View original topic: Oil Temp Gauge
spectral method Tue Aug 19, 2003 7:02 am

Any tips on fitting a temp guage? I've got a VDO gauge but no sender at all, and the only place I can think to fit one is at the end of the dip stick. Is this a dip stick of an idea? What are normal operating temps for a 1600 pulling a T2 at 100 km/hr? I have never had a problem holding my dip stick (shut up all you dirty mined mongrels), but can smell oil vapour from the engine, and without dropping too much on the ground, this engine needs more regular oil top ups than any other I've maintained.

Bajatacoma Tue Aug 19, 2003 7:05 am

From what I've read when I was planning to buy, the dipstick style don't work that well to start with. Go to BusDepot, BusBoys, etc and get the style that mounts in the plate that holds the oil screen. You have to do a little measuring and drill a hole, but it is what's recomended by everyone I read- except Raby who doesn't like any of them.

spectral method Tue Aug 19, 2003 7:09 am

OK. I'll check it out, though I'd be fascinated to know how anyone could possibly think that a readout of oil temp isn't beneficial!

Bajatacoma Tue Aug 19, 2003 11:24 am

I'm wrong, it was Gene Berg not Raby- sorry for the confusion. I posted a link off their website for you.

Rich Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:48 pm

I had good results with a temp guage made from a meat thermometer, a piece of brass tubing and some epoxy. The guage was remote, and there was a wire that connected from the sensor to the guage. The sensor was thin enough to fit in the brass tube, and the tube was thin enough to fit into the dipstick hole.

The thermometer was epoxied into the tube, extending out of the tube about 2". I ran the wire though the tube , then epoxied a washer at the top of the tube as a dipstick stop. I extended wire of a matching thickness, then ran the wire to the front of the bus where I set the guage on the steering wheel bracket. I pluged the wire into the guage and it worked for about 1 year. when the guage went out. The sensor was still good, so I bought another sensor/guage and just replaced the guage. Most department stores sell these.

Some have wondered at the accuracy due to resistence in the wire. I used to check the reading on the guage with the outside temperature and the guage seemed to give acurate readings.

The biggest problem I had was having a wire attached to the dipstick (gets in the way) and not being able to note clearly the oil on the brass tubing when trying to read the oil level. I left the regular dipstick in the engine compartment for measuring.

I don't know how this compares to other installations, but I was happy with the results.

RE: operating temps. I think over 220-230 is getting too hot.


[email protected] Tue Aug 19, 2003 2:15 pm

I've used both dipstick and sump temp senders in my bus, and I much prefer the sump variety. Diptsick senders tend to read a bit too hot which can cause unnecessary worry. My sump sender is mounted through the oil screen plate. The sender is a VDO and cost about $12 from my local VW parts shop. Good running temp should be around 210 F. On hot days or up hills or both, 230 F can be acceptable, but not any higher.


spectral method Wed Aug 20, 2003 12:19 am

Baja - thanx for the link, interesting to read though I'm not personally concerned about the absolute reading, but rather the VARIABLILITY. The Berg statement that "Not one I tested could ever be properly calibrated or relied on in any way for any valid information or even as a comparison from day to day..." is of slight concern, but without any idea of the degree of variability found, or any insight into experimental method, I'm prepared to discount it.

Rich - good work, though since I have the VDO dial already, I might source one of their sender units too.

Sendall - cool. Will find one $12 sender ASAP.

Thanks guys.

Bajatacoma Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:39 am

Yeah, I still bought a VDO gauge and sender after reading that too (I plan to install it when I get my bus back). Like you I want an idea what is going on before the idiot light goes off.

Personally, I think how the vehicle sounds and "feels" is probably more important, but I still want my instraments.

crofty Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:41 am

My sender was in the case and I felt better about that. I'm not sure that he sump would give you a reliable reading as it is under the car and has air passing over it all the time. The sender was mounted in the front relief plug (nearest to flywheel).

WAVEPIMP Wed Aug 20, 2003 3:55 pm

I have a 78 bus with the stock 2.0L FI with hydraulic lifters. I was wondering what is the best way to put a oil temp sender on this engine. I heard you can't use some of the sender plates because of the hydraulic lifters. Is this true? What is the best route to go when putting a VDO sender and gauge? Help me out guys!

Thanks james

notsobigkahuna Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:18 pm

i think the kewlest way to mount a oil temp sender is to locate a 914 sump plate......i just found one through a guy i bought a throw out bearing from. i'm thinkin' the porsche part will give me more speed. at the least the installation is very tidy with these!


78 westy

Joel Rosado Thu Aug 21, 2003 7:26 pm

I got a 936 PORSCHE oil dip stick from
Armando Natali jr.
Rua Itapirapuan,282
01440-040 Sao Paulo-SP-BRAZIL
He sells on E BAY and has some cool things for vw's.
Search for "vw oil temp sensor" or vw temperature sensor, vw oil dip stick..
Mine is working fine and is an original old stock.Easy hook up and great looking. :shock:

Adventurewagen Thu Aug 21, 2003 10:19 pm

What type of engine do you have?

Ive got a standard 1600 in a 71. My VDO guage for oil temp has a sender that screws into the engine block. Im not sure about the dipstick thing?

My engine runs 350-400 F under normal strain. 500 is definately too hot, but I think anything around 200 is way off.

spectral method Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:14 am

yeah, 1600cc. Where did your VDO sender screw in? Maybe something similar would work with my guage. I've just been shopping for a thermocouple for an aluminium smelt (for casting intake manifolds), and there are some standard for thermocouple calibration, like 'j' type or 'k' type. I'd be surprised, though, if there are any such standards for auto oil thermocouples. Otherwise I could just ask you what 'type' of sender yours is, and then find one that matched my gauge.

spectral method Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:19 am

Hey! my bumpers are like the ones on ratwell's '78
same sort of white rap around things.

By the way, I saw a really sexy matt finished bumper on a van up in Queensland a month ago (will post pic soon too). It seemed buch more compact, less protrusive and neater than the bulky white ones as pistured.

spectral method Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:21 am

opps. wrong forum. my bad, excusie. :oops:

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