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1989 T3 Campervan

Discussion in 'Buying and selling help' started by Tiggs, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. Tiggs

    Tiggs Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Bray Park, Qld
    I’ve been looking around for a Campervan and found a 1989 T3 2.1 with 329,000km. The owner has had it for 10 years and it has not had a rebuild nor needed any major mechanical work during her ownership. It has full service history and is currently looked after by a retired VW mechanic. I want to do some travel if I buy this T3. How many kilometres is expected out of a well serviced 2.1lt? Is it a big risk buying a 2.1 Wasserboxer with over 300,000km on it?

    E0BB2DEA-1310-4E36-9C03-A853F9CF02AC.jpeg
     
  2. Luckyphil

    Luckyphil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,185
    Location:
    Gosford
    If well serviced over its life then 450k klms is possible and maybe more. This one looks good but make sure you have a real good look for rust. From the pics on Carsales it looks pretty clean.
     
    Dapom and David H like this.
  3. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    A well looked after T3 with 300k km’s is less of a gamble than a low mileage T3 looked after by an idiot.

    My comments would be why is the AC disconnected - no biggie but would be good it it worked.

    There in no power steer which is a negative for me. T3’s are brilliant with power steer

    It has Recaros which were an option on Trakkas.
    The seats will be an easy fix.

    As Phil said - look for rust. Especially around the pop top

    Definitely worth a look
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  4. Tiggs

    Tiggs Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Bray Park, Qld
    It does have a couple of rust spots, one of the worst is on the driver’s side, looks nasty, see photo. It’s a 30 year old bus so I guess there will be some issues. I asked the owner why there was no AC belt fitted, but she said she couldn’t remember why?! Ah, so the Recaros could be original. Overall it looks ok.


    EE0B1F2F-579D-4D96-833C-FC5AF440881C.jpeg
    689AA688-5ECD-42C6-B695-CAE8115F0133.jpeg
     
  5. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    For my money/opinion I would be more worried about the rust in the seam to the right of the mud flap at 2 o’clock.
    The other bit is hidden with a good polish.

    Have a good look around the front of where the pop top sits.
    Have read of Sunny Jim’s post on issues with support of the pop top.

    http://forums.kombiclub.com/threads...-glory-of-poptop-t3.58318/page-20#post-668409

    As said - for the$$$$ it seems a reasonably good buy
     
  6. Luckyphil

    Luckyphil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,185
    Location:
    Gosford
    If that is the extent of the rust then its a good proposition. The cover strip comes off so the repair can be done & spray the area and wont even see it. The rust stains will buff off. Agree with Barry about the seam rust but that is also an easy fix. Mask up close to the seam, scrape out the sealer treat the rust and put new sealer in and then only have the seam itself to paint. Have seen it done before and works well.
     
  7. Tiggs

    Tiggs Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Bray Park, Qld
    Great advice, thank you! The wealth of knowledge and experience on this forum is extensive! So the general consensus is they’re a reliable bus, and this one is worth looking into further. I know anything can happen with mechanicals, but I just needed to know whether to leave it well alone or it’s a good thing.
     
    Luckyphil likes this.
  8. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Just make sure you are happy with the non power steer.
    They are heavier than bays
     
  9. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,200
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Generaly with "3"s what you see it what you get.
    Not as bad as bays for rust.
    Check under front cab mats and front screen.
    Top corners front and back.
    Particularly under fibreglass top across front.

    Would be more concerned re possible corrosion in motor which others can detail better than me.
     
    Tiggs likes this.
  10. Tiggs

    Tiggs Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Bray Park, Qld
    I test drove an earlier model T3 with 1.9lt a couple of weeks ago and yes the steering was very heavy at slow speed. I also found the 1.9lt to be very underpowered, but I guess it’s a heavy brick that that little motor is pushing along. I assume the 2.1 would go a little better.

    I’m also looking at Hiace Campers :eek: Sorry! But the T3 seemed to have a lot more room than the Hiace.
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  11. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,200
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    The T3 is also a LOT stronger in a frontal smash
    Just a detail . :)
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  12. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,262
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    The 2.1 is obviously a stronger motor than the 1.9.

    I only miss power steering when parking, or in parking lots........ but maybe I’m just used to “Armstrong steering”. :rolleyes:
     
    oldman likes this.
  13. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    a set of 1.4 ratio rockers does wonders.

    if you live inner city like me - the power steering is wonderful.
    If you do mostly semi rural then it’s fine
     
    Grantus likes this.
  14. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,262
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Agreed..... as you have been here, you indeed know that most of my T3’s sit around 80 -100kph, on rural, or very kind ACT roads, so power steering or not, is really not a “deal breaker”. :oops:

    In my past days of living in Paddington, and working in Surry Hills, I think I would have put more priority on the ease and convenience of power steering. ;)
     
  15. AC-T3

    AC-T3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,000
    Location:
    Woy Woy
    Hey from what I see, the bus looks OK, the rust is treatable and if the only concern is over power steering, then ........... go get a gym membership. For me, the big question is that water leaking MV 2.1 engine.
     
  16. Tiggs

    Tiggs Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Bray Park, Qld
    Water leaking 2.1???
     
  17. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    A WBX motor “can” suffer from water leaks

    This can be made worse if the wrong coolant is used.
    The wrong coolant corrodes head studs and if the break it can be a real bitch to repair.
     
  18. Tiggs

    Tiggs Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Bray Park, Qld
    Ah yes, I have been told about that issue with the 2.1.
     
  19. Tiggs

    Tiggs Member

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Bray Park, Qld
    I checked out the T3 Camper, but I didn’t purchase. It drove ok, had a lot more go than the 1.9 that I drove a couple of weeks ago, but had lots of issues that needed doing, body and mechanical. I already have a project with my Bay DC, so passed on this one. Thank you to all for the great advice.
     
    Grantus, Syncro27 and Barry like this.
  20. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,262
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Always better to buy with your head, and not your heart.....;)
     
    Tiggs, Dapom, Luckyphil and 1 other person like this.

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