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Caravelle/Vanagon cab seat - armrest repair.
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vw4wd
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:04 am    Post subject: Caravelle/Vanagon cab seat - armrest repair. Reply with quote

One of my cab seat armrests has been damaged in the past - probably by someone moving between the seats into the back of the van. The result is that the thin end of the arm, above the adjustment knob, now flexes from the main arm.

I decided it was time that I looked into this and removed the arm (dowel pin front to rear through the hinge - squeeze the arm cushion away from the seat back to find it.) To get to the screws which hold the plastic cover trim above the adjustment knob it is necessary to remove the knob. As there is no apparent mechanism holding the knob to the shaft I unscrewed the knob. However, as it came away, it was apparent this was not the thing to do as a nut fell loose within the arm!!

To get further in requires the extraction of multiple staples holding the fabric around the end of the arm. The fabric can then be worked off the hinge end of the arm.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


With the shaft extracted from the arm and clamped in a vice I discovered that the knob is actually driven onto a length of fine splines on the shaft!!

You can see from the photo that the construction of the arm is a strip of plywood and a moulded-in-situ, foam surround. On my arm the plywood had been snapped at the interface between the thin and thick sections of arm.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So, now I have two issues. I still have to repair the arm and then I have to discover how to reassemble the shaft & nut into the arm! The first of these should be accomplished by adding a piece of metal angle between the underside of the ply and the face of the black box visible in the pictures. Either that, or inserting a couple of lengths of angle along the ply and inside the foam. Or maybe by separating the ply from the black box and inserting a whole new piece of ply. This route might just give me access to the shaft/nut connection inside.

However, for the second issue, has anyone been deeper inside an arm and can guide me at all on that aspect, please?
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Gruppe B
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=370266&highlight=armrest

full dissasembly and repair
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vw4wd
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that link - it is most helpful.

Armed with that information I have now repaired my armrest. I used a long bladed modelling knife to slice the foam from the top surface of the plywood to expose the screws. This left a thin 'U' section of faom around the forward extension piece of the ply which then came away at the break. I was surprised to find that the ply is only 10mm thick - no wonder so many of them are broken!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Using the knife again I sliced down the side of the ply all around it's perimeter. Although now separated from the foam the ply didn't want to come away as it was stuck to a film of tape used to seal the plastic housing for the mechanism. I guess that this is to prevent the expanding foam entering the housing during manufacture.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Having pulled off the ply and cut away the tape, all became clear. The adjuster rod simply screws into a square nut, loosely fitted in a square socket in the plastic moulding. There is a spring clip midway along the rod to prevent it rattling. There are also two springy plastic 'fingers' which press against each side of the rod and, as it is unscrewed, engage with a shoulder and provide additional resistance to further unscrewing. Now I know it's there, it is obviously designed to discourage any further unscrewing and potential disassemble such as I managed!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


With a clear view it was a simple matter to reposition the clip, insert the nut and screw in the adjuster rod. I then cut a new piece of ply (310x40mm and 10mm thick), marked the screw holes from the old ply and drilled them through before fixing it to the plastic moulding. I also pre-drilled pilot holes for the plastic cover retaining screws.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I had some concern that contact adhesive might not be compatible with the expanded foam so used double-sided tape to refix the foam pieces.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


After that the cover was stretched back on, the loose edges stapled to the ply and the cover plastic screwed into place. The knob went back onto the shaft with a few taps of a rubber hammer.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
.

A bit of a clean jup and it's all ready to go back on.
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Garyd

1990 Transporter syncro camper with 2 litre AGG 'GTi' engine
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SCM
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job and thanks for the post.

Now that you've seen the inside of the armrest, can you think of any reason that would prevent one from rotating all the way to the full "up" position (completely aligned with the seat's backrest)?

Looking from my passenger side door towards the van, the passenger side armrest on my passenger's seat only flips up to about the 1 o'clock position so is never fully out of the way for people entering the van. That armrest also has the same type of break that you just repaired.
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vw4wd
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No immediate answer but one thought that comes to mind is with regard to the mounting spigot which bolts to the side of the seat backrest frame. If these are handed, it's possible you have the wrong one fitted? Or maybe it is just upside down (I think it is a two bolt flange).

I have just checked on ETOS and they are not handed (all four are the same part). If the roll pin hole is not square to the centre line between the bolts, turning it upside down would change the stop position, I think.
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CinnabarVan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Caravelle/Vanagon cab seat - armrest repair. Reply with quote

Thank you for the time to post these pictures and discuss the process to fix this annoyance.
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si2t3m
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: Caravelle/Vanagon cab seat - armrest repair. Reply with quote

Very helpfull instructions!


Had the same issue and it is now fixed!
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