Vanagon – trip to wreckers scores big, well fairly big

I had the morning free to head up to Malahat Auto Wreckers here on the southern part of Vancouver Island, and I got lucky. There are fewer and fewer Vanagons in the wreckers these days, a big drop from the halcyon days of the turn of the century. But I found a tin top, year of manufacture 1991. Pretty rare here to see a 92 model year T3. The sticker said it was assembled in Austria. You know the story, the Hannover plant switched over to making T4 models and the Graz plant continued for a while to make both syncros and 2wd vans.

The van was in rough shape but it had the heated drivers seat intact, plus all the electrics for same. I had already scored the column mounted controller, housing, and relays some years ago but this time I got another set plus the wiring to the seat and the seat itself. The seat is pretty skanky ( and it’s blue, wouldn’t match my other seat even if it was in good shape) but I think the heating pads are salvageable.


Taking the seat apart I found that the wiring to the seat base  was broken. Almost looks like it was cut. Everything else was intact and looked stock so I wouldn’t be surprised if the break was the result of some pinching and flexing. Nasty stains on the seat pad, ugh.
The seat back pad is fine.

My plan is to clean up the pads, test for continuity, remake the broken wiring, and install in my current driver’s seat. The other finds at the yard were some plastic trim pieces and the rarest of rare things, the little light above the glove box with an intact switch!


  1. #1 by Ralph on April 13, 2016 - 10:54 pm

    Do you want to sell the grey fabric/material from the front seats or even the rear seats if you have them?

    • #2 by albell on April 13, 2016 - 11:09 pm

      Hi Ralph,

      Only got the drivers side seat. It has hole in fabric on seat bottom. And it’s dirty. The armrests are spoken for, but you can have the rest of the fabric of you like just for the cost of shipping.


      • #3 by Ralph on April 14, 2016 - 12:31 am

        Hi Alistair

        Yes, I’ll take it as it’s more than I’ve got and it’ll match the rear westy seat bottom that I already have, I can patch that hole.

        Address for delivery is:
        112 Hackthorne Road,
        Cashmere Hills
        CHRISTCHURCH, 8022
        New Zealand.
        Please advise freight, cheapest method.

        Can you also look at costs to send to; Portland Oregon 97203, as I’m also looking at consolidating the parcel by sending with ‘Youshop’ NZ post.

        and payment by Paypal?


      • #4 by albell on April 14, 2016 - 8:46 am

        Ok, will be a day or so before I get the fabric completely off. I’ll let you know.



  2. #5 by Chris August on April 14, 2016 - 7:39 am

    Alistar if the heating elements/ pads are to far gone lordco sells them as do some stereo shops

    • #6 by albell on April 14, 2016 - 8:46 am

      I’m going to measure the resistance of the wiring, check continuities etc. And try to figure out how the controller and switch work to divvy out the power.

      Thanks for the tip though.



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