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'91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring
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jayinduluth
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:58 am    Post subject: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

I have my 85 vanagon with a 91 2.1 in the shops for gasket replacement. They sent me pics that confused them of an o-ring in the cylinder head. They are claiming this is not standard and they can't find that part in any part listing. The PO that I bought the van from did the heads himself. Can anyone confirm?
Thanks.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the PO may have made a mistake. There is an O ring listed 025 101 177. It does not go under the gaskest. It should fit around the jug. I found this image here.

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O ring part number is 025 101 177 spec is 101 mm x 1.5 thick.
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jayinduluth
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem appears to be the groove that appears to be machined into the head that this o-ring is sitting in. The PO said they were AMC heads, so that is that groove normal? The shop my van is at is a very reputable VW shop and done a lot of vanagon head jobs and they haven't seen it before.
Is this the problem?
http://www.gowesty.com/library_article.php?id=108
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The article you linked did not mention machining the heads to accommodate an O ring. Looking again at the pictures you posted, I can now see the O ring groove. There are other members that are more versed with the WBX engine than I.

At this point, I don't see how you can use the heads without another O ring. It must have been sized in such a way that you could still get a solid seal and torque. Normally I don't think you'd have a rubber O ring in a compression area.

In high compression inline engines, we'd O ring the block, but utilized a copper wire that stood slightly proud and would compress into the head gasket for a better seal. This will bump your thread. Sorry I can't be of more help.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orig wbx heads do not have a o ring groove unless some did it themselves. At top of liner, on outside is a groove, it is a small dia, close to 1/16", fits arount top of cyl, supposed to keep water out of area where hd contacts the flat sealing ring (flat one is what seals in compression gasses) All i have seen r a greenish color. This is a troublesome seal, ALL surfaces need to be clean & flat also no scratches pits etc. My2cts, as usual no warranty is available at this time.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have the machine shop measure the depth of the groove. You might be able to use some copper wire to complete the seal to the factory gasket and it will work better than rubber. It just needs to stand slightly proud, no more than .010".

Other options would be to weld up and flycut back to stock or fly cut without welding up and live with the higher compression and the possible changes in pushrod angles.

Or, step up and spring for another set of heads. I don't believe you mentioned why it was apart.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its in the shop due to weepy head gasket.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

I wanted to bump this thread. I took my 2.1 heads to the shop and they have that groove as well. The machine shop I went to is Brother's VW in ontario CA and they are a reputable machine shop. The gentlemen there had never seen that groove either and they did not have the tooling to make sure the groove is good. They recommended I weld it and machine it, but it's not worth it because new heads would be the same price.

What are these grooves for?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:54 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

Other than this thread, I have not seen these grooves either. My reaction is not a good one. This area (top of jug to head joint) must control combustion forces and temps. I don't understand the use of a rubber O ring in this location. It should be direct metal on metal with new metal sealing ring. I would think the rubber O ring would not contribute to combustion pressure sealing at all. I also think the temps at the head end of the cylinder jugs would be MUCH higher than the other end where rubber O rings are used.

Unless I am missing something here, this was misguided work to cut an O ring groove under the metal sealing ring.

Doug
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

i concur with Doug. i just put AMC heads bought in 2017 and they do not have an o-ring groove. it's someone's idea of a better wheel but there's little reason for it because that area must seal combustion pressure as well as coolant but there's combustion pressure on BOTH sides of the head gasket and that is no place for a rubber o-ring. whatever.

you say it is in the shop for a weepy head gasket. that to me implies an external drip but please clarify... weepy into the combustion chamber where you get white smoke or weepy to the external ground?

if the heads are otherwise in great shape, i'd be tempted to replace the o-ring and go with it IF there wasn't a combustion leak. fixing the external leak is around the water jacket perimeter and head seal is a different operation.

-dan
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

Depending on the width of the groove vs the width of the metal seal and how the jug meets, it's possible you could get a "better" seal. The o ring, might
allow the metal seal deflect some when torqued and end up with the edge of the metal seal to seat "twice" on the top edge of the groove, vs flat surfaces sealing. Thats a lot of dimensions that need to be correct. One engine was unique, with a second set of heads, someone is intentionally doing it. It would be interesting to learn the history of this mod.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

I would measure the groove and have a copper ring made of the same dimensions. There's a place called Gasket Works that I've had several sets of Copper HGs made that could help you out. No need to scrap the heads if everything else is in order.

J
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

jberger wrote:
I would measure the groove and have a copper ring made of the same dimensions. There's a place called Gasket Works that I've had several sets of Copper HGs made that could help you out. No need to scrap the heads if everything else is in order.

J

I'd agree if doing it yourself. However, at a shop, it would be typical that you would be responsible for any non-standard item.
Heck, I bought wheels studs for my Honda, decided to bring it to a shop and they said they would not guarantee the work, when Dormann is the only show in town and I know they are not ordering and waiting for Honda OEM studs.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

Check to see if you have "hand planked rods" also. Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

What I worry about is this. Combustion is a hard and heavy pressure wave and I've seen it cause head gaskets on a more conventional block and head combo to actually wear material away from the head or block. Metal sealing rings that vibrated and 'beat' a depression into the metal head or block. They'll flutter if space develops or proper head pressure is not maintained. And that bit of movement starts wear. Eventually combustion pushes further across the head to a coolant passage, or oil passage, etc.

I worry that the original metal sealing rings in the WBX head were designed as a stable connection between the steel cylinder and the softer aluminum head. By reducing the surface area by - what? - half? And replacing that half with contact with pliable rubber. I think it's asking for movement. For the metal ring to not be fully supported and therefore subject to movement. And movement causes wear.

The WBX only has the width of the metal sealing ring to contain the compression, not an entire traditional clamped head and block. So I don't know who's idea that is or was but I'd need to be convinced of it.

I dunno.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:58 am    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

ALstew wrote:
I wanted to bump this thread. I took my 2.1 heads to the shop and they have that groove as well. The machine shop I went to is Brother's VW in ontario CA and they are a reputable machine shop. The gentlemen there had never seen that groove either and they did not have the tooling to make sure the groove is good. They recommended I weld it and machine it, but it's not worth it because new heads would be the same price.

What are these grooves for?


Out of curiosity, what year is your van?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:55 am    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

Do your cylinders still use the top o-ring? Anything else special about your engine? I just can't imagine a soft o-ring ever working in that location.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
Do your cylinders still use the top o-ring? Anything else special about your engine? I just can't imagine a soft o-ring ever working in that location.


Who are you asking?

I was wondering if this is some final rare method VW used in last WBX engines. It would be a very precise modification to work. I get what Doug is saying about maximum surface area, but there is another train of thought going on with this setup that is the opposite of what Doug proposes. Sort of like what exerts more downward force per square inch a waterbed or a woman's high heel shoe. If you could get it sized properly, you might end up with better clamping force on the small inner lip and the deflection to the remaining gasket could improve the coolant sealing. It's a stretch, but its a lot of trouble to go through for no reason. Or its a Band-Aid for heads that should have been flycut to begin with and the machine shop did not have that equipment, but could machine a O ring groove. 1 engine, no big deal. Now we have 2 engines and a member that actually found this old thread. Weird.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

both of these engines with the grooved head were from Southern California..... the plot thickens.

-dan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: '91 2.1 Cylinder Head O-Ring Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
ALstew wrote:
I wanted to bump this thread. I took my 2.1 heads to the shop and they have that groove as well. The machine shop I went to is Brother's VW in ontario CA and they are a reputable machine shop. The gentlemen there had never seen that groove either and they did not have the tooling to make sure the groove is good. They recommended I weld it and machine it, but it's not worth it because new heads would be the same price.

What are these grooves for?


Out of curiosity, what year is your van?


I own an 85. I bought the long block from Europro in costa mesa to rebuild in an automotive machining class I took last semester. I was told the engine was stock, but when I measured everything it was all aftermarket chinese internals.
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