VW LT Westfalia Florida Buyers Guide

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Thanks go out to Hannibal for kicking this hopefully useful guide off…

Bodywork Steering
Engine Service history
Gearbox and Diff. Other things…
Water Heater Vents & windows
Space Heater Seating
Fridge Lighting / Plug sockets
Gas hob The Table’s
Shower /Toilet Waste tank
Cab area
Engine cover

What to look out for …


Rust, like all old vehicles theres going to be some rust some where.
Area’s to look at ..

  • Around the windscreen , seals leak causing rust not only to the outer panel but to the inner one , sometimes simply by pressing the outer panel you can hear the inner one falling apart.
  • Also the area around the outer areas of the windscreen where the pillar meets the cross panel.
  • The area behind the bumper , anyone who has owned a T3/25 will know this well.
  • The panel where the fridge vents are.
  • All seams
  • Gutter area’s.
  • Inner wings , mud and salt collects here and will attract the legendary tin-worm.
  • Inner steps , both front and the slider one.
  • Cab floors. Now if the windscreen or indicators are leaking then water will collect under the sound proofing and slowly eat away the metal.

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Ok some say it has to be TD, but I have a 2.4D and its ok ,slow on long hills but its OK. Been all over Europe and the UK in her so yeah its OK.
Like all diesels check for smoke from cold. But remember its a big old lump so if its still coughing and farting after say 5 minutes then time to look deeper.
Rough starting , glow plugs ? Air in the system ? Glow plug relay ? Glow plug fuse/s ( there are 2) , old fuel , air filter old and clogged , fuel filters old and clogged/ full of water.
Other things to look out for , inter cooler leaks , turbo not doing it thing , power steering pipes leaking , coolant pipes leaking.
Most of the above can be sorted out fairly easy. Pipes can be made up at say PerTek , and parts can be sourced ebay etc.
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Gearbox and Diff.

If they are wining or if the gear can not be selectored then maybe think ££££ or walk away.
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All parts are available from German Ebay , much cheaper than in the UK.
Ok if its not PAS then don’t think all is lost , just learn to drive it.
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Service history

Look for receipts for the belts being done in the last 5 years . Not a big or expensive job but it is something to help bring the price down if buying.
Other stuff like oil , filter etc depends on the owner ,I do all my own but save receipts when I remember.
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Other things ..

  • Towbar is a bonus.
  • Roof box is a bonus
  • Make sure the roof bars are OK but expect maybe a bend or lose bolts.
  • Bike rack is a bonus.
  • Kayak rack is a BONUS.
  • Tyre / wheel size , read up about this. A few members are fitting Ford Transit (16?s)  (more here)
  • Now Mr VW updated the LT and gave her a face lift again the choice is yours.
  • Head Lights , I have both LHD and RHD sets so best of both worlds and it takes 5 minutes to change them.

Remember read other forums , Brickyard is a good start (here’s a thread Tim started when he bought his, and here’s Chappy’s legendary Winter Fettling thread), theres loads out there , and a daft question will always be answered , cause we have all been there.

For sourcing secondhand Florida & SVen Hedin parts start with sourcing the part number from the online EKTA site here: oemepc.com (link to 1989 Florida page)
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Water , make sure all the taps work , both hot and cold and in the shower. The original ones will be getting old and loads have been replaced.
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Water Heater

Make sure the boiler works ,again take your time read more on Brickyard about this (Chappy Thread) . Now the boiler only works on gas so make sure its turned on and getting the supply. There are two valves on the LPG tank and 4 in the rear cupboard next to the fridge. Make sure you understand how this work. OK back to the boiler , some will work only when the van is nice and level , others work at more acute angles. Sometimes the boiler may take a few starts to fire up.
The water tank is under the rear seat , check that for leaks , make sure the sender is working as is the pump. The filler is out side on the rear panel , make sure you have the key for the cap.
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Ebberspacher . Like all ebbers a good supply of electricity is needed , so if the leisure battery is on its way out or lacking charge then it will not start up. Simple trick start the engine , make sure the leisure is getting a good voltage and then fire it up. Again service parts are available but may take some tracking down , check your local Ebberspacher place. Again check that diesel supply is getting to the unit and the pump is well pumping … tick tick tick. Another thing is to check all the vents both inlet and outlet , and the exhaust. Main fuse for the ebber is next to the leisure battery under the rear seat. Again check the rotating thermostat isn’t broken , very hard to find a replacement , but other controllers can be fitted.
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Its a 3 way , so check it on gas , 12v and 240v .. simple to work on and parts are available. Remember it will take a hour or so to chill down . Check the auto sparker is working , quick test turn the gas off and it should start ticking .
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Gas Hob

Again simple , check it has a good clean flame and that the gas turns itself off is the flame goes out , easy repair if the thermocouple if not working.
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Shower /Toilet

Check its all ok and working. The toilet is stored in the area to the right and is held in place with a fabric/leather belt.
Now some of us have replaced the toilet with a fix one that you have to empty via a put out. But more on that at another time.
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Roof vents

Check for cracks and that the vent goes right up . Again replacements are available via ebay.
Side upper windows , can blow off if not closed , and replacements are very hard to find.
Lower windows , again I think you can get them via Gunzls but £££ .. Replacement seals are also available.
Blinds , very hard to find , as are the fastening. So check that the clips are all good.
Curtains , check the cab one is there. Nothing out of the ordinary , check the state of them.
Cupboards , check the condition of them.
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Seating / Beds / pockets

Check the condition of the fabric , foam , zippers etc.
Now the bed is made up of two rock’n’roll ones so check the mechs on them , theres a little catch and spring on the hinge that fails. Again simple things that need checking. The front seat should side easy simply. Check the seat belts while your there.
Again the vans are getting old so the foam may need replacing at some point.

Rubbish bin , again these are replaceable. (ebay)
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Lighting / Plug sockets

Old style tubes that are easy to replace with led strip or tube.
240v sockets , again these are easy to replace with UK ones is you fancy. Again check the trip fuse on the rear panel.
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The Table’s

Ok there are 2 . a little pop up one , make sure it locks into place.
The big dining table is stored behind the rear seat , check the condition of this and the fittings. TIP , check out the above cab storage for the table , much easier to use and there is no where to put the table when the bed is down ?!!.
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Waste tank

Again nothing special , check for leaks and that the drain tap is ok . Tip if your driving along and you get a very strange smell in the cab , like gas or rotten eggs , chances are its your waste tank , bleach or bleach tablets do the trick.
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Cab area

Again check the seats , fabric of the seat , arm rests and seat belts.
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Ok again nothing special , check all the switches work as they should , check the blower works and is blowing on all 3 settings . Check the slide controllers.
Now rev counters came on later vans and are like rocking horse shit , but a VDO one will do the job and take the feed off the W terminal on the back of the alternator.
Glove box , theres an under storage pocket that was available as an add on. Again hard to find.
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Engine cover

Two types , one with just the hatch for checking the oil , the other has 2 hatches one for checking the coolant.
I also thing (iirc) that the very early vans had a different hatch. But do your research.
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Radios , most will have been replaced so check the wiring etc.
Led bulbs in the lights.

Now swivel bases , I’ve only done my passenger side but again more on that at a later date.

Hope this is of some help , feel free to add to this as its a work in progress…
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