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Montag, 3. März 2014, 06:04

Hello from Australia! - Karlos - the 1984 VW Santana

Hello and greetings to all fellow lovers of VW.... I apologise for writing in English, I do not know much German! ;)
Karlos was sold to me recently as a salvage from the scrap yards. He is a 1984 Santana, Australian delivered. Only a few states in Australia would allow his registration... Luckily, mine was one!

Karlos was destined to be crushed. He has a lot of cancer, but nothing that can't be cut and replaced.
The previous owner allowed me to save him from being parted out... He was going to sell me the gearbox, and I asked if I could have the whole car... (same price)

There is one BIG problem with Karlos.... One which means he will not be restored unless I can resolve....
He is missing his boot/trunk/luggage lid....

If anyone has a spare, that they are willing to ship to Australia..... I would love to negotiate... The freight will most likely cost more than Karlos cost.... So if there is a kind sole out there that is willing to help an Australian save a Santana then please speak up... I don't even really care about the condition... Something is better than nothing... Of course, if I could get one with a lock and latch mechanism I would be even more grateful....

Some more photos!

He needs a good tidy up.... I will do this once I know if I can get a boot lid... I am desperate enough that I am looking to other manufacturers as they are plentiful in the wreckers... I am told Karlos only has 9 siblings in Australia... Not good for the family when organ donation is required.... ;)


Montag, 3. März 2014, 09:06

Hello rudo1ph,


To find a boot lid here should not be the problem.
But do you know that the Santana has recently been produced in China? Maybe this could be a cheaper way to find.
I guess I do not have to mention or as another source...

I am shure you will find here what you need, in the end.

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Montag, 3. März 2014, 21:00

Hello rudo1ph,

congratulations to this very rare find!

Karlos was sold to me recently as a salvage from the scrap yards. He is a 1984 Santana, Australian delivered. Only a few states in Australia would allow his registration... Luckily, mine was one!

I guess you wanted to write "Japanese delivery" since the car is doubtless a Nissan-produced "PM 30" Santana Xi5 that was unique to this market. Or has this car in fact been registered first time in Australia, back in 1984?

In fact, with the Japanese regulations being particularly strong, most of these Santana have been exported after some years, to my best knowledge mostly to New Zealand. But, as it seems, at least one of them made it to Australia - and I guess that most of the other 9 Santanas in Australia will be Nissan produced as well since the Germany-originating "export" Santana (nor the Passat Mk.2) were never officially available in the market. (Really crazy and funny to imagine: My small collection has more Santana than there are in all Australia...

Here's a picture of one of my cars, same colour as yours ("Sand metallic") - it was particularly important to the Japanese to have the "correct" paint for their domestic Santanas:

This model is a 1983 LX, lower spec. than your Xi5, closer to the "Li" in Japan at the time. The Xi5 is even better equipped than our GX5 top model, but they are resembling each other very closely. (More about German Santana models in the link below.)

The Nissan Santana, sold as a sort of "domestic Volkswagen" in Japan from 1984 to 1990 officially licensed by Volkswagen, is a very special development. In fact, most of the car were in some or other way modified to suit Japanese needs, f.e. reduction of welding points, electronics upgrade, special cloth upholstery (more sophisticated), larger side indicators, adjusted front bumper etc. etc. - In the end, the Japanese engineers came up with a car that looked like a Volkswagen Santana, but which was very much adapted to the needs of Japanese customers and production.

This is precisely the small uncertainty relating to your question: Nobody in fact knows what parts of a "normal" Santana ("rest of the world") might fit or might not fit a Japanese Nissan Santana. In your case, I think we might assume that they did not change in any way the boot lid - why should they have done?

Of course, a Santana boot lid can be sent around the world - the freight costs for this would be hell, though. Looking from Europe, I see two alternatives possibly more interesting; First, try to obtain one from New Zealand. I think that on some scrapyard over there, some poor faded-out Santana, originating also from Japanese production, might rust in piece and be a donor for the boot lid. Second, try to get a lid from China, possibly even brand new, perhaps a friend or colleague of yours can take one from there on a business trip o.e.: The Santana was in production until last year (!) in the very body-shape you have standing in front of your house... - much more from China than the boot lid or other metal body parts, the window panes and some things from underneath (axles & parts) might hardly fit your car, I fear: There is much difference between the Nissan modified 5cyl RHD Santana and the Chinese 4cyl LHD, and the Santana in China was built for almost 30 years in the trim specifications of the German 1985-1987 "Passat sedan", the facelift model - yours is pre-facelift, meaning almost nothing in colour & trim from China will fit your car. For everything relating to this field (as well as f.e. front lights), it will be easiest to stick to New Zealand.

- Your Xi5 ist the very first case that I hear about of a Santana in Australia, and I also never had a personal contact to a New Zealand Santana owner. It will be most interesting to learn more, and possibly to see more details of your car (photos) as well: f.e. the instrument cluster & switches in the dashboard, engine compartment etc. etc., this would simply be great! Please do not even think about crushing Karlos, otherwise I might have to think about importing him to Germany... :rolleyes:

kind regards from Wolfsburg


Montag, 3. März 2014, 21:37


I would guess that there are only two men in the world knowing (almost) each and ever detail in the history of the VW Santana - one answered above.
And even here in Germany a five-cylinder-engined Santana has become rare. There would be in fact many who'd like to get in hold of yours - because it seems to be complete in many details and not to be rusted and rotten ( not to mention the shiny paint after all these years).

I would not go that far as to say as there wouldn't fit any part because of its japanese origin. It is something very specific about these japanese volkswagen: Have a closer look at each single part of the exterior (or interior, or under the hood). Normally they should be marked with a VW-Signature, but here the Nissan-sign will dominate.

PS: In another detail I am ashamed to correct the expert. Another member here from AUS, Frank in OZ, mentioned to me another Santana down under imported from South Africa several years ago. But I guess this car does not exist anymore as he was nor very fond of it.

Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von »nikalla« (3. März 2014, 21:39)


Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 01:36

Wow... such interest!

Thank you all, for you advice and expert knowledge...

I will have a look closer regarding Nissan-isms for you tonight when I get home....
I do have some additional photos and will take more...

I do know the glass is marked Audi/VW/Nissan as this was advised to me when I purchased him...
There is a lot of rust that I do not highlight in my photos... I will take some photos of this... (I usually glorify what I have rather than highlight issues... hehehehe)

I will follow up further with interest the complete history of Karlos. I do have registration paperwork dating back to 1996, and the original books etc are not in my possession as yet. THe previous owner is meant to have these though. Once I have made contact again I will procure them! THis should give me some insight, regarding service history, etc...

He has 381,000km on the clock, so I suspect he saw a lot of service during his years... My B1 pictured to the side of one photo has only seen 113,000km in her 38 years...

More candy
His instrument cluster

A more broad photo of the front seats including the dash

A more broad photo of the driver's side...

Excuse the Suzuki in the drive... it is going!!! LOL and the MkV GTi is my daily currently... The garage houses a lot of VW goodness.... Happy to list off if anyone is keen to know...
Thank you Tilman for your prompt to look back here... I had been busy with work and not had a chance to return. It is lovely to see one of your cars. I am now going to have to spend the weekend looking through your posts and collection... LOL

Karlos has rust.... lots of it... He has rust at the base of the rear window in both lower corners (C-Pillar). He has rust in the back panel above the tail lights and boot corners. He also has rust at the leading edge of both rear doors where they meet the front doors. This may be visible a little better in the photos above. He also has rust in the A-pillar where Mk1 Golfs rust also at the lower edge of the front windscreen.

I am aware that most of the time this is not structural, and simply a cosmetic issue, which is why he still sits on my front strip of grass....
I have not cleaned him up other than to wash the salt off him. He came from the NW coast of Tasmania, which is right on the edge of the sea (Bass Strait) so this is why I feel he has rusted a little externally. I hope to give him a good home. His paintwork is not shiny.... It is a trick of the trade... Take the photo while he is wet and early in the morning so the sun glistens... His upward facing panels have dulled through the clear paint. Maybe I will be able to simply re-clear the non rusted sections... we will see...

I have a 1981 Audi 5+5 that was given to me. I cannot keep both cars, so I suspect that a lot of the parts from the 5+5 will be good for donation to the Santana. Both are rare though, but the Santana is missing a LOT less than the 5+5. I did consider using the interior parts from the Santana to make a killer 5+5...... I think the Santana looks nicer...

The 5+5 is a 5cyl Bosch injected with a 5sp FWD manual box.
I will get more photos of that also perhaps... I have been told despite it's 400,000km it does run.. It will not stop though... LOL It 'runs on' meaning turning the ignition off has no effect...

The Audi was only ever considered for parts. I have the ability to house 7 cars squeezed in or 6 comfortably... The current list is:
2 4door Mk1 Golfs
1 2door '76 Mk1 Golf
2 2door '75 B1 TS Passat
1 4door '76 B1 LS Passat
1 '75 B1 Passat wagon
1 '57 Microbus
1 '64 Panelvan
1 '08 MkV GTi
1 '81 Audi 5+5
1 '84 Santana
1 '59 Bugeye Austin Healey Sprite (in parts....)

And I have another 4door Mk1 that I promised to pickup a few years ago in a lovely Martini Olive... All paid for, no room...
So you can see the problem... :D Not to mention every single part I have been offered or come across also resides at my house... Spare panels, spare engines, spare gearboxes, the list goes on...
My most recent parts purchase was a 1.8t and 5sp out of an Audi A3 to go into the 2door Mk1... I have Mk3 4disc brake upgrade to go in also... I need to get in and do some of this!

Again, thank you for you interest and information... I will find out more


Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 02:20

Oh, and Nikalla, Peter (Frank - his facelift Passat/Dasher's name) is a great wealth of knowledge. I have already picked his brain a few times on other matters...
True, he had an import from South Africa I think, back in 2011 from what I found... As far as I know, it got crushed with the bootlid... :( I however feel this holds hope others may also have been imported privately...

I was told by someone that very few states allowed registration of these cars. I remain unclear as to why exactly, maybe they did not have a class for them. All I know is there were three or four states in our fair country which did allow registration of these cars... Luckily it seems, mine was one!

Thanks again!!!!


Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 10:56

OK, the bad bits

Here we have Karlos's cancer...

Passenger sill in front of rear wheel arch

Rust on inside of passenger rear door

Rust on outside of rear passenger door

Rust on front passenger door. The inside of this door seems OK, unlike the rear door... (phew)

Front sill/stone tray corner passenger side, a small dent, but seems to have created rust

Inner guard passenger side, rusted through to support section

Inner guard passenger side at chassis rail beside radiator

I lifted the bonnet for the first time today.... Ohhhhhh.... There is a lot of hidden trouble here....

More next post...


Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 10:58

The driver's side... cancer...

Rear boot rust near passenger side tail light

Small spot on passenger side boot area

Passenger side C-Pillar rust

Hey look! The plate IS stamped PM30..... Proof someone knows their cars!! ;) I had no doubt of course...

See, he is really dusty in the paintwork.... :(

Look! Karlos has an identity crisis... Nissan/VW/Audi

Look! It's not all bad... the inside of this door LOOKS OK...

What's the verdict? On one hand he deserves to be restored.... On the other hand, I am not sure if I have the time or money to give him what he deserves. It will be a glass out, interior out, doors off, engine out restoration. There is no simple way to give him the love he needs... This is a lot of work, as I have a 57 microbus that needs this degree of work.... Not impossible... Not by any means....


Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 11:05

Server dumped a whole post?

Driver's side.... the worst bits...

Didn't look real bad

until I dug the rust out...

Where the doors meet



The boot area is rust free. I am unsure what the floor is like under the carpet. However the carpet looks to have been very wet at some point...


Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 17:17

ok. Karloss should only visited and looked at by far.

Rotten doorbottoms are a common sight for this type of car. Normally the wheelarches in the back are rotten at both sides, in a circle from bottom to bottom. But the worst cars here haven't got holes in places like your car has, which means that the motorbay and the areas next to this are solid and rust free, including the a-pillar, for example. So your right when you say that Karloss will need an overhaul in general.

But if Karloss is in good condition he's a smooth riding sedan making long distances a fine experience. Always keep in mind that it was designed for the German "Autobahn" - a comfortable runner for long distance.
And the interior seems to be in a good shape.

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Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 22:31

Thank you very much for the pictures!

WHOW. Until right now I though I had seen it all, but this is really giving my the creeps. This is by far the worst case I took notice of in the last years. Obtaining the boot lid will definitely be one of the easier things on fixing Karlos...

For all four doors and the boot lid (as well as possibly two wings and a bonnet), it will be much easier to find a way to import new (!) parts from China with no rust on them. After all, with solid business being undertaken every day between AUS and the PRC, there should be a way to buy the stuff and get it into a container. After all, it is unbelievable how cheap the parts are, new from Shanghai Volkswagen.

(Went down into the cellar and tumbled over five boot lids, all used ones from Germany - as stated, generally a minor problem...)

What is much more difficult - the body. I never even dreamt of a chance for the chassis rail to rust away in the way you made a picture of. It is completely unbelievable, salt must really be crawling out of the Bass Strait to gnaw on unprotected sheet metal down there...

The problem is that they do not make any repair "sections" or pre-cut parts in China: When a Santana is hit too bad, that`s it. After all, the cars there are mass-produced Taxis destined for a hard and short life...

... so nobody would care when one of them is crushed. Of course, with the Nissan Santana being such a rarity, it should be worth the effort, but you will obviously have to produce the necessary repair pieces yourself. The pillars and the mentioned chassis rail, my goodness... - what work.

And there might very well be coming more of it: In the boot, dare to take away the carpet cover over the driver's side wheel well (your last picture). Hidden there lies the worst fear of German Santana drivers - which is topped easily by most of the other pictures.

The details of the PM 30 are very interesting. Obviously, electric connectors in the engine bay were taken out of the Nissan shelves, and the rear lights are also different - the white insert for the reverse light is completely different from the German version, the reflector as well. The quality of the upholstery seems to be incredibly good: With such mileage and after years of Australian UV radiation, the door pans along with the upholstery and the dashboard (hardly any cracks!) are enormously well. This is a positive point: Apart from the metal (and the missing bootlid), all trim parts are there, and the would be much more difficult to obtain than the lid, doors etc. - so, in the end, I hope this might swing the beam into keeping Karlos alive. But I second your opinion: It will be a hard job.

kind regards

Chris aus Hamm


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Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 22:37

Hello to you in Austrailia :-)
Please note the biggest rust trap for all Passat und Santana.Please have a look in the right back-wheel-housing where the filling-tube is.
And open the carpet in the boot on the right side. There you can see the inner area for rear seat belt fixing.
I hope you can´t see the inner side of the Wheel or shock absorber when there is a hole by rust under the boots carpet.....

Best regards

Die Bord- Elektronik in meinem Santana hat einen Namen : EMDEN ;-)
Unterwegs im Plz-Bereich 59, Hamm /Unna


Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 23:04

I did have anothe view at the rust holes and would conclude, that these areas were especially sealed at european cars, e.g. the areas in the front, dor bottoms or the hole at the drivers side at the wheelarch.
I guess Tilman is right, ty to organize some other doors and repairsections from a donor car, e.g. the a-pillar.


Donnerstag, 6. März 2014, 23:15

I have indeed, lifted the boot carpet from the floor... No rust.... I did this because there was so much rust elsewhere... But I have not removed the carpet from the sides of the boot area....

The rear wheel arches appear fine at first inspection. I too have noticed with imports from the UK/Europe region that the rear wheel arches are bad. Local cars do not seem to suffer from this?

I pondered last night perhaps using the parts in the 5+5 after seeing the engine bay.... It would bring it up to a very respectable looking car, and not common... But Karlos is rare...

I did not notice the difference in the tail lights, and I am still not 100% sure I know what people are saying. They appear very similar to my untrained eye...
The rust in the pillars is very common here. People leave their windows down, our harsh sun crazes rubber, causing it to crack and dry out, and so water/moisture gets inside the car. This then evaporates and condenses on the ceiling of the car. Then runs down the pillars. The pillar on Mk1 Golfs on the passenger side has the wire for the interior light, so the water simply runs to the base of the pillar, no issue until the base gets a small rust hole, which simply allows the water to drain without any visible signs. However the pillar on the driver's side has seam sealer inside for some reason, and the water gets bound up and rusts the pillar visibly. I can only assume Passats are the same, as the passenger side pillar is fine... The rear pillars, I assume there is a join that is not protected (weld?) and these always rust first...

At least this is my analisys of it... It may be accurate, or it could be totally wrong... I am sticking by it with ever car I repair and will remove the seam sealer from teh pillars for this reason and introduce a drain hole at the base of the pillar...

With the engine bay rust, I can only assume that water and dirt and such have sat between the inner guard and the support rail on both sides. Tasmania/Australia for that matter is very dusty and a lot of our roads in the NW were not sealed. I can verify that dust goes everywhere in cars and in the 80s and 90s the roads were not all paved. Combine that with sea proximity and there you have it...

Luckily a lot of my cars have not lived up there... I have already destroyed many mk1 Golfs that came from the same friend, as they were too far gone....
I guess I am happy that a lot of these parts will transplant into any other VW I have, although it is little comfort for Karlos... I will ponder a bit longer... I suspect he will be a money pit...


Freitag, 7. März 2014, 10:38

Please, let Karloss live!

The worst thing in my point of view is the a-pillar, but maybe you can organize a repairsection from a donarcar.
The holes beside the frontwings should be filled up with some shortpieces of metall, as well as the area at the driers side backdoor or the frame of the trunk at the backlight. And the doors...are not necessary for driving (referring to MadMax).

In my opinion the Santana is the more interesting car compared to the 5+5. It drives more comfortable because of the broader and longer wheelbase AND (don't know if it matters) it has got a REAL trunk with a lot of space compared to the Audi.

It is interesting to see that the different place of production cause different problems of corrosion. Obviously the cars produced in Japan were not sealed at the the same points as european cars because cars in Japan are not used that long to make it necessary, while the Audi was produced to survive as many Bavarian winters as possible and therefore will be problably in quite good shape for its age.

Please stay in contact. Unfortunately Passat B2 and Santana are here in Germany not a common sight anymore, even in the junkyards. But it would be a shame to let Karloss die after you contacted us. It should be possible to keep him on the roads, as a minimum.


Freitag, 7. März 2014, 13:02

Please don't panic...

I will try my hardest to preserve Karlos.... I have had the 5+5 for two or more years now and I still don't know what I am doing there... I suspect it will end up donor parts, since the mechanicals looked in better shape than Karlos' do currently...

I have too many projects.... I would rather keep him than the 4door golfs... So that is one thing... One of the TS Passats was only ever bought to be a spare. Pretty much figured the following for the garage

2door mk1 golf
2door B1 TS Passat
the 2 Splits
4door B1 LS Passat
Erika (my GTi)
And the Bugeye sprite somewhere... LOL

I will update you as more develops...

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Freitag, 7. März 2014, 22:27

Looks like the problems being almost the same in Europe as Down Under - too little time, too little space...

Interesting to read about the "5+5", I never heard they marketed the good old Audi 80 under that name. In fact, the early 5cyl front-wheel drive here was only available as the (more comfortably equipped, less emphasizing sportiness) "Audi 80 CD", 1984 rebadged "Audi 90".

kind regards


Montag, 10. März 2014, 09:15

Never really thought that the people have too less space in down under... except in Sidney.

But I have to admit, that I first thought I have much work work with my 32b. But the worn Santana of "Rudo1ph" has changed my mind...

My deepest respect, if you want to fix it.
LUNGENGÄNGIG?!? Die Rußpartikel meines Saugdiesels sind so groß, die passen garnicht durch die Nasenlöcher...


Dienstag, 11. März 2014, 12:44

I have to say... I WANT TO.... :( But I want to save everything and fix everything...

I KNOW this is NOT possible for everything... I will see how I go finding a bootlid.... No luck yet... But I have spied several that come close... early 80s Mazda 626 is similar shape, Nissan Skyline (R31 series), early Toyota Camry (Holden Apollo) and LX Holden Torana... (Holden is Australian car make)
Cannot come soon enough.... It is raining... :(

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Dienstag, 11. März 2014, 21:45

Hi rudo1ph,

the boot lid is "Santana only", it definitely will not fit from any other car (in the early planning stage, the design team in fact had the order to try and take the lid from the 2nd Audi 100 (Type 43), but this was soon discarded as the lid was too large for the Santana).

- My recommendation still is to look for a brand new lid at an SVW dealer in China. The parts number is 327 827 025 - it was the same part all the time from 1983 in Germany until 2012 in China, no changes, and I think it may very well be worth to try and put it on the PM 30 Santana. Parts prices are ridiculously low in China, I think you might end up with 50 AUS$ or so (please check first, I cannot look into Chinese prices from Germany) for purchase, plus additionally customs plus having to pay for somebody to bring it over. With the Santana being as rare as it is in Australia, this should be the most feasible way...

best wishes & regards

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