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Date:         Tue, 27 May 1997 08:09 -0600 (MDT)
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
Subject:      Mudflaps, oil pressure, etc. - medium-long post


I got the right front mudflap installed this weekend (now the westfalia's yin and yang are balanced). The rear flaps are obviously not intended to attach to a late model GL with the wrap around bumpers (since they have the "ear" that attaches to holes drilled in the sheet metal behind the fender well. I can't gain anything by cutting off this part of the flap, because there's still the matter of the outboard hanger bracket that is meant to attach to the lower edge of the sheet metal (which is also obstructed by the bumper).

There must be a later model version of the rear mudflap. Anyone have a pair to trade?


The mystery of the missing oil pressure LED became even more bizzare this weekend.

After doing all the Bentley checks on the instrument cluster and getting no results, I took the back off the speedo to have a look at the oil pressure sensor control unit (AKA the "L" board). Guess what? Missing! Dealer parts guy was in on Sat, so I got one (for you wrecking yard hounds, looks like it's the same part as used on Golf II/Jetta II models).

Installed, buttoned everything up, wondered how it would work. Well, LED flashed once when the key was first turned on, and that was it (kinda suspected it should continue to flash until the engine is started and the pressure builds, like in my Golf II). However, after a couple of stops, the thing would start buzzing as soon as the revs topped 2,000. Sounds like the high pressure (0.9 or is it 1.8 bar) circuit was open.

Back at the house, I started checking connections. If I remove the instrument cluster many more times, I'm gonna start wishing it were Velcroed in place! Disconnected the two wire connector on top of the engine and bridged the two contacts. Put the VoM on the two connections at the instrument panel connector; nothing. Checked each wire individually using the chassis as the loopback. Still nothing.

Okay, trace the wiring from back to front using the book. Says there's a connection in a box on the front "firewall"; found. Wiring to this point checks out okay. Check from here to the front again (just in case there's a bad connection at the box); still nothing.

Take the fuse box out; there's a ton of connectors under there! Damn cover still won't lift (snagging on something halfway up). Pop it off and remove the screw holding the box. Drop the whole mess down, and guess what? The yellow wire (higher pressure) has been cut and a slide-on lug connector installed (why?). The connector's just flappin' in the breeze, too. Break out the cordless soldering iron and shrink wrap. Done. No wonder the buzzer was going off. If the revs hit 2,000 and the control unit reads the circuit as open (which it obviously is!), it thinks the oil's on vacation.

The blue/black wire has been pulled right out of the plug, end connector and all. Bigger dilemma; there appear to be two places where it could fit, but which one? Can't afford to guess (and risk letting the smoke out of the wire). Bentley book's no help either. Doesn't even list the behind-panel connector in the wiring diagram, and sure doesn't tell which hole the wire should be in. Can see its "twin" coming out of the connector leading to the instrument panel. Start to do a continuity check between the "known" pin on the socket to the instrument cluster, and the unknown pins on the main harness socket. Dang angle's all wrong; three hands and a goose-neck eyeball would sure be handy now. Starts to rain, and besides, it's time to button the car back up and get myself cleaned up for my daughters graduation. Have to fix this one later.

Heading to the graduation. After the oil warms up, coasting with engine revs over 2,000 produces the annoying buzz and flashing LED. Drat! Guess I have an idea why the wiring was buggered up. Wonder if the PO verified that the senders were okay before he hacked the wiring? Hope there's really not a lubrication problem. Wish I had a gauge instead of this verdammte idiot light! I'll probably end up down at the wrecking yard to figure out where the blue/black wire goes, but it still won't solve this problem.

Sunday morning - the book says 20-50 weight oil in this climate. I know I put a quart of 10-40 in it on the trip, so let's get the right oil in it (it's due anyway). Still beeps after the oil warms up. Please, Odin (probably best to invoke a Teutonic god in these cases), let it be the switch and not something diabolic like a spread center main!

(conclusion forthcoming - if anyone has any ideas how this story might likely end, please feel free to contribute)

-Blaine (still looking for the optional fifth seat - grey if you please!)

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