Chief pete the Westfalia

Still in Love with the Van

I haven’t written about my van Chief Pete in almost a year so I thought it important to announce that yes! I still have him and yes! I’m still very much in love with him and no! There are no plans to part ways.

Here are some things I did with him this year, besides driving. I saved a lot of money by doing all the work myself, but still, it’s obvious I still spend what little money I do have on this Vanagon. Hey! He’s my home!

Painting projects

Repack passenger front wheel bearings

Where are my pictures for this? I mostly wish I had a picture of how I rode my mountain bike 10 miles with the rotor in my backpack so that they could help me remove the old bearings at Les Schwab. They certainly loved seeing me pull the big, heavy rotor out of a backpack when I arrived!

New transaxle and clutch, and CV repacking

This transaxle had bad 2nd gear engaging teeth and a broken 3rd gear c-clip - time for a rebuilt transaxle. Why not? Vanagon 1.9L flywheel vanagon 1.9L clutch I replaced this water hose from the left head while I was at it, which meant dumping and replacing the coolant again - second time in four months. Not cheap when you're using Pentosin. The water hose I didn't trust so much anymore.


New fuel delivery system

I had some phantom issues with fuel delivery and figured that since my gas tank (and all the hoses leading from it) was 30 years old, it couldn’t hurt to get in there and replace some things. I got a Spectra 251201075AH tank because I had already eliminated the small square inline fuel pre-filter and the hose to the fuel filter is 12mm, and because I have a 48mm filler hose (inlet). That worked out perfectly, and makes my 1983.5 van like a 1984 van.

Fuel system

volkswagen fuel expansion tank Old fuel system hoses just break off. My new gas tank and a new fuel level sender. Just preemptive maintenance on the sender, really. Who wants my old tank and sender?

Miscellaneous “small stuff”


IMG_0600 alternator wiring harness vanagon vanagon sliding door handle

There were some other things I did for this van like

  • replacing some old wiring (I’m still chasing down old wires with high resistance)
  • new shifter tabs under the van in the shifter box – the old ones were in BAD shape
  • new plastic radiator baffles – the old ones were cardboard and in BAD shape
  • new stainless steel luggage rack tie downs – the old ones were pure rust
  • new Bosch oxygen sensor