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Vanagon/Westy Hot Foot!
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rockfish
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Vanagon/Westy Hot Foot! Reply with quote

I know about the problem (and fix) where some hot air escapes the heater box and blows onto your right foot. I don't seem to have that issue right now. However, I am wondering if my problem is related to the same solution (install valve to shut off hot-coolant to heater core during hot weather).

I usually wear flip-flops ... which means I usually drive bare foot. What I have noticed is that the accelerator pedal and the carpeting directly to the right of the pedal (just below the removable heater vent) gets pretty hot - to the point of distraction while driving.

Would installing a heater core shut-off valve solve this problem? Has anyone installed the valve so that it is easy to access (w/o taking off the heater cover or going under the van)? I was thinking about creating a spot for the valve stem to poke through the heater cover ... that way I could easily turn the coolant flow off/on on an as needed basis.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the problem is heating of the tunnel by air passing through the radiator. THis is cured by putting some kind of foil/foam insulation on the outside of the tunnel. You can kind of do an experiment by putting some cardboard (like cut from the back of a legal pad or cereal box) over the lower vent by your foot. Tape it in place and see if you still have your hot foot. Also, some hot air can come up around the accelerator linkage.
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rockfish
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dog:

I'm not quite sure if I know what you mean when you refer to the "tunnel" ...

Thanks in advance.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you remove the spare from the clamshell and peer up to where the shifter box is mounted. There is a tunnel like arch that the radiator van and shifter is mounted behind the radiator on the floor area. Hot air comes out of the radiator and passes down this arch or tunnel. Your foot is along the drivers side of this structure. It can get quite warm from this heating effect. The cure is to glue some Frost King type insulation on the outer surface to cut down on its ability to conduct the heat.
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rockfish
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dog:

Thanks for the detailed information. Sounds like an easy fix. I have used Frost King duct insulation behind the door panels.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet...=100028603

Is that the type of insulation you are thinking of? One layer or more? Or something thicker than this particular product?

I would imagine that you'd want to clean the metal surface first before applying the insulation. The Frost King stuff is self-adhesive, but I think this job will require a more permanent adhesive. What kind of adhesive would you recommend?

Thanks again.
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tencentlife Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dog's right as usual; most of the hot-foot effect is from radiant energy coming off the metal bodywork of the post-radiator air hump. Some folks have a heater valve that's not closing completely, but if that's your problem, you can feel the warm air coming out the vents with your hand. But get the valve to close completely, and you'll still get the hotfoot while driving on hot days, especially in sandals. I'm usually wearing flip-flops all summer, too, so I know of what you speak.

VW actually had a bulletin and a kit for the "hot footwell" upgrade, it's there in Bentley, consisting of some reflective insulation to be glued to the inner surface of the radiator hump, and some fiberboard panels to be put in around the radiator to divert more of the heated air downward. My van ha it. It was minimally effective.

Whatever you use, it has to be foil-faced, not just insulative, because it's radiant energy you're trying to limit. It goes thru the carpet as if it isn't even there.

I used some Reflectix bubble-wrap I had around, and cut some to fit under the carpet around the interior surface of the hump and under the gas pedal. No adhesive was needed. cut it to a good fit, and the carpet holds it right in place and you'd never know it was there to look at it. This will be the first summer to try that out, but it's got to offer some relief compared to only having the carpet there.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen this mod before. This guy made a trip to the Home Depot.

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

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bucko
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That mod is good for closing off the water flow to the front heater core, but will do nothing for the warm air that flows back from the radiator.

Good post, and good idea about the insulation trick. I will be replacing the radiator when I get back from a current business trip. While I'm on my back with the spare tire clamshell removed, I will put in some insulation in that tunnel area, along with some under the carpet by the gas pedal.

Then maybe some overhead, and in the doors, and under the seats, and on the door handles, and behind the outside mirrors, and covering the hubcaps, and......
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
I used some Reflectix bubble-wrap I had around, and cut some to fit under the carpet around the interior surface of the hump and under the gas pedal. No adhesive was needed. cut it to a good fit, and the carpet holds it right in place and you'd never know it was there to look at it. This will be the first summer to try that out, but it's got to offer some relief compared to only having the carpet there.


I'm sure it will provide some relief, but wouldn't it have been more effective between the radiator and body steel rather than between the steel and you? Having something more than carpet between you and the metal is certainly better than nothing. Reflectix looks like good stuff... and it looks like Home Depot carries at least some of the Reflectix product line.

As far as attaching it goes... I would think that cleaning up the sheet metal and using a spray or brush-on contact adhesive like 3M High-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive would work pretty well. The cured adhesive is good to about 250 degrees F, and if the insulation is between the radiator and adhesive there should be no way it will get that hot unless you live in Yuma!

I'm prepping our Wolfsburg for a 2000+ mile family vacation through No. California/Oregon in mid-July. I've got the A/C blowing cold now, new brakes and shift linkage bushings should be here from BusDepot today, then I'll have to clean up and insulate this area. I tend to drive barefoot and the aftermarket cruise control that someone installed is caput so my foot's going to be parked on the pedal!
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tencentlife Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
wouldn't it have been more effective between the radiator and body steel rather than between the steel and you?


Yes, definitely, but in my case, the VW fix was already there. The problem with that is that it's just not big enough, and the foil product they used is thin and heat-couples the reflective surface to the body steel. The very best fix is to get under there and glue some bubble foil all over the inside of the hump. In my case, I just wanted to try something easy. It was a 15-minute job, no glue or cleaning or cleanup required, just cut'n'fit, whereas doing the underneath would be a lot more involved and messy. So I'll see how much this helps, and if it's inadequate I can add the rest later.
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rockfish
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will definitely employ both methods ... insulating underneath and then under the carpet. In early August we're going on a 2-week trip via the Calif. coast ... while the beach temps can be mild, the heat will come up on the highway surfaces and then through the radiator and the floor. And that is something that the AC can do nothing about!

Tencent - I'll check my Bentley while I'm at it. Thanks for the tip.

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camo westy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen a kind of bubblewrap with aluminum foil bonded to both sides. check out www.teksupply.com
They call it teTEKFoil, and they have it in small lot sizes. It comes foil faced, with a white plastic on the oposite side. Uses include under concrete in rediant floor heating systems, so I imagine it is tough as hell.
I am going to order some soon for the hot areas of my 85 Weekender, that is getting the Subaru treatment.
I found the TekFoil, comes in 2X25 foot roll for $31 and 4X25 roll for $56, and that is the foil/bubble/foil variety.
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tencentlife Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's pretty much what I used. I don't remember the brand. I said Reflectix just as a generic name, like Kleenex. It might have been Tekfoil for all I know, I just have a roll here so it was handy. It came from Home Despot or one of those places. Bubble wrap with silver Mylar both sides. The bubbles assure that you have the required 3/8" airgap next to the foil that is needed for radiant barriers to be effective.

Cruised 120 miles to 'Burque yesterday, late afternoon of a pretty warm day, in sandals, and I never noticed my foot getting warm. But we've had a really cool and wet year, and it's just now finally heating up a bit, so the real test is yet to come.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The foil insulation is a good idea and works real good.

However, another big problem which no one has mentioned is re-sealing the heater door's,in the heater box, behind the front heater core---

Let's see-- at best the newest wasserleaker is 16 years old, and that foam tape insulation that seals the heater doors is almost guaranteed to be dust.

The stock heater valve will leak some coolant to the core, and with the poor seals you will get the hot foot even though you have added a insulation barrier from the radiator's heat.

Another thing to be cautious about is the Home Depot /Menards ball valves only have a rubber seal in them , and won't shut down the coolant to the front core too long.
The rubber seals will go away pretty quick with the hot coolant, and the less expensive valve will leak just as the stock plastic valve once did.


Best locate a Parker teflon sealed ball valve.
They are a little more money, but will last as long as you own the Van, and keep the hot coolant from getting to the front core in an absolute way.
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Last edited by Terry Kay on Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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camo westy
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put a 3/4 inch gate valve back at the motor, yes its not as easy to access, but it turns off the heaat to both heaters.
I open it up at oil change time to flush out the heater cores, but I doubt that is needed with nice fresh clean orange antifreeze and the van's current pampered condition.

Heat sems to be the classic 'Feast or Famine', no middle ground.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:12 pm    Post subject: heater valve Reply with quote

Yep! I like the idea of installing a valve in the engine compartment. Just cut the hot coolant off from reaching the cabin. Every once in awhile open it up to circulate the fluid and close it off again. I had a 1971 MG Midget and it had a valve right off the engine block. Standard. Every winter we opened it back up for heat!
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The primary Heater Valve arrangement is nothing new to automotive, truck or heavy equipment.

Mack, Brockway, Diamond Reo, Diamond T, Hendrickson Trucks, & Caterpillar for instance always had a primary heater valve on the engine block, and then at the heater core thay all had a secondary ball valve.

Definate positive & total heater coolant shut down.

It would be a real good idea to mount the accesssory heater valve back near the engine.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:

VW actually had a bulletin and a kit for the "hot footwell" upgrade, it's there in Bentley, consisting of some reflective insulation to be glued to the inner surface of the radiator hump, and some fiberboard panels to be put in around the radiator to divert more of the heated air downward.

Does anyone have a photo of this fix? I would love to see what I am getting myself into.
How much reflective insulation is required to cover the area?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bentley has a page or two explaining what the upgrade consists of and how to install the dealer kit. Problem is, they were on the right track but their solution was inadequate.

You understand there's two distinct problems here: the more obvious one of coolant circulating when the control valve is "closed". Remedies: adjust the cable control, if that doesn't do it get a new valve, or override the stock valve with an add-on ball valve somewhere in the coolant loop.

But, you can fix up that section and still have the hot-foot. That's because there'a great deal of radiant heat that comes thru the cowling and it roasts your gas pedal foot. The VW fix was supposed to address this but they didn't go far enough.

I always had the hot foot in warm weather and my heater valve worked perfectly; the air coming out the lower vents when the control was closed was ambient, and the hoses were never warmer than ambient when closed. Here's what I did to fix the other problem:

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


Pull back the carpet, and cover the whole cowling with Reflectix bubble-wrap insulation, the kind with a silver Mylar laminate. It isn't hard to trim a big piece to shape around the cowling, and just one or two pieces of tape to hold it in place until the carpet goes back up. Then the carpet holds it in place. Fixed.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
Bentley has a page or two explaining what the upgrade consists of and how to install the dealer kit. Problem is, they were on the right track but their solution was inadequate.

You understand there's two distinct problems here: the more obvious one of coolant circulating when the control valve is "closed". Remedies: adjust the cable control, if that doesn't do it get a new valve, or override the stock valve with an add-on ball valve somewhere in the coolant loop.

But, you can fix up that section and still have the hot-foot. That's because there'a great deal of radiant heat that comes thru the cowling and it roasts your gas pedal foot. The VW fix was supposed to address this but they didn't go far enough.

I always had the hot foot in warm weather and my heater valve worked perfectly; the air coming out the lower vents when the control was closed was ambient, and the hoses were never warmer than ambient when closed. Here's what I did to fix the other problem:

Pull back the carpet, and cover the whole cowling with Reflectix bubble-wrap insulation, the kind with a silver Mylar laminate. It isn't hard to trim a big piece to shape around the cowling, and just one or two pieces of tape to hold it in place until the carpet goes back up. Then the carpet holds it in place. Fixed.


You have just had your value upgraded to TEN$LIFE.....(Stimulus!). Great info.....

Where can I get me one of those Bentley thingys Question
Vanagon/Westy Hot Foot!, I always called it Vanagon/Westy StinkFoot! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Shocked Mad
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