Category Archives: Technical

Items of a technical nature relating to mechanical, electrical or bodywork issues

Time for bed!

As the long season comes to an end and following on from last week’s winterizing, some owners may elect to cover their pride and joy with a cover.

Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with little chrome covers on. Don’t cover your expensive paint work with a tarpaulin that will get condensation inside it, press that moisture onto your bodywork and accelerate the attack on the paint and the metal underneath.

If you don’t have access to a garage or a car port that will keep most of the weather off, try to invest in a good breathable cover. Get the right one for your vehicle and make sure that the material is not flapping around, abrading where it touches.

Ideally park on hard ground that will not have standing water. Parking on grass at the bottom of the field will collect water underneath which will evaporate upwards into your van and its little cover. A breathable cover will let some or most of that collected moisture out but ideally you should remove the cover over winter every month to let things properly dry out and then put it all back to bed once more.

If possible, get a cover with straps that go under the vehicle from side to side, so that the wind cannot lift the cover off the vehicle. It is disheartening to get home from work in the dark and find your expensive van exposed to the elements and a wet cover wrapped across your hedge.

For those of you lucky enough to have a garage, a dust cover is optional but again, think about the possibility of trapped moisture pressing against the bodywork. Does a quick dusting or a nice spring time wash and wax give more benefit than the winter cover?

Yes, it is that time again, winter is very much heading our way. For anyone with a vehicle, VW or not (apparently other vehicles are available!), winter in the UK is the worst time for metal on the roads.

Some suggestions:



If you have anything containing water, drain it all out. Water tanks, boilers, kettles. Don’t just empty the tank, drain the whole system including the pipes. Remember that water in pipes still expands when it freezes, not just in the tank. It also goes stale after a period of standing. If possible take the tank indoors to keep it above freezing and/or clean it thoroughly.

We use a mild Milton solution to thoroughly clean ours including the impeller that sits in our tank and its associated pipe and electric cable. Then we rinse everything and air dry it all. Other options are available too!


Leisure batteries like ambient temperatures and extreme cold will reduce their operational life. Keep them above freezing by removing them and keeping them in the garage or similar. Remember to keep the electrical contacts in the van safely insulated if applicable.

Keep those batteries charged using a trickle charger that is fit for purpose, which will also prolong their life.


Butane or propane tanks and bottles should be removed from your vehicle and stored safely with their openings closed properly – don’t leave the regulator open relying on the gas tap on the cooker as these can fail. Now is a good time to weigh them against their empty counterparts to know when you need to change them!

Boring cleaning

Now that you have opened up your van, removed the relevant tanks and bottles, you can get all misty eyed and miss the peace and tranquility of your van by getting in there and cleaning it all. It gives you a great sense of personal achievement as well as going into the winter with a nicely clean kitchen area, the fridge has been bleached and rinsed, and if applicable the bathroom, the shower and maybe the hot tub are all clean. Leave internal doors slightly ajar to keep mould and mildew at bay.

Soft furnishings

If possible, remove curtains, bedding, that emergency woollen blanket from Granny and take them indoors for a good wash or airing.


Don’t be tempted to leave doors open or windows more than cracked open. All sorts of miscreants can get in and eat your lovely interior.


If possible store your vehicle in a garage. If that is not possible, a car port will do a similar job. A breathable cover can be good but make sure it is listed as fully breathable otherwise moist air gets under the cover, rises when things warm up and the vehicle will get wet, holding that wet against the bodywork. Avoid a heavy cover for sure!


Tyres degrade from extreme temperatures and long periods of standing still. Winter does that very well! Inspect the tyres, check the pressures and consider putting the van on axle stands if you are not using it for a very long time, taking the wheels into the garage or shed. It also makes theft more difficult!

Moving parts

Lubricate everything. Hinges, moving parts, sliders, mechanical parts. Check the oil level. Use the right lubricant for the part in question. It will pay dividends next year and will keep water away, which is good for the life of the part.

Boring cleaning

Again, give the outside of your vehicle a proper clean, ideally by hand. Dry fully including the fiddly bits inside doors and between panels. Give it all a good quality wax polish. This also keeps water away and prolongs the panels and parts. It also makes you happy as you pass over the cold season when you don’t want to be away.


If you are an advocate of underseal and waxoil, get the old visible stuff removed and apply new underseal to dry clean parts. The jury seems out on the benefits of underseal against the downside of it trapping moisture but waxoil or similar applied hot into cavities must be better than not applying it?


Some texts state to start your engine once a month and run it on idle for 30 minutes. More than that is not necessary and I don’t touch our air cooled engine at all.

An oil change just before the winter alongside a fuel-storage additive in the fuel tank if you like that sort of thing.

Main battery

We leave the main battery connected and the solar panel bolted to the roof of a van in a car port for the leisure battery. If that was not the case, we would trickle charge the main battery once a month over the winter. Again, this just makes sure that you don’t degrade the battery and end up having to replace it all of the time.

Got to dash, I think my van might be snoring.

Ask The Mechanic – Cool air for hot heads

Cool air for hot heads

Camping is great in the summer; that cool rain swept evenings huddling under the duvet listening to the “pitter patter” of the rain and comforting howl of the wind. Quote from Val!!! This is of course what we all enjoy? But camping in France yields a different problem too much heat night and day.

Connie is equipped with insulation double glazing and a heater but no cooling so it’s open the roof vent and side window and spend sweaty night on the duvet. Also cooking causes heat to build up and if it is raining then hot heads result! I decided an extractor fan would help, but how to do this?

The obvious suspect was the roof vent pix 1. I obtained a piece of 3mm polycarbonate sheet, 2 of 100mm cooling fans 12 volt with grills, a double throw double contact centre off switch and a 2000 microfarad 63 volt capacitor (actually from my stores but easily purchased).

The polycarbonate sheet was chosen as it does not crack like acrylic and transparency was not a prime criterion. This was cut to fit the aperture under the roof vent it presses against the seal on the inside of the van. In Pix4 you can see that one edge is supported by 2 aluminium brackets fixed to the hinge bolts and the other edge is held by the raise lower mechanism cover. The edge strips add rigidity and stop rattles.

The parts were then positioned and the holes cut, the fans and switch project upwards under the roof vent. The switch is wired to put the fans in parallel for maximum speed (and noise) or series for virtually silent running at night. The power for this is by means of a cable fixed to the roof and lifting frame and connected to the over door light.

An important part is the switch wiring and the use of the capacitor. The fans are “brushless” so use an internal inverter to drive the rotor when used in series one can react with the other and so a capacitor wired across one fan will smooth out the supply and prevent “hunting”  pix 5,6

The results were very satisfactory, with the vent open, roof up and all doors and windows closed full power pulled in the roof “tent” so opening a cab window produced a strong draft. At slow speed the noise was very much less but a useful draft could still be felt.

As each fan can move 90 cu ft min so 180 cu ft min at full speed the air in the van could theoretically be changed every 3 minutes and this can banish the heat and smell build up during cooking.

Ask The Mechanic – Heater cables

The Mechanic received this call for help from a member:

Dear Mechanic
I am working on the heater system of my 1971 early bay and the heat control levers on the dashboard are seized and will not operate the air control flaps on the exhaust system.
I have disconnected the air control flaps from the control cables and they operate well.
I also have disconnected both the red knob heat control levers from their cables under the dash and pulled both control cables through the bottom of the van and they now go rearwards towards the engine in separate metal tubes. I want to remove both cables and replaced them with new cables.
The heater cables under the dash and up to the metal tubes have seem to have an inner and outer (like a bike cable) and I expect to be able to pull the cables forward through the metal tubes to remove them from the vehicle, but they are stuck fast.
Do you know if the outer part of the cable continues through the metal tubes or do they
stop at the start of the metal tubes and the inner cable continues to the heat exchangers?
Can you provide any advice on removal of these cables?
Kind regards
Bob Hodgkinson

The Mechanic wrote back:

Let’s start with a “how to” guide and hopefully your questions will be answered. That way we can assist any other members also wishing to complete this task.

In the cab of your VW there will be three levers; one blue and two red. The blue lever controls the cold air intake, on and off, the left hand red lever controls the distribution of hot air between the foot well and the windscreen and the right hand red lever controls the amount of hot air entering the cab, location defined by the left hand red lever.
It is the right hand red lever that you are describing which connects to two cables
which travel the length of the van to the heat exchangers at the engine. These cables are readily available from VW parts suppliers and are relatively easy to replace, although you are experiencing the dreaded rusted conduit tube! Before work commences, it is advisable to jack the front of the van as high as possible (that you
can leave for a day or so) and spray penetrating oil down the conduit tubes and leave as long as possible to allow it work. This should make removing the cables (both inner and outer sheath) a much easier task.

To gain better access to the cables, and cab area, it is advisable to remove the steering wheel and is done so using a 24mm socket or spanner. To gain access to the nut, use a small flat bladed screwdriver and prise up the black plastic cover, not the aluminium ring around the cover. When removing the steering wheel, loosen the nut but do not remove it yet, give the steering wheel a few tugs to remove the wheel from the column,
doing this with the nut loosely fitted will stop you smashing yourself in the face with the wheel when it gives way, (TRUST ME!)

If you can avoid removing the part of the dash where the coloured control levers are located, I would. You should be able to reach under and disconnect the cables from levers in situ. They are retained by two clips and the cables loop over each other with a spring clip. Note how it fits before removing (take a picture). Follow the cables down 150mm and you will find the cable outer sheath is retained by a spring clip. Moving underneath the van, disconnect the cables from the heat exchanger flaps (8mm
spanner) and pull the cables clear of the flaps. The nuts are prone to corrosion due the heat and exposed location, so it is worth soaking in penetrating oil (get a cuppa and come back) before removing to avoid damaging the flap on the exchanger.
Staying under the van, head to the front and find where the cables enter the conduit. Now pull the inner and outer parts of the cables back through the conduit, this is where you may have trouble if they are seized, but hopefully the penetrating oil has done its job. Many people have trouble at this stage, but do find that brute force and ignorance does get the job done eventually. Make a note of which cable comes from which side as they are different in length, you don’t want to come up short at the end of the job!
At this stage, if you cannot remove the cables from the conduits at all, you could leave the cables in place, trim them back and fit an alternative conduit directly next to the adjacent one. Not ideal, but a potential fix. This could be done using some kind of plastic water pipe and cable ties, but I have never attempted it.
With the cables removed from the conduit it is time to refit your new cables into the existing or replacement conduit. The passenger side cable has a metal rod bent at 90° on the end and the driver side cable has a loop made from the cable itself. Prior to fitting the cables, it is advisable to grease the inner cables as best you can and also
grease the outer sheath part of the cables to prevent them from seizing within the conduit, should you need to replace in the future.

From under the van, push each cable through the conduit until it reaches the heat exchanger. The opposite end is then passed into the cab area through the grommet in the floor and reconnected to the heater control levers. The retaining clips on the levers are very tricky to hold in position whist you tighten the screws, but keep persevering and you will get there. If you have it, another set of hands to assist you may help at this point (and probably another cuppa!)

Now that you are done in the cab, move the RH heater lever to the down position and return back to the rear of the van. Connect the cables to the heat exchanger mechanism, making sure that you replace any grommets from the end of the conduit. Move the flaps to the maximum open position against the spring pressure and thread the cable through the retaining nut. Complete for both sides. Now check that when the heater lever is moved up, that the heat exchanger flaps close. An assistant is handy here too to save keep getting up and into the cab and back down on the floor again!
If all is working well, the job is complete and you can refit the steering wheel and any
underneath panelling removed for access. Now drive and enjoy your heating in the
colder months and ability to turn it off in the warmer ones.

Ask The Mechanic – Fuel problems By Robert Girt

Reports in Transporter Talk Issue 148 of Club Members having blocked fuel lines chimed with us as our 1970 Bay has recently suffered similarly and others may wish to benefit from our experience.

The MOT was due 2 weeks before our ferry was booked for a 3 week holiday in France. I cast my eye over everything and found nothing wanting so went off to my friendly testing station with confidence. However, mindful of repeated warnings in Transporter Talk of the fire risk from perished fuel lines I asked Roy, the tester, what his opinion was of my fuel hoses.
All seemed fine, but with the engine running Roy uncovered a small leak between the pump and the carb. It hadn’t been evident to me or Roy when the engine was still and there had been no smell of petrol. I was grateful for Roy’s experience. He replaced all the rubber pipes and the in-line filter (£90!); the MOT was secured and we were set fair for our holiday. Off we sped (?- well 55mph!) down the A1M, but approaching Peterborough we ran into a congestion standstill and discovered that tickover had disappeared. Crawling in thick traffic was a real pain, constantly having to juggle the clutch and the accelerator, but otherwise we could make good progress and we reached our overnight Dover campsite OK.
I took out the slow running jet; that looked clear, but I baulked at taking the carb off, with diminishing daylight and without the resources of my garage at home. We considered soldiering on to France but the prospect of trying to access the ferry without slow running decided me to seek professional help. If I tackled the carb myself we were going to miss our early morning ferry booking anyway.
We phoned our predicament to DFDS Ferries and did a quick internet search on the smartphone which lead us, with Satnav guidance, to a likely garage in Dover. They
could tackle the problem, but only in 3 day’s time and directed us to another garage.
They immediately redirected us to Cowens Motors (Unit 11, Holmestone Road, Coombe
Valley Industrial Estate, CT17 0UF Tel 01304 207743) where we received a warm and
friendly welcome from Ian, the proprietor. He was enthusiastic about tackling our problem, having cut his teeth on Beetles and early Transporters, but he already had a Bay for that day’s work. We killed a day visiting the White Cliffs, very interesting and were back early next morning at Ian’s garage. 2 hours (and £90 later) we were sorted, carb cleaned out and engine retuned; it had never run so sweetly in the 41 years we have owned it! Definitely recommend Ian! Off we raced to get the next available
ferry, an extra £50! and the holiday was really under way.

All went well for the next 1000 miles: the van ran like a Swiss watch! However, leaving Albi and following a slow lorry up a hill with a tail of impatient French cars behind us, the engine suddenly cut out and we kangarooed to a halt.
Initially we had tickover, but nothing more unless I pumped the accelerator jet. Then
tickover disappeared too. We limped in to a lay-by and thankfully the shade of a tree and rang the rescue service. Although they were initially somewhat slow to understand our predicament, they eventually cottoned on and 2 hours later a friendly French mechanic in a rescue truck hauled us off to the yard at Garage Pradelles Roland in Lisle sur Tarn. Language was a bit of a problem as our schoolboy French was not quite their Occitaine dialect. They called in a neighbouring Madame who spoke some English and we got talking. Again they were too busy to start our job until the next day and it was late afternoon by now. We rang to advise the rescue service and they went away to organise a hotel and taxi for us , although the garage kindly said we could camp in their
yard and have a key so we could use their toilets overnight. Communication with the
rescue service became problematic due to our not having registered our trip for voicemail purposes, but before our accommodation needs could be sorted one of the mechanics strolled out of the garage and indicated I should start the engine while he diddled the carb. He raced and raced the engine and eventually, after much dying and starting, it ran on its own, though still not on tickover. He then started fiddling with the points, took them out to reface them and put them back, but to no avail. Finally, he thought of the slow running jet, removed it, declared it “merdoise” (a rude French word we did understand!), dragged an airline from the garage, blasted out the jet and its socket, and “Sacre Bleu”all was well again! He then took us for a hair-raising trial run where the Transporter French Land Speed Record was broken before handing the keys back in to my trembling hands, and relieving me of €89 (say £82). Worth every penny just for the experience!
So we were able to move on and camp nearby that night, much to my wife’s disappointment at missing a night in a posh hotel! And much to our dismay as that night a frightening thunderstorm in the early hours brought down large bits of shading trees all over the campsite, enough to make a small dent in our roof! After that, what else could go wrong? Thankfully nothing did and we were able to enjoy the rest of the holiday on the Loire and Somme, but with some apprehension the carb would block
again: but it hasn’t in a further 1,000 miles. So what lessons to draw?

  1. Check your pipes with the engine running.
  2. Make sure the new pipes are clean inside before fitting them.
  3. Consider cleaning the carb when you fit new pipes.
  4. Sort your voicemail before you venture abroad, BUT don’t be afraid of going: your problems will get sorted and you will meet some really nice people. Well, we’re already planning next year’s trip.
    Robert Girt

Ask The Mechanic – Fitting T5 Side bars

The Mechanic – Fitting T5/T6 Sportline Side Bars

If you have a T5 or T6, you can fit protection side bars, which also serve a purpose of styling. Just Kampers sell a kit made by Sportline, which seems to be popular.

Here is a guide on how to fit the kit to your van.

 Before you start, check you have all the components:

 (1) Side Bars (x2)
(2) Front Brackets (x2)
(3) Rear Brackets (x2)
(4) Threaded Plates (x8)
(5) M8 Spring Washers (x8)
(6) M8 Washers (x8)
(7) M10 Spring Washers (x4)
(8) M8 Nuts (x8)
(9) M10 Screw (x4)
(10) M10 Washers (x4)
(11) Lock (x8)

** Please note item ‘9’, has been replaced with a Nut & Stud with allen key holding end.

1. Clean the installation areas and then identify the front and the rear brackets, as shown.

2. Remove the front splash shield (a) by unscrewing the retaining bolts.

3. Remove the rear splash shields (b) by unscrewing the retaining bolts.

4. Remove the rubber caps (c) from the sill rail in the chassis from the front and rear of the vehicle which align with the holes in the mounting brackets.

5. Once the rubber caps are removed, insert the threaded plates (d) inside the holes on the chassis so its threaded ends are exposed. Do this for the front and rear. Once installed, slide the lock into the threaded plate into the threaded section as shown. This will stop the threaded plate from being pushed into the chassis.

6. Place the front bracket on the thread plates so its threaded end extends.

7. Place the rear bracket on the thread plates so its threaded end extends through the bracket and secure with M8 washers, M8 spring washers and M8 nuts.

8. Hold the side bar into position and attach using M10 screws, M10 washers and M10 spring washers. Tighten all the bolts fixing the bracket to the vehicle; then finish by tightening the bolts holding the side bar to the brackets using the following torque settings as guide.

9. Before re-installing splash shields, it is necessary to remove some of the material from the splash shields to allow clearance for the M8 nuts on the mouting bracket. On the front splash shield, from the front edge, measure along 180mm (SWB) and make a cut 25mm deep. Make another cut a further 30mm from this cut, also 25mm deep and remove the section of material. Then take another measurement from the front edge of the 480mm (SWB) and repeat the procedure for removing another section of material, 25mm x 30mm.

On the rear splash shield, from the back edge, measure along 120mm (SWB) and make a cut 25mm deep. Make another cut a further 30mm from this cut, also 25mm deep and remove the section of material. Then take another measurement from the back edge of the 450mm (SWB) and repeat the procedure for removing another section of material, 25mm x 39mm. Apply these principles for the long wheel base with the correct measurements as shown above.

Ask The Mechanic – Electric hook up

Many people ask!

230V electric hook up allows you to use campsite
supplies to give you mains 230v sockets inside
your van, meaning you can use those everyday
appliances whilst on your travels.

The easiest way to tackle a 230V Mains Hook Up
in your van is using a kit that comes with all the
parts you need. These are readily available and
Just Kampers sell two great kits (don’t forget your
discount) that have either a surface mount socket
or flush mount socket.

The kit should contain:
• Inlet Socket (Flush or Surface Mount)
• Consumer Unit (25amp Draw)
• 2 x 13amp Sockets
• 2.5mm2 Cable (Socket to Consumer Unit)
• 3 Core Flex (Consumer Unit to Sockets)
The kit should be installed by a professional, unless
you are confident with wiring and we would still
suggest that the install is tested by a professional
following self installation.

Ask The Mechanic – Indicator and Wiper Switch

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
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!

Ask The Mechanic – Dinitrol for T4, T5, T6

Dinitrol Guide For Modern
Transporter Types
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.

Member’s Hack – Ian Crawford’s starting issues

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.

Ian says:

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.

Cold air in the cab? Here’s a quick fix!

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!