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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: t4 oil consumption Reply with quote

We just took a trip to Yosemite - typical 2nd and 3rd gear climbs into the Sierra Mountains from sea level to 6500 feet and back down to 4,000 then return. There is one grade called Priest Grade on Hwy 120 that is 2nd gear with switchbacks for about 1200 feet of climb. Coming down we take the Old Priest Grade which is steeper but shorter . Letting it compression brake in 1st is too low and 2nd requires constant braking which is enough to result in brake fade near the bottom. Usually we have a SUV or pick-up on our tail near the top and by the bottom of the grade they are way behind us - buses do so well on winding roads and a big SUV with an auto-trans can't keep up.

I suspect that during this compression braking and the long hard climbs are the moments when our engine is consuming the most oil. I read some old threads and the VW owner's manual to see what VW considered normal for oil consumption. My 1971 1600 DP used to burn a quart about every 1200 - 3000 miles. As I recall, I would add a quart and by the time an oil change was due it was 1/2 quart low again. Sometimes I might take a long slow trip and it would only burn a quart over an oil change. So on average that would be 1.5 quarts per 3000 miles - which is about 2000 miles per quart - sometimes more sometimes less.

This 1977 T4 2.0 seems to vary oil use. I have gone 1000 miles with no change on the dipstick but hard climbs and descents seem to make it worse. On this trip we used about 1/3 qt over 500- 600 miles so that makes consumption about 1500 - 1800 miles per quart - just a little more than my 1600 DP. Of course the bore is bigger so there is more surface area. Also the engine only has 3000 miles on it so it is still breaking in a little.

VW shows in the 1977 manual that oil consumption is considered Ok between .17 US qt per 1000 miles (1 qt per 5,800 miles) to 2.38 quarts per 1000 miles. Wow what a spread that is. So it got me wondering - what are other 2.0 buses with good solid motors getting on oil consumption?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are absolutely right about engine braking causing more oil burning.

It's been a while so unfortunately I can't really chip in on amount of oil loss. Anyway mine used to lose most of its oil through leaks.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont add any oil between changes,at 3000 miles when i am due ,the dipstick shows between full and the add mark however ,we dont have much in the way of hills here and mine generally just runs up n down highways at 55mph ,i understand your donk is newish but how tight are the valve guides? ,with lots of switchbacks and on overrun the suction past the guides will be extreme and with lots of oil flooding the heads from the cornering sideloads it would be real easy to see elevated oil consumption
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive never gotten one of my 2.0's to NOT leak at least a little oil, so I can't say what the consumption is. Certainly when ive taken the busses into the serious hills and gotten the oil really hot, a lot more will either leak or be otherwise consumed, usually in the neighborhood of reaching the bottom of the fill mark on the dip stick. (for trips equal to climbing up into Yosemite)
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually change at 6 months, without reaching 3000 maybe 1000-2000. Usually don't need to add between changes (I do have hills).

A road trip into the mountains (any road trip out of San Diego) might result in adding 1/2 qt. somewhere along the line.

9 year old engine, 20K miles.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This page of my 79 owners manual says up to 2.4 US quarts per 1000 miles is ok. Shocked

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I on my 79 with no leaks I expected to use one quart between oil changes so 3000 miles. All my others were an ecological disaster so its fair to say I had no idea how much consumption vs leaking was going on.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blue77bay wrote:
i dont add any oil between changes,at 3000 miles when i am due ,the dipstick shows between full and the add mark however ,we dont have much in the way of hills here and mine generally just runs up n down highways at 55mph ,i understand your donk is newish but how tight are the valve guides? ,with lots of switchbacks and on overrun the suction past the guides will be extreme and with lots of oil flooding the heads from the cornering sideloads it would be real easy to see elevated oil consumption


I am thinking the same thing. RIMCO did the heads and I went over their work. The guides felt right, neither too tight or too loose. The pistons are forged Mahle and they use the 3 piece oil control ring instead of the original style cast ring with a spring. I think the oil consumption is inline - just wondering what others are seeing with their 2.0 motors.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never owned a bus or a 2.0L type 4. I have driven more than a few. But I have owned many type 4 vehicles (411,412). I have driven them heavily loaded and empty oevr virtually every terrain immaginable and for many very long trips. My 411 and 412's leaked nothing and used typically about 1/3 of a quart or less in the 3000 mile interval between oil changes.

I don't believe in the philosphy that keeping the oil level somewhere between the two marks is satisfactory. There is so little oil in these engines that I keep it exactly full...always...and carefully check it at every fill up on level ground after its drained down.

You are on the right track. Valve guide condition is of prime importance for oil usage. This is why I never rebuild an engine at any level without 100% replacing the guides and making sure they are spot on. If its over 70K miles and the heads come off...its poor economy NOT to get a general valve job that includes guides at the very least.

The issue with valve guide wear and oil usage...especially on heavy deceleration...is that heavy deceleration increases crankcase pressure...and since rpm is still up...so is oil pressure....whcih keeps the oil level in the rocker boxes high. This along with case pressure can push more oil past worn guides....and can tax even good valve guides Wink

One other thing related tro crankcase pressures that is noticably different and has been noted to definately cause more oil usage...is the one time when I had a crimp in the intake side of my 412's flow through crankcase ventilation system....which very quickly proved that crankcase pressure will cause oil pypass at the valve stems. Went through a quart in 1500 miles and though I would lose my mind until I found the crimp at the air intake feeder line at the air cleaner.

This is also why the L-jet injected 1.8 in the 412 and the 2.0l in the bus will probably use a slight bit more oil than the injected 411 or 412. The 411/412 has a vastly superior flow through PCV system.....intake air from the air cleaner, through a flame trap splitter, through each rocker box, through the pushrod tubes, exiting at the oil baffel box through the PCV valve....so its a pull through system using live vacuum from the center manifold. It creates quite a bit more vacuum and flow through air volume in the case than the later diaphram differential breather valve system used on L-jet.

Aside from the problems above...the only time my oil consumption ever increased was when the milage on an otherwise un serviced engine approached high miles...like 100K miles or over. Upon pulling the heads....and checking careefully....I have always found that the valve guides were beginning to wear or valve stem wear was becoming noticable.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My aging 1800 (~250K miles) uses a quart at between 1000-2000 miles running at 65-75 mph. A hundred thousand miles ago, it used maybe half of that. Seldom go down the kind of long descents you have in California though.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raygreenwood wrote:
The issue with valve guide wear and oil usage...especially on heavy deceleration...is that heavy deceleration increases crankcase pressure...and since rpm is still up...so is oil pressure....whcih keeps the oil level in the rocker boxes high. This along with case pressure can push more oil past worn guides....and can tax even good valve guides Wink

Ray


I don´t mean to start an oil consumption debate here, but i don´t get this part. I was under the impressíon that heavy deceleration generated very strong vacuum the engine only experiments in this situation wich sucks oil pass the guides and finds its way into the chambers. Otherwise the situation explained above is no different than an engine reving under load, cause you also have both crankcase pressure and high oil pressure... i just don´t get it Confused

is it that the air being drawn in the intake sucking all the blow-by trough the PCV is what alters this situation? i understand that, but when and engine is decelerating fast, there is no blow by due to the fact that there is no combustion going on (FI) , and there is very litle air being compressed inside the cylinder as well..

Im lost here Question Question
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El_Güero wrote:
raygreenwood wrote:
The issue with valve guide wear and oil usage...especially on heavy deceleration...is that heavy deceleration increases crankcase pressure...and since rpm is still up...so is oil pressure....whcih keeps the oil level in the rocker boxes high. This along with case pressure can push more oil past worn guides....and can tax even good valve guides Wink

Ray


I don´t mean to start an oil consumption debate here, but i don´t get this part. I was under the impressíon that heavy deceleration generated very strong vacuum the engine only experiments in this situation wich sucks oil pass the guides and finds its way into the chambers. Otherwise the situation explained above is no different than an engine reving under load, cause you also have both crankcase pressure and high oil pressure... i just don´t get it Confused

is it that the air being drawn in the intake sucking all the blow-by trough the PCV is what alters this situation? i understand that, but when and engine is decelerating fast, there is no blow by due to the fact that there is no combustion going on (FI) , and there is very litle air being compressed inside the cylinder as well..

Im lost here Question Question


If I understand this right, it would be low pressure in the cylinders and not the case sucking oil past the guides from the rocker boxes.

Fuel is getting sucked through a carb and there is spark to ignite it, but (to be braking) the force of the combustion must be less than the force of the vacuum created in the combustion chambers, the force of the crankshaft pulling the pistons down by the rods. - that's how I'm picturing this anyway.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nathansnathan wrote:
El_Güero wrote:
raygreenwood wrote:
The issue with valve guide wear and oil usage...especially on heavy deceleration...is that heavy deceleration increases crankcase pressure...and since rpm is still up...so is oil pressure....whcih keeps the oil level in the rocker boxes high. This along with case pressure can push more oil past worn guides....and can tax even good valve guides Wink

Ray


I don´t mean to start an oil consumption debate here, but i don´t get this part. I was under the impressíon that heavy deceleration generated very strong vacuum the engine only experiments in this situation wich sucks oil pass the guides and finds its way into the chambers. Otherwise the situation explained above is no different than an engine reving under load, cause you also have both crankcase pressure and high oil pressure... i just don´t get it Confused

is it that the air being drawn in the intake sucking all the blow-by trough the PCV is what alters this situation? i understand that, but when and engine is decelerating fast, there is no blow by due to the fact that there is no combustion going on (FI) , and there is very litle air being compressed inside the cylinder as well..

Im lost here Question Question


If I understand this right, it would be low pressure in the cylinders and not the case sucking oil past the guides from the rocker boxes.

Fuel is getting sucked through a carb and there is spark to ignite it, but (to be braking) the force of the combustion must be less than the force of the vacuum created in the combustion chambers, the force of the crankshaft pulling the pistons down by the rods. - that's how I'm picturing this anyway.



if you have played with a vacuum gauge on the manifold it makes a bit more sense. Cruising there isn't a whole lot of vaccum. Accelerating there is next to none. Decelerating there is a whole heap, like getting near a perfect vacuum. That will suck (I know how pressure differentials work and that sucking isn't a thing but shh) via any place physically possible. The most likely being valve guides and piston rings. Any PCV system with a working valve shouldn't experience oil being drawn through or anything like that. Again I say this after playing with a vacuum gauge for a while on various points. Also my current PCV hose is clear vinyl (the old hose was hard and cracked and leaking air, and the vinyl was convenient) and there is no sign of oil in it.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RatCamper wrote:
nathansnathan wrote:
El_Güero wrote:
raygreenwood wrote:
The issue with valve guide wear and oil usage...especially on heavy deceleration...is that heavy deceleration increases crankcase pressure...and since rpm is still up...so is oil pressure....whcih keeps the oil level in the rocker boxes high. This along with case pressure can push more oil past worn guides....and can tax even good valve guides Wink

Ray


I don´t mean to start an oil consumption debate here, but i don´t get this part. I was under the impressíon that heavy deceleration generated very strong vacuum the engine only experiments in this situation wich sucks oil pass the guides and finds its way into the chambers. Otherwise the situation explained above is no different than an engine reving under load, cause you also have both crankcase pressure and high oil pressure... i just don´t get it Confused

is it that the air being drawn in the intake sucking all the blow-by trough the PCV is what alters this situation? i understand that, but when and engine is decelerating fast, there is no blow by due to the fact that there is no combustion going on (FI) , and there is very litle air being compressed inside the cylinder as well..

Im lost here Question Question


If I understand this right, it would be low pressure in the cylinders and not the case sucking oil past the guides from the rocker boxes.

Fuel is getting sucked through a carb and there is spark to ignite it, but (to be braking) the force of the combustion must be less than the force of the vacuum created in the combustion chambers, the force of the crankshaft pulling the pistons down by the rods. - that's how I'm picturing this anyway.



if you have played with a vacuum gauge on the manifold it makes a bit more sense. Cruising there isn't a whole lot of vaccum. Accelerating there is next to none. Decelerating there is a whole heap, like getting near a perfect vacuum. That will suck (I know how pressure differentials work and that sucking isn't a thing but shh) via any place physically possible. The most likely being valve guides and piston rings. Any PCV system with a working valve shouldn't experience oil being drawn through or anything like that. Again I say this after playing with a vacuum gauge for a while on various points. Also my current PCV hose is clear vinyl (the old hose was hard and cracked and leaking air, and the vinyl was convenient) and there is no sign of oil in it.


The pcv system is to vent pressure in the case, which would be helpful except in the compression stroke where I would think the damage would happen, both valves closed.

I wonder if my overlap cam might make the engine braking I do less damaging. Rolling Eyes - I do engine brake until I get the pads warmed up to keep them from squeaking. -I thought I'd ordered organic pads but they seem metallic and they just won't die, for better or worse.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I drove my 77 2 liter out from San Antone to Seattle, I had to keep an eye on the consuption. So I thought it just was old and ate oil. Here in Seattle I do drive it considerably less and have noticed little to no consuption. Until yesterday.

Yesterday I had to drive from Covington out the 18, some mild hills in 3rd then out the 90 up the pass tword Snoqualmi. The lifters started ticking on the way home. Today I check the level and it was low-almost a quart.

It may of been leaning tword low, but this is the first noticable level change in awile.

Whats changed? 3rd gear climbs at duration.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a reason that ACVW engines don't have valve stem seals, they just don't have that much need in them. The valve stems slope slightly uphill verses heavily downhill as in most other automotive engines. You can probably suck a little bit of oil in through the intake valve guide during low manifold vacuum operation, but it would be hard to suck any through the exhaust valve guide.

If an engine is sucking oil on decel, I would think it more likely to be doing it past the rings.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
There is a reason that ACVW engines don't have valve stem seals, they just don't have that much need in them. The valve stems slope slightly uphill verses heavily downhill as in most other automotive engines. You can probably suck a little bit of oil in through the intake valve guide during low manifold vacuum operation, but it would be hard to suck any through the exhaust valve guide.

If an engine is sucking oil on decel, I would think it more likely to be doing it past the rings.


I was taking the valves out of some type 4 heads yesterday and inside the valve springs, I found some valve stem seals. I thought maybe because it was a "Q" head from a 914 was the reason, but looking at the 914 parts fiche, they are not there. Oddly, they do show up on the bus parts fiche. Part number is 113 109 619, which also comes up as the valve stem seal for a bug engine, so not just a type 4 thing either.

The fit of the valves in the guides was pretty sloppy with wear. I can see how some oil would get by there.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

on some engines a seal will only cause the valve guides to wear more. The only car I have ever owned with seals that didn't wear guides was a Fiat 124 DOHC cam engine where the cam pushed straight down on the liftercup which sat on top of the valve. On a VW there is a wiping action from the rocker arm which spins and rocks the valve. Over time that wears the guides especially if they have no oil to lubricate. Also a VW head gets much hotter than a water cooled head. Some seals are like little umbrellas that just keep the splash off. Those still let a little oil through. That said, I tried seals back in the 1970's on my 1600 DP to see what the effect would be and all it did was wear the guides quicker.
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I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, & is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, & from racing in the era your bus came to life.


Last edited by SGKent on Wed May 09, 2012 10:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nathansnathan wrote:
Wildthings wrote:
There is a reason that ACVW engines don't have valve stem seals, they just don't have that much need in them. The valve stems slope slightly uphill verses heavily downhill as in most other automotive engines. You can probably suck a little bit of oil in through the intake valve guide during low manifold vacuum operation, but it would be hard to suck any through the exhaust valve guide.

If an engine is sucking oil on decel, I would think it more likely to be doing it past the rings.


I was taking the valves out of some type 4 heads yesterday and inside the valve springs, I found some valve stem seals. I thought maybe because it was a "Q" head from a 914 was the reason, but looking at the 914 parts fiche, they are not there. Oddly, they do show up on the bus parts fiche. Part number is 113 109 619, which also comes up as the valve stem seal for a bug engine, so not just a type 4 thing either.


The mushroom cap style valve stem seal will not work on a VW boxer engine as it will catch oil and thrust it at the guide as the valve opens. As for using the style of seal that fits the end of the valve guide, it will work, but with the temperatures that VW heads sometime see and with the general lack of lubrication the seal causes the valve guide can end up wearing out pretty quickly. Maybe if one is short track racing or doing a lot of side hilling in a buggy valve stem seals might be warranted, but for normal street use they are not.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The seal is like a squared off o-ring around the valve stem. Actually, it's hard to see how it would do much as when the valve opens it gets pushed by the valve guide toward the end of the stem, and there is nothing to move it back down. Seems like it would work only at full lift because of that. The fiche calls it "oil ring". I'm pretty sure this engine is untouched from the factory having these seals, not to say they didn't contribute to the wear at the guides.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nathansnathan wrote:
The seal is like a squared off o-ring around the valve stem. Actually, it's hard to see how it would do much as when the valve opens it gets pushed by the valve guide toward the end of the stem, and there is nothing to move it back down. Seems like it would work only at full lift because of that. The fiche calls it "oil ring". I'm pretty sure this engine is untouched from the factory having these seals, not to say they didn't contribute to the wear at the guides.


Do you have a picture of your seals?

Looking at my 411 parts book, they do have what they call a oil deflection ring, it has a Type 1 part number: 113 109 619
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