Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby momof3 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:26 pm

BUMP over the spammer.
We agree to disagree.
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Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby Ripsigg » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:36 am

thisisreallycomplicated wrote:
ABIII wrote:check out this club kleinbus.cl
always best to consult with the fanatics

I missed that one (cuz it's all in Spanish) thanks

ABIII wrote:and your legs are your front bumper

That's the part that worries me. Maybe the extra fear would cause me to drive more carefully, so it would actually be safer? I need to find some way to rationalize this.

ABIII wrote:the design is of course as simple as it gets
breakdowns can be handled by anyone on the continent, hopefully yourself (get this book http://www.amazon.com/How-Keep-Your-Vol ... gmgamzn-20 )

That's one thing I really like about these. There's less that can go wrong, and I can probably fix it myself.


I downloaded a collection of Bug Me VW repair videos. Just about everything in that manual and more is shown by example for the layman to do.

My wife and I have discussed getting a VW Kombi next June when we make our trip throughout South America(Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina) looking for a place to settle down for awhile. From what I see, Paraguay is about the cheapest and easiest place in South America to buy one.......they start at about $2000 and up. Other ones we are looking at are the VW bugs that start at about half that price and the Mercedes 240D starting at about the same $2000.

Just curious, what's the difference between diesel and gasoline prices in Chile and Argentina?
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Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:41 am

Ripsigg wrote:I downloaded a collection of Bug Me VW repair videos. Just about everything in that manual and more is shown by example for the layman to do.

My wife and I have discussed getting a VW Kombi next June when we make our trip throughout South America(Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina) looking for a place to settle down for awhile. From what I see, Paraguay is about the cheapest and easiest place in South America to buy one.......they start at about $2000 and up. Other ones we are looking at are the VW bugs that start at about half that price and the Mercedes 240D starting at about the same $2000.

I started looking at Mercedes vans today, and I'm wondering if they'd be safer than Kombis. And from what I've read so far, they can get much better mileage than I expected. Better than Kombis I think, and they're bigger too. But maybe they're more expensive to maintain? Buying a Kombi is typically cheaper though, and there's probably a lot more diy maintenance info available for them.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin
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Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby ABIII » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:39 am

since Mercedes care really depends on your mechanic,
find out first who services them in your area,
go talk to them about the vans
see if they give you the time of day, if they like the idea, and ask them about spares and average cost of fixing normal stuff.
MB has a reputation for well built gear, but after a long stint as a service vehicle, they will all have issues.
clearly the kombi by VW was not built for safety, but perhaps you might say in it's low rate of speed lies its protection.
also, you don't need to check that there is a VW mechanic where you will be going, anyone with a sense of how things work and perhaps a manual can make it run. Parts are plentiful in Chile.

I have seen a few of the MB vans, many with colorful non standard license plates (zona franca, euro plates, etc). they look good, and are diesel.
Based in Chile - 1990
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Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:24 pm

ABIII wrote:since Mercedes care really depends on your mechanic,
find out first who services them in your area,
go talk to them about the vans
see if they give you the time of day, if they like the idea, and ask them about spares and average cost of fixing normal stuff.
MB has a reputation for well built gear, but after a long stint as a service vehicle, they will all have issues.
clearly the kombi by VW was not built for safety, but perhaps you might say in it's low rate of speed lies its protection.
also, you don't need to check that there is a VW mechanic where you will be going, anyone with a sense of how things work and perhaps a manual can make it run. Parts are plentiful in Chile.

I have seen a few of the MB vans, many with colorful non standard license plates (zona franca, euro plates, etc). they look good, and are diesel.

I did a bunch of searching, and I think a Mercedes is going to be a lot more expensive. One of the cheapest I found was 3.2 million. And it has 250,000 km on it, so it's probably going to need some expensive maintenance. Some of the better Kombis are about half that price, with lower mileage. And they're cheap enough that I don't think I'd worry about getting collision insurance. So I'm still leaning toward the Kombi. I'd be much happier though if I could find a way to protect my legs in case of a front end collision. A bull bar is an option, but they apparently create other safety issues.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin
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Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby ExpatBob » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:38 pm

If you put a bull bar on a kombi, it will be like putting a bull bar on a soda can. Really, there is not much you can do to make a kombi safe, hence the price and ease-of-maintenance factor. They are disposable. And, like ABIII said, the low rate of speed is its inherent method of defense.
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Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:17 am

ExpatBob wrote:If you put a bull bar on a kombi, it will be like putting a bull bar on a soda can. Really, there is not much you can do to make a kombi safe, hence the price and ease-of-maintenance factor. They are disposable. And, like ABIII said, the low rate of speed is its inherent method of defense.

I'm thinking of something like a roll cage, but just for your legs. And build a new seat that's attached to it, and mount it to the floor in a way that will allow the whole thing to be shoved backwards in a front end collision, instead staying where it is, and getting crushed (I really need my legs). The biggest problem is the seat sits on a raised part of the floor where the front wheels are, and that might get in the way. But it might still work. The most important thing though, would probably be to improve the brakes and suspension to make it easier to avoid an accident in the first place. And drive really defensively.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin
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Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby ExpatBob » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:35 am

Mission creep.
Just get a kombi for what it is and enjoy it :)
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Re: old VW Kombi vans

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:02 am

ExpatBob wrote:Mission creep.

Not really. My mission is surviving, with my legs and feet intact:) So I'll either:
1. Figure out a simple way to make the Kombi safer. I have some ideas that might work.
2. Decide it's safe enough as is (what you're saying). And learn how to drive it more defensively.
3. Find another option. Maybe a Vanagon? They're built like tanks, but I don't really like them. At least not yet.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin
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