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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is exactly why I suggested dealing with the Van-Cafe.

Chris, Mike & Peter know excatly what's available, who's making what , where it's coming from, and won't sell you something that isn't available.

No fire here--the guys at the VC are on the ball, and if you ask them a question about parts--you'll get a straight answer.
Unlike the hired order taker's in the Barn in Pa.

VW never built any of their own radiator's in the first place.
They jobbed it out just like anyone else.
If that web page is offering VW heater cores--Behr in England is bulding them.
It's just the way it is---
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a good price on those cores off that website...but I'd be leary...its not a real volkswagen site, its a dealer posing as a VAG site.

looks too BFY/Serrano's for me, ill pay a little more and order from vancafe and get some cookies too.
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Leebo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK excuse my lack of mechanical knowledge (or what may seem like common sense to most of you), but I have been reading this thread, as well as 1000 others. I am new to the Vanagon world, as I recently bought an 84 Westy. I knew before my purchase that the front heater blower was blown (PO offered this much). Upon reading countless threads related to replaceing this blower, I also understand that I will want to go ahead and replace the heater core and do some maintenance/replacement on wiper motors, etc. However, my lack of ability has me scared to death to remove the dash. Well, more scared when it is time to put it all back together. I have read threads, seen Ben's page with photos, etc., but it still scares the hell out of me. So, until I grow a pair and tackle the job (which I will do some day!), I'm I just missing out on defrost and heat with the blower not working? There is no damage occuring to the heater core, right? Thanks for any wisdom shared! And yes, I am ordering a Bently and thru trial and error I will, some day, hopefully be able to fix most things myself and not pay large amounts of $ to someone else to fix my Westy.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not trying to hi-jack this thread...

Leebo wrote:
I knew before my purchase that the front heater blower was blown (PO offered this much).


Is the heater blower motor 'blown' or just not turning due to lack of lubrication to the bearing?

See these threads for a possible way to get it working without pulling the dash.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3...mp;start=0

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=395661&highlight=mullendore+port
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Dave O
'87 Westy w/ 2002 Subaru EJ25 and Peloquin TBD

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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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Leebo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question. I haven't actually tried turning the blower on so I don't know if it is "blown" or just not turning. I guess I need to figure out that much, huh. Any suggestions on a good starting point?

And thanks for the other threads. I had already read those, and think for some people (not Terry) it seems to work.
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Landsailer
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SyncroGiraffe wrote:
I have a question about troubleshooting my front heater.

I took my van up to Summit County, Colorado, from the Denver metro area a week or two ago. On the drive up the front heater worked fine. When we got up to the ski resort I noticed that the coolant level had dropped (I'm chasing leaky hose clamps as the source of the coolant leak, but I'm not 100% confident they are the only source). On the drive home the front heater would not put out any heat at all, just blew very cold air the whole time.

I'm curious... the drive to Denver from Summit County is mostly down hill, and my coolant level was low, but the engine temp never got over about 1/3 of the gauge. Is it possible that I just need to refill and bleed the coolant system to have the front heater work again? I haven't tried driving the van since that happened for fear of causing damage to something. I know the coolant level is low, so I definitely need to top it off.

What steps should I take to figure out what else is going wrong? I read someone above say to check the wire that controls the shutoff valve, so I assume that would be step 2 (after topping off the coolant). How would I check the thermostat? How would I check to see if the heater core has failed?
Thanks in advance for any advice, I'm a relatively new Vanagon owner and a somewhat inexperienced mechanic, although I have partially rebuilt the engine in my Jeep and can read a shop manual.


What was the ambient temperature outside? What settings did you have the heating system on (fan switch, warp drive console)? How low was the coolant? Did you smell coolant in the cabin?

The thermostat is on a separate loop from the heating so it should not have an effect on the heater. It would if it was stuck open, but that's probably not the case. If the entire drive was downhill then the engine really isn't working very hard. If it's not working really hard, then it takes longer for the coolant to come to temp. The coolant will not come to temp if the ambient temps are cold and you are driving down hill. This is my experience and I am sure there are those with new heater cores, new hoses, faster better stronger vans that have not experienced this. But I see it a lot up here. If the engine is loafing downhill, and you are moving a bunch of air past the radiator, the temps can take a long time to come up. A long time. And if the coolant doesn't get very warm because it's being blasted by cold air at the radiator, then the ambient temps are cold enough to rape the heat from your coolant lines under the van while you drive. By the time the coolant makes it's way up to the front core, much of the heat is gone. And if you are blasting away at 3 on the dial, then you will get cold air out of there. Yes, if the wire to the heater valve was broken, that would obviously not allow you to select heat. Did you move the switch after it was on heat? If it worked on heat on the way up, and you didn't move it, then the valve is still open. As much as you might hate doing it, and the likelihood of causing damage is minimal, you should probably drive around for a bit and see if the heat problem is gone.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leebo wrote:
Good question. I haven't actually tried turning the blower on so I don't know if it is "blown" or just not turning. I guess I need to figure out that much, huh. Any suggestions on a good starting point?

And thanks for the other threads. I had already read those, and think for some people (not Terry) it seems to work.


Turn it on and let us know what happens... Very Happy
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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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SyncroGiraffe
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Landsailer wrote:


What was the ambient temperature outside? What settings did you have the heating system on (fan switch, warp drive console)? How low was the coolant? Did you smell coolant in the cabin?

The thermostat is on a separate loop from the heating so it should not have an effect on the heater. It would if it was stuck open, but that's probably not the case. If the entire drive was downhill then the engine really isn't working very hard. If it's not working really hard, then it takes longer for the coolant to come to temp. The coolant will not come to temp if the ambient temps are cold and you are driving down hill. This is my experience and I am sure there are those with new heater cores, new hoses, faster better stronger vans that have not experienced this. But I see it a lot up here. If the engine is loafing downhill, and you are moving a bunch of air past the radiator, the temps can take a long time to come up. A long time. And if the coolant doesn't get very warm because it's being blasted by cold air at the radiator, then the ambient temps are cold enough to rape the heat from your coolant lines under the van while you drive. By the time the coolant makes it's way up to the front core, much of the heat is gone. And if you are blasting away at 3 on the dial, then you will get cold air out of there. Yes, if the wire to the heater valve was broken, that would obviously not allow you to select heat. Did you move the switch after it was on heat? If it worked on heat on the way up, and you didn't move it, then the valve is still open. As much as you might hate doing it, and the likelihood of causing damage is minimal, you should probably drive around for a bit and see if the heat problem is gone.


Thanks for the tips Landsailer! To answer the questions...
What was the ambient temperature outside? Cold, probably in the teens or low 20s tops.
What settings did you have the heating system on (fan switch, warp drive console)? Tried changing the settings once I realized the heat wasn't working, but originally, when we got in the van and started driving, and for much of the ride the controls were set to high fan and high heat, blowing floor and defrost.
How low was the coolant? Honestly have not checked yet, so I'm not sure.
Did you smell coolant in the cabin? Not at all. Also see no coolant leaking from the front of the van, just under the center, where I have been trying to get several loose hose clamps tightened (every time I go in and tighten them, I seem to find the coolant leaking from a different spot. I keep trying to tighten every one, but every time the coolant leaks again).

I'll fill the coolant, check my leaky hose clamps and give it another try around town soon. Hopefully it works again just fine. The drive from Summit County to Denver is mostly down hill, but not all, and the engine seemed to be running about the same temp I'm used to seeing on the gauge, but it is a fast highway (~60-70mph the whole way home), it was pretty damn cold outside, and I know the coolant was low, so hopefully the combination of those things is what caused the heater to not work. It was a very frigid drive home, I know that for sure.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is your rear heater working? If someone shorted it out using a piece of tubing then you will not get much flow through the front heater and if you ran low on coolant the front heater might not have sufficient flow to purge itself.

If you are getting persistent leaking try replacing the pressure cap, It may not be relieving pressure correctly and as a result your system is running at too high a pressure.
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SyncroGiraffe
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great suggestions Wildthings. I think I'm going to look into replacing the pressure cap, or at least trying a new one to see if it works. I am constantly trying to tighten hose clamps, and no matter how many I tighten or how tight they are, they always seem to leak. And I have noticed at times that the low coolant light will blink on the dash, but the overflow reservoir will still have coolant in it, suggesting that the cap isn't allowing the system to function properly. I know I had the pressure reservoir and cap both replaced not all that long ago (a few months), and the shop claimed that they put a brand new cap on it, so I never thought to check it.

The rear heater was working great, plenty of heat coming from it. The front heater... not at all. Just freezing cold air. I'm not sure what you mean by "shorting it out", but my first thought was that the low coolant could be a likely cause of the front heater not working... I just wasn't sure how that would be a cause (ie what would be going wrong).
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once you have the coolant level correct try shutting the valve to the rear heater and revving the engine, this should purge the air from the front heater. There is supposed to be an orifice in the line to the rear heater. If it is missing you may be getting too much flow through the rear heater, which is effectively shorting out the front heater core.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<< and think for some people (not Terry) it seems to work.>>

And this is why "Not Terry"

In life it doesn't cost one more dime to do the job right.
In a matter of fact it's actually less expensive in the long run.

But this does not apply here.

Why?

Because it seems that for the majority, life is on the low side of the 8 ball, and for some odd reason the most impoverished of folks have managed to bury themselves into one of the most labor intense, monetary losses they could have possibly have purchased.
Compounded by the fact that Frank Zappa probably owned the vehicle prior to the current owner, and he low balled the work, short cutted the parts from day one.

So--If I took my Vanagon into a VW dealer, and told them the front heater motor wasn't operating properly, & they just blindly blew some oil in towards the blower motor--and charged you for that operation--you would be OK with that?

I'm real sorry.
I do the job once & do it right.
A new motor would be the correct way to do the job--regardless of who "thinks" ,or "Assumes" that Bat Blowing oil into the heater box assembly is the correct way to do this.
It's at best a HOBO fix, and not acceptable way to get the job done RIGHT, & if you don't want to do it right--don't do it at all.
Pass the job off to the next unsuspecting owner.
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Last edited by Terry Kay on Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:

So--If I took my Vanagon into a VW dealer, and told them the front heater motor wasn't operating properly, & they just blindly blew some oil in towards the blower motor--and charged you for that operation--you would be OK with that?


If the VW dealer were to only charge you twenty five dollars to blow some oil in there and made your motor last another two years, I suspect most would be fine with that, especially compared to paying $700 or so to install a new motor which will typically only last 4-6 years.

Hitting the bearings with a little spray every couple of years might well double or triple the life of one of these ridiculously trouble prone and hard to get at motors. This makes lots of sense in my mind.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VW doesn't have Hayseed rates- for the blind,crippled & insane.

Nor do they do back asswards repairs.

Nobody here has ever mentioned how they proceeded to get the bearing lubricated behind the fan hub--the hidden one.

It sure isn't getting anything--and that's the load bearing end of that shaft.

And I also suppose that Bat Blowing pressurized oil into the exterior of the heater motor, instantly burnished the shaft & the bearings to a like new condition.
I don't think so----

I guess if your in the Smokie's, or Salt Lick KY , this bat cave blind oil blow to the one & only outside bearing will suit you just right fine--forget about doing the job correctly--it's geographicly improper..
The Bailin' Wire, duct tape, & chewing gum repairs are the way to go---
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Leebo
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was simply stating that it works for some people, not necessarily for me. So please don't make assumptions about us hillbillies down here in the Smokies.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ain't making anyptions.
I know how the Hill Rods function & make things work.

I have some good friends who are Kentuckians, & Tennessians, and what they do to get stuff to function isn't the way I would go about it.

I go by the book,reapired the way the machinery was designed to operate.

No Fence wire, Dust Tape, or Bubble gum--or bat dropping --let it fly & see if it works oiling.

I know that the heater box motor isn't a immersable, self lubricating unit.

This is another subject that is paraylized by being cheap, and afraid of attacking the job properly.

That's All---
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Leebo, this is what TK does best. Gets on here and goes mad ass apeshit crazy over methods he doesn't agree with.

Maybe some day we can ALL be part of the upper crust of VW ownership.

I used the Mullendore trick about a year ago, mainly cuz I couldn't hear my favorite Zappa CD over the squeeling.
I couldn't afford to do that big job at the time.

But I guess, those of us who can't afford to buy everything our vans need, as soon as they need them should be happy with our place.
Here on the low side of the 8 ball...whatever the f#ck that's supposed to mean.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's Right

If you can't afford the pass-- Get Outa The Pool.

Again,
Why are the VW's which are such monetary magnets to the destitude & monetarily forlorn?

If you can't afford the ride & whats required to keep it running --right--

Park it & buy a Chevy.

Oh--I'm sorry I forgot.
The Vanagons are the only vehicle on the planet you can paint with a roller & a brush, and not even feel bad about it.

I am mistaken'
Theye the no tears rides--beat the hell outa them, glue them back together with a slap of bondo here, and a slap of Monket Grip Glue there--

It's good to go.

No wonder the late model krew is here on the list looking to solve operational problems.

Alice Cooper had already been there butchering the vehicle up before they got it--
And now of course, it's time for some more of the same--cave & pave the van by blowing oil at the heater motor.
Perfect---

No wonder the list of problems keeps growing.
They've already been pre-hacked.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I pulled my front grill and found that someone had drilled a hole in the front firewall to spray lube on the blower bearing, I would be disappointed to say the least. There is the cheap way and the right way. Not everyone has Tom Hank's wallet, so I appreciate wanting to save money when possible.

Engines and transmissions have spiders and snakes in them when you don't have the experience. Pulling a dashboard is a DIY project for anyone that can work a screw driver as well as refurbishing the heater/blower assembly. I would not want to do it more than once though, so that would be the incentive to use a quality replacement heater core and new blower. Think of the savings of money you have to put towards quality parts, by doing the R and R yourself. Plus you will be tender on it, compared to someone working flat rate that really does not share your love.

These replacement cores from the pictures are superior in design to the cheap plastic aluminum ones that were not up to the task when new. Plus they are American Made. Time to support our american companies and stop sending our hard earned money to China.

To the recent poster, cold days going down hill the Engine just does not make the heat. Ever notice trucks with covers on their grills? That is to help the engines get to and stay at operating temperature with cold ambient temp. If you are constantly having leaks around your hoses, it is not the design. Something is most likely overpressuring the cooling system including as suggested the cap.

For those of you compelled to drill a hole, hopefully in the right place, please at least protect the bare metal.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<Engines and transmissions have spiders and snakes in them when you don't have the experience. Pulling a dashboard is a DIY project for anyone that can work a screw driver as well as refurbishing the heater/blower assembly. I would not want to do it more than once though, so that would be the incentive to use a quality replacement heater core and new blower. Think of the savings of money you have to put towards quality parts, by doing the R and R yourself. Plus you will be tender on it, compared to someone working flat rate that really does not share your love.>>

Amen to everything mentioned above.
I don't know why, anyone would take a cheap shot at something that is going to benifit them --Plus the Van in the long run.
The fear of the unknown would be the least of my worries.
You only learn from jobs like this.
And I'm not saying it's an easy one.
The experience & learning curve here would be two good reasons to get this all done & over with.
The third reason would be that you can rest assured that your vehicle is now going to have a reliable front heating unit--and if for nothing else cure all the ills that a prior owner (s) have created.

Don't short cut the job--it'll only come back to bite you in the Arse
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