Coolant Pipes:


Let's talk about coolant pipes.  These are the long pipes that run from the radiator at the front of your Vanagon to the engine at the rear.  They carry coolant that has been warmed by the engine all the way up to the radiator where it is cooled by the air rushing through the radiator's fins.  The cooled fluid is then transferred back to the engine to stabilize operating temps.  Easy right?  So why consider them at all?  Well, it has to do with the sizing and composition of their construction, especially when considering a Subaru conversion.  Let's break it down by year range.


Early water cooled Vanagons (1983-1985) came from the factory with mild steel coolant pipes that are 1¼” in diameter.  In addition to the fact that the mild steel composition can rust badly over time (and newest of these early models is over 30 years old), the Subaru motor is engineered to use piping that is 1½”.  Even if your pipes haven't rusted, using piping of smaller diameter changes the flow and pressure characteristics of the cooling system.  No Bueno...


The 1986-1991 Vanagons came with 1 ½” plastic pipes which, although they are the correct size to work with the Subaru, are very prone to failure. VW/Audi vehicles of this era seemed enamored of plastic parts in their cooling systems.  While this worked well in the short term, the plastic degrades over use and time.  Again, no Bueno...


The spiel:  Responding to the need for a durable, non-corroding replacement to the factory piping, Rocky Mountain Westy designed stainless steel coolant pipes as direct, perfectly fitting alternative.  They will, quite simply, outlive your van.  In fact, we have such faith in our stainless pipes that we offer a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defect and breakage.


There was a discussion among Vanagon and Subaru conversion owners as to whether there would be a galvanic reaction to the stainless steel.  Our answer to that is simply this:  as long as you change your coolant at the recommended intervals, there will be no galvanic reaction.  There were some people that weren't convinced so, being the innovative folks that we are, we now manufacture our coolant pipes in aluminum so that you can have your choice.  Keep in mind that we cannot extend our lifetime warranty to the aluminum pipes due to the softness of the metal.