Vanagon – darned Dansk

I had 2 niggling problems after the head R&R. One was a pushrod tube oil leak. Seemed to be on the case end of #1 cylinder exhaust valve pushrod tube. I don’t know why it leaked, perhaps I did not expand that tube far enough when I installed the heads? Or maybe there was some dirt on the sealing surface. I did install the seals “dry”, no sealant. So to fix this leak I pulled off the rocker arm assembly on that head, pulled the pushrod from that tube, and removed the tube (large tinsnips – collapsed the rube enough for it to fall out.). I cleaned up one of the spring loaded pushrod tubes that were originally on this engine and installed it, this time with a smear of Hylomar Universal Blue non-setting sealant.







The other problem, and this one had me worried, was a scraping, rattling noise coming from the engine or transmission. You couldn’t hear it if you were standing back at the engine and revving it, it only started when the engine was warm and the van moving. Clutch in or out, or in neutral, when I was driving and revved the engine this noise was there.

I could get it to happen when parked, if I had the parking brake on hard and slowly let the clutch out in 1st gear.

It really sounded like something was rubbing against something else. My rational side was leaning towards an exhaust pipe problem, my irrational side was making up all kinds of horrible scenarios. Well, it turned out to be the forward exhaust pipe hitting the skid plate where the pipe crosses under the engine. I’m going to blame the exhaust maker, Dansk, for this. My skid plate was not bent or damaged in that area. I think the pipe was just not bent correctly. I took a heavy hammer to the skid plate and bashed out some clearance.

IMG_2357 IMG_2356

  1. #1 by Pz on June 27, 2013 - 7:03 pm

    Good detective work Alistair.
    Especially on the exhaust.
    Many move metal by pound the metal on a leather sand-bag with a polyurethane hammer..
    Alistair is from North Saanich, uses BFH and the gravel driveway.
    Way to go….

    • #2 by albell on June 27, 2013 - 7:13 pm


      I have a confession to make…

      The pounding, while emotionally satisfying, did not completely eliminated the noise. SO off came the skid plate again. This time I removed my aluminum plate addition and had a closer look at the stock skid bars. Well, one of the bars was bent (I guess on one of my trips) so I got it up in the big vise and yanked on it. Actually my neighbour and I both yanked on it. Was only a slight ben but getting it straight did the trick.

      I don’t have a big polyU hammer, and I don’t have a leather sandbag. I’d love to have the latter. Maybe someone will give me one, and some wooden hammers, and a sheet of silver. Then I can have a go at making silverware, hah ha!



  2. #3 by Joel on June 27, 2013 - 8:51 pm

    Nice diagnosis, I had a similar resolution with a hitch that had been added to a 91 2W Multivan I recently bought. The mounting bolts had were too long and rubbing on the exhaust when it warmed up. A simple cut off of the extra and removing the AC belt and she purred quietly, no squeks or annoying harmonics.

    • #4 by albell on June 27, 2013 - 9:51 pm

      The noise had me all worked up, I was imagining bad things.

      And it’s surprising just how much some parts of the exh system moves when heated.

      I could see myself making the long bolt mistake 🙂



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