Author Archives: Heathy

Drivers front seat swivel

So I thought I’d have a go at test fitting the Rib drivers seat swivel I purchased from Kiravans.

It fits very easily, although the swivel is very stiff for the first rotation.

However there seems to be a design fault… As can be seen from the following photos the catch fouls with the seat trim.

I spoke to Kiravans and they say I need to cut the seat trim!  Seems daft to me, the catch has just been made too short.

Spilt charge wiring etc.

I ordered a spilt charge kit (SC120L) and also a “Leisure battery supply loom for aftermarket stereo” kit, both from travelvolts.com.
First I took of the wiper arms (which was a bit difficult until I lifted the arm up directly under the spring to relieve the pressure.

Then it’s easy to remove the plastic cover.

I then had an amount of rubbish to clean out before I started the installation.

I decided to clean out the offside area too.
This is the part of the slit charge kit.  The cable labelled “2” is the short cable which connects to the van battery.  The long cable, labelled “3” & “4” routes from the engine bay to the passenger compartment (“3” in the engine bay, “4” in the passenger compartment).

This is how the cable routes in the engine compartment.

This is the routing into the passenger area (the cable hasn’t been pulled all the way through yet.

The cable routes through from the van battery via a pre-existing hole/grommet.

In order to route the cable to under the driver seat (where I intend to install the spilt charge relay), it’s easier to remove the seats and the floor mat (this probably isn’t absolutely necessary).

I decided to cut the mat so I didn’t have to disconnect the handbrake cable from the hand brake but then could remove the mat.

Now to get on with the cable routing.

Almost done with the routing.

This is where I chose to install the split charge relay (in the NSF corner).

About time I posted again

So it’s been quite a time since my last update…

The van’s been back with me for a while now fitted with a pop top roof, windows, part lining and a rear spoiler too.

The way I’ve had the lining done means I pretty much have access to everywhere for cabling etc.  I just have to cover/fit the larger rear panels.

So now I can crack-on with the conversion myself.

Sliding door adjustment

When I purchased my van I noticed that the sliding door isn’t completely flush when closed, it’s slightly proud on the rear edge.  At the time, I had a good look at the door/brackets etc and there’s absolutely no evidence of damage/buckling or anything else to explain it.  I even spoke to the previous owner (the van was at a main dealer as a trade in).  The guy who owned it bought the van from a VW dealer and commented on the door at the time of his purchase.  The garage adjusted it and improved it, but he (and now me) reckon it’s not quite as good as other vans (but it wasn’t enough of an issue to not buy the van).
When stood looking at the sliding door the top left hand corner is very slightly proud and the bottom lefthand corner is very slightly inboard (neither of these are significant or really noticeable). However the righthand side (i.e. rear vertical edge) is quite noticeable, worsening towards the lower part of the door.
(Note: the previous owner had professionally fitted deadlocks installed, but I’ve checked and this isn’t the cause of the issue).
So I’ve had a look at the VW documentation in relation to adjusting the door and thought I’d see if I could improve it at all.
I carefully marked (with masking tape) the existing position of the brackets so I could get it back to where I started.
Firstly I adjusted the striker pin by moving towards the inside of the vehicle but even with a slight movement the door won’t close, so I returned it to its original position.
Another thing I tried was completely removing the striker pin assembly and holding the door shut.  In this scenario I wasn’t able to push the door fully home/shut, but I’m not sure whether I should be able to do this anyway since when the door’s on the latch it’s obviously under considerable pressure.
Next I looked at the door latch itself (on the rear edge of the door) but this doesn’t seem to be adjustable.  Then I looked at the mounting for the rear slider (on the door) and as shown here it’s already at its limit.
I also tried slightly tweaking the front adjustments, both top and bottom but this had no real effect.
Moving forwards, my only thought is to remove the striker pin again and then also remove the guides from the rear of the B pillar and also the door seal to see if it sits square in that instance.
The only other thing I noticed, when I removed the striker pin was that there’s a green coloured spacer (almost like a gasket in form) between the striker assembly and the door.  I’m not sure if that’s a standard item so might try to carefully remove it.

Tow bar installation, next steps

So the plan was to install the tow bar, but I didn’t get too far.

First I inserted 4 of the plugs I got from VW (I got 8, but there were already 4 installed.  New ones are white, the existing 4 are grey (2 at each end).

Then it was a simple matter of fitting the new part and using the 8 clips to secure it to the van.

Next job is to remove the spare wheel then remove the under-body panel to be able to bolt in the actual tow bar.  Whilst most of the fixings for this are just bolts there are 3 (somewhat corroded) star-lock washers too 🙁

It looks like 2 of these need to be removed to be able to remove the underbody panel.  These things are a bugger to get off anyway but these ones aren’t in good shape so I think I’ll need to get some replacements before I continue.
Looking at them I estimate they’re 5mm ones, albeit bigger than normal, i.e. 30mm overall diameter.
 
 

Reversing camera installation

While I’m waiting for the tow bar bits I thought I’d install the reversing camera I purchased on eBay.
Having removed the internal tailgate panel it’s easy to remove the external plastic part which houses the rear number plate lights.  Just disconnect the electrical connector on the righthand site then undo the 4 nuts.  Then carefully remove the part from the outside (being careful not to snag the electrical connector when doing so).
I was also very pleased to see an unused hole, plugged with a grommet in the tailgate, somewhere to route my cable.
I used the supplied hole cutter to cut a central hole in the plastic part and then pushed the camera into the hole (it was a very tight fit!).  The camera has a pivot on it to adjust the viewing angle which is adjusted with a tiny grub screw.  Looking at where I drilled the hole (front to back), I placed it centrally which will mean I won’t easily be able to adjust the angle of the camera in place, so perhaps I should have drilled further back?
 Camera in place and threaded through to the inside.
 Looks pretty tidy from the outside.
The camera comes with a short cable attached to it, with a non-standard connector on it.  Additionally a far longer cable is supplied which has a single phono plug and a pair of power wires at the other end.
I threaded this cable from inside the tailgate up to the existing gaiter and through into the van itself.  This took some doing especially threading the cable up towards the top of the tailgate and out of the gaiter hole.

 

Rear bumper off, just for a look

It’s been a few weeks, there’s been plenty of thought & planning in relation to the layout and the van’s booked in in early June for a pop-roof & windows 🙂

So in the meantime I’ve decided to fit a towbar, reversing sensors and also a reversing camera.

I’ve decided on the Westfalia Detachable towbar and having read-up on it there’s mention of some VW extras that are needed (To guarantee an optimal fit of the bumper it is necessary to mount – 1 x plastic rail 7HO 807 723 – 8 x gasket 357 853 586 B – 8 x clip 7HO 867 299 01C).

In relation to the plastic rail apparently some vehicles have this already but you need to remove the bumper to see if you’re lucky.

It’s not too difficult to remove…

Start by taking the rear lights off, removing 2 bolts and then carefully slide the unit sideways away from the vehicle.
My truck is a tailgate version so it has the plastic in-fill pieces between the lights and the bumper. These lift off after you remove the 2 bolts and carefully unclip the bottom.
Next you need to remove the two bolts in each wheel arch and then move the cover slightly to get to the single bolt which is hiding behind it.
Finally there’s the bolts on the top & bottom of the actual bumper, once these are off then the bumper itself can be easily slid off/back.  Once it was off this is what I can see, trouble is I not sure if this is the “plastic rail 7HO 807 723” item or not?
Also, as an aside I saw this sticker inside my bumper, not sure what the relevance of this is?

Time to get the boarding & the bulkhead out

A reasonably successful weekend.  The before…

Time to start…
Taken the panelling out to see if there’s anything scary underneath (their wasn’t) and also unbolted the bulkhead.

A couple of photos for reference before I disconnect the wiring under the passenger seat.

Passenger seat out (secured by 8 nuts).
I disconnected the above electrical connectors and then reconnected them to themselves (they’re only mounted in to the seat frame but seemingly have nothing to do with the seat itself).

Time to remove the lower bulkhead brackets, which are spot welded (the upper brackets are bolted on).  Made good use of a Spot Weld Cutter Set :-).  One thing to be aware of, before you get too creative with a chisel & hammer (which can be useful if you’re careful), disconnect the battery or you might trigger the seatbelt tensioners (explosive charges!), apparently this has happened to a few people… both scary and expensive!!

I used the spot weld cutter and also a power saw to remove the bottom bracket.

I’m not too worried about removing all of the weld since this will be covered by the floor (I removed more than shown in this photo).

Before removing the drivers seat it’s important to put the van in gear and chock the wheels since you’ll need to disturb the handbrake.  I took this photo in case I needed to disconnect the handbrake cable (so I had a record of the number of threads that the bolt was from the end), however in the end I just unbolted the handbrake bracket from the seat and left as-is for now, allowing me to remove the seat.

Drivers seat out now… time to remove the RHS bulkhead brackets.