Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

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ewalt98
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Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by ewalt98 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:16 am

After several years of sporadically trying to figure out why my 82 aircooled was running so hot, I finally took it to a specialist for a checkup.
They determined the oil cooler was at fault, probably not flowing oil or air well. I had suspected the cooler myself, but when I looked up from below, the fins looked clear. The shop measured the heat at the top of the cooler vs the lower point and found the temps to be too close. That makes sense and sounds like a good diagnostic to me.

So, I pulled the motor out this weekend to change it out, but the inevitable happens, I find more things I should address:
The motor mounts are shot! Explains the occasional banging and bucking when engaging the clutch in first or reverse.
There is a bit of oil and dirt build up that I would like to clean.
Need to fix the squeaky heat exchanger tin, that drives me crazy!
Found a bit of debris built up in between the cylinders and over part of number 3. No surprise there.
Going to replace my engine tin bolts with stainless allen or torx head bolts. Don't like the mix of original cheese head and phillips head screws.
Need a new cooling fan screen, the replacement I got from bus depot melted. Any suggestions? Make my own from metal??

I'm going to check the torque on the heads and replace the pushrod tube seals (though they aren't really leaking much), replace the valve cover gaskets and clean up and paint the valve covers themselves. Also going to replace the fuel line rubber.

What else should I look at?
1982 Vanagon Westfalia Equiped

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ewalt98
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Re: Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by ewalt98 » Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:43 am

Removed the upper tin last night.
Got a good look at the debris packed in between the cylinders and cooling fins, not a terrible amount. Looks like a mouse made a home in the engine bay, and the bedding got sucked in, along with acorns and leaves.
Biggest issue, though, the mass between cylinder 3 and 4 was melted plastic from the cooling screen. That surely didn't help much.

I'm thinking of making a new grill/screen out of the old round headlight rock protectors. I had gotten a set years ago and never installed them. They are metal. Now, I just have to try and find them.

I'd add some pictures, but not sure how to yet.
1982 Vanagon Westfalia Equiped

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ewalt98
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Re: Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by ewalt98 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:09 pm

I was planning to keep the exhaust system on, but decided it would be easier to clean up the motor with it off.
I have the complete California version, and it is heavy! Wouldn't mind something a little simpler and lighter, but I spent a few bucks back in the 90's or there about on a replacement catalytic converter, so I'll keep it original.
1982 Vanagon Westfalia Equiped

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Amskeptic
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Re: Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:21 pm

ewalt98 wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:09 pm
I was planning to keep the exhaust system on, but decided it would be easier to clean up the motor with it off.
I have the complete California version, and it is heavy! Wouldn't mind something a little simpler and lighter, but I spent a few bucks back in the 90's or there about on a replacement catalytic converter, so I'll keep it original.

A) Consider the melted cooling fan guard as a canary in the coal mine. There was an overheat event.

B) I would use another plastic fan guard. It is designed to self-destruct before mangling your fan blades or tossing the alternator.

C) The delta-T method of diagnosing the oil cooler seems a bit precious. Really, that method is great for HVAC, but the variables of air flow and fluid temperatures render it damn close to meaningless in the engine environment. Yes, clean the oil cooler, yes check for leaks, but a clean leak-free cooler is IT as far as its contribution to your hot running issues.

D) There are some nice Vintage Speed stainless steel exhaust systems out there, but if you like heat and quiet, you'd be amazed at how you can hack your exhaust system back together reliably. Mine was a nightmare, but it has 80,000 additional miles on it, and it is leak-free and quiet.
Colin

Image


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Image
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 121,400 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 92,435 miles

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ewalt98
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Re: Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by ewalt98 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:15 am

Amskeptic wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:21 pm

A) Consider the melted cooling fan guard as a canary in the coal mine. There was an overheat event.

B) I would use another plastic fan guard. It is designed to self-destruct before mangling your fan blades or tossing the alternator.

C) The delta-T method of diagnosing the oil cooler seems a bit precious. Really, that method is great for HVAC, but the variables of air flow and fluid temperatures render it damn close to meaningless in the engine environment. Yes, clean the oil cooler, yes check for leaks, but a clean leak-free cooler is IT as far as its contribution to your hot running issues.

D) There are some nice Vintage Speed stainless steel exhaust systems out there, but if you like heat and quiet, you'd be amazed at how you can hack your exhaust system back together reliably. Mine was a nightmare, but it has 80,000 additional miles on it, and it is leak-free and quiet.
Colin
Didn't think about the plastic fan guard vs metal issue. Would like to find a replacement made of the same material as the original. The bus depot plastic one is much softer, and seems like it would have a much lower melting point as well.
It certainly did overheat, which is why I had it checked by someone else, since I couldn't find the culprit. Hopefully, the new oil cooler will help (cure, maybe?).

One question, there is a bit of carbon build up in the heads, not much, but still there. I would worry that this will eventually plug the new cooler, so I am thinking that when I put the engine back in with fresh oil, I run it for a bit, then put some kind of oil cleaning in right before changing it again. Good idea? Recommendations for a cleaner, sea foam, or some of the dedicated engine cleaners. I'm thinking of the ones that you run for a few minutes before draining the oil. I know that there is a concern that the cleaners will dislodge some large debris which will plug some oil passage or the pump, but I don't think I have that much build up. I've been pretty religious at oil changes over the years.
1982 Vanagon Westfalia Equiped

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Amskeptic
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Re: Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:11 pm

ewalt98 wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:15 am
Amskeptic wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:21 pm

A) Consider the melted cooling fan guard as a canary in the coal mine. There was an overheat event.

B) I would use another plastic fan guard. It is designed to self-destruct before mangling your fan blades or tossing the alternator.

C) The delta-T method of diagnosing the oil cooler seems a bit precious. Really, that method is great for HVAC, but the variables of air flow and fluid temperatures render it damn close to meaningless in the engine environment. Yes, clean the oil cooler, yes check for leaks, but a clean leak-free cooler is IT as far as its contribution to your hot running issues.

D) There are some nice Vintage Speed stainless steel exhaust systems out there, but if you like heat and quiet, you'd be amazed at how you can hack your exhaust system back together reliably. Mine was a nightmare, but it has 80,000 additional miles on it, and it is leak-free and quiet.
Colin
Didn't think about the plastic fan guard vs metal issue. Would like to find a replacement made of the same material as the original. The bus depot plastic one is much softer, and seems like it would have a much lower melting point as well.
It certainly did overheat, which is why I had it checked by someone else, since I couldn't find the culprit. Hopefully, the new oil cooler will help (cure, maybe?).

One question, there is a bit of carbon build up in the heads, not much, but still there. I would worry that this will eventually plug the new cooler, so I am thinking that when I put the engine back in with fresh oil, I run it for a bit, then put some kind of oil cleaning in right before changing it again. Good idea? Recommendations for a cleaner, sea foam, or some of the dedicated engine cleaners. I'm thinking of the ones that you run for a few minutes before draining the oil. I know that there is a concern that the cleaners will dislodge some large debris which will plug some oil passage or the pump, but I don't think I have that much build up. I've been pretty religious at oil changes over the years.
Thou Shalt Not Overthink It.
Where is this carbon build up in the heads that you fear will clog the cooler? It can't. You can clean the black crap out of the insides of the rocker boxes without too much trouble, a toothbrush, GumOut carb spray and some paper towels (if your pushrod tubes are out, you can go to town in there), but any carbon crap dissolved in the oil will get captured by the oil filter before it makes it to the passages in the cooler.

Cool Thy Engine Down!
A cool engine does not broil oil on the inside surfaces of the rocker boxes. That is evidence that the frying pan is burning the butter brown-to-black. Here is a genuine 120,000 factory cylinder head on a factory engine with the "horrible" factory camshaft, after a life of Death Valley and interminable hot summer freeway miles. If you can adjust tune your engine to be efficient and cool enough, change the oil every 3k miles, you will not have carbon in the engine.
Colin

Image
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 121,400 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 92,435 miles

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ewalt98
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Re: Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by ewalt98 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:06 am

Here is the passenger side, you can see a bit of carbon on the lash adjusters.
IMG_0821.JPEG
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And this is the driver side. Some carbon on the studs.
IMG_0820.JPEG
IMG_0820.JPEG (128.36 KiB) Viewed 117 times
This is a shot of some of the debris on the driver side cylinder cooling fins.
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IMG_0794.JPEG (116.17 KiB) Viewed 117 times
Finally, a shot of the mostly cleaned up cooling fins.
IMG_0814.JPEG
IMG_0814.JPEG (119.96 KiB) Viewed 117 times
I have the new cooler in place, and am waiting for some oil filters and miscellaneous parts and gaskets to come in before I reassemble.
Three of my engine mounts were completely separated, and one was almost completely separated. Probably have been for 20+ years!
1982 Vanagon Westfalia Equiped

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SlowLane
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Re: Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by SlowLane » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:51 am

I'd forgotten how much of a joy it was to wrangle the oil fill tube, the motor mount and the fan housing all at once. It was a 3-D puzzle juggling act because mounting any two of the three in the "obvious" sequence prevented the third one from mounting.

Also, just thought I'd mention to be make sure that your wire spring retainers are positioned so that they are pressing against the ends of the pushrod tubes, and not sitting inside them. Hard to judge from the photos, but it looks like a couple of them might be in the tubes.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

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ewalt98
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Re: Cleaning my motor and cooler replacement in 82 camper

Post by ewalt98 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:52 pm

SlowLane wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:51 am
I'd forgotten how much of a joy it was to wrangle the oil fill tube, the motor mount and the fan housing all at once. It was a 3-D puzzle juggling act because mounting any two of the three in the "obvious" sequence prevented the third one from mounting.

Also, just thought I'd mention to be make sure that your wire spring retainers are positioned so that they are pressing against the ends of the pushrod tubes, and not sitting inside them. Hard to judge from the photos, but it looks like a couple of them might be in the tubes.
I started to mock up the assembly just so I wouldn't forget, and quickly realized that it will be a challenge. Heck, it was a challenge getting it apart with the exhaust still on.

Just checked, and all the retainers were sitting on the end of the tubes, but two did have a corner slipping off, so thanks for that, I would not have checked otherwise.
1982 Vanagon Westfalia Equiped

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