Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Mercedes is running and the Vanagon is in storage...

The title of this post says it all... but as usual, I'll say more.

As per my last blog post, the Vanagon made it home after Transporterfest, but only courtesy of a AAA tow. My long-term plan is to do a Subaru EJ22 engine swap. I've been around the original VW waterboxer engine since my parents bought their first Vanagon in 1985, and have owned my stock Vanagon since 2003. So, this isn't a snap decision. I've seen these engines fail more often than they work properly.

I didn't want the van to rot in the driveway while I saved and made preparations for the engine swap, so my goal has been to get it into the garage. In order to do that, I needed to move the Mercedes out.

The problem with that is that the Mercedes hadn't been so much as started in the better part of two years. I've been working on it bit-by bit - bodywork mostly up until this point. Thankfully, I'd been maintaining the battery. Still, I had to do a marathon of maintenance before the car would start:

After the Mercedes finally started, I took a chance and started the Vanagon. Amazingly, it wasn't completely dead. It was weak, noisy and smoky, but drove into the garage under its own power:

So, as it is, I'm currently trying to sell the Mercedes, for two reasons. First, I need to start raising money for my engine swap. More importantly, I just can't have two big projects sitting around. The Vanagon was my backup car. It's my project now. As such, I'll need to get something a little more roadable for a backup car.