View original topic: How to install oil cooler on 1970 Bug?
N&K Fri Oct 17, 2003 6:38 pm

Just wondering if anyone knows how to install a oil cooler on my 1970 Bug.
Is it a good idea? Where is a good spot to mount it on?
Thanks, have a great weekend. :D

j.pickens Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:24 pm

What I do with my old style pre-'71 non-doghouse engines is mount a doghouse cooler, fan, and tin in its place. It dramatically improves cooling, is the "VW" solution to engine cooling, and is much easier and cheaper to do than mounting an external cooler.
Unless you have a radically larger engine, the doghouse cooler is sufficient.

N&K Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:54 pm

Thanks for the reply, but how do you change a non-doghouse cooler to doghouse cooler? I checked on and they have it for 1971-79. Will it fit?

berniedd1 Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:27 am

N&K wrote: Thanks for the reply, but how do you change a non-doghouse cooler to doghouse cooler? I checked on and they have it for 1971-79. Will it fit?

You'll need the doghouse fan housing, thicker fan that matches it, aluminum doghouse oil cooler, a mounting adapter for it to connect to your engine case, and a set of rubber sealing grommets that mount between the oil holes on your engine and your new oil cooler.

Best way to make the change is to bring down the engine from the transmission first. Consult a manual to know how it is done. Remove the old parts including the generator or alternator (held in place by a metal strap to its stand), and the rest of the job is almost the reverse of what you just did.

jeremyrockjock Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:34 am

You can do it with the engine in the car on a Beetle. Just take the deck lid off and you can get to everything.

j.pickens Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:25 pm

Several other items about converting a non-doghouse engine to doghouse:

1. You will have to drill out the two mounting holes on the engine case where the studs from the doghouse cooler base go. The non-doghouse had smaller studs. It's real soft aluminum/magnesium, just size up the bigger stud with a drill bit (I think 3/8" works, but check for yourself) and carfully drill using very little down force. Be sure your intake manifolds are plugged up, you don't want metal shavings flying into somewhere they're not wanted. The single stud on the engine case will be smaller than the corresponding hole on the doghouse base, but you can just use the 10mm nut with a slightly larger washer.

2. You will need adapter oil cooler seal rings. The small side goes into the case, and the larger goes into the doghouse base. The adapter rings are usually the green ones, and you can get them at all the VW parts places.

3. When you get the doghouse fan shroud, be sure to get the thermostat acutuated air deflector vanes which screw into the base of the fan shroud.
They are hinged vanes in two little housings linked by an actuator bar specially shaped to go around the base of the doghouse cooler. They are extremely important even when the thermostat is not in use for properly directing airflow to the cylinders. I usually just wire them permanently into the open position, since I don't drive my VW's when its much below freezing. If its your daily driver, and you will be driving the car during cold winters, then by all means hook up the thermostat bellows and pushrod to the air vanes. I see that CIP1 is now selling a simplified thermostat kit which uses a bimetallic spring instead of the failure-prone bellows thermostat. Sounds like a good idea to me.

4. Be sure to apply some 3/8" by 1" closed cell foam adhesive weather strip to the entire perimeter of the doghouse cooling tower on the edge facing toward the fan. This seals up the perimeter against the doghouse shroud, and forces the air to pass through for maximum cooling. You can get this at any hardware store.

5. Make sure you are using correct tin for your engine, and that all the pieces are in place, including the little ones below and between the cylinders just above the pushrod tubes. Also make sure that every hole in the shroud is properly sealed. A bigger oil cooler won't do squat if air is leaking out before it passes over the cylinders or oil cooler, or if hot air is diverted back into the engine compartment because of holes in the shroud or bad engine apron seals.

That's it. Good luck.
Here is a photo showing the foam strip on the oil cooler:

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