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1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice...
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hylomatt Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:22 pm    Post subject: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

I will try to be brief but most likely fail. For the last 2 weeks, I’ve been reading overheating topics and checking things on and around my engine.

It’s a 1971 Transporter with 1600 DP engine. Recently rebuilt but some new parts, crankcase, oil pump, lifters, maybe a few other odds and ends. AND a gene berg temp dipstick. There’s no problem driving around town and I can do interstate as long as i stay below 60 mph. Above 60, and it seems there’s a countdown that starts. Maybe it’s 10 mins, maybe 30 mins but the oil light will begin to flicker and get solid eventually.

Again, oil temp dipstick. No real gauges for driving. Just got those in the mail today, they’ll be installed by the weekend. That damn dipstick is stressing me out. I think something is going on but you can’t tell all from a truthy/falsy mechanism like that.

Some details:
1600 dp recently rebuilt (never ran the previous engine),
Stock carb (volkzbitz),
Stock distro (tasb),
Rebuilt stock heads,
All tin present, including flaps and thermostat, adjusted per bentley instructions,
10w-30 valvoline vr1 oil

Timing:
5 atdc w/ hoses
7.5ish btdc w/o vac retard hose
22 btdc max advance w/o vac hoses
37ish btdc max advance w/ hosts

Valves set to .006 and rechecked over and over to be sure.

Carb tuning is super steady and idling at 850rpm.
Just installed new plugs so i’ll check for some color clues this weekend to see if lean/rich.

I do have some air leaks though. The engine bay lid has that 4-piece seal and i’ve installed the sides and bottom but not the top part that would pass right under the hinges. Also, the driver’s-side fresh air arm was moved due to dealer AC so it’s a metal lap joint and leaks air. The evap system was also not hooked up so the nipple is just leaking air into the engine room. And finally, the oil cooler’s foam-seal-to-shroud is missing along with the seals related the the other pieces of tin specifically for the expelling of oil cooler air. Again, metal lap joints, basically..

I’m sure that I’ve left something out but please feel free to steer me toward anything that could be helpful.

Thanks for any help!


Last edited by hylomatt on Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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richparker
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

Sounds like you need an IR fun to check your temps. I bet you are within the normal operating temps and the dipstick sensor is just making you over think it.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

as I recall the Gene Berg dipstick was designed for a bug. It comes on steady at 220F to 225F according to the Berg site. A bus will run that temp once you get up to 65 MPH or 70 MPH this time of the year. That is life in a bus, get used to it. If you can't stand it and want to drive that fast you'll have to add additional cooling. Worse - you lost your oil pressure light in case the oil pressure takes a dump.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:26 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

Put an oil pressure gauge on there and see what your oil pressure is doing. If you have a larger than standard pump and tight bearing clearances then you are going to see high oil temps.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:21 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

Ok I appreciate the replies. I'll have the gauges installed soon and I'll have exact numbers. I've read on here about the "Golden rule" of 10 psi / 1000 rpm. So at 850 RPM I would expect 8.5 PSI of oil pressure and 35 PSI oil pressure at 3, 500 RPM. That is assuming it's linear.

Wildthings, I made an oil pressure gauge and hooked it up last weekend. Initially on startup I had 50 + PSI with the 10w-30 oil but after the engine had warmed up I was idling at 15 psi and at 2500 PSI I had pressure above 35 PSI and when I revved it up to max RPM the oil pressure will climb to 47 or 48 and then the pressure will no longer increase which I think means the relief valve was activated.

SGKent, I can deal with and fully accept those temperatures, but I need to make sure that they are normal and not the side effect of things I've done wrong. As far as the speed to drive, am I driving it too fast? With its cruising speed being 68, according to Volkswagen, I figured I'd be able to do 60-62 smooth and easy.

Thanks for the continued input guys. Like I said those gauges will be installed sometime between tonight and the weekend and I'll have some driving data. I'm just trying to get an idea of what to expect.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:48 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

I have run my bus to 235* pushing hard (71 westy) oil pressure is always fine. running 10 psi per 1000 rpm.

remember....high rpm= high oil temp high load=high head temp....this is true for air or water cooled. the second I take my bus off the highway, the oil temp drops like a rock....just like it's suppose to.

fwiw, I push my turbo audi hard. I have seen 240* oil temp in that. been doing it for the 15 years I have owned the car. it is what it is. that berg dipstick deal is kind of a joke, really....as it pull in case temp as well.

I will also say if I can't run any of my air cooled buses at 70/75 they are 100% useless to me
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:33 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

hylomatt wrote:
.......22 btdc max advance w/o vac hoses
........

That's low, somethings sticky inside your distributor if that's as high as it'll get regardless of the RPM. Should be closer to 30*
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
I have run my bus to 235* pushing hard ....

I will also say if I can't run any of my air cooled buses at 70/75 they are 100% useless to me


x2. In Detroit, I'd get run over if I wasn't doing at least 70 in the right lane (sometimes I'm lucky and can get away with 65, but usually people will be going 75-80 in the middle lane with some aggressive drives going 85+ in the middle lane. I pull off the highway when my oil temps are nearing 240. I use that same vr1 oil.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

@skills, I agree about the dipstick. It does a little bit better of a job than the idiot light but it's still basically an idiot light. Were you being serious about the 70-75 or useless comment? With stock 3-rib tranny?

@busdaddy, it's low because I set it that low. I've read two main approaches to timing on this site that seemed legit. Both disconnect the hoses and plug them and time at max advance. 22-25 deg or 28-32 deg, both btdc. With all stock equipment my bus is supposed to be timed at 5 atdc which is what I have right now. Somewhere around 37 degrees Max w/ hoses. I previously had it set at 28 - 30 degrees and w/ hoses my total advanced was around 47 ish. Which of these methods is correct? The approach I'm using now lets me adhere to the way that distributor is documented to be timed at idle. It's a 205q dvda distributor with matching 34 pict 3 carburetor. If I time it 28 to 30 then my idle timing is similar to that of an svda around 7.5-10 btdc.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

@spike0180, they drive like crazy people here in Tampa Florida as well. Regularly doing 80 to 90 miles an hour down the I-4 corridor.

I get a lot of honks and waves and thumbs up and I can tell people are taking photos or trying to covertly video record the bus when they are doing speeds similar to mine.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

hylomatt wrote:
@skills, I agree about the dipstick. It does a little bit better of a job than the idiot light but it's still basically an idiot light. Were you being serious about the 70-75 or useless comment? With stock 3-rib tranny?


yes I'm serious...and that is a real GPS speed, not what the bus speedo says (although I recalibrated my speedo, so its within 1-2mph of GPS)

yes, if I can't run 70+ any car is useless to me not just a bus

and yes, 002 trans. all my stuff is tight and right. if it pops, so be it. like spike, I would be run over on any of CT's highways doing 50...so I will push it. I don't have time or desire to screw around on back roads...hit the highway and roll out.

some guys seem to want to get these to last 200K.....I don't care. really, a bus should have the top end gone over at around 60k anyway. it's the way it is....trying to get an old car (stock) to survive in modern traffic makes it so you have to run with the pack....or take secondary roads everywhere.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

American drivers give new meaning to the word, Kamikaze. It doesn't matter if you are in a car that can go 200 mph when they come at you.



.
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It isn't our fault you bought a 50-year old toy you can't afford. None of us can afford it really. Even Steve Jobs had to sell his bus to make his financial life work.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

Quote:
22 btdc max advance w/o vac hoses


Remove both vacuum hoses and time it to 30º +/- 2º BTDC at about 3500 RPMS or whenever there is no more centrifical advance to be had. Reattach the vacuum hoses and reset the idle speed to the correct 850RPMs. Not but do not change the idle timing.

Try that since it is 1) free to do and 2) will likely take care of oil that is too hot.

Report back your findings.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:08 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

The timing for these engines using specs from the manual works out to 28-32° BTDC at 3500+ rpms, hoses off, with a half a degree or so. Running them closer to 28° will typically reduce the head temperatures a bit.

If you retard your timing as far as 24° BTDC @ 3500+ rpm you will be converting less of the heat energy to mechanical power thus causing the engine to run hotter.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:38 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

@wildthings, to confirm, so WITH hoses, it's expected to exceed 32 deg btdc timing, right?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

hylomatt wrote:
@wildthings, to confirm, so WITH hoses, it's expected to exceed 32 deg btdc timing, right?


No it should be around 40-42° BTDC @ 3500+ rpms.

Full mechanical Advance + Vacuum Advance = Total Advance
28° + 12° = 40°


Last edited by Wildthings on Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:52 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

With the vacuum hoses hooked up in your driveway pretend you are driving at 65 mph down the freeway and you are headed down a big hill.....you can expect to see the 30º +/- 2º centrifical advance (the 65 mph) and the up to about 10-12º of max vacuum advance (going down a steep hill and the engine doing little work) for a total advance of about 42-44º.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

Fellows, I appreciate your time and don't mean to make you repeat yourselves or to frustrate anyone. Please stick with me here Very Happy

Taken from a post by SGKent:
Quote:
Bus & Pickup 1971 * 1600

Distributor: VW 211-905-205Q, Bosch 0231 167 055 or 211-905-205S, 0231 180 001 > 043-905-205D, 0231 176 033
Can Use: VW 043-905-205D, Bosch 0231 176 033, 113-905-205AH, 0231 167 053
Points: 01 011
Points Replacement Plate Assy: VW 311-905-227A, Bosch 1237 110 064
Condensor: 02 054
Rotor: 04 033
Note: 205S/001 Distributors originally equipped with 04 021 Speed Limiting Rotor (4500rpm)
Dust Cover: 039-905-241, Bosch 1230 500 139 > 1230 500 147
Cap: 03 010
Distributor Cap Clip: 034-905-265, Bosch 1231 251 033
Parts Kit (Shims, Washers & Hardware): 059-998-211, Bosch 1237 010 007
Coil: 00 015 (Blue Coil: 00 012)
Vacuum Can: 07 092
Ignition Wires: 09 001
Spark Plug: W8AC
Timing Set At:: 5deg ATDC @ 800-950rpm w/strobe, vacuum hose(s) connected
Advance/Retard Range: Vacuum: 2-5deg Adv, 11-13deg Ret; Centrifugal: 12-16deg @ 2200rpm, 22-25deg @ 3800rpm


Assuming my vac can is operating properly, help me make sense of this bit:
Quote:
Advance/Retard Range: Vacuum: 2-5deg Adv, 11-13deg Ret; Centrifugal: 12-16deg @ 2200rpm, 22-25deg @ 3800rpm


The vac can will provide, at most, 2-5 deg advance and 11-13 deg retard?
The centrifugal advance alone will be approx 12-16 @ 2200 rpm and approx 22-25 @ 3800 rpm?

It sounds like your advising that the timing should be set differently than specified. Am I misunderstanding?

At 5 deg atdc due to 11-13 deg retard, the non-retarded timing would be 6-8 deg btdc + 22-25 deg centrifugal would be 28-33 deg btdc at max adv w/ vac retard going away once the throttle is opened. Is that what VW intended? And are we talking about a modification for improvement?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

I think you are getting it. Assuming one has the original distributor and can in good condition.

The sticker setting was 5 ATDC (for smog reasons)

Once the throttle opens a little and the retard signal is gone the timing jumps to -5 + 11 to 13 = 6 to 8 degrees BTDC once the throttle opens. That makes for the roughly 7 1/2 BTDC that other engines are set at.

Now the engine speed increases which swings the mechanical weights and the centrifugal advance adds another 22 - 25 degrees, That makes the timing somewhere between 29 1/2 to 32 1/2 BTDC under load at RPM.

Now you are cruising down the flat and level highway with a light throttle under a lighter load and the engine can run a tiny bit more advance without pinging. That adds another 2 - 5 degrees of advance pushing it up to between 31 1/2 to 37 1/2 BTDC. Accumulative slop in manufacturing is the difference between the 31 1/2 to 37 1/2.

Now when you set it you pull the retard and advance hoses off so they have no effect. You run the RPM up to 3500 - 3600 at which point the weights are wide open. You set it to about 29 - 30 degrees BTDC which is where you will get the coolest running engine with power still. When you add back the hoses, assuming the vac can is good all the other numbers will fall in place. If you are in a state that smogs a 1971 visually, then you set it to the sticker which is 5 ATDC at idle.
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Godspeed to all who undertake a journey in a VW Bus.

*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

It isn't our fault you bought a 50-year old toy you can't afford. None of us can afford it really. Even Steve Jobs had to sell his bus to make his financial life work.

1971 (sold)
1977
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 transporter, possible overheating, could use some advice... Reply with quote

@SGKent, thanks, i'm glad i'm understanding!

ok guys, i've got it now. i'll redo the timing once i'm home from work today. i'll get the oil pressure and temp senders installed as well. i need some driving numbers.

what about the oil pressure numbers i mentioned earlier that i took with my hand-held gauge? 15 psi at idle, approx 32-34 psi at 2500 rpm and at max around 47-48 psi. this info in relation to wondering if my oil is going to the cooler when it should or not. that's above the 10 psi per 1k rpm rule and @ 2500 rpm, it's above what bentley says. how do i know my cooler is being used or bypassed?
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