1986 VW Westfalia Project


New to Dallas via San Diego and just decided to bring my '85 VW Westfalia. Been sitting in the desert in Calif for 2 years. Need some help…some expert advise.

Got a quote to do all the rust/paint repair for $4,000 in Tijuana, MX (very well known, reputable shop). Quote based on detailed pictures, they have to still see the car to confirm.

Thinking about just driving to Dallas and doing all the work myself. Mostly to be proud of something and I’m usually handy. However, never done rust repair…

  • Anyone open to give me some rust repair coaching?

  • Where could I spray the car? I can do most of the work, but don’t have a booth.

Thanks in advance to everyone who contributes to my craziness.


Unfortunately, Not at DMS as there is a no paint spraying policy due to Carrollton ordinances(please search TALK to find the related discussion).

Re: Rust repair. What I’ve seen tinsmiths do is cut out the sheet metal larger than the affected area and replace as necessary. It is often more efficient to replace the whole serviceable panel when there’s too many rust spots.

Nice project! :thumbsup:

@Nomad welcome to talk. Glad your here and glad to see there’s a fellow bug lover. Personally I rather have a Type 1 but Type 2’s are cool.

Not sure if your aware but there’s a good resource for anyone looking for parts at thesamba.com and the Fort Worth volks Folks Club is a very friendly bunch.

If your needing someone to help work on your Type 2 I’d be glad to. Use to race my old dragula (72 Type 1 Super) and was always tinkering with ways to make it work better while being stock.

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Thanks Denzuko.
I also have a T25… My Adventure-Wagon… and a Jeep CJ-5 Going to figure out how to get them all to Dallas in the following months and then to tinker…

Thinking about starting with the T25 Camper to be in great shape for a road trip from Dallas to Peru.



That would be an awesome trip to see

Welcome to the makerspace Ed!

Here are a couple of fantastic Type 2 parts places.



Long ago I had an 84 westphalia, but I moved on to a 66 doublecab


@TLAR Holy crap! You have my dream truck.

Fell in love with VWs with my first car, an 86 cabriolet that had had a rough life. Still my favorite of all the cars I’ve owned.

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Here’s a pic of her - she is a running & driving fun truck for trips to Lowes for the wife’s garden projects.


Have them both on speedial on my phone. They are a wealth of knowledge. Every time I get stuck on something I call them and their techs spend hours with me troubleshooting.

A local friend has a Type 2 T3 tin top that he and his wife have ventured down to Central America in and back. Not the road trip I’d want to do in an air cooled vehicle at my age…the army cured me of any desire to be camping and roughing it in the outdoors especially closer to the equator.


Do you still have the Stock engine or have you/are you changed over to either a TDI or a Subaru engine?

Both have their merits.

On this forum you’ll hear support for the Sub but for south of the border the TDI would be the wiser choice.

Stock 1.9l. I’ve been debating an engine swap for some time. Any swap will be better than the stock… but haven’t decided on which way to go. Would be curious about the merits of TDI over Sub.

You might ask these folks a few questions - they’ve been at is a while.

They also have a fantastic resource page.

Kennedy Engineering makes engine to transmission adapters and clutches for almost any combination and they sell the individual pieces instead of the entire “kit”.

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Welcome to DMS. If you have an VW questions feel free to ask. Worked on them for 20 plus yrs and know all the good places locally to get parts


Great looking bus… I am sure to have tons of question as I get this project rolling.

There are really great resources. I’ve been spending too much time on GoWesty site and missing out on all the other sites. I’d been looking at VanCafe for a while; but I’m going to do a lot more research after reading the KEP website.

On a not so grand day. Had an oil leak that turned into an oil sensor nightmare yesterday…
Noticed a small oil leak, that was getting bigger in the last few weeks. It appears the prior owner when installing an oil sensor stripped the thread. So when I took out the old sensor thinking it just needed a replacement, little debris from the thread starting showing up.

Opted to very carefully re-thread and cap with a larger bolt and move the sensor to an oil filter adapter by GlowShift. Not my favorite fix, but should last until I get van to Dallas and then decide what to do.

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This may “date me” (for those that can do the math)…when I was a kid early teens, folks stationed at Fort Huachuca, was the first time I heard of Kennedy engineering - a local Army Lt had a Buick V6 in the rear of his early 70’s VW Bus and my brother’s “project car” was a VW Zwitter.

That would have been circa 1976 or 77

One of these days I’ll re-register my 1974 VW “Thing” and bring it the Makerspace on the fall day.


Oh, man, I used to think those were so awesome. I totally wanted the “Hogan’s Heroes VW.” Until we went to Cozumel in like 1980 and even 16-year-old me realized my Chevy Vega was infinitely better as a daily driver.

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It has been with me a long time - I’ve owned my '74 Thing since 1990.