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Winston's 2nd Dome Light, and What Came of It
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:42 pm    Post subject: Winston's 2nd Dome Light, and What Came of It Reply with quote

Well, I want all the light I can easily get into him, and a new dome light assembly was quite cheap from the Arizona Parts Haus, so this weekend I decided to put it into him.

It's been described elsewhere--the Bentley can be trusted on pulling the headliner, and you do have to take off the side shelf, which I did... I was somewhat miffed to find no dead mice or such rodent relics in the fiberglass above the headliner. One trap to watch out for--you will see, in an '84 Westy, at least, two beautiful sockets for the dome light assemblies in the metal of the roof. Ignore them. The metal plate riveted into the headliner is as high as your dome light is going. I did run the wires for the splices and the new light through them to hold them in place while I replaced the headliner. Used twistem's to hold the wires together and in place. They're easier to remove than nylon ties, and re-usable.

I had read that the installation of a new dome light can be made without the metal plate, another fellow found one off another van, I made mine--which worked pretty well, except that I had none of the right tools and you can't quite synthesize the dropped tabs into which the dome light snaps--I bent the ends of my plate down until the light assembly locked into it through the thin wood of the headliner. The plate was wonderful for keeping the jigsaw I used for the lower hole from making an irregular cut.

I made more of those three-way splices by pop-riveting small ring terminals together, and covering the middles of those with dielectric grease and self-adhering tape. Did a four-way connection for the dual-ground on the original dome light, then just ran three wires across to the new dome, which works perfectly--turns on when either door opens, or by switch. With the LED bulb, the standard dome light throws out scads of light, I won't be installing a front flourescent.

Had to finish the installation this morning, making the new plate and using a jig saw to cut out the inlet took a while. As I was finishing up, I noticed a little baggie full of plant material laying in the passenger's side stepwell. It must have fallen out when I pulled the headliner. I doubt very much if a rodent left that up there, but if one did, that would explain where mice get the munchies. It was at least an ounce's worth. I just KNEW I'd find something like that in Winston sooner or later. I'm just glad that Winston's never been gone over by DEA dogs. He has a date with a bottle of Febreeze.

Formal burial at sea was followed by my installation of two more splices for the flourescent light I have on order... and order... and order... that will go over the bench. I fished the wires with a cable behind the roof side combing and wired them in, all out of sight, but insulated. I think that'll be the last of the lighting when the fixture itself finally arrives. I should patch a few small cracks in his fiberglass and one scuff and in time replace the front blower, heater core, etc. But today I just climbed up into the tent and listened to some Bach on Winston's radio and felt... very relaxed and happy.

Best!
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Tram Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seriously doubt that the baggie was what you thought it was. Better send it to me for analysis. Laughing
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cloudbaseracer
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have a picture of the installation of the light?

James
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gratefulbus
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Formal burial at sea? I hope that doesn't mean you FLUSHED the baggie...right? Shocked
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HerrBGone
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im guessing it was the contents of the baggie that were buried at sea and that the baggie itself was disposed of by other means. Id hate to think what the plumber would think after being called to deal with that clog if it went baggie and all! Shame on you
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Squidfish
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

funny story to read with all the replies, can't wait to install some more dome lights in our rig.

So the headliner is another good place huh? haha
I have heard a few crazy others...
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lilweasel
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just took my headliner out too- unfortunately I didn't find any goodies though Sad

I'll keep digging- there's bound to be something good in hiding...
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:00 pm    Post subject: Photos and Waste Disposal Reply with quote

1)Yes, I do have a picture of the installation, I'll post it when I get the new flourescent in so you can see both of 'em. It looks just like the driver's side light, and is in precisely (measure several times, cut nervously once) the same relative position as the stock one. I'll also post a picture of Winston with all his lights on at night.

2)Although I am not an expert at disposing of veggie contraband, I did have the sense to dispose of baggie and contrabaggie separately. I did show it to two witnesses. I have allowed myself one vice in my life, and that stuff aint it. Tonight's manifestation of the vice I HAVE allowed myself was two double shots of Gosling's Black Seal Rum.

3)Today I received a 'right angle Euro DIN' connector from:

http://secure.mycart.net/catalogs/catalog.asp?prodid=1105726

thinking it would be an adapter. No, it was a plug--with no instructions or data of any sort. Note and remember the difference between a plug and an adapter. I did actually get a six foot twin strand insulated wire attached to it, which I'll wire into a female U.S. style 12v. socket, hopefully insulated, otherwise, I'll have to insulate it myself. That'll let me put Winston's "silver socket" to work, possibly with a fan, definitely with a 12 volt converter to power my CD player, camera battery charger, and cell phone. What I like about the PLUG I unknowingly ordered is the LED light, at least I know when it's plugged in. I also now know that Winston's Silver Socket still works. It's a firmer connection than the factory cigarette lighter.

4)I also patched Winston's scratched and scuffed fiberglass today. Note: For small jobs, mix the resin and hardener and then trowel it on as smoothly as possible, the least amount necessary. Mix before applying, apply FAST. Sand by hand. The paint I used was lousy, but it roughly matches the rest of the top and will, I hope, protect the patches from Colorado's merciless UV.

Where's that blasted flourescent? I'm running out of things to do!

Best!
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:14 pm    Post subject: Cable for Winston... Reply with quote

Radio Shack didn't have a simple insulated socket. They had some stuff I could have adapted selling for $8 and they did try to keep me from putting too much amperage on that cable. I respected that.

West Marine didn't have a simple insulated socket. They did have some very heavy duty permanent ones, with all-weather connections, but those weren't designed to be wired onto cables. They also had, at a VERY good price, those Hella 6W 12v. fans, a much, much, bigger and more powerful 12v. fan, anti-shifting tie-downs that I bought to secure Winston's microwave, and two different types of water tank and system cleaner and purifiers that look a lot gentler and more effective than Vinegar or Bleach. I'll use 'em in Winston's system when we're past our last freeze.

Visit one of those boat-supply places, people, the stuff's much better quality than most of the RV stores, and pretty reasonably priced. The manager mentioned that a popular method of preventing trouble in Europe for vehicular water tanks is to pour a very big bottle of cheap vodka into the system at the end of the season. In Spring, party.

I've heard worse ideas.

NAPA had no female 12v. sockets and they were out of promotional hats. No promotional hats or 12v. sockets at CarQuest or Checker, either. I was going to hit Pep Boys, but paused first at the Evil Temple of Unbridled Capitalism, Wal-Mart. JACKPOT!

Well, first of all, they had Harry Potter IV, the special edition 2-disk set has the deleted scenes, I was hoping for a LOTR-style extended edition with more of the story, but you can't have everything. Howl's Moving Castle is a stunning Miyazaki animated movie, and, for some reason, makes me think of Winston. But, they ALSO had...

1) For $29, a Coleman fold-out range-top oven with thermometer and baking rack. I THINK I can get it to work with Winston's range if I mill out the rivet holding the two halves of his cover's support and replace it with a bolt and wingnut--I just need to lift the cover a little further off to BAKE in the VW. Mostly for the fun of it, but, hey. Adds to the mystique and bragging rights.

2)A 'Trailer power socket' for less than $4 designed to be plugged into the light or brakes connector on a tow outlet. It's heavily insulated and has a cover for the end. I snipped the socket terminal of that off and did two Western Union splices to link the right wires--Vive le Tester Multi--to the wires coming out of that insulated cable I'd already wired into the new 'silver socket' plug. Got it right, soldered and covered the splices with heat-shrink, fusing tape, and conventional tape, and there's my silver socket extension cable.

3)A fused 'two in one' 12v. adapter for less than $3, that's a bonus. That gives me three sockets at need, given that my cable runs out of the otherwise unused silver socket. That puts two fuses on that cable, which isn't a bad idea at all. No more than 7.5 amp draw on it.

Got all that done just before my latest internet purchase arrived, that being:

http://www.powerstream.com/dc6.htm

and this:

http://www.powerstream.com/dc-tips.htm

Spent an hour testing the 'buck adapter,' tips, and my cable. At the 4.5 volts setting, with two different tips, I was able to charge my digital camera, my cell phone, and run my portable MP3 CD player off Winston's auxiliary battery. One adapter, three, so far, applications. Yow. This adapter has a power light and a 'connected' light on its 12v. male socket, which was lovely--I could check all my connections at a glance.

Where's that blessed flourescent light?

Best!
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backcountrymedic
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"the Evil Temple of Unbridled Capitalism, Wal-Mart"

You must admit... they do allow us free camping when on a road trip. Not the ideal family vacation spot, but at least an easy place to sleep when on the road...

-Jared
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