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Hot rubber smell
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MsTaboo
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Hot rubber smell Reply with quote

Hi all,
Well we are 1500 miles into our SW trip, question.
When we stop we smell hot rubber. I have checked in the engine compartment, not there. The tires (which are new studded snow tires) are not rubbing anywhere, and don't smell anyway. The smell just seems to emanate from somewhere underneath. Any ideas?

The woes so far:

This hot rubber smell.

We have a small oil leak from the rear seal area.

The speedo crapped out first thing this morning.

The good:

Propex heater rocks! In the teens last night at Arches Nat. Park and we were nice and toasty.

Anyway, help with this smell would be appreciated. I don't like not knowing.

Thanks.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is something I've noticed on my '81 (now water cooled). I don't know if this was happening while it was still an air cooled but.....

On mine, the "lower" rad hose is close (read: up against) the spare tire. My thinking is that it is the "lower" rad hose heating up the sidewall of the spare tire. But that is just a guess.


Cheers,

Neil.
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wgargan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

your engine is too powerful and you are burning rubber all the time. Slow down Smile
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billybobrudebaga
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Tires Reply with quote

I am having a similar issue and I think today I figured it out.
Last week I put on new winter tires and the tread is much more aggressive and better at throwing things around in the back of the van, including right on top of the exhaust pipe.
I get the smell for a brief minute or two and then it is gone. Kind of smells like rubber, but not quite the same lingering odor Confused. Only happens when there is water on the ground or I go through a puddle or two.

I have a Tiico so my exhaust is different, but on the driver's side of the car, I am getting the water and some road grime and grit thrown right onto the pipe that goes to the muffler. I can see the steam coming it too when I stop the car and get out. I think the pre-treated (Some kind of NaCl mixture) is adding to the smell in my case...but...I'm not sure about that either.

You might be experiencing the same thing???? I know that I never smelled it prior to putting the new tires on.

Good luck though..sounds like your livin' the dream.

-Billy
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Boogievan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My speedo quit working several months ago. I fixed it in about 2 seconds by saying "What the?..." and giving the top of the gauges a good whack. Worked ever since. Razz (I'm not even joking...)
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dravin21
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject: LMAO Reply with quote

Boogievan wrote:
My speedo quit working several months ago. I fixed it in about 2 seconds by saying "What the?..." and giving the top of the gauges a good whack. Worked ever since. Razz (I'm not even joking...)


i unhooked the cables (mine has 2) and ran a few drops of 3in1oil down them and its working GREAT now
.... i save the scientific tap for a lack of light
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MsTaboo
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the ideas.

The hot rubber smell has faded, but now the oil leak has gotten scary.

We're leaving a puddle every time we stop and the rear of the van is coated with a combination of oil droplets and dust.

I'll do a search on oil leaks, but any ideas here would be appreciated.

The leak is from the front of the engine, maybe main seal? The wind has driven some oil upwards onto bottom of air cleaner and water dist. pipe.
The valve covers are dry.

I've dumped some BarsLeak into the motor (no help) I hope this gunk doesn't make matters worse.

Is there anything I can check or tighten? We have a thousand miles to go!

The speedo is working though, after the day warms up, but never in the morning!

Thanks for any help.
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Currently:
90 Syncro Westy/Zetec
-Syncro, not just a sticker-

The information age has morphed into the age of disinformation and willful ignorance. Agnotology!
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Gauche1968
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One or both of your brake calipers may be sticking or too tight. Check to see if the smell is coming from either front wheel well.....
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billybobrudebaga
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: silly question Reply with quote

This may seem silly, but are you positive it is motor oil?
Is your transmission an auto or manual?
The reason I ask is because if you look thru some of my older posts, I had a similar issue. Mine turned out to be leaking some really nasty fluids (bad combo of trans fluid and gear oil) from my transmission and it was puking it out when stopped. It was sprayed all over my engine compartment after driving at high speeds.
If your sure it's motor oil, I'd get a close look at the underside and see if you can find where it is dripping from. Oil drain plug? Case leak Shocked ? Main seal?
If it smells kinda nasty (like old socks) and doesn't have the same consistancy as oil, check your trans fluid to see what color it is. Your back to back seals may have eroded and the fluids are mixing together and ultimately escaping the transmission.

Good luck, let us know what you find out.
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MsTaboo
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

billybobrudebaga- Yeah it's motor oil, the level is going down and I'm refilling! (also it's a Syncro, 5 speed)((well 4 1/2 anyway))

I'm thinking I should start a new post about the oil leak. The hot rubber smell has gone away. ( may have been the brand new snow tires running on dry pavement.)
_________________
Currently:
90 Syncro Westy/Zetec
-Syncro, not just a sticker-

The information age has morphed into the age of disinformation and willful ignorance. Agnotology!
You can lead a person to reason but you can't make them think.
The internet is like a toilet, useful but full of crap.
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billybobrudebaga
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Joined: April 17, 2006
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Location: Maine
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject: Too bad Reply with quote

That's too bad about the oil leak..sorry to hear that...but on the plus side..at least you know it's not the transmission!!

motor on!

-Billy
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