Banjul or Bust!

Home of the Bedfordshire Bandits Budapest-Bamako Rally Team 2018

Flashing headlights, tooting main beams, and failing fogs.

Posted on the 16th April 2017
Behold! Fortune has front fog lights. Unfortunately, they don't work.

We've had a long weekend, so I took the opportunity to fix some bits and pieces on the van - there is always something.

First up was an issue we were having with the indicators and headlights. When you indicated, the headlights would flash instead, and when you indiciated with the headlights already on, they would just indicate really really fast. We also had no dipped beams - main beams or nothing!

The solution - Behind the dash on these old VWs there are 2 "earth crowns" which are basically a big screw with a "crown" on the end that you attach spade connectors to. Having been there for years, they were super corroded and the connectors on all the earths themselves were original. Unsuprisingly, 40 years of dirt, grime, and corrosion on electrial connectors isn't great for their conductivity. I removed both the earth crowns, and sanded all the terminals. I then removed every single earth connection, cut off the connector and added a shiny new one back on the end. Then reassembled the whole thing again with "Contact grease" which helps the connection but should also keep out water and prevent corrosion in the future.

The result: Brighter lights, faster wipers, and most importantly indicators which only indicate and lights which can be dipped.

After fixing the above, I also fitted a new indicator and wiper stalk from Brickwerks (see the sidebar, one of our awesome sponsors) as the current ones are a bit past it. They indicate fine, wipers click nicely back and forth, but there is one small issue... when I switch from dipped to main beams, the horn toots!. Not ideal really...

The solution - No idea yet, have emailed Brickwerks for some assistance, and put the old ones back on for now.

Although not a fix, we also have roof bars now. These will be getting a solar panel to keep everything in the van going, but also they open the door to tonnes of storage in the future should we want/need it. Should be good for the 2 week rally in the van when we'll have quite a lot to carry I imagine!


As well as the above, there are some other bits in progress:

  • A smaller matter that my front fog lights don't work. They are plugged in, the rears work, the switch works, but the front fogs stay resolutely off. I'm still looking into this and hopefully in a few days I can work out what the heck is going on!
  • Sanding the van for paint - I've sanded down about 50% of the van so far, hope to get the majority done tomorrow so I can get cracking with paint soon and get the van looking half-decent.

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