thermostat and flaps etc

I have a 2 litre type 4 engine in my bus and I am a little concerned about my cooling system flaps and thermostat. I am new to air cooled engines so please bear with me!

I noticed that the thermostat cable has been disconected and is held by a screw on the tiware (I assumed the flaps were being held open). I don’t know if the thermostat is still there (I haven’t found it yet) but I think the flaps that it controlls are stuck. I released the thermostat cable from the tinware screw that was holding it expecting the flaps to spring shut. They didn’t budge and I can’t seem to move them either. Is there anyway to get access to these flaps to inspect/free them without removing the engine? How much of the tinware can I remove? Does the whole of the fan housing come off with the engine still in the vehicle?

I am pretty sure the flaps are stuck open as the engine is not overheating but does seem to take a while to heat up.

Thanks for any advice.


As long as your engine / cooling system hasn’t been got at by someone who thought they knew more about cooling than VW then your flaps should be held open by a spring that works on the operating shaft that the flaps are mounted on. you’ll be hard pressed to see the flaps with the engine in place but the shaft is easy to see and indeed operate by hand to check that it is springing back as it should.
The thermostat SHOULD be located underneath the engine on the right hand side and the cable runs from the thermostat straight back to a pully that directs the cable upwards up the back of the fanhousing to the operating shaft on the top side.
With the flaps open the engine will as you say take a longer time to reach operating temperature and therefore cause more wear to the engine. (Engines wear most when cold, as any good castrol advert will tell you!)
Hope that is of some help to you, if you are at Biggar on Sunday you’ll hopefully see a van there with the complete set up.