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Pushrod Tubes? - [pics] - Install questions, oil leak, etc!
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Shaka
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:59 pm    Post subject: Pushrod Tubes? - [pics] - Install questions, oil leak, etc! Reply with quote

Ever since I bought my 1970 standard, I've kept a piece of chipboard under the car so I could keep tabs on the car. (After the first time I saw a drip of oil on the garage floor, I've kept on eye on things). It has a small drip from the case half nut/bolt at the far front of the motor. It occasionally has a drip from the nuts of the oiler strainer (I have a new billet strainer cover and a new strainer to go in at next oil change).

(Sidebar: Just ordered myself some Brad Penn 10w30, should be here Thursday. That gets swapped in for the icky Castrol in there now as soon as I can)

After driving my car Sunday the car has sat, but I hadn't really looked under it until this morning. Pardon the blurry picture, but here is what I found:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Based on what I saw there, it was dripping off the heater box on the driver-side of the car. A quick look above and I think it is coming from the forward-most pushrod tube... check this out:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Valve adjustments have been made over the 2k miles I've owned the car (once by me at time of purchase, again a few hundred miles later during an oil change, and again maybe 100 miles ago while my local mechanic was diagnosing the car since it has been running "on the warm side" lately) (and also it flooded once, and has occasional vapor lock). Smile While under there, he said he checked the head bolts and they were okay.

So.... what do you folks think? Am I correct in that the motor needs dropped and head pulled for this to be fixed properly? Any insight as to where to go from here is appreciated... as you can see the loss of oil was more than just a "slight drip" so I am a bit worried. But I check my oil level religously and plan to continue to drive the car (I always keep a qt of oil with me!)
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Last edited by Shaka on Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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2002sportside
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I told you in the pm, but I will repost here for future searches...

A leaky pushrod can be replaced without pulling the motor and heads by using a GOOD spring loaded pushrod tube.

Aircooled.net sells these in singles and sets. They look like Scat to me.

CB Performance sells the JayCee tubes in sets.

Don't get the cheap plastic ones or you will be doing it twice. The right way to do it? Maybe not, but it's a lot cheaper. We all know once the engine comes down and the heads come off, the bills will add up quick. One thing always leads to another...
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Paul D
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put in the Scat one like the ones at Aircooled.net with no leaks so far after one year.

I decided to keep them in, even after I had the engine out to replace rings, and lap valves. I wanted to see how long they would hold up and see if all the naysayers are right.

They are tough to get in because of the spring pressure, but a definite easier fix than dropping the engine just to replace IMO.
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Shaka
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Steve & Paul. Appreciate the prompt replies.

Pardon my newb ignorance but ... just to clarify ... what would be involved with installation? I assume you'd take off the valve cover, remove the whole rocker assy (?)... slide out the corresponding pushrod ... then get under the car, remove the tin piece that is in my way .. remove the old tube (just yank it down and bend it / break it to remove it?) ... remove old seals, install new seals, install new tube ... reinstall pushrod, rocker assy, valve cover ... done. Right?!

Or am I missing something? I'm just not truly a "mechanic" by trade, but I'm mechanically inclined I'd like to think. Wink So the more I know going into it, the better.
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2002sportside
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly how its done, Ari. Except the seals go on the tube, then it goes in.

I know a few "mechanics" that wouldn't be able to figure that out Wink
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Shaka
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2002sportside wrote:
Exactly how its done, Ari. Except the seals go on the tube, then it goes in. I know a few "mechanics" that wouldn't be able to figure that out Wink


LOL ... thanks for the compliment, I guess. Cool

Just ordered the single unit for just under $10 from Aircooled.net .. and was REALLY impressed that just after the order was placed, I not only got a confirmation e-mail but ALSO a little "write-up" how-to with instructions on the install. And of course they basically were what I wrote, but more nicely written.

One thing ... their instructions say to reinstall the rocker arm assembly (two nuts) to 'spec' but don't say what spec is. I've got a Bentley but it is burried in my tool box (as is my Muir book I think). So off the top of anyone's head, what is that torque spec? Just curious.

Pretty excited now.... hopefully Friday night I'll be doing the following:
- Installing the new springloaded aluminum pushrod tube from aircooled.net
- Changing my oil to get rid of the castrol GTX for the new Brad Penn 10w30
- Installing my new billet oil strainer cover and replacement oil strainer
- Rain-X my windshield (something i've meant to do for the last 2 months!)

Wish me luck!
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2002sportside
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://wolfgangint.com/Torque+Specs/
18 ft lb.

Thats one thing I like about ACN, instructions. They even have them for the basic stuff like spark plugs.
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Paul D
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes you have got it, if you include sportsides comment about the seal.

No luck needed, you have it down!
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Shaka
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, Paul, Etc ... a few quick questions for my in-process update...

Drove my car over to my parent's house earlier this evening. My dad is into cars and has a 2-post lift, so it makes a joy working on cars like this. Drained the oil, removed the old filter screen and cover. Installed the new filter screen (the holes really needed opened up but a few taps got it on) and installed my Bugpack billet cover w/magnetic drain plug. Lets hope this one doesn't drip (the previous one had the smallest of small drips from the 6 nuts, grr).

Anyhow.. my questions are.....

#1 - Even with a sh!tload of PB Blaster, I was unable to remove one of the nuts for the tinware. I removed the two on the motor side, and one of the two from the heaterbox flanges... but the one I cant remove is the farther forward flange on the heater box (you can see the "backside" of it in the bottom of my 2nd picture at the top of this thread). If it were a hex head we'd be in business, but they are bolts that are flat-blade round-headed screws. So I just cant get any "traction" to turn it. Any suggestions? Its too small a head and a funky position to get my vice grips on it, I tried.

(sidebar: even if i cant get that bolt loose, I should be able to get the job done, I just will have a farther strech of my arms to get to the correct tube -- it just happens that, of course, the tube leaking is farthest forward on the car, making it hardest to reach, haha)

#2 - Removal of the pushrod.... although i didnt get to that part tonight, i couldnt help but notice the rear left wheel/tire appears dangerously close to the forward part of the valve cover area. Anyone know if the wheel is going to have to come off to pull the pushrod out? just so i'm preparred... also does the pushrod just slide in/out, or is it keyed in any way at the ends? (and is the same at both ends?)

#3 - Do I need to have the motor at a certain firing cylinder? This again is the driver-side foward-most pushrod, so I believe that is cyl#3, intake? I dont plan to touch the valve adjustment, and plan to just remove the two nuts that hold the rocker assy, and just put it back on ... no adjustments necessary, per ACN's instructions... but does the motor "position" matter in any way, shape, or form?

My oil (Brad Penn) arrived today. Assuming as goes well, the ACN scat pushrod tube will arrive tomorrow (per my UPS track#), and I'll install that after work. Fill'er up with the new oil, and take it for a test run. I'm just fearful of the "snags" I may run into with the access to the tube, getting two arms in there to install the new tube, etc.
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Paul D
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#1 - Two recommendations, use some heat (torch) on that screw. The second idea is somewhat similar that I did for removing one of the flathead pressure relief valves bolts. I wedged a screw diver using some block of wood on the ground as shims to get some good pressure on the screwdriver. Then I secured a vice grip to the screwdriver and then turned it out using the vice grips in one hand, and the other had to keep the screw driver straight. I really don't think you are going to get a spring loaded push rod tube in unless you get it out. They have a lot of pressure.

#2 - Pulled mine out with tires on. Yes and it just slides in and out, have a rag ready to catch some oil.

#3 - No certain firing order. Because you removed the rocker arms I would check the valves.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

Paul
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#1. Try the largest flathead you can fit in the slot. Put that in and then put vise grips or adjustable wrench on the screwdriver and try turning it that way while you put force down on the screw. I have had good luck getting that out. You can also try a fluted easy out (looks like a socket). Something like this.

#2. Not sure about the tire, but you might want to plan ahead. Pushrods are the same on both ends, not keyed or anything. Just pull it out and put it back. It needs to be in the lifter 'cup' properly, but you will be able to tell just by sliding it in there.

#3. Not important where the motor is. Just unbolt the rockers evenly, and put them back the same. Even that probably doesn't matter.

Good luck, should go smoothly.

Paul beat me to it... I must type slow Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just performed the same procedure on my 71 super's engine. I *really* didn't want to take the heads off if I could avoid it. Ordered a full set of the metal SCAT pushrod tubes (actually tried the plastic ones first, but they arrived with cracks in the molded plastic, so I returned those and spent the extra dough on the aluminum tubes).

Engine was out and up on a stand, because I was doing more than just pushrod tubes, and because it's not that hard to drop the engine and it makes it SOOOOO much easier to get at all the areas that needed to be cleaned before putting the new tubes and seals in.

The SCAT tubes arrived enirely disassembled. Each tube had the following pieces: 2 aluminum tubes, 1 powerful spring, 2 rubber o-rings, 2 metal washers, and 2 seals. I assembled everything, then dipped the end of the tube with the o-rings in some clean motor oil to help lubricate them and protect them.

Then came installation. I knew I was going to have to compress the spring somewhat. I did not know I was going to have to compress the spring *COMPLETELY*. While holding on to an oil-slicked aluminum tube. And trying not to get a fingertip caught between a tube and the head or crankcase. I did manage to get one tube installed by hand in this fashion before deciding that maybe there was a better way...

Better Way:
I took about 2 feet of 1/2" by 1/8" iron bar stock. I heated one end with a torch then bent it at a 90 degree angle. I then ground down the bent end until it would slide through the tube and hold it without marring it, and ground a little lip onto the bent end so it could hook the end of the tube a little easier. Attached a t-handle to the other end, made out of an old allen wrench, and voila, specialty tool is created. Procedure for using it: slide it through the hole in the head, slide a new tube onto it, hooking the tube on the bent portion of your tool. Pull the tube against the head, compressing the spring down completely. Maneuver the tube into place, being careful not to mangle the seal that you've got against the head. Gently slide the case-end of the tube into place. Then slide your tool out of the tube, and repeat 7 more times.

WARNING: Keep your fingertips and everything else you're fond of clear of the business end of the tube while you've got that spring compressed. If it comes off the hook by surprise, and something gets caught between the tube and the engine, it's not going to be fun.

Problems Encountered:
One side's tubes went in easy as can be. The other side, with the thermostat in the way, gave me all kinds of problems. Things just seemed more cramped on that side. I nearly mangled two seals on two tubes while getting them installed, and had to on occasion use my new tool as a pusher and not just as a puller. The final tube just wouldn't go at all, and I had to grind about 2mm off the end of it to get it to clear and fit into place. Still easier than pulling the heads, but not a cakewalk.

Also, I had some problems getting the tin out of the way...one piece in particular ended up getting a little warped out of shape on its way out, and a little more warped on its way back in. Okay, so, it's in *almost* the same shape it was before, now. Nothing a hammer and vice grips can't fix, right?

...right?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so, you didn't want to pull the heads, but the engine was on the stand? seems like you went through alot of trouble to avoid pulling the heads, which is a very easy procedure... My opnion, of course..
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bugninva wrote:
so, you didn't want to pull the heads, but the engine was on the stand? seems like you went through alot of trouble to avoid pulling the heads, which is a very easy procedure... My opnion, of course..


I *really* hate breaking off bolts and studs. I wanted to avoid pulling the exhaust manifold and heads if at all possible. Whereas dropping the engine is cake.

Plus, I was doing more than just replacing the tubes. I was replacing oil cooler gaskets. Taking all that shrouding off is sooooo much easier with the engine out and on a stand.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gotcha...
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

on tin screws, if they are really stuck, put vice grips around it AND a screw driver, never failed me yet.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that screw for the tinware is being difficult & you have a Dremel tool (or very thin hacksaw blade like a jeweler would use) cut the slot deeper into the head of the screw to give you more purchase... just a thought.

RE the pushrod tubes...
I haven't replaced these on the VW, but I did replace some collapsable oil return tubes (set of 4) in my '85 Carrera with the motor in. They look just like the pushrod tube arrangement but only carry oil between the case and the heads. These telescope out (as no engine drop replacements) and are sealed with seals on the ends & internally between the two sections...
What we do is to get a hose clamp & fix it between the two expandable parts, then use the tip of a large flat blade screw driver to force the two sections away from each other until the end seals are secure. It'll go about a quarter inch, then the clamps have to be readjusted & the procedure is repeated.
I know the VW pushrod tubes are spring loaded & they need to be compressed rather than expanded, but I've always thought if I was faced w/ that procedure I'd think about making creative use of hose clamps (and maybe even wire to hold the two parts together like putting on new shocks) to help in the installation. After they're in place, the wire can be cut & the tubes will expand out. Also, prying against a tube is easier if there's something attached to it as a leverage point... Just a thought
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Last edited by jlex on Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jlex wrote:
If that screw for the tinware is being difficult & you have a Dremel tool (or very thin hacksaw blade like a jeweler would use) cut the slot deeper into the head of the screw to give you more purchase... just a thought.

RE the pushrod tubes...
I haven't replaced these on the VW, but I did replace some collapsable oil return tubes (set of 4) in my '85 Carrera with the motor in. They look just like the pushrod tube arrangement but only carry oil between the case and the heads. These telescope out as no engine drop replacements and are sealed with seals on the ends & internally between the two sections...
What we do is to get a hose clamp & fix it between the two expandable parts, then use the tip of a large flat blade screw driver to force the two sections away from each other until the end seals are secure. It'll go about a quarter inch, then the clamps have to be readjusted & the procedure is repeated.
I know the VW pushrod tubes are spring loaded & they need to be compressed rather than expanded, but I've always thought if I was faced w/ that procedure I'd think about making creative use of hose clamps (and maybe even wire to hold the two parts together like putting on new shocks) to help in the installation. After they're in place, the wire can be cut & the tubes will expand out. Also, prying against a tube is easier if there's something attached to it as a leverage point... Just a thought
jlex.


it wasn't actually the screws that gave me trouble, but the tin itself, which is curved to fit snugly between the case and the heat exchanger. One particularly problematic piece had to be twisted a little to get it out, and twisted a little more to get it back in. But, like I said, vice grips, hammer, and it's almost as good as new Wink

As for the pushrod installation, yeah, I thought about hose clamps. If I'd used the plastic tubes with the external springs, that would have worked. The aluminum tubes have the springs on the inside, though, so there's no way to clamp the spring down in a compressed position. If I sliced the outer tube open I might have been able to do it that way, but that kinda defeats the purpose of putting new, non-leaky tubes in in the first place Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Visualize this.... with the smooth tubes (springs on the inside) disassemble the hose clamps then reassemble them around the smooth outer surface of the pushrod tubes. One on either side. Tighten them so they don't slip, then compress the tubes (off the car, of course) then keep them compressed by wiring them together using the hose clamps with thin wire (like a new shock absorber is). When they're in position, simply cut the wire and allow them to expand. The hose clamp thing should work whether the springs are on the inside or the outside... right? Am I missing something here? If these things come in two halves, it should be a simple matter of keeping the two halves compressed until you're ready for them to expand into the head & case. Try the first one that way, if it doesn't work, then you can struggle with the rest....

jlex.


Last edited by jlex on Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jlex wrote:
Visualize this.... with the smooth tubes (springs on the inside) disassemble the hose clamps then reassemble them around the smooth outer surface of the pushrod tubes. One on either side. Tighten them so they don't slip, then compress the tubes (off the car, of course) then keep them compressed by wiring them together with thin wire (like a new shock absorber is). When they're in position, simply cut the wire and allow them to expand. The hose clamp thing should work whether the springs are on the inside or the outside... right? Am I missing something here? If these things come in two halves, it should be a simple matter of keeping the two halves compressed until you're ready for them to expand into the head & case. Try the first one that way, if it doesn't work, then you can struggle with the rest....


Hmm, okay, I see what you're saying. Yeah, that'd work too, though you might scuff or warp your tubes through doing it that way.

Bottom line, I guess, is it's doable through a variety of means, as long as you keep safety in mind. And pulling the heads does make it easier Wink
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