Saturday, October 23, 2010

Handwaves and the Libby Bong

There are not too many vehicles where the drivers wave at each other in passing. Bikes are like that. Westfalias too, I'm learning. One of the things that drew me to them was an active online community. The beauty of the web is the shared experience. An example of this is the "Libby Bong".

Vanagons have a cooling system that is notoriously hard to bleed. This has to do with some design choices that put the expansion tank and reservoir in an easily accessible location (the rear engine compartment), but well below the high point in the system (radiator). The official method of bleeding the system requires running the engine at high enough rpm for the water pump to put out enough pressure while you vent the air out of the top of the radiator (in front) and adding coolant to the reservoir (in back). That seems to take more coordination and hands than the average shade tree mechanic has available. Any misstep and you can loose coolant either from the back or the front.

Someone posted an alternate method on line. It requires about $10 worth of hardware and allows a single person to do the job. A PCV pipe allows you to get the level above the radiator. A small tube on the side shows the level, and once filled and bled, siphons the level back down to the correct level without spilling any coolant. The perfect "hack". All you need is an extra set of hands to photograph it in action!


Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...


Sweet Polly Purebred said...

It is amazing what you learn online. Sometimes it looks and sounds crazy, but it works. I'm glad you are open to trying new things.

Gail said...

Where there's a will there's a way. :)

Neil said...

can you use the same equipment with the engine running to launch a pop-bottle rocket?