Vito 120 Oil Cooler change

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Active Member
Feb 13, 2017
Vito 120
Well after much reading and procrastinating, I decided to plunge in to the nightmare job.:eek:
Having bought gaskets, torx/star sockets in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 and ratchet spanners I was just waiting for a dry day as doing this outside.

I couldn't find ANYTHING on net after a week of searching, so I thought I would write up my experiences so far.
Well I was told you have to drop engine out , although people on Sprinter forum reckoned you didn't need to ....

Removing all the wiring is a nightmare as you just don't know where to start!

Fuel line in middle was tight until you loosen fuel rails either side and allowed enough movement to get it out, couldn't loosen injector feed fittings as you must need a special tool. as a normal spanner/crows foot won't go on them.

Just got all the wiring pulled towards the front and out of the way and started removing various bits and methodically replacing fixings the best I could into same hole and putting it in a safe place in the order I am removing them.

After trying to get Main exhaust outlet from back of turbo, the bottom bolt was impossible until you had removed the egr 'L' pipe first - this was done purely by feel - you cannot see anything.

I then removed the exhaust clamp, lamda sensor, wiring, underneath the van and you cannot remove the pipe as anti roll bar thingy is in the way
Also there is no-way (I think) you can get to the 'Y' piece splitter from bottom of Turbo and remove the 3 bolts either side, you cannot feel the nuts let alone get a socket on them.

So have drop the engine , so removed steering pinch bolt then noticed the cooling fan would foul the radiator shroud when lowering engine.
Radiator removal, thought this wouldn't be too hard

Grill / Bumper off - headlights out, , top body rail, then main structural bumper had to come off.
Various pipe work /wires have to come off also - then I noticed the air con rad is there so no way am I taking it off and getting it re-filled.
But it has gave me clearance to pull rad out to miss the cowling.

The four main bolts securing the engines sub frame are obviously big , I had a 4' breaker bar to crack the front two, and they felt like they were about to snap.
Thought I would be able to spray penetrating oil in as gained access to box section from removing all of above , but they are 'sealed in the body ' so you cannot see the bolt thread poking through.

Will heat them with Map gas torch and have another go- just hope the back ones are not as tight as won't be able to heat .
Gearbox support bracket has to be removed and gearbox to earth wire.

Hopefully will then get a jack under the lot and drop enough to get to turbo, just will be careful not to strain anything!

Have also noticed a lot of bolts have been butchered by using wrong sockets, there is a bolt missing off exhaust and various bolts are the wrong ones-and have seen a couple more 'missing'
EGR valve bolts were totally lose-so think a lot of bodging has gone on and turbo has been removed before.

EGR valve is also Stuck in !

It's raining today so have given it a miss:)
Have you removed the scuttle wipers etc, it gives full access to the top of the engine?
No! did not ever read about that at all :(

But at the back of the turbo there is the front bulkhead? so if I remove the wipers /plastic panel wont I just be looking behind it as such ?
And if so wouldn't still be able to touch/see exhaust from above?

Haven't got a clue TBH just muddling through :)

But would have been easier if you could :)
All that steel unbolts! Not just the plastic, there is a row of 10mm bolts and slows you full engine access.
As you can see, more than enough room to work, this is a Viano I was swapping the servo but you get the idea.
Well that would have been a lot simpler :)

Appreciate you sending photo as i could not visualize it at all.

Know you have to remove winscreen wipers with puller?, and plastic panel , how long does it take to get to the point in your photo?

Will get on it tomorrow, as supposed to be dry :)
No puller needed, I can get to that stage in 15 to 20 mins
Hey thats great news , got to be worth a try and will be a bonus not to have to crawl under floor while getting at turbo.

Thanks for advise :)
I am only in Cov and have Star if you need anymore help pm me
Thanks , that very good to know if I get stuck :)

Cannot PM anyone or receive any messages until post count 30 .

Took your advice and removed windscreen wipers scuttle etc - needed a puller on damn WW.

Took all day to remove turbo as someone had wreaked nuts , absolute nightmare and the EGR valve is stuck solid :(

But just glad to get turbo out without dropping engine after listening to your advice.

Manifold bolts are out , just got to disconnect some pipe at the front now - think it's the throttle body alloy thing-am seriously piling up the parts.

can see why the garage guy said a week or more !
Well found out you cannot get to the alloy pipe or egr valve as vicious fan is in the way!
So had to grind a 32mm spanner to fit , plenty of penetrating oil then wacky stick - it eventually came off :)

Removed above pipe which bolts horizontally to R/H manifold then at last removed the 2 inlet manifolds together and carefully un-clipped servo motor which works.
For 140+ k the manifolds were pretty clean, but will take off all the electronic stuff and give it a good clean as I will the egr cooler.

Butterflies on manifolds are fine but feel as though they need some lubrication in the shafts that sit in inlet manifold- they have 3 white plastic clips which I guess hold them in, but too paranoid case they break, when removing them, and have read you cannot buy the linkages etc, whole manifold only?

Would like to get them smooth as being tight could ultimately put undue load on servo motor.
The middle of the engine was filthy, a few bits that had fell in that shouldn't be there.

The oil cooler was screwed really tight so not sure if that's correct as I am sure the torque setting is quite light.

Egr valve is sized in housing solid managed to ease it slightly and introduce a gap , will let it sit in fluid overnight as don't want to break anything.

Don't think it's ever been off in its life, along with the poly V belt as it is severely cracked which I will also change.

Just going to clean all my removed bits and get everything as spotless and organised as possible before hopeful refit.

Was about to give up when fan wouldn't come off, had it TBH, really hard and annoying engine to work on, just prey I get assemble it correctly and it fires up:)

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