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Topics - dmartin

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Bus Blog / Automatic '73
« on: May 13, 2014, 08:37:19 AM »
If, perchance, I happen to own a 1973 bus...and if it is supposedly the first automatic bus to come to the west coast from Germany (as the WA dealership told us in '73) would I go about finding documents that would prove this? Thanks for any help...  Dan

VW stuff Available / Car cover for Vanagon
« on: October 02, 2011, 12:23:41 PM »
I have a brand new Coverking car cover for sale. It fits my 1981 aircooled Vanagon, but probably fits all years of Vanagon (but probably not campers). I bought a few years ago from, but it was a hindrance to working on my van each winter in my shop. Only opened once. Has pockets for mirrors, etc. Color is "pearl white". Go to to check out current prices. I'm asking $120, plus actual shipping from Sheffield, VT. Email me with any ?'s at Phone 1-802-626-3480.  Dan 8)

Vanagon concerns / no hot start
« on: August 28, 2011, 03:09:12 PM »
I kinda hate to fix this problem, as it is giving our family great memories of the kids pushing the Vanagon at gas stations/stores while I pop the clutch, but I suppose in the middle of Hurricane Irene, they don't really want to get out to push...
Our '81 Vanagon starts great when it's cold, or even if it's been run several miles. It barely turns over two times (cylinders) and it starts. But if we run it further than that and the engine warms up, it won't start no matter how long you crank it or how much you put your foot in it. The starter is cranking it fine all the time. When I pop the clutch (after a no-start), the engine comes right to life like it's saying, "Huh? What? You were trying to start me? I didn't know that..." I've checked and reset points, and when I rebuilt the engine just 8k miles ago I changed plugs, wires, coil, etc. At this point I'm thinking maybe the fuel pump is getting tired? Getting ready to stow her away for the winter in a couple of months, but it would be nice to resolve this first....Peace.   Dan 8)

Modifications and Alterations / Mods to move family of eight uphill
« on: January 01, 2008, 06:35:42 PM »
Here's a honkin hello from my family here in northern Vermont. :D I bought my currently stored 1981 Vanagon on eBay for $1000 (my first Vanagon rusted out and I sold it to a Hippywannabe for $1500). The family got out the sandpaper, and I painted her Regal Red with a cream top - came out beautiful for $7.99. We ran it four summers and it started exhaling blue. I knew I could rebuild the engine since I rebuilt my last Vanagon's engine 11 years ago with great success. So anyway, the kids are all bigger and I felt the need for more power  8) , but not necessarily speed. I've grown up quite a bit and have tired of the snappiness that is so characteristic of Jettas and other liquid-cooled conveyances. Why not tick off the tourists up here and do the speed limit? So to get her done, I tore into the job last spring. But this time I changed a few things. I added a balanced/counterweighted crank and new GEX heads with larger valves. I also junked the 94mm scuffed pistons and jugs, replacing them with new 96mm ones. The GEX guy told me my fuel economy would drop a little, but after running it all last summer it went up about 1mpg to 21 (of course this is running around town with kids and groceries, mixed with the 8 miles of highway to town, and also the mile of gravel - uphill - to get home).  My wife and I went to a sawmill seminar at Woodmizer in Maine and got 24mpg one trip without the kids.

At present, with the mountains of snow we have everywhere up here, I'm dreaming of getting the bus out once sugaring is done. I got an "electric turbocharger" on eBay and have it connected in before the air filter box - I just removed that 90 degree snout and clamped in a short length of 3" dryer duct. I need to rig up an electric switch to the throttle body so the fan kicks on when I'm just starting to go uphill. Anyone out there try this before? It's supposedly going to get me about 2psi of boost - maybe better fuel economy, and definitely more power. With six kids (eight when the Fresh Air kids are here  :shock: ) we wanted a little more than my engine mods gave us on the rebuild - the mods sent us from the stock 67 hp to just above 80 (GEX's guess). That doesn't sound like much, but I've noticed many hills around here that I no longer need to downshift on! Happy trails one and all!!!!  Dan Martin

Vanagon concerns / tire wear
« on: August 29, 2007, 08:56:44 PM »
My 1981 Vanagon tires (like the 1980 Vanagon I had years ago) seem to wear out early on the inside edges, while there is still usable tread left in the middle and outer edges. Why? I'm carrying 2 adults and 6 variously sized children all the time, but the suspension doesn't seem to mind much. Is it something about my alignment? 8)

Vanagon concerns / seat headrest removal
« on: June 04, 2007, 05:55:33 AM »
My 1981 Vanagon is perfect for our family of 8 (that's right - 7 kids and mother). I'm trying to make it as safe as possible, and would like to add headrests to the back seats. I can feel holes in the appropriate locations along the top of the back seat... Removing headrests from my "parts Vanagon" was a cinch: pull the clips and out it comes. But you need the plastic socket too. Anyone know how to remove the socket? I don't want to destroy the donor seats to see what's holding it in there, but will if I have to.... Thanks for any help!   Dan in Northern Vermont

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