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  View original topic: Warming my cockles
RobnRae Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:35 am

I'm attempting to find some solutions here about my 72 T2 that I haven't really been able to do on my own.
I do own a volt meter but don't really know how to work it without instructions.

Anyhow, I've noticed on my bus, and I guess most of yours, that there isn't a switch that turns on a fan that blows warm air at you on cool days. I'm resigned to the fate that there is a fan in the rear of the bus, that passes air through a heater box and forces that through an insulated pipe to the front of the vehicle and thus, gives you a bit of air flow.
However, I look at the mechanism in the rear of the bus, with two pipes leading into the floor of the engine area. At the centre of this mechanism it has a spinny looking thing that has never spun in the times I've had the engine running and am staring at it. I can spin it freely with my finger. Is this thing indeed the fan that sends air through the heater box and then to the front of the bus? And how can I test if it is receiving any power? I've attached a photo of what I'm talking about (from the net).

I appreciate any and all insight. I do realize that this, properly operating probably won't make me toasty warm in the Canadian winters, but any little bit would be great.


[email protected] Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:55 am

yes, there is a switch. it's located on the heater lever on the dash. slide lever, fan turns on

haggardrob Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:04 am

Hi and welcome to the samba!

Like Skills said, one of the levers on the dash should turn the fan on when you move it...

I am also in Vancouver, and also have a 72 westfalia, and im always happy to meet other local Vw owners, send me a message if you still cant figure it out and I can try and help you!

sjbartnik Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:05 am

Yes that fan is a supplemental or booster fan for the heater.

As originally installed, the switch that turns it on is the heat lever on the dash. It is only meant to turn on when you have the heat lever in the fully on / wide open position.

When you slide the heat lever all the way down, it makes the ground connection for the relay that operates the fan. The relay should be located alongside the fan in the engine compartment.

It's mostly helpful for boosting heater/defroster air flow at low engine speeds.

RobnRae Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:14 am

sjbartnik wrote: Yes that fan is a supplemental or booster fan for the heater.

As originally installed, the switch that turns it on is the heat lever on the dash. It is only meant to turn on when you have the heat lever in the fully on / wide open position.

When you slide the heat lever all the way down, it makes the ground connection for the relay that operates the fan. The relay should be located alongside the fan in the engine compartment.

It's mostly helpful for boosting heater/defroster air flow at low engine speeds.

I suppose it's possible that even though my lever is all the way down, it may not be making the ground connection? I'll look into it this weekend. Thanks again!

orwell84 Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:36 am

As mentioned before, this fan is really only helpful for airflow at low engine speeds. Most of the real heating airflow comes from the cooling fan which gives most of the real heat at higher engine speeds. If your heat is lacking even during higher speed driving you have to look elsewhere in the system for the problem.

crownline Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:36 am

The fan will only run when engine is running. Check connections on relay that the fan plugs into. Bentley has the answers.

sjbartnik Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:25 am

If I recall correctly there is an in-line fuse in the power wire to the fan relay (I believe it's visible in the photo above in the red wire by the fan) which you should check too.

Randy in Maine Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:45 am

From the owners manual (under technical at the top of the page).


Spike0180 Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:38 pm

Tcash wrote: Welcome to TheSamba, Bay Window Bus Forum!

1972 NEWBIE

1972 Bay one year only list
The '72 only photos thread

wrote: Every Type IV engine owner should know this!!!

If you over tighten the Oil Strainer bolt, you will brake the engine case!


There is a Oil strainer in there.
TORQUE THE STRAINER BOLT TO NO MORE THAN 9 FT. LBS.

Tcash wrote: Here is a little information. Good Luck

Pictures would be cool.
How to post photos/How to post a photo in the Forums

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There is a ton of information located at the top of the Forum section.

Gregg in the 603 Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:27 pm



Check this first, inline fuse. Available at your FLAPS.

Wildthings Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:24 pm

When you operate the "Temperature" lever on the dash, the cables attached to the lever are supposed to open and close the flapper valves that sit above the rear half axles. If the flapper valves do not operate correctly you will have little or no heat. Mice also like to stuff the heater duct work full with both nesting material and cashes of seeds and such. The mess will totally block the air flow through the heater system.

If everything is working right you will likely still hot have all that much heat, but there are mods you can do that will make your van nice and warm at least on highway runs, but around town heat will still be lacking unless you buy a gas heater.

It is not unusual to find that important parts of the heater system are just not there any longer.

SamboSamba22 Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:59 pm

Wildthings wrote: When you operate the "Temperature" lever on the dash, the cables attached to the lever are supposed to open and close the flapper valves that sit above the year half axles. If the flapper valves do not operate correctly you will have little or no heat. Mice also like to stuff the heater duct work full with both nesting material and cashes of seeds and such. The mess will totally block the air flow through the heater system.

If everything is working right you will likely still hot have all that much heat, but there are mods you can do that will make your van nice and warm at least on highway runs, but around town heat will still be lacking unless you buy a gas heater.

It is not unusual to find that important parts of the heater system are just not there any longer.

Wildthings is on the money here, I went a whole year wondering why my heat sucked, to finally assessing the body tubing and discovering a mummified mouse and all his prized possessions.

I do believe the ground created by the lever can be intermittent or difficulty actually within in the in-line fuse section for the heater fan, as I do experience some issues at times with the blower motor in my 74.
But when the tubing is all clear, and the blower motor is pushing air, you can without question, tell a difference.
Welcome to the Samba, and remember warming your cockles reduces sperm count, but then again, having more kids just steals your bus funds. 8)

Abscate Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:24 am

You can start troubleshooting by disconnecting the wire at the heater lever, then looking for 12 V to ground at that disconnected wire. If you have it, touch to ground and see if the fan motor spins up

The ground switch at the lever is a trouble point , I recall

Ignition on for this test.



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