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:

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