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Oil Cooler port -PINION BEARING (manual Vanagon transaxle)
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:19 pm    Post subject: Oil Cooler port -PINION BEARING (manual Vanagon transaxle) Reply with quote

This thread is for those with large engines who are taking "transaxle oil cooling" to a higher level. It shows a fairly easy DIY method to drill an oil passageway into the Pinion bearing bore. Drilling the pinion bearing race (with brittle carbide bits) is required to complete the mod and is perhaps more dicey than drilling the transmission case passages. If you screw up a new pinion bearing is $150.

A wild-ass guess is that you get 85% of the benefit of oil cooling by simply plumbing the cooler to the drain and fill ports. Further enhancements to simple pumping thru the in/out bungs are:
1) a nozzle to squirt 4th gear and the mainshaft ball bearing
2) My other thread where I oiled & cooled 4th gear and the mainshaft.
3) Filtering the oil.

Cool [IMHO] delivering cool oil directly to 4th gear and the mainshaft ball bearing becomes necessary at 150HP. It's the the #1 concern for long freeway driving over 65MPH. Cooling 4th gear can be accomplished by bolting stuff on from the outside if you have a filler bung with a squirter nozzle. Focus on 4th gear and the mainshaft ball FIRST, then the pinion bearing next. [/IMHO] Cool

Sorry if I'm wrong or miss stuff, I'm doing the best I can in the time allotted, and remember it's 'free Samba advice" and it's time consuming to create it, so please be nice if you disagree with something. But feel free to do so!

====================================

I've been getting very interested in transaxle oil cooling and decided I just HAD to feed & cool the pinion bearing. I have an original magnesium case. If I can't do it with hand tools I can't do it. I read about others doing it on TS and fretted about "the angles", and constructing a drilling jig, for months. Then once my trans was open and in front of me I focused on it and found a fairly easy method that uses short, straight holes and the "capped casting cavity" method that Gears & FrankenSubySyncro used elsewhere.

Other related Samba links:
0) Herman (itsdshtz) did some pioneering work 9 years ago
1) Gears, who drills at angles!
2) Alika's transaxle oiling project
3) ejimmi drilled his pinion too and is NOT afraid of angles either.

Note: My case in the pics has a steel-bushed pinion bore (the 7 countersunk screws) done by Donnie at D-K Machine (562)864-9618 in Norwalk, CA. Donnie recommends all cases to be be re-bushed if you want the trans to run another 100k miles. Note that Donnie adds a block to engage the pinion bearing 'wrench flats'. This can be used to clock the bearing, and ensure alignment of oil-holes.


1) Heres the overall view. The hole from pinion bore outward intersects a vertical hole downward from the casting cavity. Then the cavity is capped, and a 1/4NPT fitting inserted from the outside.

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


2) Cross-section of the drilled oil galley. I fretted about creating a jig to hit the right location in the pinion bore (drilling at an angle). Then upon drawing up and dimensioning the cross-section, it became obvious that angles were unnecessary.

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


3) Drill bits from Home Depot, cut shorter with an abrasive cutoff wheel on an angle grinder.
Angle adapter used is a Milwaukee 48-32-2100 OFF-SET Power Screwdriver Head, $25 on amazon. It worked absolutely perfect because magnesium drills so nicely. I like this robust unit $55 but already had the $25 unit.

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


4) A good place to drill the pinion bore is 8.5mm down from the pinion bearing flange. I used 9/64" (3.5mm). Them'r ejimmi's capable fingers. He's drilling straight and not even breaking a sweat. Before you rely on 8.5mm get out your calipers and verify for yourself. See section9 of post 3 (this pic) to place your hole. Remember there is about 1/2mm of shims under the pinion bearing flange.

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


5) You can see the gold colored drill bit in intersection of the two holes. The hole stops here, does not continue to the M6 threaded hole.

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


6) Using aluminum foil to make a pattern.

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7) Pattern scribed onto 1/8" thick aluminum flat stock.

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8_ Cavity plug fitted. The M6 screwhole is tapped. I put a stud in the hole and then pounded the plug with a hammer to impression the location of the m6 bolt hole. Plug is shown bottom-side up with indentation visible.

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


9) A 20mm spacer that I had in my toybox and 35mm M6 screw. 30mm would work too.

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


10) I used a Blair Rotabroach holecutter to drill for the 1/4NPT tapered pipe thread tap. The holecutter cuts magnesium very nicely. It's limited to about 1/4" deep which is just about the thickness of the transaxle case. There are some tricks to go a little deeper but were not necessary here. For example the raised letters (GERMANY) could possibly limit the depth (inside the cutter cup) and if that's the case you need to file off the "Y", but do it AFTER after you get a pretty deep cut (that guides the cutter).

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


11) Ran the tap as far as possible in, to make the threaded hole as large as possible. Because I wanted the pipe nipple on the outside to screw in as close as possible to the transaxle case.

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


12) Here is the 1/4-18NPT tapped hole from the outside. Thru the hole you can see the 20mm spacer inside the casting cavity.

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


13) Also re-threaded the elbow deeper for the same reason as 11) above, to bring the fittings closer to the transaxle case.

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


14) Heres the elbow, and the "close nipple". The shortest nipple is called a "close" nipple. Note that this type of elbow can spin around between the 'ribs' of the transaxle case.

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


15) Here's the fitting installed on the case outside. It's pointing upward. I don't know yet if this will be the final configuration.

I fretted about fittings, and the appearance, and avoidance of brass etc, and it just added HUGE time and confusion....constant project stoppers, for no real good reason. Now that it's done I could (or you) perhaps continue the wild goose chase for SS fittings in my (your) abundant free time. For now my focus is to camp this spring.

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


=====================================

EDIT: Decided to ditch the brass and weld up a custom "Tee". Bought parts that would screw together but cut out all the threads and welded the desired threaded portions to the Tee. There's a compression-pipe outlet to the "4th gear" pipe on top. Size 8AN fitting on the bottom is where oil (from the cooler) comes in to the system. Fitting is DIY nickel plated using $40 of chemicals from eBay and then polished with a soft brass wire brush.

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


=====================================

Next project is to grind the oil groove and drill the steel pinion bearing. I hope I've made it easy to follow my work (if you like it). I'll try to edit for clarity so the post remains easy to follow. If you prefer not to bloat the opening posts, PMs are appreciated.
_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban


Last edited by Sodo on Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:43 am; edited 30 times in total
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Oil Cooler port -PINION BEARING (manual Vanagon transaxle) Reply with quote

Neat! Thanks for sharing that.
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*Custom wheel hardware for Audi/VW, Porsche and Mercedes wheels - Urethane Suspension Bushings*
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Oil Cooler port -PINION BEARING (manual Vanagon transaxle) Reply with quote

It takes a lot of time to create a post like this so "thanks" are very much appreciated (at least by me)!

1) Here's grinding a TEST groove in the OLD pinion bearing. Screwed the bearing to a wood block. Screwed a cover on top to minimize the grit getting in.

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


2) The method worked great using a thin abrasive cutoff blade. But enough grit got in the bearing that I could hear it.

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


3) Removed the cover which may have been actually catching grit, and setup a shop vac as a BLOWER on the bearing, Ground it for awhile more and bearing remained quiet. I think this is gonna work.

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


4) Nice accurate groove. I tipped the cutoff wheel a little so it scrubs while spinning the bearing to widen the groove.

EDIT: Widening the groove turned out to be unnecessary, and is perhaps unwise. If you align the 3 oil holes as described below, all that is necessary is a 2.5 x 2.5mm groove.
This is the "grind test bearing" (old bearing).

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


5) Setup a little better for the real thing.

a) BLEW air vertical down on the bearing to create a "hat" to block the abrasives from getting in the bearing. This way is better. Using OLD rollers from OLD bearing, Got my grinding done and can't hear any grit in the bearing.
b) Added the "chrome moly nut" as a little 'wall' to block abrasives better
c) Used a real grinding disc, an old stone with a nicely rounded edge. (NOTE: narrow kerf cutoff disc, and narrow 3/32" groove is best).
d) Controlled the spin with my hand, letting it spin slowly is much better than letting it spin at grinder speed.

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


6a) Groove all the way around DOESN'T mean any old clocking angle is good. I drilled 3 oil holes in the bearing race at 120*. The pinion bearing is CLOCKED to one of the flats, so you CAN Align one of the holes with the supply, providing THREE outlets to the supply which will increase flow and cooling. This way each groove (direction) only has to supply one hole. The width of the annular groove reduces bearing contact in the pinion bore, a narrow, deep groove is better. Holes are 3/32" = 2.4mm. A groove 3/32" deep X 3/32" wide groove is slightly bigger than the hole. The groove in my pic is much wider than necessary.

The oiling will be sufficient but Max flow of the cooled oil is the goal here.

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


6b) Ground a "flat" to drill on. You can see I moved the hole a little towards the flange which turned out to be 0.5mm in the wrong direction.

This is my new "0 miles" pinion bearing, the real thing.

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


7) Drilling. I used a 3/32" carbide bit because that's what they had on Amazon $13. It's a straight flute. I bought two and broke them both. Then I bought a spiral bit. "Western Tool & Supply" has them for $9.50 each (425) 775-8715. This hole is 3/8" deep - it's too deep for a straight flute, get a spiral bit.

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


Here's the best tips I can offer with my limited experience using (brittle) carbide bits:

1) You go down faster than you'd think, and flood with lots of oil. If you use too light pressure, it seems like the bit work-hardens the material. You need a little more pressure to dig under the work-hardened material and chip it up. Its like digging asphalt, you have to get below the hard upper surface. Looking at the chart of drill speeds, for drilling hardened steel the slowest speeds were recommended (30-90 SFM). I did not calculate the surface feet per minute for a 3/32" drill but used my slowest speed which was 620RPM.

(edit after xxoo00ooxx comment: To get 30-90SFM the recommended drilling RPM is much faster 1200-3600. I drilled at 620RPM (which is 15FPM) because I didn't know who to ask at the time. But it drilled fine .... and YMMV.

2) With that in mind choose a drill pressure that produces lots of chips. This is advice from experience of drilling 3 holes. Again YMMV, better to ask a genuine machinist.

3) If you do stop and pull the bit out, blast all the chips out the hole and off the bit. Small hard chips can jam the bit in the hole and break it.

4) Drilling after grooving provides three benefits, a flat spot, 2mm less drilling depth (which is already critical) and grinding gets you into the substrate which can be softer than the surface.

5) The bearing race at full thickness is 10.6mm. Measure yours and set your drillpress to go 12mm deep. Then pay real attention at 10mm deep as the bit is near the angled race surface. I put my finger where it would come out and I could feel the heat as it got close, then felt it breaking thru, and I slowed down REAL slow and it chewed out of the angled surface nicely.

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


8_ No centerpunch - it flattened my punch point and did not dent the race. The carbide bit bites right in though.

EDIT: Added important notes to this pic.

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


9) Here's some blue scribbling on ejimmi's pic of (his used pinion bearing race). You can see where the rollers ran are on the fwd (cluster side) race. The big rollers on the rear side (pinion side) go a lot closer to the flat. So it's best to pop out a little on the forward side.

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


10) Here's where I came out. It would have been a little better if my hole were closer to the pinion side (in more of the flat). But it's all good, it's clear of the bearing track.

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


11) Chamfer the groove corners further. Thinking ahead to the possibility that you may have to press the bearing out (if the ring & pinion isn't set right) and this may occur several times. The sharp edge can shave your pinion bore, and these shavings will be inside your oiling groove. Chamfering the edge is easy with diamond cutting bits. The set in the pic is $5 at harbor freight.

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

_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban


Last edited by Sodo on Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:41 am; edited 6 times in total
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Oil Cooler port -PINION BEARING (manual Vanagon transaxle) Reply with quote

Here's the clearance between the pinion oil supply "Tee" and the shift selector cup. Pics are with the trans in reverse gear (the closest). There's about 9mm separation between the fitting and the selector cup in reverse.

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


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

_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban
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xoo00oox
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:02 am    Post subject: Re: Oil Cooler port -PINION BEARING (manual Vanagon transaxle) Reply with quote

Wow! Great post! Thanks for spending the time to document this. I'm surprised at the rpm you used for that carbide drill, I would have though around. 3-5k rpm for that diameter and being carbide.

Nice job.
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thasty07
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:19 am    Post subject: Re: Oil Cooler port -PINION BEARING (manual Vanagon transaxle) Reply with quote

Super sweet! Nice job!
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