The air-cooled Volkswagen Kombi is a motoring icon. It really is a common van that is chock complete of character, and a good deal of youthful fellas (and ladies) however aspire to have 1 as their every day driver. But are they getting a bit long in the tooth now to make a useful car or truck for day-to-day use?
I generate my 1976 2 liter bay window just about every day, and my knowledge presents a fantastic indication of what you may well have to do to make your unrestored Kombi risk-free and cozy to push as your major car.
Volkswagen Kombis are effectively around 30 decades outdated now and it reveals. I have used a lot of time and dollars over the last few yrs obtaining mine back to a affordable problem, and if you acquire a affordable Kombi you have to be well prepared to do the similar. Even a additional high priced Kombi will most likely will need some repairs and TLC.
The 1800cc and 2 liter versions are the most realistic due to the fact they have a lot more get up and go than the models with smaller engines, however it does price tag much more to rebuild the engines.
1st the upside.
Kombis are amazing, they are legendary, they have character and they are definitely not uninteresting.
They are fun to drive and when they are in superior nick they are relaxed and deal with very well with great steering. The later on design bay home windows hold up with the targeted traffic high-quality and can cruise on 60 mph all working day, even though they do sluggish down on even bigger hills.
And they are useful. There is certainly plenty of room in a Kombi. It’s possible it’s not as excellent as a modern-day van because of the hump for the rear motor, but they continue to make a fantastic camper or an 8 seater van with room for luggage or groceries. Floor clearance is good and the motor above the rear wheels provides fantastic traction for a two wheel generate if you want to get off the beaten observe a bit.
Now, here is what to be aware of if you program on owning just one of these as your daily driver.
Rust of program is the most significant killer of Kombis or any old car or truck. You are a great deal far better off paying out a bit more dollars and obtaining a reasonably rust free Kombi. Provided that you do come across a rust absolutely free Kombi though, there are nonetheless a great deal of issues to take in up your cash prior to it really is even simple to use your van on a each day foundation.
The motor may well be worn out. I rebuilt mine a couple of a long time ago with new barrels and pistons, all new bearings, reground crankshaft and camshaft, and rebuilt heads. The heads ended up converted for use with unleaded petrol at the very same time. This all expenses cash.
The steering and suspension are security similar and have to be appropriate.
On the suspension I have replaced the 4 primary ball joints and the shockies. With the steering I have changed all the tierrod ends and the major centre pin. The steering damper is up coming on the substitution checklist, and that ought to see the steering appropriate for my Kombi. It is really generally doable that yours may well require a new steering box as very well.
Your Kombi’s brakes also want to be proper. Brake linings are one thing that do want common changing, but I’ve also replaced the rear brake drums for the reason that they had been worn beyond restrictions, and the front discs will require changing following time the front brake pads are performed.
I have replaced all the versatile brake hoses simply because they are very well more than thirty decades outdated now and they do get brittle and I have replaced some of the metal brake lines simply because they have been corroded. The rear brake cylinders were replaced a several yrs ago and the entrance brake calipers had been rebuilt with new seals.
On the rear push educate there are four cv joints, and the kinds on my bay window ended up extremely sad. They had been changed along with the rear wheel bearings.
One particular very vital area to glimpse at is the gasoline strains for the engine. Kombis do burn, and it can be caused by petrol spraying all over the motor. Look at the gasoline traces diligently and if they search outdated and cracked swap them with high-quality gasoline line. Make absolutely sure that they are not rubbing on the tinware and that the pipes heading into the carby and fuel pump are not free. This is vital!
As effectively as things that you know may need repairing, there is always the sudden. A spray nozzle came free from the carby in my bay window and went as a result of the engine. It is only a compact thin brass tube but it sounded as while there ended up marbles rattling about in the engine. Thankfully there was no hurt, but it did mean pulling out the motor and getting off the cylinder heads to test all the things and to eliminate the continues to be of the spray nozzle. And just this week I have experienced to change the alternator.
As effectively as mechanical use and tear there are the cosmetics to imagine about. Your inexpensive Kombi may perhaps will need a paint work, new carpets, new upholstery, and even the entrance seats may have to have notice.
On the comfort and ease facet new doorway seals and window seals may be required to prevent rattles and drafts. The heater might want some interest. On my Kombi the heater cables experienced seized. That did not fear me till I moved from a hot component of the place to a much colder area where temperatures get beneath freezing in the winter season.
On the as well as facet sections are easily readily available. For my Kombi, a 1976 2 liter model, I have been ready to invest in each and every element I have wanted apart from the carby spray nozzles, and even then I was ready to get by with components of a distinct design VW.
My view is that despite all the repairs and restoration, Volkswagen Kombis can even now be a functional daily driver. You do require to acknowledge the fact that your purchase price tag is only section of the story, and that you will have to expend time and revenue bringing your traditional Kombi again to a protected and comfy issue.