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Re: T3 Rebuild Longevity 160K

On Thu, 21 Nov 1996, Keith Park wrote:

> HI!
>      Saw your posting and was impressed with the 160K on your rebuild. Would you
> be willing to reveal what brand parts you used?  I've been burned by cheap 
> engine parts before and when looking for advice its very hard to find anyone 
> with alot of miles on their rebuild and I beleive the proof is in the pudding!
>      Do you do mostly highway cruising or is it around town?
>      I have 52K on my latest rebuild now and can't complain, but I feel I may 
> have been able to use better parts yet.  I drive mostly highway at 70mph and it seems happy.


For the most part, I don't attribute the life of the rebuild (160K to 
date) to the parts used during the rebuild, but to A LOT of TLC. TLC not
only includes maintaining RED (the T3's name, it's yellow in color!), but
being extremely careful how he's driven. Typical speeds are 50-55 (best
mpg and despite having the ability to GO faster) on the freeway and I
just dottle around town. I am particular about how I accelerate, take
corners, deccelerate, etc. He has been driven off-road many a time (camping), but I 
realize he is not a bonified off-road vehicle so I'm careful about how I
drive there as well. Just the same, I've replaced two torsion bars so far.

Bottom line to longevity in my book is (in order of importance):

1) Attitude when driving!!!! Can't stress this enough!
2) Regular (monthly) maintainence
3) Resolving mechanical problems right when they appear, no
   procrastination ... and going that extra mile and replacing NOW that
   part that may get another couple 100/1000 miles ... no skimping.
4) Buying the top quality (not necessarily expensive) and original parts
   whenever possible. I use BOSCH everywhere ... I've tried cloned parts
   but they never seem to last as long. I do have an excellent selection
   of used parts that I've gathered from junk yards, BUT these are my
   backups! If I need replacing something I get new, sure it might cost me
   50-100 bucks, but thats better than the cost (in time, money, & effort)
   of rebuilding an engine (especially one that should get another 50, 60,
   70, 80K miles before a rebuild is really needed).

Post rebuild (1981) driving history: 
	1981-84 Davis, CA		80% Highway (mountains &
 					lowlands) w/remainder Sacremento
                                        /SF city driving.
        1984-87 Long Beach, CA          50:50 Highway/City
        1987-96 Lincoln, NE             80% City (VERY HOT summers,
                                        VERY, VERY COLD Winters). Primary 
					transport til' got/rebuilt 82 Vanagon
					in 94'.
        1996-   San Diego, CA           100% City (but driven very little)

        Also note that of the 160K miles, about 15K were made towing a
        1000 lb tent trailer (Sierra Mtns mostly, with a coast-to-coast
        trip thrown in for good measure).

The cold weather and "salted" roads of winter in Nebrsaka were probably
the hardest on the car all around. In addition to another rebuild (planned
for next year), he's in need of a lot of restoration work. Some may say,
why bother?  We'll we are the original owners (23 years) ... not many can
say this about their VW's or any other car for that matter. 


73' Sqbk
82' Vanagon
86' Westy

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