It appears that your browser does not support JavaScript, or you have it disabled. This site can only be viewed with JavaScript enabled.

If JavaScript is disabled in your browser, please click here for instructions on enabling it.

Home > Introduction

Vanagon Restoration for the Compleat Idiot

   I began this site in an effort to share information that I found helpful as I performed the various tasks involved in cleaning up VW Vanagons. My first VW Vanagon was a 1990 burgundy Volkswagen Vanagon MultiVan purchased in November of 2003. I realized then how much I enjoyed working on these vans and owning a van that could sleep four and seat seven comfortably, all while being so ugly it was cool.

   In late March of 2005, I made the fatal mistake of falling in love with another Vanagon, this one a 1991 Orly Blue Metallic Vanagon Multivan. I bought her from a family in Eugene, Oregon and soon after began the process of repairing or replacing all of the bits that begin to show age after 15 years of use. Doors, windows, seals, upholstery, stereo, mirrors, wheels, tires, brakes, electric controls, and engine, all have been updated or repaired.

   The fact that I purchased a second van and really enjoy working on VW's is positive proof of my slippery grasp of sanity. I now completely understand the meaning of that old song, "Mothers, don't let your sons drive Vanagons." I've pretty much become obsessed with the restoration.
Am I mad? Maybe. Am I having fun? You bet.

   I hope that this site provides some decent resource for folks with similar interests. At the very least, there's a laugh or two in here.    BCW

Orly Blue 91 Multivan

   Looking for info on Subaru Engine Conversions? Please see the Engine Sections for more information on my conversion activities.
Another Note!!!
   Strangely enough and as hard as it is to believe, there are those of you who do not relish the thought of spending an evening looking at a slideshow of some dude working on a boxy old vw van. But maybe you are trying to impress a vw nut by saying that you looked thru the WHOLE site? Let me save you from the horror of having to do just that....go straight to the Sneak Peek for a condensed version of the site!

Home > Sneak Peek

A Reprieve for Non-Vanagon Fanatics

Here's the readers digest condensed version of this website. If you're reading this site you're either related to me, being awfully polite to someone who likes vw's, or have a vanagon yourself.

If it's one of the former and you're being nice to a vanagon owner, I've taken pity on you and provided a one stop slideshow of my vanagon bits that you can watch and quickly get the highlights, pretending later that you've read through the whole bloody site.

If you're one of the latter and you've got your own vanagon, god knows you've got a lot of patience so go out and look at whole thing, not just these highlights.

Home > Links

Vanagon Related Links

User Sites

MJV's VW Webpage - Michael Vickey
Otmar's Stretch Vanagon
RoadCow - Ron's Site
Scott & Karen Semyan
Tom's VW Page
Travelin Van - Anthony & Liz


Group Sites

French Transporter Group
The Samba
VW Camper Family
VW Vortex
Wet Westies - Northwest Westfalia Group

Vanagon/Bus Parts

Craig's List Vanagon Related Part Search for West Coast
Bus Depot
California Pacific JBugs
EuroCampers - Accessories for VW and Campers
Go Westy
Halsey Imports - Portland - Vanagon Parts
Pop Top Heaven
UK Bus/Vanagon Parts
Van-Cafe (formerly Volks Cafe)
VW Vanagon and Bus Parts at

Vanagon-Subaru Conversion Related

Craigslist Search for Subaru Engines - Last 7 days
Car Parts Discount - Good source of oem replacement subaru parts
John Lemley - Sells good used Subaru Engines - (800) 571-9955
Subaru Conversion Parts/Services
Kennedy Engine Performance - Lancaster, CA - Conversion Part Vendor
Leon Korkwood - Southern CA - Conversion Parts
rj Engineered Systems - Cheadle, UK - Conversion Services - Tacoma, WA - Conversion Part Vendor/Conversion Services
SpeedBulli - Meudt, Germany - Conversion Part Vendor/Conversion Services
Tom Shiels - Toronto, Canada - Conversion Part Vendor/Conversion Services
Vanaru - East Coast, USA - Conversion Services
Van Cafe/Rocky Mountain Westy - Conversion Part Vendor
Subaru Conversion Tech Support
BBS Subaru Forum
SubaruVanagon Forum

Sources Of Used Parts

Portland Import Auto Parts

Salvage Yard Listings Portland Listings junkyard locations


Vanagon Suspension/Wheel/Tire Sites

T3 Technique - Makers of adapters/lugs, etc. for Vanagons
Derek Drew's Oversized Wheel Info Page
Derek Drew's Oversized Wheel Info Page II
HR Springs
Excellent Wheel Tech Info from R&S Racing
Tyresav - UK Info on Tire/Wheel Fitment

Home > Archived Logs

Old Postings

Here's a historical log of the updates and activities on this site. Also serves as a sort of index for topics covered herein.

See all archived logs here

Home > About This Site

How'd You Do The Slideshows?

I chose javascript based software written by Patrick Fitzgerald. It's called JavaScript Slideshow and is extremely easy to work with. His site and code can be found out at

What The?

I tried to make this site as fast and easy as possible to navigate for everyone (and all browsers) but there are likely some areas that remain confusing or just don't make sense.
Here are a few tips that I hope will help you to browse easier. As always, drop me an email if you have a reasonable request for improvement.

Site Navigation

The site is broken up into 9 major sections:
  • Home - Facts about the vanagon and this site
  • Misc - Tips, Swap Meet, and Future Schemes
  • Body - Exterior bits
  • Electrical - Improvements and repairs related to voltage
  • Engine-I - Devoted mostly to the Subaru Conversion
  • Engine-II - More conversion related details
  • Interior - Fixing and restoring bits on the inside
  • Suspension - Bearings and Brakes, Wheels and Tires
  • Transaxle - Care and feeding of the Vanagon Automatic Transmission
Note: To navigate through the subsections, just click on the "tabs" at the top of each section.

Viewing Pictures

As you browse through the site you'll notice that I make use of many "slideshows" to display pictures. The slideshows have a control panel built into each one to allow you to control the display of the pictures.
Previous Previous | Play | Zoom Zoom | Pause Stop | Next Next
  • To go back to the previous picture, click "Previous" Previous
  • To begin a slideshow, wherein the pictures change by themselves, click "Play"
  • To enlarge any of the slideshow pictures click "Zoom" Zoom or click directly on the picture being displayed
  • To stop a slideshow, click "Stop" Pause
  • If you'd rather advance through the pictures manually, click "Next" Next
Note: Clicking on Zoom or directly on the pictures will cause a popup window displaying a larger version of the picture. If your browser does not allow popups, be aware that you will likely be unable to view the large picture until you allow popups.
To close the popup window, just click the X on the top of the window frame.