Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2016 11:41:36 -0700
Reply-To: Don Hanson <dhanson928@GMAIL.COM>
Sender: Vanagon Mailing List <email@example.com>
From: Don Hanson <dhanson928@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Intermittent low gauges
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Mine doesn't do wild temperature swings....When I'm floored with a max
load aboard and I get onto a long pass with substantial and sustained
grade, and I'm in a hurry.... I can make the gauge needle climb perhaps a
width or two from it's normal spot (on my particular gauge) around the
bottom of the "normal" zone... I know most WBX peeps report "just below the
led" but mine has always run where I said, through two iterations of
inlines and 3-4 different thermostats..
When I do go hard and fast as I can uphill, the cooling system is
probably at max with this motor (I run a 3yr old Bus Depot rad and a newish
water pump, fan functions as designed)...and the oil temperature also
climbs above its normal temperature(around 190-200f on an Autometer gauge),
too....Since I was not comfortable seeing the oil temps (approaching 240f)
that I saw at first with my "creation" without the oil/coolant exchanger,
this hybrid (8 valve head on an ABA block) I plumbed one on and the oil
temperature, when flat out uphill, stays in my comfort zone..it does climb
accordingly with the work I ask the van to do, however, and so does the
coolant temperature gauge, a needle width maybe. Seems OK to me now.
This is a pretty peppy little motor with high compression and lots of go...
The blinky light for coolant level has no importance for me after a
bunch of false alarms... I use the alternator light and other things to
assure that I have coolant circulation at the proper rates..The times I've
lost coolant suddenly.... I picked it up right away....Other times, when I
still had the blinky light going.... I missed bike races, good windsurfing
and wasted many hours with false alarms and messing around with it... I
don't think they are believable...How many posts have we all seen over the
years about this problematic little system? But if I were "in the Vanagon
Business" I'd have to deal with it.... I'm not..
On Aug 10, 2016 10:15 AM, "Dennis Haynes" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> There are a number of common causes for these gauges to read low. They
> both get there power from a voltage regulator on the cluster itself. A bad
> connection on the pins or the heat sink (ground for same) can cause low
> voltage output. A bad round for the cluster and of course the foil itself.
> Wide temperature swings based on load indicate a thermostat that is not in
> control or a cooling system that is saturated or otherwise defective. If
> outside temp doesn't change this much I would begin with the thermostat.
> As for the low coolant warning system no scolding here but when the
> coolant loss is enough to prevent flow and pressurization of the system the
> gauge will also fail to indicate what is actually happening. Especially if
> the gauge sensor is on a plastic part or away from the head. At that point
> the gauge lets you know after you make enough steam and if your lucky you
> only blow some cooling system parts and maybe a head gasket. Cracked heads
> are usually the next step just before the burned valves and pistons. This
> is not a difficult or expensive circuit to fix.
> > Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2016 08:34:30 -0700
> > From: dhanson928@GMAIL.COM
> > Subject: Intermittent low gauges
> > To: vanagon@GERRY.VANAGON.COM
> > 84 chassis, Digifant inline in the diesel style..
> > I have what I'm guessing is the stock instrument-pod in my inline VW
> > van...no tach and no buzzers.... It just began showing lower than
> > and incorrect readings, twice yesterday on startup, both the fuel gauge
> > and the coolant temperature gauge. Then they are right again.... Dunno
> > they creep back up, or correct themselves after the next start up....
> > safely watch their behavior long enough to see, but one episode they
> > low for a 50 mile trip... The fuel should have read full, but after
> > 35mi it was below the odd VW idea of 3/4 tank...and the temperature
> > was just off dead cold when it normally reads just below the top of that
> > two line zone they put at the left end...When loaded and flogging it, the
> > temp gauge normally gets up to the led in the center. In cruise mode,
> > van indicates about halfway between the led and that lower, what must be
> > the Teutonic warm-up zone...
> > So both those gauges were reading too low for what was really there,
> > reality.... I double check the temp always with my oil temp and the
> > alternator lite...
> > My low coolant light has never worked...and before get "scolded" for
> > that.... I don't care about that...
> > Any how, is there a common ground, or perhaps an intermittent resistor
> > that may be sometimes causing those two gauges to give lower than normal
> > readings, and then be right again, sometimes? Thanks if anyone has any
> > ideas..