Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Winston: Of Sagging Microwaves, Propane Flare-Outs, and Gas
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
msinabottle
Samba Member


Joined: September 20, 2005
Posts: 3472
Location: Denver Area, Colorado
msinabottle is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Winston: Of Sagging Microwaves, Propane Flare-Outs, and Gas Reply with quote

Dear Friends,

Well, some reverses this weekend, but I think they've all been ironed out, and on the whole Winston continues to do his best to make me glad I bought him. I think I've got everything that went wrong fixed. Here's a picture of Winston in the campground, showing his gray water tank:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I've rejoiced in the installation of Winston's auxiliary battery and microwave. A problem that slowly got worse got bad this weekend, that being that even the very, very light weight of a Sharp Half Pint microwave was too much for the cute little pins that the Westfalia engineers used to support the shelf upon which mine has been resting.

Winston continues to do very, very well on rough bumps and bad roads, but they did pull out the front pair of pins on that shelf, causing my microwave to tilt crazily. I made to supports out of old 2x4 pieces and wedged them in in place--that appears to be solved. I had to wedge it in place the night before to cook my dinner, but thank goodness it worked! My propane ran suddenly out!

I'd pulled, sanded, and painted his propane tank and guard with Hammerite paint--it seems to be holding on the tank, but the guard's rusting again. That'll be bead-blasted and powder coated. Anyway, right as I was making my morning cup of tea--a very bad time--I found myself unable to get the range to light. No propane left at all, and I'd only run the fridge for four days and cooked for six.

I knew from filling the tank that the fill valve was bad--so at least, now, I could have that fixed. Today I took Winston down to some very good people who treated me very well. They are:

AAA Propane Sales & Rentals
2651 W. Hampden
Englewood, CO 80110
303-781-5952

Matt knew Westies well--they are not his favorite vehicle to work on due to their high-pressure propane system and their closeness to the ground, but he very kindly dropped what he'd been doing and got right to work on Winston. Figured out the source of my leaks quite quickly. Not only was the fill valve bad, the idiot who rebuilt the tank had used nylon tape on all the valve fittings.

NO TAPES!!

Westies have a high-pressure propane system. If you use even the good nylon tape, the machined fittings will leak. It's a good thing that the moron who reassembled Winston's propane tank after painting it had the sense when that tank mysteriously emptied to go and get professional help. For his van, I mean.

Do not use tape on any of those fittings. Tighten them securely, test for leaks, and all will be well. But...

NO TAPES!!


He did mention something rather interesting, moreover. He doesn't think it's that dangerous to drive with your propane refrigerator on, Propane has to be mixed at just the right proportion with air for flame or explosive results, but...

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR WESTY A BONFIRE GET THE TANK FILLED WITH THE REFRIGERATOR RUNNING ON PROPANE!

He's watched two Westies burn because of that. Please take it to heart.

I did have my good and bad moments this weekend--on a day when I could make no hot tea, I didn't want to try it in the microwave, it was cold and rainy and I was very soggy and chilled. I had cause to miss Winston's departed blower fan, in as much as his windshield fogged thickly over.

I was able to reach back to the paper towels around the front table leg and wipe him down, and what really worked was getting him warmed up, and me warmed up, which happened quickly, and sending hot dry air over his windshield with that top lever. Once he got moving, that worked very well, score one for the Huns!

Two more bits of good news--fully loaded with water and camping gear, Winston continues to get 21 mpg. Very good news. I take a back road home and drive him no faster than 50 on that stretch. Also, again after more driving, the Voltage Sensitive Relay topped off both batteries again just from driving. Very good news. I forgot to secure a table and the fridge door and paid the price in noise and mess for that. Well, that's how you learn.

Here's a second shot of Winston in the campground:

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


Best!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
msinabottle
Samba Member


Joined: September 20, 2005
Posts: 3472
Location: Denver Area, Colorado
msinabottle is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Just a note... Reply with quote

My friend the gearhead from across the street was bothered by my account of the repairs... He thought that they should have used SOMETHING if not tape, and it bothered him.

Anyway, we walked over and sprayed soapy water all over Winston's re-applied fittings, and they all seemed quite tight. Then he noticed that Matt had used pipe dope on all his connections. So that's the corrollary, at least in my case, to the 'No tapes!' requirement. I don't know if there's a special brand of pipe dope for propane tapered fittings.

'Nother note-- I got great service and treatment from a locally owned propane dealership that took a moment to treat a walk-in customer respectfully and without waiting or having to leave the vehicle. The small propane dealers are being wiped out by liability insurance.

AAA sold me my propane at a very good price ($2.60/gallon) and didn't make me pay for gas I didn't need. The first place charged me for 3 gallons I didn't get or use because they had a 6 gallon minimum fill. The total cost of my repairs was $114, and I left them a bit extra for a couple of beers as a 'thank you' for working on the hot ground in the hot sun. The replacement filler valve was $40.95.

At any rate--remember that, and support them, if you can.

Best!


Last edited by msinabottle on Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Westifried
Samba Member


Joined: May 24, 2005
Posts: 45

Westifried is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:16 am    Post subject: valve assembly Reply with quote

Hi - Ive done the same drop and refinish setup as you have for Winston. however, I am having difficulty trying to service my shut off valve - it leaks and I cannot seem to get the valve apart to replace the seals - is there a trick? ive cranked on that nut behind the on/off valve to no avail - tighter than hell - starting to strip the brass nut. any suggestions? new tank? sure would suck to drop $400 on a new one when i think this one is still ok minus the valve. being stuck here in the great white north of canada means nobody likes ASME tanks nor will touch it. sissies.

thanks for any advice - good tip on the tape - i didnt know that and bought some tape to wrap but havent fixed it yet.

cheers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Alan Brase
Samba Member


Joined: March 28, 2004
Posts: 3749
Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Alan Brase is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sure that no sealer at all is needed on flare or inverted flare fittngs (don't use pipe dope on brake lines, right?) The psi developed by tightening the nuts is incredible, probably something above 20,000 psi. Tapered pipe threads, on the other hand, always need sealer. Natural gas should not use teflon type sealer. I don't know about propane/lp. LP is bigger molecules, so less likely to leak. (Methane-ethane-butane- propane is 1-2-3-4, carbon atoms, I think. )
Al
_________________
Al Brase
Projects: 67 sunroof bug, 67 Porsche 912 Targa, 70 Westy
Dec 1955 Single Cab pickup WANT 15" BUS RIMS dated 8/55, thru 12/55
To New owners: 1969 doublecab, 1971 Dormobile
Vanagons:
80 P27 Westy JUL 1979, 3rd oldest known US
83 1.6TD Vanagon, 87 Wolfie Westy daily driver, swap meet home
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Westifried
Samba Member


Joined: May 24, 2005
Posts: 45

Westifried is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey - any advice on my posted questions? no sealer - got it.
what about valves, seals, and replacements?

cheers
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
msinabottle
Samba Member


Joined: September 20, 2005
Posts: 3472
Location: Denver Area, Colorado
msinabottle is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:09 pm    Post subject: De Re Gulator Reply with quote

On the regulator...

Both GoWesty and Van Cafe are selling $40 replacements that, I think, include the shut-off valve. You have to bend the copper tubing that ran down to your old regulator assembly to get them to work. I asked Matt, the fellow at AAA, if Winston's regulator was all right, he said it was. It's an assembly, I wouldn't dream of trying to repair it myself.

However, from that OTHER Vanagon source (the archives of the old mailing list) I do have THIS:

Quote:
If you have gas in the tank (open the bleed valve to check) and no gas at the stove, then either the regulator is bad or the valve isn't opening (not likely) or there's an obstruction in the line from the regulator. Disconnect the regulator output and check for flow -- if none, remove the regulator and check for high-pressure gas coming from the valve. If regulator faulty, replace it. Unless you have a ready source for a Marshall 260 regulator (discontinued) the Marshall 299 is the correct replacement (It also comes as the 294 without the POL spud attached, use your existing one)The 290 is the same regulator but the low-pressure vent points forward instead of down, needs more protection from clogging.

The consensus over there agreed with me and Edna Mode, 'NO TAPES!' But if you can find some special propane or gas line dope, by all means use that. Other reasons cited for no tape besides leakage included little bits of it getting jammed into the valves.

I hope all that's helpful? I replied as soon as I got on and read your question--sometimes that's as long as 12 hours! Good luck with your own system, and my thanks to everyone who's made kind comments about my efforts to save your suffering by telling you about my own.

Best!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
tencentlife
Samba Member


Joined: May 02, 2006
Posts: 9627
Location: Abiquiu, NM, USA
tencentlife is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teflon tape is crap. I've never seen a product taken apart by so many things it's supposed to seal. The only thing I use it on is air fittings in my shop, since small leaks are of no consequence and I frequently reconfigure parts, so it's easy to remove. The airtool oil practically dissolves it into a schmazy mess, though.

TFE paste, on the other hand, is incredible, even though it's a teflon product. I haven't used it on natural gas, but it's cool for propane pipethreads in brass, stainless and black iron.

Flare and compression fittings are always installed dry. Al is right there, the contact force in a soft metal is sufficient to make a good seal, that's how they're designed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
msinabottle
Samba Member


Joined: September 20, 2005
Posts: 3472
Location: Denver Area, Colorado
msinabottle is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:00 pm    Post subject: The Hypochondriac Stage of Engine Care Reply with quote

For no good reason, I pulled Winston's engine cover tonight... I like doing that at least every other week as I look for mischief.

The wire I wrapped over the braided fuel line over the self-adhering tape where it rubs against the new AFM is holding... I adjusted it a little.

The alternator belt was uncracked, but the sides were a bit glazed. Applied belt dressing by spraying that on a brush and painting it on as the engine ran.

Noticed some gunk around the Full Throttle Enrichment Switch. Applied contact cleaner. Then noticed that one of the connectors wasn't ON the Full Throttle Enrichment Switch. Well, that might explain why Winston was 'pooping out' so easy. If that sucker comes off again, I'm pulling it and crimping on a new insulated connector.

And, I noticed that although he had some coolant left in the top-off tank, it was low... I fretted. And then realized that the rear bleed valve was partly open. Shocked

Moral: Look for trouble. It's probably there. Don't fix it if it isn't broke, but, check to see if it is.

Best!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
lovedavdubs
Samba Member


Joined: April 30, 2004
Posts: 1597
Location: New York, NY.
lovedavdubs is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm liking the wheel makeover MS. Cool Are they a new addition? Looks much better than the plastic hubs. Those tires look pretty mean to
_________________
82 Air-cooled Westy (Lola)...My other vehicle is a subway.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
msinabottle
Samba Member


Joined: September 20, 2005
Posts: 3472
Location: Denver Area, Colorado
msinabottle is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:18 pm    Post subject: Justt Don't Park Your Ride Where I can Get to it... Reply with quote

You can call me 'Rob.' msinabottle is from a Poe story. Good one, too.

I LOVE your rims. Shoot first if you see me creeping after you with cinderblocks and my jack in hand. Twisted Evil The repro W8 15x7 ones Discount Tire is selling look like yours, and I'm lusting after a set, although I'm sure some drilling and grinding will be involved.

I threw those hideous plastic covers in the trash once Howard VW sold me the 'dog dishes' and I'd cleaned 'em up a bit. If those tires wear out, I'll have the rims powder coated gloss black, then he'll really shine.

The tires are Big O R/T. According to the 'tires' page, they're not rated enough for Winston, so I've pumped 'em up to max pressure so they can at least take all they can. He seems happy enough on 'em, got passed by a semi going the other way and Winston didn't flinch. The Vanco 8's would be cheap... Agilis aren't as expensive as they were. The plan is to have some semi-off road tires on the old steel rims, and some 15" alloys with high MPG road tires for long travels.

Hope you and yours aren't getting rained out, LVDVW's.

Best!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
lovedavdubs
Samba Member


Joined: April 30, 2004
Posts: 1597
Location: New York, NY.
lovedavdubs is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Justt Don't Park Your Ride Where I can Get to it... Reply with quote

msinabottle wrote:
You can call me 'Rob.' msinabottle is from a Poe story. Good one, too.

I LOVE your rims. Shoot first if you see me creeping after you with cinderblocks and my jack in hand. Twisted Evil The repro W8 15x7 ones Discount Tire is selling look like yours, and I'm lusting after a set, although I'm sure some drilling and grinding will be involved.

I threw those hideous plastic covers in the trash once Howard VW sold me the 'dog dishes' and I'd cleaned 'em up a bit. If those tires wear out, I'll have the rims powder coated gloss black, then he'll really shine.

The tires are Big O R/T. According to the 'tires' page, they're not rated enough for Winston, so I've pumped 'em up to max pressure so they can at least take all they can. He seems happy enough on 'em, got passed by a semi going the other way and Winston didn't flinch. The Vanco 8's would be cheap... Agilis aren't as expensive as they were. The plan is to have some semi-off road tires on the old steel rims, and some 15" alloys with high MPG road tires for long travels.

Hope you and yours aren't getting rained out, LVDVW's.

Best!


Thanks! I still have to update my avatar. Maybe I'll take a good shot this weekend. The sun is supposed to come out tomorrow. Although it hasn't really rained all that hard. I'll be road tripping Dancing
_________________
82 Air-cooled Westy (Lola)...My other vehicle is a subway.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2018, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB