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Re: [T3] 311 117 151 A (oil cooler question)

On 7 Jan 99, at 14:39, David Yaghoubian wrote:

> I am trying to fix an oil cooler leak and have a few questions. I went to
> the FLAPS and got oil cooler seals (part number 311 117 151 A). 

These seals are used up through 69 and have a flange about 5/16" 
thick.  They are usually black.
> First of all, the existing seals are much flatter and thinner than the new
> ones I picked up. I realize this could be from the natural compression of
> having been squished between the oil cooler and the engine casing, but I
> just wanted confirm if it's normal for the new ones to be about 2X the
> thickness (height) of old ones and like 1/3 thinner in diameter.  No sense
> replacing the seals if they're the wrong ones!

70-3 engines use seal # 021 117 151A which has a flange about 3/16" 
thick.  These are usually red although the originals were black.  I 
suspect you bought the wrong seals.  They will NOT interchange.  See 
the Bentley manual for an ALMOST completely correct explanation.

Note that you need to buy seals according to the year the engine was 
originally made for, in case your car has a later engine installed in 
it.  The late seal was used in all dual oil pressure relief valve 

> Secondly, the existing seals were not visibly torn or damaged. Because the
> bottom half of the oil cooler is oily and dirty (I assume from dirt being
> blown by and sticking to oily surfaces) I am now wondering if perhaps it's
> not the seals but the cooler itself that has a leak (!?). Does anyone know
> how to tell if it's your oil cooler leaking and not the seals?

If your engine has ever been habitually overheated, the seals can be 
hardened from the heat and will not reliably seal as the case and 
cooler thermally expand and contract.  The rubber must be pliable to 
do this  Remember the space shuttle?  To test your seals, just 
squeeze them along a diameter until the opening squishes flat.  If 
they crack they are shot.  If they just bend, and recover when 
released, they are fine.

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

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