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Author: Subject:  Kombi 8 seat bus project
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posted on March 16th, 2008 at 10:30 AM
Kombi 8 seat bus project


My wife and I have been looking at getting a new Tarago or similar for the 8 seats, so that we can have another 2 kids - 6 in total. We could afford to pay off a new car loan because we could get $20000 cash but...

We'd rather spend money on rebuilding a Kombi to be an 8 seater. We want to have a reliable vehicle with new engine, gearbag, suspension, brake lines, cables, interior, paint, rust proofing, radiator, exhaust, disc brakes, fitting 8 seats etc. We should come away with a 'new' car without the price tag or the 5 years repayments.

I would appreciate your estimates on what it would cost to have these done, and I thought to ask here because I know some of you have experience like this, and I'd want a new Subi boxer engine for the job (I know this may be controversial)

I know that there are a lot of options and variables. If you could give me an estimate on what you've done that would be terrific.

Thanks in advance.




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posted on March 16th, 2008 at 12:04 PM



You may need that loan anyway.



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posted on March 16th, 2008 at 10:26 PM



Could end up becoming a $20,000 project for sure. Good idea though. Have you thought of buying a real immaculate condition 8 seater Microbus kombi? They come up in very good condition from time to time, and if it already has all the good condition bits, you may well spend less than $20K



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posted on March 17th, 2008 at 07:16 AM



yeah, of course, that would be great. So would a half finished project. I keep thinking of more and more things that I need to get a rough price on before we start.



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posted on March 17th, 2008 at 08:33 AM



With regards to the engine for a start, Custom Veedub in brissy charge around $9900 for the conversion:
http://www.customveedub.com.au/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=40 

For a full restoration on top of the engine conversion costs will add up very quickly indeed - with "new" everything else I don't think you will get any change from $20-25K.....so it starts to work out to be quite an expensive process.

Although there are compromises when buying a finished car (unless it is fresh from the restoration shop) - you could save yourself a lot by buying something complete already (as mentioned above). Eg:
http://forums.aussieveedubbers.com/viewtopic.php?tid=67722 

That had a suby conversion already and was a fantastic bus, pity it just sold!

I don't want to dampen enthusiasm by quoting high costs, but I also need to be realistic as I have done enough of them now (ie. full high quality restorations) to know how much is involved. Some "advisors" quote low costs then owners get started and half way through the budget is blown which makes the whole experience an unhappy one.

Best of luck
Al




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posted on March 17th, 2008 at 11:32 AM



Please, dampen away. I want to be realistic. There is a lot of things that my father-in-law mechanic and I will be able to do, and as a high school teacher I am able to put a whole week into it every three months, and heaps more at xmas.

I am calling up a few different places about different things to get a real pricing as well. I want to know that we can afford this before I even buy a bus.

I have been suggested to go a V6, though I don't want to spend that much every week at the bowser. Is there room for a LPG tank, as well as 6 kids and all the baggage that 6 kids includes? We have 4 at the moment and it is difficult to fit our grocery shopping into the Patrol with the kids.




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posted on March 17th, 2008 at 05:51 PM



want model/year kombi do you want to use as a starting base? bay window (T2) or T3 (ala caravelle)?

if a T3 there's one (or was) on carsales.com with a ej33 subaru in it with work done to the box as well
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posted on March 17th, 2008 at 07:05 PM



A T2 is what we're looking for, probably the later the better, though I do like the look of the earlier metal dash. We would both love a Splittie, but agree that it would probably be a lot more work than a T2.

I would love to hear how much people have spent on getting the Engineers Certificate for an engine change/conversion.
And what you've used on a disc brake conversion, and what donors were utilised.
And how the heating is set up on a water-cooled kombi.




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posted on April 2nd, 2008 at 02:34 PM



I have a Microbus that I've just converted to LPG. The rear seat is being replaced by a rock and roll bed over the gas tank (95 useable litres - it's huge!). We have 3 kids and generally transport more than that around to various sports/parties/kiddy things.

Sorry, but don't have any mechanical costs/advice for you - not my speciality!

good luck in your search though.




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posted on April 2nd, 2008 at 03:00 PM



I've bought a 1979 Bay window Microbus from Melbourne, I pick it up in 2 weeks. New motor and gearbox, no rust (other than surface), everything neat and tidy and straight. $9000.

Now that I've been looking around at spare parts suppliers I am keen to get a beetle for myself as the daily driver, rather than the 20yr old Pulsar.




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posted on April 19th, 2008 at 08:52 AM



Finally, the bus is home.
http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm133/OberonViking/Green%20Kombi/leftside.jpg
There is a little more rust than I would have liked, but the engine goes beautifully. It just eats up the kilometres and wants to do more and more. The Chief at Indian Automotive in Penrith gave me a short list of what needs fixing up and it is (nearly) all stuff that I can do. We are very happy with it.
So, now it goes off the road for a while. Hope to have her ready for her 30th birthday (according to the compliance plate) Jan 2009




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posted on April 19th, 2008 at 09:21 AM



Looks like you've bought wisely, well done.
Good luck with the project.




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posted on April 21st, 2008 at 08:22 PM



That's a lovely bus, mate.
Any chance you'll get to Old Bar?




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posted on April 21st, 2008 at 09:27 PM



Nah, sorry. I really would like to, but she is gonna be off the road haveing cancer removed, then a facelift :-)



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