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You smell something burning?
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lovedavdubs
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Joined: April 30, 2004
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Location: New York, NY.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:36 pm    Post subject: You smell something burning? Reply with quote

Now I've done it. On a recent camping trip I managed to add too much oil to my air-cooled engine.d'oh!

For some reason, when I checked it, the dip stick read almost half quart low. I then topped it off (or so I thought) and drove home the next day. when I got home I noticing oil drops on the ground and I realized my error. The extra half quart+/- I accidentally put in had pushed its way past my valve cover gaskets and drooled down into my new heater boxes.

After discovering the leak, I let out what was left of the extra oil and was hoping to be able to role the windows down, put the heat on full tilt and just burn off all the excess oil sloshing around in my heater boxes.

This brings me up to date. I just checked the oil level and its low. And I can see drips of oil gatherd along the bottom of my valve covers, heater boxes and on the ground below. I guess I'll order new VC gaskets tomorrow. Am I correct in thinking that once the oil pushes past the VC gaskets there shot? Anybody dealt with this? Anybody know how long it will take to burn off the oil in my boxes once I get this damn leak stopped? I don't have the time to pull the boxes off again and clean them out.

Also, the van is equipped with AMC heads from what I can see. Are these heads good/bad/more likely to leak oil etc. etc?

I should mention that I dealt with this "oil in the heater box problem before" which I overcame by ditching my after market valve covers for stock and replacing my heater boxes with new. That remedy held fine up until I put that extra quart of oil in. Figures. I had perfectly operational heat all summer long when I didn't need it. Now that the weather is changing, I cant use it Confused

I'm going to look in to fabing some sort of sheething to protect the boxes from any future oil leaks.

Any thoughts tips etc. would be appreciated.
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82 Air-cooled Westy (Lola)...My other vehicle is a subway.
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scottcollins72
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Joined: February 16, 2006
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Location: Coquitlam B.C. Canada
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the confusing oil level on the dipstick, Make sure it's going in all the way. I know it sounds stupid, but on our air cooled vans the dipsticks are annoying. If you pull it you'll notice that there's a loop created in the little plastic shroud that goes into the tube. If it's not in all the way it will give you a false reading. As for the oil smell, It shouldn't be permeating into the cabin unless you have some large holes in the body. I've got prefectly in-tact heat exchangers, but even still, they've been coated in oil since day 1 and still no smell inside.

Cheers
Scott
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bucko
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Location: Coppell, Texas
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does the owners manual/repair book say? From my experiences with a Thing (type 181) and the countless Beetles I've owned, aircooled 1600 "upright" engines used 2.5 quarts of oil. Now if you have the aftermarket sump added, then they add anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 additional quarts.

One major problem I used to see on the Beetles is all the flashy chrome that was added. When the stock dipstick was tossed and that chrome one added, they were notorious for being way off on their accuracy.
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wolfej1
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the only way you would get the smell would be to have the issue that I have, there was oil inside of the exchanger. When I had my engine out for the rebuild, I cleaned up the exchangers. After cleaning I stood them up with the exhaust outlet side down (they stood straight up) and oil was leaking out of the passenger side exchanger. I got most of it out by gravity, however I believe there is still some in there because I still get the smell - which is much worse if I push the heat lever over to full (although no heat comes out).

At least this is my theory on it. Regardless, I gotta get it rectified.....
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cnskate
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air cooled heat sucks. The risk of CO poisoning is always there. I smelled the burning after I had a bad valve cover gasket on one side so I closed that side off. The other side set off my CO alarm, which would not stop beeping after I took it outside for a long time so I tossed it. I'm still debating installing a propane furnace, cranking the heat before I go for a drive, then turning it down. Seems like a better investment to me than new heater boxes since I can have safe and powerful heat when camping too. I have an inoperational Eberspacher down there, but I think the cost of getting that fixed might be close to the cost of a new propane furnace. I think it requires good heater boxes too. Maybe I'll just park the van for the winter. One more camping trip this weekend at least. Very Happy
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jhaski
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:26 am    Post subject: oil leak into heat exchangers Reply with quote

I too am now facing the burning oil/ contaminated "heat" when heater llever is on. My 83 Vanagon was fine before I had the engine rebuilt. The mechanic installed a used left 49 state heat xchngr. Bad fumes, BAD BAD FUMES inside van. Eventually he removed and I split the the cover. There I found copius amounts of burned on, coked oil. It has to be completely removed and unfortunately the lower fiber/aluminum pad is a throwaway. When reassembled the outer metal cover will rattle unless some new heat proof pad/dampener is installed. Any suggestions for this material?
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lovedavdubs
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've since gotten my leak straitened out and the fumes are now gone. And the heat is kickin Twisted Evil

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msinabottle
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Joined: September 20, 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: Just be Careful! Reply with quote

We'd hate to lose you. Automobiles of all sorts are incredibly useful and interesting. It doesn't take much for one to kill you, though.

Best!
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