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My Vanagon Saga
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jslew
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Location: Trinidad, CO
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:

No, tencentlife won't need to because tencentlife requires his customer to install a new bench-tested coolant tank pressure cap as a basic condition of warranty. Did you?


Is that a common factor in failure of internal gaskets?
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furrylittleotter
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seventyfo wrote:
FLO- just gotta say, die antwoord rocks


ZEF!
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:29 pm    Post subject: One Thought... Reply with quote

Waal, since you're in the Denver area...There's Blazer Automotive in case you want to see if someone with decades of experience with these motors might have some ideas. Larry is painfully honest, and a joy to work with. Winston has been very lucky to have been under the Blazers' care.

Best!
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is that a common factor in failure of internal gaskets?


It's a common factor to cooling system leaks, ruptures and blowouts in general.
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Hmmm, provincial much?:
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TequilaSunSet
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you have the fortitude to stick with the WBX, and haven't given it a gas bath yet as some suggested Laughing

I was one of the weak who went for the swap... zero complaints.

Good luck which ever way you decide to go.
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jslew
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a week away. I like puzzles, but sometimes they just make me stupid. Recognizing when to walk away isn't a strong point.
Of course a bad cap would cause all kinds of seal/connection failures!! -btw I'm a complete newb w water cooling. That being said, I didn't put the new cap on until after I blew the low level sensor. So, as .10 knew... my bad cap caused enough pressure to not only blow the sensor, but to push coolant into my oil - I'm guessing thru the black cylinder base o-ring.

I ran it enough to bleed it (i thought), and made a few trips up & down the road. Checked oil - no coolant.
I figured i would drive the van around town and check the oil for coolant, then do some hwy driving & check again. Maybe i would get lucky and the coolant only pushed out under the extreme pressure. Never made it that far... cant seem to bleed it. If i take off down the road and run at 3k rpm, after a minute the coolant light starts flashing and the needle shoots up. If i let off the acc & let it coast, light goes off & needle down. Classic air bubble? I've never had trouble bleeding it in the past (elevating front), so i think i'm making air bubbles - more at high rpm.

Is there a way i can test to isolate which side has the leak? If i clamp the hose from the pass head to the dist tower and then put air into the hose that runs to the bleeder loop, would that isolate the chamber around the cylinders?

I've wanted to send this thing to Blazer many times!!! I'm stubborn enough to want to fix it myself though. It's very important for me to know how to do everything i can. This van is practice for the carat I'm going to get one day!
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:02 pm    Post subject: Stubborn is Good--Let Larry Teach You Reply with quote

My philosophy has been to let Larry and Jim Blazer, and their stable of old, good mechanics--teach me while they are still fixing our machines. They also see things I would not have, such as Winston's rear wheel drum adjusters having been assembled bass-ackwards

Shocked

by the previous owner. I'm incredibly glad I let them do my Dash--they found a whole nest of things wrong, and knew how to fix them. I'd have had to have had Winston towed in. They are good people.

I have no idea how to advise you otherwise.

Best!
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camit34
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure hoping this isn't what I have coming to me in a year or 3 when I finally get a Vanagon...

Keep the updates coming though, good reads and good info for future.
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atomatom
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this sounds eerily familiar to my van. my van kept blowing hoses. had to continuously bleed the rad. on the upside, i'm pretty sure all the weak links have been destroyed now - although who knows how many new weak spots have been created. it got quite expensive, both in coolant and rare hoses/connectors.

for over a year i 'dealt' with it. one other symptom, that you didn't mention, is my coolant would get pushed out into the overflow tank (behind the licence plate). to the point that the coolant light would come on. i got quicker and quicker at transferring it back into the pressurized tank, but it started to happen more frequently.

my guess is this was a compression leak which increased the coolant pressure. it started only when the engine was pushing hard, but became so bad that a trip to town would cause the coolant to get pushed out. my pressure cap was holding pressure (firm squeeze on hose). i am tempted to install a pressure gauge on the cooling system.

i have heard re-torquing the head bolts can sometimes fix a compression leak. then again it might break the stud. http://www.benplace.com/head_check.htm
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jslew
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, all of these issues I'm having after rebuilding the engine could have been avoided if i had checked my thermostat (new) & expansion cap - like certain people preach on here.

I may do some testing to find which side is leaking this weekend. I'm trying to get a corrado VR6 back on the road too. It has garage priority at the moment!
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="jslew"]
tencentlife wrote:
At this point, the only things i haven't replaced in the whole coolant system are the thermostat housing, expansion tank, add-coolant tank, and the coolant distribution tower.

I suggest replacing the items in bold - known problem areas. Search on the expansion tank - some are better than others. Some run the cheap one and just replace it often as maintenance. http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=3598

If the bleed nipple near the alt is plastic, replace that with metal as well
http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_674_667/outlet-with-nipple-includes-gasket.html

http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_984_667/universal-2.1l-stainless-steel-junction.html
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jslew
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually ordered the top half of the thermostat housing today. The bleed screw on my old one didn't work. I've never had trouble bleeding the van though - I've done at least 3 complete flush & refills and don't even know how many times I've just bleed out small amount of air after working on something.
But maybe the right bubble at the right time came along and just needs bleeding from the rear... and I'm in fantasy land. But it's only $24 and i need one that works anyway.
May just go ahead and get that other stuff too! I appreciate the feedback.
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jslew
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't want to jinx it, but hopefully this story has a happy ending. I've put 350 more miles of 65-75mph driving on it and no more coolant in the oil.

The last "bleeding issue" was only because I can't keep things simple. I only tell how stupid i am in the hope someone else benefits! The Bentley says coolant comes out the thermostat bleeder, and several posts on here talk about coolant coming out the thermostat bleeder. No coolant ever came out of my bleeder screw, so i thought it was broke. I just figured there were two holes, and the bleeder hole was plugged! I ordered the thermostat top and when it came, i noticed only one hole! OK, so the bleeder screw opens a valve into the bleeder loop around the engine. Nice, but i thought it was self bleeding? Anyway, opened the valve and drove around for 20 minutes, and no more air bubbles.

After 2 years, it's nice to see how awesome this thing is!! Pure luxury! My wife and kid love it. Makes the '65 feel like riding in a can! Hope to see some of you guys at VWs on the Green.
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