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Quick and Easy WBX Oil Cooler Seal Replacement
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:19 am    Post subject: Quick and Easy WBX Oil Cooler Seal Replacement Reply with quote

I have read all of the threads on this topic and find many differing experiences, along with some misinformation and advice.

My 91 Syncro L, named Great White by my gfriend Val has been a very trustworthy van this winter.

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While out and about during the last storm we spent about 5 hours of exploring and navigating extremely snow covered back roads in my area. The undercarriage was covered with snow and ice so I did not see the tell tail drips coming from the cracked seal in the oil cooler...until the next morning at 6am with a wind chill in the negative teens. Go to fire up GW and heard a sound that you do not want to hear....a pump going dry. I assumed it was the power steering pump, but in fact it was the oil pump and the cooler seal had let loose completely, dropping my engine oil into my driveway Evil or Very Mad

The old style seals are just big Orings and prone to cracking, due to the ability to move when brittle.

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The new replacement, purchased from a VW dealer, not a Vanagon vendor is an updated version with little additions to secure it to the cooler and not move during heat cycling.
With all Orings I coat them with Loctite 518 to keep the supple and add a tiny bit of added protection from weeping.

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


Many have replied to previous posts that the cooling system needs to be drained to replace this seal.
IT DOES NOT Exclamation
Even on a Syncro, with the skid plate in place, this seal can be replaced with just a few tools.

Here is what you need:

Replacement oil
Replacement oil filter
Oil catch can
Roll of paper towels
Nitrile gloves
27mm long socket with extension
T55 Torx socket long version with extension

Jack stands and jack optional.

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


Here's what to do:

1. drain oil
2. remove filter
3. remove 27mm thin wall nut securing the oil cooler
4. tap the T55 into the threaded oil pipe

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5. remove oil pipe
6. replace seal...I did bend the engine tin slightly to allow the cooler to be accessed from the back.

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7. replace oil pipe and tighten with the T55 until snug, approx 30 ft/lbs
8. replace thin wall nut and snug also to 30 ft/lbs (Bentley calls for 18 )
9. install new filter filled with new oil.
10. add proper amount of new oil.
11. start engine, idle 30 seconds.
12. check oil level after it settles...add if needed.

DONE Very Happy

This procedure, in my driveway, took 28 minutes from start to finish Exclamation

Idea Thank you Andrew Flint for the T55 tech tip. Idea
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice documentation! Very Happy
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Nice documentation! Very Happy


Thanks Wink

I hope it busts the myths of how difficult this job is and helps a few along the way.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this seal has caused many VW engines (that I am personally aware of) catastrophic failure.
this seal is on my New owner must change list, the OEM one is aged and the $4 seal can likely cost you your engine..

I'm actually surprised yours was OEM there Dylan Wink
but thanks for the great write up and we never remember the things that break on the nice days when you didn't have anything or place to be.

this is an item I pad a low $ order with when I order parts, I have a couple in a drawer in my garage..

though few people have a 27mm deep socket in their tools just awaiting this failure prone item.. word for the wise, go buy a cheap harbor freight 27mm or 1-1/16" deep socket for your OhShyt moments fellas..

part info and other horror stories HERE
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish this was posted about a week earlier. I just replaced one and didn't know there was a torx on the inside! I just double nutted to get it off. And never looked closer. Shocked

I enjoy learning on the Samba. Very Happy
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, this van is new to me as of Oct 014.
It was in a barn for over 10 years.
I will eventually freshen up the entire vehicle, but for now, it runs so well that it has become my winter beast.

I wouldn't try to reseal head gaskets in my driveway, while it is snowing, but felt like going for it where it stopped.
My Buddy Will had a tiltback ready to come and pick it up to be taken to my shop, but currently all 4 bays have full restorations going on and, as I am becoming used too, no room for my vans Wink

Snowing like mad here today and a very slow moving storm, ready to drop its load will be here Sunday - Tuesday.

Looks like we have the snow and the Lombardi trophy here in the East Laughing
Couldn't resist Cool
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:
I wish this was posted about a week earlier. I just replaced one and didn't know there was a torx on the inside! I just double nutted to get it off. And never looked closer. Shocked

I enjoy learning on the Samba. Very Happy


Andrew Flint gets the credit for the T55.
I have all sorts of cool tools, like an internal pipe wrench, but after reading another thread where it broke clean off inside the tube, I went with the Torx approach.

Ron, I too enjoy learning from some very creative Volks.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:
I wish this was posted about a week earlier. I just replaced one and didn't know there was a torx on the inside! Very Happy


My impression is that there is not a Torx on the inside. I think the Torx just happens to be a perfect jam fit. (Like pounding a 12mm socket on the outside of a CV bolt head...) Very Happy

Dylan can confirm.... Wink
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"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Robert Louis Stevenson

Join the Vanagon Rescue Squad on the VanAlert app.
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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
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Syncro Jael wrote:
I wish this was posted about a week earlier. I just replaced one and didn't know there was a torx on the inside! Very Happy


My impression is that there is not a Torx on the inside. I think the Torx just happens to be a perfect jam fit. (Like pounding a 12mm socket on the outside of a CV bolt head...) Very Happy

Dylan can confirm.... Wink


Absolutely correct.
Just snug enough to break the pipe loose and not bugger anything up, inside or out.

I used a Snappy as they are great quality and harder than the pipe.
A few light depressions were made inside the pipe.
I ran a blue shop towel threw it to be sure that no shards were present before reinstalling.

The double nut trick should work too, but watch those thin wall nuts as they can bugger easily...when using a wrench.
That is why I recommend a 27mm long socket, if available.

An EZ Out could also be used but they are very aggressive and may score the inner pipe and take some material with them.
We don't need shards going straight up the pipe and into the engine.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great posts!

Thanks for making this tutorial.....

Applause Applause

Dave
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you.
My pleasure, it was fun.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:
Thank you.
My pleasure, it was fun.


But...... I've found that creating Tutorials takes two - three times longer than just doing the task!

Stop.....take pictures, stop, take pictures, stop take pictures and when done write it all up.
Rolling Eyes

Coming from this having done it perspective...... Thank you thank you thank you!

Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Needs to be in the FAQ's. 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

Join the Vanagon Rescue Squad on the VanAlert app.
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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
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Needs to be in the FAQ's. Very Happy


Already contacted her about doing so..... FAQ's and Stickies is her domain......

I also put a 27mm (1 1/16") deep socket on my shopping list. Any excuse to buy a tool!
I Have several 1" and I have 1 1/8" for my JCB Hoe lug nuts...... Just need that in between size......

Dave
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, 27mm long is needed for the radius rod nut both 2wd and Syncro, due to the amount of threads showing.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reason I love my BlackBerry and Photobucket.
I just snap pics and they autoload into my bucket and are available as image links for forums such as this.

I take about 40-50 pictures a day so it works well for me.

I am honored if this ends up in the FAQs / Stickies Very Happy

Glad to see a not so good thing turn out positive for me and a few others.

Whatever Great White throws at me next I will be sure to share it.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No grass grows under my feet!
Cool

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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put it to good use Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick and Easy WBX Oil Cooler Seal Replacement Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:
...replace thin wall nut and snug also to 30 ft/lbs (Bentley calls for 18 )


x2...Bentley really missed the mark on that one... Rolling Eyes

Awesome writeup! I just did this last year, but great post - thanks for the T55 tip!
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick and Easy WBX Oil Cooler Seal Replacement Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
insyncro wrote:
...replace thin wall nut and snug also to 30 ft/lbs (Bentley calls for 18 )


x2...Bentley really missed the mark on that one... Rolling Eyes

Awesome writeup! I just did this last year, but great post - thanks for the T55 tip!


Thank you.
I saw your posts about going heavier with the wrench and agree Wink
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