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Average User Score
3.4 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 5 reviews
1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 5 reviews
Several features distinguish the 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon from previous models. Perhaps the most significant upgrade was a more powerful engine. Starting in 1986 and continuing through the end of its U.S. run in 1991, the Vanagon was equipped with a 2.1-liter water-cooled four-cylinder engine that generated 95 horsepower, up from 83 horsepower the previous year. The engine used an updated fuel-injection system called the Digifant.
A four-speed manual transmission was standard, while a three-speed automatic was optional. The rear-wheel-drive vehicle was also equipped with rack and pinion steering, power-assisted brakes, and front and rear independent suspension.
The '86 Vanagon also came with rectangular rather than round headlights, which distinguished the late-'80s models from the early-'80s versions. And from 1986 on, the Vanagon came with an optional air conditioner that was significantly improved over earlier versions.
The Vanagon was available in a number of different trim packages, including the standard Vanagon L, the higher-end GL, the Vanagon Camper, and the GL Camper. A limited-edition Wolfsburg Edition was also available in mid-1986.
Standard features included front bucket seats, leatherette upholstery, carpeting, tinted glass, a rear window defogger, and a padded instrument panel. The Vanagon GL added deluxe front seats and velour upholstery, among other features. Synchro all-wheel-drive was also available on certain models.
While drivers appreciated the Vanagon's flexibility and functionality, many also noted that it often needed expensive repairs. The manual transmission and cylinder heads in particular were noted by drivers as commonly needing repairs.
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Volkswagen Vanagon Questions
Does My 1986 Vw Westfalia Have An Interference Engine?
My friend has a 1993 vw vanagaon and needs a new engine because her timing belt went out and caused problems with her pistons. She was told she has an interference engine. I have a 1986 vw Westfalia...
Wiring Diagram Or Tech Advice For Radiator Fan Wiring On 86 Westy Weekender...
This is for a 1986 Westy Weekender, 2.1L auto. Need wiring diagram or help with radiator fan wiring. The connector has 3 wires going in to 3 adjacent spade lugs, but inside the connector boot the two...
1. Is A 1986 Vanagon Watercooled? Inline? How Can I Find Bhp?
Two Fuel Filters?
I am replacing the fuel filter on a 1986 VW Vanagon GL and I notice that there is a white plastic box in the fuel line before the main fuel filter. I have been told that some Vanagons have two fuel ...