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Author Topic: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil  (Read 6803 times)

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Anonymous

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aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« on: January 09, 2006, 12:01:43 AM »
Last SUMMER the local VW dealer put 5w-30 oil in my air-cooled 1981 Westy.  500 miles later I have a flat lobe on my camshaft.  Engine has only 7500 miles (and 3 year) on professional complete rebuild. <br><br>I'm taking him to small claims court.  He's telling me that the oil viscosity doesn't matter.  Part of my argument will be that if during the summer I used an oil which VW recommends only for arctic conditions (-30 to +30 degrees) VW would have invalidated my warranty.  Since the dealer pulled this boneheaded move he screwed up the engine and he should fix it.  <br><br>Anybody out there have a warranty book and can you quote for me the exact words VW uses when discussing owners' responsibility re following maintenance guidelines?  My plan is to use that quote to illustrate the importance VW puts on following guidelines.<br>Thanks
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Anonymous

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2006, 04:32:09 AM »
your best bet is trying the samba or westfalia owners sites.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Red Baron

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2006, 08:03:23 PM »
flat cams are pretty unusual in VW engines. It happens What makes you think this is the problem?  Has the problem been confirmed by a pro? <br><br>Stan Wolhfarth works for Robert Bentley and they have been selling VW's old stock (and reprints) of original owners manuals.  <br><br> I checked the Bentley site, here is a link to the Owners manual you need. http://www.bentleypublishers.com/product.htm?code=rv81<br><br>The Vanagon repair book should have the oil info on the quick reference/Maintaince section
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Red Baron »

Anonymous

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2006, 08:56:21 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.  <br><br>A professional mechanic is the guy who determined the cam was flat.  Judging by my description of the problem (easy start, ok at low end, but no power up hills or at higher RPMs) he was suspecting a broken valve spring.  He removed the valve covers and had a helper crank it.  Evidently 1 intake and 1 exhaust valve barely moved, telling him it was a flat lobe.<br><br>Re the owners manual, again thanks, but I have that manual.  What I need is the warranty book and the language they use when describing owner responsibilities to maintain coverage.<br><br>To the other poster suggesting Westfalia Owners site.  I tried that and my post was promptly removed by "Captain Mike" who referred me to an area on his site with suggested oil viscosities for VWs. Of course that's not my question, I KNOW this was the wrong oil, but the Captain runs a tight ship.<br><br>Jim
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

phil

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2006, 02:44:18 PM »
Let me add my two cents here just to give you something to think about.  In order for the cause to be oil, you would have to know the profile of the cam in question was within spec's in the first palce.  You would also have to know that the valve stem was within spec's and adjusted correctly. You would also have to know that the rockwell hardness of the cam was to spec's, as well as the surface finish of the cam.  All of these variables would affect cam wear. <br>The fact is, these parts touch one another. When parts touch, there is wear, even with proper lubrication. 5w-30 verses 40w oil over a period of 500 miles in a rebuilt volkswagen engine seems a bit of a stretch as to the sole cause of a flat cam. <br>If your rebuilt engine still has a warranty and the warranty spec's out oil, then perhaps you have a case that the VW dealer violated the warranty, thus causing you to lose money for the repair.  However, if your engine warranty has expired, you will have a very hard time indeed convincing anyone that the oil was the sole cause.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by phil »

Anonymous

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2006, 10:54:21 PM »
Philip thanks for your input.  I obviously have no way of checking the specs on the cam, Rockwell hardness, etc.  The engine does have hydraulic lifters so I'd guess valve adjustment was not a problem, but you've brought up some good points.  <br><br>I'm still going through with putting the onus on the dealer.  These are the same folks who told me my rear brakes had 40% and front brakes 60% of the lining left one WEEK after I had a complete brake job at another shop.  (You could even see the fresh paint on the new rotors!)  They also tried to lie about the engine oil until the test came back indicating 5w-30.  Thanks for your input
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Red Baron

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2006, 08:47:25 PM »
Having Hydraulic lifters doesn't mean that there isn't any need for adjustment.  Bob Donalds will tell you, most of the time, people have a tendancy to overtighten the valves with hydraulic lifters.  Especially if the lifters haven't fully pumped up.  <br><br> The book says that the rocker should be set one and half to two turns in after the rocker touchs the valve.  Bob has found that adjustment could be too tight.  Bob's engines come with his specific instructions for the valve adjustment.  I believe he starts with a zero setting for break in then set them in about ONE turn. <br><br> Proper cam break in is critical too. If you don't follow the instructions to break in the cam, excess wear and premature failure could be a result. Some builders cheap out with sub-par and badly reground cams and that in conjuction with some of the other issues I mentioned could cause the cam to wear out.  Food for thought.  <br><br>If you only have 7500 miles on the engine, perhaps talking to the builder about some sort of help might be in order.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Red Baron »

phil

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2006, 09:02:27 AM »
Don't get us wrong. We absolutely sympathize with you. Most of the VW lovers here in LiMBO trade good mechanics names with reverence. I only trust two guys to really know how to work on mine. Jim gave a good example about the lifters. <br>The thing is a lot of us have been burned by so called mechanics. So the first thing we do is cultivate a list of good mechanics by word of mouth and talking to other VW owners. Part of the price we pay for owning one of these vehicles is that you can't just take it to anyone, including VW dealers, to have work done on your Westy. So, my suggestion from this time forward is to do some research on a good VW mechanic in your area. Most folks would be glad to give you names, and if you have to drive a 100 miles and leave it for a few days, it is worth it. <br>Good Luck<br>Phil
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by phil »

Anonymous

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2006, 01:09:49 AM »
Again thanks to all of you for your opinions and ideas.  One problem with going to the guy who did the rebuild for the previous owner is that it was 3 years ago and the speedo was broken .  So there is no real record of the miles on the engine.  <br><br>I replaced the speedo 1000 miles ago.  Estimating the miles I put on it the previous year (about 1500 max) and talking to the previous owner who only used it for local camping trips I figure 7500 miles is the MOST that can be on it, but there is no way to prove it.  In addition it WAS 3 years & the warranty was 2/24,000, which sounds reasonable, but yeah 7500 miles ain't much!<br><br>Final request.  Anybody know a good vanagon mechanic in Seattle or north of there?  Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Anonymous

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2006, 08:59:31 AM »
A prominent Volkswagen Dealership in New Jersey recently refused to hookup computer diagnostics on an early 2000 model VW that would not start and had to be pushed into the dealership's shop. The reason given was that VW dealerships will not risk damage to their computer diagnostic equipment if a vehicle has had after market equipment installed. In this case it was an after market radio and had leads installed to ground than could damage the dealers diagnostic computer. The dealer would not assume responsibility for removing the radio and asked the customer to do it or have someone else remove it. The car was pushed back out into the parking lot.<br>How 'bout that!<br>You might keep this in mind when shopping around for someone capable to work on your Volkswagen.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Anonymous

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2006, 01:15:23 PM »
Try Provolks in Anacortes (360) 299-8860<br><br>You should contact Ken, under LiMBO Officers page, owner of The Bus Co, he might have a recommendation
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Anonymous

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2006, 01:31:31 PM »
who/where in jersey.i have a euro and major mods . i little info will save me a major headache
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

phil

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2006, 11:43:52 PM »
John Reynolds posted some good advice here. Also, there is a club in your part of the woods appropriately called "Wet Westies". I'd try talking with those folks about good local mechanics<br>http://http://wetwesties.type2.com/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by phil »

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2006, 08:56:30 PM »
To continue the case of the fried camshaft.  Dealer offered to repair the vehicle.  I supplied the parts ($250.00) and they'd do the repair.  He has a good mechanic on it, an older guy who I've noticed does all of their Porsche work.<br><br>We haggled over the scope of the job, at first he wasn't even going to replace the cam bearings!, just the cam & lifters.  He's now agreed to do the bearings as well as 3 of the 4 main bearings after his mechanic said it was all right there & wouldn't take any extra time.<br><br>I asked him about doing the rod bearings and the #1 main bearing which requires pressing off a gear or something.  He said it would cost extra, he'd look up the flat rate & let me know. Well today he calls & says it would be an additional 5 hours (@105/hr!!!) to do this extra work. <br><br>Does this amount of extra time sound right?  I've rebuilt an old 1600 so am not familiar with the 2000 but somehow I think he's trying to recoupe a hunk of that labor charge.  Thoughts? Opinions? Quotes from a flat rate book?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Anonymous

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Re: aircooled burned up 5w-30 oil
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2006, 06:09:49 PM »
How could only #1 be effected by a flat cam?  The same lobe operate #3 valves.  Were they not moving either?  Sounds like lfters wouldn't hold pressure with 5-30 to me.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »


For Westies-at-watkins.org check out Watkins 2019
For Empirevwcamping.org go to NY State news on the dashboard.