Engine on 79 T2 seems to have seized

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jontapp3

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Hi there . New to this . We bought a 79 T2 a few months ago , all totally reconditioned engine etc . We drove the first 500 miles at 50 mph as advised then took it to an air cooled specialist who did an engine service and said it was all good . We have them driven from the south of England up to Scotland in a couple of days to a camp site . Couple days later we have tried to start the van but got nothing . Called a recovery guy who thought it might be the solenoid or starter motor but he then tried to move the crank and belt and it’s not moving in the slightest ! So at the moment we are stuck at a campsite in Scotland, 600 miles from home wondering if it’s worth having it looked at by a local garage who may not deal with air cooled systems or getting it towed home ? Apart from a seized engine could it be anything else . Any advice greatly appreciated!
 

V.R.M.

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Hi there . New to this . We bought a 79 T2 a few months ago , all totally reconditioned engine etc . We drove the first 500 miles at 50 mph as advised then took it to an air cooled specialist who did an engine service and said it was all good . We have them driven from the south of England up to Scotland in a couple of days to a camp site . Couple days later we have tried to start the van but got nothing . Called a recovery guy who thought it might be the solenoid or starter motor but he then tried to move the crank and belt and it’s not moving in the slightest ! So at the moment we are stuck at a campsite in Scotland, 600 miles from home wondering if it’s worth having it looked at by a local garage who may not deal with air cooled systems or getting it towed home ? Apart from a seized engine could it be anything else . Any advice greatly appreciated!
Was the van driving and sounding normal when you got to the campsite - it seems odd to seize with no warning. No rattles or smell of burning? A new engine can be hard to turn over just pulling the fan belt by hand I wouldn't call it seized till it can't be turned with a spanner or socket on the crank bolt. It is possible something has come loose inside the engine bell housing and jammed the flywheel like a clutch bolt but that's not common. Look for a local VW specialist there must be someone to at least ring for advice. I know I saw a few bay vans outside a garage in Inverness depends where you are
 

jontapp3

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Was the van driving and sounding normal when you got to the campsite - it seems odd to seize with no warning. No rattles or smell of burning? A new engine can be hard to turn over just pulling the fan belt by hand I wouldn't call it seized till it can't be turned with a spanner or socket on the crank bolt. It is possible something has come loose inside the engine bell housing and jammed the flywheel like a clutch bolt but that's not common. Look for a local VW specialist there must be someone to at least ring for advice. I know I saw a few bay vans outside a garage in Inverness depends where you are
No warning at all . No smells or warning light , we have now had a mechanic try and turn the crank with a socket and it didn’t budge . Have spoken to the VW engine company and as it’s under warranty they are going to investigate it . Just unfortunate we have to get it to them in London but hopefully our insurance company who we have breakdown with are going to get it to them ! Fingers crossed 🤞
 

Earlybay1

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Hi there . New to this . We bought a 79 T2 a few months ago , all totally reconditioned engine etc . We drove the first 500 miles at 50 mph as advised then took it to an air cooled specialist who did an engine service and said it was all good . We have them driven from the south of England up to Scotland in a couple of days to a camp site . Couple days later we have tried to start the van but got nothing . Called a recovery guy who thought it might be the solenoid or starter motor but he then tried to move the crank and belt and it’s not moving in the slightest ! So at the moment we are stuck at a campsite in Scotland, 600 miles from home wondering if it’s worth having it looked at by a local garage who may not deal with air cooled systems or getting it towed home ? Apart from a seized engine could it be anything else . Any advice greatly appreciated!
Check that your alternator/dynamo is not seized. Did you take off belt and check?
 

AlanWesty

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I also bought a reconditioned engine. When I bought it, it ran fin and I was happy to take it.
When I started it about a year later it fired right up and ran for about 2-3 minutes. The exhaust then started smoking, I think it was the new paint on it so I stopped the engine to start it again the following day.
The following day I started it again and it ran about a minute before suddenly sounding strained an stopped abruptly. It was as though seized.
I eventually stripped the engine down and found the culprit. The locating pin on the front (pulley side) bearing has turned and was now sitting diagonally in the elongated hole. This caused the bearing to be squashed to the extent that it felt seized.
Not saying that that is the problem, but apparently this is a common issue.
 

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Mechanoid

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I also bought a reconditioned engine. When I bought it, it ran fin and I was happy to take it.
When I started it about a year later it fired right up and ran for about 2-3 minutes. The exhaust then started smoking, I think it was the new paint on it so I stopped the engine to start it again the following day.
The following day I started it again and it ran about a minute before suddenly sounding strained an stopped abruptly. It was as though seized.
I eventually stripped the engine down and found the culprit. The locating pin on the front (pulley side) bearing has turned and was now sitting diagonally in the elongated hole. This caused the bearing to be squashed to the extent that it felt seized.
Not saying that that is the problem, but apparently this is a common issue.
To be fair, that is only a 'common issue' if it had a sloppy rebuild. Those pins should be a slight push fit with no play into the crank case. If there is any play in the pin it can do exactly what you have found on yours.
 

AlanWesty

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To be fair, that is only a 'common issue' if it had a sloppy rebuild. Those pins should be a slight push fit with no play into the crank case. If there is any play in the pin it can do exactly what you have found on yours.
I can agree to that as I did find that my engine was a rattle can rebuild. ie. only painted on the outside to look good:mad:.
 

[email protected]

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Vw engine company…. There’s your problem I’m afraid, they are sloppy at best and always wriggle their way out of the warranty. Best of luck getting it home and sorted.
 

Graham L

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Vw engine company…. There’s your problem I’m afraid, they are sloppy at best and always wriggle their way out of the warranty. Best of luck getting it home and sorted.
Yep completely agree we see and hear of so many failures from fellow aircooled mechanics and they seem to do everything to dodge the warranty.
As above check its not the alternator/dynamo playing up as they can seize and that can be checked by pulling the fan belt off, pulleys eat themselves and dig into the front of the dynamo/alternator and can make it look like the engine has seized.
 

jontapp3

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Hi there . Just an update on my van . Took it back to the VW engine company and they found the problem . They stripped the engine down and found that it was the main bearing . They were incredibly apologetic about the whole situation. Hopefully no more issues going forward!
 

ozziedog

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Brilliant, it’s so much nicer to hear a good story outcome for a change. Happening the way it did almost over night may have been a life saver for the motor as opposed to it happening at full tilt on the motorway which could have been disastrous.

Ozziedog,,,,,,,, a great outcome to a dreadful experience :)
 

Clem

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Brilliant, it’s so much nicer to hear a good story outcome for a change. Happening the way it did almost over night may have been a life saver for the motor as opposed to it happening at full tilt on the motorway which could have been disastrous.

Ozziedog,,,,,,,, a great outcome to a dreadful experience :)
True. We rarely hear peoples happy stories.
 

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