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Easiest way to add keyless entry to the vanagon?
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stevey88
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just something to note before you start. The lock mechanism at the sliding door is slightly different .There is an extra arm extended from it for the hook from the actuator. I welded an extra piece to the existing mechanism but it may easier for you to get a used one. The kit you will get will come with a clamp for the two front doors and they should work. I never bother with the rear hatch as I don't open it that often.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Its on the list. Im in the middle of an engine conversion at the moment. But my wife has made a few demands since I spent so much on the conversion. Instead of buying a new van.
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stevey88
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ask your Wife to find you a van that you can put a 4 X 8 ply wood in and also can haul a 14 feet lumber inside with the rear hatch closed. 20 mpg on the freeway is also a must.
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woggs1
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a writeup someone did on installing power locks and remote entry with lots of nice pictures.

http://jupiter.okb-1.org/vanagon/power_locks.html

Quote:

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




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Installing aftermarket power locks in an '85 Vanagon Westy
Mon Apr 25 11:03:20 PDT 2005
Audin Malmin

My westy lacked power locks. A friend with an '88 Westy with stock power locks pointed me to alarmsellout.com, where he had ordered an alarm system for a seemingly resonable price. They also had a power lock kit (universal door lock kit) for ~$30. So I went ahead and ordered both items.

The kit comes with four power lock motors, a control box, some mounting hardware, four actuator rods and clamps, and a wiring harness. The motors are designed to be used with old-style rod-actuated pushbutton door locks (just like the Vanagon front doors!). Missing from the kit are almost any instructions to speak of. All you get is an image of the wiring diagram on the back of the box.

The general idea is that you mount the motor parallel with the push-button actuator rod, then attach the motor to the rod with the supplied motor actuator rod (cut to length) and the rod clamp. Sadly things are more complicated in the Vangaon.

Wiring
The kit comes with two 'master' motors and two 'slave' motors. The only difference between them is that the masters have switches in them to signal the control box when they have been manually cycled (so if you lock or unlock one of the masters the other motors will mirror your movements). This function requires three extra wires. So the masters have five wires, and the slaves have two.

The control box has nine wires coming out of it. Power, Ground, Lock all, Unlock all, and five motor lines. All motors are wired in parallel. The kit comes with an annoying branching wiring bundle. Most of this doesn't have to be used, only the main plug is important. When wiring just remember that all the motors can be wired together. There isn't anything special about them. Also note that you can reverse the operation of a slave motor by swapping its wires. This is important for the slider and rear hatch.

I mounted the control box behind the glovebox (pretty, huh?):



I then ran the two master sets of wires (the five-wire bundles) out to the front doors through the openings provided for the speaker wires. The shorter slave wire bundle was clipped off, and the longer one was run up the passenger side window mullion and back to the sliding door lock pillar (this part is a pain in the ass).

The ground wire goes around one of the screws holding the glovebox bracket to the frame. And power was taken from the map light accessory circuit. I'm not sure this circuit is entirely safe to leach off of, but it seems to be working alright. I will be adding power windows soon, and will probably provide a seperate circuit for them, so might move the locks to it as well. The map light circuit also powers the alarm, by the way. The lock and unlock wires go to the alarm unit (you can see a bit of it in the picture above) for remote entry, and also to a momentary contact toggle switch in the dash (I might unhook the master lock switches...but sure yet).

Front Doors
The main issue with the front doors is that there isn't room to mount the motor in line with the lock actuator. You have to offset it by about 3 inches (away from the latch mechanism, that is). The door handle rod is also in the way, so you have to mount the motor right next to it. So, the motor is mounted like this:



And then the motor actuator rod is bent at a right angle, with the vertical part connecting to the lock actuator rod via the clamp, and the other end attached to the motor. Not the best picture of this:





Sliding Door
My sliding door lock mechanism had no provision for a lock motor. Two options are available for retrofit: find a lock mechanism designed for the motor, or alter the stock one. I chose the latter method. Sadly, I did not take good pictures of this part. Basically the deal is that the outer handle lock cylinder moves a piece of metal back and forth when it is actuated. There is a spot on this metal where you can drill a hole large enough to take the motor rod and also have clearance for the rod to operate freely. I bent a small Z into the motor rod adn then slipped it into the new hole drilled in the metal piece. The rod is then bent down slightly to allow the motor to be mounted below the lock mechanism. The motor mounting bracket is bent a bit to make it fit around the lip on the door panel. Final install:



[drawing of mechanism...]

Two issues with this install: the motor has a longer throw than is needed. So this puts extra stress on the lock mechanism. I am hoping this does not cause the (weakened due to the new hole) metal part to crack. It also makes activation rather loud. Finally, the motor is only supported on one side, so it flaps around when operating. This is less of an issue due to all the insulation I installed in the door while I had it open.

Wiring the sliding door motor is a bit of a problem. You can't just wire it normally, as the whole door moves. I pondered trying to use coiled telephone cable or something similar to make the connection, but in the end ordered a Vanagon sliding door contact module from vanagonparts.com for $12. Installing this was a bit of a pain, as both sections require a slot to install into. But several holes and some filing later and the install looks stock! One issue is that thesr motors do not emulate the stock motor's quality of carrying out the last command upon door close. If you lock the power doors on a stock vanagon and then close the sliding door, the slider will lock itself. With these aftermarket motors, the slider will remain unlocked. Oh well. I mean to poke around inside the control module to see if I can find a place where grounding or provinding a high signal will make it repeat the last command. There are two contacts left on the door contact module, so that part is at least simple. The actual motor wires have to be connected in reverse, because on the slider 'locked' is the extended state of the motor not the retracted state like it is in the front doors.

Along with the lock motor I also added a dome light switch to the sliding door. Initially I use a pin switch which came with the alarm system. But due to poor placement, this only lasted a few weeks before bending. I now plan to replace it with a stock vanagon door switch (there is a cutout for it on the sliding door jamb). The switch is installed, I just have to fashion a striker block for it.

Rear Hatch
The big issue with the rear hatch is that there is no straightforward way to retrofit a motor to the stock non-motor lock mechanism. It could probably be done, but not well and it would require a large amount of fabrication. So, I chose to buy a used lock mechanism from a power-lock equiped van with the hope that I could rekey it to match my other locks. My new lock mechanism came from vanagonparts.com, it was $18. It is a direct replacement for the original mechanism. And it turns out that rekeying it was pretty straightforward (Rekeying a Vanagon Hatch Lock).

With the new mechanism, this door is actually the easiest of the bunch. Operating the mechanism only requires moving a latch piece back and forth about 1 inch. The motor can be mounted directly in line. The one issue is that the moving latch piece also rotates a bit when the outer button is pushed. So the motor rod needs to be rather loosly fitted to allow for the rotation. Picture:



The wiring for the rear hatch is the most annoying part. I ran the wires back along with the rear speaker and wiper cables, then through the same sleeve which the wiper cables and washer tubing go through into the door. Sadly, upon doing this the washer tube broke. The stuff gets extremely brittle after 20 years. Well, not a big deal since it didn't work anyway. At the same time I pulled a dome light switched ground wire back so I can add a dome light switch to the hatch at some point (the dome light is how the alarm system knows a door was opened).

Do I Like it?
Hell yeah. Power locks, especially with remote entry, are extremely nice to have in a vehicle of this size. Now I don't have to walk around and make sure the rear hatch is locked every time I park. Also, the sound of the alarm bleep when you arm it and lock the doors is totally hilarious to hear coming from a Vanagon. Totally out of place.

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Last edited by woggs1 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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pushkick
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: power door lock write up Reply with quote

that is a great write up good pics, wish i had seen that before i did mine!
could have saved some time. that should be a sticky.
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singler3360
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm installing the A1 MES power lock kit. Can someone post pics of the electrical contacts on the b-pillar and the door itself? Before I drill holes for the contact plates it would be helpful to know where the stock locations are.

I think the best place to locate the control modules (incl. the keyless control unit) is behind the glove box. Where would the recommended leads be in this area to tap into for 12V constant and ignition switched power?

And finally, there appears to be a good writeup for this install here but the link to is broken. Anyone know how to get to this archived article?

As always, thanks!

woggs1 wrote:
Here is a writeup someone did on installing power locks and remote entry with lots of nice pictures.

http://jupiter.okb-1.org/vanagon/power_locks.html

Quote:

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




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


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

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

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


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


Installing aftermarket power locks in an '85 Vanagon Westy
Mon Apr 25 11:03:20 PDT 2005
Audin Malmin

My westy lacked power locks. A friend with an '88 Westy with stock power locks pointed me to alarmsellout.com, where he had ordered an alarm system for a seemingly resonable price. They also had a power lock kit (universal door lock kit) for ~$30. So I went ahead and ordered both items.

The kit comes with four power lock motors, a control box, some mounting hardware, four actuator rods and clamps, and a wiring harness. The motors are designed to be used with old-style rod-actuated pushbutton door locks (just like the Vanagon front doors!). Missing from the kit are almost any instructions to speak of. All you get is an image of the wiring diagram on the back of the box.

The general idea is that you mount the motor parallel with the push-button actuator rod, then attach the motor to the rod with the supplied motor actuator rod (cut to length) and the rod clamp. Sadly things are more complicated in the Vangaon.

Wiring
The kit comes with two 'master' motors and two 'slave' motors. The only difference between them is that the masters have switches in them to signal the control box when they have been manually cycled (so if you lock or unlock one of the masters the other motors will mirror your movements). This function requires three extra wires. So the masters have five wires, and the slaves have two.

The control box has nine wires coming out of it. Power, Ground, Lock all, Unlock all, and five motor lines. All motors are wired in parallel. The kit comes with an annoying branching wiring bundle. Most of this doesn't have to be used, only the main plug is important. When wiring just remember that all the motors can be wired together. There isn't anything special about them. Also note that you can reverse the operation of a slave motor by swapping its wires. This is important for the slider and rear hatch.

I mounted the control box behind the glovebox (pretty, huh?):



I then ran the two master sets of wires (the five-wire bundles) out to the front doors through the openings provided for the speaker wires. The shorter slave wire bundle was clipped off, and the longer one was run up the passenger side window mullion and back to the sliding door lock pillar (this part is a pain in the ass).

The ground wire goes around one of the screws holding the glovebox bracket to the frame. And power was taken from the map light accessory circuit. I'm not sure this circuit is entirely safe to leach off of, but it seems to be working alright. I will be adding power windows soon, and will probably provide a seperate circuit for them, so might move the locks to it as well. The map light circuit also powers the alarm, by the way. The lock and unlock wires go to the alarm unit (you can see a bit of it in the picture above) for remote entry, and also to a momentary contact toggle switch in the dash (I might unhook the master lock switches...but sure yet).

Front Doors
The main issue with the front doors is that there isn't room to mount the motor in line with the lock actuator. You have to offset it by about 3 inches (away from the latch mechanism, that is). The door handle rod is also in the way, so you have to mount the motor right next to it. So, the motor is mounted like this:



And then the motor actuator rod is bent at a right angle, with the vertical part connecting to the lock actuator rod via the clamp, and the other end attached to the motor. Not the best picture of this:





Sliding Door
My sliding door lock mechanism had no provision for a lock motor. Two options are available for retrofit: find a lock mechanism designed for the motor, or alter the stock one. I chose the latter method. Sadly, I did not take good pictures of this part. Basically the deal is that the outer handle lock cylinder moves a piece of metal back and forth when it is actuated. There is a spot on this metal where you can drill a hole large enough to take the motor rod and also have clearance for the rod to operate freely. I bent a small Z into the motor rod adn then slipped it into the new hole drilled in the metal piece. The rod is then bent down slightly to allow the motor to be mounted below the lock mechanism. The motor mounting bracket is bent a bit to make it fit around the lip on the door panel. Final install:



[drawing of mechanism...]

Two issues with this install: the motor has a longer throw than is needed. So this puts extra stress on the lock mechanism. I am hoping this does not cause the (weakened due to the new hole) metal part to crack. It also makes activation rather loud. Finally, the motor is only supported on one side, so it flaps around when operating. This is less of an issue due to all the insulation I installed in the door while I had it open.

Wiring the sliding door motor is a bit of a problem. You can't just wire it normally, as the whole door moves. I pondered trying to use coiled telephone cable or something similar to make the connection, but in the end ordered a Vanagon sliding door contact module from vanagonparts.com for $12. Installing this was a bit of a pain, as both sections require a slot to install into. But several holes and some filing later and the install looks stock! One issue is that thesr motors do not emulate the stock motor's quality of carrying out the last command upon door close. If you lock the power doors on a stock vanagon and then close the sliding door, the slider will lock itself. With these aftermarket motors, the slider will remain unlocked. Oh well. I mean to poke around inside the control module to see if I can find a place where grounding or provinding a high signal will make it repeat the last command. There are two contacts left on the door contact module, so that part is at least simple. The actual motor wires have to be connected in reverse, because on the slider 'locked' is the extended state of the motor not the retracted state like it is in the front doors.

Along with the lock motor I also added a dome light switch to the sliding door. Initially I use a pin switch which came with the alarm system. But due to poor placement, this only lasted a few weeks before bending. I now plan to replace it with a stock vanagon door switch (there is a cutout for it on the sliding door jamb). The switch is installed, I just have to fashion a striker block for it.

Rear Hatch
The big issue with the rear hatch is that there is no straightforward way to retrofit a motor to the stock non-motor lock mechanism. It could probably be done, but not well and it would require a large amount of fabrication. So, I chose to buy a used lock mechanism from a power-lock equiped van with the hope that I could rekey it to match my other locks. My new lock mechanism came from vanagonparts.com, it was $18. It is a direct replacement for the original mechanism. And it turns out that rekeying it was pretty straightforward (Rekeying a Vanagon Hatch Lock).

With the new mechanism, this door is actually the easiest of the bunch. Operating the mechanism only requires moving a latch piece back and forth about 1 inch. The motor can be mounted directly in line. The one issue is that the moving latch piece also rotates a bit when the outer button is pushed. So the motor rod needs to be rather loosly fitted to allow for the rotation. Picture:



The wiring for the rear hatch is the most annoying part. I ran the wires back along with the rear speaker and wiper cables, then through the same sleeve which the wiper cables and washer tubing go through into the door. Sadly, upon doing this the washer tube broke. The stuff gets extremely brittle after 20 years. Well, not a big deal since it didn't work anyway. At the same time I pulled a dome light switched ground wire back so I can add a dome light switch to the hatch at some point (the dome light is how the alarm system knows a door was opened).

Do I Like it?
Hell yeah. Power locks, especially with remote entry, are extremely nice to have in a vehicle of this size. Now I don't have to walk around and make sure the rear hatch is locked every time I park. Also, the sound of the alarm bleep when you arm it and lock the doors is totally hilarious to hear coming from a Vanagon. Totally out of place.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole shebang fits nicely up behind the glovebox, and I tapped my power directly from the fusebox.

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


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

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singler3360
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singler3360 wrote:

Where would the recommended leads be in this area to tap into for 12V constant and ignition switched power?


Ok, on futher inspection, I found the extra constant power tab at the far left backside of the fuse and an ignition switched on tab on the far right. I think I'll run dedicated 16AWG wires from those locations over to the glove box area rather than tap into existing wiring.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeitgeist,
Thanks for the confirmation and pics. Very helpful.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: pics added

Finally finished the A1 MES 4 power lock kit/keyless entry installation last night into my '91 Westy without stock wiring. I added actuators to the front doors and slider only. The hatch was not a priority.

The most time consuming step is running the wires from behind the glove box, up the front window frame, over the passenger door and down the B-pillar to serve the slider door. There's lots of deadend spaces inside those runs and it was challenging even with fish tape. I'll post pics of this step later.

Here's a pic of the hole I drilled at the top of the B-pillar. The wire is coming from the run over the passenger side door, out, and then down this hole. I could not snake the wire through the 90 deg. change in direction without it. The tray that holds the curtain will cover it up.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


A word of caution for anyone thinking of doing this. I ordered the slider door electrical contact plates from A1 and quickly learned they weren't going to work. When the front face of the slider door is all the way shut, there is an offset that dictates the contact plate be positioned to the outside of the inside edge of the door (hope this makes sense). The stock vanagon contact plate allows for this offset. A1 plate does not and must be wholly positioned on the front face, which will then not align correctly with the pin contacts mounted on the B-pillar.

Similar to another post, I hacked the stock non-power slider door latch rather than try to source a power latch. I drilled a hole in the lever mechanism and then threaded the 4th leftover actuator rod through it (a pain in the a$$ unto itself).
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

It would be easier to weld it on as previously mentioned. This rod was bent and attached to the rod coming from the actuator with the clamp provided. This joint could move side to side but actually doesn't when the actuator is deployed due to careful alignment and the forceful nature of the actuator. Stuffing the insulation back in also keeps it stationary.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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


These are the main areas of concern that I could not find addressed explicitly in other posts. It's quite satisfying to test and have it work the first time!
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