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Oil cooler gasket problem/ Disregard my valve cover gasket query

>From: HANSCHNEIR@aol.com

>My 66' has had a problem with the gaskets that go between the oil cooler and
>the engine case getting hard, then failing in a spectacular manner that
>leaves oil all over the engine compartment. When I pull the oil cooler off,
>the gasket that fails is as hard as a rock and fails because it cracks. It
>only seems to happen to one of them. I have not kept track to see if it the
>same gasket failing each time. The gasket I use is the thickest, donut-shaped
>ones from the gasket kit for engine rebuilds.
>This happens about every 10,000 miles. I would not characterize the engine as
>running hot. The fresh-air boot is in great shape, and all the tin is in
>place. The mating surface on the case is in terrific shape, as is the oil
>cooler. (all the air spaces are clean and open.)

I've seen this in T3s that had obvious overheating problems, specifically 
missing cooling air intake bellows or running too lean.  Clearly you have 
anticipated me here.

Are you using the thicker black rubber stepped seals?  Not the thinner late 
seals or the tapered adaptor seals, or the straight white cylinders?  And 
the spacer washers under the cooler to keep them from being crushed too much?

Is your thermostat mechanism stuck?  Is it hooked up right?

I usually find that the front inlet seal is pretty hard while the rear 
outlet seal is reusable.

I've never had any trouble with these unless there was a reason that the oil 
was too hot.

       Melissa Kepner                                    Jim Adney
       jadney@vwtype3.org              jadney@vwtype3.org
                             Laura Kepner-Adney
                             Madison, Wisconsin

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