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How to fix sheared alternator stud? Coolant pump broken?
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wehrbüchse
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:27 pm    Post subject: How to fix sheared alternator stud? Coolant pump broken? Reply with quote

Wait'll you hear my latest situation.

I had my Vanagon out in the Eastern Washington foothills when it suddenly started overheating. I went to check out the problem, and the alternator was attached only by the tightening arm! One of the two bolts had stripped out of the aluminum and completely fallen out and presumably the resulting vibration eventually broke the other bolt clean off. The alternator was resting on the coolant pipe(!), but did not puncture it. 

Since we were in the mountains with no cell reception, we tightened the alternator up with wires going this way and that, the coolant pump was still being turned fine it seemed, and yet the van just kept overheating on the way into town.

I had it towed a couple hundred mile$ home over Snoqualmie pass.
I'm pretty distraught.

I have no idea how I'm going to get the broken bolt out. I remember reading somewhere that somebody manufactures a bracket to fix this poor design, but it sounds too late now! And if I did get my alternator back on properly, that's not necessarily why it was overheating.

What do you guys think? Please weigh in!

Thanks!

Wehrbüchse


Last edited by wehrbüchse on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alt belt on the water pump?

Vancafe or gowesty have heavy duty brackets I think, thats a bummer you broke down, I know my wife would have flipped if that happened to us Shocked
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

During the early part of the loosening alternator, there was likely a long phase where it slipped. This likely damaged and glazed it, reducing grip and thus coolant pump rpms even if you got some belt tension back with your yeoman fix. So a new belt and properly attached alternator would likely make all well.

The stripped hole will need the attention of someone who can either rethread it to a larger size or put a helicoil type product in. I'm sure the alternator bolt fix has been discussed here as even I know of the issue and haven't yet driven my Van more than around the block. The broken bolt - is it broken off with some protruding?

DougM
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the GW 'extra' alt bracket -- worth doing (IMO) once you have your broken stud sorted out.

Now, apparently, available in S/S:

http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=4454&category_id=&category_parent_id=

purplepeopleeater wrote:
... thats a bummer you broke down, I know my wife would have flipped if that happened to us...


My wife still managed a smile when the heads let go 400 miles from home:

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


She's learned to take everything in stride.
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whafalia
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blessings to our indulgent wives.
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wehrbüchse
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys- thanks for the replies!

The stud is busted off flush with the engine. I'm pretty worried because I have no idea how I'm going to get it out. Even using one of those things that grips the bolt there's no room for a drill to use it.

Doug- from just eyeballing it it seemed that even without my yeoman fix the pump was getting more than sufficient rpm action to pump. I wonder if I somehow damaged the pump or if the thermostat coincidentally just crapped. Will water pumps fail if the belt is slipping? That would suggest they do require a certain consistent RPM rate to function, which just seems counterintuitive to me because of the simplicity of their mechanism.
EDIT: I should add that the belt had seen far better days itself. It looked terrible.


My friend suggested a fix is to use a power steering unit bracket to rig stability into my alternator. What do you guys think?

Thanks again for responding!
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wehrbüchse wrote:
...The stud is busted off flush with the engine. I'm pretty worried because I have no idea how I'm going to get it out...


There is a very recent thread on broken stud removal which you should see. I think it has exactly what you need (and it isn't an EZ-Out).

The thread...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=467165&highlight=stud+washer+weld
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wehrbüchse
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahwanhee-

Thank a ton for that link! That gives me hope, as long as I can find someone with a tig welder and the skills to use it. I called a muffler shop by my house and they have a mig welder, I'm going to keep shopping around. I'm thinking with that stud out and the GoWesty bracket, and maybe a do-it myself approach to re-threading the other hole, I should be good.

A couple questions for you guys:

(1) I feel strongly compelled to use craftsman's answer to the EZ-Out. It seems the tig welded washer technique works fine on studs screwed up by EZ-outs. AND mine broke off from the bracket vibrating, rather than simply being stuck. Should I just completely bypass this extractor tool idea? Not even sure I can get a drill in there even if I remove that coolant pipe, which sucks.

(2) If my alternator is bad, is it true that the same alternator (84 gasoline Vanagon) was used on lots of 80s VWs including the rabbit?

Thanks!
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really the Rabbit, more commonly found on Jetta and Golf from 85 on. Look closely at the mounting bolt pattern to be sure the one you get matches the Vanagon one as it should. You need to change the pulley to the Vanagon pulley.

Mark


wehrbüchse wrote:
.............
(2) If my alternator is bad, is it true that the same alternator (84 gasoline Vanagon) was used on lots of 80s VWs including the rabbit?

Thanks!
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For welders, the washer/nut fix is pretty elegant.

I'm not a welder but I picked up 2 sets of these on Alaric's recommendation:


Link

http://www.quikcenter.com/products.htm

These would have saved me a week when I broke off the stud for the fuel injector bracket last summer.

Good luck! Wink
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect your bolt is not going to be difficult to extract. As you note it did not break because the lower part is stuck. Wouldn't surprise me that you could use a blob of epoxy on a smaller bold to bond to it overnight and simply unscrew it in the morning. I'd spray a bit of quality penetrating oil (def don't use ordinary stuff) in there, then repeatedly clean the surface you want the epoxy to grab with qtips soaked in brake fluid and glue something to it. Have a strategy to hold the bolt in place such as a piece of styrofoam taped over the hole, etc.

DougM

PS - that's a great looking tool in the video. Anyone use one yet?
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wehrbüchse
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug-

I hadn't thought of that! The exposed area of the stud is pretty flat, but it does sound pretty hard to imagine the bond would hold. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna try it in any case. Thanks!

Yeah, the oil filler pipe and a coolant pipe are right in the way of any drill I'd want to use. I remember that coolant pipe being fun to work with when my friend swapped his coolant pump. Any tips about removing the oil filler pipe?

Thanks as always,

WB
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A key on the epoxy will be 1) don't put so much on you epoxy the broken part in and 2) only putting rotating force on the glued on bolt when you try to unscrew it. Shove it sideways and you'll be more likely to break the epoxy. Keep it true and you'll be astonished how much torque it takes.

DougM
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wehrbüchse
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, now I'm sure I'm going to try it. Should I score the surfaces as well as I can with a dremel? What sort of epoxy? JB weld? Is penetrating oil (sprayed on only after the bond is firm) likely to undermine the bond?

It would be a miracle. I would be comfortable with the one bracket hole, the GoWesty mount and the tensioning arm. But I'd definitely look into rethreading the other hole.

On a whim, anybody happen to know the exact belt I'd need to bypass the alternator so I could drive the van to shops!
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah rough it up and the bolt you'll use, also. JB is fine also - make a normal amount and just use the tiny bit you'll need vs trying to get a tiny ratio right. Put a thin smear on the bolt tip and use a tiny dot on the broken tip. Let it set up and thicken slightly. And yes, since your bolt is sideways the penetrating oil would keep weeping back out so put it on after the bond is secure. Before starting anything I'd take a punch or similar and just give the end of the stump a single wack if you have room. Get a dental mirror and see if you can tell what shape the broken part has - usually slightly domed or dished. I guess if you have the other end you can tell and my point was to dremel your bolt to match its shape a bit to maximize surface area of the contact with epoxy.

After an hour the JB won't be moving anymore so take a lightbulb or other heat source and get it in there to help it cure solidly overnight. Lightbulbs are nice because they won't burn things or start fires. One negative to the new LED work lights...
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you get at the broken off bolt with a Dremel? If so you could use a cut off blade to cut a groove in the end of the bolt and then unscrew it with a flat blade screwdriver.

Check that the pivot holes aren't all wallowed out in your alternator, they sometimes need to be bushed.

If I remember right, Tencentlife had a fix for the alternator bracket, you might search his old posts.
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wehrbüchse
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another excellent idea!!! I'm going to try that one first. Wow, I used to think I was creative! Sheesh!

THANKS bros!
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
...use a Dremel cut off blade to cut a groove in the end of the bolt and then unscrew it with a flat blade screwdriver...

One of many failed attempts that kept me off the road that week. Good luck w/this, epoxy, multiple EZ outs, welding, etc, etc, etc...

wehrbüchse wrote:
...the oil filler pipe and a coolant pipe are right in the way of any drill I'd want to use...

...right angle adapter? Sorry I don't remember how much/little room is in there...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-49-22-8510-Right-Angle-Attachment/dp/B000BYEJ02
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wehrbüchse
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I cut a far deeper slot in the stud than I expected I could. Didn't budge a bit though. And the off-center slot rules out pretty much anything but the tig welded washer trick. I'm thinking of ordering the GoWesty bracket and bolstering it with some other brackets I bend myself from steel strips. There are a few points to work with if I can manage to stay clear of the belt.

I wonder what options I have as far as the stripped (I suppose I should call it "widened") hole goes.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, good news. If you've got a good groove in it for a std screwdriver, you may not be able to generate much torque. After all, a screwdriver handle is essentially a 3/4" lever and that's all you get. A poor way to generate torque actually. Anyhow, try using a vice grips on the screwdriver shaft (find one that's square in cross section). Then you can generate some torque and it helps give you a way to also push in to keep the screwdriver from rising out of the slot. Let some penetrating oil soak overnight. Then a shot of brake cleaner into the slot to ensure no oil helps the screwdriver slip - you want GRIP!!

Sears also has a $100 right angle screw extractor. It' basically a chattering style mini electric torque wrench that could bang it loose. I just got one and it has a lot of uses.

Heh,

DougM
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