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Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do?
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Jivermo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:15 am    Post subject: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

While replacing a heater cable, I ran into the asbestos cuff in the accordian tubes. It has been an unsuccessful search to try to find the orange silicone Vanagon cuffs to replace these. The asbestos is quite intact, and they are in good condition compared to some that I have seen. I see a suggestion that they could be sealed up by coating them with red RTV hi temp. Has anyone done that, or any other suggestions out there? Thank you.
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furgo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:02 am    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

Jivermo wrote:
[...]It has been an unsuccessful search to try to find the orange silicone Vanagon cuffs to replace these. [...]. I see a suggestion that they could be sealed up by coating them with red RTV hi temp. Has anyone done that, or any other suggestions out there? Thank you.


I could never find a set of 4 orange silicone cuffs (well, not even one), either.

I've heard of others saying they used high temp paint or high temp RTV on the cuffs to enclose the asbestos, but I've never seen it myself.

Another option, if you want to get rid of the asbestos cuffs alltogether, is as follows:

• Take the necessary precautions to deal with asbestos first
• Remove the asbestos cuffs from the metal cuffs they are attached to
• Paint the metal cuffs with VHT to ensure any still attached asbestos fibers are encapsuled
• Get a set of 4 #111 819 945 grey silicone cuffs (in my case they ended up being black rubber). They are shorter than the NLA Vanagon ones, but IIRC they cover at least up to where the original asbestos cuffs did
• Assemble the silicone cuffs around the metal cuff bits
• Reinsert the newly assembled cuffs inside the accordion tubes

One big caveat, if asbestos is your main concern:

• The ring at each end of the mesh cylinder inside the tube, against which the metal cuff presses is also asbestos
• You might want to encapsulate that as well, or replace it with a high-temp silicone ring or replace it by smearing some high temp silicone on the flat ends of the mesh cylinder

That's all if you want to keep the original assembly. Others have documented the replacement of the interior tube by silicone tubes. You might have seen this thread already, which contains some good info on all this:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=584296
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

PLan B

Don’t smoke

Leave them alone

Try not to think about all the asbestos from brake linings you are ingesting on the road and in non-abated buildings by eating lots of bacon
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

use a Bug one http://www2.cip1.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VWC-111-819-945-PR

Bus 1968 - 1971 asbestos you can use 111-819-945
Bus 1972 - 1979 asbestos replace with Vanagon 251-255-393D

OR just use the bug ones for any bay - that is what many of us do. The orange ones have been NLA for many years and people who disassemble Vanagons often find the remnants of the rubber /B part instead of the /D part. The gray bug ones work fine.
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Last edited by SGKent on Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:20 am    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

Thank you. I was looking at the 111 819 945 grey cuffs, but noted that they were called “rubber”. I was not sure that they would take the heat without melting. If they are silicone, they should hold up all right. That would resolve the larger part of the asbestos issue, and it appears Bus Depot carries them.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:00 am    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

Terrific! Thanks for all this info.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:19 am    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

I have a complete set, 2 orange and 2 black ones from a vanogon that I may be willing to part with. Pm me if anyone is interested. They took a very long time to find and they were not cheap.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

If silicone doesn't work for you go with a high temperature epoxy. If you aren't working in an asbestos mine, an asbestos processing plant, or doing demolition you aren't likely going to be exposed to a serious dosage of asbestos, maybe your lifetime exposure will be the same as a miner's single day exposure. As others said you have probably been exposed to asbestos by many sources that are worse than the heater cuffs anyway. My grandfather dealt with asbestos daily for decades in his lab and my mother and her siblings would have had higher than normal back ground exposure as well as hunks of asbestos were always in their house and car growing up, I remember it laying around every where as a kid as well, just another fun thing to play with. My grandfather and aunts and uncles all died in their eighties of age related problems and my mother died in her seventies likely indirectly due to some heavy chemical exposure she got during WWII.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
PLan B

Don’t smoke

Leave them alone

Try not to think about all the asbestos from brake linings you are ingesting on the road and in non-abated buildings by eating lots of bacon


Asbestos was used in so many things back in the day. Tile, siding, roofing material, that fire blanket in chemistry class, mastic/adhesives, plaster...

Just use caution and don't rail lines of it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

The grey rubber cuffs are excellent. I put a set on two summers ago and they’ve kept me toasty all over. Combine them with a nice stainless steel band clamp from Napa or the like, and you won’t be able to tolerate he heat output on a freeway drive.

Robbie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

Thanks, Robbie. I got some of those coming, and some orange ones. I’ll see what fits best.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

Or contact one of the salvage yards listed here on the Samba in a few states and have them check the Air Cooled Vanagons they may have in the yard. That's what I did last year and got 4 for mine and 4 for a friend's Bus too. Got all eight total for $12 shipped from Jan @ Blair and sons in Arizona. Just another option for you to check on.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/shops/
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

Thank you all for the valued help. We appreciate it, and are well upon the road to the solution here.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Asbestos heater cuffs; what to do? Reply with quote

Do you need 2 or 4 cuffs for full replacement? Ratwell makes it seem like you just need two.
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