can you tell me what might be wrong with this 86 vanagon engine?

Asked by Sep 05, 2011 at 01:40 PM about the 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

hi. i found this 86 vanagon for sale on my local craigslist. he's asking 3000. the bus
looks to be in good shape cosmetically, and he says it's been well taken care of and
put in over 3k in parts, BUT the engine is making this anemic ticking sound. i'd be
packing this van full and moving to northern michigan (8 hour drive from where i
am), so i need to be sure it's sound enough to get where i need to go.

i was wondering if any of you experts out there could tell me (or at least give your
best educated guess) what the problem is here, and how much it would cost to fix it,
cause money is tight. repair issues could be a deal breaker. thanks ahead of time for
any input.

link to video of the engine:

1 Answer


The noise coming from the engine is the lifters. Most of the time you can just replace the lifters ($18 a piece, 8 total) and the pushrod tubes ($90 a set). It is not that hard of a job. If it has any miles on it, it would not hurt to have a H.D. oil pump put on it as well. I replaced the oil pump, lifters and pushrod tubes on mine to get rid of the very same noise. If I had to pack up and move eight hours away I would not buy a Vanagon. I would buy a Chevy pickup with a camper shell. Yes it is lame compared to the the Vanagon, but I wouldn't trust any 25 year old German car to haul all of my belongings eight hours away without driving it first for a couple of months. That is just my .02 cents... Good Luck!! Oh yeah parts plug:

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • 1990 Vanagon GL 4 answers

    I am thinking of buying a used Vanagon and would like to ask some opinion if the car I am buying is a good deal. I used to owned a 1984 Vanagon and very familiar about the layout of this engine. Since...

    1990 Volkswagen Vanagon


    Shopping & Pricing

  • What's my Vanagon Worth? 4 answers

    I have a 1988 Vanagon GL. Second owner. The van was t-boned in a fender bender many years ago, and because of the damage to all three main side panels, the insurance claimed it was a total loss. The...

    1988 Volkswagen Vanagon GL Passenger Van


    Shopping & Pricing

  • what is the biggest weakness? 4 answers

    My son is looking at possibly buying one of these for a lengthy trip with his girlfriend (he's 22). It has only 17,000km on a rebuilt engine but the vehicle has 221,000. Auto trans and some camperizi...

    Volkswagen Vanagon


    Shopping & Pricing

  • What questoins to ask seller of a 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon L 3 answers

    Hello to all. I miraculously found a 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon L in my area's craiglist and it is rather cheap for about $600, which makes me a bit skeptical. The description is rather ambiguous, readin...

    1983 Volkswagen Vanagon


    Shopping & Pricing

  • 87 Vanagon Leaking Fluids 2 answers

    I brought drove my 87 Vanagon from central California to central oregon about three weeks ago just before the last snow storm. It sat and froze for a week. After the though and when it was warm en...

    1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Wolfsburg Passenger Van


    Maintenance & Repair

Get More Money for Your Car
Be seen by 20 million shoppers. Create Your Free Listing

Search Volkswagen Vanagon Questions

Volkswagen Vanagon Experts

#1 Scott Sr.
Scott Sr.
Reputation 860
#2 Ryan Redenbaugh
Ryan Redenbaugh
Reputation 250
#3 chassy
Reputation 200
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Jeep Wrangler
277 Great Deals out of 18,163 listings starting at $2,950
Used Ford F-150
2,198 Great Deals out of 206,316 listings starting at $1,499
Used Volkswagen GTI
69 Great Deals out of 6,965 listings starting at $1,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.