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Do I need to replace the fuel lines in my 84 Vanagon?
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rarely that people are still passionate about their work after 40 years, they are in general sick and tired, but can't do anything else.
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Sheesh
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was naive to think either the old guy or his son (and their shop) cared about their work.

Still, I was very unhappy (to put it mildly) that something as obvious as cracked/split fuel lines and $10 worth of hoses (their cost) were "overlooked" (not to mention the numerous vacuum leaks that cost a bit more to replace). I thank my lucky stars that our rig didn't burn on the way home.

To restate: the only good things that came out of that experience was I now do my own work and have learned a great deal to ensure that what work is performed is done right.

And, I must say: I couldn't have done it without the Samba. Applause This place and the people that inhabit it are great resources. Thank you!
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheesh wrote:
I was naive to think either the old guy or his son (and their shop) cared about their work.

Still, I was very unhappy (to put it mildly) that something as obvious as cracked/split fuel lines and $10 worth of hoses (their cost) were "overlooked" (not to mention the numerous vacuum leaks that cost a bit more to replace). I thank my lucky stars that our rig didn't burn on the way home.

To restate: the only good things that came out of that experience was I now do my own work and have learned a great deal to ensure that what work is performed is done right.

And, I must say: I couldn't have done it without the Samba. Applause This place and the people that inhabit it are great resources. Thank you!


Yea, i understand. It's all good that you know your van now. Most Vanagon owner should learn basic mechanic, with all the good folks here, it's kind of easy.

There is a shop like that close to me, they do Vanagon work also. Same type of guys, the owner is german... always drunk, and is price are overprice. Sorry but that's a fact. he as a bad name in the local VW community, i have seen his work up close if you know what i mean.

But one thing stand out, he still work on them, i won't at his age. So in some way's i have some respect. But i'm not sending my customers there Sad (i'm overbook).

My shop is in a condo like building, multi unit, about 15 unit like mine, 3 of the shop specialize in German car, lately they 2 of them where is need of some jobs. So i talk to them and we agree that i would send them my customers for some more basic work (brake, bushing, muffler).. so they kind of now work for me. I mean they charge the customers and i just monitor their work so it's up to my standard. They are both around 50yo and have been VW mechanic for a good part of their life.

They do good work but hey come to my shop at least 5 time a day to ask for advice, special tools or trick, or just simply just to swear big time about something not coming out.... ha ha ha

Just to say that it's not 40 years of experience that will change much. Vanagon is one kind of a beast. so it's better to find a Vanagon shop then a German auto shop. I sometime like to compare Vanagon to English car.

Ben
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:45 pm    Post subject: I'm Very Lucky in My Mechanic Reply with quote

I am very, very lucky in my mechanic, as is anyone in the Denver area who uses Blazer Automotive. E.g.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=213286

and...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=264662

and finally...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=319201

Not gloating. Just showing that I know how blinking lucky I am to have a really, really, really good garage at hand.

Best!
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justinlandis
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
Wow--
I can't figure out why anyone would ask this sort of insane question---
And you see it all the time


I'm sure the question seems ridiculous to those of you with years of vw experience. unfortunately, with a limited amount of time and money, i want to send it wisely. i'm quite sure that nearly every part on a 1985 vehicle that has sat unused for 8 years, could justifiably be replaced. i was simply hoping to learn something from so many of you samba members with great wisdom of experience.

i (and i may not be alone here) would certainly appreciate a bit of patience, like that shown by pretty much every other response here. i am very thankful for such a great group for people who are willing to give priceless advice to someone like me.

so, thanks everyone. terry kay, sorry for the ridiculous question. maybe next time a simple "yes, you should replace the fuel lines" would do. However, the sarcasm does help me see what a serious issue this is.
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Mr. Electric Wizard
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went out to the van to try and work on the lumpy idle situation, going through the Idle Stabilizer step-by-step in the Bentley this morning.
When I got to the point of trying to start the van, it wouldn't start (presumably because I messed up the timing last time I was trying to fix).
When I went back to the engine compartment there was gas on the return lines. Shocked

Needless to say, I went straight inside and ordered the GoWesty kit.
We were planning a trip next weekend too.
That could have been terrible!
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riceye
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ftp2leta wrote:
Rarely that people are still passionate about their work after 40 years, they are in general sick and tired, but can't do anything else.


There is so much wisdom in your words, Ben!

But back on topic. It is true, if you have to ask the question, you should just replace the lines. The cost of not doing this simple task is astronomically higher than doing it. And it is a great Vanagon bonding experience. You may even want to drop the tank and redo all that crap, as well. Do yourself a favor.

Personally, I'd forego beer drinking for as long as it takes to fund the job. And I love beer!
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Wesswagon
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in the same situation 3 years ago when i purchased a 1984 GL with only 60K original miles ( It had been stored 10 years). I thought great! A real cream puff! I had only worked on their aircooled cousins including a complete body off restoration of a 70 beetle. I had no idea what I was getting into!
These are the systems that were replaced over these last three years:
Flex Plate ( Its an Auto )
Head gaskets
Exhaust
Gas tank seals
Gas fuel lines
Almost all rubber water lines
Metal coolant pipes
Rubber brake lines
Master Cylinder
Rear wheel cylinders
Rebuilt sticking calipers
Front blower motor
Trans all new seals including pressure testing cooler
New grounds and some wiring replacements
Water pump and thermostat
All vacum lines
Front sway bar
Shocks
All new wheel bearings
Properly load rated tires installed
Fuel pump with round filter
And some others I can't think of
This is all on top of: some seam repairs/painting;fluid changes;cvs repacked;tune ups; and regular mantainance
And I'm having fun with this hobby Very Happy
Thank God for this web sight and all these Vanagon nuts I can identify with and get sage advice from. Wink
Otherwise, with my limited mechanical abilities, this would have been impossible. If you are persistant, stubborn, and a little derainged, you'll end up knowing every bolt,nook, and cranny of your ride.
Get ready! Good Luck!
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neilwaukee
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you know guys, becides owning this 85 vanagon, westy, with all it's problems and old age- i have a ford F150,1998, and you know what, i've owned it since it was new, changed the oil myself, ignored it mostly, and have never been to the shop with it, not once, never been stuck on the side of the road, never burst into flame, never needed a tow or a jump-

why do i even own this van ?




besides the joy of driving it around the country that is.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neilwaukee wrote:
you know guys, becides owning this 85 vanagon, westy, with all it's problems and old age- i have a ford F150,1998, and you know what, i've owned it since it was new, changed the oil myself, ignored it mostly, and have never been to the shop with it, not once, never been stuck on the side of the road, never burst into flame, never needed a tow or a jump-

why do i even own this van ?




besides the joy of driving it around the country that is.


what!! you don't own a van, the van owns you Cool we do what we do because it's fun, what's fun about a vehicle that never puts you on the spot? who wants to go in life like that? Very Happy
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pjrae
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And here's the salient lesson:
After replacing your fuel pump and of course checking those connections, and then that replacement pump goes tits up after a week so you replace THAT one, don't be lazy and stall on checking those hoses AGAIN. Because, of course, the second pump might actually be putting out spec fuel pressure!

Oh, and carry a fire extinguisher IN AN EASILY ACCESSIBLE LOCATION Rolling Eyes
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neilwaukee
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

those are the saddest most beautiful photos i have ever seen, thankx


i have two little kids, can i build a fire wall ? a big hour rated thing.
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neilwaukee wrote:
you know guys, becides owning this 85 vanagon, westy, with all it's problems and old age- i have a ford F150,1998, and you know what, i've owned it since it was new, changed the oil myself, ignored it mostly, and have never been to the shop with it, not once, never been stuck on the side of the road, never burst into flame, never needed a tow or a jump-

why do i even own this van ?




besides the joy of driving it around the country that is.


Everybody make pick up truck, plenty to choose from. Who make compact small camper?

Ben
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My site: http://www.benplace.com/vw2.htm
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:12 pm    Post subject: Terry's New Fitting Reply with quote

I'm still waiting for Terry Kay to come out with that back-engineered metal replacement for the plastic firewall junction.

That'll go in.

Best!
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jcrofford
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mean to thread-jack, but, this seems a good place to interject.
As a SoCal firefighter, the flaming pics just have me wandering - how many of you folks have seriously sat back and considered the potential use of your (well-advised) dry-chem extinguisher?
In my business, pre-planning and training are key to success.
Pre-planning entails knowing your target hazards, inside and out, as well as having a plan for approaching that hazard when it's on fire. So yes, by all means, check out your fuel lines, rails, injectors, electrical wiring, etc. and know where the risks for disaster are hiding.
Training, in this case means knowing how to use an extinguisher. (I'm not suggesting that anyone here can't figure it out, but you might be surprised at some of the things "smart" people do sometimes.) Start by reading the instructions; follow that up by stopping at your local Fire Station and asking the fellas; they will likely tell you more than you care to know... (Scientifically proven: ice cream causes more elaborate answers!)
As for extinguishers, a generic ABC rated extinguisher will serve you well.
Short version: Given the amount of material and the space that we are dealing with, a small "1A:10B:C" can will be fine. The 1A means equivalent to 1 1/4 gallons of water on a class A fire. 10B means it will extinguish 10 square feet of burning fuels (class B fire). and the C says it can be used on electrical fires also. For our friends above the northern border, I believe your specs should read the same, but don't quote me on it. So we've covered the basics, excepting metals.
Of course this is a minimum. If you have two left hands, are really near-sighted, or generally backwards, perhaps a larger 5lb extinguisher will be better for you. (yes I say that in absolute light-hearted humor!)
Once you have one: Mount in a an accesible location that isn't in your engine bay, check the indicator every time you clean the van or at least annually, tap it on the base (don't break it) to keep the powder loose, and your good to go. Just don't zip-tie the pin to the handle, unless you have a wire cutter surgically attached to your wrist.
Anyway, I hope you never need to use one, but at least think about how you intend to save your treasured Vanagon. Shut off the blazing thing, take the key out to be sure, and think twice before opening the engine cover. (oxygen is essential to a happy fire)
Thanks you for letting me get on my soapbox, and may all your fires be in the fire-ring at your favorite campground...
Jerry
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pjrae
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jerry-

any firefighting advice is definitely welcome (and relevant!). When my van lit up we were only 12 miles from Joshua Tree (the town) on our way out of Joshua Tree (the national park), but due to lack of immediate cell phone coverage and thanks to 2 structural fires in Yucca Valley we were a relatively low priority for 911 dispatch and ended up waiting an eternity (an hour and a half) while watching glass and steel form an unholy union. So close, yet so far away. I can't think of how much more lame the situation would have been if I had wielded an extinguisher in futility. Serious insult to injury!
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240Gordy
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
Nobody would spend that kinda money for the proper fuel line crimp tool in Vanagonland.


I think what Terry is rightly pointing out is not clamps but the collar where the hose meets the injector, and yup, nobody supplies those as part of a kit.

You could, however, go to your local industrial hose supplier and have them install proper hose end collars probably. worth checking into . . .
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"So, now that you know what you're doing, go to town."
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woggs1
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lost another one to fuel line neglect:


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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240Gordy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that sucks.

just did mine today everything from the firewall to the rails plus the injectors stubs. Inside the sheathing was all wet on a couple of the lines. Scary.
Glad I got it done. But I am wiped out from leaning over the engine and messing with that stuff.

what you can't see under the protective sheathing,

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


the area around the bleeder screw, all wet with fuel . . .
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


this is the hose that runs from the firewall fitting under the intake plenum to the bleeder screw junction fitting. It gets pretty ugly under there. I ran the new hose over the top, $0.10 style.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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"So, now that you know what you're doing, go to town."
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dubstar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was on the way to the shop (dedicated VW and well-respected) with my 90 Vanagon for an exhaust leak. Halfway there, I lost power and stalled. Thinking it was an electrical problem, which has occurred before, I attempted to restart a few times. Not having any luck, I got out and popped the rear hatch. Opening the engine lid, I immediately noticed a small fire in the left lower side of the engine compartment. Leaving the lid propped open, I ran to the passenger compartment to grab the fire extinguisher.

It was then that I remembered I had accidentally set the extinguisher off about a month prior to this while looking for something in the van in the dark. It was in a milk crate and I was blindly groping for something and somehow discharged the contents inside the van. Somewhat humorous and messy at the time but suddenly a potentially deadly error.

Right at that moment, I noticed a school bus waiting for the light. I ran to the bus, explained that my van was on fire, and the driver handed me his extinguisher. Or rather, he attempted to hand it to me, as it would not come free of the mount (not good for a school bus). Finally, he got it free and I ran with it back to my van.

My first mistake was not knowing enough to check the fuel lines ahead of time. The second was not replacing the extinguisher. And the third was just about to happen. When I originally ran to get my empty extinguisher, I had left the engine lid propped up inside the van. As everyone knows, there are no hinges or brackets to keep it open. In the time it took me to get the extinguisher from the bus, the lid had fallen shut again. In hindsight, I should have aimed the extinguisher up into the rear driver's side rear wheel, where flames were visible, but I didn't. In my rush to put out the fire, I opened up the now closed lid and....BOOM!

When I opened the lid, oxygen rushed in and reacted with the flames and heat and caused a rather sizable explosion. I think the flames hit the open rear hatch and actually curled out and up over the sides . In any event, I had a micro-second where I saw the small fire suddenly fill my vision with the resulting explosion and I was able to shut my eyes and turn away. The flames still engulfed me, and as I stumbled away, I wondered if i had been blinded. Oh well, I thought, here goes nothing, and opened my eyes. Luckily, I could see fine, although my eyebrows and hair had been burned. I also received a pretty good burn on one of my hands and some minor damage to my face. All in all, I was pretty lucky.

Returning to the van, I was able to quickly extinguish the flames before any more damage occurred. It's interesting to note that not ONE person stopped to help. I guess it is considered common to see VWs engulf their owners in fireballs LOL.

As it turns out, the fuel leak, unknown to me, was positioned exactly above the hole in the exhaust and was dripping fuel right on the pipe. Apparently, some fuel got sucked into the leak and ignited, causing the small fire that I turned into an explosion. The loss of fuel probably also caused the van to stall.

The mechanic (as I mentioned, he is well-respected) obviously replaced the damaged fuel lines, but these threads (I have read several) have made me nervous and I want to double check everything. He is out of town for a week, so I won't be able to speak with him, but I'm going out to the van now to see if the repair bill is in the glove compartment. I'd like to assume that everything was replaced, but as several of you have pointed out, assumption is not acceptable.

In the meantime, can someone post a link to or images of the entire fuel line system? The ones in this thread are great, but where do the lines run from the tank to the engine? I would like to further educate myself and having checked several threads, I have not yet located a diagram or photos of the entire fuel system, just the parts located in the engine compartment.

Thanks!
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