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Dogpilot Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:50 pm

VW radiators are basically crap, since I had my first Sirocco years ago, the radiator was the weak link. They actually had it in the periodic schedule for replacement. The plus side is they are cheap and easy to replace. It is not impossible to find them in the $150-170 range. If it is over 5 years old, it is on its way down, they age in dog years. Aluminum is a light wonderful material, but it is on the wrong column of the periodic table to not be affected adversely by conductive liquids.

When you pull your old one out, flush it well with fresh water, let it drain a couple of days. Compare its weight to the new one, it will be three to four times heavier. Its not filled with fairy dust, it is precipitating all kinds of interesting stuff from the coolant, some of which comes from your engine.

Bottom line, if you even suspect the radiator, change it, most of the cooling ills start there.

tencentlife Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:16 am

Yup, that's the simple test, john. That's just a proof that adding more cooling area will let the system reach its target temp, so therefore cooling area must be inadequate. Sounds like your radiator failed the test. I could have described my own exactly as you did yours: it began all of a sudden late this summer (ironically, right after an engine R&R with a change of coolant), the needle is up about one width, and the heater fan makes the needle drop straight away. So I'm in for a new one, too. Not bad, though, 21 years, 300k miles, several engines (only one changed by necessity), three trannys, and finally the radiator goes.

Dog is right that the construction is questionable, but most all automotive radiators went to aluminum in that same era due to the low cost of construction. The saving grace is that the vanagon radiator is almost three times larger than it really has to be, so it takes awhile of loading it up with sediment before there isn't enough cooling area left. That also means it will be awfully heavy even once it's dried out.

Coincidentally, VanCafe is featuring them right now, with free shipping this month. Think I'll get me one:
http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_312_229/radiator.html

meyervw Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:19 pm

For the love of christ I am going to pull my hair out!!!!!!!!! I put the new cap on since the old one was junk. Well no difference. Except this time I brought home my Mastercool infrared thermometer. So before the T-stat is 85 degree C. After is 55 degree C. I check the main res and it is only 87 degree C. No place on that motor is it over 89 degree C. Except the cooling pipe from the water pump to the T-stat. Tomarrow I will bring home my voltmeter and check the resistence of the sensor. It is only 3 months or two months opld but it seems it may wrong. This is driving me nuts.

Wildthings Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:04 pm

Are you sure your engine is actually running hot anymore? If you are maintaining a temperature of 87C then it is not hot, but at normal temperature. If you look at Dogpilots diagram you will see that the hose from the thermostat is not the outlet, but the inlet from the radiator so it should be significantly cooler than the engine.

Maybe your original problem was the bad cap that was causing you to blow fluid and with a new cap the problem is fixed.

meyervw Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:07 pm

That what I am thinking. I think I have a bad temp sensor. The engine does feel hot to me but when I but the thermometer on it it is not as hot as I thought. I will test the gauge and sensor tomarrow.

ftp2leta Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:52 am

Pump don't go wrong... they go loose, worn-out, make noise but they still pump. If the pump doesn't leak (leak hole).

So, no noise, no leak and no play = not the pump.

Easy, bad rad or crack head / head gasket.

Ben

meyervw Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:03 pm

Found the problem. It turn out to be my 2 month old sender. I tested acording to the book. First I tested the gauge with the 1303 tester. Its good. I turn to the sender. At 33 degree C it is 650 ohms. Its low. So I take the temp up to 60 degree C Now the ohms are 150. Yup that right the sensor is BAD!!!!!!!! Kinda makes me mad that Meyle made a POS sender. I will get the next one from VW. I probibly could get a parts warrenty on it but I don't want to wait. Well there it is.

vanagon john Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:32 pm

I was looking at taking out the AC system (it's never worked and I don't really care to get it working) and thought that my rad might get more area when I take out the ac rad (don't really know what it's called). Would this be a quick (easy) fix for my cooling problems. Now this is just an idea so what do you think

Wildthings Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:48 pm

vanagon john wrote: I was looking at taking out the AC system (it's never worked and I don't really care to get it working) and thought that my rad might get more area when I take out the ac rad (don't really know what it's called). Would this be a quick (easy) fix for my cooling problems. Now this is just an idea so what do you think

I would probably increase you radiators cooling capacity by so little you probably wouldn't notice the difference. Maybe a 5% difference, likely less.

meyervw Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:50 pm

vanagon john wrote: I was looking at taking out the AC system (it's never worked and I don't really care to get it working) and thought that my rad might get more area when I take out the ac rad (don't really know what it's called). Would this be a quick (easy) fix for my cooling problems. Now this is just an idea so what do you think
Not reallt worth it. It does not work so the air goes right by it and into the radiator. If you lived in Death Valley it might be worth a try.

vanagon john Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:24 pm

Don't really live in Death Valley but cincy does get a little hot. Like I said it was just an idea. I was looking at what it would take to deleat the ac and saw that there was that rad for the ac (what is that things stupid name) and was thinking that it might make a little cooler. Thanks for the input

meyervw Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:55 am

Its the condensor. I hope that helps you sleep better tonight :D



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