HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL
1 RUST CHECK
Inspect the sills and chassis rails for corrosion or poor repairs. Lift the carpets where possible to view the floor, especially around the seatbelt mounts. The doors, body panel seams and roof gutters should be examined, too.
Early models had 1.6- or 2.0-litre air-cooled petrol units, superseded by 1.9- and 2.1-litre water-cooled petrols, all flat-four configuration. Aircooled production ended in 1982.
Four- and five-speed manual transmissions were fitted. Check all gears engage smoothly and listen out for a noisy differential. Four-wheel drive ‘Syncro’ models, were produced between 1985 and 1992.
Many T3s have had very hard lives, especially the panel vans, but availability for both aftermarket trim and secondhand parts is good on the whole. Check for rain leaks caused by rust around windows, and operate all interior equipment (this is especially important in campers).
5 RUNNING GEAR
The T3 features double wishbone suspension at the front and semitrailing arms at the rear. Use a pry-bar to check for worn bushes and ball joints. The brakes were upgraded in 1986, but whatever the era, look for leaking fluid at the wheels, and check that no component is seized by ensuring the vehicle stops in a straight line under firm braking.