Fresh air ducting. (NO heat or A/C questions!)


bill397

New member
Has anyone discovered a way to remove the sponges from inside the fresh air vents behind the back side windows to clean them . Just got my 88 a few weeks ago and noticed these sponges are filthy.
Thanks in advance
Bill
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Go to your dealer (Guidelines #8) and ask to see the parts fiche. According to my old copy, there are no sponges or filters in the ducts behind the rear windows outside; they are the exhaust for fresh air circulation. It's possible a previous owner has used 'sponges' to block the ducts for some reason, perhaps thinking that would improve interior heat or A/C.
 

bill397

New member
These are the fresh air[cabin]or exhaust air vents that are just in front of the back door and the sponges appear to be factory and are very dirty. They are not in the roof.The sponges are in the inside half of these vents that are just behind the rear side windows.. I am bidding on a service manual on ebay at present time. Sorry I wasn't clear enough in vent location in my original email. Thanks again
Bill
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Would someone please look at what they know to be a complete, unaltered and never damaged in that area late ('87 up) Westfalia GL Vanagon camper in the Left Door area at the through-the-door duct. (I really mean OE factory original because any door repairs/repaints might have altered the items I'm inquiring about.)

VW has ducts in the door that carry air from the front A pillar to the B piller just behind the front door. Right hand side of a Westy has a boot that helps seal the pillar to the front of the door and then a grill with brush type seal in the B pillar at the lockwork end. What I want to know is does the Westfalia have this boot and grill on the Left side?

The passenger buses have air ducting on both sides of the middle cabin roof; the Westy only on the right side. Thus I would presume there is no reason to provide the seals for the left side if it has no outlets, but . . .! I'm not sure and the parts fiche is not specific.

Therefore if any of you have an OE purchased late model Vanagon Westy, would you look in your left door and let me know? Thanks.
 

icarus

Moderator
Mike,

I don't know if this helps,,, but, my 86 syncro has a plug on the hinge side door post, with a grommet for the speaker wire. There is no grill or weather strip on either the door or the post on the latch side, so no air passes into the door. Come to think of it I wonder how the door vent gets it's air!

The passenger door has a boot on the hinge side to mate with the air duct, and a grill/weather strip on the latch side post. Curiously my overhead vents in the curtain rail are plugged with foam rubber as spoken about other places on the site. I don't know why they did that, (I assume it was a factory install as the foam pieces are odd shaped) but the net effect is no air through the curtain rail air duct. I've never bothered to remove the foam even though I have had it apart several times.

My problem is that I can't get the air gates to close completely so I always have fresh air even if the air to the floor and the defrost is shut off. This is no problem in the winter of course, but in the summer with the a/c going I would like to limit the amount of outside heated air coming in. I have adjusted all the linkages, but I'm afraid I will have to remove and replace the air gates.

Good luck

Icarus
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Yes, it helps. I've looked at my left door closer and see the left wire loom is a full, grommet style that connects to door & dash to make it water tight. I also note that if I did have the boot like the right door, it would cover what I know are factory OE labels. So apparently the dead left door airduct gets nothing. The grill in the right door jam on the B-pillar is better looking than the open hole on the left side looking into the waxy, undercoated pillar, so I may see if I can find one reasonable. Won't hurt anything.

The guy above confused me by using the term back door instead of rear cargo lid. I couldn't find anything around the back (sliding) door so was waiting for an opportunity to do a little further research or talk to some of my resources. Then he posted his "Still waiting . . ." comment and activated my curmudgeon gene. I don't OWE anybody an answer -- he can always take it to a dealer and get it done.

The exhaust duct behind the rear fixed glass in the cargo area has a black sponge inside that I presume is a filters to keep outside dirt out since the duct must connect to the outside vent. I removed an inside upper rail duct when I started the checking out of his question and found mine, too, have sponges. Since we're not smokers and don't do much smokey/greasy cooking inside -- reserved for the Coleman outside -- mine are quite clean. The rear fixed window one is the very porous material much like the foam air cleaners of small engines, thus I presume a filter. I don't know what to make of the sponges in the upper rail. I'd agree they would block off more than they filter. Mine lift right out, though. Ah, another opportunity for 'research' this summer. I've contemplated putting a bridge duct from one of the rear A/C outlets to that rail but 'round-to-it seems in short supply lately.
 

icarus

Moderator
This begs the question as to how I get air in my door vents. (I do get air through the vent, but can't figure out how it get in!) Looking at the drivers door, the air is plugged at the post. I have entertained making a duct to blow road air across the fridge cooling fins, but like Capt. Mike says, "aint gotten roundtuit". My wufe suggests that it is a soulution in search of a problem.

As so trying to duct the a/c to the front; I've found that with the curtains closed and the windows dark tinted, the only time I get hot is driving west in the summer afternoons. I can't imagine a system that would work without being in the way when you raise the top. (I guess it helps to live and drive in a climate that doesn't have 9 months of summer, nor massive humidity.)

Icarus
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
The Vanagon system has outside air entering at all times. The only way to shut it off is to have the top two levers full left and the bottom two full right to send all the air to the dash ducts. Then close the dash ducts. You should find foam seals inside the ducts. These compress and deteriorate over time and may just need replacing. Self-stick strips from the hardware store.

The temp lever "should" cut off water flow to the heater core. If it works, then you are only have leakage of fresh outside air into the van.

The one I would dread is the flap that diverts air from foot to dash. If it goes, you can't force all the air to the dash vents, the only ones that can be shut off. I think I'd be cutting some of the block foam to stuff up into the footwell ducts during the summer rather than pulling the duct box apart.

Side note -- something I've never really figured out. On mine, when you divert air from up (3rd lever right) to the footwells, the first inch as I move the lever back left, which actually has a little mark in the bar, will send hot air to the feet by the pedals, but as I continue moving the lever left, it then sends it to the ducts coming out the front of the panel below the center of the dash in front of the sheft lever. Personally, I find I'm warmer with it on my feet, which should only be about ¼ of the heat down and the rest to the dash.

The German Enigma Code of WW II was easier to decipher than a VW heat system!

Regarding the through door ducting, I'd suspect that horizontal duct under the dash feeds into the A piller at the door hinge, thus the hollow A piller becomes part of the duct. Of course we also have to remember that the heat system may be ducted for some other market (the Type II Baywindows were available with heater vans that cut into ductwork in other markets than N. Amer.) and we've just got the remnants where it was cheaper to add the boots & foam rubber than block the system. See paragraph above!
 

luvmy2dogs1

New member
Capt. Mike,

You stated on 8/21/2005 that to shut off the outside air requires is to have the top two levers full left and bottom two levers to the full right. I have a 81 vanagon with only three levers. I need to shut the ventilation when I drive or else I'm covered with dust. Any other ways to avoid this mess. Sorry for the dumb question; I'm new to the VW van community.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
I should have stated in that post it was for water-cooled Vanagons. But the principle is probably the same. Go to your owners manual and determine which way the levers have to be set to direct all the air to the front dash face vents with heat off. Then close those off at the vent outlet itself. Perhaps someone with an air-cooled model will chime in with details. The shop manaul only tells us what the levers control, not settings.
 

icarus

Moderator
Unless your air gates and cables are perfect, I suspect you will never be able to shut off the outside air completly. I have tried for years to get mine shut off to little avail. If I get close they "whistle" with air so much I am forced to turn them on a bit to silence the "whistle"

The only time it is a problem is when it is very hot and I have the a/c on. Dusty roads, (and I'm on a lot) don't seem to be a problem.

Icarus
 

luvmy2dogs1

New member
Thanks for the reply. Another question: I just recently removed the ventilation/heater box from the dash, cleaned out all the vents,tubes and housing unit and replaced all sponge flaps with ducting material found at Home Depot. I'm getting ready to install it and the Bentley repair book states I need to seal it with "d-17" glue. Where can I find this glue?
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Your dealer can order it for you. He may be able to advise you of an alternative as they often contract with a supplier like Wurth for shop supplies. 3M makes several excellent adhesives that will serve the purpose such as #08074 Spray Trim Adhesive which may be used to bond styrofoam. Ideal for position bonding applications where mechanical fasteners will then be used.
 

luvmy2dogs1

New member
I'm been stumped for the last few days on how to install a lever cable for my ventilation/heating fan's main vent. I replaced the old cable with a new one and installed it per the bentley manual. The problem is when I shift the lever (lower lever; i have three levers) the cable bends at the lever housing unit when it is attached to the vent flap which gives some resistance. ( the flap lever works fine). When the cable is not attached, it moves fine within the cable insulation. Is there a proper way to replace and or adjust this cable; the bentley manual is cutting it.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
In most cases where the cable moves freely in the cover and the control arms being moved all move freely, the problem is missing or non-functioning cover clips. Two such clips are shown in the Bentley 80.7, figures 80-224 at the lever end and 80-223 at the flap end. There may be others in between.

Sometimes, these are the problem themselves; either the replacement cable/cover is slightly different in size, there is misalignment from clip to arm, or there is overtightening or damage so the clip puts pressure on the cover that binds the inner cable.

Always give model & year for EVERY post (Guideline #3). I had to search for another of your posts to figure out what you had.
 

DANALEXANDER

New member
air intake for air cooled

Greetings from Portland,
As part of the annual “ get the camper ready for spring” project I noticed I had an unusual amount of debris in my drivers side dash air vent. I removed the louvered grill so I could get the crevice tool in as far as possible and then started to wonder where the fresh air supply started in the front end. My Bentley manual shows the expanded system within the dash but not where it originates. Since I have A/C I have a small radiator like component where the water cooled have radiators, am I looking in the wrong area? Thanks, Dan
:confused:
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
:( Whate year/model? Guideline #3! Presume you have an air-cooled Vanagon since the A/C condensors on Type II's were in the frame rails.

Go to your dealer and look at his fich/computer screen (Guideline #8). On my copy, plate 093-00 in Body gives a blow-up from the front showing the body intake. Sort of a reverse view of Bentley §80.5.
 

DANALEXANDER

New member
front grill material?

Another question related to the fresh air supply coming into the cabin in our 82 camper. What purpose does the material fixed to the front grill have? We have a a/c condenser below the fresh air screen, and the felt-like material covers everything except for the air intake. I remove the grill for various cleaning and maintenance items and make sure the material goes back.
A check in the “body” section of Bentley doesn’t show the grill and our water cooled 84 has a radiator and therefore no “blocking”.
Also, thank you for the information on the “dampening pads” for the luggage rack, I will put them back. Cheers :rolleyes:
 

SteveS

New member
Foul Odor in the Ventilation System

We took a short trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway two weeks ago. A few days after we returned, I noticed a foul odor in my 85 camper. Thinking I must have left some food or something wet in one of the cabinets, I opened and smelled everything, but couldn't find the source. Then on the way to Home Depot today it became clear that the odor was coming from the ventilation system. I sniffed all the vents and found the smell coming from the grill in the pillar between the sliding door and passenger door. I removed the grill and looked into the pillar with a flashlight. I couldn't believe that something furry was laying in the bottom. I taped a tarp around the door opening, then put a water hose into the pillar to wash it out. Something came out which I won't describe. Another flashlight inspection revealed that there was still something in there. I bent a hook on the end of coat hanger wire and finally caught what was left by the tail and lifted it out. Not disgusting enough for you? I also washed out 22 maggots; at least that is what I counted-who know how many washed down the driveway. The maggots didn't go to waste: I fed them to my tropical fish.

One side of one of the slats in the pillar grill is broken, but I still can't believe that this creature was able to crawl all the way through the ventilation system to that pillar. Is there some screen that may be missing on the intake to the ventilation system? I don't think I want to go through this again.
 

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