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Coolant Bleeding the No Stress, No Mess Way!
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Connie Schmidt
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMGosh! Built mine yesterday and bled my 90 Westie. Worked like a charm. Thanks so much for sharing your gadget!
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A while ago I needed to fill my coolant system (Subaru engine in an '87 Westy, but applicable to stock WBX) and decided to give the Libby bong a try. It was then I noticed that one of the spare radiator hoses I had (one of the two that come off the bottom of the radiator, it is the mostly straight one) fit exactly INTO the coolant pressure tank. By holding up the other end I could pour coolant into the system and have enough head that I could easily bleed the radiator.

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No fuss at all and nothing to build. Yes, I spilled some coolant when I removed the hose (you can pour most of it out into a container just by bending the hose at the tank before you detach it) but it was not much at all. And the best thing is that since I carry this hose as a spare under the back seat I always have the ability to do this while on a trip if I need to. Very Happy
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
And the best thing is that since I carry this hose as a spare under the back seat I always have the ability to do this while on a trip if I need to. Very Happy

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randywebb
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

which hose is that?

p/n, description?
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

randywebb wrote:
which hose is that?

p/n, description?


Based on Van Cafe's website it should be this one.

p/n 251.121.082

http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_666_673/coolant_pipe_to_radiator_hose_feed.html
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Dave O
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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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Hatterasker
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Used the Libby Bong this weekend in conjunction with the shop vac flush. Super simple, easy to do. Ingenious.
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denwood
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't read the whole thread but have been using this technique:

Slide short length of rubber fuel hose over expansion tank cap overflow nipple. Clamp air fitting to other end of this hose. With expansion tank cap in place, apply 15 psi from compressor...check for leaks. Open rad bleader valve until fluid exits, then close it.

Remove rad cap, fill. Done. I keep this $3 pressure tester hose in my tool chest for pressure testing anything with a similar cap.
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JunkYarDog
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about engineering a pressurized Libby bong? I have built several air cannons and it occurred to me that you could make the Libby bong more versatile. To do so you glue a threaded cap fitting over the top, install a Schrader valve and gauge and modify the drain tube to include a valve so you can close it off as needed. Then attach it to the fill neck, fill with coolant, cap it off and close the drain valve, add desired psi, then you bleed or test as desired. So long as the bong is full the air pressure you use will never enter the system. To check it you press in the Schrader valve and relieve the air pressure, then remove the cap and visually check coolant level.
Thoughts?
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rwixom
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any reason why this wouldn't work with a Zetec (Bostig) converted Vanagon? There is no pressure bottle anymore, just a fill tower and the expansion bottle. I imagine you would connect the bong at the fill tower and follow the bong instructions? How does the expansion/recovery tank play into this?

Ryan
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denwood
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you pressurize, then no need for the bong.

My fill method is to apply air pressure at 15psi via the overflow hose on the rad cap. The cap is designed to bleed off at 15psi from the coolant side, but has little resistance if you pressurize from the overflow hose. The air can be bled from the rad, top up, and you're done. I like this as you can pressure test any work you have done while you're at it by taking pressure to 20 psi.

Cheers,
Dennis.
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flomulgator
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I thought some out there might get a kick out of my particular Libby Bong Laughing

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Add that to the list of uses for the venerable Voile strap.
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86 for nix
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried this on mine and was only able to get about 3gal out. I then refilled with water (just to flush, not to drive with it), using the Libby Bong as prescribed (water coming out of bleeder on radiator on level ground). So, with the system presumably full and bled, sucked it back out and still only got about 2.5 gal. I don't have the conical adaptor, but attached the suction hose via the reducer that is part of the Libby Bong.

my question(s): should that work as well as the conical adaptor, or is the suction not great enough given the turbulence in the burp tank?

should I remove the thermostat to get to the fluid behind it?
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JunkYarDog
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally made one for me. Made a few mods just because I had parts laying around.
Leak testing
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External drain tube
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Internal
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Tube top mod to eliminate strapping it to pipe
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to say, cost me $15. Additional items were laying around unused.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a clever device but there are two methods that are quicker, easier, and free.

One is to elevate the rear of the van ~1 foot, until the pressure tank rim is at or above the level of the radiator bleed, when both will be at about 38-40" (as you lift the rear the front goes down some since the rad is so far forward of the front axle; check with a tape measure from the floor). Then simply fill and let gravity do the work, but fill slowly in batches of a half-gallon or so to let the liquid flow into every space and avoid trapping air in some area. Close the rad bleed when liquid is coming out sans bubbles, top off the p-tank and close. I always have the back of a van elevated to do almost any work anyway.

The other is as denwood says, but simpler: van on level ground, radiator bleed open, fill the system slowly as above until pressure tank will accept no more, close with pressure cap, and give a quick puff of compressed air into the cap's nipple with a rubber-tipped air nozzle and move the nozzle away. The cap will release any pressure above 1 bar, but if you're quick, even with 100psi source the pressure won't even go above that. No need to regulate the air down or anything special. This forces liquid up and out the rad bleeder, so let it flow until it's just liquid without air bubbles. If necessary, close bleeder, remove cap, top off tank and do again. Finish by closing bleeder before re-opening tank to top off.

In any filling procedure, be sure both heater valves and the bleed valve in the engine bay are full open. 1.9's engine bleed valve is in the double hose coupler on bulkhead, 2.1's is on the t-stat cap. Leave these all open when you get the engine running, and after a drive close them off and open the rad bleed bolt one more time before putting the grille back on.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the rear of the van is jacked up so the expansion tank is above the top of the radiator then it is definitely easier to just fill it and the bong won't do anything for you in that situation. If it isn't jacked up, it's certainly much less work to use the bong. I also find it to be less work to use the bong than to use compressed air in the way you mention. Bong is a lot less work than using a pressure bleeder. I really couldn't care less how someone else bleeds their coolant system, but I have personally jacked up the van, used the factory method (and am very good at it), I have a pressure bleeder and have used it, I have compressed air and yet for ease, simplicity, speed and no-mess I now choose the bong every time.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, love the bong concept.....for me it is a PITA to jack up the bus or connect a pressure tank (have done both those methods), just whip out my hose and stick it in the expansion tank.... Wink
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Dave O
'87 Westy w/ 2002 Subaru EJ25 and Peloquin TBD

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Robert Louis Stevenson

MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew A. Libby wrote:
If the rear of the van is jacked up so the expansion tank is above the top of the radiator then it is definitely easier to just fill it and the bong won't do anything for you in that situation. If it isn't jacked up, it's certainly much less work to use the bong. I also find it to be less work to use the bong than to use compressed air in the way you mention. Bong is a lot less work than using a pressure bleeder. I really couldn't care less how someone else bleeds their coolant system, but I have personally jacked up the van, used the factory method (and am very good at it), I have a pressure bleeder and have used it, I have compressed air and yet for ease, simplicity, speed and no-mess I now choose the bong every time.


I have to agree with Andrew. I've tried all the other methods but the Libby Bong was the quickest and easiest.

Maybe if I had a shop with a hoist, etc. a different method might be the winner but...
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juanb
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jacking the rear up is a hassle. Finding a hill that accomplishes the same thing is easy.

I do have a pressure cap attached to a bike inflator that I use for pressure testing, so that's what I use to bleed as well. The bong idea is ingenuous, but I'm going to be testing for leaks when I bleed anyway, so I might as well save the space of all that PVC tube or hose.
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nekto
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is the tool i use to bleed my JX Diesel system (86 drive train)

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as you can see the essential components are a T fitting, a pressure gauge, a Schrader valve, a hose barb, and a short length of hose.
place the hose over the nipple of the expansion tank cap and pressurize to about 5 PSI. any air sorce from a bicycle pump to shop air will do. then open the bleed valve on the radiator. refill tank and repeat as needed.
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it also works on the earlier style tanks with the U.S type radiator cap. (original 82 drive train)

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