[Vwdiesel] TD vanagon adventure

Libbybapa at wmconnect.com Libbybapa at wmconnect.com
Mon Dec 20 21:58:59 EST 2004

  Well, I worked this last week primarily on the TD vanagon.  I tried two 
different electric oil pressure gauges.  They both read low oil pressure 
(again?).  It created another mass of paranoia and stress.  My wife and daughter have 
named the van "Nutmeg".  This morning I was brushing my teeth at the kitchen 
sink (the bathroom sink is currently OOC).  I glanced over on the rack of 
spices and started laughing out loud.  There on the shelf, at front, was an 
unopened spice bottle.  In big letters it said "GROUND NUTMEG"!!!!  I went out and 
sure enough, the ground strap from tranny to chassis was all gunked.  The 
battery in the diesel vanagon is in the engine compartment and grounds to the 
waterpump.  The chassis grounding, therefore, depends on the tranny ground strap.  
Got good oil pressure on the electric gauge after.  Measuring from the head is 
15-18 at hot idle and 27-37 cruising.  Revved up hot can still reach 50 from 
the head well before rev limiter.  Its amazing how much sooner the battery 
light goes out when starting the car. 
  We had been planning to cruise down to Prescott (about 160 miles away) to 
see family today.  We got about 30 miles from Flagstaff when I noticed a loss 
of power.  I have put about 1,000 miles on the van since installing the engine, 
but all of it was in city short trips.  I had plumbed a couple of connections 
from turbo to intercooler with ABS and the "plumb quick" rubber connectors.  
One of the rubber connections had swollen and burst.  I had brought 
replacements, as I had suspected that they might not hold up.  We turned around and 
headed home.  I figured if it blew out in 30 miles, the replacement wouldn't hold 
for another 130 before we got to our destination.  The return journey would 
have been even more difficult as Flagstaff is at 7,000 ft., and Prescott is at 
5,000.  I was looking forward to the trip up the big hill.  1,500 ft. rise in a 
mile or two (8% grade).  Next time I guess.  Overall, I continue to be 
impressed with the van's performance.  It was taking most hills at 68 mph with pedal 
left over.  
  One other project I finished was the addition of another stock oil cooler/ 
heat exchanger.  The TD vanagon in Europe and SA has an added thermostatically 
controlled water pump that flows coolant through the cooler when the oil gets 
to a certain temp.  Lacking the aux pump, I decided to add another oil 
cooler.  I made a piece of threaded tube with the same threads as the stock oil 
cooler tube, but with the extra length to accomodate another cooler.  I made it 
all thread.  I bolted on the first cooler.  I used an oil filter gasket on the 
second cooler and bolted that on next.  Then came the filter.  Seems to work 
well.  I don't yet have the oil temp gauge hooked up to give figures.
  For an intercooler I used a Saab mounted in front of the driver's side 
taillight.  This last week I also made an intercooler air scoop.  It is at the 
back of the van on the driver's side.  EGT's are better still.  I am looking 
forward to doing the injectors.  What fun!!!  

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