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Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp
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wolfywho
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp Reply with quote

Hi All,

Is the "Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp" (K7 on the 1973 Wiring Diagram) specific to the 1973 Thing in the US? I have a '74 Thing with what appears to be the wiring for this light, but there is no actual lamp. In addition, instead of the wires going to a warning lamp, the wires are wired into the Accessory Socket (U on the 1973 Wiring Diagram). There are actually 4 connectors on the back of the Accessory Socket though, which is different than what the 1973 wiring diagram indicates. There are two connectors for the accessory unit to function properly (pos & neg), and then two other connectors which these "Warning Lamp" wires currently connect to.

One of the wires for the Warning Lamp connects to the Generator light on the dash, which then connects to the voltage regulator (like the diagram). Then the other wire connects into the brake switch wiring (again, like the diagram). It's actually missing the 2nd wire that goes down into the brake switch wiring though. It's just that these wires aren't connected to a Warning Lamp, they are connected to the Accessory Socket.

1973 Thing Wiring Diagram (on The Samba)
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/wiring/181_Wiring_Diagram_4-73.pdf

I found this wiring diagram, which doesn't have the Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp:
http://www.vintagebus.com/wiring/thing.gif

I'm guessing this 2nd diagram is for a '74? If so, then why would my wiring harness have these wires, and why would they be hooked into the Accessory Socket? Is it possible a PO put in a '73 wiring harness?

Thanks!
Scott
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp Reply with quote

Hi Scott,

Both '73 and '74 Things have the same dual brake warning lamp and all associated wiring. That second drawing you referred to is inaccurate in many ways. Based on the shape and wiring of the front turn signals and tail lamps, plus the pull out dash switch for the windshield wipers, I'm sure it is for a European car. Who knows what year. Stick with the first drawing you referenced, which is clear, accurate, and beautiful. Very Happy

What you have going on in your car is bazaar.

Quote:
One of the wires for the Warning Lamp connects to the Generator light on the dash, which then connects to the voltage regulator (like the diagram). Then the other wire connects into the brake switch wiring (again, like the diagram). It's actually missing the 2nd wire that goes down into the brake switch wiring though. It's just that these wires aren't connected to a Warning Lamp, they are connected to the Accessory Socket.

Could you clarify that paragraph by including the wire colors? I'm trying to figure out what the P.O. was thinking.

Also, re: the accessory socket, when you say there are four connectors, how many wires are going to it? There are supposed to be four. Some heavy gauge wires bring power and ground to the socket, and some smaller wires take the power and ground away from the socket to the interior light.

Normally speaking, the K7 brake warning lamp is lit under two conditions. First, it can be energized by either of the brake warning lamp switches (F, in the diagram), indicating a problem with the brakes. It can also be energized by the blue wire coming from the voltage regulator and the generator light, K2. The blue wire energizes the brake warning light when the key is on but the engine is not running, so that the bulb's condition may be checked along with all the other warning lights just before the car is started. The blue wire is also part of the charging circuit.

Do you have a hole in the right dash panel where the brake warning light would ordinarily be?
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wolfywho
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp Reply with quote

I'm an idiot! As usual, I feel pretty silly. I finally removed the "Accessory Socket" a few minutes ago to replace it with my new Powerlet socket. What I thought was the Accessory Socket, is in fact the "Dual Brake Circuit Warning" lamp. LOL!

Now, here's why I originally thought it was the Accessory Socket.

1. There was no red lens in it.
2. There was no bulb in it.
3. When I plugged in my adapter (converts accessory socket to modern day lighter size socket) it actually kinda worked. Seriously!

So, I'm not *completely* on drugs.

When I actually removed the "socket", uhhh, I mean "warning lamp", I saw that the connectors' numbering scheme actually matches that of the warning lamp on the diagram. My silly mystery solved.

So, I'd rather have my powerlet socket than the warning lamp, but I'd like to have both too. I guess I need to drill a 2nd hole in the dash for it. Does the accessory socket usually go right next to the warning lamp?

Scott
ps. Sorry to waste your time on that first post, Captain. :-\


Last edited by wolfywho on Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SilverThing Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ended up getting one of thingshops replacement lenses for my warning lamp. It is exactly the same except different. Wink Basically the lines are outlined in thin white where the original had solid lines. At some point I might take a toothpick and some white paint and make it look closer to original.

A few years ago I came across quite the collection of beetles in a junkyard up in Montana. I went through all of the beetles to gather some parts for my dad's 64 Ghia Vert. While I was at it I came across a few different brake warning lamps. The ones with really good red lenses I couldn't use because the lens also acted as a push test button. I did get some 5 wire warning lamps that basically wire in the same as the 4 wire ones installed in Things. The warning lamps are stashed away somewhere in my dad's garage. If you want one (and if my dad or I can find one) and you don't mind waiting a little while for one us to find them, I may be able to hook you up with one.

Here are two I found in the classifieds. I can't remember off the top of my head which one is closer to the correct type (car is too far away to check at the moment too).
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=834625
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=691723

Here's my dash. The PO installed an eight day wind up clock in the panel (wish he hadn't), but besides that I think the layout of everything is correct.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

(Picture is from before my replacement of the brake warning lens and the defrost/heat lever lens)
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wolfywho
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks SilverThing. That was very helpful. I'm going to pursue those Samba classified links. If they don't pan out, I'll let you know.

Regards,
Scott
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp Reply with quote

wolfywho wrote:
So, I'd rather have my powerlet socket than the warning lamp, but I'd like to have both too. I guess I need to drill a 2nd hole in the dash for it. Does the accessory socket usually go right next to the warning lamp?

How many holes does your right dash piece have in it? Typically there's one for the powerlet, one for the emergency flasher switch, and one for the brake warning lamp. The layout can be seen in this page from the manual. The manual page also shows a hole with a plastic plug in it between the flasher switch and the brake warning light. I believe that it was for the wiper switch before it was moved to the steering column. I don't think that plugged hole is typical for North American Things.

If you have to drill a hole, maybe someone could chime in with x/y measurements for the center of the powerlet hole. I'd give them to you myself, but I drilled that panel for gauges.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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wolfywho
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Captain. That's very helpful. I have 3 VDO gauges on this panel too, one of which covers where the Powerlet outlet is on the image you provided. I'll need to find another spot for it. I think I have a good idea of where though. I'll take a picture once I've arranged them.

Scott
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RHD Notch
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp Reply with quote

wolfywho wrote:
1. There was no red lens in it.


The center plastic lens was missing on my dash 'Brake Warning Light' when I got my 73 Thing...is that lens supposed to be red with a white letter 'B' in the middle like the one I've included a photo of? Thank you...

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

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Lind wrote:
I am at the point where I hardly want to own anything that isn't original paint.
campingbox wrote:
I have some other projects I'd like to finish first and I want to drive this bus while I'm working on those to help stay motivated.
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SilverThing Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp Reply with quote

RHD Notch wrote:
wolfywho wrote:
1. There was no red lens in it.


The center plastic lens was missing on my dash 'Brake Warning Light' when I got my 73 Thing...is that lens supposed to be red with a white letter 'B' in the middle like the one I've included a photo of? Thank you...

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


That image is correct.
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RHD Notch
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you SilverThing... Very Happy
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I am at the point where I hardly want to own anything that isn't original paint.
campingbox wrote:
I have some other projects I'd like to finish first and I want to drive this bus while I'm working on those to help stay motivated.
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Lettuce
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

now I know what it is. Or what it was. I swapped the light and flasher switch to the bus and just now replaced the switch in the thing, but in the brake warning light hole and plugged the flasher hole to fit better around the hole cut in the dash where the accessory socket was. Is it worth it to put back in?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you should put it back in. It's one of the few homages VW paid to safety. They must have thought it was pretty important.
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Ian Epperson
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sister's first car was a Ghia that died when the brakes failed and she rear-ended another car - thankfully she wasn't badly hurt. If her brake warning light were working, she probably would have known there was a problem before the accident.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way the light functions limits its value for sudden failures. 'Oh hey my brakes feel really soft all of a sudden...oh and the light is now on...I must have a problem with my..." CRASH! The light detects problems by comparing the two brake light switches. It looks for either one being on and the other not or a significant time delay between both of them turning on. You'll likely notice a difference in the brakes pedal pressure without the light light telling you if you suddenly have the front or rear circuit fail. The light does nothing when you're not braking and the light won't tell you anything if you have both brake circuits fail at the same time (you'll probably feel that too) because it is as if you're not braking as far as the brake light switches are concerned (and you're also not braking as far as you are concerned). It might be more useful for minor brake failures that are difficult to feel through the pedal (minor leak in one circuit for example), but I am not sure how sensitive it really is. It will also help if one of the brake light switches fails (never heard of that happening, but who knows?). I'm also not sure how it behaves if you have air in your brakes. I might investigate next time I bleed my brakes just so I know.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It basically says, "half your brakes aren't working!" It's value isn't unlimited, but with the dual circuit brake system, it should catch most brake failures. Most people wont notice a big difference if their rear brakes stop functioning, but that dash light will turn on (if the light is functioning properly). Most people should notice the front brakes failing though and the dash light should reinforce that something is wrong. I've had those switches go bad on me - they never both go bad at the same time - so the light tells of that failure too.

Unfortunately, most peoples' brake failure light isn't functioning. It's supposed to turn on with the gen light as a test. The older ones you were supposed to push to test, but no one did.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether it's effective or not, it would make a nice T-shirt. Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the T-shirt idea!

It does not appear that the light detects minor leaks. I know the light functions - I've tested it while bleeding the brakes before and it also comes on when I turn the ignition on like it should. However, it appears that I have developed a minor leak somewhere and one of the circuits has gotten considerably lower than the other. Good thing I looked! Unfortunately, now I have to find the leak and fix it. Sad
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carrera79
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:07 am    Post subject: Re: Dual Brake Circuit Warning Lamp Reply with quote

Hi,
looking for suc a switch
complete and functional

thanks !!

fred
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