[T3] Clean oil cooler?

Jim Adney jadney at vwtype3.org
Tue Nov 11 14:38:20 PST 2014

On 10 Nov 2014 at 22:13, Jacob Adam Schroeder wrote:

> I am doing a rebuild and am curious how I should clean out my old oil
> cooler or whether there is a source for new oil coolers for T3s (as there
> is for Type 1s).

I don't think I've ever seen a source for new Type 3 coolers, but I 
have several good used ones here. I've never seen a bad one.

I clean them in parts solvent, inside and out. I let the insides soak 
while I clean out the external air passages, which are always 
clogged, on the inlet side, with dirt and oil. Then I straighten out 
any bent fins, so the air gets a clean shot thru the cooler. You will 
always find a bunch of bent over air cooling fins on these.

Once the inside has soaked, I pump parts solvent thru the cooler both 
forwards and backwards, to flush out anything that the soaking might 
have loosened up. If you have an engine that self-destructed 
internally, you would want to be particularly thorough about this, or 
just replace the cooler. I've been fortunate and never had to face 
that problem.

Finally, the coolers originally came with a foam pad over the top. 
This pad sealed the gap between the top of the cooler and the 
underside of the tin. This keeps cooling air from leaking out without 
doing any cooling. Unfortunately, the OE foam pads were made up 
something that disintegrated in parts solvent, so the OE pads are all 
gone by now. The good news is that I have foam that I've cut to 
replace the OE pads. This foam turns out to be more durable than the 
OE stuff. If you look at the top of your cooler you can see the 
yellow/brown remains of the OE glue that held the OE foam in place.

My replacement foam is cheap and I strongly recommend installing one 
of them any time an engine is rebuilt, unless it's already been 

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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