Oil Cooler and Hoover Bit
So, I got tired of wrestling with this little boxer outside. Using a dolly, my best bud and I brought it inside to the living room which was more than comfortable while jamming out to some tunes.
Getting down to the mechanical, there is some debate about the “Hoover Bit” which my girlfriend’s VW unsurprisingly was missing. The oil temperature gauge had been showing some skyrocketing temps practically since we got it, so I did some research on the oil and air cooling of VW’s design.
The cooling tin is annoying for starters, and why VW couldn’t design mounting points like screws in better places is beyond me. You always have to take half of everything off to get to a stupid screw that’s tucked away.
Anyway, the “Hoover Bit” is an L-shaped bracket that mounts to the side of the oil cooler and blocks off the leaking of cool air. Supposedly doghouse fan shroud will leak a ton of the air freshly supplied from the cooling fan out threw the side of the oil cooler without this “Hoover Bit”. Thus, the oil cooler will not be as effective as having the bracket and thus able to cool more air efficiently.
On the other hand, most VW experts I’ve talked to like John my Guru bud, Dave at Peninsula VW, and the guys at Bugformance have no idea what I’m talking about when telling them about this supposedly essential “Hoover Bit”. They tell me it’s unnecessary and usually thrown out. One of the mechanics at Peninsula VW said it wasn’t so much to trap in the air, rather it was to prevent the tin from rattling and provide another mounting point for the oil cooler.
I’m not sure if I buy that exactly, but VW stopped making them decades ago, and the aftermarket shrouds, cooling tins, don’t come with it either. You can get an aftermarket reproduction from Airhead Parts like I did, but there are other places that sell them specifically for the type of shroud you have. Note: the “Hoover Bit” is only for the doghouse design of the later VW flat-fours, meaning the engines with the oil cooler on the outside of the fan shroud and not directly inside of the fan shroud like the early version shroud. Also, the aftermarket shrouds from EMPI or SCAT have different molds and might need their own style of “Hoover Bit”. For example, I believe the EMPI style needs a large flat piece that would mount to the side too.
For anyone that’s interested, just search up “VW Hoover Bit”, and you can see what all the fuss is about.
- Jon Tong