Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts New!  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Trip Notes: A Bostig Westy, West Texas Mountain (pic heavy)
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
kourt
Samba Member


Joined: August 13, 2013
Posts: 1408
Location: Austin, TX
kourt is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:07 pm    Post subject: Trip Notes: A Bostig Westy, West Texas Mountain (pic heavy) Reply with quote

My wife and I decided to go to Big Bend National Park (far west Texas) over the Labor Day holiday. About 1000 miles round trip. 100 degree days.

The vehicle in this example is a 1991 Vanagon Westfalia Camper with Bostig RG1 conversion (with RG3 air intake). Automatic transmission with GoWesty passive external cooler. All new cooling components, including radiator. RedTek AC conversion.

The van carried just two adults, camping gear, full water tank, house battery bank (120 lbs), and the usual 16 gallons of fuel.

Here's a general map and profile of the elevations:

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


We left Austin on Friday and drove three hours west to Junction, TX and stayed for free in the city's main park, Schreiner Park. Lots of police patrol and a nice place next to the Llano river.

Getting an early start to the park on Saturday morning:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This photo is a shout out to all the Samba folks who helped make this total package work--65MPH on the interstate, cruise control, cold AC, Bostig conversion, 95 degrees outside:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


As you get into the park, the elevation changes become more continuous, and the weather becomes more stark (and hot):
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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

This eventually led to the van's inability to reject all the heat being generated by driving uphill on a hot 100+ degree day in the mountains. The van's temperature gauge blinked at me and I pulled over here. At this point, the coolant was so hot and had expanded so much that the coolant overflow bottle was full and slightly spilling coolant on the pavement.

The transmission also started to slip due to overheating, so it was time to stop. We used that time to pack our camping gear into our packs and eat lunch. Once things cooled down (about 30 minutes) we made the last two miles into the park headquarters. Final elevation was 5500'.

We left the van behind for 24 hours and hiked into the Chisos Mountains. On the way we encountered tarantulas, rattlesnakes, cactus, mule deer, and many other wonderful plants, animals, and insects. It was a truly remarkable bit of hiking and camping.

Upon our return to the van we claimed a drive-in campsite in the Chisos Basin and enjoyed the evening below the Chisos Mountains:

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


The TruckFridge kept the ice frozen and the beer cold. The solar panel kept everything charged despite the demands of the fridge.

Monday morning I made pepper-ham and cheese omlettes in the Westy:

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


On the way home, we discovered a broken down abandoned Westy on westbound I-10 near exit 399 around Sonora, TX... is this a Samba member's van?

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


Lessons learned on this trip:

1. the Bostig conversion (really any conversion) is worth it for dependable highway travel at acceptable speeds.
2. high ambient air temps + continuous inclines = watch your temp gauge.
3. I need some leveling blocks for uneven parking surfaces at campsites.

kourt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
MsTaboo
Samba Member


Joined: June 02, 2006
Posts: 3184
Location: East Kootenay, British Columbia
MsTaboo is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on a nice trip.
Couple questions. Were you running the A/C even as you started getting towards overheat?
Which cruise control system are you using?
And, which scan display are you using?
Thanks!
_________________
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.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kourt
Samba Member


Joined: August 13, 2013
Posts: 1408
Location: Austin, TX
kourt is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the AC was running during our ascent and towards the overheat. I turned it off during the last two miles.

The cruise is the GoWesty/Rostra system. It works well, but doesn't like hills.

The display is the UltraGauge. Great fit for the space.

kourt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
singler3360
Samba Member


Joined: February 25, 2009
Posts: 1191
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
singler3360 is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent many Spring Break trips as a kid in the Chisos Basin. Every year our car would vapor lock at the 5,000 ft. sign. Your pics definitely take me back to those great times. I took my wife out there one Spring Break a few years ago during the visit of the Hale-Bopp comet. Amazing experience. One day we will drive down there in our Westy. Thanks for the trip post.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
HoustonPhotog
Samba Member


Joined: February 20, 2013
Posts: 1399
Location: Houston, TX
HoustonPhotog is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:03 am    Post subject: Re: Trip Notes: A Bostig Westy, West Texas Mountain (pic hea Reply with quote

kourt wrote:

2. high ambient air temps + continuous inclines = watch your temp gauge


I learned that lesson last week as well here in Texas... hehe

Congrats on the trip!
_________________
Abel Longoria
VanAlert App for Vanagons/Buses | Texas Vanagons | My Vanagon Build Thread | Follow Me On Instagram | Vanagon-centric Stickers Available Now
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
joetiger Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: January 27, 2005
Posts: 4214
Location: denver
joetiger is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the trip report!

For leveling blocks, we use these:

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-44505-Leveling-Blocks-...ing+blocks

They're like Legos. I dig them.

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

_________________
Joe T.

'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0
'85 928S
'19 Golf R
'02 Beetle GLS

"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Petervw
Samba Member


Joined: July 04, 2005
Posts: 1020
Location: Sarnia Ont. Canada
Petervw is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kourt wrote:
Yes, the AC was running during our ascent and towards the overheat. I turned it off during the last two miles.

The cruise is the GoWesty/Rostra system. It works well, but doesn't like hills.

The display is the UltraGauge. Great fit for the space.

kourt
..I would think no doubt that you will be in touch with Bostig sharing your experiences.…I suspect although not knowing your vehicle that the over heat situation could be related to a slightly plugged or inefficient rad..perhaps the fans are not turning fast enough...I have been to the Big Bend at least 30 times, half the time with my bone stock and original syncro..even with the temps being 115, never a problem..the temp needle never climbed especially going up to the Chiso basin..the rad fan is roaring like no tomorrow, as it should be…interesting enough when I take my older subi up that same climb, the needle will climb and peg itself..at the moment I am trying to make it into a 3 speed rad fan…I have met many people driving vanagons in hotter climates with coolant issues..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
LandSailor
Samba Member


Joined: October 30, 2009
Posts: 313
Location: Las Vegas, NV
LandSailor is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a wild ass guess, but I think part of your problem could be leaving the AC on and the fact that it has the AC condenser in front of the radiator. I made it from Las Vegas, through the desert to Bakersfield in 100°F heat and the needle barely moved past 12 o'clock on the worst hills.

When did you replace your radiator?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
JudoJeff
Samba Member


Joined: May 24, 2013
Posts: 1116
Location: Near Springfield, MA
JudoJeff is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kourt,
Glad to hear your A/C is working, didn't see any posts in that regard.

I don't live in super hot climate or have high mountains, but no overheating issues. I'd check for slight kinks in the hoses, and put in an overide switch to turn the radiator fan on high. Larger overflow tanks are also available. Just thinking out loud.

Your trip looked wonderful!

Jeff
_________________
________________________________________
1989 Vanagon GL Westfalia Camper, Burned up on 7/31/16.
1987 Vanagon GL Westfalia Camper, Bostig & Rebuilt, sold
1986 Vanagon GL Westfalia Camper, Bostig.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bostig
Samba Member


Joined: February 01, 2006
Posts: 233

bostig is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great trip report, no need to relay to Bostig I've seen it Smile

Couple things:

Move your cylinder head temp to where you have RPMs on the ultragauge. You have a nice big
tach already and cylinder head metal temps are more important... I would also suggest moving voltage to
the top left, also so it's big. Also set your alarm to 245 for the CHT.

I can see from that pic you are on the high side temp wise.

1) make sure your cooling fan high/low speeds both work
2) make sure you're between 50/50 or 70/30 water/coolant despite it's name, the water is
actually the coolant.
3) Bleed her again, there isn't much expansion of the collant/water mix at temp... but
there's a lot for trapped air.. I would guess you maxed out the bottle and were losing
because you have trapped air.

If you've bled more than half a dozen times and still get air out, you've got a small slow
leak somewhere. These can be hard to trace because they may only leak when hot/pressurized
so you only lose steam, and you don't get trips. Get a really bright light and work
carefully, be sherlock and find the forensic evidence for a tiny leak if you must, trail of
green etc. There are UV additives that can help too (then you whip out the blacklight and
goggles and it lights right up where it has been)

For Bostig conversions 245+ cylinder head temp means you have a cooling system issue.

Also I would suggest installing a trans temp gauge for the auto. It will add heat to the
system, but not near enough to overwhelm it, the cooling system is very oversized for the
zetec, and the water pump is better than the boxer's. No issue properly working.

Brady's most recent overheat on our way out to the beach over teh dunes last weekend, he
decided to just make it to the beach and hit 280 doing it. He pulled up steaming and had
lost almost all his coolant. DON"T DO THIS. If you get into the 255+ cylinder head temp
range, you start boiling the coolant, which then displaces the rest of your coolant making
big bubbles which then cavitates the pump (which can push, but not pull) and then you
effectively have no cooling.

Even if you were to cool it down then, you wouldn't get very far without filling again
(luckily I had a bunch of water, Brady was prepared to use seawater (which would work in an
absolute pinch but talk about corrosion!) In any case the overheat was caused by bad
grounds to the fan/low drive speed over sand, which we figured out after I made a test lamp from an interior light and
jumper cable. Then we discovered his low speed resistor was also dead... all better now.
The danger zone for the zetec starts at the 280 for cylinder head temps, although Daryl
famously got his to 320 without popping a head gasket at mogfest since the system wasn't
bled right and offroading/low speed with turbo. Don't do that either!

Your voltage is 15, which means you have lousy current paths. It should be 14.4 on the
nose. It goes to 15 because the alternator's regulator is looking at the van's ignition
wire, so for it to see 14.4 the alternator has to push 15. That means that somehwere
between:

1) alt to post in distro
2) post to post on starter
3) starter post to battery
4) battery to fuse panel main
5) fuse main to ignition switch
6) switch to rear

you have something like .3 to maybe even half an ohm resistance. OR it could be lousy
grounds on the other side of the path

1) engine/trans to chassis
2) chassis to batt

Replace the ignition switch if you haven't that's most common, then check using multimeter
from batt post to output of ignition switch, this video shows the #2 spot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt01CSEMMSI

Nice trip report!

Jim Akiba
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
JudoJeff
Samba Member


Joined: May 24, 2013
Posts: 1116
Location: Near Springfield, MA
JudoJeff is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kourt,
Commenting on Jim's excellent suggestions: I had a tough time bleeding the air out of my system. Turns out I had a bad hose clamp that looked OK, but had failed. Found it more by accident. Then I picked up a $2 very long funnel at the dollar store, cut the bottom to wedge it into the fill tower, and used that to bleed the air out. I slanted the westy downhill, and the funnel was now the high point. Once the air was out of the radiator, everything else bled nicely.

If your radiator fan was not on high at those temps, there is something wrong. I had to replace the thermal switch inside the radiator. No problems since.

I posted pictures on the Bostig site.

Good luck,
Jeff
_________________
________________________________________
1989 Vanagon GL Westfalia Camper, Burned up on 7/31/16.
1987 Vanagon GL Westfalia Camper, Bostig & Rebuilt, sold
1986 Vanagon GL Westfalia Camper, Bostig.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
kourt
Samba Member


Joined: August 13, 2013
Posts: 1408
Location: Austin, TX
kourt is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings everyone,

Thank you all for your interest so far.

The radiator was replaced in March when the van was converted to Bostig Zetec.

All the resistors/relays/switches for the radiator fan were also replaced. The fan does properly spin at all three stages. For most of this drive, the fan was spinning in stage 2 (AC induced). Once I shut off the AC on the last few hills, and the temps started to go high, the stage 3 fan kicked in, and of course stayed on briefly after I shut off the van to cool things down. So it seems all the electricals to operate the fan are in order.

The alternator is a 200amp unit, but I understand that may not matter. I am looking into the voltage problem this weekend.

The cooling system has always been a little doubtful to me. I've always had a hunch that a big air bubble was still in it, but I noted that the fill tower was always completely full following a cool down after every drive, and the overflow tank was properly going from cold to hot and back to cold levels with each drive.

I'm going to try Jeff's funnel idea and see where that takes me.

The AC system is working well, but not great. I have some folks helping me privately through PMs and will update the RedTek thread once I get it sorted out. I am learning a lot in that process.

I do have an alarm on the Ultragauge set for 245 CHT. We never hit that, but on the way home we ran around 230 most of the way.

On this particular trip the cooling system was running 100% distilled water, which is, in terms of heat rejection, about as efficient as one can get.

I'm going to start diving into the van today to have a look at what I can improve.

kourt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Petervw
Samba Member


Joined: July 04, 2005
Posts: 1020
Location: Sarnia Ont. Canada
Petervw is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kourt wrote:
Greetings everyone,

Thank you all for your interest so far.

The radiator was replaced in March when the van was converted to Bostig Zetec.

All the resistors/relays/switches for the radiator fan were also replaced. The fan does properly spin at all three stages. For most of this drive, the fan was spinning in stage 2 (AC induced). Once I shut off the AC on the last few hills, and the temps started to go high, the stage 3 fan kicked in, and of course stayed on briefly after I shut off the van to cool things down. So it seems all the electricals to operate the fan are in order.

The alternator is a 200amp unit, but I understand that may not matter. I am looking into the voltage problem this weekend.

The cooling system has always been a little doubtful to me. I've always had a hunch that a big air bubble was still in it, but I noted that the fill tower was always completely full following a cool down after every drive, and the overflow tank was properly going from cold to hot and back to cold levels with each drive.

I'm going to try Jeff's funnel idea and see where that takes me.

The AC system is working well, but not great. I have some folks helping me privately through PMs and will update the RedTek thread once I get it sorted out. I am learning a lot in that process.

I do have an alarm on the Ultragauge set for 245 CHT. We never hit that, but on the way home we ran around 230 most of the way.

On this particular trip the cooling system was running 100% distilled water, which is, in terms of heat rejection, about as efficient as one can get.

I'm going to start diving into the van today to have a look at what I can improve.

kourt
…Using 100% water in that unforgiving environment coupled with that 25-30 mile climb would have removed any perceived benefit of using water, .. you have lowered your boiling temp and before it even starts to boil, bubbles have occurred within the engine and so the overheat begins...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB