Sunday, August 5, 2012

VW Idiosyncrasies:Overview of the VW engine cooling system

The air cooled VW engine cooling system is the brain child of German engineers who spent decades designing, studying, refining, and improving the cooling system. These vehicles were tested by VW in some of the most extreme conditions and were really the "first" passenger vehicles known to commonly travel 100,000 miles or more between overhauls. This should be kept in mind before adding or subtracting components. 
From Volkswagen Lover
From Volkswagen Lover

Cooling Tinware (shown in red)
from Rob and Dave's Aircooled VW pages

An air-cooled VW engine means that the heat of combustion in the cylinders and heads is carried away by the flow of air. The cool air drawn into the engine compartment/engine eventually drawn out as combustive heat back to the atmosphere is made possible through an air-tight assembly designed to hold the flowing air to the most efficient path. This assembly is made possible with the entire engine itself shrouded by sheet metal (engine tin) and by a fan encased in a fan housing (fan shroud) which is attached to the engine tin. 

The fan is attached to the front of the generator/alternator and is driven by a belt from the crankshaft pulley. By the suction of the fan in the front of the fan shroud, the cooling air is drawn from the outside through slots in the car's body under the rear window (and through slots in the engine lid in later models). The fan is a centrifugal blower which forces air primarily down to the engine cylinders and heads then through the spaces between the engine fins to carry the heat to the atmosphere; secondarily to other engine components which contributes to the over all VW cooling system. 

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