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1982 Diesel Vanagon Radiator Conversion
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natella2317
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 11:10 am    Post subject: 1982 Diesel Vanagon Radiator Conversion Reply with quote

Has anyone ever converted a 1982 1.6L diesel vanagon radiator (068121253A) to a 1983+ model such as 068121253E? I can't source the former part and would like to upgrade it to the newer version. From what I know, I need to change the radiator fan switch to the 3-connector type. What about the actual dimensions of the newer radiator and mountings? Will the newer ones fit without too much modification? Also, will the older coolant hoses fit on the newer radiator?

Any help would be extremely appreciated.

Thanks,

Adam
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did this last week. You can use any radiator from 83+ - on, The radiator design hasn't changed since 83. The fan shroud on the '82 diesel is plastic and won't fit on the new radiator. You need to source a metal fan shroud from a later model. Your existing fan will bolt right in to the new metal shroud. You will also need some small self tapping screws to bolt the fan shroud to your new radiator.

1. fan shroud for smaller fan motor (83+ shroud is metal, 82 plastic)

2. lower radiator mount brackets, left and right (83+ solid metal with
holes for radiator pegs, 82 metal with rubber standoffs that screw into
radiator)

3. hose to replace pipe section used only on 82

4. upper mounting brackets (I made these from some aluminum angle and bolted them into the existing rubber mounts.

5. 3 pin temp switch and wiring connector to match

You can get this stuff from most any 83-85. On 86+ donors you need to
get it from a non-A/C 2wd donor or the shroud will require the larger
fan motor and more wiring modification and wiring harness from the
donor. Any donor that has plastic version of the long cooling pipes will
not have the right hose you need since the plastic pipes are larger
outer diameter. Your existing fan and motor can still be used but must
mount to the metal shroud made for the smaller motor.

You can also replace the old, rusty metal coolant pipes with marine exhaust hose. You need smooth walled wire reinforced 1-1/4" hose. I bought 25 ft. from these guys: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Marine-Hardwall-Exh...enameZWD1V
You will also need some 4" 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" hose couplers from these guys:
http://www.jagsthatrun.com/Cooling-System-Parts_Order.html
You will need to open up the cross-member next to your gas tank to accommodate the larger diameter marine hose. I actually ran one of the heater hoses through the other cross member to give the pipes more room. The benefit of the marine hose is that it's a lot cheaper than replacing the metal lines and its flexible so you don;t have to remove the gas tank to replace them.

Here's how to splice the new three prong temp sensor connector onto your existing wiring:
The wiring will require a voltmeter or test light. There should be 4
wires, 2 of a larger gauge and 2 of a smaller gauge.
With all 4 wires unplugged, test them each for voltage to chassis
ground. One of each pair will be live, so mark it.

The live wire of the smaller gauge is not needed so tape it off.
The other small wire should go to the red/blue of the new pigtail.
The large live wire should go to the red/white of the new pigtail.
The other large wire should go to the red/black of the new pigtail.
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natella2317
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

captainpartytime,

Thank you for the excellent reply. Would you also know of a less expensive replacement for the 4-way coolant hose? I'm considering using copper tubing to make my own but maybe there's a better way.

Thanks again
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natella2317
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>I just did this last week. You can use any radiator from 83+ - on, The >>radiator design hasn't changed since 83.
Is this true for both diesels and gassers? I found a source for an '83 gasser radiator (0681211253E). This should work shouldn't it?

Thanks,

Adam
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, any gasser radiator will work but I don't think there were any (water cooled) gassers in 83?
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VR6zamboni
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank You!!

I am about to perform this upgrade in a gas station parking lot in Damascus, VA

Has anybody bought the parts needed for this from Ken at vanagain.com ?

He has quoted me $535 for everything shipped, sounds fair right?


O yeah anyone have any pictures of this repair? If not I will post them, checkout my journey of driving around the world here: www.facebook.com/FreeRockOcean

Thanks again :- )
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nemobuscaptain
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Ken Wilfy is good people and you'll get good stuff from him. It would probably be $3300 from Gowesty but they have a new and improved version I'm sure.
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Last edited by nemobuscaptain on Fri May 18, 2012 8:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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VR6zamboni
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry not sure what you are talking about?
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outwesty
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nemobuscaptain wrote:
Yeah. I'd probably by $3300 from Gowesty but they have a new and improved version I'm sure.


Why the Gowesty hate ? They bring a lot of new and improved items up to the plate and it costs money, lots of money.

back on topic

I also did the radiator upgrade in my 82 diesel van. captainpartytime hit the nail right on the head. I found an 86 van in a junk yard and did the whole swap for under $40 in parts and opted to buy a brand new radiator. Its really quite an easy swap. Good luck.
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Turtle-Dude
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did this last night. All parts came from BW Auto Dismantler. I used: radiator, fan shroud, fan/motor, hoses, 3 wire thermal switch, lower mounts, and easily fabricated upper mount. I forgot to ask for the plug/pigtail Sad
The job is done but I have a few questions:

1: the high speed fan is energized by the smaller gauge wire, is it relayed in the dash or is the pin configuration at the fan motor incorrect/different?

2: WHICH pin is the large gauge power in supposed to connect to at the thermal switch? I warmed it up and checked which contacts closed when warm and when hot and it seems to function correctly. As an example, when at stage I temperature the center and right pins have continuity, when at stage II all pins have continuity, therefore it seems the +12v wire can be located at the right or center position. Which is correct per VW original? I'd like to verify my work.

3: the coolant flow is reverse of "normal", hot in bottom, cold out top of radiator with the original radiator. Should this change with the new radiator? Should I have crossed hoses to reverse flow through the radiator to bring it to "industry" standard? Which way does the '84 flow?

Thanks for the advice and the OP.
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morymob
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this your 3rd rad, 2 already blown??
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Turtle-Dude
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

morymob wrote:
Is this your 3rd rad, 2 already blown??


Who me?
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morymob
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turtle-Dude wrote:
morymob wrote:
Is this your 3rd rad, 2 already blown??


Who me?
No, VR6zamboni, above,2-3 posts.
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rotaecho
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also forgot the radiator pigtail.

Is there anyways to fabricate one with female spades / wires or a temp solution till I can obtain a pigtail?

I ahve it all hooked up except the pigtail. I have the 3 prong switch new for an 83+.

Thanks!
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mg93108
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Diesel Vanagon Radiator Conversion Reply with quote

.
....But WHY??
Why replace the radiator with one from a gasser in the first place?
I just bought an 82 and drove it all over Baja in 100 degree weather.
From the looks of things, my cooling system hasn't been addressed in a while.
My plan was to go through it completely just because it's time....and the HIGH switch failed in the open position.
But if I'm going to be doing a bunch of maintenance, should I upgrade to a newer gas Vanagon setup? And if so...is the 1.9 or the 2.1 setup better?
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Gruppe B
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Diesel Vanagon Radiator Conversion Reply with quote

mike93108 wrote:
.
....But WHY??
Why replace the radiator with one from a gasser in the first place?
I just bought an 82 and drove it all over Baja in 100 degree weather.
From the looks of things, my cooling system hasn't been addressed in a while.
My plan was to go through it completely just because it's time....and the HIGH switch failed in the open position.
But if I'm going to be doing a bunch of maintenance, should I upgrade to a newer gas Vanagon setup? And if so...is the 1.9 or the 2.1 setup better?


The diesel rad is no longer available so if you need a radiator you have no choice
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Mike Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Diesel Vanagon Radiator Conversion Reply with quote

When my rad went in my '82 diesel I just got the rad rebuilt.

Mike
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Gnarlodious Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Diesel Vanagon Radiator Conversion Reply with quote

The diesel radiator is a full 22 lbs of copper. The later radiator is aluminum and cools better. Not because aluminum conducts heat better than copper but rather the fins and tubes are thinner thanks to the greater mechanical strength of aluminum, so the radiator passes more air and resists bug clogging better than copper. So if you are getting overheat and you have the original radiator, a swap from a later gas van works well.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Diesel Vanagon Radiator Conversion Reply with quote

I changed from copper to aluminum on ours. The local radiator shops have all closed their doors. Operating temp was identical between the 2 types. If you can have yours recored, I would go that route. Make sure it is a quality job.
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