87 Vanagon Leaking Fluids

Asked by Nov 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM about the 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Wolfsburg Passenger Van

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

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 enough, I
started the engine and let it run. I later
added coolant and drove it a few miles a
day for the past week. Now oil and coolant
are pouring out from under neath the
engine. Is this a cracked block? What is the
potential cost for this fix? What is the most
I could sell the vanagon for if this is the

Thank you for your help!
Baja Cruz

2 Answers


Sounds like a cracked block since coolant AND oil are leaking. If it was just coolant I'd suspect a popped freeze plug. A cracked block means that the engine is done. A popped freeze plug is cheap to replace IF it's easily accessible. Some vehicles require the engine to be removed. So the labor for that freeze plug will be a lot! HTH. -Jim


I believe the only water jackets on the 2.1 Wasserboxer are in the heads. You may be lucky and only split the head gaskets as the aluminum is somewhat resilient. That being said, the end result may be the same...a new engine. To remove and machine the heads and regasket the beast might be as much as putting a reman unit in there... Get on Craigslist and The Samba a scour for decent used motors. Gotta be 86 or newer 2.1 or the wire harness and injection system may not match up. If you're wrenching much on the Vanagon, get yourself a Bentley manual...it's a good investment. Websites like Vanagon dot com and GOWesty have great forums for information and advice. Best of luck... go save your Vanagon!

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