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1986 2.1 L 2WD Vanagon GL Head Gasket Project
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id
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: 1986 2.1 L 2WD Vanagon GL Head Gasket Project Reply with quote

After deliberating for a week or so I've decided to attempt the head gasket replacement project. (They are leaking at the bottom on both sides) I've got the exhaust manifolds off already so this job will never be any easier. Will attempt this with the engine in which posters to the Samba indicate is possible. The exhausts are coming from the Bus Depot to Canada so I've got some time.

Figured I'd put up some photos of the project so others can learn from my experience or point out my stupidity...

Anyway... disconnected the battery terminal, labeled then pulled the plug wires, undid the bolts on the left side fuel injection assembly, pulled the coolant hose on the left side, and disconnected a grounding strap on the left side...


View of coolant hose and grounding strap connection on left side
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View with the hose disconnected and the strap removed (pointing at ground strap location)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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papawhisky
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just wrapping up installation of new heads. I found that dealing with the exhaust system and the plumbing was half the battle. So good timing on your part.
Good luck!

Papawhisky
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way too much corrosion on your grounds. They should be shinny. Take the time to scotch brite them before installing.
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candyman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My $.02,
I have done this job several times. I have done it with both engine in and out. I advise you to do the job with engine out. Once you have the heads off and eveything else, removing the engine is only one more step. You can even do this by yourself with a good floor jack (but is nice with 2 people) Now, the reason i say do this job with engine out is because, you are in already in the engine pretty far, so why not take this opportunity to really inspect your engine. You can get it on a work bench and work very cleanly and comfortably as opposed to hunching over your engine bay. This is a good time to inspect your pistons, cylinders and rods. Go ahead and rering your pistons and rehone you cylinders. You will also be able to easily replace the lower cylinder jug o-ring so many peole fail to replace when doing their heads (big mistake!). Take a look at your clutch, time to replace? well, what a better time then now! See my point? So many just want to do the job needed instead of some preventative maintenance our vans so poorly need. This is just my opinion, so take it or leave it. But, by the looks of your engine, you most likely need more then just head gaskets. Food for thought, good luck and keep us posted. And, oh yeah, whatever you do, do not fail to repalce the lower cylinder jug orings!
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id
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:26 am    Post subject: Day 2 - More fun Reply with quote

Thanks for the $0.02 CandyMan. What you say makes sense. Would you take the heads off and then remove the engine, or take the engine off and then remove the heads?

Last nights work consisted of unbolting what I think is the coolant pump on the left side of the engine, removing the air intake assembly, removing the coolant line on the front right side of the engine, and unbolting the fuel injection manifold on the right side of the engine

View of the coolant pump bolts from the front (they took a bit of liquid wrench and an extender on my allen wrench to remove)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the air intake assembly
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the air intake assembly with the intake hose removed (the rest of the assembly is held on with latches and one hose clamp at the exhaust end)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the right side fuel injection assembly with the bolts loosened off (These bolts came out easy)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


What does this thing do? I believe it was disconnected before I started messing with the van
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the coolant hose on the right side front of the head
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View with the coolant hose removed
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disconnected elec connector is for the part next to it. Idle stabilzer. Most likely someone disconnected it because the engine idle was hunting. Proper tune and a known good valve, it should be connected and work just fine.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your "what does this thing do?" is the Idle Speed Control Valve.

What you thought was the coolant pump is the thermostat manifold. The water pump is bolted into the case on the rear of the left cylinder bank. You'll get familiar with that later.

Much easier to get the motor out, then do all your disassembly/reassembly on the bench. Just drain all fluids in the car first, then get the whole deal out. There's always a bit more of the liquids, though, especially coolant (the curved pipe below the left valve cover always offers a surprise drenching later).

$40 for an engine stand is money well spent. Being able to spin the motor on-end when installing the heads makes this complex job a lot easier. Easier work is better work. When you're comfortable and can see things well, you will do a better, cleaner job and avoid mistakes. The head gasket thing is commonly done with motor in the car, but you have far better odds of success by doing the repairs with the engine removed, especially as a first-timer. Plus you can inspect and remedy so many other things to put the van in a better state overall. You won't regret pulling the motor out.
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id
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback guys. I am definitely leaning towards yanking the engine. I've got a buddy with a stand and a hoist. Then I can move into the comfort of my workshop for the rest of the wrench twisting. Tonight's action included:

Pulling the alternator (left the wiring harness attached and stowed it in front of the engine hatch. Had to unbolt the little cylinder that's attached to the alternator. What's that thing?)

View of the Alternator pointing out the tension adjustment bolt
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the Alternator wiring harness (what is the black cylidrical gizmo on the right hand side?)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Pulling the pump (brake fluid?) on the right side of the engine. (Left the hoses attached and hung it from the side of the engine compartment)

View of the brake pump prior to yanking
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View with the brake pump out
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Disconnected the coolant hose that feeds the right head at the rear (Tried spinning the bolt which didn't want to move, so I removed the hose clamp (much easier))

View of the coolant hose removed
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Disconnected the black cylinder off the top of the engine that connects to the air system (pretty oily in there) (Noticed the connecting rubberish hose was broken (probably why the right side of the engine is a bit oily)

View of the top rear of the engine with the "black cylinder" on the right hand side
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of with the "black cylinder" removed
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your "brake pump" is actually your power steering pump, while your black cylinder is your breather tower. Do yourself a favor and plan on replacing all your coolant and inlet air hoses while you have them off. The one coolant hose you showed being removed from the front of the engine is one of the most likely to burst. It is short and subject to a lot of movement as the engine moves around.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the litle cylindrical connector fastened to the alternator is a test-connector for the VW dealer diagnostic system. No one will ever use it again, so if you don't care to have it there you can track it back to the pickup it reads, which is attached to the engine case on the bellhousing flange. It's OK to just cut the wire there. Or keep it if you want things to remain stock. It does nothing, a vestige of an extinct service program.

The flanged nipple on the rear of the right head is probably made of plastic, and very prone to unexpected breakage, resulting in an unmanageable coolant leak that will strand you. There is a metal replacement, which you would be very wise to obtain:

http://www.van-cafe.com/vanagon_parts.jsp?pa=p&p=1671107832&pct=1232111170&ct=1247501126

VanCafe says they warp and leak, which is true, but in my experience they just BREAK!
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id
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information guys. It looks like I won't be back on this project till Monday
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mysticalclimber
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting all the pics!!
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id
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Managed to get out Saturday morning for an hour or so and pull off the throttle gizmo from the air intake system. I needed to do this to get at the front bolt on the main air manifold.

Some shots of the work...

View of the spring that had to be disconnected
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the air hose that slips off the idle speed control valve
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Top view of the two bolts that had to be undone to remove the throttle assembly
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the electrical connector running to the air intake assembly
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the opening where the throttle assembly connected with the front air manifold bolt showing at the top of the picture
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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id
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I got back from the ski hill this afternoon I managed to get the rest of the plumbing and electrical removed from the engine. I am ready to attempt the removal of the engine tomorrow evening with some help from my buddy Rob.

Some live action photos of today's work

View of the front bolt of the air manifold extracted (I had to yank the diagnostic cable, good thing it's obsolete!)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the electrical connection for the distributor removed
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of an electrical connection at the bottom of the rear of the block removed
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the oil filler pipe connection prior to removal
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the hose clamp requiring removal to pull the dipstick tube out of the engine
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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id
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still more shots from this afternoon...

View of the oil cooler prior to removal
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the water pump intake with the front bolt almost pulled
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the coolant line from the water pump to the oil cooler after disconnection
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the water pump intake pulled off
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the catalytic converter electrical connection
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the exhaust shroud middle bolt
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the left hand exhaust shroud bolt (pulled the exhaust and shroud to make room for the engine to be pulled)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of a connection point for the coolant reservoir that is mounted to the exhaust shroud (Disconnected it and left it hanging)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I was able to slide the electrical connection for the catalytic converter out once I had pulled the rear exhaust shroud. I hope I remember to slide it back in before I bolt that shroud back in place!
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beatrich
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics, your work will save others a lot of trouble when they attempt the same job. Good luck!
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id
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my buddy Rob showed up last night after work and brought an engine hoist. In Canada this would be known as a "TSN Turning Point".

There were a few last minute disconnections to be made and then we were able to lift the engine with the hoist to take up the strain. With the engine held by the hoist we unbolted the tranny from the engine. Bolts out we could pull the engine right off the tranny by hand and then lower it to the arms of the hoist. We rolled the hoist back and the engine cleared the bottom bumper no problem.

Now the engine is sitting happily in my workshop waiting to be pulled apart.

Some shots of last night's work follow...

View of the connecting bolt for the rectangular metal piece on the bottom of the engine block. What is this thing? Anode? Skid plate?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of an electrical connection on the left side of the engine at the bottom of the block.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the bolt out on the top left side connection between the tranny and the engine. Notice the rope on the right hand side through the lifting lug. The hoist is holding the engine while this photo is taken
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the nut that holds the tranny to the engine on the bottom right side.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


View of the engine lowered to the ground!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I applaud your efforts to document your task. Going back together I find it easier to install everything you removed before dropping the engine, while the engine is in the stand. Good luck.
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66 12volt
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you supported your transmission before dropping motor. Most times the linkage is bent if not supported
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id
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey 12 Volt:)

On the picture above, right hand side, you can just make out pile of lumber that is supporting the tranny. Thanks for the concern though...
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