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1978 Volkswagen Transporter For Sale

Jan 20, 2023

1978 Volkswagen Transporter For Sale

VW Bus for Sale, 1978 Volkswagen Transporter


Year of construction 1978. VW Bus Transporter for Sale in Talbott, Tennessee. Found this nice original VW Transporter that has popped up for sale fitted with air conditioning and a spare engine, was listed on craigslist about eight days ago and was still available when we posted it here.

Awesome original exterior, no rust issues, and perfect shape for a 45-year-old bus with a decent interior, has been renovated and modernized with all new original plaid fabric upholstery, all interior panels recovered in brown vinyl, and the headliner still retains its original. The dash is nice without any cracks, AC, and the Radio with iPod/MP3 dock, also sound system working well.

The engine is genuine and has been rebuilt to OEM specifications, runs and drives great, and the extra engine has never been run and stored with impeccable care. Interested, please read more below.

Year 1978
Type T2B
Model Transporter
Color Orange
Engine 2.0 L Fuel Injection
Assembly Line Germany
Condition Good

Detail by seller
ORIGINAL!! (Original family owned / Mostly original paint / Original 2.0L Fuel injected engine & 4 speed manual transmission). Up for sale is our classic VW Bus (WITH WORKING COLD AIR CONDITIONING and SPARE ENGINE)

My father originally purchased the bus in 1978 and drove it for 10 years as our family car. It then quietly sat at my parent’s farm in Tennessee for the next 20 years (until my son decided he had to have it as his first car), so I transported it to Texas and my son and I brought the bus back to life in 2011 (details below). This bus has never been involved in any major accidents and has very little rust. This bus has been driven regularly, since it was refurbished in 2011, but now that my son travels all over the country, and I am building a house, we just don’t have time to drive it anymore, and we don’t want it to sit, so it’s time to sell.

It starts, runs, and drives great for a 45-year-old vehicle in hot or cold weather and gets 15-19 mpg in city or highway driving. This bus will easily cruise at 70 mph all day long; it is very smooth riding, quiet, and everything on it works, including heat and air conditioning.

I’m listing the following work done in 2011 only as evidence that it’s roadworthy today. Nothing else has been done since this time, other than routine oil changes, tire and brake pad replacement, and a battery. This bus has been driven approximately 75,000 trouble free miles, since all this work has been done, SO CONSIDER ALL OF THE FOLLOWING REPAIRS TO BE WELL USED. A maintenance log has been kept, as well as receipts and the green Bentley repair manual, and these can be provided upon request.

1) Engine – Serial #GE013204 - This is the original 2.0 liter fuel injected engine, rated at 70 horsepower and 105 ft-lb of torque (significantly more than earlier 1.7 and 1.8 liter engines). This bus was rebuilt to OEM specs, with new OEM pistons/cylinders/rings, main/rod/cam bearings (with double thrust), new cam and hydraulic lifters, heads were rebuilt with new valves and guides. All seals/gaskets/o-rings were replaced. New fuel injectors and fuel pump with all new fuel filter and ethanol resistant fuel line, and a new Temp sensor #2 was installed, and all other sensors/systems, including the air flow meter, auxiliary air valve, fuel pressure sensor, and all breather hoses and vacuum lines were tested and found to be within factory spec. The ignition distributor was replaced, with the correct vacuum advance, and electronic ignition, with new NGK Iridium plugs, Bosch blue coil and Bosch silicon wires for maintenance free operation. The EGR system in this bus is fully functional, which is critical for registration in states requiring emissions testing. It also helps the engine run cooler. The starter was replaced with a rebuilt unit (with lifetime warranty from Advanced Auto Parts). Today, the engine still runs smooth, does not smoke, and has the same power and feel as it did when it was rebuilt in 2011. It has a few small oil leaks (typical of air-cooled engines), but does not burn oil. As parts for these vehicles are sometimes hard to get, I rebuilt a second spare 1978 engine (as a “long block” and to similar standards as the original) in 2016 and sealed and crated it, so it could be shipped parcel, anywhere in the country, if needed. The extra engine has never been run and has been stored in a climate-controlled environment and turned over with a wrench on the crankshaft every 4-6 months to keep oil on everything. The crate doubles as a piece of office furniture (stackable in any orientation), so the spare engine can sit in your house without raising suspicion. Anyone who’s driven air cooled busses know the engines can be swapped in a driveway in just a few hours.

2) Exhaust – The heat exchangers were fully dismantled, cleaned, and resealed with new heat shielding, and still work great, without the oily smell you typically get from air cooled VW’s. The muffler was replaced with a “Thunderbird” aftermarket unit, and a resonator added to further reduce noise. This setup is as quiet as the original muffler.

3) Fuel Tank was removed/cleaned/repaired (1978 vans have galvanized tanks, so no rust was found). Only the hose connections had rusted and were leaking, so new ones were brazed to the tank. All evaporative emissions hoses were replaced with ethanol resistant hose, as well as the tank filler hose and gas cap rubber gasket, so there is absolutely no fuel odor (another common problem with the type 2 VW bus).

4) Brakes – Front rotors were replaced with new ones and front calipers were rebuilt. The rear drums were also new with new wheel cylinders. A new master cylinder was also installed, and all rubber lines were replaced with new hoses. The system was flushed and new DOT4 brake fluid added. The brake servo was pressure tested and had no leaks. This car has excellent stopping power.

5) Suspension – New tie-rods and joints, ball joints, drag link, and shocks were installed (Koni, oil filled adjustable – the best you can get for a bus) were installed front and rear, and new axels/CV joints (Original Lobro) installed in the rear. The rear suspension was reset to factory ride height to correct the common rear end sag, new rear wheel bearings were installed, and the front bearings were checked and found to be in good condition. Alignment is correct and all tires have worn evenly to this day.

6) Tires – We have been running Hankook RA008 radials in the correct 185-14 size (including the spare). These are the correct D load range required for the 7-passenger bus, as these cars are capable of hauling more weight than a 1 ton pickup truck. Currently, the bus has Hankook Vantra 185-14 tires, with less than 5,000 miles each (which are the predecessor of the RA008’s)

7) Interior – All new custom seat upholstery was installed using original factory plaid fabric, and all interior panels were replaced and re-covered in brown vinyl. Every seat has original working seat belts. The original headliner and rubber floor mats are in excellent condition.

8) Paint/Body – VIN. The original VIN and paint code decals are still on the driver door sill, and they match the VIN plate on the dash and the ID stamped on the body in the engine compartment. I’d estimate 75% of the paint is original and shines like new when waxed. It’s really impressive how good the German paint was. Some small areas of surface rust have been repaired and spot painted, with the new paint blended into the original panels. The spot painted areas are not a perfect match, and are more resistant to oxidation than the original paint, so the repairs are noticeable if you go too long without waxing the car. You would need to re-paint the whole car for a concours look, but original paint is valuable to a lot of folks (including myself), so every attempt has been made to preserve it; I would call it’s condition 7 out of 10, as there are still some door dings, scratches, and surface rust (since these busses did not benefit from galvanized body’s). There is no structural rust on this vehicle (it spent its entire life in the South and it’s frame is completely solid). While most of the surface rust has been repaired, the roof had plenty (no pitting, only “patina” as some would say), but it was all over the top and could not be spot painted, so the whole roof got repainted to eliminate it; This paint matched well, so you don’t notice it. Over the years, surface rust is slowly creeping through the paint in some areas, but it’s still very minor. Recently, the rear bumper was damaged, when my son backed into something in a tight parking garage, but I’d say it’s minor damage. The passenger front door sustained some minor damage when the door was accidently over extended one time years ago, which broke the hinge loose from the door frame and left a barely noticeable crease in the outer door skin; this is very easily repaired, and the door opens and closes just fine. The battery box was rusted through, so this was repaired with fiberglass (it just wasn’t bad enough to justify a new battery tray being welded in.

9) Radio – A Retrosound AM/FM radio with iPod/MP3 dock in the dash was installed for a factory original appearance, with modern performance. I installed (2) 6”x9” speakers in speaker boxes under the rear seats, (2) 5” speakers in the kick panels, and (2) 3” speakers in the dash.

10) Air Conditioning added in 2013 – VW never offered a “factory” air conditioning system; however, the DPD overhead air conditioning system in this car was a dealer installed option and is correct for 1978-1979 model years. All of the hoses have been replaced, and a modern Denso 10 piston compressor has been retrofitted in place of the original York compressor (with no sheet metal cutting in the engine bay) Also, the condenser was replaced with (qty 3) modern parallel flow condensers, and a high output 110 amp alternator was installed to power the system, so the whole bus will get cold air in 100 deg F plus heat, without overheating the engine. Words can’t even describe how valuable air conditioning is in a vehicle like this on a hot, humid summer day, or even on just a rainy day, as a combination of air conditioning and heat keeps the windows from fogging up.

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