Introducing… Wolfgang Senior!

It’s very strange to find ourselves in this position after feeling that Wolfgang was the be all and end all of campervans. We know that the T3 camper is one of the most versatile and coveted campers to have been produced in Wolfsburg, Germany under the VW marque. It’s internal space has never been matched by any van with its footprint (old or new), because of its rear engine format and 1970 design.

Our T3 was made in 1990 but there was another offering at the time by VW as a factory conversion that offered more space. This was based on the LT chassis and the coachwork was still undertaken by the very well respected partner for all of the factory VW installs of the time, Westfalia. More in depth information can be found at the following link…

Both mandy and I would be lying if we said we hadn’t cast the occasional eye over an LT Florida, more out of curiosity than anything. We have been impressed with what we have seen with the layout and quality, still apparent after 30 years or more. But it seemed like owning one was for the future, and in no way anytime soon.

First view of Wolfgang Senior :0

That said, and by a total fluke, a friend asked us to collect a part from a person not that far away from us because we were local, and she lived some distance away. The part was a component used on the smaller campers like Wolfgang, and on the larger LT. As it turned out the previous owner was just about to advertise the van when Mandy collected the part. This was just one of those “right place right time” kind of moments. After some discussion regarding our ability to finance such an investment, we decided that this opportunity was too good to miss.

3.1 meters high!

I know from experience how much it costs to take a van in a poor state of repair, and turn it into something that is as reliable as a modern vehicle. Wolfgang has had the best attention to make sure he is just about as reliable as he ever could be. The thought of taking on another project that required that degree of time and investment meant it wasn’t something I could consider again. It’s the unknown, and when your hit with a failed holiday because the gearbox has packed up, and a £2,000+ bill for a repair, that always takes longer than it should, you tend to err on the negative side of things!
2016 gearbox failure 🙁

So no way would consider buying a van that would effectively put me back into a situation where I was chasing my tail financially, just to have a vehicle that we would one day believe in. On reflection I feel that those negative experiences have given me a reality check.

But if we go back to the chance meeting, this Florida had been owned by the previous owner for 2 years. He is a trained mechanic by trade, has a love for VW vehicles, and has left no stone unturned in making sure this van into one of the best and most reliable examples of a Westfalia Florida on UK soil. It’s a shining example of a vehicle that has had everything thrown at it. check out the list below. Truly awesome! We are very lucky!

Fully rebuilt engine including brand new cylinder head in 2017 (including new injector nozzles and new turbo CHRA)

• Factory Power steering
• Opening front quarter lights
• Full engine undertray
• Westfalia Towbar
• Double glazed windows
• Factory fitted curtains and blinds
• ISRI captains high back front seats
• Electric windows
• Full roof rack with ladder access at the rear
• 4 Berth Camper (2 double beds) (can be 5berth with a bunk in the cab if needed)
• On board LPG tank for cooker and hot water boiler (around £5 to fill from empty)
• Truma Gas hot water boiler, supplies hot water to kitchen tap and shower
• Wet/ shower room with hot shower (absolute blessing when camping!!)
• Eberspacher diesel night heater with timer
• 2 ring burner
• Vitrifrigo compressor fridge
• 100L fresh water tank on board
• 70L waste water tank
• Porta-potti in bathroom (included in the sale)
• Large wardrobe with shelves
• Under seat storage
• 220ah leisure battery and solar set up for off-grid camping (CTEK equipment used)
• 2 lap belts in rear and there is included in the sale a 3-point belt which was fitted to the centre bench for use with a child’s seat (I removed due to only being my partner and I using the van)
• Fiamma F45 wind out awning
• Large roof top box for extra space and storage included with the sale of the van
• Included in sale is pair of LHD headlights as well
• Cab window thermal screens included with sale
• Original VW owners manuals (in German) also Have translated version in english
Below Details the work carried out in my ownership
Mechanical work
• Complete Engine Rebuild carried out by AW Engineering including: Complete Brand-new cylinder head, brand new pistons and rings, brand new Bearings throughout, Re-Bored and Honed, new oil pump, new water pump all new Gaskets (See receipt for proof)
• All 6x Injectors Rebuilt with Brand New Monark Nozzles and Pressures set correctly (155Bar)
• Turbocharger Brand new Mellett Core Fitted and turbo charger rebuilt
• Brand new radiator fitted
• Replacement Header tank fitted
• Brand new WAHLER 87degrees thermostat fitted
• Brand new Mocal oil cooler fitted
• Brand new exhaust silencer and tailpipe fitted with new hardware as well
• Brand new clutch kit fitted at the same time as Engine Rebuild
• Brand new viscous fan unit fitted
• Timing belt, fuel pump belt and water pump all brand new at time of engine re-install
• New Starter battery 2017
• New alternator voltage regulator
All Above work carried out Winter 2017
• Complete new brake pipes throughout out in copper
• Brand New master cylinder
• Brand new rear brake drums and brake shoes
• Brand new rear wheel cylinders
• Front brakes fully stripped and rebuilt with a new TRW fitting kit
• Brand new Monroe LT35 Heavy duty front springs fitted
• Brand new Monroe Van-Magnum shock absorbers fitted all round
• New tie rod bushes and hardware
• Wheeliams 3” lift kit fitted
• Full wheel alignment after suspension lift fitted (including camber and castor)
• All oils in axle and gearbox changed for brand new correct grade oil
• All gear linkage bushes replaced with genuine VW items (precise gear change now)
• VDO gauges installed to monitor oil temperature, oil pressure and boost pressure while driving and a VDO rev counter fitted as well
• Turbo downpipe heat wrapped for engine bay heat management
• 4x New rear leaf spring buffers
Wheels and Tyres
• Full Set of 5x (4+1 spare) Ford custom 15” Steel wheels fitted with correct wheel bolts
• Full set of brand new Hankook Dynapro All Terrain Tyres fitted 235/75R15
Camper Conversion Repairs and Improvements
• Onboard Propane tank removed and stripped and checked and then repainted correct colour with red identifying stripe and pressure tested
• Stainless steel LPG valve cover with key lock as well
• All waste pipe replaced with fresh re-enforced pipe
• Brand new Whale Elite kitchen tap installed
• Both sink and kitchen hob removed and resealed to worktop
• Original Westfalia fridge removed and replaced with a vitrifrigo C50i Compressor fridge for better refrigerating and increased battery life
• Brand new 150Watt solar panel mounted on the roof
• 2x Brand new 110Ah Leisure batteries fitted
• CTEK Smartpass120 fitted alongside a CTEK D250sa to give a complete leisure/ off grid power system

CTEC solar battery charger

• New fuse panel fitted to allow fitment of blade fuses as compared to original ceramic fuses
• Original Eberspacher D2L re-commissioned with all new fuel pipe, new heater ducting pipe externally and internally of the van and new exhaust pipe
• Truma 10L water heater removed and checked for condition and thoroughly cleaned prior to re-installation all working correctly (red hot for showering!)
• New Micro Heki Skylight fitted in the bathroom due to the original westfalia item being previously damaged
• Bathroom sink removed to make more room for showering
• Brand new Reich shower fitted for better showers than the original westfalia item

New Shower

• Brand new Oceanair dry roll toilet roll holder fitted in the bathroom
• Brand new Hansgrohe shower hose
• Brand new TRUMA boiler external vent fitted to roof
• Brand new 12v and USB sockets fitted using high quality CBE parts
• Genuine VW westfalia control panel repaired with 2x new fuse holders fitted
• All interior lights converted from fluorescent tubes to LED lighting
• Shelving made for the wardrobe to utilize the space the best
• 2x brand new fire extinguisher installed
• 1x fire blanket installed
• Front bench seat latches repaired to aid correct operation
• Carpet matting custom fitted one piece in the rear of the camper
• Bathroom/ wetroom completely re-sealed
• Brand new fresh water tank drain valve installed
• Internal blinds fitted to roof side windows with flyscreen’s and blind
• New clips on seating area blind
External body
• All front panels replaced with genuine VW panels in winter 2018/2019 and front end resprayed original white with all new decals (common issue on LT’s around windscreen, all rot cut out and repaired with new metal.
• New right-hand side cab step welded in place, all rot removed
• New windscreen seal fitted after respraying (original VW windscreen re-fitted)
• Wheeliams Spare wheel carrier fabricated, and powder coated to fit the rear door using the hinges and allow proper use of the door and rear window
• Brand new Hella Rear fog light fitted into rear bumper and re-wired to original VW switch located on the dash
• Pressed aluminium plates fitted
• Roof mounted 150Watt solar panel fitted
• Dubflecta wind deflectors fitted
• Pressed aluminium number plates fitted showing correct UK markings
• RHD Genuine VW headlights fitted for UK roads (Also have LHD headlights, included in sale with van)
• Brand new genuine VW front indicators fitted all with new seals
• 2x new 3 jet windscreen washers all with new pipe work behind dash
• Headlights all re-wired to now run through individual relays and fuses for optimum lighting when driving at night
• Fiamma F45i wind out awning fitted (winding handle clips internally inside the camper out the way)
• New pair of wing mirror lenses to replace old units
• New rear mud flaps and brackets
Cab Area
• VDO gauges mounted in dashboard to monitor engine performance while running (RPM, oil temperature, oil pressure and boost pressure)
• Sony CDX-G1200 CD player fitted (can run from starter battery or leisure battery when parked up)
• Blaupunkt windscreen mounted amplified aerial fitted
• Additional 12volt and USB sockets fitted in dashboard all powered from leisure battery
• All dash lighting replaced with new brighter bulbs
• Drinks holders mounted to dash
• Lower dash section fitted from facelift model LT Florida
• Heater matrix removed and back flushed, and heater box rebuilt with new insulation for better heating during those winter months
• Heater rheostat replaced and modified to use an Audi 80 unit rather than the problematic LT rheostat, so now has all working fan speeds

3 thoughts on “Introducing… Wolfgang Senior!”

  1. A pleasure meeting you both and Wolfgang Senior in Leamington today. Great to see another Florida out and about. Happy camping. Paul

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