Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cooling and Starting System Upgrades

Cooling System

For the cooling system, I bought two specialized parts:

  • A reversed coolant manifold, which moves the upper radiator hose outlet from the left front of the engine to the right rear of the engine. This reduces the amount of piping necessary to carry the coolant to the radiator..which is at the front of the vehicle.

  • A thermostat spacer, invented by Tom Shiels of, allows the heater line coolant to flow even if the thermostat is closed. This allows for more stable engine cooling in idle/cold/hot conditions

Starting System

Some engine-converted Vanagons have problems starting, mainly because the replacement engines have higher compression ratios than the stock Vanagon engine. This is aggrivated by the fact that the battery is all the way up in the front of the vehicle,so there can be voltage drop problems. These lead to problems starting when the engine is hot. Since mine behaved like that on my drive back from Reno, and because it's infinitely easier to replace the starter when the engine and/or transmission are out of the vehicle, I decided to include this in the engine ewap.

Karl Mullendore of invented a spacer that allows you to use the starter from mid/late 90s to early/mid 00s Volkswagens [Beetle/Golf/Jetta/Passat] that has the 1.9 liter Turbo Diesel Injection (TDI) engine. These starters are designed to handle the high compression of the TDI engines, and are a perfect match for starting an engine-modified Vanagon.

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