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Coolant Bleeding the No Stress, No Mess Way!
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denwood
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're having trouble with the bong, try the air pressure method:

www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=573302

Andrew, you're amongst my favorite guys here (and one of the most knowledgeable!), but I do find the air pressure method simpler. Pretty much pressurize, bleed, drive. After the first highway drive, van hot and running, I just open up the bleed valve and let the coolant pressure burp any bubbles out. Generally there's no air there. In the thread I use 15-20 psi, (cold) because I want to pressure test/stress the system at the same time as bleeding it. Since using the pressure test, I've always done the bleed with the van flat with no issues.

One poster just permanently installed a Schrader valve in his expansion tank...even easier as a few pumps on an air pump and you're done. That seems like a nice idea too.

Gracefully retreats from thread.... Smile
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing wrong with the air pressure method. Not everyone who wants to bleed has compressed air. I actually have compressed air and still grab the bong for coolant bleeding. I've considered using an old pressure cap and a garden sprayer, but I still think it doesn't get any easier than the bong.
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Yellow Rabbit
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the process identical for 1.9 or 2.1 cooling systems? Is there a need to open the rear heater or engine compartment bleeders? This sounds too easy. Razz
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rotaecho
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:14 am    Post subject: Libby Bong on 82' diesel? Reply with quote

Howdy Libby!

The bong looks amazing, but I'm still unsure about it (not it's usefulness just using / building it).

Will this work on a diesel 82 Vanagon?

Is there a youtube or video of building the Libby Bong and its use?

I'm a more visual person, and this seems to be something worthy of a video.

Thanks!
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rotaecho
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:51 am    Post subject: rear heater valve? Reply with quote

I'm getting ready to do this project this weekend and after rereading the posts, I have a few questions:

1.) Does anyone flush the coolant system with water first? If so, is it the same procedure with the libby bong?

2.) Does anyone have a Bentley page reference or a photo/location information for the rear heater valve?

I haven't seen this anywhere near my rear-seat with my 82' diesel.

Thanks!
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pinetreeporsche
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Team WorldTour wrote:
Why would you 'lift' the front end?
With the nose down, gravity pushes the air out.
I've never used the 'bong', but with a blown head gasket last year, I got real good at bleeding out the system. Nose down is the way to go.



Yes!- let the weight of the liquid in the system drive out the air-- NO equipment needed. The air that's trapped in the top portion of the radiator will be pushed out by the weight of the water in the rear of the system-- no hoses or pressure devices. Read through it all and get the idea-- just the coolant seeking its own level will push the air out from the top of the radiator if you get the rear , the expansion tank, a little higher than the bleeder bolt at the top of the radiator.

Proceed as follows: Get it warmed up, w/heater full on. [Caution- if the heater does not begin to blow warm and the engine temp on the gauge goes well above the half-way point, do the full routine one time through with the motor fairly cold and not running except for intermittent short start-up intervals, and then, when you have enough fluid in the system to get to the heater, and start getting heat, get the whole system warmed up and then go through it second time.]

Park with the nose down on a steeply sloping driveway, or for those in the flat parts of the country, run the rear wheels up a set of ramps-- with the parking brake firmly set, of course. Kill the motor for a minute for the following: Pull off the plastic grill /headlight surround by turning the 5 flathead 'screws' 1/4 turn. Loosen then bleeder bolt at the top of the radiator before you start it up again, to be sure you know how far up it screws before it it comes out-- if you get it all the way up it might pop out and escape your fingers/wrench, and maybe drop and get hung up and hidden before it hits the ground-- as on the spare tire pan or ??.

Finally (the above should only take 3 minutes) with the bleeder bolt screwed in only a couple of turns, start the motor, and slowly back the bolt out almost all the way, till air starts to escape make a bubbling hiss. You can leave the cap off the rear pressure tank while doing this, but check it often, and feed the tank as often as needed w/ coolant to keep it full. This will keep the pressure from the weight of the fluid in the system uniformly high-- that was why you lifted the rear, right? (Any old plastic pop bottle with the bottom cut out makes a perfect funnel for filling without spilling.)

As the escaping stream of bubbling air at the top of the radiator turns to a mostly-bubble, then begins to weep just coolant without any remaining air bubbles, tighten the bleeder bolt. Be sure the pressure tank has been, all along, full to the top. Go back and check it every half-minute or so. And while there at the back, give a few flicks on the accelerator cable end to up the revs and get a bit more push to the air bubbles in the system.

Now, w/ bleeder closed and the expansion tank full, put the cap and the hose to the overflow tank back in place, and go for a short drive, sometimes getting the revs up, and if possible including some steep uphills and downhills-- and even some fairly sharp left and right turns- so any air bubbles in the system get dislodged.

If you had to start the process with no heat coming from the heater-blower, so couldn't keep it running full time during the process, you may want to run it in the driveway first for a few minutes, watching the temp gauge and watching for air in the pressure tank, topping it off as needed. If you did the whole drill on an engine not delivering heat, go to the top again. If you don't get hot air from the heater after 2 cycles of this drill, consider the possibility of a defective thermostat that's supposed to open the flow of the system as it warms. In these cases of no heat, be extra vigilant about checking the temp gauge and keeping the tank full of fluid, to continually replace air with coolant. Unless you had been running with a very low coolant level, one run-through should have it almost fully purged of air.

After your test drive, re-check for air in the pressure tank and top off as needed. Continue to check the pressure tank regularly after every short run till there's no change-- and sometime in the first day or two, put the rear high and check the bleeder for air bubbles one more time, too, before you put the grill cover back on. And watch the pressure tank daily for a few more days (with a bright LED flashlight you don't need to open it to check it. If it's so grungy inside that you can't see at all, maybe you should have pulled it and given the inside of it a good cleaning before you started the process!) It's OK to be a little obsessive-compulsive in this area; remember what a head job or whole motor rebuild would cost if you run with too little coolant and too much air in the system.

Sound like a long or complex process? -its not. Takes no longer than it did for me to type this. Of course if you started with no heat from the heater, double that, since you'll have to repeat the whole process, but even there, 45 min should do the job.

Moderator edit: Wall of text broken into paragraphs.
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eeebee Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:33 pm    Post subject: Re: rear heater valve? Reply with quote

rotaecho wrote:
I'm getting ready to do this project this weekend and after rereading the posts, I have a few questions:

1.) Does anyone flush the coolant system with water first? If so, is it the same procedure with the libby bong?

2.) Does anyone have a Bentley page reference or a photo/location information for the rear heater valve?

I haven't seen this anywhere near my rear-seat with my 82' diesel.

Thanks!


Usually you don't need to flush it with water unless you have really old nasty coolant. You could though with the same procedure.

Early models may not have a rear heater. Do you have floor vents behind the front seats like Bentley page 80.11?
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rotaecho
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: rear heater valve? Reply with quote

I thought the same if any was left it in it; it would have been such a small amount.

No rear heater in my 82 diesel.

eeebee wrote:
rotaecho wrote:
I'm getting ready to do this project this weekend and after rereading the posts, I have a few questions:

1.) Does anyone flush the coolant system with water first? If so, is it the same procedure with the libby bong?

2.) Does anyone have a Bentley page reference or a photo/location information for the rear heater valve?

I haven't seen this anywhere near my rear-seat with my 82' diesel.

Thanks!


Usually you don't need to flush it with water unless you have really old nasty coolant. You could though with the same procedure.

Early models may not have a rear heater. Do you have floor vents behind the front seats like Bentley page 80.11?

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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got in the habit of flushing it out - mainly because the first time I did not know what coolant had been used previously. Possibly over-kill now when I am replacing like with like. I do use a tee on one heater line that seems to get me a better flush:

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


The flush and refill are aided by the electric bong:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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Gauche1968
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Used the Bong today. Everything went well, except I had a hard time getting the plumbing reducer to seal around the opening to the expansion tank, lost a little bit of coolant onto the ground. I really tightened the heck out of the clamp, but still lost some coolant. Is this typical?
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ Wrap the threads with electrical tape. Cool
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Gauche1968
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip on the electrical tape.

I am on to step 9 and have a point of clarification. The instructions say that after you drive around a bit and park with the passenger side up in the air, if you loosen the bleeder screw/valve and get coolant leaking out, you are good (as long as it is not just air coming out). What if there are some air bubbles along with the coolant? Basically coming out at the same time....

Thanks!
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're fine. Just check the level on the two tanks after a few heat cycles. The pressure tank should be completely full, the license plate one to the mark.
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew A. Libby wrote:
You're fine. Just check the level on the two tanks after a few heat cycles. The pressure tank should be completely full, the license plate one to the mark.


Thanks! I think I am good! Great Idea, BTW!
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew, any way you could re-upload your pictures? Or, anybody else that has pics of their bong? I'm gonna be giving this a whirl on Friday and would love to have a visual of what the bong looks like.
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple from the gallery:

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


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

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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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


If you look at that pic, an important part of the design is that the clear tube goes through the ABS (drill a hole that's a little too small) and then down below the bottom of the coupler. That design detail is intentional and missing from the one with the barb fitting. The reason the tube extends that low is so that when you are done you can lower the tube until coolant almost flows out of it, cap it with your thumb, lower it down below the tank where you have the coolant container waiting and then uncap the end. Doing that will create a siphon which will drain the ABS all the way down below the top of the expansion tank so that when you remove the device, there is not any coolant that spills.
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 5:24 pm    Post subject: COOLANT BLEEDING THE NO STRESS, NO mESS WAY Reply with quote

(1). I HAVE A 83 VANAGON DIESEL; I DID NOT SEE ANY PHOTOS OF THE LIBBY BONG SET UP? I USED THE ANTIFREEZE ATTACHMENT, IT COSTS ABOUT $5.00 AT A LOCAL PARTS HOUSE. THIS HAS A TEE FITING ON THE 1/2 INCH HOSE WITH AN ATTACHMENT TO A WASHING MACHINE HOSE. I USE A FUNNEL ABOUT 4 FEET ABOVE THE ENGINE TO ADD ANTIFREEZE UNTIL THE RADIATOR BLEEDER SQUIRTS ANTIFREEZE ON THE FRONT OF THE VANAGON. I HAVE USED A PLUG TO STOP THE ANTIFREEZE WHERE IT IS GOING IN? DOES THAT MAKE SENCE?

(2). ANYBODY TRY THE "PEX" SHARKBITE 1.25 IN HOSE ABOUT 20 FT LONG TO REPLACE THE STAINLESS HOSE ON VANAGON. IT COSTS $45.00 PER 20 FEET? SEE HOME DEPOT MODEL # U885W20. INSIDE DIAMETER 1.00 IN, OUTSIDE DIAMETER 1.25 IN. ESTIMATED COSTS IS ABOUT $100.00 FOR BOTH HOSES.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew A - the pictures you posted are gone. Any chance you could restore them?
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope.
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