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how many k's is too many k's on an original engine?

Discussion in 'Buying and selling help' started by The Bearess, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. The Bearess

    The Bearess New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    Hi,

    I'm on the hunt for a T3 Pop Top Camper, Gumtree has a few on there, one with an original engine with 400K + km's on the clock (still runs well apparently), just wanted advice re whether that engine is probably getting close to its end of life, or would it just run and run if looked after well? its a 1990 2.1L engine..

    and how exxy is putting in a 'new' engine.

    thanks
     
  2. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,362
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Welcome to KC Bearess :)
    Will leave T3 comments for those on here that know......however;
    With 400K kilometres on the clock, it'd be highly unlikely that the engine is original and without some sort of pull down / re-build at some point.....
    As with any purchase, if the seller can back up the claims with receipts, you have a better chance of knowing what you are getting, otherwise you are playing a trust game.
    How many used car salesmen can be trusted ?......that's the q you need to ask yourself.;)
    Good luck with any inspection...please do as much research as possible and buy with your head and not your heart.
    There are lots of overpriced vehicles out there being sold by folk trying to recoup their losses after chasing a dream that never eventuated.
    Lots of knowledgeable T3 folk on here and I'm sure they will pitch in.....
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  3. The Bearess

    The Bearess New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    Thanks Mark, I appreciate the welcome and the advice, yeah that 400K plus seemed a bit strange to be, so just thought i'd put that one out there incase i'd missed something.. Wish me luck buying with my head and not my heart .. that one can be particularly bad when it comes to VW's.. :)
    cheers Em
     
    oldman likes this.
  4. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,362
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Always prioritise a good clean body over the mechanicals.....
    Rust repairs and paint can hit $ 40K + in no time if the base is rough.
    Not many will ever spend half that for engine and. gearbox ......just sayin’
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  5. KahunaKombi

    KahunaKombi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    21,051
    Location:
    Bracken Ridge, Qld
    Not just used car salesman ..... private sellers also have to be treated with caution :rolleyes: so expect some unknowns and untruths :eek:
     
  6. BrissyGeorge

    BrissyGeorge Active Member

    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Kahuna -I agree with you about used car sales men having a bad reputation, but at least you have some legal come back if push comes to shove - private sellers can be very loose with the truth - their warranties last 15metres - the distance from where it is parked to the street when you drive it off after buying it with no come back other than coming back with a few of your bikie mates:cool::D
     
    Mordred likes this.
  7. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,362
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    I was grouping private sellers in the “used car salesmen” category too......;)
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  8. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,993
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Welcome to the Kombi Club Bearess! :)

    Hard question to answer re T3 engine lifespans. I have heard of ones passing the 500,000km mark, and still going, but it’s not the “norm”.

    Maintenance and driving style play a significant part. Quality of filters, oil and type of coolant also play a part. Even tap water used for the coolant mix, will significantly reduce engine life, and using incorrect coolant, will also reduce the engine life. This sort of history is always difficult to establish, unless the vehicle is a “one owner”, with a full service history. Most T3’s now, have had multiple owners, using and abusing them.

    Hopefully some other T3 savvy members will chip in further, but I know that a pair of them are out of signal range till next week, and another is OS for the next 10 days.

    Expect the worst, so if it turns out better, it’s then a positive thing.

    Enjoy the hunt.......... so you can then enjoy the ride. ;)
     
    The Bearess likes this.
  9. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,622
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    I would be more trusting in a competent mechanical assessment in the engine/ vehicle than a mileage .

    Yes , mileage gives a heads up to compare expected condition but care and use over its life far exceeds influence in how vehicle is going to present.

    As mark suggested, a tidy body is first priority unless you are able to do your own work.
    T3 generaly don't suffer as much from rust as T2.

    Once there are a couple of hundred K km on odometer then physical assessment is the main decider.
    If it is a tidy bus then it gets points for the likely hood of having been maintained .
    Receipts showing work done carry much more weight than someone's " memory".

    A tidy bus is always best choice .

    As Grant said.
    Assume worst and you are covered.
    Unless proven otherwise by qualified tests.

    My guess on fullmotor rebuild, drive in drive out, a few incidentals cleaned up, allow 10k.
    Once again, variations over a wide range with quality and pricing but should be safe at that.

    Few others on here likely can be more specific on what to look for and who to go to for testing..

    I'm happy to give general opinions on bodywork etc based on photos as a starting point.

    Handy resource.
    https://wiki.club8090.co.uk/index.php/Main_Page
    http://www.club80-90.co.uk
     
    The Bearess and oldman like this.
  10. The Bearess

    The Bearess New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    ahh, you guys are the best! Thanks for the tips and the advice.. I feel a little bit better armed now. I'm paying heed to this from Cbus 'A tidy bus is always best choice '.My next question would be can you convert transporter to a Pop Top, or am I just having a laugh with that one ?? :)
     
  11. melissa

    melissa Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,228
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    You can but it's not as easy as you might hope due to :
    1. finding the pop top to transfer
    2. cutting the roof and then getting it engineered for rego/insurance

    Good luck with your search. What makes you want a pop top? Is it the height or the extra sleeping space? Consider an awning or other set up if you can only find a tin top that has every other box ticked. Another issue to keep in mind is that pop tops are "rust magnets" under the fibreglass.
     
    oldman likes this.
  12. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,362
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Yes, a conversion is always do-able.
    Frontline Conversions are just around the corner from me at work - Brookvale. They had a Hi-ace being done the other day...... Couldn’t hurt to give em a call. Be aware that everything will need to be engineer certified for rego/insurance purposes........total package could be more than the bus itself :eek:.
    Patience is the key here......you’ll be surprised when your ideal kombi will fall into your lap !
    Kombis have a way of finding their owners;)
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  13. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,622
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    To expand on " tidy bus" theme..
    A tidy bus has been cared for and maintained better so hopefuly less work.
    Also it's cheaper to pay more for a tidy bus
    ( originality with fair wear) than bring a cheap roughy up to scratch.

    Same applies to pop top.
    Its possible to add a pop top , no dramas except finding the donor roof, paying labour, getting certified.
    But would be cheaper to find one already done as margin over a tintop would be smaller if any.

    The main issue with buying a pop top already done is rust under the poptop.
    Ensure this potential trap is well inspected before purchase. Common problem but don't let it put you off.
     
    oldman likes this.
  14. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,362
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Les (Grumble) has a tidy T3 for sale......take a look in the For Sale section.
    He’s a retired VW mechanic and I wouldn’t have an issue buying any of his vehicles.
    Not a pop top but a good clean honest vehicle......
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  15. The Bearess

    The Bearess New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    Thanks for the advice... I'm close to Brookvale too, so will take a look at frontline . Poptop - other half is a beanstalk, we use to have a hightop in UK, when we drove it to Turkey and back again, that extra room made a world of difference for the trip.. and I'm hatching plans for another mission to somewhere from here, so .. :)
     
  16. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,362
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    ......and sooooo much easier to get dressed when you can stand up inside your bus, on a cold winter’s morning ;)
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  17. The Bearess

    The Bearess New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    Aint that the truth!
     
  18. The Bearess

    The Bearess New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
  19. The Bearess

    The Bearess New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    also, grazza7755 has pm'd me re a T3 he has, that if i'm lucky, he might sell to me.. I had a chat to him earlier today, he seems like a really genuine guy, is he well known on this forum?
     
    cbus likes this.
  20. David H

    David H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,974
    Location:
    newcastle
    Yes & does great work resurrecting!
    Don't forget @grumble kombi.
    I liked the other one also;)
    Cheers
     

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