Westfalia is used for weekend fun
runs and has been driven just 10,000 miles since 2003. It was
purchased in 1992 with 11,000 miles on the odometer, currently 104,000.
decided to upgrade my Westfalia so I'll document what
I'm doing by creating a blog. The first reason behind this is the
water leak these VW products suffer from. Second, these are
heavy machines weighing in at 4,460 pounds with a 1/2 tank of
gas, one medium passenger and about 100 pounds of personal items
inside, pretty average load. The first thing out of the scale
operators mouth was "wow, that's heavy!".
The decision to move ahead
with a GOWESTY engine is simple, it is a replacement and not a large
irreversible modification even though its hard to ignore the Subaru
engine. I choose to install the somewhat modified 2300 CC engine for a
gain of 10 percent horsepower and 25% torque to push this heavy van
down the highway. The following is my log.
Standard Oil type:
Mobil 1 15W50 after 3rd
oil change. No flush required
pressure for the 16" Michelin Tires: 44PSI all around if your roads
are good but I run 42 Rear and 40 Front since our roads are so
Air Conditioner: See
Vanagon.com May and June 2007 archives for the latest in A/C care and
Brakes: Sometime in
the future add
Audi dual cylinder and vented front rotors.
Current and Future Projects:
2.3 Engine and Wheels
Completed: AT and
DOT-IT LED lights over the bed and couch. Extra original
style VW lights purchased for the drivers cabin. Audi
A3 Dome light assemblies are too expensive.
Completed: Marine quality front and rear 12 V accessory power
Completed: GoWesty Head Light Upgrade 11/2006
lights in the cabin dome light over the driver, passenger and above the glove
3rd Tail light.
Referene VW Eurovan or BMW Mini 3rd lights
Brighter tail lamps and front parking lamps, very nice and easy
Working on a special
dome light using a micro-processor for high
power CREE XP LEDs to install in the main area. See November
Completed: Radio Shack 276-316 Blue LED for the Dometic fridge
pilot light indicator.
Engine: as a
precaution, replace the nylon Idle Switch and Nylon Actuator.
Replace the emissions charcoal cannister (recommended at 100K miles); build
the ECU status tester found on the web.
Controller with outside Andersen connectors to / from other
Door speaker and mirror wiring.
Alpine CDA-9883 Radio
CD, IPOD input. Upgrade speakers and add audio mixers for ham
radio sound over the same speakers.
VW Corrado steering
wheel and blue LED
Front air conditioner radiator for up front cold air.
LED driver and passenger door safety lights. Mount per door, one below the speaker
and on the door edge seen from the rear. Check the Audi A4 front
door safety lights
300 watt AC power converter mounted under the sink
ODYSSEY Drycell PC1200 battery 888 379-2555 or see
Ding removal and color polishing; Under Carriage cleaning.
See PEP BOYS for RED caliper paint.
Pep Boys water
solible spray / Wash Off BRA.
Show car quality some day
Cruise Control. This looks like the best one on the market
and NO Vacuum needed. http://www.rostra.com/cruise-control.htm
BEEPER FOR IDIOTS WHO WALK BEHIND ME WHEN i'M PULLING OUT OF THE RALPHS GROCERY
STORE PARKING LOT
Replaced the radiator and the long radiator pipes; all rubber parts front and rear
including around the gas tank.
removed and cleaned all grounds
Tune up, OXS sensor, batterY.
Tires and brakes
New engine cooling thermostat and general checkup
If I'm not going to get a new BMW M3 or X3 and there are no other mini
vans that come close to the Westy, then let's order a GoWesty 2300 CC engine
instead of trying to fix the leaking head gasket. The engine
swap is about the same cost as a lease startup with cash and deposits
plus license fees. The Vdub engine is in otherwise perfect
condition and runs great but the water leak is not going away and will
only get worse in time.
GoWesty base engine PLUS the
2300 CC upgrade is on order. Initial cost includes a $1,000 engine core
charge but additional replacement parts in the engine area will be
required to complete a reliable installation. That would include
rubber hoses, fan belts and muffler parts.
set of 16 inch Mercedes type mag wheels will be installed during the
engine installation as well as all rubber parts and hoses. No
other problems are expected. The original wait time for the
custom built engine is 8 weeks but the last word from Chris at order
time is 4 to 6 weeks. So far, the ordering experience has been
excellent and I was given a number of options to get my engine to the
home of GoWesty, Los Osos California, some 5 hours north of Orange
Contacted GoWesty for shipping information to truck the Westy up to
Los Osos. They recommended Me and Molly McGee Trucking who
worked around my complicated schedule to truck the Vdub to Los Osos.
Contacted Chris at GoWesty to verify delivery. GoWesty already
had the engine out and a short list of extra engine compartment items
that needed replacement for lasting reliability. Fortunately
regular maintenance has paid off and the list was short and very
reasonable. No sense in going through all of this work to drive
away with some old cruddy part waiting to break on a long stretch of
is well and since I was charged for the 16 x 7.5 inch Mercedes style
mag wheels, I assume they will be installed. These wheels
are hard to get as I've tried many times to order a set by
phone. I'm looking forward to the great handling wider tires
give and especially to replace the skinny weenies currently mounted.
We drove up from Orange County to Los Osos, 245 miles to pick up the
van from GoWesty. It was a long drive but our GPS took us right
to their door step without a single problem. It sure was
exciting to round the corner in the small town of Los Osos and see my
van in the GoWesty parking lot. Wow, the big 16 inch mag wheels
look great and they are definitely larger than stock, 7.5 inches
wide. I was anxious to try out the new 2.3 liter engine and also
to return the rental car so there would not be another days rental
charge. After settling out the paper work and reviewing
the 48 month warrantee I drove the VW around the block and instantly
realized the changes. After filling the tank with 89 octane gas,
$3.55 per gallon, my wife drove the VW to the airport behind me.
After arriving she walked around the VW, checked out the big wheels
and told me how well it handled. Well, I never did tell her how
much all this cost but I had planned on selling my wonderful BMW since
I no longer need two cars for myself.
make a long story short, the 285 miles home was a delight, my wife
drove the first 145 miles to Santa Barbara during which time she got
to use and feel the improved handling and the power from the 2.3
engine on the hills. Overall, she is very impressed with the changes,
excellent handling and very good power. For once, we didn't have
to anticipate hills and speed in advance.
more note about the 16" tires. The ride is excellent, very
firm making the van stable in the cross winds and while passing large
trucks. At first I was afraid the tires would be too stiff and
ride as if on rocks but the exact is true, it rides firm like the BMW
but not bumping on the rough spots. This change is really worth
far, so good. The engine starts instantly, idles smooth and otherwise
runs excellent. I'm really impressed. The warrantee spells
out all the terms for the first 12 and 48 months of coverage and
includes a chart for the break-in period and maximum speed
limits. The correct tire pressure setting is the only missing
This is the first day I've had to just putter around SoCal to get the
feel of the improved performance and what better to do than drive 40
miles south for breakfast in San Clemente. The route includes
driving over the top of the toll road past the microwave towers then
down and up and around to connect to the south bound 405
freeway. Once in San Clemente we drove around the old town
and through the beautiful homes lining the beach cliffs. By the
time we got home I had nothing but praise for the decision to get this
2300 CC engine and the big 16" tires. This combination
really changes the drivability of the VW. It powers up the
freeway onramps and especially up the toll road past the towers.
Where it previously was a challenge to maintain 3,000 RPM, I could
easily do 3,500 RPM without holding the pedal to the floor, lesser
hills were no longer a challenge, the new found horse power and torque
really made a difference. What is hard to describe is the
total drivability of the VW, it feels more 'modern'. I really
recommend this combination of tires and engine as a
August 9, 2006: At 1100 miles now and I have to say that I'm really
pleased with everything. The engine starts and idles smooth and
really shines in second gear as I power away from the signal lights.
This van has an Auto Transmission and it really does perform well on
the streets and busy southern California freeways. I can power
up the big climb out of Ventura south and on the two local hills like
never before. RPMs about 300-500 higher in top gear in relation
to the old engine. Nice but if I did a lot of camping in
the mountains instead of the flat sea shore, I would be very tempted
to take another $895 plunge and go for the 2.4 engine.
In all cases, the big
16" GoWesty wheels are wonderful, the 18 wheelers and coastal
wind do not cause the Westy to jump a lane, in fact, it steers like my rock solid BMW 325.
By the way, all the
power is in the mid range and it seem useless to rev the engine in any
gear. Most of my driving is around town and the engine RPM is in
the 2,500 to 3,200 range. Just cruising .... MPG
ranges from 16 around town to 19 on the freeway but this is far to
early for final MPG figures with a new engine.
August 10, 2006:
Every trying to improve mileage, I installed a new
K and N Engine Air
Filter and noticed a very nice performance improvement from the moment
I started the engine and throughout the day as I ran errands.
The weather is the same as its been all week so that variable is out
of the question. This was a good upgrade. See
www.knfilters.com on the web or
at Pep Boys Automotive. The part number is E2475.
There is a new auto
parts place called the Automobile Box, chalk full of auto goodies for
street racers but many accessories are good for the Vdub too.
is running fine and now the engine is beginning to loosen up with
around 1900 miles on it. Overall gas mileage is 16 MPG and 19 MPG
on the freeway. I'm still a very happy camper and have ordered
the GoWesty High Power Headlight Kit as the next step in the project.
lighting for the driver/passenger cabin, it seems the 2006 Audi A4 has
gray cabin lights that are not too complicated. The Audi rear seat
dome light would look great in the VW cabin and the Audi front door
safety lights would look great on the VW doors too.
Waxing the Fiberglass
top is a PAIN. Use 3M Marine Fiberglass Restorer and then follow with
3M Fiberglass wax. Expensive products but they work!!
Apply the polish and wax with a power orbital buffer for super results
then follow with a six pack and pizza, its a full days job.
HEAD LAMP UPGRADE
Installing the GOWESTY
Relay and Bulb Upgrade for the 86-91 Vanagons/Westys with Standard
I did the electrical
part first because you must not install the bulbs then use the
unmodified electrics. Do not begin unless you have a very good
wire trimming tool for #12 wire and a good electric connector crimper.
I bought a crimper from OSH Hardware. Make sure the quality of the
crimper jaws are straight and not overlapping cause apparently quality
is very poor.
Read the directions
twice. The top of page 2 identifies which of the new relays is
for Low Beam and High Beam. Mark the top so there are no errors.
Disconnect the car
battery negative terminal and put something under it to prevent it
from touching the battery. Remove the fuse box cover and remove
three screws at the bottom of the fuse/relay box as it must come out a
Follow the directions.
The Yellow wire at A21 is the only heavy yellow wire on the backside
of the panel.
Same for the white wire at B22. I used lots of 10 inch cable
ties to keep everything neat. The hard part was getting the
crimp tool into the tight spots to crimp each of the two barrel
connectors from the original wiring to the new White or Yellow wires.
The remaining connections are very easy to make to the STAR ground to
the left of the panel and to the power buss on the left rear of the
panel. That was the easy part.
When finished, bundle
the wires to the new relay to keep them nice and pretty and away from
tangles or friction. Mount the two
relays high up the inner left wall of the dash board. I cleaned
the metal surface with alcohol before 'sticking' the Velcro onto the
metal to make a long lasting connection.
Double check everything
before screwing the panel back together. Test by attaching the battery and
make sure every light works because this is the easiest time to fix a bad connection.
Pushing the fuse/relay
panel back into place some careful work. Don't let any wires become
pinched behind the brackets. Review the instructions
before bolting everything together. Don't forget the final step
to swap the 10 amp fuses for 20 amp fuses.
The electrical is now
finished. This part of the project took about 2 hours to complete. Later the headlight lenses will be removed, washed
out, the new bulbs inserted then everything re-assembled. Since I had some rock damage
a new lense was purchased for $145.00.
HEAD LAMP Part II
To prevent stuck or
broken head light adjusters, spray each adjuster days in advance
with silicon spray. I did mine twice otherwise be prepared to
replace one or more.
Parts: Low Beam Outside Square
Lamp Hella HB1 P29 t UB-free 12V 100/80W 8GJ004 907-171 h83155131
High Beam Spots Flosser Halogen 13320 12V
Relay Installation for high currants
Fuse changes 20 amp position 9 & 10
Have a helper,
removing and replacing the headlight assembly is safer with two
working on it.
Remove VW grill by turning the five 1/2 twist screw along the grill top.
Remove the frame
around the headlight pair, don't touch the adjusters!
Remove the lamp from the square headlight by turning the big knob to
remove the lamp and
the firmly but gently removing the wire socket. Push out firmly as the
socket overlaps the
Install new lamp
Remove the high beam lamp in the small lense.
Quarter twist the large knob around the recessed lamp to remove
Remove the 2 wire
Pop the wire bail open to remove the headlight.
Replace the lamp and assemble.
Five half turn fasteners are along the
top hold the grill to the front end
|Support the assembly else something will break
||Drivers side assembly showing the nylon adjusters
|Left assembly showing the broken left side adjuster
and the right assembly with the lamps installed. A
temporary bracket was fashioned to support the
adjustment shaft for the left side of the left assembly.
The holes in the headlight were covered to keep dirt or
dust out while solving the problem about the adjuster
Don't turn the adjusters, just apply silicon
spray to loosen them up for the adjustment phase or order
replacements as needed.
lens: Pop the nylon adjuster out of the HEADLIGHT, not the headlamp
carrier frame. Surprisingly the adjustment remained very close after
A note about the
headlight adjusters: Buy and keep a set on hand because these do
break during adjustments.
Interior Front Cabin
Two extra VW style
light assemblies were ordered to install at the center and over the
position. Helpful but at least the interior remains
Replaced the old and seeping differential and ATF gaskets. The
Auto Transmission cooling pipe connections to the transmission need
new O-rings and the bottom needs cleaning. Where do I find
someplace to do this?
Sylvania DOT-IT LED lamps over the bed and
Marine Quality 12V accessory sockets to power personal accessories,
IPODS, charge cell phones, Ham Radio, or extra lights.
hard to see but the 12 volt accessory sockets are the black dots in
the center of the photos. Each was positioned for easy access
and non interference to the passenger or to the area behind the
socket. The circuit to each socket includes a 10 amp fuse and
power comes off the refrigerator circuit. Care should be taken
when using the accessories and the refrigerator in electric mode at
the same time. The backside of each socket is protected by a
pill box cap to prevent accidental shorts.
5/2007 Replaced the
dim green Dometic Fridge pilot light with a bright BLUE LED from
Radio Shack part number 276-316. This is a direct replacement
even though the operating voltage of the Blue LED is higher, the brilliant
display with the original resistor network and LM342 driver is more than adequate,
maybe too bright.
|Photo 1: stock green LED Photo 2: Blue LED
straight on Photo 3: Blue LED at a sharp angle
Here is the big
advantage of this brighter LED when lighting the frig gas pilot, the
LED light is visible during the daylight hours so
staring down the little pilot light hole is no longer necessary.
It's also visible while laying in bed or through the front window.
Really enhances lighting the fridge cause the LED lights up within a
second or two of the pilot light, just 'spark' slowly to give it the
extra second of time.
6/2/2007 We went
to the local custom VW showing at Octavios Custom Upholstery in the
City of Orange. Something for the future but next door is an
Auto Electronics store, Alpine radios and video backup cameras;
Jerry's VW Restoring. 1441 Colins, Orange, CA.
with the American Red Cross at the Santiago fire shelters and for
the California State Office of Emergency Services. Saw a need
for improved interior lighting. Since this was an item on my
list, I skipped other projects to add brighter interior lights.
the 5 watt Festoon lamp over the driver with Luxer 1 , 6-LED array
for brighter interior light. Preparing to install the same
module over the passenger. Replaced the 3 watt Festoon lamp in the
light fixture above the glove box. Installed Dot-It LED
Lights between the front sun visors. The interior is now
bright and white for night time map reading and emergency services
operations. More to come for the exterior. Battery
operation of LED lighting is possible because LEDs use so little
power and Lithium batteries have a long life rating.
Replaced the radio antenna with a black whip from PEP
Boys. Finding 3/16 long 10/32 set screws to fasten the antenna
took an entire afternoon.
Looks like I didn't do
much in 2008 except work on the LED lights and Aux DC wiring.
The transmission was cleaned with engine Gunk Spray to help locate
the very slow oil leaks.
Took my Westy to Joe
Schoeningh at Europro to find and fix the source of the slow oil
leaks and discuss upgrades to the brakes. Joe gave me an
honest assesment about my brakes and said there were fine for the
type of driving I am doing, that is with a lite load to and from the
beach or out to some small hill top parks.
Joe checked my
transmission for leaks and saved me a lot of expense when he pointed
out that the axle seals did not need replacing. He pointed out
the location of the leak at the transmission front motor mount where
the trans cooler tubes are attached; the O-Seal over a round trans
cover and anther seal that has to do with the 2nd gear brake band.
Changing the last seal required going inside the transmission.
Joe also recommended an external auto trans oil cooler for
reliability. The stock cooler exchanges heat by passing the
transmission oil through a heat exchanger where engine coolant
circulates. It was pointed out that if the stock cooler goes
bad water can get into the transmission and transmission fluid can
get into the engine cooling system ..... $$$$. The new
external cooler is less expensive than a VW cooler. Check
GoWesty for pricing.
Europro of Costa Mesa
End of the day, no
drips in the driveway ..... Lets hope this success continues .
Next big item is a
Cruise Control mentioned earlier ..... not VW components.
Ordered BRIGHT tail lamps and front parking lamps from Terry K
Terry has some very
unique replacement parts on his site. Another project
WOW! This is a very
worth while upgrade, you'll know that the folks behind you will see
your tail end.
The Tail lights were
too bright but I was able to find lights with wattage one step up
from the originals.
Installed a Bosch rebuilt Alternator from GoWesty at 107,000 miles. The
alternator looks brand new and comes with new regulator and
components. Local shops do not rebuilt like this since the
last Alternator lasted about 10,000 miles. Changing it out was a real struggle as the lower bracket
bolt is a bear to insert but after lots of struggling, I was able to
get both hands around the bottom of the Alternator to push the long
lower mounting screw in.
NO TRANSMISSION LEAKS
I learned that some of the service items for the smog system have
been obsoleted by VW. Maybe in a slight panic I ordered a
spare Emissions Charcoal Filter.
from Torrance has been asking about my development for a really cool
camper light. Well I've actually got a very powerful LED lamp
working but I have not selected a suiteable RV lamp housing to put
my circuits into. This lamp has 4 levels of intensity and
draws far less power than a incandescent lamp, its really nice.
Today I went to IKEA
to find a light to modify with my circuits and found all of these
styles. The choice is certainly going to be difficult so I'll
post the styles here. Also, IKEA has a very good selection of
115VAC powered LED lights, check out the power plug with the built
in 115VAC to 3.6V DC power supply. I sure like the string of
LED lamps mounted under the cabinet in the following photo.
These would be a nice when mounted above the Stove Top but in
reality non of the IKEA LED lamps are good for main lighting, I
think these are for mood lighting or decoration. Whats missing
are the very high power CREE emitters that are computer controlled.
I'm working on it so check back.
These look like good candidates for a LED conversion but there is no
space for the circuit board power regulator
LED Lamps shown here
Colorful Solar Charged LED Lamps
When looking at LED
lamps, let the light shine onto a plain piece of paper to compare
brightness, color and beam width to other lights before making a choice.
The cute Orange Solar Lamp shown really got my attention.
June 24, 2010
The large bolt for the
rear view mirror was coming loose, I discovered that by chance and a
good thing because it is very difficult to attach once it falls
loose. The bolt has 2 notches in it that a 4mm hex wrench will fit
into although loose but at least an emergency repair can be
completed. A better tool with 4.5mm tangs would be a solution but
good luck. Just take care not to pinch the wires to the mirror
Also lubricated doors
and locks with garage door lubricant, checked the big Michelin Tires
44R 42F, filled the RV water tank after checking the water faucet
for operation. The Dometic 182B Fridge is slow to cool on Gas, I
think the GAS JET is partially clogged because I can hardly see it
through the glass inspection hole however the LED Pilot Lamp is on
bright. Cooling by AC power is fast so there is nothing wrong with
the basic fridge.
We just returned from
a super trip around Seattle Washington and to the San Juan Islands,
Orcus Island in particular. I guess a lot of Westy drivers are
familiar with this area as I saw many throughout the trip. I
spoke to David from Canada while waiting in line for the ferry at
Anacortes to the islands. He is driving a nice blue 1990 Westy
with a TICO engine conversion, big GoWesty tires and the Big Brake
kit. Very impressive.
more Washington Westfalias here soon.
Thanks to everyone for
the kind responses and photos which I plan to add to this page to
share. Only minor changes have been made this winter including
a 6 watt variable intensity LED dome light that I plan to make for
Replaced the Westy Starting Battery. The Sears Diehard
International 41 was over 5 years old and the voltage would hardly
stay above 12vdc. A new interstate MT41 was installed.
The battery measures 7W X 7H X 12L, a very tight fit. A similar
battery for the 1994 BMW 325 is about 1/2" smaller and would be my
choice in the future. See Interstate.com for the battery product
With all the bad
weather nothing is going on here, its just too cold to work in the
garage but that doesn't stop creating new ideas. The gas jet
on the fridge needs to be cleaned because it is not cooling down
very much. Next oil change will be to switch over to Mobile-1.
I don't know what's in
Mobile-1 synthetic oil to make this engine purr but I like the
results. MPG varies from 15 to 20 around town or freeway
Began hearing a weird
noise from the front, pulled the front wheels off and found some
wear in the wheel bearings. Replaced and also had a complete
front brake job performed. Disks, calipers, tire rotation and
air filter service. Discussed replacing some of the wear and
tear parts to keep the ol VW reliable.
The home made dual
CREE LED lamp has been very reliable and I'm thinking about selling
prototypes. The lamp draws low power at 12 volts, low heat,
adjustable output from very low to full intensity. So far I've
not seen anything like it.
interior lights in the form of long strips are now available at Pep
Boys Automotive. These look great for lighting up under the
dash board or anywhere in the cabin.
For fear that some
part kits at Go-Westy may run out of production, kits for the gas
tank, fuel line and stainless steel radiator pipes were ordered for
future installation. I guess the last brake job cancelled the
Audi/Porsche big brake kit as the new brakes are more than adequate.
Its time to replace the 1990s
Radio Shack Cassette Radio with a 2012 Kenwood KDC-BT652U and Helix
speakers. This was not an easy job because each speaker hole
had to be enlarge a few millimeters and front adapter rings
constructed. If you don't have sufficient wood working tools
do your self a favor and let a professional install the radio and
speakers. I was trying to maintain the original look by
recycling the speaker muffin covers but it turned out the screw
holes on the new speakers were just difference enough that this was
not possible. Even though the speakers are the same DIN size 4 inch
speakers there was a small difference in the mounting hole diameter
requirement and interference with the wire terminals that required careful wood work.
While changing the
speakers I found a broken cable conduit that runs from the dash
board into the door so 10 wires of #18 size were pulled through to
aid in the repair of the cable and speaker wires. Silicon and
liquid soap wiped onto the wires made pulling an easy job and the
same technique made replacing the rubber boot very easy.
Wiring the Kenwood connector to the VW connector is aided by
removing the ash tray. I highly recommend installing a quality
electrical interference choke in the radio power cable to reject
electrical noises. The choke aids in
removing electrical interference and alternator whine from the audio
While the door is
open, lubricate the window register slide and moving parts
while the door panel is removed.
The rubber and foam blocks that guide the window became separated so
3M adhesive was used secure loose parts in place.
Lubricate the door cable boots so the boot moves in and out of the
door frame recess instead of folding and pinching as the door is
closed. This is the area where the wires were broken.
material was placed behind the speaker location
and on the inside skin of the door panel to dampen rattles and
resonance. Clean everything and carefully remount the clear
plastic moisture barrier. I lubricated each door panel pin
with silicon to help during re-assembly.
The holes for the rear
Helix speakers must be routed about 3 millimeters larger for the
speaker magnet to fit and the speaker terminals must be spread flat
to the curve of the speaker body so the wires with terminals will
fit between the speaker body and the hole inside diameter. A
Dremel tool was used to route out the bottom half of the circle to
allow for additional terminal and wire clearance. The cut was
made into the wood behind the Melmac finish. Trimming a notch
into the left speaker cover was necessary for a good fit. This
was done by making very small cuts until the fit was satisfactory
then the raw ends of the metal were filed and painted to look fresh.
The photos detail the
speaker differences and the cut necessary to the Helix speaker mesh
cover. Be very careful while working at the front of the
speaker to prevent damage. Installing the Kenwood KDC-BT652U
involves removing the old radio, popping out the ash tray, soldering
the new wire harness for speakers and then soldering the red and
yellow wires to a choke then to the 12 volt source with 10 amp fuse.
Don't forget to attach the ground wire. Pushing the radio into
the dash too some effort to route the wire bundles properly so they
did not interfere with the limited space behind the radio. Be aware
of sharp metal edges and possible electrical shorts.
The job took about 3
hours or more to install the radio and splice the speaker wires and
power wires. The rear speakers took about 4 hours total and
the front speakers took about 6 hours. At least half of the
time was for measuring clearances and determining mounting methods
before drilling and cutting. Because the speaker cones extend
past the mounting frame its necessary to mount the speakers on the
inside of the front door panels then machine the speaker
grill/covers to remove 2 millimeters for clearance to the dash board
with the doors closed. A very snug fit.
The Kenwood with Helix
speakers are a large improvement over the stock
system but lets face it, the VW interior
is noisy at speed so someday I might upholster
the cabin headliner and door panels with a modern soft material to
absorb wind and road noise. Additional sound dampening
material should be installed inside the door cavity. The Kenwood
KDC-BT652U radio is fantastic, AM/FM, CD, Blue Tooth for Music or Cell Phone,
Pandora, USB cable compatibility with the iPhone4 and a front panel mini
stereo AUX input for old audio device input. The remote
control works very well but it could be larger for easier handling.
Pairing Blue Tooth was a hassle for some reason then suddenly it
paired by itself, don't ask, could be easier and now it pairs
Thanks to my friend
Dr. Ken Chong and Jaime and Tom at Beach Auto Sound in Huntington
Beach for their advice.
May 2012 The
original spare tire is very old, its time for a new tire but finding
a 185R14 or 195R14 with load rated 'D' is not easy but a call to
Van-Cafe solved the problem. Luck would have it they received a
fresh shipment of these tires and it only took a few days for one to
arrive via UPS. Excellent customer service !
The A/C no longer
turns on but the fresh air fan works so the primary fuses are good,
it could be another fuse or the A/C on/off or speed switch but
trouble shooting in the dash is not easy. The Bentley manual
indicates fuses located in the front left of the dash and in the
pillar next to the engine, the D pillar. Anyway it would be so
simple to check for power at the on/off switch but it seems the
glove box must be removed to reach the back side of the switches.
How the time has
flashed by, various projects have kept me busy but here is the news:
after having some work done behind the fuse box the radiator fan
stopped working and it took many hours to find a wire that had been
knocked loose. Determining the correct connection behind the
fuse box took another number of days to solve, this is not an easy
place to work, the wiring is more or less not friendly. At
last the correct connections were found and everything is fine.
How many of you have
checked the condition of your spare tire ? I bet its been 10
years or more since that tire has been removed and checked.
Well I pulled my spare out and it did not take long to find that it
would not perform, the rubber was very dry and I was told the tire
would desintegrate after a few miles. I'll spare the details
but a call to Van Cafe resulted in a brand new tire of the correct
size and load rating. I highly recommend everyone check the
spare as soon as possible.
More spare parts have
been purchased from GoWesty but my wish list on their site grows
faster. Is GoWesty reading my page here? I find some of
their products are items that I've mentioned and wanted such as
improved LED lighting. Wow, they had a 5 speed tranny but the
price is way past my means.
6/2/2013 The GoWesty
3rd Tail Light was installed today. Pulling the wire from the
area of the 3rd brake light to the drivers side tail light assembly
was made easier by running #18 red/black zip wire first. The
wire is stiff which made it a little easier to drop the wire down
the inside wall behind the cabinet. The cabinet looks messy to
remove so with a little probing the zip cord found the path out to
the floor of the metal shelf. Instead of running the wire thru
the grommet for the electric cable into the engine compartment, I
found it easier to route it through the grommet for the AC hose then
to the lamp assembly. It was much easier to ground the black
wire behind the tail light. Because I didn't remove the
cabinets to drop the wires I changed how the ground side is
installed, a #10 sheet metal screw was added directly behind the
lamp assembly. At the top, the stop light wires were
joined to the zip cord with bullet connectors then the wires were
secured to the AC hoses with small tie wraps.
The finished results
look great, the GoWesty 3rd Tail light is big and bright, because it
is an LED array it should never fail.
2014 Its been a
while since I've updated my pages so the only project that comes to
mind is the installation of the very nice GoWesty interior LEDs,
addition of a heat/light/motion sensitive LED lamp that has been
mounted at the bottom center of the rear seat. A full kit of
GoWesty cooling system parts was installed, that is every item that
radiator coolant flows thru excelpt for the long pipes to the
radiator. A full kit of GoWesty fuel part was installed around the
engine to replace original plastic parts, hoses and fittings up to
the fuel filter. MAXED Auto in Huntington Beach performed all
the above work.
2015 This 1989
Westy Failed the California Emissions test, the NO output was about
5% over the limit and after researching the NO output from previous
emissions tests it became obvious the NO output was sneaking up so
the recommended repair, installing a new GoWesty Catalytic Converter
refrigerator rejuvination. We have not camped in the VW in
years so it was no surprise recently when I wanted to use the frig
to keep our picnic drinks cool during a long drive. No matter
which setting on 12 volts, 115VAC or Propane the temperature was
anything but cold so when I heard a rumor that turning the frig on
its sides, front and back would somehow loosen the refrigerant I had
to try it. Yes it does work, I was in no hurry so I let the
frig sit on wood blocks for weeks at a time before rotating it to a
different position. After setting it up on a test bench and
using 115VAC the ice tray measured 35 degrees F in 2 hours so I lit
up the propane and measured 42 F in a few hours, this was with a
trash bag covering the front as the door comes off when the frig is
removed from the VW. The propane hook up used a Coleman bottle
of gas and an adapter hose. While the frig was out a GoWesty fan was
installed to enhance cooling. However I could not restart the
propane no matter what routine I followed. I noticed the air
pump was worn and the design is terrible, an intake valve is not in
the design and neither are proper seals on the pump shaft. I
have some ideas for an alternate pump and automatic sparker to try
in the future.
A BMW X3 Turbo SUV is
now parked next to the Westy but its not hard to decide which
machine to drive down Orange Counties Pacific Coast Highway on
Saturday and Sunday, VroomVroom go the fancy Porsches and Ferraris
however this old Westy is as much a conversation piece as any and we
continue to enjoy having visitors come over to share adventures.
Keep the letters and
photos coming, its been fun meeting so many Westy owners and I have
guest photos to post .
Hope to see you around
the OC, that's it for now ....
Bill April, 2015
hear form other Westy owners, send your Feed Back to Bill at
bill . p (at) g m a i l . c o m
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