BaT Auction: 1.9 TDI-Powered 1984 Volkswagen Doka
This 1984 Volkswagen Transporter is a 3-door Doka model that was imported to the US from Germany by its previous owner. The truck is thought likely to have been a commercial vehicle by the seller, who acquired it seven years go with a 1.9L gasoline engine and a telematics device installed. A 1.9L ALH TDI inline-four has since been installed along with a 4-speed manual transmission rebuilt by AA Transaxle with a Peloquin automatic torque biasing differential. Supporting modifications include an air-to-water intercooler, replacement wiring harness, power steering, larger Audi front disc brakes, upgraded engine management, Bilstein shocks, new bushings, 16″ Mercedes wheels, and a South Africa grille. Approximately 21k miles have been added since the engine was installed. This Doka is sold with a clean Washington State title in the seller’s name.
The Doppelkabine trucks utilized a 3-door layout with a smuggler’s box under the bed and drop sides all around. This example features a later front bumper and South African-market grille, TruckLight complex reflector 7″ round headlights, and clear front corner lenses. The lighting system is configured with separate relays for the low beam, high beam, and fog light circuits. Volkswagen LT truck mirrors are installed. The seller points out missing lock cylinders for the lower toolbox doors and notes that a screwdriver can be used to actuate the latches.
Bodywork was completed by the previous owner per the seller, with the resulting paint corrections described as below average. Rust is showing in several areas of the rocker panels as well as in the bed near the gate latches on the back of the cab. The seller welded pinholes in the base of the windshield frame before installing a new windshield seal, and fitted treated plywood to help protect the steel bed.
Suspension A-arms have been powder coated, and new suspension bushings and Bilstein shocks have been installed. Braking revisions include Audi Girling 60 front calipers with larger vented rotors, while the stock rear drums have been fitted with new shoes. Mercedes alloy wheels wear Yokohama Geolandar AT/S 215/70 tires.
The cabin features new upholstery, a stock steering wheel, and a storage chest under the rear bench. Power locks have been partially installed, though the passenger-side actuator is not working and the rear actuator remains unconnected. Audio modifications include an aftermarket radio/CD player with speakers in the doors and rear panels. The parking brake lever has been upgraded to the longer 1986-91 version and fitted with new cables. The dash harness was replaced with high-option version from a Carat model, and new connections were crimped and heat-shrunk.
The in-dash blower motor is new, and the heater core was replaced with a used unit. 12-volt electrical coolant heaters from the TDI engine were retained, and a slight coolant smell is noted when the cab heater is turned on. The odometer was rebuilt and converted from metric to US by the seller, with 21k miles shown and true mileage unknown. A ScanGauge in dash displays coolant temperature, boost pressure, boost temperature, and RPM from the OBD II port. The exhaust-gas recirculation system has been deleted and the in-dash EGR LED occasionally illuminates per the seller.
The 1.9L TDI engine was sourced from a 1998 Beetle and installed at 15 degrees using a Kennedy adapter kit. The fuel tank was resealed with a Van Cafe kit and fuel is delivered to the engine via marine-grade fuel hoses, a Racor prefilter and Bosio Sprint 520 nozzles. Cooling is from a new radiator, stainless pipes, and a 2-speed electric fan with manual override switch. A TDI gear reduction starter was installed with a Westy Ventures adapter plate, and the Interstate battery has a dedicated negative terminal ground to the transaxle. The upper engine cover is aluminum diamond plate.
The stock Volkswagen turbo uses an air-to-water intercooler with a separate cooling circuit to the front of the truck. Exhaust is through a single muffler with rubber mounts, a flexible connector, and an exhaust temperature gauge sensor mounts just before the turbine. Power steering was retrofitted using the pump on the TDI engine plus a Vanagon fluid reservoir and reinforced hoses. The seller fabricated new rear engine mounts about 2000 miles ago as well as changing the engine oil and the paper filter element in the Donaldson industrial air cleaner.
The 4-speed manual gearbox uses a South African aluminum main housing and was rebuilt by AA Transaxle with a strengthened gear carrier and bearing plates, taller third and fourth gears, South African oiling plates, and a Peloquin automatic torque biasing differential. The transaxle was installed with a Kennedy Engineering Products flywheel, standard Vanagon clutch, and urethane front mount and is set up for an external cooler with a temperature-controlled pump. The truck is reportedly capable of 70 mph at about 3100 rpm with the current tires. The CV joints were recently repacked with new boots.
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