[Vwdiesel] need oil return line thread...(long summary)
Doyt W. Echelberger
doyt at buckeye-express.com
Mon Aug 13 19:02:10 EDT 2007
Regarding "turbo oil return line, VW part number 068-145-736-A:" Since
this foot-and-a half long part lists at $280, and isn't really available
anywhere that I looked, I'm documenting the fix for anyone that will
eventually have to do the same thing. Maybe this belongs on a web site:
Because it was obviously spraying oil all over the firewall, I took the
turbo oil return line off while I had the head off the 1.6 TD block in my
85 Jetta, prior to installing a new head gasket. It is practically
impossible to get this line off any other way. It was badly rusted and
obviously leaking significant quantities of oil, which ran down the
firewall and that face of the engine.
Suggestion: Try to save the very thin metal gasket between the turbo and
the return line. Mine came off whole, stuck to the return line. I soaked it
off with brake cleaner.
I used brake cleaner and a wire brush to remove the crust of burnt-on and
caked oil residue on the short end of the oil return line that bolts to the
turbo. The cleaning process exposed lumps and bumps of flaking rust, which
I removed down to bare metal with the blade of a short screwdriver, then
Dremeled the bare metal smooth with sandpaper wheels. This left the tube
looking like new, except for several dozen pin-head sized pits of blackened
Next I tested for leaks: Filled a 5 gallon pail with water, stoppered the
long end of the return line, and pressed a rubber-ended air chuck into the
opening of the short end of the return line. Holding the entire return line
under water, I eased a very short burst of compressed air into the line,
and observed a stream of bubbles coming from an almost invisible pit in the
short end tube, about 1/8 inch from the crimp fitting. No bubbles came from
the braided area, so I concluded that there was only the one one leaker.
This surprised me, as I had expected the braided area to be the source of
Marked the leak-point and assembled the materials for plugging it: One
tube of high-temp epoxy putty from NAPA, good to 500 degrees F; one
stainless steel hose clamp of the screw-on variety, about a quarter inch
wide; a pint of 91% isopropyl alcohol; screwdriver to tighten the hose
clamp; old wash rag to dab on the alcohol.
Dremel the inside surface of the stainless hose clamp, to roughen the metal
and give the epoxy a bite. You already have roughened the surface of the
With the clean wash rag, swab the bare metal of both the return line and
the hose clamp with alcohol, removing all traces of oil. Shake off excess
alcohol and blow it dry. Do it again if you have any doubts about even
slight traces of oil. Be sure everything is dry before starting the epoxy.
Unscrew the stainless hose clamp and fit it around the leaking metal tube.
Tighten the clamp until it takes the shape of the tube. Loosen the clamp
and slide it away from the mark that ID's the leak point. Once you start
the epoxy cycle, you don't want to spend any time fitting the clamp.
Cut off a short inch of the epoxy putty. Knead it for twice as long as you
think necessary to mix the resin and hardener, and apply the mix to the
leaking section of the tube with heavy finger pressure, smearing the putty
onto and into the roughened metal of the tube, making a coating about 1/16
inch thick that covers half the length of the tube.
Slide the previously fitted loose clamp over the putty-covered section of
the tube, centering the clamp directly over the leak point. Tighten the
clamp into the putty as far as you can take it. Putty oozes out all around
the clamp. Smooth that putty back over the band of the clamp. Add some more
putty and hide the clamp band with it. Work the putty into openings in the
clamp, using a flat blade screwdriver. Form the putty with your fingers
until it completely covers the tube. The putty cures in about 5 minutes,
so do everything mentioned above in that time frame.
After it cures, cut off another length of putty and knead it, and cover any
remainder of the short tube, working the new putty into a seamless covering
between the turbo fitting and the crimp of the braided section. Let it
cure for a few hours, or a day if you have time. Sand it smooth if that is
your thing. Then put it back on the engine and run it for another 20-30
years, to test the fix :~) Or, spend endless days and countless dollars,
searching for VW part number 068-145-736-A.........a Unicorn-like and
unobtainable nos part, which theoretically exists somewhere in the USA, in
a VW parts warehouse, maybe.
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