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Date:         Wed, 10 Aug 2016 11:41:36 -0700
Reply-To:     Don Hanson <dhanson928@GMAIL.COM>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Don Hanson <dhanson928@GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: Intermittent low gauges
Comments: To: Dennis Haynes <>
In-Reply-To:  <BAY180-W787A5535102E0845F64599A01D0@phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8


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 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" <> 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. > > Dennis > > > > 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 > > tach and no buzzers.... It just began showing lower than > normal, > > and incorrect readings, twice yesterday on startup, both the fuel gauge > > and the coolant temperature gauge. Then they are right again.... Dunno > if > > they creep back up, or correct themselves after the next start up.... > can't > > safely watch their behavior long enough to see, but one episode they > stayed > > low for a 50 mile trip... The fuel should have read full, but after > just > > 35mi it was below the odd VW idea of 3/4 tank...and the temperature > reading > > 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, > this > > 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, > in > > 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.. >

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