Vanagon – main battery kill switch

There have been a couple of disturbing posts recently on the Samba and on the Yahoo Syncro mailing list about Vanagons moving on their own and or catching fire due to massive electrical faults. A short somewhere in the ignition wiring causing the starter to engage etc. It’s enough to make even the most happy go lucky owner shiver. A recent post to the Yahoo Syncro group mentioned this kill switch – Amazon link and how it was possible to mount it on the  negative pole of battery (starting battery under front passenger seat of  gasoline Vanagon). I happened to be out Langford way today and dropped in to Princess Auto and found what looks like the exact same switch ($9.95).

It is a squeeze to get it on the negative post of the battery (I installed the Westy swivel seat base on that side, that does not help matters at all), and the taper on the switch is designed, I think, for the positive post so you have to be sure to tap the switch down to the base of the post.

It works as advertised, a turn of the green knob connects/disconnects the ground. I have a house battery under the driver’s seat (and a fused distribution box) that supplies power to the circuits needed during camping i.e fuse #3 circuit (which powers radio, interior lights, cig. lighter, clock) and power to the kitchen. The kill switch will be used when van is parked for a time, or if I feel especially paranoid. The battery compartment lid does fit over it ok.

 

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