I cannot put my 1990 VW Vanagon into gear when started.

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Asked by Apr 18, 2013 at 12:19 AM about the 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon GL Passenger Van

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi.  When I go to turn on my 1990 VW Vanagon, I push the clutch in like always, but I have to make sure the shifter is in neutral before I do so.  If not, it won't start.  When I push in the clutch, it feels like it's too light.  When I try to start it in reverse, it's like the clutch is not in at all, making the van hop like you're not pushing in the clutch.  When started, with the clutch in, I cannot put the shifter into any gears, like it won't go in.  When I push the shifter down to the floor and try to push it into gear, the idle drops as if it will die out.  I can put it into reverse, but the van dies out completely.  It's like the clutch fully disengaged somewhere.  Can anyone help me with this, please?

18 Answers

yes your master clutch and slave clutch cylinder have called it quits~ they are not too expensive to replace, if you were brave and did not mind working with brake fluid soaked rags, you could rebuild both yourself, replacing the seals and polishing off the bores with a rag. will fetcha prices in a min---let's beat 'em down~

Best Answer Mark helpful

Well here's the master (kinda pricey, might do local)-

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

That's awesome. I really appreciate it and I am totally down to do the work. Guess I'm gonna have to get that manual now...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

and the slave too~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

you should buy just the kits and save ye self some scratch...lemme see-

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

hey judge_roy, I was wondering if you might know about the brakes as well? My brake pedal goes almost all the way down to the floor before I get pressure for them to engage to stop. Do you know how I could fix that? Just bleed the brakes?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

...well lugs have been coming up empty on the clutch master/slave rebuilding kits...probably gonna have to shell out a bit of scratch to get both of these goodies...we'll have to do a brake inspection and adjustment, if the pedal is going to the floor, sadly you're gonna need a master cylinder and inspection of the hoses and operation of the caliper slides and vented rotors if it has them to see if both sides are wearing evenly if the caliper slides are still slidin' and how much 'meat' is left on the pads...in the rear of course we have wheel cylinders take the drum off and inspect too see how much 'meat' there is at the narrowest point, pry the seals open a bit with a screwdriver to see if the wheel cylinders are worn~ replace all defective parts, top off and bleed with fresh fluid...have a little kid help you who knows how to push when you ask to push~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
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haha that's awesome. I'm sure I could find some little guys running around. well, thank you for all your help. I just inherited this beauty from my father in law and I plan to make it shine. I really appreciate it a lot.

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4,845

http://www.busdepot.com/vw/0/1/4/0/80/

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
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hey thanks scott. i appreciate your help. i'll probably work on it in a few days. thank you

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While you're at it....you probably need to flush, fill and bleed the coolant system. Check out www.vanagon.com for a neat community of folks with Vanagons, Syncros and Westies. Lots of good tech tips, too.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
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yeah...i've been looking for as much as i can so that i don't screw this up. thanks for your help again. im really looking forward to fixing her up. i appreciate it.

4,845

A lot of folks malign the Vanagon...but it's hard to find a vehicle that carries 7 people as comfortably as it does. Sure, it take some special, regular car...it ain't fast...it ain't pretty. But, it has heart and character. Consider yourself lucky. Be sure to pick up a Bentley manual for it soon. It's worth the money. We'll be here if you have more questions.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
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Yeah, will do. The van is actually pretty quick when it was running. The exterior and the interior are both in great condition. Just a few fixes like this one and it'll be prime. Thanks again Scott.

wishing you to have a beautiful machine~ roy

4,845

When you get it running then we'll talk about putting a Subaru engine in it...Vanagon WRX?

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haha..right?! that would be awesome

4,845

People are doing it...for real.

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