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Odd Electrical problem under the dash
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westy709
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:40 am    Post subject: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

I am about to pull the dash in order to replace the blower motor and the resister. While at it, I want to deal with two problems for which I have no potential solution aside from cleaning up the grounds.

First problem: when I turn on the blower, the fuse blows, disabling the wipers. I will be checking out the switch (it is new) and the connections when I get the dash out.

Second problem: In the past few months, with no discernible pattern, tach, fuel gauge, temperature gauge and indicator lights for the turn signals, battery, and oil/engine fail to light up. Re-starting the van seemed to solve the problem. This does not affect the turn signals themselves and the indicator light for high-beam continues to work. The problem has been intermittent, now constant.

Has anyone else had either of these problems? Am I headed in the right direction(s)?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

I would think your first problem is your fan. High resistance makes the fuse blow. The second problem is either your grounds or the 14 pin connector. This connector can be worn. I have had good luck prying the contacts up a bit. If neither then maybe the blue foil is bad.
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westy709
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

Thanks, Ahmed, If the first problem is in the blower motor, swapping in a new unit should do the trick.

If the second problem is the blue foil, that can be dealt with after the dash is back in place, by simply removing the instrument cluster.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

Yes the foil is part of the cluster. There are two aftermarket sources for new foil. Hopefully it's just the 14 pin connector. When I did my blower fan I used the Jeep resistor. A good upgrade I think. There is a long thread on it here.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

Agree about the Jeep resistor!

A most excellent upgrade from the aging ceramic heat coil.......

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=623382

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westy709
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

Two and a half hours in and the dash seems to be hung up on something that is in neither Bentley (no big surprise there) or the more complete account at Benplace. Back at it after coffee and a sandwich.

It is clear that the Jeep resister is a better design, but I have on hand a new OEM Genuine VW replacement (ceramic) that cost less than $50 CAD.

Wish me luck.

For some reason, this post did not make it to the thread.

Seven hours in and the dash is off and the fan/resister housing is on the bench waiting for me to finish supper.

Splitting the box took about 40 minutes. The cause of my problems is immediately apparent. The Fan is seized and there is an odd welt in the housing next to the resister obviously caused by over heating. The good news is that I now have a diagnosis. The bad news is that the local dealer sold me the resister for the rear fan (under the bench) and the correct part is MIA or NLA or whatever your choice of expletives is.

That jeep resister looks better and better.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

Read up on the Muellendore Port. No time like the present to drill it(or them). If you read my posts in that thread you will see that with foresight you can lube both of the fan motor bearings in situ and not just the one.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4331401
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

You can probably buy the jeep resistor at local parts store. I got mine on ebay for less than $10.
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westy709
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

I headed out to the local auto parts store and picked up one similar to the one illustrated in dhaavers' post. The parts guy said it was for a Cherokee and it was almost identical to the one pictured in the post. It is set up for three settings, but the third step up is identical to the bypass in the original wiring. I left the original wiring in place.

It is ready to go back in the van, but I have some cleaning up to do to the dash itself, so its installation will be the last thing I do tonight.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

Sweet check operation before putting everything back together
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westy709
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Odd Electrical problem under the dash Reply with quote

OK, she is on the road again and, magically, the problem with the instrument panel seems to have disappeared. Cross fingers.

It is now clear why the fan only worked on the high setting. The stock resister has only two stages, supplying lower curent for the low and medium speeds, the high speed being fed directly from the switch. Low speed uses all the resister while medium speed uses only a portion of it. Current exits the resister at the same connection, regardless of where it entered. At the motor, the out from the resister and the direct wire from the switch are joined in a single connection to the motor.

Given the lack of lubrication, and only intermittent use in any case, the motor became too hard to turn over for the lower current supplied by the first two stages, with the result that more current was called for and the resister first overheated and then failed.

By the time the switch made it to the higher setting, the one that bypasses the resister, the fuse had blown and everything was kaput.

In theory, taking the fan motor out of its housing and applying lubrication should free up the fan motor, removing the cause of the failure of the resister. With some judicious use of lubricant, I got the fan to work on the current from a 2 Amp trickle charger. Since I do not know the output spec of the stock resister, I cannot say for certain that the motor would work with the standard (no longer available) resister.

That said, the fan was considerably freer on the new motor than on the recently lubed old one.
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