Author Archives: Heathy

Electrics cabling/preparation

Have been giving the electrics some thoughts over the past weeks and these are my thoughts/doings.

Starting with the battery, I wanted to get one with a reasonable rating and have elected to not to try to squeeze it in under one of the front seats as many do.  Instead I’m going to mount it under the rear seat/bed.  This is the one I’ve gone for, from Alpha Batteries.

On The subject of charging I started with a standard split charge set up but since then have had a change of heart and now I’ve gone for different solution.  I plan to add a solar panel or two at some point so also wanted to consider this in relation to the charger. I looked at three different charges one from Ctek one from Ring and the other from Ablemail.

The CTEK D250SA was the 1st one I found and looked pretty good but is only rated at 20A (unless you add the CTEK SMARTPASS 120 unit to boost it, but that makes it more expensive and takes up more space too).

I was also tempted by the Ring RSCDC30, which is rated at 30A and is quite cheap compared to the other two.

In the end I decided to go with the Ablemail AMS12-12-30 one since it’s rated at 30A, silent running (fanless) and also has a serial interface I may make use of later.

In addition to the 12v charger I will be installing a CTEK mains charger which I already have.

Mains-wise I have purchased a small consumer unit with 16A and 6A breakers, the former for a couple of mains plugs and the latter for the charger.

I got most of the wire, connectors and also the fuse box from 12voltplanet.  The fuse box is a 10-way one, so plenty space for expansion.

I decided to buy CBE switches and sockets since I think they look tidy.

This is the location where most of the wiring converges and the location of the fuse box (this will be in the low unit to the RHS of the sink).
I’ve installed some trunking for most of the wiring (along with pull wire) since I’m bound to want to install something later!
Area behind the fridge on the off-side.
The OSR panel cut ready for installation.
Loads of wires!
I had to make some clips/brackets to hold the heater controller in-place.And from the front.
Cabling behind the OSR panel along with foam, to hopefully stop any rattles!
I made use of this existing negative point.Almost ready for panel fit.
Panel from the rear, I added some foam for sound deadening.  Note the invisible fixings on the LHS of the panel (RHS of the photo).Panel from the front.
And finally in place.  I didn’t bother with invisible fixings, except on the LHS, since they’ll be hidden by the unit.  You can see where the three square/rectangle back boxes too, which I will use for access behind the panel if needed in the future.
Close-up of the panel where the switches and sockets go (notice no visible fixings!). 

More pondering about LPG

So, I’ve had a look at my LPG tank and the first problem is that the exit valve hasn’t been inserted enough.
When I install the cover, you can see that the outlet doesn’t line up with the hole and worse still I can’t get the cover on since the tap is too proud!
Also I think I need to return some items (since I ordered the incorrect bits).  For example, there’s no easy way to use the fill hose without it routing over the van exhaust pipe due to the radius restrictions.

LPG tank & bits delivery

Caveat: The first thing to say is that I’m not “gas trained/certified” in any way, so my musings on here are just that, nothing else.  Whilst I’m doing my install myself I already have spoken to a certified individual who knows what I’m planning to do and has agreed to test/certify my installation and provide me (and thus my insurance company) with the appropriate documentation.

So, I’ve recently received my order from Tinley Tech.  I decided to not buy the VW specific kit since it didn’t have exactly the bits I wanted (and it didn’t seem to be any cheaper than the individual parts, by my reckoning anyway).

This is the tank I bought (200mm x 585mm, 16L), shown with what’s fitted as shipped.
A close-up of the holes.  I’ve noticed the lefthand valve isn’t fitted quite square (but I haven’t tried to adjust it yet).

This is the gas tight cover which comes with the tank (not sure if I’m missing a rubber part/grommet to make all the holes gas tight though?

This is the box shown open.
Here are some more bits included with the tank and also a 90 degrees adaptor (which I think is for the filler connection?).  Note the the level/gauge isn’t included, see next comment.
I also ordered these two parts to enable me to see the LPG level from inside the van, the Livello Level Indicator and also the 4-Hole Level Sender (this comes with the gauge in the previous picture).  The cable length is pretty short, so I will need to extend it.
Here are the Tank Brackets, ordered separately.  I ordered 3 since I read that the rules specify you must have 3 if you’re suspending the tank on the mounts (although TBH, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to actually fit 3 on such a small tank?  I assume the rubber bands are to protect the tank.
This is the JIC Fill Hose – Straight, ordered separately, TBH I guessed that I’d need the straight 1.5 meter version (time will tell if I’m right!).
These are the JIC Pipe Clips for the hose (again ordered separately).

These are the bits I bought for the fill point, 3 parts.  The bracket, the UK bayonet filler (straight) and the Square filler cap.

 Assembled view.
This is the 3-way manifold I bought, for connection to the hob, Propex heater and BBQ point.
I’m not at all sure I’ve purchased the correct regulator (i.e. with the right connections on it!), since I wasn’t sure how/where I would be fitting it when I ordered it.
Lastly, something I definitely bought in error, a boot I thought would cover the back of the fill fitting but it’s way too big for me.

So the only things I’m missing (I think) are some pipe and the BBQ connection, oh and also some underbody stone chip spray which I’ve heard is recommended to protect the tank.

LPG Tank size / location

So back on measuring up for an LPG tank again.  I don’t think either of the two tanks from Gas It which I’d been considering will actually fit after making a pair of cardboard mock-ups.
Now I’m looking at this one from Tinley Tech (the 200mm x 585mm, 16L version).
I’ve modified my cardboard “tank” down to 585mm and it seems to fit very well.
And no clashing with the Kiravans Rib rear seat fitting crossmember.

This is my attempt at dragging my upturned iPhone on a mat under my van whilst taking a panoramic photo!  The top is the rear of the van.

 A close-up of the “tank” and the Rib seat cross member.

A closer shot.

And from the NSR of the van.

And again.

Fitting the Rib rear seat (again)

So, checking the fit of the Rib fitting kit under the van.  Based on the temporary spacers I had to slot, in it’s about 6-7mm too short.
 So I’ve fashioned a couple of spacers out for 3mm steel (which I’m going to rust proof before fitting).
 With the fitting kit placed in the recommended location the rear cushion is very squashed-up when in “bed-mode” so I wondered if I could mount the seat slightly forward?  However I checked the position of the three holes I’d need to drill to fix the front frame of the seat and they’d be inaccessible from under the van.
I drilled an offset pilot hole through the floor (from inside to out) near the front mounting holes to have an accurate point to measure from under the van.  After checking, I think I can position the seat very slightly further forward than stated in the instructions.  Whilst the seat is touching the side of the van, it isn’t overly squashed.
However I’ve found another issue/query, this time, in relation to the left/right position of the centre front mounting hole (in the centre of this picture).
 The hole in question is on the centre, lefthand side of this photo.
Based on the measurements from the reference hole I’d drilled the centre/front hole will exit under the boxed-in section for the NSR suspension arm!  So not sure how I’d get a bolt in there. Also not sure whether this issue is specific to a LWB?
[Update 20170507]
So back under the van, this time to measure where I think the bolts will need to come through from inside (yellow dots are my best estimates).
NSR bolt.

NSF bolt (closest to NS sliding door).

OSR (the one which the instructions say needs the long bolt since it goes through the box section).

OSF, right above the exhaust pipe.

Middle/front, the problem one (doesn’t go where the yellow dot is but inside the box section as far as I can tell).



Day 3 from underneath…

More fun under the van.  Under the van I tie-wrapped the cable to the fixings for the fuel pipes.
This is the cable poking up under the passenger seat.  I needed a bit of washing up liquid to get the cable through the existing hole.
 More exciting “under van” shots!
 Grommet to the right is the one under the passenger seat.
 Cable continuing to the rear of the van.
 13-pin socket connected.  Don’t forget to fit the grommet/cover first!

Socket fitted to the van.

I chose to use the side entry option since I thought the rear entry one would foul with the spare wheel.

More cable routing, this time from the rear wheels back.

Routing towards the rear bumper.

Right all done with this for today.  Only have the connections to make, saving that for another day!

Day 2 under the van!

Continuing to install the tow bar electrics.  1st removal of the wipers and the cover.  Once the wipers have their nuts removed they come off quite easily (as long as you know to push down on the hinge part to relieve the tension on them).  Next the plastic part/cover just pulls off.



Next I took the battery & plastic shield parts out so I could see where best to route the cable.
Now I can see where I need to go.
I took the battery tray out to have a better look but actually didn’t need to based on where I chose to route the cable.

Battery tray removed.

This is the route I took with the cable (the white nylon line).

This is the view from underneath (again see the white nylon line).

I taped the cable to the line and carefully pulled it down from underneath.

This is the cable from underneath.

I didn’t fix the cable until I had it threaded all the way to the back of the van since I didn’t know how much play there was in the length.

This is the grommet underneath the passenger seat where part of the loom needs to come up through.

Removal of the lower panels above the pedals.

Rubber matting pulled back.

This is the existing grommet which needs to be replaced with the one in the loom (difficult to see, it’s dead centre in the photo behind the steering column).

And again, this time with the original grommet removed.

I tried threading my nylon guide from the engine side but in the end this wasn’t necessary.  All I needed to do was to carefully unclip the small pipe which runs left to right and pull the sound proofing mat away and I could see the hole.
This is the cable/grommet in place (it was very difficult to get the grommet to fit!).

Now the cable is routed down then up in a “U” then behind the dashboard.

Removal of the lower dashboard panels, the smaller upper part hides a screw!

You can see the clips on the lower part here.

Cable pulled through, am not connecting it today so now back to fixing the whole loom in place.

Since the fixed grommet in the loop (behind the accelerator cable) defines that position I started from there with fastening the cable.  This is the route I took on the OS of the engine bay.
Then I threaded the cable behind the sound proofing material (had to remove the two clips to do this).
More tomorrow…

A weekend under my van…

On the new ramps, time to get started!

This is the Kiravans Rib seat fitting kit.

Almost in place, using the spare wheel carrier for support.

Time to remove the exhaust rear heat shield (have already removed the plastic panel above the rear wheel.

Head shield removed.

I marked the area where I’ll need to drill.
I used a couple of clamps to hold the bracket in place, but there’s a problem!  The bracket is too short.  I measured the distance between the vehicle struts and it’s approx. 750mm, the problem is that the bracket is approx. 742mm!  So unfortunately this particular job will have to wait until another day (after I have spoken to Kiravans).
So next job, installation of the wiring for the tow bar.  First the removal of the under-floor plastic panels.
And some more.
View under-body with cover removed.
The cable to be installed.
The bare end for the 13-pin socket (I’ve covered the end to protect it).
The other end, the left part goes to the engine bay (near the battery), the coil in the centre goes across the engine bay / bulkhead and into the passenger compartment (behind the accelerator cable), the end to the right goes up from under the passenger seat.
The end close to the battery, the ECU (not shown) and the fuses.
The end which goes across the bulkhead and down into the passenger area behind the accelerator cable (the grommet in the cable replaces the grommet which is already in-place behind the accelerator).
The end which comes up from under the floor to under the passenger seat.

Checking the fit…

The tall unit doesn’t seem to fit very well with the profile of the side panel.
Think I need to see if I can, somehow, get this to fit a bit better!
Also there’s a gap behind the worktop, where “stuff” could fall down behind the unit.  Will need to think about this (although it will provide ventilation for the fridge!).