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Old 07-02-2019, 01:48 PM   #1
luvwagn
 
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Default New (to me) Westy - Question time!

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?
2. Roof-top AC unit is loud / rattly. Anything obvious to look at?
3. Can the ALT really drive the roof-top AC, and will it automatically switch off when parked?
4. Roof sky-light doesn't open - PITA?
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.
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?
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.
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?!
9. Tires - some small checking of the tire side-walls near wheel. Replace all four tires? If so, preferred brands?
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?
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?
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 ;)
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?

That's probably a good start :p
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

The electric skylights often donít work. Most people believe itís the remote control unit. In mine it was the electric motor, which I found easy to test and repair.
WD40 seemed to help the rear seat slide easier, also cleaning out the crud with some Q-tips
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:01 PM   #3
OldWest
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

[Welcome.

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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...2&postcount=21


https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...2&postcount=14

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

http://sprinterwestfalia.com/

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:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=36276

How much use and generator issues:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ight=Generator

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ight=Generator

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ight=Generator

]


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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...highlight=Belt

Check thread on strengthening ac cover.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...3&postcount=12

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hot#post460913

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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Skylight

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Skylight

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Skylight

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Skylight

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Skylight

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Skylight

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Skylight

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Skylight

If skylight is not in good shape, may want to replace with the less troublesome manual Heli 3 Plus (lose.auto-close 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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=Group

Also these threads:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=Group

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=Group

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=Group

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=Group

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=Group

]


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.

Repair:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Buttons

Buy:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Central

Other:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Central

]



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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ht=Temperature

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Cooling

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ht=Temperature

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Cooling

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Cooling

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Cooling

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Cooling

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Cooling

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...hlight=Cooling

Keep Westy and Cooling System:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=westy

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...11&postcount=7

]

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 conditioner.works, could be temp setting knob issue.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...re+setting+air

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...re+setting+air

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...re+setting+air

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...re+setting+air

]


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?

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=76177

Michelin replaced tires.becsuse of checking.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...t=Michelin+ltx

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

XPS Ribs:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ighlight=Tires

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

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...6&postcount=50

]

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.

http://forum.james-cook-freunde.de/v...hp?f=16&t=6667

]


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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...t+black+marker

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...t+black+marker

]


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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2250

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...t=Sliding+door

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...t=Sliding+door

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 08:55 PM. Reason: Continue to answer.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:28 PM   #4
MrTomacco
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

12: Sometimes one of the 3 clips that slide in the floor groove are loose and twist and jam and prevent the seat from sliding. Check to see if the nuts are loose. If so you may need to move the seat while wiggling the clip until it gets all the way forward. Remove the screw in the track so you can slid it all the way forward where the clips are in the notches in the track and the seat can be removed with a helper. Then adjust and tighten the clips. The must be at the exact same height.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldWest View Post
immensely valuable stuff
Really appreciate all of that, let me digest some of it and respond back as time permits (ie. after the long weekend)
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:31 PM   #6
Robert Foster
 
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

14. My experience and subsequent respectful suggestion would be don't nickle and dime yourself with band aid fixes on the sliding door. The sliding door is one of the most used components and the key to van life. At almost 15 years out our sliding doors are beyond being long in the tooth.

Purchase all three, new OEM, (yes, it makes a difference here) hangers and install them yourself if you can-the install is not that difficult. The difficult part for me was the fine tuning of the many tolerances on the door because when you replace all three hangers, you are starting from scratch. So after frustratingly farting around with the adjustment for way too long, I dropped my stubbornness and took it to a well experienced Sprinter technician and had them adjust the door. This is when I learned the importance of the OEM parts for the door. The middle rear hanger that I had purchased from one of the well respected Sprinter supply websites, was an inferior knockoff, that was not up to the task. A side by side comparison with the technician between the one that I had purchased and the OEM one showed a glaring amount of deflection in the knockoff.

My door now rolls smooth as glass and will actually close and latch itself with just the right little push, which is oh so satisfying. The technician impressed on my several times, that the key to the doors longevity is always being very gentle with it and tuning it back to spec as soon as it starts to display anything short of proper sliding and latching. He showed me a couple of fleet Sprinters (both T1Ns) in for service with doors totally Fubared from HVAC techs slamming them so hard all of the time that one of the doors was actually structurally bent and was in to be replaced.

Rehabbing the sliding door is without a doubt the most enjoyable money that I have spent to date on my Westfalia.
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Last edited by Robert Foster; 07-04-2019 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:14 PM   #7
OldWest
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

For folks going up and down the east coast, Robert posted the service shop in Charlottesville, Virginia (70 miles east of Richmond/I-95).

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...6&postcount=18
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:51 PM   #8
Wasaabi
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

Robert thank you for the door detail. I do recall your previous post. My question: is it possible to replace the three rollers one-by-one with the door connected thereby avoiding the difficulty of realigning everything at once?
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

Yes, you can definitely replace each of the hangers one by one while leaving the door hanging from the van as that's what I did. Yes, assuming you are replacing the hangers prior to them being excessively worn and your door is currently adjusted close to specification, it probably is possible to retain the existing adjustment sufficiently to make adjustment minimal post replacing all of the hangers.

The primary problem with my efforts at adjusting the door was that the rear hanger I purchased was a cheap flimsy knockoff that would not support the door properly, so the rear of the door was forever sagging no matter what I did. In addition to the defective hanger, according to the technician, the big washer with one conical side that secures the rear hanger was at some point in my doors history reinstalled backwards from what it's supposed to be.
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Last edited by Robert Foster; 07-05-2019 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: New (to me) Westy - Question time!

Thank you for that detail and inspiration to do the job. I am a big fan of genuine or OEM parts.

As a related note, I’ve been reading about more fake parts out there. On a Volvo forum recently someone discovered a fake Volvo oil filter after some inconsistencies on the box. Comparing the fake with the real filter side-by-side told the true story. Be cautious of third-party Amazon counterfeit part scammers!

That story is here: https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth.../594349?page=1
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