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Old 07-02-2019, 08:01 PM   #3
T1N Westfalia
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!


1. Where are you located? If in Washington, Michael Chang, a Westy owner, has been used by many Westy owners for Sprinter and RV issues.

2. Which Westy number do you have and how many miles?

3. Westyfest West at end of July in Vancouver and Westyfest over Labor Day Weekend outside Boston would be good places to attend.

4..Advanced Search function will.get anwers to most of your questions. It is cumbersome to use. Limit forums to Westy and/or T1N subforums, depending on nature of questions.

5. How.handy, mechanical, techie are you? Some on here do.everything, some need paint by numbers instructions, and some just want to know the general ideas.

6. Have you downloaded all the manuals? Check the sticky threads at top of subforum. Also, check

Manuals.are in pdf.there.]

So, I have a new to me Westy (YES!) and have a number of questions / concerns:
1. Generator is not working (was a leak, lines have been capped), wondering how straight-forward it is for an RV shop to work on this thing?

[How many hours on generator?

If just propane lines, RV shop should be able to handle. If generator, go to Onan/Cummins service center.

Generator is pretty old. May not be worth it to spend much money. Main use is to run air conditioner and microwave, and emergency recharge of dead engine starting battery.

If use for too many hours a day, propane costs may exceed campsite cost.

Some have removed.air conditioner and generator to save weight, improve road handling, etc.

Propane leak sticky thread:

How much use and generator issues:


2. Roof-top AC unit is loud / rattly. Anything obvious to look at?

[Confirm original Kerstner air conditioner which can run off engine alternator.

Besides checking various bolts, see if belt is working smoothly and not slipping. If you think belt is slipping, toss some baby powder on inside of belt. Replacement belt can be difficult to find but there is a thread.where folks have apparently located.

Check thread on strengthening ac cover.

Rooftop ac is controlled by on/off rocker switch and does NOT turn off by itself when Westy is put in park. A Westy owmer also found that by turning temp setting past a detent to warmest counterclockwise, only the circulation fan runs and not ac.


3. Can the ALT really drive the roof-top AC, and will it automatically switch off when parked?

[If house batteries are.heavily discharged, alternator may be working too hard to recharge batteries, run rooftop air conditioner, and Sprinter air conditioner.

Some folks have noticed rooftop air conditioner is harder to start.when house.batteries are depleted.

OneManVan noticed some hot spot on alternator.

Also, unknown as to whether shorter lifespan of alternator with rooftop air conditioner use.]

4. Roof sky-light doesn't open - PITA?

[Need more info.

Checked fuse behind rear seat, checked new batteries in remote, try remote without the cover.on, checked light signal from remote, reset remote by removing fuse and restarting, put remote close to light on slylight, etc.

Lots and lots of threads.

If skylight is not in good shape, may want to replace with the less troublesome manual Heli 3 Plus ( if rains). Kiltym did in one of threads above.]

5. Has anyone replaced the house batteries with LiPo, and if so was it successful without changing other aspects of the house electrical system, and what model of batteries did you use? I'm leaning towards BattleBorn.

[Need to match battery charger with type of battery. Our Westy battery charger is a dumb one and does not have charging phases and does not have settings for type of battery.

KEY is to use batteries which can be used in a more or less closed compartment (other.than hole at bottom of compartment)..

Check.this thread.

Also these threads:


6. Control Panel - the buttons are virtually impossible to push, can this be removed and contacts cleaned? Or can this be removed, purchased somewhere, and replaced?

[OneManVan posted on how to remove and repair. Can also buy a replacement from Europe. See these threads.





7. Engine temps - how hot is too hot? This thing will easily get to the notch before reaching the red area of thermostat - perhaps 190-200ish? Down-shifting to 3rd will drop it a bit.

[Between 180 and 250 marks, the middle unlabelled mark is 215. When temps near 210 to 215, the clutch fan engages and you should hear something like a jet engine noise. Downshifting is good. Check the T1N forums. Also, cooling system maintenance is critical.

Keep Westy and Cooling System:


8. Front AC - this AC seems to work only when on coldest setting - trying to adjust that setting at all is producing warm air at the vents?!

[Check T1N subforum. If air, could be temp setting knob issue.


9. Tires - some small checking of the tire side-walls near wheel. Replace all four tires? If so, preferred brands?

[What is age of tires?

Michelin replaced tires.becsuse of checking.

Do you have alloy or steel or other wheels? Different rim widths.

XPS Ribs:

Go bigger to 245/75/16 versus original 225/75/16:


10. Where do people keep all their stuff?! Stroller, golf clubs, etc. I'm thinking i'll have to stand my clubs up in the bathroom :p

11. CHILD SEAT - has anyone ever attached a tether point to the seat-frame material? Has anyone ever welded in child-seat anchors without compromising the ability to fold the seat?

[No idea and didn't find anything. Could try Yahoo Sprinter Westfalia group. Lots of Westy owners have small kids and babies so there is a way.]

[NOTE: If bench seatback folds forward, then a prior owner made a popular modification to make that possible--bolts were removed. If carrying kids in bench seat, put bolts back.]

12. Sliding bench seat lubrication - this thing is a real PITA to slide in the tracks, going to use some dry-lube as a starting point, make sense?

[Various threads.


13. Steering wheel is a bit uncomfortable - anybody found a plug-and-play one that is a bit more comfortable? Would also be nice to get rid of the last Dodge badge on this van ;)

[Can buy badges. Some are peel and stick. Some require removing old.badge..Caution re airbag. My solution is permanent black magic marker so I have a black.oval.


14. Sliding Door goes clunkity clunkity clunk, the roller in top rail seems lumpy - trivial fix for any sprinter familiar shop? Or special door HW just for these models?

[Lots of threads including how to remove door and replace all.hardware rollers. Note that our door is DIFFERENT so be careful in.ordering replacement parts.

I'd try spraying with silicone or ptfe lubricant spray (something thin and not dirt attracting).on rollers and rails.

Look for a Sprinter body shop, not a mechanic.]

PLEASE.share and post whatever you find, learn, do, etc.

Last edited by OldWest; 07-02-2019 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Continue to answer.
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