Bus Terminology, Slang, Mailing List Acronyms and Jargon

Bus Terminology, Slang, Mailing List Acronyms and Jargon

by the Bus/Vanagon Lists

Dictionary of Terms

(from the Type2, Vintagebus and Vanagon Mailing Lists - All years are by definition for US Models. Years for Non-US models may vary slightly.)

0 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

009 - A centrifugal advance Bosch distributor. Useful for performance engines but unfortunately marketed as a replacement for the stock vacuum advance distributor that it does not adequately replace.

010 - An early centrifugal advance Bosch distributor used on 1950s Transporters and prized among vintage VW racers for its advance curve.

36hp - Early beetle/transporter engine having an integral generator pedestal as part of the right case half. Output roughly 36 horsepower.

1500 - A type I engine stock for 1963-1967 Transporters using 83mm pistons/cylinders.

1600 - A 1584cc type I engine stock for 1968-1971 Transporters. Based on the 1500 case, but using cylinder bores of 85.5mm instead of 83mm.

1641 - A 1584cc (1600) type I engine that has been customized by increasing bore size with an 87mm piston/cylinder set instead of the stock 85.5mm. "Slip-in" cylinders of this type that do not require case machining are not recommended due to the likelyhood of warpage/heat problems because of the thin cylinder walls.

1700 - A 1679cc type IV dual Solex carbureted engine stock for 1972-1974 Transporters.

1776 - A 1584cc (1600) type I engine that has been customized by increasing bore size with a 90.5mm piston/cylinder set instead of the stock 85.5mm.

1800 - A 1795cc type IV fuel injected engine stock for 1975-1977 Transporters.

1835 - A 1584cc (1600) type I engine that has been customized by increasing bore size with a 92mm piston/cylinder set instead of the stock 85.5mm.

2000 - A 1970cc type IV fuel injected engine with hydraulic lifters stock for 1978-1979 Transporters and 1980-1983 Vanagons.

AAMOF - As A Matter Of Fact

ABS - Anti-Locking Braking System - a computerized method of helping to prevent wheel skid/lock-up during braking. It does NOT prevent spins, NOR does it allow you to stop in a shorter distance. It DOES allow you to steer the car while braking as hard as possible. Available as an option on some Vanagons and Eurovans in Europe during the late 1980's-1990's.

AFAIK - And For All I Know

AMBULANCE - Special model of the bus, based on the Standard bus, first available in 1951. The most notable feature was the smaller engine lid than the previous Barndoors, and a rear hatch hinged at the bottom, which allowed stretchers to be loaded into the interior of the bus. The gas tank and spare tire were moved in order to accomodate the rear hatch.

AMESCADOR - A Dutch camper conversion built in Dordrecht by the Ames VW dealership.

ADVENTUREWAGEN - A company in the United States that made camper conversion vans from VW buses up into the 1980's. located in Ft. Bragg, California.

AFM - Air Flow Meter- the silver box next to the air cleaner box on the fuel injection model buses. It measured the volume of air entering the intake system, and allowed the computer to adjust the amount of gasoline required.

BARNDOOR - Busses made before mid-1955, whose major characteristics are the oversized engine lid and the lack of a rear cargo hatch. These also did not have the ventilation eyebrow above the windshield/windscreen.

BAY WINDOW - another name for the buses made from 1968-1979. So called for the large single-piece windshield. same as the "bread loaf".

BLUE COIL - A Bosch ignition coil in a blue plastic casing.

BREAD LOAF - another name for the buses made from 1968-1979, so called for their striking likeness to one.

BRICK - 1. Vanagon model Transporters. 2. Any VW Bus or Transporter

BULL BARS - (a.k.a. "roo bars") Tubular frame mounted ahead of the front body panel for anti-deer/brush/etc. protection. Mounts to frame or bumper.

BULLI or BULLY - the German nickname for the original VW buses. Loosley translated, it means "work horse" or "oxen" (some sort of strong animal used for pulling heavy loads).

BUS - 1. any Volkswagen Transporter of any model and any year.
2. specifically those VW transporters from 1968 to 1979, distinquished by a large one-piece windshield and rounded body contours. All had double-jointed independent rear suspension. Also called T2 Transporter.

B/C - Because

B/T - Between

BTW - By the Way

CAMPER - a model of bus that contained interior features such as a bed, stove, cabinets, and in some versions, a refrigerator. Some versions had a pop-up roof to allow extra room, ventilation, and sleeping room 'upstairs'. Some of the many companies making Campers were Westfalia, Devon, Country Homes, and Dormobile.

CAMPMOBILE - another name for Camper versions of the VW Transporter. For whatever reasons, this term seems to have been dropped for the Vanagons, except in Canada.

CAT - Catalytic Converter - a large, usually round cannister in the exhaust system. It helps convert emission gases into more harmless, less noxious vapors.

CCA - Cold Cranking Amps - a bogus number printed on the sides of automobile batteries to confuse the buyers. generally, the bigger this number is, the easier the battery will crank your car when everything is frozen. Assuming everything is in perfect operating condition, of course.

CREW CAB - another name for Double-Cab pickup trucks.

CV-JOINT (CONSTANT VELOCITY-JOINT) - one of the small circular devices at an end of an axle on a bus. Buses, Vanagons, and Eurovans have four of these, while the Syncro Vanagons have a total of eight. These are necessary to allow the axle to move up and down while still turning to propel the car. The joints need to be keep greased to function properly. when they are worn, they make a knocking-noise that strikes fear into the hearts of bus owners everywhere. Microbuses do not have CV joints, but use a 'swing-axle' and reduction gear box instead.

DC - Acronym for Double Cab or Crew Cab pickup trucks.

DEHLER - a german company that made camping and custom conversions of the VW bus.

DELUXE - A model of early buses that had the highest level of interior features and trim levels. Usually with the small sight-seeing windows in the roof and either 21 or 23 side windows. Also a HUGE fabric sunroof was available as an option. Distinguished by four (4) side windows behind the front doors (including those cargo door windows), polished aluminum side and bumper molding, chrome front VW emblem and speedometer trim ring. Also came with "jailbar" rear cargo area window protectors.

DEVON - an English company that made camping conversion VW buses (Devon Moonraker).

DIGIFANT - a form of fuel injection found on VW vanagons/transporters from 1986 and later. A later variation of Digijet. Also, reported to be a slightly less complicated version of the Bosch Motronic fuel injection used on BMW's and Porsches.

DIGIJET - a form of fuel injection found on VW vanagon/transporters from 1983.5 to 1985. characterized by a digital 'map' of the 'proper' fuel quantity vs engine rpm and temperature.

DOGLEG - The body panel around the front wheel on a bus. Because it looks like one!

DOT - Department of Transportation. an agency of the U.S. Federal Government that has authority over some aspects of automobile construction, especially in the safety-related areas.

DOPPLE-KABINE - the German name for Double-Cab Pickup Truck.

DORMOBILE - a UK company that made camping conversions of VW buses. Dormobile was the only converter other than Westfalia to be an official, VW approved converter of Type 2s into campers.

DOUBLE-CAB - the VW Pickup Truck characterized by seating for six and three doors. a 1/2-ton vehicle.

DPO - Dreaded Previous Owner (the sorry so-and-so who owned and mistreated YOUR bus before you bought it).

ECU - Electronic Control Unit. generally refers to the 'computer' that controls the fuel injection system.

EFI - Electronic Fuel Injection. computerized metering and squirting of fuel, replacing the carburetor systems. introduced into the buses in the mid-70's.

EGR - Exhaust Gas Recirculation. one of the emission control techniques, in which gases are sucked from the exhaust pipes (before the muffler) and re-circulated through the intake manifold (to be 'burned' again). The high heat associated with exhaust gases required expensive metals ... so replacing/repairing this system can be costly.

EPA - Environmental Protection Agency. another agency of the U.S. Federal Government that gets involved in automobile construction, especially in the engine emissions area.

EUROVAN - any of the Volkswagen Transporters from 1992 to present. Some were sold in Europe in 1991. Generally characterized by their engine located in the front of the vehicle, driving the front wheels, and their very rounded shape and huge rear hatch.

E-Z CAMPER - An American West coast camper converter that usually converted Panel Vans by adding single-paned popout windows.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

FART - Frequently-Annoying-Recurring-Threads

FEDERAL MODEL - Describes a US type IV engine not built to California emissions standards.

FIF - Front is Front. To eliminate confusion when dealing with the rear engine configured VW, parts are customarily referenced by their position relative to the front and rear of the vehicle (e.g. the oil seal on the flywheel end of the engine is referred to as the front main seal).

FLAG - Friendly Local Auto Garage

FLAPS - Friendly Local Auto Parts Store/Supplier/Source

FLARS - Friendly Local Auto Repair Shop

FLATS - Friendly Local Auto Tire Store

FUBAR - Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition

FWIW - For What It's Worth (same as BTW)

FYI - For Your Information

GENERATION - a term used to distinguish the several body types of the Volkswagen Transporter as it matured and evolved over the years. currently, there are four (4) generations of the Transporter line: 1st Generation, or T1, is 1949-1967, or Microbuses. 2nd Generation, or T2, is 1968-1979, or Bread Loafs. 3rd Generation, or T3, is 1980-1991, or Vanagons.4th Generation, or T4, is 1992-...., or Eurovans. this is the current generation or body type for the Transporter linage.

**No listings begin with "H" at this time**

IMHO - In My Humble Opinion

IMNSHO - In My Not So Humble Opinion

IRS - Independent Rear Suspension. a form of rear suspension that allows the rear wheels to move vertically up and down, independently of each other, to compensate for bumps and road surfaces. uses a double-jointed rear axle, with cv-joints at each end.

JALOUSIE - a camper window with horizontal slats as found on split window and bay window Westfalias.

KOMBI - generally accepted to mean a mid-range trim model of a Volkswagen Transporter. That is, NOT a utility/commercial truck, and yet NOT a Deluxe model with all the bells and whistles of luxury and convenience. Usually, a Kombi has windows along the side, seats, and some side paneling. Kombis also had fibreboard overhead instead of a headliner.

KPH - Kilometers per Hour - speed measured in the metric system.L/100km Liters per 100 Kilometers. a measurement of fuel economy in the metric system. note that this is exactly backwards from the American system of miles/gallon. the metric measurement denotes the amount of fuel required to go a certain distance roughly, 10 L/100km = 23 mpg.

LED - Light Emitting Diode - those little red/green/yellow 'lights' that almost never burn out. sort of solid plastic light bulbs. and they use very very little amounts of electricity.

LPG - Liquid Propane Gas - the stuff that the stove and refrigerator use for fuel in the campers.

MICROBUS - any Volkswagen Transporter from 1949 to 1967, characterized by a split (two-piece) windshield and rounded body contours. all were powered by beetle Type 1 engines and all had 'reduction gears' on the half-axles. known also as T1 Transporters.

MOT - Vehicle inspection requirement in the UK akin to smog/emissions and safety inspections in the US and TUV in Germany.

MPG - Miles per gallon - the American measurement of fuel economy, denoting the distance traveled for a certain amount of fuel. roughly, 20 mpg = 12 L/100km.

MPH - Miles per hour - the American measurement of speed.

NOS - New Original [or Old] Stock (not rebuilt, used or reproduced by some non-OEM company).

OE - Original Equipment.

OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer.

OWL - another name for the Microbus, 1949-1967.

PANEL - a model of bus that has no side windows behind the front doors. Usually a commercial model. May or may not have a rear hatch window. Can have a partition between the front seats and rear cargo area.

PCV - Positive Crankcase Ventilation - a method of reducing the pressure inside the engine crankcase (the middle part where things are whirling around, but nothing is exploding).

PICKUP - a model of bus that had a flat load bed with no fixed roof over the rear half of the vehicle. see Single-Cab and Double-Cab. Optional canvas tents were available to cover the rear flat bed area.

PITA - Pain In The Anal (region); a hassle, tedious work.

PO - Past Owner.

PRITSCHEN-WAGENS - another name for the Single-Cab pickup truck.

**No listings begin with "Q" at this time**

ROCKER - The sheet metal body panel running the length of the lower few inches of the car between the front and rear wheels. Typically non-existant on a rusty bus!

ROO BARS - (a.k.a. "bull bars") Tubular frame mounted ahead of the front body panel for anti-deer/brush/etc. protection. Mounts to frame or bumper.

SAFARE CAMPER - a model of the camper conversion vans made by Adventurewagen.

SAFARI WINDOWS - a type of front windshield that tilts outward for additional ventilation. found only on Microbuses, and usually only on those in equatorial/tropic countries.

SAMBA - usually refers to the Microbus Deluxe Station Wagen, with 21 or 23 Windows and a Sunroof.

SEMAPHORE - A mechanical turn signal found on early buses and bugs that pop up from the door pillar when activated.

SC - Acronym for Single Cab pickup trucks.

SINGLE-CAB - the 3/4-ton version of the VW Pickup Truck. seating for three people.

SNAFU - Situation Normal: All Fouled Up

SO - Significant Other (Spouse)

SOPRU - a model of the camper conversion vans made in Australia.

SPLIT - the Microbus, made from 1949 to 1967. also called a Split-Window.

SPORTSMOBILE - a model of the camper conversion vans made in the US.

STANDARD - Upper mid-range model of the Bus with nicer interior components than the Kombi, but without the extra trappings of the Deluxe model. Standards have headliners, while Kombis and Panels did not. Distinguished by three (3) windows in the side behind the front doors (including the cargo door windows).

STATION WAGON - Describes a Type 2 of any of the following body styles: 7 seater, 9 seater, Kombi with center and rear bench, kombi with center bench only, Kombi with rear bench only, basic campmobile.

SUNDIAL CAMPER - An American based camper conversion company using mosty Kombis (some Panels) and adding single-pane popout windows.

SWING-AXLE - a type of rear axle that is 'fixed' at the wheel (that is, it is not able to flex up or down), but is able to move up and down at the transmission end. It required the rear wheels to move in an arc, rather than vertically, when hitting bumps. in some cars (beetles and corvairs and some early porsches), it could cause the wheel to tuck under the car during high speed cornering.

SYNCRO - the four-wheel drive version of the Vanagon, made between 1986 and 1991. Using a viscous coupling arrangement, the front wheels could be made to automatically provide pulling power (at any time the rear wheels began to slip or spin).

TIA - Thanks in Advance

TRANSPORTER - any of Volkswagen smaller trucks and vans. known as Type 2, they evolved through four (4) 'generations': T1, T2, T3, and T4. but the entire line of vehicles has always been called 'Type 2'.

TRANNY - 1. an affectionate name for Transporter.
2. an American slang term for Transmission.

TTFN - Ta-Ta For Now (So Long until later)

TUV - an agency of the German Federal Government. Sort of a combination of DOT and EPA, as well as being responsible for inspecting cars before they are allowed to be driven.

TYPE IV - 1700cc-2000cc engine found in all 1972-1979 T2 buses, the VW Type 4 411/412, the Porsche 914, and 1980-1983-1/2 T3 Vanagons in the US. Also optionally available in buses/Vanagons outside the US.

TYPE 2 - Any Volkswagen Transporter. Since the Beetle was the first car produced by VW, it became known within the company as the Type 1. The bus or transporter was the second type vehicle produced, so it became known as the Type 2. The Squareback/Fastback was the Type 3, and the 411/412 was the Type 4 (which had the same "type IV" engine as the 1972-1983-1/2 Type 2's (buses).

**No listings begin with "U" at this time**

VANAGON - any Volkswagen Transporter from 1980-1991, distinguished by squarer body contours and extremely large windows and windshield. also known as T3 Transporters, or Caravelle.

WEDGE - Another name, usually British, for the Vanagon body series.

WESTFALIA - NOT "WESTPHALIA"! (sic) One of many Camper versions made from a basic VW Transporteror

WESTY - (short for Westfalia) Usually the only Camper version imported into the U.S. by VW and sold at their dealers.

WRT - With Respect To (in regard to ...)

**No listings begin with "X" at this time**

YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary

**No listings begin with "Z" at this time**

Back to Library Miscellany