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Thread: hello from 10,200 feet- Leadville, CO

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Leadville, CO
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    Default hello from 10,200 feet- Leadville, CO

    hello. i am a relatively new vw owner. i got my hands on an '82 westy last year. up and running great. the air-cooled vanagon does not get talked about in a good light very often, but i have been enjoying mine. looking forward to all the good info on this sight. trying to go from CO to CA and back this summer with the lady and the baby- bikes, bouldering, and music trip.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    From one air cooled owner to another, congratulations on your purchase. I have owned mine now for about 10 years and a bazillion dollars later she runs like a Swiss Timepiece. A few things to assure smooth runnings are to make sure ALL your engine tin is in place....change out you fuel lines to ones that will handle the goodies that the Refineries dump into todays gas....run a full synthetic oil ( I like the Mobil1 15/50 full synthetic).....don't LUG your motor....make darn sure your engine to body seal is in place !!!! and that it completely seals off the motor.

    Remember, were driving something over 30years old so treat her gently and she will be a loyal friend. The tea leaves show me many a safe and happy travels await you.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Leadville, CO
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    thanks for the reply. i have a friend who is a very good vw mechanic and he made it sound as if there was not a big difference in running synthetic versus regular. what,do you find, are the major advantages of running synthetic? also, my engine seal compartment is becoming brittle in some places (while in others it is like new) so i want to replace it with a new seal. do you know where to find the cheapest engine compartment seal? they are extremely expensive and i do not believe there is a proper alternative (ie. bay window seal or random pep boys seal). last summer i put on new rotors, races, bearings, and brakes in the front- this summer new wheels and tires (15" already complete), engine compartment seal, rear brakes, and possibly new fuel lines. thanks for any and all info.

    i really like the air cooled vanagon. people talk a lot of shit on them, but i find that if i keep my rpms low (after market tach) and watch my oil temp, the van runs great. someone told me not to spend money on my bus because it is an air cooled vanagon. however, the body, engine, and interior are all in great shape. i think it may be worth investing some time, energy, and money into the project. what are your thoughts? thanks again for your time and knowledge.
    1982 VW Westfalia

    Spent a little time on the mountain...

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    118

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    One of the main advantages of a synthetic oil is that the oil itself runs cooler. The oil itself has a higher temp range as opposed to a dino oil.
    The Mobil 1 has a nice additive in it. It has the correct ZDDP ( an additive ). Google ZDDP and or visit Mobil 1 web site...I use 15-50 and have for years.
    While your at it...Google the engine to body seal part number, its part number 251-813-226A. Expensive, yes; but so is your Westy.
    Do change out your fuel lines....the refineries add a lot of "stuff" to the gas, mainly alcohol. Older fuel lines degrade from the inside out. Regular fuel lines cant handle the alcohol.
    Look for a Gates or Goodyear hose that has SAE-J-30R9 printed on it. This hose has an inside protective sleeve that wont be affected by the alcohol or anything else the refineries add to the fuel.
    Happy and safe travels 2U

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Leadville, CO
    Posts
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    Default

    thanks for all of your replys and advice. i think i am going to go ahead and replace the fuel lines. after some research, i believe this is what i will need. if you have some time, would you look over my list. also, i think i may go ahead a get the bently manual and the john muir manual.

    12' of 5/16" sae j 30r9 hose
    2' of 1/2" sae j 30r9 hose
    20+ #4 (small) hose clamps
    2 hose clamps the next size up
    A set of seals for the fuel injectors

    Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
    1982 VW Westfalia

    Spent a little time on the mountain...

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    118

    Default

    If the fuel lines on your injectors are the originals Id change those out too...best to be safe. Check out Bus Depot for the correct hose clamp. The worm driven ones dig into the fuel line and could cause a leak . On a side note getting back to the subject of oil, do get yourself the correct oil filter....don't cheap out and get a Fram, get a Mahle or Mann or a Wix. The reason I mentioned these is that they have an anti drain valve built into the filter. The Fram and other off brand filters don't have it. Id not take your Westy to one of those quick lube places if I was you. 9 times out of 10 they will tighten up your oil plug too much and strip out the threads. The case is Aluminum and if they tighten the plug too aggressively, yer in trouble.
    Safe travels to you.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Leadville, CO
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    thanks again for all of the correspondence. if, at any point, i become a nuisance- please tell me. you have lots of good info. so far, i have been changing my own oil and using a good filter. i did all of the rotor, races, bearings, brakes with little help. i am trying my hardest to be as self sufficient as i can, while always picking people's brains for more info. i wanted to ask you a question about the hoses. i feel like i am getting conflicting responses from reliable sources. i have heard from you, go westy, and other folks to use the SAE-J-30R9 hose when replacing my lines. however, the folks at van-again and airhead parts recommend only using the 7mm hose (part # n202811) that comes from germany. if you have time, would you please let me know your thoughts on this. thanks again for all of your help.
    1982 VW Westfalia

    Spent a little time on the mountain...

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    118

    Default

    I've been a wood finisher for 30 years...put a few of us in a room and we would bicker about the best way to open a one gallon can. I kinda differ on my opinion about the fuel line. The 5/16 fuel line is a...and I say a, hair smaller than the original 7mm German stuff. Maybe in other States they don't dump a lot of alcohol in the fuel mixture but to be on the safe side...I went with the 5/16 Goodyear hose.

    Those vendors you mention, MAY have by now, the 7mm hose that's rated at SAE-J-30R9, BUT I don't like the braided stuff. In an air cooled model, we run hotter than the water boxers do and that heat dries out the braiding and it eventually cracks. I like to LOOK at my fuel lines as a preventive measure...I don't want to look at a braiding and wonder what's going on under the braid. I want to see rubber....and that's what the Goodyear or Gates is.

    But ,with that mentioned..remember what I said about the gallon can...lots of opinions out there; mine included. Have you been over to The Samba website yet ??? Its ALL about our Vans. Lots of good VW folk participate in various forums over there. I'm not wanting to diss westfalia.org I'm just tossing out another site for you to venture over to.
    Right now there is a fine discussion on this particular hose we are talking about. If your real brave...look for Bens photos of burnt Westys. He's a top notch VW mechanic wiz who's located in Canada. Do a "search" and you will find lots upon lots of discussion about why to use the proper fuel lines AND the proper clamps.

    P.S. Heady No such thing as being a nuisance when were talking about Westys. Us VW folk stick together.
    On a side note...if your planning to do some traveling, check out www.roadhaus website. Traveling VW folk give there opinions on repair shops by State.
    Another cool site is the Vanagon Rescue Squad. If your stranded, someone will help you out...if you need a safe place to "park" someone will help you out....if your broke down on the side of the road, someone will bring you a cold one and some tools and share their knowledge to get you back on the road.

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