Should I replace the transmission in my Vanagon?

Asked by Jul 28, 2011 at 12:30 AM about the 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 1983 vanagon needs a new transmission.  The price is just above $2k.  Before
moving forward with it we decided to have an engine compression test done.  The
results were: Engine compression: #1 - 120 psi, #2 - 125 psi, #3 - 110 psi, #4 - 90
psi.  The results of the other test (oil pressure) were excellent. You have about 30
psi at idle and 50-55 psi at higher rpms.

We won't be able to afford an engine rebuild for a couple years.   So my question
is: would you spend the money on the tranny now with the risk that the engine will
crap out or would you save the money, sell the van, and get a new one.


2 Answers


If you can't afford the tranny and the engine repair (say 5 grand), what makes you think you can get a new one by selling the one you have? Your 83 with a bad tranny and questionable engine won't get you $2000. Roll the dice and get the tranny rebuilt.

1 people found this helpful.

I believe you can get a used transmission for about 800 bucks or less. Try to do it this way. I found one but in Mexico and it cost a lot less but it was many years ago. It wasn't easy because in Mexico they don't have this type of Vanagon, but they import by the container many transmissions from Germany and some of these were for your type of van. I think it cost me about 250 dollars and it included the labor to put it in. Don't buy a new transmission.

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