Adding additional interior lighting

Capt. Mike

Adding rear hatch interior light

Jon (73554.1174@compuserve.come), 1/28/98 (10:51 PM)

Seems like an agregious omission, but there's no rear hatch compartment light in my '86 Westie. Apparently, none of 'em have one and there's no button installed on the rear hatch to turn a light on. What would be the best/easiest way to install a ligth back there?


Re rear hatch light.

I wanted a work light there also. I chose to mount a Hella goosneck map light on the parcel shelf face. The approximately 8" flex neck is adequate to point in any direction, including into the closet cubbies. The head swivels for aiming front to rear. The switch is a micro-rocker on the end of the light housing. Yet it stores flush with the shelf, clear of the back cargo area.

For power, there's plenty available in that black box on the left engine firewall above the thermostat housing. Mine has a yellow high-voltage warning decal on it. This is where the engine gets much of it's juice. There's room for an inline ATO fuze and then run the wire up behind cabinet. Since you're mounting on (fake?) wood you will need to run ground wire back from light to body somewhere. There str ground terminals behind the vertical panel that hides wires and AC lines going up cabinet. I suppose you could tap for power there, too, but I wanted to be able to reach fuse without clearing closet cubbies and removing that panel.

There are cheaper version of light, but Hella quality is good.

If you want more work light at the rear, may I suggest a Quartz Halogen rear back-up light kit from Hella. Wire it parallel to the transmission back-up light switch and also to a seperate switch on the dash, and it works with back-up lights or turns them on for work light or the idiot behind you that won't dim.

Have fun.

B. Yegs (NA), 4/7/98 (6:42 PM)

You could tap into the defroster wires and it would work as long as the van was on and the defroster switch was on. Not. I would get a battery type and mount it to the AC over head or the side plastic with very short screws or velco so you could change the batteries easy.

B Yegs Wausau WI, USA

Clifford Gottschalk (, 8/16/98 (1:53 AM)

There are a couple of different ways you can put a light in the rear hatch - it depends on whether you are looking for a reading type light - as you a laying in your bed and wanting to read a book, while everyone else is trying to sleep. Or you want a light that you only need to do engine work, when the night sky is moonless.

You can purchase a standard swivel reading light, like in custom vans, that look like the reading lights in an airplane overhead console - that are wood grained or stained wood color and mount it directly under the rear upper shelf. The other area you can use to mount a light - one that is recessed, is into the rear door panel. There are a couple of places that something like this can go. You would then have to run the power wire through the door, like the rear defroster & rear wiper wipers are. You can either tie into the interior light above the table, this way you have the interior light on the same fuse. Or you can tie into the hot wires, like Capt.Mike stated earlier, in the engine compartment junction box.

I used to work for Toyota for a number of years, and they had a really neat work light, 12Volt, that looks just like a mini work light, with a hook and cage around it - so that you could put it anywhere. It came as standard equipment on Toyota Landcruisers, and the light has a plug on it just like a 110 VAC light has. It used to plug into a electrical socket in the glove box. The light & electrical socket is still available from the Toyota Dealer, and they came on 1973 - 1979 Land Cruisers. Some Celica's also came with them, but were only in 1973 - 1975 models. This might be a nice item to use because you could unplug the light and store it somewhere, till you needed it, and then plug into it.

It's surprising how many different light assemblies and lights are old there - you just need to pick up a custom van, RV or trailer catalog, and you can find just about anything that turns you on. Hope this helps and good luck!

-- Clifford Gottschalk

Capt. Mike

Transferring the above old archives prompts me to add the other lighting I've added to the interior of my '90 Westy.

I have a long gooseneck map light mounted to the right windshield pillar for the "navigator" to use. It't more versatile than the glovebox light and can be directed in any direction. It even has a shroud that can be extended over the bulb to cut glare. It's a Hella, 19” gooseneck P/N 87141.

My rear cargo area gooseneck light above is also a Hella, their 7” gooseneck P/N 87142. It has a swivel head as well as the flexible arm.

Hella makes a shorter gooseneck map light that plugs into the cigar lighter. It's their 6¼” gooseneck lighter plug model P/N 87143. You can also get a VW Factory gooseneck lighter plug map light made by Osram, their Copilot M model, Osram P/N 41510, VW P/N ZVW124-104

I replaced my 3x10w incadescent cabin light over the sink with a Hella 7w flourescent, P/N 62075 for the clear lens, gray body. More light for a lot less power and less heat build-up. It's transistorized so doesn't have the heat or blink-blink of the cheap ballast ones. They also have an opaque white lens P/N 62075 & wood grain trim model, P/N 62077.

I put a Hella chart light over the sink. Parn numbers are: 62643 (black); 6242 (brown); and 6241 (white). This has the same swivel head as their gooseneck but it is on a short base. It swivels 180° either way and then the head pivots 180°. Thus you can aim it almost any direction. Originally designed for yacht chart tables, it makes a great sink light and can then be used to aim towards the door, front seats or bed area when needed. Being for night use on boats, it even has a red lens replacement.

[This message has been edited by Capt. Mike (edited 04-16-2001).]
I have a 89 Westy with an auxiliary battery and want to rewire my interior incandescent and to work off it plus add some map lights as you have. In doing this should I go right back to the auxiliary battery and start a new fused circuit or can I pick up one at some other spot. By the way I think the Bentley manual section numbering might have changed as I do not have a 97.9a page for aux. batt. in my just purchased version. Thanks.

Capt. Mike

It's quite possible Bentley renumbered pages; they don't normally use letter variations. But its at the beginning of the 97 section, right after the general expalnation of wiring. Of course if yours is an old, the "a" would indicate it's a supplemental page in new editions.

The section shows several sketches of wiring systems and routing. 97.91 is labelled "Battery cables, location" and shows both a single and a dual battery layout. The dual is in there because it was standard in Canadian Westies.

I've never used interior lights enough to come close to killing a healthy main battery, plus Westies have that nice battery monitor panel in the sink cabinet, so I've never gotten excited about trying to rewire.

The interior light feeds off fuse S3 in an '89 where it moves to connector T2c before branching off to it's many feeds. If wiring to the auxiliary, that might be a good place to make your hook-up. That would put your interior lights and radio on the auxiliary.

However, the lights I've added, if you noted the pics on my pics post link from the home page, are scattered and I picked up power where convenient instead of trying to run wiring all over the van. In most cases, I tapped live power nearby from an existing main battery circuit. The convenience and neatness far outweighed the slight difference in battery consumption. The rear cargo light was tapped from a main supply in the engine compartment; the front map light from the glovebox light; the sink light and 2nd RH side dome light from the existing dome & cabin light circuit.

Changing the main rear cabin light from the OE 3x10w incandescent to a single 8w florescent made a major difference -- brighter, cooler, less consumption. The Hella P/N 62075 is transistorized so eliminates the hot blink-blink ballast.

[Remember, you've got the auxiliary for a jump start with one small booster cable -- already common grounded -- for the one time you do leave the lights on.]

[This message has been edited by Capt. Mike (edited 04-16-2001).]


New member
I was just reading this entire thread about interior lights and someone mentioned work lights. I owned a 95 GMC Sierra pickup a couple years ago with a setup that I may put on my Westy. The underhood light was a slightly larger that normal light attached to the underside of the hood. The cool thing about it was that it was removeable and had a 20' cord attached to a reel. I think it had a magnetic base. You could check with a GMC or Chevy truck dealer. I dont' know if other vendors sell anything like it.

Capt. Mike

I've seen similar lights in many of the "auto boutique" type catalogs. Bet there's one in the JC Witless catalog! Hella makes one, P/N 83105. Theirs uses the DIN accessory plug, so can also be used with the DIN sockets as wells as cigar ligher sockets. Besides the OE DIN socket in the dash, I've got a surface-mount P/N 81024 in the cabin; it would be easy enough to add one under in or near the engine compartment as well. In fact . . .. Darn, now I've got another project and haven't even finished the last 739!

[This message has been edited by Capt. Mike (edited 04-16-2001).]

Geoff Barnes

New member
FWIW, I found a 12" Flourescent at Walmart. The distribuor is:
American Tack & Hardware
25 Robert Pitt Dr
Monsey NY 10952

It is battery operated (8 AA's) and can be powered by 12V via an AC/DC adaptor (Radio Shack) or off the car battery. Comes with velcro for mounting, so can be shifted to anywhere it's needed. Looks like the draw is .5A

Cost was only $10, batteries sold separately. Replacement tube is an F8T5.