Been reading the posts on this very helpful site for sometime. I own an '86 Vanagon Westy that was leaking coolant. The van otherwise is in excellent condition. I recently took it in to a very reputable mechanic in Rexdale, Ontario (greater Toronto area) who has been working on these engines since 1969. After removing my heads he showed me a high degree of pitting around the edges and after I ok'ed further exploration more problems were uncovered all the way down to worn rod barings. To make a long story short, I'm having him rebuild the engine. He says that he has rebuilt between 400-500 of these engines since 1969. He's replacing pretty much every moving part in the engine, all new fuel lines and coolant pipes, new heads, the list goes on. I can report a complete list of repairs for those interested. The total is $4000. A hell of a lot more than I was expecting to pay but he provides a full guarantee for a year or 35K. I know most people on the forum have been recommending the factory reman engines.. but I've gone the other route. Mechanic says I should get another 200K km out of the rebuild provided I follow regular maintenance.
I wish I had more mechanical know-how but one can only be expert in so many things! I'm hoping I made the right choice and I'll keep you all posted as I put the miles on the rebuilt engine. Wish me luck. If anyone has any experience with this shop or can comment on what I'm paying (I realize I haven't listed all the repairs) for the rebuild I'd appreciate the advice.
It sounds about right for cost -
I have been discussing the possibilities of getting my engine rebuilt and have been quoted $5000 - $6000.
You can definately pay less, but as my mechanic told me if you are going to rebuild an engine you do it properly or it will not last.
My engine was rebuilt by the prevoius owner 4 years ago 40,000k for $1800 and it is junk.
I have been quoted that a new engine from the States would be 4000$ and the work 600$ up here in Sudbury, Ontario (plus towing and such). My problem and the reason I've sought you all out is that I'm not sure if I should rebuild because I wish to sell... My previous partner converted the engine to veggie oil but placed the veggie oil tank in the wrong spot and the engine overheated: a piston flew out and lodged itself into one of the valves (this should maybe be in the conversions section but I can't find it). I am not mechanically minded but since my partner is gone I must figure out what would be the best thing to do now... It's an '82 Westfalia and in pretty good shape overall except for the exploded engine. In your opinions would it be best to sell as is (as I'm a single mum and have put 8000$ into it already) or should I go the next step and fix the sweet little van to sell it? I love this van but I cannot keep it... So I hope you can help and I thank you for reading and I wish you all blessings and good tidings.
Sorry to hear your problem.
I had to replace my diesel on a 1982 Westy last year and it is a challenging experience.
Without an engine the westy is not worth a lot. A diesel without an engine is probably worth more than a gas westy as it offers an easier gateway to the many conversions that are out there - subaru, 1.9TD and many other gas engines.
Replacing an engine will be time consuming and more expensive than you think. I imported an engine from the states and after shipping, duty, taxes, having to get an import license ... on and on, but for me it was a bit of a labour of love and I enjoy doing these things and I am intending to keep the van, but to do all that work and have the problems and want to sell it after ...yuk.
One option that may make it less painful is to buy a 1.6 diesel engine from a breakers yard. I know a where you can get an engine for $700 - a bit less than $4000.
If you want to talk off line, please email me email@example.com and I will gladly discuss this further.
'82 Westy diesel 1.9TD
Last edited by Mike Robinson; 05-15-2008 at 07:31 PM.
I have been trying to locate a rebuilt engine and have inquired at my local dealer in Sacramento, California. Their reply is that a 2.1 waterboxer is no longer available nationwide. I have a 1987 Westy with a knock and I would like to get something to get back on the road. I'm torn between doing a conversion with getting a rebuilt engine from GoWesty which I have heard mixed review about. Is it still possible to get a factory rebuild or due to the age this is no longer an option from VW. The last post on this was in 2000.
Capt. Mike any help here in 2009?
Dear Capt. Mike,
My VW dealer also told me the 1.9 and the 2.1 reman's were no longer available for my 1983 Westy. I see on this site Boston Bob is recommended but he died last year. On his website, BostonEngine dot com, it links to Stan Wohlfarth who said the operation is still going. I am thinking about buying a 2.1 Reman from them. Stan said they use genuine VW blocks. Do you know if the quality is the same as Bob's? Also, another concern at this point is Stan is requesting a check payable to Suburban Engine Exchange not Boston Engine. Do you know if Suburban Engine Exchange is a legitimate operation and not an internet scam?
Greetings from Portland,
Reading the engine thread today, and have 2 cents worth to add. I have an 84 water-cooled and a 82 air-cooled and have had both rebuilt. The 84 had a cracked head which blew out the plug and damaged the piston, push rods etc. I looked at “remans” but found out soon my own mechanic as well as other VW shops would not install certain brands and could not warranty someone else’s build. In the end I had my mechanic rebuild the “top” end complete, new heads, pistons and push rods. Time and material about $3000.
The 82 air cooled was different as I bought it with a blown motor, but once it came out it the lower case, crank and cam were so bad a replacement was found and the entire engine was rebuilt. Time and material about $5000.
I would rather put good money into an investment that look for a quick solution or an unknown entity. Today both run like new and will until the Grandkids take over in 2024! cheers
So if I understand you correctly, you have a 1984 1.9L engine and your mechanic did a rebuild with all new parts. Were they genuine VW parts?
i have an 88 Westy.(automatic) I replaced the 2.1 liter engine with a 2.4 liter wasserboxer 2 1/2 years ago. The work was done at Go Westy, (see their ad on home page. This is not a paid ad, just a satisfied customer.) I have plenty of power. , I tow my 14' Lido sailboat all around, surf trips to Baja and I have never had any problems. I also replaced the 14" rims with 15 x 7' which made it much more stable. it was pricey but worth every dime. This is my second Westy and this is much improved over the 1st. I understand they may have developed a 2.5 liter. I can actually pass another vehicle while traveling up a hill. gas mileage is about 15 mpg around town and I have hit close to 19 mpg highway, It is best to keep the speed between 60-65. Over 65 it sucks down the petrol., anyway, it has made a good vehicle great. I do not know why VW never made these changes. happy camping. Cyasurfin!