Tracking down a leak. best way to attack

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Mulcheese
Getting Hooked!
Location: Maple Grove, Mn
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Tracking down a leak. best way to attack

Post by Mulcheese » Sun May 23, 2021 2:00 pm

We all have to do lists for the van. This year I thought that I would take some time and attend to one issue that has bothered me for some time. I have a oil leak that is substantial. In a days drive the van loses a quart. If the trip is substantially longer then a bit more. In addition to the pain of always checking it is obviously bad to drop all of that oil into the environment. Im sure that there is some lose to burning but Im confident that it is not that much.

In my diagnosing I believe that it stems from the oil cooler or area of the cooler. Im not sure if it is the gasket or the cooler itself which leads me to my question.

I am considering dropping the engine to attend to this leak. Is this wise? Or should I ask is the the best way to get to this? I tried to see how I can access this and removing the tin is needed and if I go there isnt it best to just drop the engine? What would you do??????

Thanks
"attending to things in the moment with curiosity and acceptance."
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82 Vanagon Westy - aka: Honey Badger - "cause she just dont give a ...."

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Mulcheese
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Re: Tracking down a leak. best way to attack

Post by Mulcheese » Sun May 23, 2021 3:25 pm

Sorry. Referring to my 82 Westy. Stock engine.
"attending to things in the moment with curiosity and acceptance."
____________________
82 Vanagon Westy - aka: Honey Badger - "cause she just dont give a ...."

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Amskeptic
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Re: Tracking down a leak. best way to attack

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jul 11, 2021 9:19 pm

Clean with GumOut and paper towels, shoot GumOut through provided straw at places beyond reach until you have a wholly dry underneath. If you think it will leak while idling, get under there with a flashlight and look for advancing wetness. If it only happens at higher revs, drive a quarter mile then look. You need to catch the initial spot.
Yes, to tracking it down sooner rather than later. Is this a rebuilt engine?
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,730 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,865 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 132,040 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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satchmo
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Location: Crosby, MN
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Re: Tracking down a leak. best way to attack

Post by satchmo » Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:54 am

I'd guess the leak is from the oil cooler seals. A leak from the oil cooler itself usually is pretty catastrophic.

I removed and replaced the oil cooler seals on my 79 bus with the engine in place. Found out someone had installed the cooler seals with gasket sealer of some sort; a no-no in my book. Not sure if the air cooled Vanagon configuration makes removing the cooler more difficult than the bus or not, but unless you have other things to fix with an engine pull (throw out bearing, clutch, etc), try to fix with the engine in place.

Satchmo
By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by immitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is bitterest. -Confucius

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Mulcheese
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Re: Tracking down a leak. best way to attack

Post by Mulcheese » Sat Jul 17, 2021 6:35 am

Yes Collin I have that clean-up on my calendar. Looks like I will be there in about 3 weeks. I have my daughters car to attend to first then busy with work but I have been gathering info for later. I do believe it is a slow high rev leak so I will have to give it a drive or two once I have it shinny clean. I do not believe that it is not a rebuild but it is creeping up on 200k and last time you were here you stated it was strong. I picked it up at 150k so you know about as much as me.

Satchmo yes I was referring to the seals. From what I can see it appears to originate there. I am curious of your process to get it out? I have tried to look at his from as many ways as possible and do not see a way in. Enlighten me, please.

Pat
"attending to things in the moment with curiosity and acceptance."
____________________
82 Vanagon Westy - aka: Honey Badger - "cause she just dont give a ...."

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satchmo
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Re: Tracking down a leak. best way to attack

Post by satchmo » Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:26 pm

This was 10 years ago, so my memory is a little fuzzy. I'm pretty sure I removed the rear tins, the fan and fan housing, the muffler and the heat exchangers. Like I said, I don't know if the access is the same on the Vanagon as it is on the bus.

Good luck, Satchmo
By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by immitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is bitterest. -Confucius

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SlowLane
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Location: Livermore, CA
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Re: Tracking down a leak. best way to attack

Post by SlowLane » Sat Jul 24, 2021 10:50 am

On the aircooled Vanagon engine there is a diabloical three-way interrelationship between the fan housing, oil filler tube and the engine mount bar. A portion of each one of them must be installed before the other two, which of course is impossible. Same applies to disassembly. You would almost believe that it was designed by a Frenchman or Italian rather than by a German. :joker:

On my engine I ended up loosely attaching each item on their respective studs or bolts and then gradually tightening the fasteners in turn until all were snugged up. I did this with the engine out of the van, but that's because it was the final assembly after my rebuild, not an attempt to fix a leak in-situ. It has been 16 years since then, so memory is fuzzy, but I' m not sure that this is something I would wish to tackle with the engine installed, if only because the body is less forgiving when asked to perform under-car contortions than it once was.

Good luck.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
- Terry Pratchett

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