CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

VW Westfalia Starter ... does the year of the Bus matter?

I have a 1978 VW type 2 Westfalia, Automatic, with a 1976 rebuilt engine. I need a new starter. Do I get a rebuilt starter from a 1978 or 1976, or does it not matter (they’re the same, perhaps?) Also, is the starter for an Automatic different from a manual transmission? Thank you!

I believe the starters are the same. When you are at the auto parts store just have them look up both the 76’ and 78’ model and see if the part numbers match. To be on the safe side you can always get the engine parts for a 76’.

This is ancient history and I don’t remember off the top of my head. Do a part number search on an auto parts website and see if they show the same part no. for both a 78 and a 76.

One thing you MUST do is replace the transaxle starter bushing. If you do not do this you may still have starter problems. Since it’s a blind bushing you must use a thread tap to remove the old one. Screw it into the bushing until it bottoms out and then slowly keep tightening it. The bushing will ride out on the tap.

The new bushing is usually Oillite. Before installing this you must hold your thumb over one end, fill the bushing with heavy oil, and they use the other thumb to apply pressure to the oil inside the bushing. After a bit you should see oil oozing through the pores.
Use a bushing installer, long bolt with a nut/washer, etc. as a driver.