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Advice needed for buying a T2 :)

Discussion in 'Buying and selling help' started by Andrew & Elizabeth, May 17, 2021.

  1. Andrew & Elizabeth

    Andrew & Elizabeth New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Lennox Head
    We love all the great information provided through this site, thank you! We have printed the 'buy' check-list and tried to absorb as much as possible from the various threads before reaching out for advice.

    In the 90's I travelled in a T2 around the South and East coast of Australia and then across the U.S. and down through Baja. Around 15 months of travelling and living with two different orange T2's and some of the best months of my life.

    Now, with a family, it is time to re-visit the past, have some fun, learn something about engines (really should have done that a long time ago!), care for her and leave her to the kids when the time is right.

    Hope you can offer some advice so we can move forward with finding the right family T2 :)

    We live in Lennox Head, but I am often in Sydney so if possible, we would like to buy around one of these areas. However, as this is a long term investment, we can travel if needed.

    Questions we are pondering as neither of us are at all mechanical (yet) or knowledgeable in how to buy a Kombi in todays market!

    1. How do we have an inspection carried out before purchasing to check for serious rust/issues? We are happy to either pay for a T2 with all work carried out or pay accordingly for one where work is needed, but would like to avoid buying something bright and shiny which has serious issues masked by paint and bog.

    2. We live in Lennox Head, so any thoughts on a local, experienced, passionate Kombi Mechanic who we can use regularly would be fantastic. Local mechanic availability may affect our decision to buy a project.

    3. If we are keen to go to town and really restore a T2, is there anyone in our area who specialises in this, including new engines and full bare metal re-work etc?

    4. We are interested in two T2's on carsales and autotrader and would like to share for advice, but we have not included the links as we are not sure on Kombiclub etiquette/rules on posting public carsales/autotrader links? Advice?

    5. As far as budget goes, we are looking at either a $15k to $35k which needs varying amount of work depending on price to make amazing. Or $35k+ (there is a limit unfortunately) for one which has had a full restoration and will need limited work apart from love and care along the way and some cosmetic changes. Are we in the right ballpark here?

    If you have made it this far, thank you for giving up so much time already. Really appreciated.

    This is a big purchase for us and we are hoping to as much as possible avoid any major mistakes at the start our journey!

    All the best,
    Andrew & Elizabeth
     
  2. Wayne murray

    Wayne murray Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,746
    Location:
    Seven hills
    Welcome Andrew & Elizabeth to the KC.
    For the money you have listed you should be able to buy a pretty good running car, that you can enjoy pretty much straight away that may have a few little minor things that you can sort out or change to suit your taste later.
    Remember don't let your heart rule your decision, be patient and the right kombi will come to you, there are plenty of flippers trying to catch unexpecting people in buying a kombi that has just been nicely been repainted. Make sure if you do see a shiny one ask for photos of quality to show works that have been done.
    Considering your haven't had mechanical hands on, it may be a option to have a nice running car, then to tackle a possible basket case, that requires a full restoration. In my opinion if your budget of what you listed is for a restoration is a bit light on, as you may be doing a lot of out sourcing to do some or more of the work, the more work you can do your self will safe you alot in the long run. You can easily double that figure and of course that depends on the extent of body work(rust) that needs to be done and how far do you want to go with the restoration. Do you do ever nut and bolt restoration or just a tidy up, it looks good job.
    Some VW places will do a pre inspection service for you and the owner shouldn't have any issues allowing it as well, if the owner won't allow inspections thinking about walking away.
    Can't help with mechanic up your way, as I live in Sydney do in house work on my own kombis.
    Be careful about putting links on here about possible cars for sale that you are interested in as people may take it from under you if it is a really good car.
    Are you looking for a camper, microbus or a kombi? thought a camper with family.
    Hope your search is fruitful so you can enjoy it wherever it take you.
     
    Whitie, David H and oldman like this.
  3. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,192
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    There is some mechanics listed here on Gold Coast - not Lennox, I know

    https://forums.kombiclub.com/threads/gold-coast-mechanics.60112/

    Tells us what you are after.
    Bus or camper.
    I would suggest buying from your state with registration history.
    With kids, be careful what it is plated for seating.
    Be careful with fold down beds. They need to be ADR approved.
    In Australia, 99% of campers are modified vehicles and need engineers report.
    Stay away from unregistered interstate campers.
    Bang for buck a later bay is your Best Buy.
    Personally I would be looking at a 2L and not a 1.6L
     
  4. splitbus

    splitbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,362
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Maybe wait until Valla, probably a few for sale there
     
    oldman likes this.
  5. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,003
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Welcome to KC !
    Your budget is a little low if you are considering a bare metal body, upholstery and engine work.....in my opinion.
    Kombi prices are at an all time high.....COVID has contributed to inflated prices too.
    $35k should see you in a tidy, reliable bus.....but it may have a few hidden issues.
    A relatively clean, straight body with minimal rust should be your priority, in my opinion.....original paint, whatever condition, is better than shiny new paint, hiding unknowns......It’s not uncommon to tip $50K into bodywork and paint, then upholstery........engines are comparatively cheap.
    Good luck with the search.....buy with your head and not your heart!
    Kombis have a habit of appearing when you least expect it....look at a few to get an idea.....try and get along to a cruise or kombi gathering near you to see what other folks have......kombi wise and stories.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
    David H and Wayne murray like this.
  6. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,192
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    The Nationals are on next week in Sydney if you are in town
     
    cbus likes this.
  7. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,570
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Welcome.
    Sounds like you are in the ballpark re being realistic and suitably careful.
    Usual advice is not to post links unless it's already well advertised on the likes of car sales etc. Although there's no prob if you wish to .
    It's just in case someone gets to in under you on a good buy.
    Many here are happy to go be an opinion on a Kombi. One option is to pm anyone who offers such.
    I am happy to give such .
    With the usual caveat that it's just some heads up based on photos.
    And never trust photos. :)
    But it builds info.

    Biggest thing is probably like look at a number and develop an eye for categorising .

    Also a number of members are happy to view a potential purchase in the " flesh" if it's local.

    A professional assessment is always recommended . Especialy for the higher bracket or freshly " restored" units.

    I do know of a unit up on sunshine coast that is for sale but not advertised yet as I have to assist with the photos and description.
    I can send such when done if you wish.
    I will be describing it fully as although it is a sound camper with good engine and mechanicals ( from a quick inspection) there is enough rust to scare someone who can't do it themselves.
    But in reality it is a solid bus with some rust features and not a bucket of rust.
    Asking price prob $15k.
    It would be a good base if you are able to do simple welding and paint.
    Not worthwhile if you have to pay going rates as it would equall buying something already done.


    Cheers
    Col
     
    Grantus, Barry and Wayne murray like this.
  8. Andrew & Elizabeth

    Andrew & Elizabeth New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Lennox Head
    Thank you so much everyone! A lot to take in, but all great advice.
    To answer a few questions/comments which have come up:
    - 'oldman' Yes. We are looking for a Camper / pop top T2
    - You have pretty much all confirmed that due to lack of mechanical knowledge, skills or experience, we should look for one that has already had body work largely completed, especially rust dealt with.
    - As per 'oldman' we will focus on rust/body rather than engine
    - 'cbus' sounds like too much of a project for us as per many comments here that correctly point out the risks of a project with our skills :)
    - 'barry' we will look into the Nationals as I may be in Sydney next week
    - 'oldman' getting to a cruise or a kombi gathering sounds like a great plan!
    -'barry' thx for pointer about folding beds and ADR approval. Will look into this as well as 'Plating' for seats. And also for Gold coast links.

    Publishing links. Risks noted. Thx
    Head over heart. Noted and easy for me, will just need to keep my other half under control there ;)

    Based on the above, we will start looking at a few that are out there and start getting a feel for what we see.
    We are not in a rush as this is a case of do it once and hopefully do it right, so we will take our time until the right Kombi finds us.

    Thanks again everyone. We feel better knowing there is such a passionate community to reach out to.
     
    oldman and cbus like this.
  9. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,852
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Welcome to the Kombi Club Andrew & Elizabeth. :)

    Enjoy the hunt......... so you can then enjoy the ride... ;)

    Come and say “Hi”, if you attend the Nationals on Sunday.
     
  10. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,570
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Sound reasoning.
    Do not take cheque book to the nationals ;)
     
    Grantus and oldman like this.
  11. David H

    David H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,694
    Location:
    newcastle
    Welcome Andrew & Elizabeth:).
    What they said above ^^^.
    Cheers
     
  12. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,003
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Just to clarify rnr certification requirements....
    There is no requirement for an engineer’s certificate if the bus is already registered and staying in the state that it is registered in.
    Bringing a registered camper into one state, from another may require certification depending on the state/s you are dealing with.
    Any unregistered camper will require rnr certification for rego. ( and, possibly the pop top roof :confused: ) before it can be registered again. Beware of unregistered vehicles.......they can be a nightmare depending on the Inspector /State.
    NSW has the most stringent compliance requirements in Australia......great once the bus is registered ( should mean you now own a sound bus...) but can cost a lot in modifications and certification to get there.....
    Throw into the mix the inconsistent Inspectors “opinions” and you could be tearing your hair out and parting with lots of $$$$$....
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
    cbus likes this.
  13. Whitie

    Whitie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    Warriewood
    Suppose it all depends on your budget eh, try to buy same state to avoid re-rego issues.
    Be a retro 70's bay or a T3 they can be costly ....... but oh so rewarding.
    Careful with the recently resprayed glossy resto's, preferably you wanna find a bus from an enthusiast with history.
    $$$ will always sort the mechanical issues but rust will end a bus.
    You'll find a wealth of knowledge & support here on KC, beautiful people.
    Noticed a nice looking T3 on gumtree (no relations) their quite powerful & drive nicely.
    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mcgraths-hill/cars-vans-utes/vw-trakka-1990/1274131561
    Goodluck, take your time your bus will find you & seeya's on the road.
    Tony
     
    David H likes this.
  14. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,852
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    I’ve not yet seen a single registered camper be able to change rego from one state to another, without keeping the engineers in work, by having to pay for another local state fee, for engineers compliance certificate as part of the registration process.

    Just one of the “add on” surprise costs to budget for. :(
     
  15. Whitie

    Whitie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    Warriewood
    Do be wary of statements like 'selling for a friend' or even swaps.
    Rings alarm bells as it indicates the seller is unlikely to be the registered legal owner.
     
  16. 77/kombi/surfer

    77/kombi/surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,160
    Location:
    Budgewoi N.S.W. AUSTRALIA
    if you buy a shiny paint refurbished kombi you want to see photos an receipts for work that has done to it.
    Plenty are a quick flip job which have sub standard repairs an repainted with a bit of bling added to catch out newbies who are bedazzled into buy one of these old cars.
    They call a car restored which really has just been refurbished.
    just checking over the car mechanically and replacing the basics with what is only needed for rego.
    A restored car is completely striped down and everything rebuilt with qaulity parts which depending on the base will cost way over your high end budget.
    Heres some costs for you ,
    mechanics charge from $100 per hour, 1 days work =$800x 5 days =$4000 per week wages.
    Engineering reports $5oo up wards
    Engine rebuild will vary, any ware from $3k to $10k . 1600cc are cheaper to rebuild and 2 litre ones are more expensive on the high end price.
    Gear box rebuild $2/$3k.
    Clutch replacement up to $1000
    suspension and brakes , ball joints, tie rod ends, center pin, steering box ect rebuild or replace up to $2k+.
    Painting the car inside and out, $10 to $15k.
    Interior retrim, headlinning $1/$2k
    front seats $350/ $500 each
    add a rock and roll bed from kustom kombi. $2500
    Door cards replaced $1000
    Window rubber seals kit $1200
    just for a rough price over view.
    Lastly see if one of the k.c. members live near by and can check over the car with you if needed as unless the inspector now vw,s they can miss a lot of stuff.
    good luck with your hunt
    Found this one on market place for you to ponder over..
    https://www.carsales.com.au/cars/de...rter-kombi-type-2-manual/SSE-AD-7227087/?Cr=2
     
    Wiz, oldman, David H and 2 others like this.
  17. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,192
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    @77/kombi/surfer

    You are on the money with the pricing
    I will add that your paint price would exclude rust

    As for the link - looks the goods - seems original
    The only downside for me - "VIC registered, however, selling in Newcastle, NSW unregistered"

    If it has a Sopru plate it would go up a few notches.
     
    oldman likes this.
  18. 77/kombi/surfer

    77/kombi/surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,160
    Location:
    Budgewoi N.S.W. AUSTRALIA
    yep Barry i forgot to add the rust repair costs.
    Again around $100 per hour for the body work /rust cut out.
    So its nothing to spend $3/4k on basic repairs on them .
    Sand blasting the body to remove the paint and surface rust around $1500.
    you can get an idea for what replacement panels costs on just campers site below.
    https://www.justkampers.com.au/vw-t2-bay-window-parts/t2-bay-body-panels.html

    (As for the link - looks the goods - seems original)
    (The only downside for me - "VIC registered, however, selling in Newcastle, NSW unregistered")
    True, but being in newcastle they could take it to newmyers at belmont to have a look over it for them for rego an do a white slip for any repairs needed to pass a blue slip.
    I look every day on most site for any cool vw cars for sale and there is a lot of junk out there or way over priced junk and not many originals paint /condition ones around.
    So i thought id post that one up but i cant seeing it last long if its as described by the seller.
    cheers chuck
     
    David H and oldman like this.
  19. David H

    David H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,694
    Location:
    newcastle
    Couldn't agree more. Looks the goods & very genuine;):):D.
    Cheers
     
  20. Andrew & Elizabeth

    Andrew & Elizabeth New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Lennox Head
    You found that one pretty fast 77/kombi/surfer! We saw the 1973 $54k one on car sales but missed your 1975 $28,500. We guess the difference is that one has had quite a bit of work carried out and the other will need some work? We like the look of the link you sent through though, because as long as she does not have serious rust problems, we can work on her over time, enjoy the challenge and also spread the cost. By the way, your cost breakdown is fantastic and really helps us know what we are in for ... and we're 100% on board for the journey :)
     

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