New post every Friday…scroll down The Volkswagen Type 2 Owners Club is a UK national club for owners and enthusiasts of the classic Volkswagen transporter van. There are also some most welcome members from outside the UK.
The Club aims to help its members maintain their vehicles both as preserved historic vans and as restored, or otherwise reclaimed, going concerns keeping a family travelling and camping happily.
Our members are spread right across the UK and some overseas members too, and the Club tries to provide activities and events that everyone can attend and enjoy. We have a strong presence at some of the UK’s biggest VW events as well as running our own camps and meeting up at smaller events.
Please allow 21 days following payment for your application to be processed.
If you need your membership more quickly, in some circumstances we may be able to give you a temporary membership number – please email our membership secretary.
If you need your membership more quickly, in some circumstances we may be able to give you a temporary membership number – please email our membership secretary.
Indicator and Wiper Switch Assemblies Removal and Repair
The first step is to remove the steering wheel from the steering column. Before you start, it’s worth straitening the steering wheel/front wheels so that when the steering wheel goes back on, you know where to line it up. The steering wheel is fitted to a splined shaft within the column and is fixed with a single 24mm nut. To access the nut, the horn push in the centre of the steering wheel has to be removed. The horn push is usually made of plastic and is often brittle, so prizing off with a screw driver or metal scraper is not the best idea. I found that using a finger nail was sufficient, working my way round the horn push and lifting upwards (see pic 1). With the horn push removed, the 24mm nut should be revealed and there will also me a lead and crimp connected to a spade terminal. Remove this crimp to disconnect the lead and move to one side to create some space for a spanner. Using a 24mm ring spanner or socket and ratchet (an open ended spanner can slip easily), loosen the nut but do not remove at this point (see pic 2). Mark the position of the wheel in relation to the shaft using chalk, pencil or paint pen to assist in lining the wheel back up on fitment. Now, with the nut still fitted, give the steering wheel a tug upwards to free it from the splined shaft. It should become loose but the fitted nut will prevent you from smashing your face with the steering wheel (believe me!). With the wheel loose, remove the 24mm nut and lift the steering wheel off too. This will expose the indicator and wiper switch assemblies fitted to the top of the column (see pic 3). At this point, you want to remove the cap from your windscreen washer bottle to depressurise it (otherwise you will create a drinking fountain later on!) if you have pressure in your tank, you’re the exception
Now you can begin to remove the switch assemblies. Undo and remove the 4 small screws that hold switch assemblies inside the steering column and keep them safe with the 24mm nut from earlier. Now it’s time to disconnect the electrical connectors from the switch assemblies. Around halfway down the steering column, the plastic shroud ends. Underneath this shroud is three electrical connectors. The two nearest the driver seat are the two plugs for the wiper and indicator switches. Give these a gentle tug to disconnect them and tuck them to one side, they can’t be mixed up so don’t worry. With the electrical connectors removed, you can now begin to pull the switch assemblies up and out of the steering column. Do this slowly though as there are two pipes connected to the back of the wiper switch assembly for the windscreen washers. These can be disconnected at this stage and should have been depressurised earlier (see poic 4). Now you should be able to remove the switch assemblies, but be careful not to break the plastic wiring sleeves as these tend to quite brittle with age. With the assemblies removed, I could now see what had happened with my indictor lever, the bottom part of the lever mechanism that operates the switch had snapped ( see pic 5). The indicator and wiper switch assemblies are joined to form one piece but are easily split. They are held together with four metal sleeves and the two parts can be split easily using a screw driver (see pic 6). Once they are split, you can replace either the indicator or wiper switch assembly (or both) and fit the two back together using the four metal sleeves. Once back in one piece, fitment is the reverse of the removal. The hardest part of the fitment for me was locating the wiring plugs under the plastic shrouding into the correct location to push the connectors home. This picture helped me to locate the plugs and they are shaped in such a way that they can be guided into position (see pic 7). Once reconnected, I would recommend that you test all of the functions of the switches before refitting the screws and steering wheel, in case you have to take it all apart again! Don’t forget that you have marked the steering wheel to line it up when you refit it too. The last test should be the horn and don’t forget to re-pressurise the washer bottle!
Display your van and attend this smaller show for free, with an option to camp for just a tenner (advance booking essential). Stay all weekend or just a night, it’s up to you, the price is the same. It costs £7 to attend the show, but if you’re exhibiting your van, it’s free to get in, you just pay for your camping. What a bargain!
Here’s more from our Chairman:
”I was chatting to the organizer of this local car show. We went as an exhibit last year and were one of around 200 cars. The show is one day but it’s on a farm with entertainment barn music on the Saturday night and an adjacent pub with meals. There will be a few stalls with varied items for sale.” Well, thank you, Malcolm, sounds great! Visit vintageandcountryfair.co.uk more details, and email me if you’d like to be part of our Club Camp and display: firstname.lastname@example.org
The next edition of the club magazine has been finished by our Editors and looks fantastic. It should be arriving through your door soon! If you are enjoying the club magazine and have a story about a trip, an upgrade, a restoration or just a tip, send a contribution to our Editor at email@example.com.
Dinitrol Guide For Modern Transporter Types 12345 In the last issue, The Mechanic looked at Dinitrol products and how to use it with classic transporter models. For those of you that own a modern Transporter, here is a guide for T4, T5 and T6 models. Dinitrol is an oil based product that contains rust inhibiting ingredients to treat and stop rust after it has been applied. It also forms a barrier that prevents further corrosion occurring. Dinitrol is supplied in several different forms, a cavity wax for use in inner sills etc. and an under body wax that dries to a flexible tough film to withstand rain and salt.
Due to modern manufacturing techniques, the later range of Transporter is less prone to rusting, but like all Volkswagens they will eventually fall prey to the dreaded rust bug. Although treated with rust protection from new, it is recommended that this is maintained and renewed after several years of use. As with the earlier Vans, converting these into Campers creates the added problem of moisture generated by cooking etc. Again, removal of the interior and inner trim is the only way to get a comprehensive finish. Treating a newer Van will help preserve it for the future and can add to the resale value at a later date.
Long time member Ian Crawford had issues with his van that he bought in 1972 at a year old. He still drives it! I should point out the van was a year old, not Ian.
An unusual problem solved the other day. My van would only turn over 2-3 times when ignition switched on, then it just refused to do anything! I connected my battery charger to the terminals (before switching on) and the lights showed the battery was 20% efficient. I then switched the charger on and literally within 15 seconds it said 100% charged. I disconnected and switched off the charger and attempted to start the van. As before, it only turned over 2-3 times then it wouldn’t do anything. Reconnecting the charger it again showed only 20%! Once again, charging for around 15 seconds showed the battery 100% charged. Time to retreat and think hard as to what the problem really was and how to solve it. I slept on it and the next day I had a brainwave! I decided to remove the battery earth strap from where it is bolted to the chassis. Using a steel wool pan scourer, I gave the bare metal a thorough good scrub as well as the underside of the fixing lug of the earth strap. I also smeared Vaseline over both surfaces. I then refitted the earth strap into the chassis fixing hole and went to start it up. Surprise surprise, it started first time!! So if you have experienced problems with starting, maybe removing and cleaning the metal around the fixing of the earth strap will solve it. Hope this gives members some useful tips.
Ever since I was a young boy I have had an interest in all things automotive and camping. My uncle used to have a Comer camper which my mum and dad used to borrow so we could have a family holiday. These were some of the best times of my childhood and I first saw a 1976 Westfalia when I was about 7 years old. It was green with a green Westfalia interior and was owned by my sister’s friend’s grandparents! I thought to myself, “When I grow up I would loved to own one”. I had tried many times over the years to own one but could not afford one due to one thing or another. It then came to my 30th birthday and I thought life is it too short to not follow your dreams, so I set out in the search for my camper. I purchased Doris in July 2013. She is a 1972 crossover with day van interior. I had been searching for a bay for some time and had been to see quite a few. I stumbled across Doris in a Piston Heads advert and fell in love with her straight away. She was painted in the desert camouflage paint you see today. Situated in Ipswich, which was a 6 hr drive from where I live in Skelmersdale, I had to go and see her so I booked a week off work and called the seller, driving down the next day. I finally had her in front of me and she was better in person than in any pictures, although she needed some jobs doing. I took a test drive and had a massive smile on my face, so had to buy her. It was late in the day so was unable to get the funds until the next day. I booked a hotel for what seemed like the longest night I have ever had. I was finally fulfilling my childhood dream of owning an aircooled camper! The next day I was up early and it took most of the day for the bank transfer to go through, but finally she was mine. I set off on the 7hr trip back up north and it was the best drive I had ever had. I named her Doris May after my late grandmother who passed away in 2012 at the age of 100.
Here is a small account of some of the work I have completed on Doris: Interior I took out the dash and rear interior and retrimmed this myself with vinyl and laid a laminate effect floor. I also insulated behind all the panels and then later added a new leisure battery and LED lighting with some brown suede thermal curtains. After driving Doris for a while I found I needed a little more storage for camping gear, so then with the help from my mother, I built a rear buddy seat and trimmed this to match the rest of the interior. VDO gauges were added to the cab along with a rose wood steering wheel, followed by another re-trim of all the dash panels. Exterior I wanted the classic wheel look for Doris and I have always loved white wall tyres, so I fitted a set of Atlas whitewalls which completely transformed her look. I wanted a full length roof rack but the cost of them was so high I found a good used 3 bow instead which helped me towards the desired look, I might add a 2 bow to the front in the future. I purchased clear front indicators, clear and red rear lenses and refitted the all important VW badge to the front. Another addition was the air vent ears which aid to the engine cooling. Mechanical Doris came with a 1776cc engine with twin 40 IDF Webber carbs and a custom made exhaust with a fat boy muffler, which the neighbours love at 7am in the morning! Unfortunately the gearbox had a bad second gear syncro so had to be replaced along with the shift rods and shifter. I talked to a few people and decided to upgrade the standard gearbox to a freeway flyer and changed the lightened flywheel she came with back to a standard one with a new clutch for good measure. In 2014 – 2015 after the show season I left Doris on my drive over winter under a cover and then when it came to MOT time she had developed a few issues. The front brakes had seized, so the callipers were replaced with a late bay conversion and the twin carburettors needed to be rebuilt as they were leaking fuel into the oil. I also decided to get the ignition system overhauled and upgraded, so found a new old stock Brazilian Bosch 009 distributor and had an electronic ignition fitted with new plugs, coil and leads at the same time. Other upgrades were red MST Serpentine pulleys, a fuel pressure regulator, new rear tinware, EMPI bolt on rocker covers, a breather box and the most important thing, an automatic engine bay fire extinguisher. If I could give any advice, it would be to fit some sort of fire suppression system to your engine bay and check your fuel lines every year as I have heard too many horror stories of fires destroying peoples’ pride and joy. The engine and gearbox work was carried out by a local VW specialist, White Hill Garage in Chorley, they were great at giving me advice and sorting out issues with Doris and also gave me pointers on how to fix things myself, they certainly know there stuff Following the issues I had in the past, I set out to find dry storage for Doris and fortunately came across a large barn space to rent. This has given me the opportunity to fit it out with tools so I can not only keep Doris out of the elements but keep her looking her best as well. I now also have the space to tinker and personalise more.
One of the best memories I have was camping near Stratford upon Avon. My mum and dad went down to stay in a cottage and invited me down to join them, but I wanted to camp in Doris so I decided to pack her up and set off down there too. The drive down was great despite being on my own and it was great seeing all the people passing, smiling and waving. Once there, I set about finding a camp site to stay for a few days. The site I found was a great, cheap little site next to a pub. I was only going to stay for a few days but decided to stay for a week! It was fun to just get out in her and drive round all the little B roads, it’s just what she is made for and the best trips are always the ones where you have not booked anywhere and just turn up. The best thing so far with owning Doris is the VW community, or family that comes with it. Being a shy and anxious person I found it hard to meet and talk to new people. I went to my first big camp out at Busfest in 2015 and camped in the VWT2OC area where I met some great people who made me feel so welcome and at home and I have made some friends for life and this has given me the confidence to talk and interact with new people. I was also fortunate to win top 3 bay windows at 2015 Bus types show and shine. It’s not just the vehicle you buy into, it’s the lifestyle and the feeling you get seeing others when you pass, smile and wave. I am sure this will now be a passion for life and the main thing before any upgrades in 2017 is to get out in Doris more by going to more shows and get out there camping. We spotted Doris on Instagram when Liam tagged the Club’s new Instagram page with one of his pictures and we fell in love with her look. We hope to meet Liam and Doris at a show sometime in the future and will be sure to give you a wave if we see a camouflage Bay rolling down the road.
Phil Jones asked: After some suggestions please – with colder weather on the horizon has anyone got any ideas to heat the cab whilst driving. We have a heater in the back for when hooked up, but warm airflow into the cab is non existent… Thanks in advance!
Andy Carter answered Standard set up on my T2 will pump hot air into the cab but it doesn’t seem to have an effect on the temperature! I think it leaks cold air too much from various places. Making sure the fresh air vent is fully closed helps, as does stuffing socks into the dashboard directional vents! Other than that, gloves and a woolly hat are all i have, so interested in what other responses you get…
Graham Sims answered We have taped over the windscreen vents with black electrical tape, stops a considerable cold draft. Also socks in the circular dash vent pipe works a dream. Simply pull out vent cover, stuff in sock, replace cover. Takes less than 5 seconds! Our cab sometimes gets too warm!
It is all systems go for Petruth Paddocks – are you going? Hope to see you there!
Tuesday 11th April – Monday 17th April 2023
End of Easter Camp at Petruth Paddocks, Cheddar
Last year’s April event was such a huge success, we’re going to do it again! Just a bit earlier, again starting at the tail end of the Easter weekend. Come for as many or as few nights as you like.
This well-run site with “the best showers and loos” according to our attendees, sits at the foot of the Mendip hills and within a 20-minute walk into Cheddar, its splendid caves and numerous coffee shops. There are also two supermarkets just over half a mile away, and a Post Office in the village. It’s a level walk into Cheddar, and around half of it is traffic-free, more if you’re just going to Sainsbury’s.
Wookey Hole caves, Wells cathedral, and Glastonbury are within easy reach. Check out www.petruthpaddocks.co.uk to see information about local footpaths, buses, and cycle-ways. On-site facilities include free wi-fi, washing up, and electric hook-ups, as well as those loos and showers.
We’ve secured rally rates again, £15 per unit without electric hook-up instead of £15 per person. Electric will be charged through a pre-payment meter. And we’ll only pay one nightly fee for doggie companions per unit, saving £3 a night for any extra dogs you may have!
In addition to our Club BBQ on the Saturday evening, I hope we’ll be able to offer one or two activities – a coffee catch up on the Sunday morning; a gathering near the Club gazebos and listen to some early evening, easy music from our own Lorna James and/or other members; a belated Easter egg hunt if we have little ones in our group – I’ll work up the details as we get closer to the event, based on numbers. There is also a local pub, so if all else fails we’ll be able at least to wander along there if we fancy a change of scene for a natter. It’s all in the pot at the moment!
The site operates a Behaviour Bond and a nattering-only policy after 11pm, so if you’re after rock n roll, it’s probably not for you. You can read more at www.petruthpaddocks.co.uk/groups/adult-group-booking.html – your Club is covering the bond. Please note if your party breaks the site’s rules, you will be asked you leave and you may be removed from the club. Not that I expect that to be an issue!
Find out more about what’s going on locally, attractions, facilities, pubs, activities etc. and more about the site itself at www.petruthpaddocks.co.uk
We live near Oxford so Calais was not practical as we wanted to hit Bordeaux, so we went Portsmouth to Caen and Le Havre to Portsmouth as the return due to pricing and availability. We got a good rate through the camping and caravanning club discounts that more than paid for this year’s membership fee. We also took out AA European cover, although it was about £80 a week on top of the annual cover charge, expensive but reassuring! In theory every town in France has a mechanic and they are all the older fashioned mechanics who know our simpler engines extremely well, chances are this extra insurance would have been unnecessary. Prior to setting off, we had been having some engine issues and multiple mechanics locally had looked at it, most recently a half day that resulted in a cable tie forcing the air filter to always run with warm air intake not cold. A very expensive cable tie! Our latest tank of petrol showed running figures of just 18mpg which wasn’t good either. We decided that actually the real issue was the carb and since we have a second van and that one has the same original carb, we could swap them over and see what happens. One quick read of the Haynes manual and a bit of Internet research and the swap took around 10 minutes! What a transformation! Poppy had more power, better idling, no cutting out, no holding back and the problem was solved just before the trip. Following the advice from our illustrious President Malcolm at a recent AGM weekend, we also bought a split charge relay and fitted it, total price £7 and that charges the leisure battery when the engine is running, the solar panel keeping it going when parked. Other prep work for a big long trip was to make sure that on board were the bits that we might need. Spares – Rocker cover gaskets, throttle and clutch cables, set of plugs, points, condenser and coil. Some wire and termination plugs, electric tester (even the screw driver with the light bulb from the pound shop), set of bulbs, some fuses and a fan belt. We also took 2 litres of oil, checked it each day and in fact only used about 300ml across the whole trip. Then we packed the tools – Set of sockets, adjustable spanner, screw drivers, feeler gauges and of course a cork screw! Other useful stuff – torch, you need a high-vis jacket per person and they fit under the passenger seat along with a cheapo (we paid £2) plastic triangle also under there as they need to be accessible from the cab area. We didn’t bother with the breathalyser, you are supposed to have two but there is no fine for not having one. If you wear reading glasses, you are supposed to have a spare pair in reach of the driver too. We took the log book, MOT, insurance doc and a photograph of each one just in case and we needed them to get out of the UK as a lot of stolen vans used to get driven out of the country. We also kept our passports with us at all times even when out for a walk, just in case. The Michelin 2017 map of France and a sat-nav for those times when the map just doesn’t do it were essential. We stayed at the camping and caravanning recommended site on the Saturday night in
Caen as the ferry docked around 9.30pm and it was literally half a mile from the ferry port but expensive at £26 per night. The morning was bright, the sky looked promising and the van was running well, our ultimate aim was Bordeaux but given the breakdowns of recent years, we were just going to enjoy what fate brought us. Maybe Sunday would see us stay over in Nantes? Well the motorways are for fast cars and you can pootle along in your van on free roads and they are all deserted, beautiful countryside and clean villages and towns. Nantes came and went before we stopped at the supermarket for bread and cheese and by late afternoon we arrived on the west coast at a village called Jard sur Mer about 200 miles from Caen, Poppy running better than ever, the site found in the Aires book was six euros per night and was right by the sea, a little village for strolling and they had an ice cream shop too. Monday morning waking up hearing the ocean and we still had no plans or sites booked for the rest of the trip. We bought a book from Amazon of the Aires Camping Car Europe version, there are signposts all over too of big camper vans signposting a place to stay – often a car park in town but most are free, pretty, clean and have CDP and fresh water, although some charge for the water. That evening we were in St Emilion, on a vineyard having a BBQ and drinking wine made from the grapes that surrounded us on all sides. We had never done the exciting bit of setting off with no booking for the night and just looked at the map each night for where to head the next day. Sometimes the Aire that we aimed for just didn’t cut the mustard, often we found something better on the way, vineyards being our favourites and along the way we stayed by the Dordogne, the Charantes, on vineyards, distilleries and in pretty villages. Sum total cost apart from the first night was twelve euros site fees and we came back with a lot of wine bought from the people who make it. We visited Bordeaux, Bourg, Cognac, Bergerac, Monbassilac and other places making wines plus cultural places like Oradour sur Glane (a village retained as it looked after a 1944 massacre) and Arromanches les Bains (scene of the Normandy landings) amongst others. Day time exploring towns, villages, medieval chateaux places of interest. As usual, at each fill we log the fuel consumption as we have done since purchase and we managed to get up to 29.7mpg averaging 26mpg across a 1,400 mile round trip which alone saved us £100 on petrol. Since June 15th this year your mobile works in Europe on your UK mobile contract so there are no extra charges which meant we were online and able to make and receive calls without worry. The overnight ferry from Le Havre meant a full day of fun and exploring (and ice cream) before getting on the ferry as it took us home. Docking at 6.30am, we zoomed through the English countryside and were home by 8.30 just before the locals started heading off for their Saturday shopping trips. What would we do differently? Well for sure we loved it so much that we want to go back soon. We would know that on Bastille Day the shops shut at lunchtime making our last afternoon’s trip to the Hypermarket to fill the van before getting on the ferry a fruitless venture! We’d go for longer and spend more time practicing French before heading off. What a fabulous time was had by all. There were a great deal of campers sharing their experiences, one from a Dutch couple who annually drive their modern van down to Italy, take the ferry to Greece and have 3 weeks wild camping on deserted beaches. Maybe once we retire that will be possible! There were no flights involved, no hotels, we did eat out quite a few times but plat du jour gives you great quality food with lovely ingredients for a set price meaning that the whole trip was really very inexpensive and we arrived home with 20 bottles and a whole lot of memories. Anyone know the nearest place I can get moules et frites?