It has been a while since the last post, Christmas, the cold weather and trying to work out how to achieve what we wanted, got in the way.
However, we have now finished the two bar wiring, I did have to call in some professional help as I bottled it when it came to pulling wires out of the ECU connectors. It took the guy just half an hour to do this and reprogram the ECU for the towbar, and all the lights worked when he plugged in his test board.
Two of the things that were on our wish list were heated seats and headrest mounted DVD players, the problem we faced was how to get power to them. This would of been straightforward normally, however we have previously fitted a swivel seat base to the passenger seat, which complicated things.
The first thing we had to do was to check we could physically fit the switches into the dashboard blank, we tried looking for smaller switches but none were available, with a careful bit of measuring drilling and filing, we managed to fit the switches into the blanks, without them looking to much out of place. There was not a lot left of the blank though, we also had to enlarge the hole the blanking plug went into to allow the switch to pass through.
Then we removed the passenger seat and separated the back from the base, and the seat pad from the base, on the backrest, the covers unclip from the bottom and roll up, then there are some tensioning clips that need removing to allow the cover to roll up.
After trialling the heat pad for position, a small area of foam needs to be removed to allow the heat pad to sit flush.
The heat pad can be trimmed in length, but not in width, the pad itself is adhesive, so once we had trimmed it down to length we stuck it into place.
Then we added the wiring for the rear headrests, these come with a selection of plastic sleeves that fit into the original headrest holes.
There was nothing that was a perfect fit, but we wound some insulating tape round the top and bottom and forced them in, leaving the connecting cable sticking out for the holes.
We also decided to cut a piece of ply to go into the back of the seat, so that when it is folded down, we can stand on it to climb into the Pop Top.
We made a template and them cut the ply to size, we also sourced a thin piece of foam to stick on top, to make it into a comfortable seat when it is folded.
All of this fits easily back under the cover, the seat base and drivers seat were also stripped and the heat pads fitted. We had to modify the heat pad for the drivers seat as the heat part of the pad cannot be folded, only the sides can.
There was a difference with the way the drivers seat cover was attached, it used small metal clips called Hog-Rings, which need a special tool to do them back up. I took the opportunity to put new seat covers on the drivers seat as the old ones were quite grubby.
Switches in place.
So now we need to get power to theses guys, we originally thought about using sprung loaded contacts in the swivel base, but as there would be six wires to connect, we decided that this would be too much hassle, so in the end we settled for a six pin removable plug, this is connected to some 16A trailer cable.
This is in the recess in the back of the seat, and hardly protrudes at all into the rear space, we were tempted to have it come across under the handbrake, but thought that we may forget to unplug it before we swivel the seat. I added the ‘Remove Before Flight’ tag as a reminder to remove it before we swivel it around.
Both the plug and the socket have dust caps which will keep the connectors clean when the seat is swivelled. The lead comes out of the drivers seat under the handbrake, this is where all the connections are made.
When the seat is swivelled we can just loop the cable over the handbrake, we also added an on/off switch for the headrest DVD players so we could power them down, this is located next to the socket in the back of the seat.
The DVD players can play different films, or the second one can mirror the first, they work with wireless headphones when two different films are playing.
They come with covers, which cover the screens completely, however you cannot see the screens through the tinted windows.
We wanted to protect the wiring under the seat from accidental damage, so we made a small cover for it, which is held in with velcro.
Before the Pop Top was fitted, when we removed the original headlining, I extended the wires form the courtesy lights, so we could add a caravelle side step light and an extra LED light into the B Pillar.
These use the original VW wiring and fade out after a period of time, while we were finishing the wiring, we added the Coax cable for the TV aerial, we fitted the power socket and aerial point at the bottom of the B-Pillar on the drivers side, as the TV bracket will be on the B Pillar.
We ran the Coax cable under the bonnet and mounted a TV point, with a weatherproof cap, this will allow us to connect the aerial and run the cable out under the bonnet.
Finally when we were reassembling the dashboard we added one of our fire extinguishers, we intend to have one in the front, one in the back and a fire blanket.