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86 Westy Rear Head Rest Install
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kobylan
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:38 pm    Post subject: 86 Westy Rear Head Rest Install Reply with quote

I have seen a couple of posts from those who have installed rear head rests in there vans and thought I would share a few pics. I picked up the OEM head rest inserts from VW.

The back seat is a solid plywood back. I removed the seat back, most of the upholstery and the foam. I left one edge still stapled so it would be easier to re-upholster.

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


I had a friend of mine (thanks Gavin) weld some steel pipe to 1/8" plate and bolted these to the back. I used 1/4" machine screws and nyloc nuts.

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


Here is what the brackets look like with the inserts. You will want to re-upholster with the inserts out then put them back in.

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


I cut small holes in the fabric and slid the inserts in. The pipe I used was machined to accept the grooves on the sides of the inserts. The inserts also have barbs at the ends which pop out and lock at the bottom of the pipes so they can't slide out.

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


Voila! Now all I need to do is find another headrest. You will also notice I installed the GoWesty shoulder belts in the back as well (both sides).


Last edited by kobylan on Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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1621
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sent you a PM. Smile
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG I love the Samba.

Umm, this is soooo slick! So, is this the easiest method? I have an 86 syncro weekender, and as the kids get older, I really want some removable headrests for the z bed. Can I just go find another newer z-bed (what year?)? This is purely a safety function, yes? I am finally installing my $300 worth of 3-point seatbelts now in the rear (*&$%)#), and would like to sure up those little heads as well.

I should point out, 3-points in the back don't seem to be safer to me necessarily. Those lap belts are just so 1970s safety, and the kids manage to wiggle out of them in like 2 seconds. In other words, the headrest seems like a way more important addition than a 3-point. But to me, $300 is a small price for any extra insurance I can get on those little buggers. Now, for a 3-point dog belt!
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claytonic
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:07 am    Post subject: You need shoulder belts. Reply with quote

I've read you should have shoulder belts and head rests for every one.
Intestinal damage may result if you get in a bad head on accident with just lap belts.

Whiplash if you have a rear end accident with out head rests.

This is one my long to-do list!

+1 for the post Thanks.

Claytonic
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anybody have photos of what the receivers look like in the front seats, like how they attach?

Could you remove them from some old front seats and somehow bolt them up to the rear seats on a Westy or Weekender?
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'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0

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winstonrodney
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI, I asked GW about doing this last year and they quoted me $895 to do this. Shocked I know, it's all about labor costs (8 hrs @ $95/hour). Still, I think this is a great DIY weekend project. I bet you could find pipe and fittings that would work from the local Home Despot, and headrests from your local boneyard.
This is def an upgrade I'll be making before the kidlets get out of booster seats.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know tha tin 80s model QUantums the back headrests are mounted to similiar looking plates, and I'd suspect that they're the same in 80s jetta backseats.

I have some from the Quantum and will look into snaping an image.

Dan

joetiger wrote:
Does anybody have photos of what the receivers look like in the front seats, like how they attach?

Could you remove them from some old front seats and somehow bolt them up to the rear seats on a Westy or Weekender?
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With summer approaching, I thought I would bump this thread a little, and summarize with info I found on a couple of other threads:

Parts Needed:
youll need (6) p/n 811 881 939 (guide for headrest) an (6) p/n 253 885 635a (clip for guide).
****
notches
I put headreasts in my Van, if you feel around on top, there will be places to insert the plastic guides. thye are more toward the rear of the top, FYI. When you order them, be sure you order the spring doodads too, i found this out he hard way! The guides are like 5" long and have locating tabs on them to go in to slots in the seat. Just cut an X about 1/2" across above the whole, and press it in till it clicks. On the head rests to make it easier to take out, i ground out the bottom notch on each post so it looks like this:

| |
\ |
/ |
| |

instead of this:

| |
\ |
_\ |
| |

Works like a champ!
(Clark)
****
re: brackets from factory
There is no provision for headrests on the z-bed setup.
(SC-Surfer)
****
Something to consider
I converted from a sans-headrest Z-bed to one with headrests. I like the look of the 3 headrests from the outside, but it is a PITA to remove the headrests everytime. If I could have a do-over, I would have kept the original Z-bed.
(atarisi)
***
Clean/comfy install? What to buy
Can you feel the posts through the seat once the mod is complete?

BTW- you can't feel the headrest guides at all.

The parts list includes:
-4 headrest guides AND retainer clips (VW dealer)
-2 headrests (eBay/Craigslist/U-pull-it)
-4 4.5" lengths of 3/4" galvanized pipe
-At least 8 pipe straps (I doubled up and used 16)
-4 metal backing plates for back side of bench to act as a washer
(Lundy)
****
No pix here, so don't get your panties in a wad about 2x info/memory.

OK, off to track down parts! This seems like a good time to redo the upholstery on that seat as well, and heck, while the seat is out, do a little sound/thermal install, maybe insert a 1" or 2" bedliner cushion thing, maybe a couple of seat heaters (http://www.heatedseatkits.com/heatedseatkits/index.html). INTO THE RABBIT HOLE WE GO!
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were to cut into some 1985 front seats, would I find a removable part that I could remove to help me mount the headrests in the back? Or perhaps the head rest track on the front seats is welded in?
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1621
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Classicvibe wrote:
If I were to cut into some 1985 front seats, would I find a removable part that I could remove to help me mount the headrests in the back? Or perhaps the head rest track on the front seats is welded in?


The seats will have the plastic headrest retainers, but nothing else you'll need for the rear install in a westy.
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, this head rest thing is a turkey. I just realized that I am not sure how I was planning to get three on the back seat considering my closet is back there. Perhaps the head rest still squeezes in there? I am now considering just buying the parts from the dealer. It is like $120.
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kobylan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought all of the parts from the dealer. Remember that there are only two seatbelts back there.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kobylan wrote:
I bought all of the parts from the dealer. Remember that there are only two seatbelts back there.


Weekender, man! Weekender...

But to your point, there are only two shoulder belts...if you have installed them that is. The center is the gut crusher.

I think I will follow that lead and just order them from the dealer. How does the dealer piece mount? As explained earlier in this thread? THX
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kobylan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about that. You mentioned closet so...

Does the weekender have a z-bed with the plywood back? If yes then you need to make something like I did at the beginning of the thread.

Check this site out for additional seat info. http://www.vagcat.com/epc/cat/vw/T2/1986/65/

You'll need to register to see the pictures and part numbers.
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a couple of extra headrests with plastic sleeves that I was saving to add to my rear bench, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make it work.

This is an '85 Wolfsburg (Weekender) and the bench seat is different from a regular Westy. First off, the plywood back is covered flat in vinyl, without any foam on the backside, so if I made brackets and added the headrests to the back of the plywood, the vinyl wouldn't fit back on, and the bed wouldn't lay down flat.

Common sense (and what I've read on The Samba) tells me that putting the headrests into the front of the plywood would possibly result in the bottom of the posts levering forward in a wreck and causing more damage to the occupant's back than if the brackets are mounted on the back side.

Still, I thought I'd look at making brackets for the back of the plywood for the one spot in front of the rear cabinet; however, after test-fitting, the headrest doesn't even fit between the back of the seat and the face of the cabinet.

My next thought was to somehow attach a headrest (not necessarily OEM) to the cabinet itself on that side, but in case of an accident, wouldn't the headrest need to move with the seat? If it was attached to the cabinet, it would remain stationary.

I sat in my Vanagon for a long time last night trying to figure out an option. The only thing I can think of is to source a back bench from a Carat, which has the headrests built in, and have it reupholstered in a matching color (since they're all grey and my interior is tan.) That seems like a long, arduous, expensive, proposition, accomplished only with the major good luck of finding a Carat bench locally.

The whole point of this is to get my very tall (4'10") eight year-old out of her high-back booster seat, which she hardly fits in anymore, and into a regular seat with head support.

Does anybody have any ideas? Has anybody added headrests to a Weekender rear bench in a way that I haven't thought of?

These headrests are in my garage staring me down, waiting for me to do something with them.

Major thanks in advance to The Samba Interior Modification Gods.
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Joe T.

'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0

'85 928S

Polygavanagonamy: Only practical for people with big yards and lots of time.

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judging by the lack of response, I think I'm correct that this is a bit of a puzzling issue, or it's a boring topic. I choose to believe the former.

One quick question though:

Is the Carat bench the same width as an '85 Weekender bench? I know the GL benches are wider.

The Carat and the Weekender have the same driver's side panel shape & size, so I'm assuming they're the same.
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Joe T.

'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0

'85 928S

Polygavanagonamy: Only practical for people with big yards and lots of time.

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
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1621
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joetiger wrote:


Common sense (and what I've read on The Samba) tells me that putting the headrests into the front of the plywood would possibly result in the bottom of the posts levering forward in a wreck and causing more damage to the occupant's back than if the brackets are mounted on the back side.



If you set up the headrests like koblyan did at the beginning of this thread, I doubt they would pull away from the seat back. The trick is using a backing plate on the backside of the seat, and through bolting everything. The seat back is 3/4" ply (IIRC) and it would be near impossible to for the headrests to separate when set up like the pictures above.

I did something similar using electrical conduit, through bolts, backing plates and VW headrest guides. I tested them by kicking them pretty hard and found that the entire seatback moved along with the headrest. I'm not a crash expert, but I imagine the same would happen in a real accident.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for responding 1621.

Are yours mounted on the front of the plywood or the back? The problem with the Wolfsburg interior is that the vinyl on the back snugs flatly against the plywood. Also, if done on the back, it seems like the bed wouldn't lay all the way down.

Here's an '86 Weekender from GW with a seat similar to mine. It *looks* like they mounted the headrests on the front side of the plywood:

(You have to scroll down to see the pictures.)

http://usedvanagonparts.com/sale_details.php?id=1340
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Joe T.

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'85 928S

Polygavanagonamy: Only practical for people with big yards and lots of time.

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The seat construction looks to be the same. The campers also have the flat vinyl flat across the back. I worked around this by using carriage bolts through the backing plate from the backside. The smooth heads and nearly flush backing plate don't interfere with the vinyl. Something like this is what I used:

http://www.boltdepot.com/images/Chrome/chrome-carriage-bolts-thumb.jpg

My headrest guides are mounted to the front side of the plywood. In addition to your point about the bed lying flat, I would think the headrests would sit too far back to be effective in an impact if they were mounted to the backside of the plywood.
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Classicvibe
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same interior, and I was assuming the mounts would go on the rear...that is what I gathered from the pics above. Now that I picture things in this new light, it makes sense. With all the padding on the front of the seat, the mount would have to be on the front side for the post to be remotely centered (front to back). Hmmmm

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


OK, I am back on this project now. Let's see, where was I...oh yeah, source something to mount those headrests to the seat! Boo......
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