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The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 5:16 am    Post subject: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

So you work hard on your van for a few years - inspect everything, repair and replace everything you can think of to hopefully avoid break-downs...
...then you go on a road trip and you break-down!

You then realize that some silly little part you didn't know about or forgot to check broke and you are now stranded.

Does anyone have such stories, and from that did you learn about any such LESS TALKED ABOUT maintenance jobs that you'd now consider essential?

Thanks
Ed
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 5:27 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

Look for any post by Merian. I think he has a link in his sig line to a comprehensive maintenance checklist.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Look for any post by Merian. I think he has a link in his sig line to a comprehensive maintenance checklist.


This one?
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=622563
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wesitarz
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 6:24 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

Check for rust on the drivers side floor before the accel pedal falls off while driving.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
dobryan wrote:
Look for any post by Merian. I think he has a link in his sig line to a comprehensive maintenance checklist.


This one?
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=622563&highlight=critical+bought


Yes but I thought it had a list. Looks like there is good info but scattered throughout. It is a good place to start.

Also scrolling thru the FAQ list and topics gives a good idea of what can go wrong. Very Happy
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Dave O
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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 (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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VicVan
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 7:06 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

Do the gas evap tanks grommets fit your description?
Checking the steering shaft couplers
Inflating your spare properly
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 7:08 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

I advise everyone to check the transmission joint that connects the ball socket elbow to the selector shaft. You reach into there with a 13mm socket and check the tightness. If it gets loose the heavy rod under the van will vibrate and the the spline on the shaft will get smoothed off and suddenly you won’t be able to shift gears. By that time the area will be extremely dirty with transmission oil and trying to fix it on a road trip is incredibly unpleasant and you will be lucky to not need a tow truck. The required repair is such a big deal I had to have my transmission rebuilt. But I was able to fix it temporarily by expanding the clamp and squeezing a sheet of sandpaper in the splines.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

wesitarz wrote:
Check for rust on the drivers side floor before the accel pedal falls off while driving.


haha... yeah mine already fell off Smile ...now I don't even have carpets there so I can see everything Smile
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 7:28 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

I agree in general with the above recommendation about checking the shift linkage. Be careful with the specific nut mentioned that retains the shifter ball arm onto the transaxle selector Shaft. The factory nut is a self locking Stover type. I replace it with a new flanged nyloc nut. The correct thick washer is also important here. Caution on the torque value on that Nut regardless; stripping the M8 threads on the selector Shaft is a show stopper.
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

HAHA I see the same breakdown happened to the T3 Pilot. Happened to me driving across desolate Wyoming on the freeway outside Laramie. What a fun time!
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

From reading this forum for years and my own personal experience I think the #1 unexpected problem is running/no start/hard start of fuel injected gasoline engines.
My personal belief is that mist of this is due to poor engine management wiring.
The fuel injection harness leads a hot hard life. Thus combined with the natural aging process has left us with corroded and cracked wires along with hard, brittle and corroded connectors.

This along with bad starter/alternator/battery wires leaves us with less than stellar performance.

One of the major Vanagon suppliers should make replacement harness kits.
Yes, some of the wires are repopped but not all are readily available...... or affordable to most.

As owners we resort to time consuming wire tracing and testing then fix one wire while six others are on the brink of failure.

My two worst breakdowns were self inflicted.

A radiator hose clamp at the radiator the wasn't tightened and blew off on I-80 in Pennsylvania.

Brake caliper bolts that were not torqued properly and fell off somewhere in South Dakota/ Montana losing both of them finally and finally fixing it in Burns Oregon.

I do my own work, only one (1) person to blame Embarassed

Dave
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Abscate Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

Brake fluid replacement every 2 years
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campism
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

Be certain you can get the lug nuts loose with the tools you carry in the van. Do this at home so you don't have to wing it on the road.
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

As obvious as it sounds, make sure you have a good spare that is not under-inflated or outdated...

I did a family trip and suffered a flat on I-5 coming back from Cresent City and realized too late that not only was my spare close to flat, it was also 23 years old! Shocked

Prior to the trip I had checked everything and was confident I could address most concerns on the road if needed. Checking the spare was on my list but I completely failed to do so.

Also be sure you have the right lug bolts/nuts that match your spare if you're running non-stock wheels that use non-stock bolts/nuts. My spare was on a stock steel wheel and fortunately I had a set of stock bolts/nuts if ever needed.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

I bet some are missing from the thread in the sig.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 1:26 pm    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
Brake fluid replacement every 2 years


How often do the rubber hoses need replacing.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

campism wrote:
Be certain you can get the lug nuts loose with the tools you carry in the van. Do this at home so you don't have to wing it on the road.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Yeah, last year in Bosnia having new tires put on, the dudes at the tire shop could not get my lugs off with their power wrench because my lugs were pretty rounded. So I told them to get out of the way and I got them off easily with my trusty breaker bar. Geez, these pros don't even know their stuff as well as a newby like me Very Happy

Next stop was the Bosnian junkyard (they are all full of T3s!) to get some decent shape used lugs.
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campism
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

dlb154 wrote:
I did a family trip and suffered a flat on I-5 coming back from Cresent City and realized too late that not only was my spare close to flat, it was also 23 years old!

Prior to the trip I had checked everything and was confident I could address most concerns on the road if needed. Checking the spare was on my list but I completely failed to do so.

What he said. This is an old spare about 2,000 miles after I put it to work.
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Jeffrey Lee
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

dlb154 wrote:
As obvious as it sounds, make sure you have a good spare that is not under-inflated or outdated...

This is another advantage to utilizing a 5-tire rotation schedule, assuming you're running a wheel/tire combo that allows you to do so.

The periodic rotations allow you to inspect and properly inflate the spare, and ensures that it is always the same age and wear as all the others.

Tip: always keep the spare inflated to whatever higher pressure you typically run in the rear, for easy use. If instead needed in the front, simply deflate a few pounds.

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pinetreeporsche
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: The most underrated, forgotten about, neglected maintenance jobs Reply with quote

I got, in rapid succession on I-95n in GA, first vibration and a little noise, then noisy shaking. In a few more secs, as I moved into the right-hand lane, it fought me like I had never experienced before. fy the time I stopped in the breakdown, the wheel could flop 6 or 8 inches right-to-left (well, once it got the weight of the van lifted off it. No possibility of crawling along at 5 mph to a service station, if I'd been on a secondary road. Horray for AAA premium, as no in-the-toolbox fix there on the highway was possible. SO check your wheel bearings. Clean grease and good adjustment and they'll go nearly forever. If they get dry, they destroy themselves quickly. I hadn't looked at mine in the 15 or so years I had owned the van, and the first owner I had bought it from likely hadn't either.
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