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Discussion Starter #1
Re: [EVDL] O.T.: VW Rabbit relay plate problem vis-a-vis headlights

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chuck Hursch" <[email protected]>
To: "EVDL post" <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 3:58 AM
Subject: [EVDL] O.T.: VW Rabbit relay plate problem vis-a-vis headlights


>I consider this an off-thread issue, eventhough it has to do with
> my electric Rabbit. I thought maybe some of the Rabbit gurus
> would have dealt with the relay plate under the dash - that box
> that has the fuses in the front. I've had my headlight scene
> working fairly well for the last year or so now, once I found the
> mis-wired connector that was going over to the pass-side
> headlight and causing a number of strange behaviors since the
> conversion in '94. However, when I returned to my evening job a
> few weeks ago after vacation, at the end of the shift I flipped
> on the headlights and got only one low beam. Bah, humbug! I
> thought burnt-out headlamp, although only 1.25 years old.
> Driver's side. Drive on the high-beams, which are fine. Screwed
> around with this about a week ago - headlight is ok. After
> studying the wiring diagram in the Bentley manual, pin E10 in the
> relay plate Ys to both low-beam fuses, and one leg of the Y was
> at infinite resistance (the left one). As I couldn't readily fix
> that problem, I put the relay plate back on its hooks (which
> requires a fair amount of push with the wiring harness and air
> vent hose fighting me). Then I think I had both headlights back
> once I put the fuses in. Removed fuses to check the E10 Y and
> fell into a random problem of losing headlights. The gremlin has
> moved to the connections at the bottom (or outbound downstream)
> side of the fuses. My E10 Y legs are now both good, according to
> the ohmmeter. But it is my pass-side headlight low beam that is
> out now :-( . Almost certainly, I would find an infinite
> resistance in the relay plate. BUT, putting it back up on the
> hooks might change things...
>
> The flipped connector mentioned above may have caused a greater
> than normal current to run on some of these circuits. A symptom
> that I had before I found the flipped connector was the pass-side
> headlight would sometimes take up to ten or fifteen minutes to
> pop on. I believe a welding operation may have been going on in
> the relay plate down through the years.
>
> I can drive high-beam for now, I suppose. The lights aren't all
> that bright, and we have all these glaring XID headlights
> nowadays. Rigging a bypass is not all that hard, although I
> really didn't want to do anymore headlight work till I did my
> long-term project of running full 14V voltage via large-gauge
> wires to better white-light headlamps as Neon John had once
> described. (I'd like to do that to my truck too, where I could
> really use all the light I can get for being up in the mountains
> with those deer and other beasties floating around.)
>
> So anybody been inside one of these relay plates? Are these Ys
> little welded together legs, or what does it look like in there?
> Reliable replacement plates hard to come by? That looks like a
> big wiring job that I could get myself into deep do-do with.
>
> Please reply off-list unless you think maybe the other Rabbit
> conversion owners out there might find this useful. Heck,
> running Rabbits as EVs - they've got lots of issues. (Bob Rice
> comes to mind... :) )
>
> Thanks,
> Chuck
>
> Hi Chuck;

The Rabbit wiring gets the above virus, I struggled with the corrosion
issue you described. I would like to have a word with the Krout engineers
who put that godamn fuze setup where it is; You hafta be a contortunist to
get at the damn thing, in the first place, and it is right in the line of
fire, drip wise, when the windshield leaks! ALL Rabbits leak, as do ALL the
damn VW's! Rabbits ,Beatles, Jettas, Us that live where there is weather,
find our VW rides disolving into a dismaying blight of rust and corrosion
inabout 10 years. Back in the bad old daze in CT when you took a VW infor
safety inspection, they would put the car on a lift and the Inspecter would
go under with you and poke holes in your new jewel with a screwdriver!Fender
wells, floor, all the points ya had to weld up, no cheating with Bondo, he
had a magnet to check that!Alota V-Dubs went cheep, around here!But the damn
fuze strip croded out, seems first. Not much help here as I'm going through
Musical Headlites in my 89 Jetta, too. The dims are REALLY dim, only the
left side brights light. You go over a bump and the RS turn signals won't
work awile. I have been told that this is a ground issue? I pulled a
ratsnest of wires out this weakend, got rid of the brain? box, up in the
cowl, drivers' side, trying to sanitize the whole thing. So godamn MUCH
wiring in cars nowadaze! In my pruning I killed the horn, somehow and the
Radio USED to work BEFORE I started in the conversion. The issues I have had
with the car ISN'T my stuff, the stuff I put in the car WORKS well, it's the
damn Jetta electrical disease, AND the out of adjustment SHIFTER setup. I'm
about to admit defeat and drive it down to Jokeswagen and let THEM fix that!
I would love to get the speedo to work, too. Never had an issue with THAT
with any other V-Dub iI have EVer had. cable and head are good, ya chuck the
cable in a drill and run it up and it works. Do the internal drive speedo
gears go bad on VW's?It would be a tranny teardown to fix that? Phooey!Other
than all that the Jetta makes a decent conversion, can sit 4 people as VW
intended, WITH my new coil springs from Coil Spring Specialties, of St
Mary's KS. Ride and height good STOCK VW springs up front. That was
easy!Replaced the blown out struts, had 'er aligned anew, drives fine for a
Led Sled!

Just a few Jokes Wagen Thoughts.

Bob
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Discussion Starter #3
Re: [EVDL] O.T.: VW Rabbit relay plate problem vis-a-vis headlights

Early Rabbits had lots of problems with the relay/fuse panel under the dash
on the left side. Bob mentioned the windshield leaks but the problem
started almost as soon as the cars left the factory. The panel was located
near where the antenna lead goes through the wheel well to mount on the
fender top, and the grommet always leaks. Road spray corrodes the panel.
I'm pretty sure that early Jettas (Boras) had the same flaw.

With most conversions it isn't, but because of this weakness, I've often
wondered if it might not be worth the hassle to literally rewire a Rabbit
from scratch when converting.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: [EVDL] O.T.: VW Rabbit relay plate problem vis-a-vis headlights

Hi all,

Interesting discussion - I've purchased an 83 Rabbit GTI to convert to
an EV and wondered about the wiring as well. I'm almost of the mind to
go ahead and just relocate a new fuse block in the engine compartment,
rewiring all the standard 12v accessories and needed relays (if indeed,
any relays are needed after the conversion).

take care,
john - colorado springs, co

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: [EVDL] O.T.: VW Rabbit relay plate problem vis-a-vis headlights

On 20 Aug 2007 at 13:37, Deanne Mott wrote:

> How "early" do you mean here?

I know it was true of the 1970s vintage rabbits ('75-'79 or thereabouts). I
had an '81 in ICE trim and it didn't have these problems. I think they may
have rerouted the antenna lead by then.

But as Bob says, eventually the windshields leak. AFAIK, they didn't
relocate the relay/fuse panel, so it still gets wet and corrodes. If I were
converting a Rabbit, I'd give consideration to gutting the wiring and
starting from scratch.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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EVDL Information: http://www.evdl.org/help/
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Note: mail sent to "evpost" or "etpost" addresses will not
reach me. To send a private message, please obtain my
email address from the webpage http://www.evdl.org/help/ .
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Discussion Starter #7
Re: [EVDL] O.T.: VW Rabbit relay plate problem vis-a-vis headlights

Hi Bob, David, et. al,

I didn't expect quite such a slew of responses to the subject of
Rabbit wiring. Obviously I touched a hot one.

Yeah, I don't think I've had a water problem, except for very
early on 12-13 years ago we forget to put a grommet back in the
firewall, and the car had to stay up in Petaluma after the state
inspection and charge at another EV'ers house on his driveway out
in the rain. Went back up and drove the car back down the
some-25 miles on the freeway, and the car would not turn off.
Turned out a relay on the plate filled up with water (I actually
poured it out). Other than that, aside from being near wet soggy
carpet from the water off my boots in the winter rainy season
here, I think it is ok up there. Wiring looks nice, new, and
shiny.

What I'm finding is that the very high humidity and rain we have
here in the winter rain season plays hell with contacts. The
dome-light switches grow green stuff (have to file that stuff
off, and the crud that was your switch means you now have less of
it ==> implies higher resistance, and it becomes a visious
viscious (ach? my spelling circuit is fried) circle). That and
all the other contacts. I am slowly re-doing the wiring in this
car, especially the brittle contact/insulation wire shmaze up
front for the headlights and stuff. I broke the loom in two up
front to wire in the harness for the trailer towing, and used
gold-plated contacts in circular connectors to bring it back
together. I will do the same for the Neon-John-type upgrade for
the headlights and deep six all the brittle stuff and old wiring.
Loom to the back end of the car is fine.

Oh, and if I didn't say it, that wet carpet game from your shoes
keeps your car's humidity high (and stinks too, as my mom
dutifully noted) and tarnishes the contacts. Have to put
dehumidifier powder in the car.

The wiring games on the original 12V Rabbit wiring have been one
of the most frustrating parts of owning this conversion. It's
getting to be that, aside from the traction pack, everything else
on the EV side pretty much just keeps tooling along with low
maintenance, while I try to keep the body together.

This is a 1980 American-made Rabbit (I think people were
wondering). I think a German-made car would be better - no? My
German-made '68 VW Bug that I had for many years had many of the
same problems, although maybe not as bad, but most of its life
was in drier Colorado. Jokes Wagen -- HAR, HAR, Bob, you hit the
nail on the head!

Chuck

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Roden" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] O.T.: VW Rabbit relay plate problem vis-a-vis
headlights


> On 20 Aug 2007 at 13:37, Deanne Mott wrote:
>
> > How "early" do you mean here?
>
> I know it was true of the 1970s vintage rabbits ('75-'79 or
thereabouts). I
> had an '81 in ICE trim and it didn't have these problems. I
think they may
> have rerouted the antenna lead by then.
>
> But as Bob says, eventually the windshields leak. AFAIK, they
didn't
> relocate the relay/fuse panel, so it still gets wet and
corrodes. If I were
> converting a Rabbit, I'd give consideration to gutting the
wiring and
> starting from scratch.
>
> David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
> EVDL Administrator
>
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> EVDL Information: http://www.evdl.org/help/
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
> Note: mail sent to "evpost" or "etpost" addresses will not
> reach me. To send a private message, please obtain my
> email address from the webpage http://www.evdl.org/help/ .
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

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