The VWT25 is a popular van and camper, partly because it is both larger and cheaper than the older type 2 Splittie and bay windows. It was produced from 1980 to 1991. You will find the same model described as the Volkswagen T3 and Vanagon in the USA.
But many VW T25s are more than 20 years old, so it really pays to do your research and look at a number of vans before you buy. Rust and rot can cause problems and are expensive to repair, so take this manual with you to check for rust and rot with you when you look at it.
Ask the owner
If you talk to the owners, you get a good feeling for the history of the vehicle, how it is used and what maintenance it gets. Discover how often it is driven. Has it been taken off the road for a long time? You want to hear that the vehicle is used regularly or on holiday. Take your time, look at some examples and you will see what you can expect for your money.
Take a ladder, torch, magnet and some old clothes. Always test the vehicle and always look good during the day.
First body control
Now to the inspection. T 25 vans are all over 17 years old – so it is unlikely that the bodywork is perfect. First check for traces, dents and ripples in the body panels by looking along the sides.
Then use your magnet if you find suspicious stains or lumps to tell you how much filler is underneath the paintwork. It is possible that the vehicle has had a serious accident.
Determine whether you can live with some imperfections or are happy to pay someone to do the job.
Check the seams
Check the body sores – this is important. Most of the rust on the VW t25s starts between the body panels and you will see it under the paint. To carry out the repair, sandblast the old seal between the panels, treat the area and repaint.
Also check that all seams that must be present there are there. Sometimes they are welded or filled (use the & # 39; fridge magnet again & # 39;) and of course there may be something dirty that lurks.
Another important area to check is the roof. Stand on your ladder and look around the gutters – they can be another problem area for rust. if there is a pop-top, check where it is confirmed – this can also be a problem, especially with less professional and do-it-yourself conversions.
The chassis is very strong and does not often have serious rust problems. But the front steps and the rear wheel arches can be affected, just like the battery drawer, so check them carefully. Also check for rust under the front wheel arches. This can cause rust within 30 cm of a suspension or belt attachment, so it can be an APK fault and make the VW T25 illegal. Lift the carpets to look at the belt attachments and make sure they are rustproof.
Also check the fuel tank, which can rot at the top! A cavity at the top has been designed to fit into some model variations, which is ideal for collecting dirt and moisture, after which rust collapses.
Check the windows
Look carefully at the edges of the window because rust can be a problem here and also check the window rubbers for wear. They can be replaced quite easily, but are an expensive item. Check for leaks in the long term, as these can damage internal fittings, such as cabinets or chairs, and cause corrosion. At the front, leaking rubbers on the windshield can mean that water is well in the foot, so lift the mats to check for rust.
So there you are – a quick but comprehensive guide to checking bodywork and rust when you are looking for a VW T-25 or Vanagon van or camper.