The way that VW mounted the alternator on a Vanagon water boxer was less than ideal. The lower bracket—which bears most of the load—is a simple cantilever design, held to the block by two 8mm studs. Just behind these studs is the cylinder coolant jacket.
When the alternator is fresh and new, it spins nicely and with little to no vibration. However, as the bearings wear out over time, the alternator starts to vibrate. This vibration leads to a wobbling... which eventually leads to the mounting bracket loosening... which leads to severe engine block damage (see photo below).
When this happens, the engine block is very difficult to repair. In many cases, cracks lead into the cylinder coolant jacket. When that happens, you might as well toss the engine block into the recycling bin. It is DONE.
Even an alternator that does not vibrate is very heavy, and the factory mounting is simply inadequate. VW realized there was a problem, and the very last engine blocks produced had an extra strengthening rib added.
But even this later design is not enough to withstand a heavy, badly vibrating alternator. That's why we came up with the GoWesty Alternator Bracket Fix Kit.
This bracket kit eliminates the cantilever aspect of the original lower bracket, transferring most of the load to the right cylinder head via a very strong triangular bracket. Beginning in August 2009, all GoWesty rebuilt engines come with this kit as standard issue.
Okay, problem solved. Onward!
GoWesty! Camper Products is a privately owned company specializing in parts, accessories, sales and service of Volkswagen (R) campers. It is not affiliated in any way with Volkswagen of America or Volkswagen AG. "Vanagon", "Bus", "VW", "Volkswagen", and "Eurovan" are registered trademarks and should be considered as such throughout our entire website.