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Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:31 pm    Post subject: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

I’m having a subi 2.5 put in my 80ac Westy. Only catch it that I have to install the cooling system. Not really a huge deal because I get to know my vehicle better. But was wondering if anyone has done this, documented, or has a thread recommended for just this. I’m told I just need run front to back lines , pipes , install radiator assembly n such and run lines to heater cores and toward the engine bay and they can do the rest.

So anyone out there have some basic ac to wc setup info they can help out with. Case of beer in it for ya Razz Laughing
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:08 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

It has been done. Can't point you to any threads documenting it. The easiest path would be to get all the parts from a donor WBX vanagon. You would simply copy the WBX install. I would not cut the front nose skin for the lower grill until I was sure it was needed to maintain engine temp.

On a side note, if you want heat, I have a couple of front heater blower assemblies and rear heater assemblies collecting dust I would sell. PM me if you need heat at some point.

I met Hans from Vanaru at a vw campout. He had his test mule vanagon, which was based on an air cooled chassis.
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mikemtnbike
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

I like this thread, which shows more of a shoestring/ nail the square peg in method.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=700449&highlight=pokevan
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

That’s a crazy build wow! Back bay radiator! Wild. I’m just goin for standard convert. Wish I had a donor van to reverse engineer bit I’ve already got the parts coming to me. I get I could go thru the Bentley but good god what a mission! So easiest routings diy diagrams of standard ones are what I need.

One of their question to anyone knowing a 2.5 swap , if I run my metal coolant pipes do I have to grind out part of the engine bay firewall to get them closer to the 2.5 hookups all while still have the original aircooled installed or must I drop the AC?
I know it’s a lot of subi questions and I’m sorry most here just for vw to vw.
Next is a 1.8 t then eventually just for fun a Porsche 914 cam swap. Seems interesting! That’s for helping out. VDUB<3
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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kublerwagen
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

For my ABA swap I installed WBX stainless pipes and a Dodge Dakota (I think) radiator. Had to sort out mounting but it bolted right up to a WBX radiator shroud with fan. About half the price of a VW radiator and it works great. I have not cut out the hole for the lower grill either. Has not been an issue even on 100 degree days.
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AZ Landshaper Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

Ive done this conversion.
1981 AC to 1995 2.2 Suby.
Very very rewarding swap but a lot of work.

Hit me up for answers to your Qs. There are two others on here that I know of who have also done this job. Chompy and I cant remember the other gent.

Im always happy to help on the samba and this is an area where Im not speaking from my arse. Ive also seen the pokevan. Wes did one hell of a job re-engineering and in the end its fairly clean but not like the stock setup your going for. The psuedo-stock is the way to go. In the end I had heat and all.

I didnt reverse the manifold but it would have been nice in retrospect.

Hit me up. Ill PM you my phone no. I accept calls between 6am and 8pm Very Happy Otherwise text me.
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:02 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

Awesome. Knee em coming. I love this community! Y’all are amazing. Waiting on my parts to arrive from vanagonjunkyard then I’m sure you be hearing from me. Till the all the help anyone can provide would be awesome. And I’d love to meet all you great people on my travels. Till then I stated polishing up my VwMan emblem from a rust bucket.[/quote]
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

Vw man before rusty and scrubbed with a wire brush clean. Gonna use Coca Cola to polish it more stay tuned
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Update after brasso rust remover many grades of steel wool later. I was able to semi successfully zinc electroplate this masterpiece
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN


Last edited by lostwesty on Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:39 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

And he’s the first night Anza borrego trip during super bloom and a day shot. Obligatory vanagon post. Cool
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

That Syncro lift and suspension and springs make for a beast of a 1wd with general grabber ATXs. Can wait for the limited slip down the line
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

So my parts came. And I started stripping the grill apart to find out no air codensor. Removed. left me in a vex. Do I remove the remove the remaining cable and tubing from the ac? Cut it? Or pull from the dash at the origin?
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

And my next issue installing the radiator is the top mounting bracket. How can I bolt it secure or so I have to take it in to get it professionally welded. I’d rather bolt if possible.
Another silly question I’m sure ... do i install the radiator fan and shroud assembly all put together at once???

This is the upper bracket Pryed from the top piece
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And for the life of me I can figure out how to mount this damn thing into the radiator and the chassis while having it properly aligned. Any suggestions?

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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

not sure I can be of any help.
I didn't install the upper mount, it's really just a stabilizer and I went some other (hack) method of securing the radiator fore/aft.. iirc it involved zip ties

the fan goes on the radiator before it's lifted up there. well i'm sure one could manage installing it after but it'd be difficult.


edit: the AC hoses really aren't worth much, they really SHOULD be replaced in a newly installed/operating system with a more modern hose..

I'd cut them and keep the ends..
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Tbob
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

I echo Mark Ward, duplicate the wbx setup forward the center of the van. I used other homebrew methods before I did that, and they were all compromises. The factory setup works and you will be able to buy parts when needed.
I bolted the top plate onto my air inlet with good success. I installed my AC condensor first, then my WBX radiator with fan shroud installed using the factory bottom brackets and setting the top mount on the radiator as you show using the rubber mounts. I was then able to locate my top mount to make sure i had clearance. You want to bolt the top mount in a place where the bolts will not rub on the radiator. I used a condensor from a 1984 WBX that I had laying around. I did cut the body for a lower grill and installed a lower grill just like wbx. I had to open up the crossmember to accept the stainless 1.5 inch coolant pipes. Wiring has to be done to control the fan, and a front heater box from a wbx gives you heat. I think I made a plate to cover the old air heater tube and ran wbx heater hoses and control cable through it. all in all, fairly straight forward, and you can do all the cooling system mods while still running the air cooled engine, so you do not have to deny yourself the van for all that long while you get the radiator portion setup. I used the 2 piece stainless pipes, and that way you don't have to install the back portion until you do the subie conversion. IIRC, the front portion of the ss pipes will go through the crossmember that you opened up, and will ride just fine. I took down and resealed the gas tank while I was there,, but I think you can install the front portion of the 2 piece pipes without dropping the tank, but I am not sure about that. All in all, not to hard, and if you get hung up, just go find a WBX to look at to figure out your measurements/pipe routing/etc/.
Az Landscaper offered you wisdom, most likely worth taking him up on that. Good Luck!
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
not sure I can be of any help.
I didn't install the upper mount, it's really just a stabilizer and I went some other (hack) method of securing the radiator fore/aft.. iirc it involved zip ties

the fan goes on the radiator before it's lifted up there. well i'm sure one could manage installing it after but it'd be difficult.


edit: the AC hoses really aren't worth much, they really SHOULD be replaced in a newly installed/operating system with a more modern hose..

I'd cut them and keep the ends..


Metal zip ties?
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:50 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

nope. just zip ties..

it's really not going anywhere it's held "up" by the lower brackets. the upper just keeps it shifting from fore-aft.
I've since added an intercooler radiator and had to modify my fan to fit all my kit in the space.. still only holding the top by zipties. maybe a pool noodle to block air from going around instead of thru.
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
nope. just zip ties..

it's really not going anywhere it's held "up" by the lower brackets. the upper just keeps it shifting from fore-aft.
I've since added an intercooler radiator and had to modify my fan to fit all my kit in the space.. still only holding the top by zipties. maybe a pool noodle to block air from going around instead of thru.

Any chance you could show me a pic of ur zip tie work and where you connected too?
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

so next day steps were taken. managed installing everything kinda. ill take ya thru it.
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so i cut out all that extra tubing for the condenser. cleaned out the radiator bay. wiring was an old alarm system.
installed the fan. had to go find fine threaded nuts which was a hassle . two trip to home depot in a row. found the right sized bolts for the shroud got it all locked in and lifted in.

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got he bottom brackets some new bolts and nuts and pushed paper towel into the abyss holes so i wouldnt lose any more bolts. nice n new locked in great. attatched the hose piece to see if it fit. and it did.
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i have a question on the fan postive negative terminals. in the picture in the bentley it shows a fan with a plug in and i have terminals. the end of the radiator wiring harness has these. do i just connect the terminals? red to positive other to the other?

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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

Wendigo? Here's hoping it doesn't eat you next winter!
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lostwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting 80 AC to Watercooled ~ need help with cooling system Reply with quote

so found this lil number. more condenser stuff just NO CONDENSER. (needed bracket)......
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so i fabricated some...
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lined up perfect after a lil bracket cutting and drilling
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but i digress. more on that later. radiator sat pretty much perfect. no touching rubbing stable even without brackets.
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got the cables connected and ran them up with room to spare
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next up the mount... stay tuned
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WendigoTheWesty~ formally “corkey” the 80ac slug
“Who says you can’t go slow and enjoy the scenery with a better motor..it’s a choice”
Here’s the url that links everything done from this babies birth.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=NaN
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