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    Thread: Meet Herman the German. (And gti_matt is back!)

    1. 09-27-2009 12:49 PM #1
      gti_matt here and I am back in the Eurovan action!

      Previously had a 2000 MV that I owned from 2002-2008. Wonderful van but sold it because we didn't think we needed such a big (and expensive) 3rd vehicle and I wanted the cash out of it to finance the Mercedes. However over the past year or so, we did realize that the Eurovan was indeed so very handy because stuffing 3 people in the back of a BMW X3, or any SUV for that matter, really isn't that comfortable, especially when one is a car seat (we go a lot of places with my sister-in-law and her family and they have one kid and a 2nd on the way). So a MPV vehicle really makes sense.

      So my thought, while sounding like a downgrade from a 2000 VR6, was to find a '93 I-5 manual transmission Eurovan in clean overall shape for not a ton of money. We kept our search to GL models because of the standard seating. We liked our MV but we never camped in it and the rear-facing center seats were actually a liability - the fronts couldn't be adequately reclined and the rear-facing seats were always too upright.

      So after looking on autotrader.com, craigslist, ebay, the winning candidate was Herman the German! (These were the seller's pics...haven't had time to take my own pics since I got home at 10pm last night with him, but heck...he looks the same.) Herman got his name from the previous owner and I like it, so I'm gonna continue calling him that.

      He's a '93 with 125K on the clock. Herman appears to have first went into service in New Mexico and spent a good chunk of his life in Las Cruces, NM. He also has spent some time in ABQ and most recently in Tucson, AZ. He's dinged up a bit, rough around the edges outside, pretty clean inside condition-wise for the age but still could use a good wipe-down, but he's generally rarin' to go!

      He currently is sporting a MV rear seat and rear shelf and cabinets but I have the original rear seat and will be swapping that back in since I want them to match (MV seat is gray, rest of Herman is tan inside) and I've no use for the MV bed. If the GL seat doesn't interfere w/the MV shelf and cabinets, I might keep those in.

      He appears pretty good under the hood...fairly dry everywhere for the most part. Underneath looks dry too. He is missing his belly pan though. I'll probably wait to find one until after I have someone steam clean his engine bay. Got some rust all around the battery area...may have had a battery bubble over at some point. Lots of dusty dirt though from living in the desert.

      His A/C needs attention. Drove back in 100F+ heat and the rear A/C was moderately cool (maybe 60F) and the dash A/C maybe about 90F. I got the best results under the circumstances by putting the rear air on high fan, front air on 3 or 2, and hitting the recirc button. I figure that would make the best of what he had given the rear was cooler than the front and so he'd re-cool previously cooled air rather than always be working on 105F outside air. However having passed a few stinky agricultural areas on I-8 driving home, I'm not sure that recirc really worked all that well 'cause I smelled a bit too much manure, etc. from outside.

      He's rather leisurely around town, but he's a fabulous highway cruiser. I was worried about the cruising since these rev a bit high but he was revving about the same as RPMs as my old Mk2 GTI and he's not as loud in general, so he was OK for such an old car. For those of you that know the route, I had to take I-8 west from Casa Grande, AZ to San Diego and I was really worried about the steep climb from Ocotillo, CA up ~4100 feet to Jacumba, CA. Herman performed flawlessly and didn't even break a sweat. I had him on cruise at 65mph (speedo reads an optimistic 72mph at that speed according to my TomTom GPS) and he flew up that grade in 5th the whole way. He didn't lose speed on his own at all but I had to tap my brakes to pass someone (truck in front of me and someone flanking me to my left rear that I had to slow down and slide in behind). When I resumed, he didn't really gain speed again though but I just kinda let him do this thing and not push him hard. I also kept the A/C off on this grade as well. His temp needle didn't move very much at all either. (And I believe it's working correctly - in general his gauge seemed to respond realistically with the hills and whatnot...going downhill he cooled off quite a bit, going up he heated up a bit but nothing unrealistic.). When cruising in the desert his gauge usually read at the center tick mark or a little above it. I am estimating this to be about 190-210F based on the 160F and 230F markings on the gauge and assuming the markings are fairly linear. When in the mountains (this was by now at 9pm at night and 4000 feet up and so cooler) and going downhill his temp dropped to about 165-170F and when cruising near sea level in San Diego as I approached home he hovered at the center tick mark and at traffic lights in town went up a little above that. I'm so glad he got me up that grade; that was my #1 fear getting stuck out there in the middle of nowhere. I did have water for me and two bit 2.5-gal containers for him from a grocery store just in case he needed it.

      As I said, he's a great cruiser. Lazy around town but on the highway he doesn't so much as accelerate to pass, but he more like "gathers speed" gracefully and reasonably. Not neck-snapping, but while I would rather he cruise at 2500rpm rather than 3500rpm for fuel economy reasons, 3500 does seem to be his "sweet spot" for highway passing. The noise level was acceptable. He was always there as a faint drone, but never too loud. He also just "sounds like a Volkswagen", sort of like if they were ever to make a 5-cylinder Mk2 "JumboGolf", that's exactly what he sounds like. He also rides well. His shocks seem good and he doesn't bob around too much. He doesn't feel that much lighter than my 2000 VR6 did except for feeling less nose-heavy.

      Oh and I got 20mpg from Tucson to Yuma too. Pretty good for 100F heat and A/C going the whole time.

      I played w/him this morning and gave him a more detailed once-over now that I'm home and in a garage and not in 100F heat on a gravel driveway in Tucson.

      In no particular order of anticipated expense and priority:

      -- Fuel smell near the tank. Either a leaky cap or something else. I did notice when I filled up in Yuma I made a hard right into the station with 1/2 tank of fuel that when I took the fuel cap off, it was wet inside w/fuel. Also in Tucson when I filled up at the start of the trip, when I took the cap off, I got a "whoosh!" of pressure equalization (but didn't get that in Yuma). Any thoughts? I might fail smog on this in CA if they notice a fuel smell

      -- Needs front wipers (getting them today). The desert turned them into spaghetti.

      -- Get engine bay steam cleaned. Dust, dust, dust from the desert everywhere.

      -- Needs belly pan

      -- No reverse lights. Checked the driver's side bulb (easy reach) and is good. Might be a fuse or switch.

      -- Needs better spare tire. It's old, dry-rotted, etc. One edge is worn to the belts (from a previous misalignment issue). He tracks fairly well now (slight drift/pull to the right but then again most cars do b/c of the roads being crowned for drainage).

      -- Hazard switch came off in my hand and is inoperable

      -- GL 3rd row seat missing the plastic shroud around the base. I see lots of GLs missing these so I guess they go missing a lot or break?

      -- A/C barely there. Prev. owner said possibly a bad expansion valve. Will have an A/C place look into this.

      -- Need to check the timing belt. P.O. says at last mechanic says it was good but I want to check myself and put my mind at ease.

      -- Right rear taillight has a small crack/hole.

      -- Headlamp pattern is surprisingly good for old-school USA 9004s but intensity could be better. Think I'm gonna add a relayed harness if the voltage drop to the lights is significant. Probably not going to go e-codes b/c of the expense and it's not a huge priority right now.

      -- Tires are good but are 94s. I am keeping the air pressure up to the max for now and just being cautious.

      -- Seller said he recently did front brakes but I dunno they don't seem that grippy to me. I get some scraping noises too but haven't figured out if it's front or rear. Pedal feels fairly normal though, just nowhere near as grabby as I'd like.

      -- P/S fluid flush - kinda looks dirty and given all the dust out there in the desert, don't want a steering rack going bad on me.

      -- Grille at the top of the hood cracked

      -- both rear cabin interior lights don't seem to stay in very well. not sure if they have broken tabs or...?

      -- Missing 1 headrest in back (I think...GLs should have 3 headrests across the back, no?)

      -- Would like to swap front seats L --> R. They're mostly OK but just showing slight wear. Since they wear on the outside edges due to getting in/out I'd like to swap 'em before they really get worse.

      -- One dash vent grille busted. There was another one with an inoperable thumbwheel to open/close but I took it out and found it was just disconnected...fixed it this morning.

      -- Right outer CV boot gooey. Probably torn...happens to all FWD vehicles at some point. Others look OK.

      -- Right rear bumper cap appears to have been replaced with a pebble-grain CL cap and painted but I need to tighten it.

      -- Front bumper cover loose at right front corner but fixed that this morning...just was off its guide.

      -- General vibration when starting him up and some vibration at low RPMs. Might have a bad engine mount or two.

      -- Occasionally get a "clunk!" on sharp turns from the front. Could be engine mount (above), CV joint (see above, but those are usually click! click! click!"), or possibly ball joint or some other suspension bushing.

      -- Shifter is VERY floppy. Can get all forward gears but reverse is very tricky. Feel is terrible. it's almost as if you get the gear and then when you release the shifter from your hand, it almost feels as if it releases itself from the linkage. When you shift again, it feels as if it almost reconnects itself to the linkage and then engages a gear. I dunno what is "normal" for a MT T4 on this though, given the tall lever. Anyway, could be mostly just a general bushing replacement.

      -- Brakes (one more thing). While the pedal feels good, if I'm at a standstill and suddenly stomp on it hard and fast, I feel a "clunk!" in the pedal. Possibly a sticky caliper? Loose caliper? Pedal doesn't sink at all; just feels like there's a blockage or something sticking and a hard stomp unsnags it.

      Anyway, that's it! He's getting a bath today after I pick up the new wipers. He's covered in bugs from the trip.


      Modified by gti_matt at 10:16 PM 9-27-2009


    2. 09-27-2009 01:24 PM #2
      Welcome back Matt! We love having you around. Congrats on finding your van.

      What was the price paid?
      What were the rpms on the hwy? 3500/65mph?
      You adding the lower 5th gear as an upgrade?


    3. 09-27-2009 01:30 PM #3
      Quote, originally posted by rensho »
      Welcome back Matt! We love having you around. Congrats on finding your van.

      Thanks!

      Quote, originally posted by rensho »
      What was the price paid?

      $3000. IMHO not super-cheap screaming deal but not awful either. KBB showed "good" condition as $3300 so I deducted $300 for the A/C issue. Seller didn't mention the fuel smell problem though and discovered the CV joint issue this AM. Everything else is sorta cosmetic/minor really and not worth counting - they're longer-term "project items".

      Quote, originally posted by rensho »
      What were the rpms on the hwy? 3500/65mph?

      Yep.

      Quote, originally posted by rensho »
      You adding the lower 5th gear as an upgrade?

      Would like to in theory but it's lower on the priority list. I dunno what's involved but if it's anything like my Mk2 (which I didn't do but investigated), it was intimidating to swap out...too many little parts to remove/lose/mess up and outside my comfort zone. Unless it's way easier than I think, if I do it at all I might find someone else to do it...I'm kinda scared to do it to be honest.


    4. 09-27-2009 01:36 PM #4
      Looks like you have some work on your hands, but nothing too major! I wonder if any mods are possible for the 5-cylinder engine. I can't find any good info on whether it's based on the Audi 5-cylinders or of it was VW's own design.
      __________
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      it's = it is
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    5. 09-27-2009 02:04 PM #5
      Yeah everyone says Audi but I wonder if that's an assumption b/c Audi from the late 1970s to the 1990s put 5cyl. in lots of things and I wonder if people just assumed it was Audi-derived?

      Found this site for mods:
      http://www.hartmann-motorsport.de/html/bust4l.html

      Although I'm not that interested in modding it. It's a weekend workhorse and weekend people hauler really. Wanna just keep it running clean, efficient, and dependable.

      And yeah on Herman, the A/C and the CV joint and the fuel smell are the main mechanical things that could be pricey. Everything else is lower priority, cosmetic, etc. or "needs attention eventually but is fine for now".


    6. 09-27-2009 02:31 PM #6
      Nice van and nice find. Looks like it was fairly well kept.

      But I never understood how someone could prefer those minivan interiors. The MV is so much more convenient and flexible. We never have problem getting the right amount of recline on the fronts or the rear facing seats. Just move the fronts forward a little to get separation. Having the table and the ability for the passengers to face each other and have more legroom far outweighs any disadvantage. The only drawback we have found with the MV is that sometimes (but rarely) in a group seven people, you can't find two that can ride backwards without getting car-sick.


    7. 09-27-2009 03:03 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by pwschuh »
      Nice van and nice find. Looks like it was fairly well kept.

      It's not as mint as i kept my mk2 at that age/mileage but it's not bad; I have seen worse for sure.

      Quote, originally posted by pwschuh »
      But I never understood how someone could prefer those minivan interiors. The MV is so much more convenient and flexible. We never have problem getting the right amount of recline on the fronts or the rear facing seats. Just move the fronts forward a little to get separation.

      U lose legroom then in front. I found myself sitting far too close to the steering wheel when we did that. We just need this for passenger duty and that's it so it works for us.


    8. 09-27-2009 04:04 PM #8
      Welcome Herm and welcome back to the madness!

      I wondered why you've been lurking w/o a van in your stable

      Hopefully everything $spendy from the ev_update pre-purchase checklist looks good:

      Quote, originally posted by ev_update »

      Things to look for in a 92/93 Eurovan:

      - stay away from the Automatic, unless you really need the auto
      - check for piston slap(Most common in 1992 Canadian EV's)
      - check for oil in the distributor cap
      - check fuel lines for leaks at cold start (Subject of recall, make sure its done)
      - check for rust at rear left body seam
      - check for coolant leaks at plastic fittings in block, front & left side
      - check CV joints and boots
      - check fuel and temp gauges for proper operation
      - check headlights for internal moisture
      - check heater fan for proper operation
      - check exhaust, especially the catalytic converter
      - check for exhaust manifold leak
      - check plastic coolant pipes to rear heater for leaks
      - check service history, brake fluid changes, etc...


      P.S. If you want to sell the latches and hinges from the little doors under the MV rear package shelf, I'm looking for another set. Wanting to make a Westfalia'ish closet for the EVWK.


      Modified by J_Westy2 at 4:05 PM 9-27-2009

      Formerly J_Westy (before I lost my password)
      Current Ride: 2005 Mini R53
      Past Rides: 2002 EVWK, '87 Syncro Weekender, '86 Syncro Van, '91 Westy, '91 Cabriolet, '63 Double Cab, '85 Scirocco, '70 Bug, '73 914

    9. 09-27-2009 07:21 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by J_Westy2 »
      P.S. If you want to sell the latches and hinges from the little doors under the MV rear package shelf, I'm looking for another set. Wanting to make a Westfalia'ish closet for the EVWK.

      OK I'll think about it and let you know. If the GL seat works OK with it we might keep 'em but I'm not sure yet.


    10. Member bigfatgeek's Avatar
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      09-28-2009 12:57 AM #10
      Nice find, it will be fun watching your progress on Herman. I like the name too. My "Klaus" was also named after my van's previous (German) owner.

    11. 09-28-2009 01:02 AM #11
      After spending a good chunk of the day with Herman (got new front wiper blades for him, Seafoamed his engine in preparation for a smog check, cleaned him up pretty good inside, and washed him to get the bugs off), he might be a little more project than I originally thought. Not insurmountable, but he's got issues. Mostly what I noticed driving him around town is that his front end is very clunky. Probably needs new ball joints and assorted suspension bushings. Not looking forward to that. Floppy shifter takes getting used to and eventually want to tighten that up, but for now it's tolerable although reverse is a bit tough. Basically anyone that doesn't "understand" he's a 16 year old car might think he's a pile of crap. But I know deep down under all the creaks and clunks and groans he's a good boy.

      Don't get me wrong...I like him ok and I kinda feel like we're bonding, but it's a relationship I think that will be quite a bit of work.


      Modified by gti_matt at 10:17 PM 9-27-2009


    12. Member MBounds@SOWO's Avatar
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      09-28-2009 08:51 AM #12
      Glad to have you back Matt!

    13. 09-28-2009 08:57 AM #13
      Welcome back Matt. The force is strong in you.

      Az


    14. 09-28-2009 10:43 AM #14
      Quote, originally posted by AzBarber »
      Welcome back Matt. The force is strong in you.

      Az

      Quote, originally posted by SMOOTH »
      Glad to have you back Matt!

      Thanks and Thanks!


    15. Member
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      09-28-2009 11:37 AM #15
      welcome back to the club ev_matt!

    16. 09-28-2009 12:01 PM #16
      Very nice, the interiors look very clean.

    17. 09-28-2009 01:02 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by pwschuh »
      The MV is so much more convenient and flexible. We never have problem getting the right amount of recline on the fronts or the rear facing seats.

      For whatever reason, I swear this '93 GL's front seats even slide back further than our 2000 MV's front seats ever did. Even with the center rear-facing seats removed, IIRC I drove around in the 2000 MV with the driver's seat all the way back and could still reach the pedals whereas in this '93 GL if I put the seat all the way back I can't reach them.


    18. 09-28-2009 04:12 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by gti_matt »
      For whatever reason, I swear this '93 GL's front seats even slide back further than our 2000 MV's front seats ever did. Even with the center rear-facing seats removed, IIRC I drove around in the 2000 MV with the driver's seat all the way back and could still reach the pedals whereas in this '93 GL if I put the seat all the way back I can't reach them.

      Probably on the newer model with airbags they wanted the seats at a certain distance away... not too far and not too close.
      __________
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    19. 09-28-2009 07:24 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by VWestlife »

      Probably on the newer model with airbags they wanted the seats at a certain distance away... not too far and not too close.

      Seat bases could also have some effective difference being GL vs MV and having the extra hardware on the back for the MV rear facing seats to attach.


    20. 09-28-2009 10:46 PM #20
      Just discovered via his horn that Herman has a cold. He must have caught it from Oliver.

      (Top Gear reference for those that don't readily know.)


    21. 09-29-2009 04:39 PM #21
      Oh my he's now Herman the Money Pit.

      Took him for a smog yesterday and it's bad. Really bad.

      Gross polluter. Now I did get him done at a test-only station so it's not like they have services to sell me. The issues/failures are very consistent really with my Mk2 GTI four years ago. Only this time one of the causes is expensive.

      His HC and CO were a little high and past the max but not incredibly so. NOx was 7-9x the legal limit. He apparently has a cracked exhaust manifold (not unheard of in these) and as we know those are made of solid gold or something. His price for the part is actually the same as europarts-sd.com. Says the crack allowed exhaust out and air in, screwing up the reading from the O2 sensor in turn screwing up the engine's fuel mixture in turns screwing up the cat. Based on the experience I had with my Mk2 GTI I do find it believeable. Also would like to do a tuneup while at it (plugs, cap, rotor) and replace O2 sensor. At 125K miles it's probably original and bad.

      Parts for all of that if I were to do it total about $1000 (manifold, cat, )2, tuneup, all assorted nuts and bolts and gaskets. it's 4 hours labor for the manifold (did this on my Mk2 GTI and I spent at least 8 hours trying to get that damned thing out) and about 6 hours for the rest of it (cat, tuneup, etc.) oh and also in there is a CV joint too. Even if I did it myself, it'd cost me $1K in parts and then it'd take me 2x as long to do it than him and countless hours out of my weekends. Plus I gotta get herman legal.

      And yes I know generic cats can be had for less, etc. but in CA you cannot any more use non-OEM products related to emissions. So unless I did the work myself, that is not an option. Also with the experience with my Mk2, I did have a generic cat on that and it passed smog once and failed the next one 2 years later. IDK why but you kinda get what u pay for. Many places will not even ship to CA either such parts due to the law.

      Yeah I could do it all myself for less but I don't have the time for this larger project like this, esp. when I gotta get him on the road and legal and registered. I can do shifter bushings, engine mounts, etc. but all this emissions stuff I don't really want to mess with myself to be honest.

      Oh yes...owning an old Volkswagen again...


    22. 09-29-2009 09:01 PM #22
      Matt-

      Welcome back to the nuthouse. You have always been an asset to this site. Glad to have you back.

      You might find the tranny mount is the culprit at idle.....a common problem and easy to replace. The rubber insert gives out. I couldn't find a source for the insert, so I bought the assembly from Europarts.

      About 25k later the insert didn't fail, but developed some play that I could notice. I just shimmed around the perimeter of insert so it was tight in the housing and it is good as new.


    23. 09-29-2009 09:17 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by tds3pete »
      Matt-

      Welcome back to the nuthouse.

      Thanks! Yes it takes a crazy bunch to deal w/these vans I agree and I'm fully one of them now I think.

      Quote, originally posted by tds3pete »
      You have always been an asset to this site. Glad to have you back.

      Thanks again!

      Quote, originally posted by tds3pete »
      might find the tranny mount is the culprit at idle.....a common problem and easy to replace. The rubber insert gives out. I couldn't find a source for the insert, so I bought the assembly from Europarts.

      Yeah these things are usually one pressed inside the other and not really meant to be separated. I get vibration at idle a little bit but the worst is really starting the car and when starting from a standstill. If the RPMs are below idle (during startup of when starting motion), the car shudders audibly big time.

      Think it's just the trans mount or should I get the kit of 3 and do 'em all?


    24. 09-30-2009 05:39 PM #24
      If it is an exhaust leak, and if you can find out where, it may be able to be welded in place.

      My O2 showed no signs of being bad/worn. After the replacement, the van was a lot smoother to drive.


    25. 09-30-2009 07:02 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by rensho »
      If it is an exhaust leak, and if you can find out where, it may be able to be welded in place.

      It's the exhaust manifold...classic 1993 T4 crack. I didn't see where myself though...the mechanic said it was cracked but I do believe it b/c in retrospect I swear I could hear it while driving.


    26. 09-30-2009 07:30 PM #26
      Sorry, I meant to say exhaust manifold.

      Not sure if it is cast iron, or steel tubular. Steel is easy to weld close. Cast is tricky, but a good welder and still close the hole for you.

      It may just be a gasket/interface leak. either tighten bolts, or new gasket and new bolts.

      Here's a towards hoping it is an easy fix.


    27. 09-30-2009 07:45 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by rensho »
      Sorry, I meant to say exhaust manifold.

      Not sure if it is cast iron, or steel tubular. Steel is easy to weld close. Cast is tricky, but a good welder and still close the hole for you.

      I got the cast iron one. Oh joy.

      Quote, originally posted by rensho »
      It may just be a gasket/interface leak. either tighten bolts, or new gasket and new bolts.

      Tech says crack. From my past experience, a loose bolt or interface leak makes the gasket flap around and makes a tap-tap-tap-tap sound on acceleration usually (this happened on my Mk2 GTI after I replaced the manifold on that and didn't torque it enough).

      Quote, originally posted by rensho »
      Here's a towards hoping it is an easy fix.

      Thanks, but it's an expensive fix. The OE one is cast iron. Judging from the price of the replacement, the new one is solid gold. Yes I checked europarts-sd and it's no cheaper there than what the mechanic is getting it for.

      Yes I know there might be other options (welding, etc.) but would that really last? I intend to keep this van for 4-5 years at least if not more so and never want to deal w/the manifold again. In fact after doing the manifold on my Mk2, I swore I never want to touch any exh. manifold ever again myself. This is one of those things that I'd just rather have someone else do. Like what if I break a stud (yeah, happened on Mk2)? Just don't want to repeat the process myself. Plus if I didn't have a full time job to go to, I'd try it, but being I wanna get this thing legal and registered, I just don't have time to do it myself on this issue.

      He also looked for a used one and couldn't find one. Would I really want that anyway? Nah...if it ain't cracked now, in 2-3 years it would be and I'd go thru this all over again. Yeah the new replacement might crack but it'd probably take 8-10 years to crack and not 2-3 like a used one or a repaired one.

      Also thought of switching to a tubular one but IIRC the '95 tubular is a dual outlet and so that means a downpipe change and that also appears to be made of solid gold judging by europarts-sd prices.

      Seems like this car has the same defects as my Mk2 GTI did but at parts prices 4x the Mk2 price.


      Modified by gti_matt at 4:46 PM 9-30-2009


    28. Member uncommonvw's Avatar
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      09-30-2009 08:57 PM #28
      Reading this post makes me rethink getting an EV at all.

      There is a 92 EV with a 5 speed advertised about 1.5 hrs away that I was thinking about. Now, I'm not so sure....I'd can hear the "I told you so" from the wife already


    29. 09-30-2009 09:12 PM #29
      Quote, originally posted by uncommonvw »
      Reading this post makes me rethink getting an EV at all.

      There is a 92 EV with a 5 speed advertised about 1.5 hrs away that I was thinking about. Now, I'm not so sure....I'd can hear the "I told you so" from the wife already

      Local to you is easy to walk away from if you don't like it, and easier to take it somewhere to get checked out. 400 miles from home via airplane on a Saturday and I was looking for about 4-6 weeks and not finding any meeting my specs locally and getting a pre-purchase inspection remotely all in one Sat. afternoon PLUS in time for a DMV visit before 5pm just isn't possible; it's all logistically more difficult. Plus had this been a car in California, the seller would be required to produce a passed smog no more than 90 days old for me and all this would have been avoided.

      In this case, I rolled the dice and I lost. But I'm dealing with my decision. Just don't gamble quite like I did and you'll be fine.


    30. 10-06-2009 12:37 PM #30
      Herman is back! All smog-related repairs have been done and also I had them replace the CV joint boot while at it. He passed smog pretty cleanly too. My NOx before was something like 3300ppm now ridiculously low at like 44ppm. CO also good now. HC good although still a smidge higher than I'd like but hopefully after some driving his exhaust system will clean itself out a little.

      Spent time under Herman last night and did some investigating. The rear transmission mount is defintely shot; I can reach up and shove the trans/engine around and see it bounce inside the mount quite a bit. Visually checked ball joints and tie rod ends and they don't look great, but they look "good enough" for now; I think my clunking is really the mount and not the suspension. I jacked up each front wheel and tried to shove it back and forth sideways and didn't get any clunking or movement to speak of so I suspect the balljoints and tie rod ends are not my clunking. If the mount truly is the culprit, I'll get that in this weekend and hopefully that'll be it. If that's it, the ball joints and tie rod ends will fall lower on my priority list.

      Looked at the hazard switch and it sure enough is snapped off. So I'm in for a new T/S lever (it's all one thing). Since I have cruise, it's the pricier lever.

      Tested the weak horns and both are working but are kinda "sick" sounding. Cleaned the contacts at the steering wheel and still weak. They're probably full of dust and crap, so I ordered two new horns (along with the trans mount and 1m of fabric-covered vacuum line (a few lines are a little frayed, can't hurt to have 1m on hand for misc things)).

      Oh after the tune-up, his idle is still lumpier than I'd like. The tach is solid and he has decent power and not misfiring on acceleration. However at idle is almost sounds as if he's misfiring even if he isn't (I would think he would have failed smog if he truly was misfiring and the repair place I'm sure would have caught it). Is this just a normal 5-cyl sound that I'm not used to? At idle he just kinda makes a "chugga-chugga-chugga" sound that sounds like a misfire even though he doesn't feel like he's misfiring.


    31. Member
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      10-06-2009 08:40 PM #31
      Wait and see what the new transmission mount does to the idle feel too.

      As for the horns....I'd have gone for one of the Stebel Nautilus horns. I replced my dinky OE horn with one of these puppies (not much bigger than the OE) and it's quite an improvement! http://www.griotsgarage.com/pr...ns.do

      As for the turn indicator....is it this one? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors...ories


      Modified by Seano at 11:48 AM 10-7-2009


    32. 10-06-2009 11:38 PM #32
      Quote, originally posted by Seano »
      Wait and see what the new transmission mount does to the idle feel too.

      Yep that's what I'm hoping for.

      Thanks for the recommendation on the horns but I already ordered two OE ones from europarts-sd.com.

      On the turn signal, that's almost it. I need the version w/cruise control. I found them at europarts, 1stvwparts.com, but trying a few people parting out used ones first.


    33. 10-08-2009 01:38 AM #33
      Herman got two new horns installed tonight and sounds much better. Also got a little vacuum line replaced. Trans mount arrived too but putting that in this weekend sometime.

    34. Member luckeydoug1's Avatar
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      08 TR R32, 12 TR Golf R (about to be traded for a Wrangler), 11 Blk Touareg Exec
      10-08-2009 08:00 PM #34
      We looked very hard this past summer for a replacement for Evie, our 2003 Eurovan MV with just over 70K. Bottom line... there is no adequate replacement for this vehicle currently available for this vehicle. Not one that drives and handles as well as it does, with plenty of power, people capacity (7), and load rating with decent mileage.

      So, we took it to our favorite, trusted mechanic with a list of what we thought should be looked at, and looked for his recommendations... Bottom line: new tires, shocks, tranny fluid and a couple of tie rods.

      This is the longest we have kept a first line vehicle, but like I said, there is no good substitute for the vehicle.


    35. 10-09-2009 12:20 AM #35
      Quote, originally posted by luckeydoug1 »
      like I said, there is no good substitute for the vehicle.

      Agreed. Actually as far as driving goes, the '93 with it's more slanted steering wheel feels ever so more like a van or bus than the newer models. Mine doesn't desperately need a new suspension, but new shocks and lowering a bit would help a lot; right now it drives like the tall top-heavy van that it is.

      However I am still impressed with the power. It's no drag racer but the I-5's 109hp feels like quite a bit more than it really is for moving a two-ton brick. I got a lot of noise issues b/c of the bad trans mount and missing belly pan, but I suspect those will subside somewhat after I rectify them.

      But you just can't beat the interior design and layout from a practicality and comfort standpoint. On my drive back from Tucson I was so pleased that the 17 year old seats were still supportive and far better than the seats in my one-year-old SLK (we hesitate at taking that car on anything longer than a 60 minute trip which is a shame). The same 6-hour drive in the SLK would have probably sent me to the chiropractor! Gotta love VAG-designed seats; IMHO VW has made some of the industry's best seats for the past three decades.

      The suspension overall is modern enough that it's not an ox-cart, yet simple enough to be maintainable by a DIY-er.

      The only downside is some of the major parts are just insensibly expensive. $700 for an exhaust manifold is just .


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