1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Camper Van 3-Door 2.0L Bostig conversion

Price: - Item location: Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Model: Bus/Vanagon
  • Type: Van Camper
  • Trim: Campmobile Van Camper 3-Door
  • Year: 1983
  • Mileage: 217,920
  • VIN: WV2ZB0253DH105845
  • Color: Orange
  • Engine size: 2.0L DOHC Ford Zetec from '03 Ford Focus (Bostig)
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Brown
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1983 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon

1983.5 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia camper w/2.0L Ford Zetec engine conversion (Bostig)

Additional photos available here

This van is in overall great condition considering its age and mileage and is ready for adventures; all camper features are present and working, the engine conversion runs reliably and smoothly, and the body is straight with a gorgeous "Le Mans Sunset" metallic orange paint job to replace the faded OEM brown. Many upgrades and improvements have been made over the years, but here is the recent work (all but the most trivial items done by professional mechanics).

Previous owner was a mechanic and claimed to have replaced all the brakes, clutch, rear transaxle CV seals, repacked bearings, and replaced windshield shortly before we purchased it in 2009 with 183k miles on the chassis on 32k miles on the 2.0L Zetec engine. He performed the engine conversion using Bostig's V1 kit. Since then, we have put another 35k miles of mostly highway miles on it. It hasn't seen much action over the past year aside from a couple trips from Seattle to N. Idaho. Otherwise here is a summary of upgrades and work done:


  • Bostig engine conversion: 2.0L Ford Zetec I4 DOHC engine installed, estimated ~70k miles on engine (PO installed and claimed 32k miles on swap and we've put 35k of mostly highway miles on it since) - this is a huge upgrade over the unreliable and slow 1.9L, with a bump to 135hp over the 90hp stock along with modern engine management features and full OBD-II compatibility.
  • Original 4 spd manual transaxle replaced with rebuilt AA Transaxle unit by Eion's Automotive in Seattle
  • Bilstein HD shocks all around
  • New starter
  • New ignition switch
  • Front-end suspension: tie-rod ends, ball joints replaced and worn-out rubber bushings swapped for T3 Techniques polyurethane


  • Body professionally stripped and repainted in "Le Mans Sunset" orange (a Nissan OEM color)
  • No known rust issues
  • All new rubber seals and gaskets on body (window glass, windshield, pop-top, sliding door)
  • South African front grille and round Bosch headlights
  • 15" GoWesty euro-look alloys mounted with Nokian Entyre 205/75/r15, lots of life remaining in tread
  • South African VW logo mud flaps all around
  • New synthetic canvas pop-top tent from GoWesty
  • Camper water/electrical hookups moved down from problematic side location where water typically intrudes and causes rust (plus it looks way better!)


  • Wood laminate floor installed
  • Additional wood drawer installed under refrigerator
  • Interior paneling and headliner replaced
  • Sound deadening applied liberally while interior was out
  • Old, non-functional A/C removed and replaced with piano-hinged custom storage cabinet
  • New TruckFridge electric refrigerator installed in place of stock Dometic unit (huge improvement)
  • Optima auxiliary battery with isolator installed under driver seat - we've run the fridge for days in summer heat and the TruckFridge + aux battery combo had no problems at all keeping everything cold
  • Front/rear speakers replaced, interior wired for amplifier/sub

Known Issues:

  • Propane regulator can be finicky: Although the stove works, the propane tank/regulator are 30+ y/o OEM items and should be replaced by an RV shop
  • Front heater switch gear is finicky/sticky and missing plastic knobs
  • Upholstery/carpet is fair, but could use freshening up
  • Ding from a rock on oil pan acquired on a forest road
  • Fuel filler hose and gas tank need resealing (fumes during/after refueling)
  • Sliding door lock mechanism either doesn't work from outside or isn't keyed properly (PO may have replaced sliding door - lock mechanism works fine from inside and this never really bothered us enough to address)
  • Front passenger side brake sometimes squeaks when the wheel is turned right of center and the pedal is not depressed - mechanics have looked at it and assured us it's nothing to worry about.
  • Interior carpets/upholstery are rough in places.
  • Missing front curtain (although other curtains + mosquito net are all present)
  • Could use a better muffler
  • Needs a new stereo head unit - the detachable faceplate became flaky and eventually stopped working entirely just recently


Overall, it looks fantastic and drives nicely. The bump in power and driveability over stock due to the Bostig conversion is immediately noticeable (for more details, seehttp://www.vanagon.org/why-we-chose-bostigorwww.bostig.com)- the engine revs smoothly and easily to 7k RPM, handles mountain passes and highway merging with aplomb and has been largely trouble free over the 35k miles/7 years we've owned it. While it's not perfect by any means, it's a mechanically sorted Westy with a great looking paint job/body, nice camper upgrades and a ton of character. Because of all the great experiences we've had in it and the effort put into improving it, it is tough to finally let it go. We are only selling it because we somewhat recently acquired an even nicer and better equipped van from my dad and can't justify owning two of them.

Terms of Sale

Vehicle is offered AS IS with no warranty or guarantees of any kind implied, and sales are final. Questions and/or inspection are welcome and encouraged before bidding. $250 non-refundable deposit is due immediately after the end of the auction via debit or credit card. Payment accepted in cash or bank certified funds only. Buyer is responsible for shipping. Serious bids only please!