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VW pathfinder

PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:36 pm
by baldrock
I purchased a HC38t last September and it arrives in OZ early July by ship. It has been in storage past 8 years. The engine is a VW Pathfinder. Question is, do these engines have an anode, what should I be looking for prior to tying to start it. I'm hoping it is ok as it was only ever sailed in fresh water so salt water degragation, shouldn't be a problem!!. Is there some way to source a manual on these engines.

V W Pathfinder

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 2:47 pm
by svhokuloa
I have a Pathfinder in my 38 MarkII. I am not aware of an anode on my engine.

As to startinG the engine, I think just the usual precautions, such as fresh oil, clean deisel, and a clean air filter.

I have several manuals for this engine. It is the same engine as used in the VW Rabbit. I get all my parts from the auto parts store. The parts store guy tells me there are hundreds of the engines around in tractors as well as cars. So, even though the engine is thirty years old parts are still avaiable. The manuals should still be available .

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 1:57 am
by baldrock
Thanks Ed,
I guess a problem will be the fuel tank/s after such a long lay up they may be fuel of growth. hopefully I can locate and clean them relatively easily!!
How many horsepower are these pathfinders? i was told 50hp! do you have a contact address for parts etc. I looked online but not much success

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:09 pm
by svhokuloa
Mine is a 50Hp. There is also a 55Hp version.

Unfortunately, Pathfinder appeares to be out of business. Engine parts are availble at forgien auto parts stores. The addons, such as raw water pump, exhaust manafolds, ect. are harder to find.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:42 am
by kelpie
Better late than never?

You can still reach pathfinder (as of yesterday) using the following email address:

I have a 1980 Pathfinder "50" (1.5L) which is actually rated at 42 HP.

No, it has no zincs--due to careful design of how the tube stack in the heat exchanger is electrically insulated (by the rubber end boots) from the rest of the engine.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:12 am
by scleary
Just some additional info for folks that may consider a 38 with a pathfinder:

1.5L=42HP (according to pathfinder, parts getting very difficult to find)

(worth mentioning that pathfinder is only an email address and answering machine, took them quite a while to get back to me, and customer service wasn't their strong point...kind of gruff).

I'd be curious about 38's with the 1.5L, are you able to get hull speed (7.7 knots) motoring?

According to the prop sizing sites I've looked at, the 38 needs a min of 55hp at the prop to reach hull speed, so in theory only the 60 HP should be sufficient. I'd like to know how theory compares to real world experience. According to the calculator, 6.92 would be the max speed attainable with a 42HP engine and 1 bearing between transmission and prop. If 2 bearings in between, 6.88. (i wasn't sure if there were bearings at both ends of the tube or just at the exit at the stern)

For anyone that is interested, this is the best calculator i've found-

These are the specs I used (MKII), T may be different-

Beam at waterline-11.17'
Molded Hull Draft(not supposed to include keel)-i used 3' and 6', didn't impact results
# of engines-1
Rated HP-42
Max RPM-4800
Gear Ratio-this may vary boat to boat, I used 3:1 and 2:1
# of bearings-I used 1, they use 1.5% loss of HP for each
Desired hull speed-7.7 (which is the theoretical max for 33' waterline)

Lastly, if anyone knows which tranny is coupled to the 1.5 pathfinder and what the gear ratio is, please post it here.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:15 am
by kelpie
Just now reading some of the questions and information on this thread.

- We have an HC 33 from 1980 with the 1.5L (42HP) Pathfinder. There are no anodes on the engine. The heat exchanger (Bowman, originally from England I believe) employs rubber boots on each end in a clever arrangement which insulates the cooling tubes from the external aluminum housing so no anodes are needed there.

- We rebuilt our engine last summer (with help from a very knowledgeable VW mechanic in Anacortes, Washington). I took most of the parts off (heat exchanger, exhaust mix, head separated from the block) and took them to his shop. Since 1.5L parts were hard to come by, he converted the engine to a 1.6L during the rebuild.

- It would have been impossible to remove the intake and exhaust manifolds in-place due to the proximity of a bulkhead on the starboard side of the engine. The solution was to remove the head with manifolds in place and only after that take off the manifolds--after there was good access to the related bolts. Reversed the procedure when putting it back together--placed the head with all manifolds in place.

- With the head and manifolds removed, the weight of the remaining block is such that it was pretty easy to winch and manhandle out of the boat with two fellows. Easily wheeled in a dock cart.

Start and runs like new again.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:23 am
by scleary
Do you know the transmission brand/model and/or gear ratio?

Interesting you ended up with the 1.6, the folks at Pathfinder suggested exactly that when I inquired about rebuilding a 1.5, transfer marinized parts to 1.6.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:36 am
by kelpie
Hi Steve,

We originally had a Hurth transmission (HBW-10, now HBW-150) which we replaced in 2010. Apparently Hurth was purchased by ZF Transmission and the replacement part we used was the ZF 12M. Was a super easy drop-in replacement and has worked great since.

Don't have the gear ratio info with me--the manual is on the boat.

Looks like there is plenty of information online. See page 12 at the following link: ... anisch.pdf

Hope that proves helpful - Tony

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:43 am
by scleary

That's great, thanks! I'm looking at a 38MKII with the same engine your 33T has, and the current owner has no idea what is has for a transmission. The boat has several issues, the engine is undersized, I also think it has the wrong prop...and the survey indicates it will only make 4.5 knots max motoring, so I'm doing some preliminary investigation of where it should be...can't size the prop without the gear ratio.

Thanks again,