1987 Vanagon Syncro Westy powered by Subaru

Price: US $72,000.00 Item location: Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Model: Bus/Vanagon
  • Type: Van Camper
  • Trim: Syncro Camper
  • Year: 1987
  • Mileage: 51,000
  • VIN: WV2ZB0259HG071681
  • Color: Blue
  • Engine size: 2012 Subaru 2.5L
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Power options: Air Conditioning, Power Locks, Power Windows
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: 4WD
  • Interior color: Blue and Grey
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Options: 7" In-Dash DVD Multimedia AV Receiver, Amplified Tube Subwoofer, Sound Proofing, Kitchenette, Swivel Driver and Passenger Seats, Heated Seats, 4-Wheel Drive, CD Player
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1987 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon Syncro Camper

1987 Vanagon Syncro Westy Restored/ Subaru Conversion

1987 Vanagon Syncro Camper running a 2012 2.5L Subaru engine professionally installed by SmallCar in Tacoma WA (smallcar.com) just completed this month (April 2018). 51k miles on engine and major servicing of timing belt also completed. Will not need another major servicing for 100k miles!

UPDATE: Just picked up the Westy today with the new engine. Attached photos! .

This Syncro camper has been fully restored and upgraded with some of the best camping and off-road features available. Almost everything on the vehicle has been replaced, updated or refurbished from interior upgrades like ceiling mounted DVD system and fully integrated sound system, full soundproofing package, re-upholstered interior seats and wall paper w/ marine grade vinyl, dual aux battery setup w/ a combined 181 Amp Hours of capacity, rear facing removable jump seat (5th seat), 3-point safety belts in rear, keyless lock and alarm system (front doors only), power windows, Rocky Mountain Westy (RMW) passenger seat locking storage drawer to exterior features like GoWesty (GW) HD (Heavy-Duty) bumpers w/ accessory tray, rear ladder and tire carrier, RMW attached ladder, 9.5k lbs Smittybilt XRC waterproof winch and hi-lift Jack, air compressor with detachable hose from camper hook-up box, tinted windows, 50-watt roof mounted solar system, Propex Heater and Thermostat for a nice toasty interior during winter camping and much, much more!

The parts and feature list is extensive! If you have any questions, please ask. I've attached a few photos but a complete photo log is posted below along with some video walk-throughs. Some of the photos show a subaru SVX engine but I've recently spent $17k on a new updated 2012 Subaru 2.5L conversion from SmallCar giving this vintage vehicle a truly new power house to go along with its restoration!

Please only contact me if you are a serious buyer and have cash for the purchase of this rare adventure vehicle. The purchase comes with lots of additional off-road goodies so just ask if you have questions!

Please only contact me if you are a serious buyer and have cash for the purchase of this rare adventure vehicle.


Exterior: https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=glSBGkuD6bue8_grybXI-g/SFO/27946373677060/SNAPFISH

Interior: https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=glSBGkuD6bue8_grybXI-g/SFO/27946374452060/SNAPFISH

Restoration: https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=glSBGkuD6bue8_grybXI-g/SFO/27946372999060/SNAPFISH

Compressor setup: https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=glSBGkuD6bue8_grybXI-g/SFO/27946373000060/SNAPFISH


Exterior walkaround:https://vimeo.com/229729951

Gary Lee Cot:https://vimeo.com/229919419

Audio/Video System Walkthrough: https://vimeo.com/229896816

Power locks and windows walkthrough: https://vimeo.com/229735520

Auxiliary Battery installation walkthrough (w/short overview of ECU mount): https://vimeo.com/229901382


  • 4/2018: 2012 2.5L Subaru Engine w/ 51k miles
  • Timing belt was also completed. As such this engine will not need a major servicing for another 100k miles!
  • Gear reduction starter
  • Chassis has approx. 177k miles on it. I replaced the speedometer when it was at approx. 150k miles and about 17k on current speedo. As mentioned the engine has 51k miles on it when installed. Is being driven so expect this to increase a little over time.


  • Premium rubber mats throughout, front, aisle, middle and rear
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=3239
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=3240
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=3807
  • Franchers R8 thermal insulation kit for the pop-top
    • https://fanchers.com/shop?olsPage=products%2Fvw-vanagon-inside-r-8-pop-top-thermal-1980-1992
  • Pop-Top Tent, Acrylic (Synthetic Canvas)
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=2512
  • GW Wasser-stopper
    • http://gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=4046&category_id=&category_parent_id=
  • 3 point safety belt systems for the jump seat and one of the back bench seats
  • Overhead ceiling DVD system integrated into audio system with both wireless and wired headset connectivity!
  • Passenger side jump seat (5th seat)
  • Upper bunk ladder
  • GW Fridge elimination kit (more cabinet space)


  • 9.5k lbs Smittybilt XRC waterproof winch w/ GW portable winch mount and hi-lift Jack
  • 10ft Fiamma awning
  • GW bumpers w/ hitch and swing away tire carrier and accessory tray with rear ladder
  • RMW Vanagon Ladder
    • http://www.rockymountainwesty.com/Rocky_Mountain_Westy_Vanagon_Ladder_p/rmw-ldr01.htm
  • GW Front skid plate
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=4153
  • 5th BFG ATF tire for the tire carrier w/ cover
  • Heavy Duty "LT Series" Truck Mirrors
  • 3 point Yakima rack rail system (GW style)
    • http://www.gowesty.com/tech-article-details.php?id=100
  • Jack Bombay pop-top shocks
    • http://www.van-cafe.com/poptop-shock-kit-medium
  • Smoked turn signals front and rear
  • Turn signal brush guards front and rear
  • South African 4-Headlight Grille Kit w/ High Power Headlight Kit (S.A. Grille)

Restoration and Add-ons:

  • Complete Interior Restoration
    • New carpet throughout (sewfine)
    • New door cards and interior panels (sewfine)
    • Reupholstered seats (sewfine) added driver and passenger heaters (not connected)
    • New curtains (SewFine)
  • Kitchenette: Shurflo faucet and pump upgraded. Also replaced all water hose with new anti-microbial water hose throughout.
  • Removed all wallpaper from windows and pillars and cleaned and then replaced with the same extreme vinyl that was used on the upholstery.
  • Paint job by class-n-kustom in Portland OR around 2012:
    • Vanagon seams: Went through every seam on the vanagon and pulled out old seam seal, Painted all seams with MasterSeriesCT. Sealed all seams with top 3M seam sealer.
    • 2 stage paint (base+clear) exterior Dove Blue original paint code
    • The paint job was completed around 2012. Small chips and blemishes from use over the last 5 years. I’ve personally left this as it’s an off-road vehicle and I like the peace of mind that I get from not worrying about small paint scuffs or ruining a new paint job.
  • Complete GW Hookup Box replacement and water sealed from the outside
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=23582
  • ARB Air Compressor hooked up to outside, replaces city water hookup box
  • Propex Heater and Thermostat (runs off camper propane tank)
  • New LPG tank and regulator installed, purged and filled 09/2017:
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?id=2447
  • Sound System: Pioneer AVH-P5200BT 7" In-Dash DVD Multimedia AV Receiver. Also installed is bazooka Bazooka BTA6100 BT Series 6-Inch 100-Watt Amplified Tube Subwoofer mounted in the rear closet providing great base. There is also a ceiling mounted DVD player and screen (Planet Audio 11.2-Inch All-In-One Flip Down Widescreen TFT Monitor/DVD player with Built-in IR Transmitter and FM Modulator) connected to the Pioneer receiver and audio and video can be streamed from the ceiling mounted unit to the head unit. So one can view ceiling mounted DVD using van audio system or use wireless headsets or wired headsets. This allows for all kinds of viewing use cases while driving or camping! See video for more details!
  • Electric locks and windows (after-market). Key entry system. Front doors only!
  • Full Van Sound proofing front to back
    • Spray-on dampener by quiet car
    • VB2-HD damping sheet for vapor barriers
    • closed-cell foam w/ vinyl barrier for noise control
    • Insulated with Prodex
    • Sprayed amber anti-rust wax behind kitchenette, around seams behind paneling for any water entry that lingers it will not rust out.
  • Windows tinted and installed with new seals
  • New drip rail molding
  • New sliding window screens
  • New interior table legs
  • South African steering wheel
  • Welded holes in front door footwells and primed (left unpainted for eventual rock guard truck bed-liner type texture coating treatment on bottom of van and in footwells that never happened)


  • RMW locking storage drawer (passenger side)http://www.rockymountainwesty.com/Locking_Storage_Drawer_Front_Passengers_Seat_p/rmw-lsd01pa.htm
  • Alarm system and keyless entry (driver and passenger door only)
  • Starting Battery Disconnect system


  • 12/2017: Replaced 4 rear CV Joints w/ new ones, repacked with CV2 joint grease and 12 Point Polygon Socket Heads
  • Replaced the Syncro speedometer assembly with a rebuilt one from GW (The original one was making loud screech due to a worn out spindle in the back)
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=4241
  • Less than 15k on rebuilt transmission: new parts like all new syncros, main drive shaft bearing, etc…
  • Removed the VC and installed a new driveshaft de-coupler
  • Replaced all of the shift bushings and most shift components
  • Replaced front wheel bearings
  • GW front and rear coils (1.5” lift)
  • New GW Heavy Duty "Finned" Rear Brake Drums (2016)
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=24307
  • Front big brake kit (large caliper, pads and rotors) installed w/ ceramic brake pads for extra stopping power.
  • GW 16" Wheel & Tire Package - 8 Hole Alloy (Syncro) w/ BFG All-Terrain tires 225/70-16. Also includes a full spare!
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=4303
  • GW Speedometer Correction Device
    • http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=23639
  • Bilstein HD front and rear shocks
  • New Front radiator
  • New rear heater core
  • Stainless Steel coolant pipes
  • Premium hard start relay (solving low voltage start issues by creating a direct path for ignition from battery to starter)


  • 3x UB12220 66AH Aux battery
    • http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4844715#4844715
  • 1x 115AH Aux Battery under rear bench seat
  • Both aux batteries hooked up to a fuse box and battery switch, each with their own charging stations. Charges ALL batteries (even starter battery connected) when the city power is plugged into the hook up box on the outside. All batteries also recharge when engine is running from
  • 50 watt GW solar setup connected to “3x UB12220 66AH Aux battery setup”
  • All lights in the van have been converted to LED, including the console lights