Categories: Our Hacks | Aesthetic | Body | Conversion | Electrical | Engine | Extended | Flooring | Food Truck | Interior | Mechanical


vanagon alternator wiring harness upgrade

If you have an auxiliary battery in your Vanagon you may want to beef up your alternator wiring harness. GoWesty sells an alternator wiring harness upgrade kit for $40 that will upgrade the entire harness. It consists of the wire that goes from the alternator to the starter, the field wire, and the wire that goes to the fuel injectors. It’s a nice upgrade, but we decided to do a partial upgrade ourselves for kicks. Click through to see how we did it.

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ipad-mounted-in-vanagon

I have a hard drive full of video content that I wanted to stream in the Vanagon. Placing an iPad on the table works, but it is not as handy as having an iPad permanently mounted and out of the way. I purchased this iPad magnet mount with hopes of being able to mount it in several places throughout the Vanagon. The magnet was not strong enough to hold the iPad because there isn’t enough bare metal in the van. I then moved to the second option of modifying the mount to fit my needs. Click through to see how we did it.

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toggle-switch-on-fluorescent-light-done

The fluorescent light in the hard top Vanagon comes with a push button switch. I have always wanted a toggle switch instead, but never gave it a thought until my push button switch died. One of my lights was getting increasingly more difficult to turn on so I knew we had to change the switch. We decided to change from a push button to a toggle switch and results are fantastic. Hit the jump to see how we did it.

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led-back-hatch-lights

The back hatch of the Vanagon does not include lights and we decided to solve that little problem. Whenever you open the hatch to get something out of the back it’s just too dark to see. I’ve stored flashlights and magnet lights back there for years, but we came up with a better solution. I purchased a couple of dome lights from Go Westy, and some LED interior lights from Van Cafe and we were ready to go. Click through to see how we did it.

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Vanagon Lighter plug

The Vanagon lighter plug has always us because it was loose. Even after installing a new plug it still felt loose when you pulled out an accessory. Searching the Internet gave us few clues about how to solve this problem. Some people have tried adhesive, or clamps behind the dash, but none of the suggestions seemed right.

We finally found the fix, courtesy of our friend Joel. By removing the plug assembly and placing an O-ring around the outer green assembly, the problem is solved. The O-ring sits behind the dash and keeps the lighter plug in place. Ideally, the plug should have a threaded nut behind the dash instead of clips, but the O-ring is a nice substitute for the nut. Hit the jump for more the rest of the fix.

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Apr 30, 2014 | Category: @Our Hacks, Interior

mag-light

This isn’t really a hack, but a nice addition to the Vanagon. We have all sorts of lights in the van just in case we need them. We decided to mount a MagLite next to the driver’s seat for those emergency situations. We bought these mounting brackets and screwed it right in. It works very well!

 

 



IMG_2165

I just installed the interior LED upgrade kit from Van Cafe and it is fantastic. These new LEDs use 90% less energy, but provide amazing light. The new bright white light is so much better than my old interior festoon bulbs, and I can clearly see the entire interior of my Vanagon during the day or night if the lights are on. Unfortunately my camera cannot adequately capture how great the improvement really is. The picture above doesn’t do it justice, but trust me, they are awesome!

The kit was easy to install and makes a big difference. The new bulbs are just slightly larger in some cases so you have to squeeze them in there. It’s really not a big deal at all and well worth it. I bought the kid for $30 and the improvement in the map light is almost worth the entire kit. I can finally see in my glove box! I would highly recommend this upgrade to every Vanagon owner. Your eyes and your battery will thank you.

If you’re looking for an upgrade kit you can get one from Van Cafe or GoWesty. I order from both companies on a regular basis and both are fantastic!



IMG_2154

I always try to use every bit of space in the Vanagon so I can keep the floor space clear. Not only do I keep lights under the jump seats for indirect lighting at night, I mounted a paper towel holder under one of the seats to maximize space. It works great! I have little plastic organizer boxes under the other jump seat so this one was just asking for something to be placed there.



IMG_2156

Anyone who owns a Vanagon knows the lighting situation isn’t ideal. I have a fluorescent light, but sometimes you need more discreet lighting options. Sylvania makes the DoT-it LED lights that are magnetic, and can be place almost anywhere.

I use these lights for indirect lighting when I’m in some kind of stealth situation. They provide enough light to get around, but cannot be seen from the outside of the van with my 5% tint. If I draw the drapes, there is no way anyone could see the light in the van, yet I can see perfectly well. Read the rest of this entry to see examples of how we use these lights.

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We’ve been carrying our EVDO data card with us so we can get online in the van, but that didn’t seem like a Vanagon Hack, so we decided to get a more permanent WiFi solution in the Vanagon. As you can see in the video, we wired the outlet to the stereo for on/off capabilities.

More pictures after the jump…


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