work.

since then My friend Jeff needed to move a bunch of furniture to try to promote his side business and was going to rent a vehicle to move it I told him to save his money and use the Westy, moved everything he needed and is sold on a Vanagon at some point.

Image

I even moved a whole bunch of stuff from my parents house out to my sisters house for a party and took the dogs for a ride in the van.

Image

Image

Image

so I have been really enjoying the Westy quite a bit and had to do an oil change fairly early on in the summer
Alex

|_________oo_oo
/ /__/____[_____\
I I======[]IIIIIII[]
()_)-----()_)----)_)

Post Reply