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Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics)
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YosemiteBound
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

Squad,

Attempting my first wiring upgrade (ever). The GW Alternator Harness Upgrade. Right away, something looks wrong. Going by past posts and the GW instructions - my alternator situation looks different. The red wire is screwed into the right post but the blue wire is plugged in with a plastic clip. There is no 5mm nut holding the blue wire in place. Does that mean I need something else? Is there a way around this?

Thanks I've included pics. Trying to get it done today as I was going to tackle installing the pop top and aux battery this weekend.... tho now I'm doubting myself lol.

Do I not have the oem alternator in here?


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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

Yes, the original 1.9 alternators used a male spade post for the blue wire connection. If your replacement harness came with a ring terminal on the blue wire then you need to adapt it. You could get a female spade terminal, cut the ring terminal off, strip the end of the wire, and crimp the new female spade terminal on the wire end.

Mark
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YosemiteBound
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

Thanks Crazyvanman. Although I really have no idea what you're talking about. I'm such a newb. I already gave up and put everything back. I couldn't even figure out where the original harness was running?

I thought this was an easy - unscrew what's there and put in the new one where the old one was - thing. When actually, it's a get under the bus - get under the firewall, splice new plugs etc.

I think I'm gonna have to wait on this one. And the aux battery job. Blah.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

It is understandable that it looks confusing. You have an earlier van with wires run differently from the alternator than later vans. The replacement harnesses do things the later van way so you can't hook it up exactly like your old one. The later way is better though so what you need are good instructions that don't assume you have a later van.

Mark
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

Yosemite,

Don't give up. This is a great opportunity to learn about auto electrics, and start getting to know your van. See it as a project. The project is not "install the gowesty thing", it's "learn how the alternator works, and put my knowledge to use by upgrading the harness".

1/ Do you have a Bentley manual?
2/ Where do you stand with electricity?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote


Link

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YosemiteBound
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

Thanks everyone. I'm definitely going to do it.

My list currently looks like:

Alternator harness
Pop Top Seal and luggage rack seal replace
Pop top canvas replace
Aux battery plus inverter and charger hookup

I have all of the parts in my garage from GW and BD.

I just need to make sure I'm not royally screwing anything up first.

And thanks for the vid! Anyone happen to have a video about how to adapt spade terminals lol? Or how to put the GW alternator harness on a 1.9??

Yeah, totally looking to have my hand held. But, also, not looking to be the guy that just wants to plug and play. Or else I won't last long in vanagon land. I know it.

Edit: Why does the Go Westy page for the alternator harness I ordered say: "Fits all 1983-91 water-cooled Vanagons (2WD and 4WD)"?
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

YosemiteBound wrote:

Edit: Why does the Go Westy page for the alternator harness I ordered say: "Fits all 1983-91 water-cooled Vanagons (2WD and 4WD)"?


Because it does fit all those years. The original early harness was an engineering disaster so the replacement harness more closely resembles the better engineered later harness.

Be sure to remove the ground strap from the battery before dealing with this level of electrical repair.
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YosemiteBound
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
YosemiteBound wrote:

Edit: Why does the Go Westy page for the alternator harness I ordered say: "Fits all 1983-91 water-cooled Vanagons (2WD and 4WD)"?


Because it does fit all those years. The original early harness was an engineering disaster so the replacement harness more closely resembles the better engineered later harness.

Be sure to remove the ground strap from the battery before dealing with this level of electrical repair.


Thanks, yes I removed the whole battery to be safe.

And it doesn't fit all of those years... without some gerry rigging/modifying/customization. With that logic you could put "fits all years" on anything. Or maybe I'm just anal.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

YosemiteBound wrote:

And it doesn't fit all of those years... without some gerry rigging/modifying/customization. With that logic you could put "fits all years" on anything. Or maybe I'm just anal.


The replacement is a perfect fit for the early WBXer engines, just not the poorly thought out original fit. If you could even get the original you wouldn't want to use it.

It does not require anything more than a minor reroute, I would not call it jerry rigging. It is about the simplest modifying and upgrading you can do.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:59 am    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

One of the GW wires has the wrong kind of end on it for early wbx alternators so not such a perfect fit. Cutting an end off a new harness to crimp on the correct end isn't what most people would expect to have to do, minor as some may consider it. If the kit truly fit it would include the proper ends. Even if they would have included the other end loose it would be better, and a note saying you may need to change it to match your alternator.

Mark


Wildthings wrote:

The replacement is a perfect fit for the early WBXer engines,.....

It does not require anything more than a minor reroute, I would not call it jerry rigging. It is about the simplest modifying and upgrading you can do.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:21 am    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

Here is something to learn and remeber as a New Vanagon owner that needs electrical repairs/upgrades.......

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=100988

Thatvwbusguy ........ Jay up in New Hampshire has given me amazing help, excellent parts and even custom assembled bits.

He provides all high quality stuff, proprerly cut and assembled at very fair prices.

Contact him for wire Upgrades.........

This alternator wire, headlight relays, horn relays, house battery wiring, Whatever.

You won't be disappointed.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

^^^ x2...

I installed Jay's alt. upgrade harness a couple years back & I seem to recall it came
with both connectors & instructions for swapping if needed. I wouldn't be surprised
if you give him a call he'd ship one with the exact connector needed, in your choice
of color (pumpkin spice optional/extra charge)... Wink Cool

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
^^^ x2...

I installed Jay's alt. upgrade harness a couple years back & I seem to recall it came
with both connectors & instructions for swapping if needed. I wouldn't be surprised
if you give him a call he'd ship one with the exact connector needed, in your choice
of color (pumpkin spice optional/extra charge)... Wink Cool

- Dave


Will he take my GW one on trade? Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

I no longer produce the alternator harness. The hydraulic crimping tool I used to install the heavy duty lugs broke beyond repair and I didn't feel like investing another $400+ into a tool that I only used for one job Confused

I chose to set all of my harnesses up with a 1/4" female disconnect and included a tab to ring converter terminal so you could use it for any alternator likely to be found on a water cooled Vanagon.

A standard 1/4" female disconnect for the B+ connection can be found at any hardware store or home center. For best results, use a fully insulated terminal (or cover a standard non-insulated terminal with heat shrink). I would send you one of the OEM style terminals I use, but the crimping tool to properly install it will set you back at least $25.00, so it's not something worth investing in unless you plan to do a lot of electrical work on your van.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:00 am    Post subject: Re: Go Westy Alternator Harness Upgrade Woes (with pics) Reply with quote

Here's a pretty good play-by-play, and how I got it done on Winston:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=597051&highlight=harness

Best!
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