Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Blown Subaru - why? How can I protect the next one?
Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
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
Jagermeister
Samba Member


Joined: February 14, 2006
Posts: 102
Location: Portland, Oregon
Jagermeister is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:27 am    Post subject: Blown Subaru - why? How can I protect the next one? Reply with quote

I bought my Vanagon last spring. It has a 2002 Subaru motor that was installed by Small Car in 2002. It ran great, we took it on a road trip 6 weeks after we bought it and it ran great, mileage was spectacular. A couple miles north of Paisley, OR it suddenly ran out of power. All the gauges were perfect, no indication that anything was wrong. When I noticed the sudden decline in power I backed off the throttle and it shut off and THEN the temp gauge moved and pegged itself. It was full of water and oil. I let it cool down and ur starts and idles fine but it has rod and piston slap. I called Small Car and they said they had never heard of a Subaru failing in a bus they converted without the gauges responding ahead of time. So the questions. What happened? Why did it overheat? Why didn't it say it had overheated? How do I make sure it doesn't happen to the next motor? My last Westy was air-cooled so I got thinking about a CHT gauge as a second indicator of how things are going out back. Also I'm looking for a known runner in the PNW if anybody knows of a deal. Thanks for reading.
_________________
1985 Subaru-powered Westfalia
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
levi
Samba Member


Joined: February 11, 2005
Posts: 5156
Location: Las Vegas
levi is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just curious, did you have a shortened oil pan?
Had you been climbing steep roads?

Not saying that this was the cause.

Sorry to hear you lost the motor.
What did smallcar say the cause was?

Did you have an oil pressure gauge, and if so, what sort of numbers have you been running?
_________________
One of these days I'm gonna settle down,
but till I do I won't be hangin round.
Going down that long lonesome highway,
gonna see life my way

https://youtu.be/cSrL0BXsO40
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
dobryan
Samba Member


Joined: March 24, 2006
Posts: 10874
Location: Brookeville, MD
dobryan is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many miles were on the Subaru engine? They are often used when installed so the total miles on the engine is what I am curious about.
_________________
Dave O
'87 Westy w/ 2002 Subaru EJ25 and Peloquin TBD

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Robert Louis Stevenson

Join the Vanagon Rescue Squad on the VanAlert app.
http://vanalert.com/

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
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
djkeev
Samba Member


Joined: September 30, 2007
Posts: 23084
Location: North West New Jersey
djkeev is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a Subaru guy by any means but.....

When any water cooled engine that exhibited no previous signs of trouble overheats while running with a full non leaking cooling system...

Two things that could/will cause this spring to mind....
Thermostat stuck closed
Or
Water Pump not pumping,

Dave
_________________
Stop Dead Photo Links

Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Ahwahnee
Samba Member


Joined: June 05, 2010
Posts: 8201
Location: Mt Lemmon, AZ
Ahwahnee is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: Blown Subaru - why? How can I protect the next one? Reply with quote

Jagermeister wrote:
I...no indication that anything was wrong. When I noticed the sudden decline in power I backed off the throttle and it shut off and THEN the temp gauge moved and pegged itself...


I'm thinking that on an 85 the needle pegs when the coolant level drops in the pressurized tank (at least that is how it works on my 84 WBX).

IOW, you might not have over heated, just sucked in/blew out a lot of coolant with considerable collateral damage.

That would account for the gauge pegging only after you switched things back on.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
WestyBob
Samba Member


Joined: June 11, 2004
Posts: 2340
Location: Portland, Oregon
WestyBob is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Re: Blown Subaru - why? How can I protect the next one? Reply with quote

Jagermeister wrote:
It was full of water and oil.


What was ... the gauge or the engine ?

Jagermeister wrote:
What happened? Why did it overheat?


A few reasons have already been mentioned but one of the most common over-heating issues (with the general vw vanagon cooling set-up with radiator in front and engine in rear) is air-bubbles in the coolant system. They can often lurk and not be a problem, then suddenly emerge and block the coolant passage ways. The resultant overheating can blow a head gasket internally and externally. If internally then coolant mixes with the engine oil.

I had this happen with my '87 westy syncro and subie 2.5L conver but my gauges were working and saved the engine, but later I had to have a new head gasket installed. If the temp gauge had not been working then my engine would have melted to a nub before I would have had time to figure out what was wrong.

Jagermeister wrote:
Why didn't it say it had overheated? How do I make sure it doesn't happen to the next motor? My last Westy was air-cooled so I got thinking about a CHT gauge as a second indicator of how things are going out back.


Your whole vw temp gauge system needs testing for proper function. For peace of mind and added security it may not be a bad idea to add a CHT gauge. Many syncro off-roaders do that.

Jagermeister wrote:
Also I'm looking for a known runner in the PNW if anybody knows of a deal.


There's John Lemley out in Gaston who has a subie yard (503) 985-7110.

But getting a good low mileage engine that's in good health and well prepped before install is an absolutely critical component of any conversion. To this extent you may let whomever will install your next engine source a good one for you. A Pdx Vw shop called Precision Motor Car now does subie convers and has a good rep (503) 232-7669. Ask for Daryl .... and Daryl only.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Jon_slider
Samba Member


Joined: April 11, 2007
Posts: 5091
Location: Santa Cruz, Crowdifornia
Jon_slider is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: Blown Subaru - why? How can I protect the next one? Reply with quote

Jagermeister wrote:
A couple miles north of Paisley, OR it suddenly ran out of power. ... What happened? Why did it overheat? Why didn't it say it had overheated? How do I make sure it doesn't happen to the next motor?


I dont know, but, youre the second Subaru Mystery Death Syndrome posted recently. I hope you share what you learn, and get back on the road soon:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=434656&start=1000
syncrogreg wrote:
the Vanjeros
Sadly their Subaru EJ25 conversion did not make it through the hardcore mountain passes of Colombia to Ecuador. ...
they are not exactly sure why it blew up... maybe they say an issue with the dipstick that read wrong...
One of the pistons
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


_________________
My Soapboxes: Inflation; Handling; Gearing; Decoupling; Swepco
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ftp2leta
Samba Member


Joined: October 11, 2004
Posts: 3246
Location: Montreal
ftp2leta is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:51 am    Post subject: Re: Blown Subaru - why? How can I protect the next one? Reply with quote

Jagermeister wrote:
THEN the temp gauge moved and pegged itself. It was full of water and oil.

So the questions. What happened? Why did it overheat? Why didn't it say it had overheated? How do I make sure it doesn't happen to the next motor?


There is quite a few possibilities.

You mean the oil pan was full of water and oil? or the EX tank?

I don't think you can rely on the fact the your temp gauge was pegged. The gauge can react like that if your missing to much coolant in this one.

If there a mix of oil and coolant you can start by blaming the head-gasket-water jacket.

Oil starvation?

A sudden breakdown is not related to a coolant issue because you say that all was fine before.

You need to open thsi one up to know the truth

Ben
_________________
Working with rust, grease, dirt and dust is a sad truth.
------------------------------------------------------
FI part for sale: http://www.benplace.com/parts_sale1.htm
My site: http://www.benplace.com/vw2.htm
Subi conversion: http://www.benplace.com/vanaru_eng.htm
Youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/ftp2leta
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Facebook Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ThankYouJerry
Samba Member


Joined: September 01, 2012
Posts: 2270
Location: Shakedown Street
ThankYouJerry is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Members "16CV's" and "Newfisher" recently had to source new Subie engines as well. You may want to PM them to see if they have any recommended sources. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=616155&highlight=
_________________
1990 Multivan - "Ohana"
1.8T, Auto w/3.27 R&P + Peloquin TBD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
newfisher
Samba Member


Joined: January 05, 2012
Posts: 1758
Location: The wet spot--Oregon
newfisher is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThankYouJerry wrote:
Members "16CV's" and "Newfisher" recently had to source new Subie engines as well. You may want to PM them to see if they have any recommended sources. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=616155&highlight=

I had Ken Welton build a Frankenmotor for me and it puuuuuurs. Hes a great guy and very knowledgeable about vws and subbies.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
16CVs
Samba Member


Joined: February 22, 2004
Posts: 2833
Location: Redwood City, California
16CVs is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife was driving our Syncro Westy with five teenagers in it ,and pulled to a stop sign and the van died and would start again. Originally she thought the battery died or the starter had puked.
The Number 3 rod ,lost its bearing and was clacking like mad. So far I am happy with the Ken Welter engine, I wouldn't put an unknown engine in a van I want to be reliable. I looked at my options and in the end the Ken option was best.
I did have to put a Small Car oil pan on and found it to be top quality and would recommend it.
While I ma sure there are other builders who can build one ,it's nice to start with a solid reputation.

Stayc
_________________
1987 Syncro Multivan Triple knob (bastard)
1989 Syncro Tristar Triple knob "Swedish"
2013 Jetta Hybrid a true "Zwitter"
Samba member # 14980
Call anytime number 650 722 4914 .
Keep Your van running and upkept tastefully for the love of the hobby.
Don't let your van end up in an "abortions" thread.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
connorsvw2
Samba Member


Joined: August 16, 2008
Posts: 286
Location: Denver, CO
connorsvw2 is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When this happened to my 2.5 conversion a few yrs ago after 60k miles of driving, I found the best option was to buy a factory new EJ251 short block from Hueberber Subaru's online catalog. Cost me about $1800 as they offered 25% off on-line sales. You don't know how many miles and what conditions the used junkyard engine you installed really faced, and I wanted a zero-mile new block. Clean up the heads, resurface, updated factory head gaskets and you're good to go. I'd also recommend installing oil pressure and oil temp gauges at the same time.
_________________
'85 Westy Wolfsburg camper/2002 2.5 Subaru since 2003.
'85 GTI 1.8L 8v-awaiting 9A 2.0L 16v transplant-currently being rebuilt
'99 Passat 1.8T Variant-AKA "The Money Pit"
'09 Subaru Outback XT 5-speed, 245 hp rocket (wife's car)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Jon_slider
Samba Member


Joined: April 11, 2007
Posts: 5091
Location: Santa Cruz, Crowdifornia
Jon_slider is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:42 pm    Post subject: Post Police Busts Hijacker Reply with quote

Jagermeister wrote:
I bought my Vanagon last spring. It has a 2002 Subaru motor that was installed by Small Car in 2002. ... So the questions. What happened? Why did it overheat? Why didn't it say it had overheated? How do I make sure it doesn't happen to the next motor?


Sounds like a blown headgasket.. wonder if it was one of the DOHC motors..

IF the problem was caused by combustion gasses in the coolant, here is one symptom that could have detected it:

If the coolant overflow tank showed black coolant. Caused by combustion gasses...

good luck with your fix
_________________
My Soapboxes: Inflation; Handling; Gearing; Decoupling; Swepco
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
djkeev
Samba Member


Joined: September 30, 2007
Posts: 23084
Location: North West New Jersey
djkeev is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edited & cleaned up..... Let's find out why this engine failed.

Dave
_________________
Stop Dead Photo Links

Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
newfisher
Samba Member


Joined: January 05, 2012
Posts: 1758
Location: The wet spot--Oregon
newfisher is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken also has designed a coolant air bubble catch tank system that i will be buying shortly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Gizmoman
Samba Member


Joined: September 10, 2011
Posts: 1368
Location: San Diego
Gizmoman is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had/built a few Subi powered vans and if I were to do one again, I'd make sure to have an air bleed at every high point in the system.

As you probably know already, the sensor doesn't read steam temperature - it has to be immersed in fluid.
_________________
82 Vanagon Westy - AAZ 1.9 TD, HE200 Holset, WAIC, 27.75 dia tires, Electric power steering, 5-speed AAP w/.078 5th

Oversize Spare rack - stock location https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2169071
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
wesitarz
Samba Member


Joined: August 20, 2012
Posts: 736
Location: Victoria,B.C.Canada
wesitarz is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding the Subaru conditioner (stop leak) to the coolant was recommended by the SubaruVanagon group back in 2003 when I did my 02 2.5 conversion.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
BavarianWrench
Samba Member


Joined: January 18, 2004
Posts: 1044
Location: Oceans Edge
BavarianWrench is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the number of vans with Subarus increase and they gain that many years of service mark, we are seeing quite a few pop. Personally I feel any four cyl engine pushing a four to five thousand pound van/camper is going to have a shortened life expectancy. Air in the cooling system seems to be a common concern and an air pocket can act like a dam stopping flow. To gain accurate data the subby guys could compile a list of known failures. In the last two years I've read about more Subaru failures then Wasserboxers. This says nothing about are they good or bad. I just find it interesting. It could be more people on this site now have Subby powered vans then Waserboxers. I personally like Subaru products. I'm always impressed in a 2.5 Subby van. Get that engine torn down it will tell its story.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
djkeev
Samba Member


Joined: September 30, 2007
Posts: 23084
Location: North West New Jersey
djkeev is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random thought here but.....

I know That water based home heating sytems have self bleeding valves that release air at the highest points.

Could not an item such as this be utilized in our cooling systems to self bleed air pockets?

Imknow that I don't fully comprehend what effects moving and vibration have on these valves...... Just thinking out loud.........

Dave
_________________
Stop Dead Photo Links

Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Syncro Jael
Samba Member


Joined: December 19, 2013
Posts: 1888
Location: Utah
Syncro Jael is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 2004 my 87 Syncro had the conversion to an 1994 Ej22 using the KEP components. At that time the van was at about 130K miles. I have the receipt of the purchase on the motor but no records on the mileage of the Subaru engine. I am guessing a 10 year old engine should be between 70-100k miles. That little motor has been running great for over another 100k miles. I had an injector beginning fail a few months ago leaking raw fuel into the #3 hole. It did it a few times when starting the engine from cold and I believe it did it's damage to the rings. I replaced the injector but the damage was done. Sad

It has now been using more oil than usual but still runs great. The fuel economy has gone down some and it seems to have a little less power. Coming home from BBB it burned a quart in a little over 500 miles. So time for a transplant. Rolling Eyes

This week it will be getting new life with another Ej22 thanks to Metric Motors in Ogden Utah. They have built me an engine from the bottom up and adding a few more robust components. This shop has done many conversions and comes highly recommended from all the gear heads I know. They build all types of race engines and dyno test them before installation. Chris knows his stuff and also loves these vans. I am excited to get this installed before another year of adventures. We usually travel alone and are in remote places so I need another bullet proof motor. I was thinking of getting a bigger 2.5 but was told to keep an EJ22. I also want to keep the Calif. emissions tags in compliance. Talking to a few people the old EJ22 has stood the test of time and is still one of the most reliable engines to come from Subaru.

That last used Subaru EJ22 power plant has pushed this Syncro Westy for 11 years and over 100k miles. I believe that is great for any little four cylinder engine shoving a 3 ton brick around. I might not get there as fast as a few of you, but I have no doubt I will still get wherever I point this van.

When you are out here, you do not want any engine problems. Wink

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

_________________
1987 Syncro Westfalia
Subaru EJ25 Forged Frankenmotor, Triple Knob.
Jael = (Mountain Goat)


Last edited by Syncro Jael on Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:17 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail 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, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
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 © 1996-2018, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB