Live Chat from Jan. 1, 2005

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Chuck (CA)

New member
Hi Capt Mike,

Do you think John would email me a download of the message-table/s? I think we could do a CD from this.


Capt. Mike

Transferred -- not a permanent topic.

Stolen Westy

Stéphane Hénin Junior Member Posted November 06, 2005 10:08 AM

Hi there,

Our Westy has been stolen last night in Toulouse, France. It's a 1980 VW Westfalia Joker 4 diesel w/hard top, light brown. The "ID number" is 578 BPD 31. So if you are cruising in south of France those days and see it, please e-mail me.

Stéphane Hénin Junior Member Posted November 06, 2005 10:10 AM


Notre combi westfalia (VW WESTFALIA joker 4 diesel toit surélevé en dur, couleur beige) a été volé la nuit dernière à Toulouse. Son immatriculation si vous le croisez est 578 BPD 31.
Merci de me faire signe au cas où.

Capt. Mike

It's hunting season. Capt. Mike is up a tree in deer therapy. That's that delightfully peaceful time as dawn breaks and the little critters start scurrying around, usually sounding like a herd of giant deer. It's also why he's not updating the site as often.

One thing that's interesting -- how come I never see a National Geographic special on it? -- is how do massive trophy bucks in the pre-dawn morph into bushes & trees when the sun comes up? The tranquility is much like my old sea-going days except, though I can handle the cold, but I sure miss my coffee! I wonder if the aroma of a thermos of coffee in a tree would attract or repel deer?

I good day hunting is when you don't fall out of the tree; a great day hunting is when you actually see a deer. If you get one, that's as good as . . . -- at least at my age!

Last week, I saw 5 turkeys file through. That's pretty neat, too. They are an interesting and entertaining bird! First 2 were big & fat. The next 2 pretty normal. The last looked like that scrawny Roadrunner in the cartoons. She'd get sidetracked, then have to run like heck to catch up with the rest. Made me think of Thanksgiving dinner, but I don't hunt turkey except the Butterball species at Harris Teeter. No way I'm plucking all those feathers!

If you ever need quiet-time therapy, go sit in the woods in a tree stand in the fall, even if just with binoculars or camera. The nut crop is extra big this year and they must have all reached the drop stage together. I spent two days in what sounded like a hail storm. Some would be just a little plunk in the dry leaves, others would bounce off branches. The hickory is in such a huge casing, it sounds like a baseball. Sometimes they hit a downed dead or hollow tree and sound like a drum. My insulated cap and coat protect me pretty good, but one hit the back of my hand and that hurt! Nature doesn't happen after breakfast driving down the Interstate. Try it. That's what your Westy is designed to take you to.

PS: My Syncro Westy makes a great hunting vehicle. Port-a-john and that thermos of coffee for when I come down out of the tree. If I get lucky, it will usually get in real close for hauling out.

Capt. Mike

Today is Thanksgiving Day. What may be a uniquely American holiday should be an opportunity for world-wide reflection. Whatever our faith, we should take a moment to give thanks for the blessings we have.

It's been a trying year of natural and man-made disasters. Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods have hit hard. More incomprehensible are the man-made disasters -- terrorism, ecological destruction, and the starvations, genocide, abuse & torture of corrupt & uncaring governments and powers. But in the face of all that, there are things to be thankful for.

Survivors of these natural disasters do have hope and some opportunity -- the victims don't. There has been an outpouring of assistance that exceeds any previously known. For every terrorist casualty, there have been many more thwarted. We need only look back at 9/11 and more recent incidents to know that we could, and probably still can, fall into a world-wide anarchy.

Closer to home, I suppose I'm thankful that I'm too old to be called up, but even more thankful for those brave men & women who have and are protecting my family, both overseas and on the home-front. I'm thankful I have a phone to pick up and at the other end are police, fire or medical services.

I'm sorrowfull for the losses amongst our family & friends. My wife's mother passed away this year. But at the same time thankful for family & friends who have beat cancer or survived stroke & heart-attack. I'm thankful for our daughter, and the health of her & ourselves. I'm thankful I have a roof over my head, food in my pantry and good clean water in my well. I'm thankful I have the right to persue my security, my dreams, and my happiness.

And in the pursuit of the latter, I'm thankful I have my Westy to take me. Only in America would we take a faith-filled day of thanks and turn it into a day of overeating, football and mall sales. And isn't it great we can do that? I hope all of our Westy community has a great holiday where celebrated and just a great day and weekend where not.

Thanks to all the wonderful members who have made this site what it is -- the best Westy site of all and a place to meet and share our kindred spirits.

Capt. Mike

New Classifieds

The site has a new classified section. See the "New Boards: site bulletins. . ." topic in JUST CONVERSATIONS.


New member
New to the list - read the admonitions and advices - but don't know where to post a tech question of a general nature!
Specifically what do the Option Codes mean on the sticker of my 88 Vanagon GL Westfalia?
Appreciate advice and guidance.
(PS, the local VW dealer was 'too busy' to help me at their parts & service counter.)


New member
Hello Capt. Mike, I appreciate all your work on this site - I continue to learn. I viewed your photo of your westy and am very interested in duplicating the front cab interior on my 90 westy, I have read the message boards and you do discuss most in various places. Do you have it all in one place (like an inventory list)? the CB on the floor (how is it installed?) what switches are above the CB and what is that just below the radio? What are the instrument over the steering wheel on the dash? where did you find the pencil pen set to fit? ash tray - what is it, 2 lights? you have something suction cupped on the window above the ash tray? what are the 2 instruments above the glove box? is one a fan? by the passenger door near the assist handle - a gooseneck light?

If you have any clearer photos or explanation of how they are installed I would be happy to pay you or donate to your favorite charity because you would be saving me a ton of time.

thanks in advance.



New member
Hello from another new member who just found your site and am impressed with the amount of information. Have already picked up several ideas. In August I got my 1st Westy, A'92 Eurovan CV, full camper. thx again

Capt. Mike

spitsnrovers: The proper topic is GETTING A WESTY forum, "Identifying a Westy . . ." topic. A 2000 post describes the M-options. I'm sorry you have a lazy dealer; contact VW direct or another dealer. I can deciperh most if reposted there.

pete: I've sent you an off-site packet on my Westy.

flat79: Wrong forum; JUST CONVERSATIONS forum has topic for "Introductions. New to site."


New member
it has been a while for me the site has realy changed , i guess evrything that was done for vanagon now has eurovan , lets give a great thanks to capt mike for the upgrades in this wonderful site .


New member
what's the future of westys? anybody know what vw is planning for the future in the us? they have a all wheel drive tdi version selling in france.

Capt. Mike

In case you need to exchange Aunt Mabel's chartruese cardigan for something really useful . . . there are several new posts in the "Air powered tools" topic in the TOOLS forum. Or spend your Northern Tool gift certificates, assuming you had a kind & considerate relatives that gave you some. Or like me, just tell yourself the after Christmas sales are just too good to pass up for something you will swear is "absolutely necessary."

Capt. Mike

Another year has come & gone. Call Jack Malone on CBS's "Without a Trace" -- see if he can't find where mine disappeared to.

The Westy site continues to grow. We have over 11,000 members now. The content continues to improve to the point that it's now a major 'supplemental' shop manual and "authority" for many an owner.

Back earlier in the year one of our very few 'antagonists' (that can't read and follow the guidelines) got a post cut and went into a private and public tirade with lots of profanity and snide remarks. Amongst them was that he should have listened to the "European" sites' comments on and not bothered. He wanted me to believe we had been badmouthed around Europe. Out of curosity, I did some serious European site reseach. I'm happy to say, all I could find in many searches on various search engines was positive, some even glowing. Although we don't have a large contingent of European members, we are apparently well read & respected over there.

We get a lot of thanks and kudos over the year. I post a few and they are what keeps us going. The thanks vs. complaints run about 100:1. Once in a while I get a real heart-warming one that carries me through those times I get tired or frustrated and just want to chuck the whole thing. One was a delightful middle age -- means younger than me -- LADY. I didn't know she was a lady for many posts. She had bought her first Westy. Read our site extensively but was a little afraid to post. She printed out many of our topics. Finally, this lady, who had never had so much as a lesson in mechanics, decided she was capable, with the help of our site, to tackle removing the fridge and major repairs with some hand tools in her driveway. And was completely successful. Wow! That makes it all worth while -- we got somebody over the hump into her own maintenance.

But on the subject of ladies, I'm also happy that I frequently get comments where ladies that maybe aren't ready to tackle R&R of the engine, at least have learned enough from the Bentley and our site to do battle with mechanics that try to talk down or BS them. It must set some of these money-grubbers back on their heels to get laid into when caught BS-ing a customer, especially a lady.

Our own life has been something between chaos and maybe a little short of Iraq. Our older foster child started college last fall. I sometimes think that's more work than when they live at home.

Our daughter continues to amaze me. She turned 17 and is now a voting member of the Antique Automobile Club of America. She pitches right in at our shows and events.

This year she's moved up to wrapping & packaging during hunting season when I process a deer. She measured out the spices for our different sausage blends, but wasn't ready to mix & mash the various ingredients yet. Maybe next year. She'll even wander out to check up on me when I'm either dressing a fresh one or deboning one ready to process. Still get that teenager face and "gross", but no longer running down the drive screaming "Yechhh!"

You want to know really amazing? I just got this month's cell phone bill. 18 minutes. Show me a teenage girl that can do that!

Everything else just seems to get older. Us, our cars, my Westy. The shop required some major repairs. Termite damage. That set us back and wiped out some plans!

The Westy did get a long-overdue repaint of the lower belt. Years of AK, NW Canada and other gravel roads had taken their toll, stripping the clear-coat along the rocker panels and wheel wells. The new technology amazes me. The shop has the paint vendor come to the shop, take a spectograph reading, and then supplies a perfect match paint to the 15 year old rest of the body. We did the cutline along a seam and all of a suddent, the Westy looks new again.

Dawn's breaking & I'm out of coffee -- maybe I'll add to this later. Later I'll close out this chat room and start a new for 2006. In the meantime, I hope your year was safe, successful and spent in good heatlh. Have a safe & happy 'family' New Years holiday.
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