A number have asked what the silver socket is on some Westy dashes located above the glove box. It's a DIN power socket. The European's have long known that the cigar lighter socket is a crummy way to plug accessories in. I'm sure all of us can vouch for trying to keep a radar detector or cell phone plugged in. Worse, European & American cigar lighter plugs have slightly different specs so US stuff tends to be a sloppy fit.
The silver socket is built to a DIN standard. It uses a spring clasp inside for the positive pole that grabs the notched end of the plug on the accessory. It looks very much like the end of the old large speaker plugs. The grip is very tight and the accessory is far less likely to come unplugged.
If you look on my pic post site linked from the home page, you'll see where I have installed one (with cover) in my dash and another surface mount one on the face of the rear bench seat. This gives me two convenient sources of plug-in power for things like the car vacuum or a portable air-compressor. Eurovan Westies have one factory installed behind the driver's seat.
Hella was VW's original supplier and has many sources in the US. (See SUPPLIERS, Auto Sport Gallery for one). The plugs are available seperately so you can change over any US lighter style plugs. They come with an adaptor ring so can still be used with standard lighter sockets. Just cut off the old plug and attach the new with a screwdriver.
Hella DIN plugs:
Flush mount socket P/N 62886
Surface mount socket P/N 80124
Plug P/N 87135
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 05-28-2008 at 09:55 AM.
Happened to be by Auto Sports Gallery the other day, my source for Hella parts. Owner Tom Bishop told me the Japanese are starting to pick up on having power outlets at points other than the dash, too, since much of our use is in the back or outside the car (air compressors, vacuums).
Tom's business is posted under SUPPLIERS forum, or at http://www.autosportgallery.com/ . He had several DIN socket items in stock that day.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 05-28-2008 at 09:55 AM.
Another company here in the U.S. of A. that uses this same type DIN adapter is John Deere Tractors. I don't have the part numbers handy, I will have to look up some earlier emails I have, but maybe another location to get the end to fit the plug on the dash. CGOTTS
Cliff's note got me curious so I called a contact in John Deer's corporate level. He couldn't find anything on the DIN plug but referred me to a big old-time dealer whose parts manager has been around forever. In fact, co-owner.
There I learned John Deer does make an accessory power system but it's not the same as the German DIN. He faxed me the parts book section on P/N RE68495, a power strip with switched & unswitched sockets. The strip is hard-wired to the electrical system. The parts book then showed 3 user plugs: P/N RE67013 is a plug with 3' wire lead; P/N RE67014 is a cigarette lighter socket adaptor; and P/N RE 67015 is a "3-way adaptor." The later is a round socket with cap -- apparently for other John Deer accesssories, but not like the DIN. The plugs appear to be square-ish, molded, with all contacts internal. They don't offer the plug alone except in the RE67013 version.
In my opinion, this system is too big and bulky for the VW. I doubt it offers any advantage over the DIN plug -- in fact accessories can no long be plugged into a cigarette lighter because the plug is not 2-way like the DIN.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 08-27-2009 at 02:47 PM.
I have seen these DIN plugs, and accessory kits available via online auctions as well.
I've noticed the price has settled in at around $20-25, depending on the condition.
One kit of interest came in a plastic case with multiple plug adapters, including a conversion back to a lighter. (bad move).
Most I've seen are from the UK, and if you are a strict-OEM person, the auction boards are a good place to look.
'78 SB Conv
'74 SB Auto-stick
The cigar lighter in my 85 westy and I suspect most others is really poor for a 12v power source. The one in my 2002 golf is much better. It is slightly smaller in diameter than the original so it holds plugs very secure. It is likely not as good as a DIN but it is pretty good.
I went to my local dealership and ordered a 2002 golf (although other models are likely the same) lighted bezel, 12v cover for the socket, and the socket itself. The install was easy, the new bezel is orange not green but I think green is available. Anyway, I put the old light on the new bezel and took the leads out of the plastic connector since the new socket had a slightly different pin setup. Otherwise it just snaps in. It looks factory and is a big improvement from the original.
I did not buy the cigar lighter, Unlike Capt. Mike I am sure no cheerleaders are going to hitch a ride with me and ask for a light. The total cost was about $20 dollars.
FYI: The European cigarette light sockets tend to be a little bigger than US standards so the plugs of accessories made for the US market are often loose or sloppy. Some of the upper line US accessory manufacturers like Passport radar detectors and some cell phones acknowledge this and provide a small coller or sleeve that fits on the plug and makes them tighter.
You can also switch the plug on the US accessory to the DIN even if you don't have the DIN socket as the plug comes with the collar to allow it to be used in regular cigarette lighters. It seems to fit both -- though tight on the US but perfect on the Euro lighters.
I just installed 2 lighter sockets in my '86 syncro. I bought to simple lighter sockets ($4.50). I installed them in the side of the drivers seat pedestal. They poke into the cavity in front of the battery box, ahead of the relay. You have to be a bit carful, because if the lighter socket you buy is too long, it will extend into the frame rail and short. One socket is wired to the always hot side of the relay, so that it is live all the time. (So if you want to play your cd player or phone without the engine on).
The other socket is wired to the side of the relay that is hot only with the engine running. It seemed a good idea for things that are a big draw that you might forget to unplug. Each is fused seperatly with a simple in line fuse. You still have room for the extra battery since the installation is forward of the battery box. I don't have the second battery and use the recess for my bently and other paperwork. I use the rest of the box for tools, kept in small rubbermaid boxes for my traveling tools. It is amazing how much you can get in there if you pack carefully. One good reason not to carry the second battery.
These days of cell phones, diving down the road with gps delorme on the lap top, plus a plug in cooler, it is a much cleaner installation rather than plugging everything into the lighter with a splitter or two. They are easily accessable for the driver, or front seat passenger, as well as from the back.
I have one of these on the dash. It's supplied off the main battery, but I also have a separate leisure battery. All this is connected to is another DIN socket mounted on the brace behind the passenger seat (it's a 79 Berlin with swivelling seat).
Last week I had a near fire because this latter circuit developed a short circuit, and I found out that no fuses had been installed. The cable insulation melted and the van was filled with blue smoke.
Can I take it that the second battery circuit is not a Westfalia standard installation?
The 2nd battery on a '79 Type II Westy was standard on the P27 models with the DC fridge. However, it did NOT connect to anything except the fridge control power panel.
If you have a DIN socket in the rear, it is an aftermarket installation and if not wired 'after' the fusing in the fridge control panel, should be fused. That's not really a problem -- find where it taps the battery power and install an in-line fuse. The '79 used the ceramic fuses, so I'd suggest you continue that style so as not to require odd-ball spares. Stay at 5 or 8A -- the DIN socket is not meant to supply accessories much beyond that. Wiring should be no less than 14 ga. (1.5-2 sq.mm.).
Do remember that the battery is marginal for running the fridge as it is, so I wouldn't use the DIN plug for anything beyond the occassional use of a car vacuum or similar accesssory. Or use of the passenger while driving. The DC fridge will pretty well kill the accesssory battery in a single overnight as it is without extra use.
Models without the DC fridge did NOT come with the accessory battery, but since the location was already there, many owners installed the 2nd battery for in a variety of configurations. At that point, you have pure home-made wiring. Wiring of the factory auxiliary battery is available via the site's Tech Drawings link. I'd suggest installing a 2nd fuse panel so you can wire & fuse accessories independently. Without the fridge, you have some extra capacity and can then install additional accessories such as interior lighting or an inverter for computer/cell phone or other AC use. [Inverters have their own topic in WESTY GADGETS forum.]