Item Location: San Diego, California
Posted by: Jamie Ortiz
Last Modified: 02/24/2019
It's time to let Rusty create adventures for his new owners.
He's a well-cared-for 1981 air-cooled, manual Westfalia Vanagon Volkswagen bus. The basics - he sleeps four. The bench seat folds out into a bed and the top pop opens to reveal another fold out bed. Everything functions on this van, except for the refrigerator, which, let's be honest, is so small, it's not good for much. We relied on two coolers as a more functional food storage system, though, if we were going to keep Rusty, our next upgrade was to replace the gas-run fridge with a small trucker fridge that runs off solar.
We've owned Rusty since 2009, and in that time, we have given him quite the maintenance schedule. Almost all of these upgrades were done through the best Vanagon mechanics in San Diego - Pete, Tim and JJ at San Diego Westies off of Hancock. They have all of our work on file. This shop usually only works on water-cooled vans, but Rusty is in such good shape, they allow him to be a part of their family.
We've taken Rusty to Mexico, out to the desert and the mountains, and into places like LA, Santa Barbara and other fun camping locations. We love Rusty. It's just that we've gotten a little bit older, and as our bodies age we realize we need a little more in our camper to keep it comfortable.
How reliable is Rusty? Well, he's nearly 40. Things are likely to happen. But we drive him regularly to get around town and for weekend trips, and he's proven to be a strong (though slow) van and we can use him for the easiest of getaways. Of course, we've also been dedicated to upgrading and fixing his aging issues, so our investment is your gain.
Check out our long list of upgrades and repairs done in the last five years:
- New upholstery, including new cushions for the bench seat and padded engine access cover
- New canvas tent with upgraded side windows
- Scraped pop top exterior repainted white with new VW decals
- New JCS Rebuilt air-cooled engine (less than 5,000 miles on it) with new heater cables, rebuilt AFM, heater control box, upper and lower fuel injector seal, oil cooler, intake manifold gasket, throttle body gasket, alternator/fan belt, inner and outer motor mounts, intake manifold boot, luk clutch kit, alternator 74 amp, clutch slave cylinder, bosch spark plugs, ignition rotar, distributor cap, ignition wires, accelerator cable, cylinder head temperature sender, fuel injector and connector harness, EGR filter, fuel pressure regulation, gear reduction started, ECU rebuild, rebuilt CA emissions EGR valve, stainless catalytic converter, cv boot kit, throttle cable, powerstride 50 AH deep cycle SLA AGM battery, and ebrake warning light switch.
- New shocks and wheels
- New Bluetooth cd/radio with speaker system, including amp and subwoofer, and hands-free microphone
- Solar charger, deep cycle battery, 12 V power outlet, battery isolator, writing, fuses and fuse box
- New hook up box
- New front wipers
- New window seals, weather striping, sliding window screen, tinting from StreetNoyz. This included repairing all rust when the windows were taken out.
- New engine compartment grounds and wiring
- New 10-foot Fiamma awning (best upgrade we did to Rusty)
Rusty passes smog like no one's business. No oils leaks. We're asking $19,995.
You can see more photos here: https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/cto/d/san-diego-1981-vanagon-volkswagen-aka/6827446364.html