Vanagon – Temp II sensor replacement

A rather thin post but since I took pictures I might as well post them up. On our last camping trip the van had a strange missing/bucking/bogging problem. This has happened twice before, always in summer, and always cured by a fill up of gas. So I’m leaning towards the “bad gas” explanation but I’m not ruling out other causes. I have checked and re-adjusted the throttle position switch and perhaps I should take the throttle body off again, take some pics and do a post about that. The next on my list was the temp II sensor. This is the sensor that tells the computer what the coolant temperature is. Not to be confused with the dash water temp gauge sensor. The connector to my sensor was broken and I’ve always wondered if it was making a good connection all the time. I thought that if I was going to install a new connector why not put in a new sensor too. Dave, from Dave’s Automotive in nearby Sidney BC (great guy) found me a connector and wired in a pair of pigtails. So off we go then, with the install.



The sender takes a 19mm wrench, but I didn’t pull it until I spliced in the new connector.



I took a couple of resistance measurements from the new sender, one in the evening and one in the morning. Pathetic eh? 🙂

I used crimp style butt connectors and heat shrink to make the splice. Not shown in above pic are the two smaller bits of heat shrink to go over the individual butt connectors.

Here’s a shot of the damaged connector.



And replacement one spliced in. You don’t loose much coolant at all if you are quick with the sender swap.



New connector and sender in place. The extra wire (and it does help to have extra wire when you splice in situ) is taken up to some degree by one turn and a zip tie on the crossing.




And boy oh boy, the new sender really has transformed the van. No, I lie. No noticeable difference. But then again my strange bucking/bogging problem occurs every 18 months or so…h

  1. #1 by oldfussbudget on July 27, 2013 - 12:36 am

    I can tell you that an intermittent open on the connector absolutely will drop the thing in its tracks at idle and make it stagger on the highway.

    • #2 by albell on July 27, 2013 - 6:40 am

      true David, we’ll see if it was the root cause of the “every 18 month and cured by gas fill up” problem 🙂



  2. #3 by famillysyncro on July 27, 2013 - 5:16 am

    Is it a white zip tie….. just kidding Alistair.
    The old broken connector contact looked in ok shape, even shinny. For an over 25 old contact, this is really good.
    Do you think you could have a bad or cut wire farther from the sensor. I remember when I tore apart the old WBX wiring, it was looking pretty bad. The newer wirring from the G60 (1991) wasn’t better at some place either…..

    This is sade after all the time you spent on the engine, almost new again.


    • #4 by albell on July 27, 2013 - 6:43 am


      Yup, I still haven’t bought black zip ties. You have to keep in mind the intermittent problem occurs on average every 18 months. I’m doubting the TempII replacement has any bearing on it. The broken connector bugged me and I figured I’d swap both out…



  3. #5 by JAK on February 2, 2014 - 10:28 am

    Have you considered that your stagger might be the old vanagon syndrome rearing it’s ugly head. The first time I had the “syndrome” problem it stopped us in our tracks, I took it to a shop the next morning as I was baffled and 700 miles from home. They checked and could find nothing wrong. We then drove it home without a hitch. I added the tantalum capacitor and eventually had the AFM rebuilt for peace of mind and it has never recurred.

    • #6 by albell on February 3, 2014 - 3:59 pm


      perhaps it is that, but it doesn’t fit the usual circumstances. A restart has no effect and it didn’t happen under steady state driving. but i’m not ruling it out, but then again it hasn’t happened again since the summer.

      kinda baffling eh?


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