Have a 1993 VW Eurovan with the 2.5 litre 5 cylinder. Only 79,xxx original miles, all stock with nothing adulterated. Brand spanking new C rated Michelin tires all around on stock steel 15" wheels with stock clean hub caps. Fixed A/C and it blows super cold all three rows (even on the 100+ degree days!).
Now the nitty gritty: I changed all the fluids and ran Rislone in the Oil and Techron in the fuel to clean everything up. It has sat for over 3 years before I bought it and it has developed several problems in the last 6 weeks. The engine will infrequently blow out blue and or black smoke. I assume from the valve stem seals when it gets loaded up idling at a long stop light, otherwise the engine runs great and strong and has started everytime, no problems since the new battery!
Transmission shifts well. Likes to hang third gear a little and then thump into fourth gear but I figure its a trait of these underpowered vehicles.
Exhaust rattle. Infrequent and only at a certain idle. Have been advised its the Cat. Could get an aftermarket fit piece for under $70 or straight pipe it.
Slight rattle with engine speed increase. Most likely an idler pulley. Worse case scenario, mal adjusted lifters. Not even certain if these engines have the solid or hydraulic lifters. If solid, just needs to be clearanced with new shims.
The big headache: Had a blown boot on the outside passenger axle. Replaced the whole half shaft with no resolve to the following problem:
Intermittent knocking while cruising. AND, only in right turns there is a god awful grinding, humming and slight pulling sound/feeling. Could make left turns at 35+ mph with just a little 'whir' from the tires, but 15 mph in a right turn is catastrophic sounding. Have been told its bearings and could involve some hub chewing.
Coolant and fuel gauge work sporadically. Have been told excessive vibration will shake solder joints loose and its a problem with the gauge set that's easily repairable. Speedo, ODO and tach work fine.
Bottom line, the body and interior are in phenomenal condition regardless of age or mileage and could be even better with a thorough cleaning and buffing. Very few, very minor rust spots (only spots thus far, not pitting) that were spray painted over by PO.
Overall, its nice, but I'm not sure if I feel like putting the time or money into this thing. It drove fine before I bought it and the following week but has developed these problems with continued use. Looking to unload it for $2800 or at the minimum get some advice and hints from the forum about the problems I listed above so I'm not just hunting and randomly putting parts into it, cuz clearly the new axle fixed nothing.
Any help in this scenario or interest to see it are quite welcomed. Uncertain how to host/post pics so if you want some I will email them as requested or if in the Southwest Florida area you can see in person. PM, email, or just post. Thank you!