[Vwdiesel] need oil return line thread...(long summary)

James Hansen jhsg at sasktel.net
Tue Aug 14 01:34:37 EDT 2007

Good fix Doyt.
The stranded on the road version of this involves electrical tape and a 
hose clamp.

This reminds me of something I was going to post.

Just at the end of our holidays this summer, my wife had a convention to 
attend in Saskatoon... so I went home with the truck and camper check on 
stuff here at home and take back the Passat. I was planning on driving 
back that afternoon, and had to be at a C-note a plate supper at 6:00 
which we had tickets for.  An hour from home, the oil pressure light 
comes on.  Under the hood was covered with oil.  Great,  the high 
pressure steel line to the turbo cracked at the fitting on the turbo. 
Terrific.  4 hours later, I was back at home via tow truck. So much for 
the supper deal.
Turns out the inflexible steel line cracked from vibration right at the 
turbo because the stainless/rubber clamp that is supposed to damp said 
vibration had cracked off of the sheet metal heat shield.

The compression fitting on the end of this pipe is real special (had to 
fab a new one) and updating to braided stainless line would be a 
definite improvement, suited to a winter project.

You might want to check this clamp deal out real well, even wrap some 
epoxy around the pipe mid shaft or so to damp the vibration.

Doyt W. Echelberger wrote:
> 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 
> corrosion.
> 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 
> the leak.
> 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 
> leaking tube.
> 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.
> Doyt Echelberger
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