[T3] Attention '71 Type 3 Owners

Keith Park topnotch at nycap.rr.com
Sat Nov 4 16:28:46 PDT 2017

This is an excellent idea for the 71's to "clean up" a poorly thought out
electrical system and save some of the unobtainium.

When I first got my 71 I knew I had some issues and wanted it as a daily
driver and stuff to last, even in 88 those parts were hard to find So I went
hog wild and converted the entire steering column and gauges over to 72/3
style to use obtainable parts.  Its still "stock" as I used stock parts
though... right?  ;-)  I quickly melted the end of my fuse box cover though
when other electrical things were added and I finally  added another fusebox
with relays under the passenger side of the firewall to carry all the extra
load.  Jim's idea sounds perfect for the stock car to sort all this out and
maybe help with an additional stereo or what not, and ALOT easier than
converting to the later steering column!


Topnotch Restorations
topnotch at nycap.rr.com
71 Squareback  "Hothe"
65 Notchback  "El Baja Rojo"
93 RX7  "Redstur"
95 Chrysler Cirrus Lxi "Cirstallsalot"
-----Original Message-----
From: type3-vwtype3.org [mailto:type3-vwtype3.org-bounces at lists.vwtype3.org]
On Behalf Of Jim Adney
Sent: Saturday, November 04, 2017 12:50 PM
To: type3 at vwtype3.org
Subject: [T3] Attention '71 Type 3 Owners

If you own a '71 Type 3, you're probably already aware that there are a 
number of '71 parts which are one year only parts, now unobtainable. For a 
number of years, I've been thinking about how to overcome some of these 
problem parts, and one of them is the ignition switch.

What I've wanted to do is to figure out a way take all the electrical load
that switch and install relays to do that job. I thought that I could do
this with 
2 relays: one for the starter solenoid and one for the normal operating

I needed access to my '71 to work out the details for this, but that car has

been in storage since the 2014 Invasion, since I drove my '69 to the 2016 
Invasion in Arizona. Well, a month or so I managed to get the '71 backed out

of the garage so I could drive it a bit, burn up the old gas that's in the
and work on the relay conversion.

I started out thinking that I could mount the relays in the 2 empty sockets
the top of the late style fuse box, but I quickly discovered that not only
this make the wiring harder, because ALL the wires I needed were over by 
the right side of the steering column, but as I looked into this closer, I 
realized that I needed 3 relays, since, starting in '71, there is an
X-contact (X 
for eXtra) in the switch, which goes off in the START position, so the 
headlights, and a few other high current consumers, go off when the starter 

So, now I have a 3 relay system designed and built. 2 relays live in a
hidden undr the right side of the steering column and one, the X-relay, fits
one of the sockets above the fuse box. I installed the first version of this
my '71 a couple days ago and it worked perfectly.

But, in the process of installing it, I discovered that there was a single
fuse, serving only the fan, hidden above the fuse box. WHO KNEW THAT 
WAS THERE? That gave me the idea to alter my relay design slightly and 
put the fan on one of the regular fuse box fuses. This was easy because 
fuse 9 had almost NO load on it. (And yet it comes with a 16 A fuse. Why?)

In the end, I arranged for the new X-relay to power the lights, the fan, and
few other items, using rhe OE fuses for the lights and fuse 7 for the fan
other X-relay devices. I had to move the fuel pump to fuse 9.

I now have a kit available to install this modification to any '71 Type 3. I

emphasize that this is ONLY for '71 Type 3s. This has been designed to 
work with my US market FI '71 Type 3. I don't see any reason why it should 
not work for any market version, but I really can't promise that. The kit 
includes 3 relays, a mounting bracket, all wires with the correct fittings 
already crimped on the ends, and 8 pages (!) of installation instructions.

Contact me if you want this for a car from another market. I'll need more
to see if this will work for you.

I could make a version of this for other years, but there's really very
point, at least for the 12 V models, because all the other years have
switches that are cheap and available. Maybe '67s could use something. For 
6 V cars, something else might be needed, but I don't know if I can get the 
same small relays for 6 V.

It's taken me hours to get the parts list all worked out, and days to get
installation instructions written and corrected. I've probably revised the 
instructions 20 times, but I think they are now error-free.

This should be a really tempting modification for any '71 Type 3 owner, but 
there are a couple of downsides. The first is the price: With all the work
went into this, I have to sell it for $75. The second is that it's a really
install. It took me 5 hours to do it, but I wasted a LOT of time running
back in 
the house to get different sizes/colors/lengths of wire, crimp on different 
connectors, and make notes of the differences I found, so the kits could be 
right. Some of the work is in cramped quarters and frustrating. I had a 
number of tiny cuts on my fingers by the time I was done.

There are also 3 somewhat special tools you will need: a tool to release 
locking female connectors from their plastic housing (a jeweler's
can work here, or I can sell you something that I've made) a tool to loosen 
and retighten the retaining rings around the headlight and 4-way flasher 
switches, and some sort of wire crimping tool. (There is 1 OE wire that you 
will need to cut, strip, and  then crimp on the connector that I supply with
kit. That step is optional, but it's easy and it puts the clock on fuse 8,
so you 
can remove fuse 8 when you won't be driving the car for a long time, to 
reduce the discharge on the battery.)

If you have time, patience, and the right tools, and are willing to take
time and follow my step-by-step instructions, this may be right for you.

In the end, the car ends up working EXACTLY like it did before, except that 
the function of fuses 7 and 9 are swapped, the single inline fuse above the 
fuse box is gone, the clock is now fused, and your ignition switch contacts 
now carry 1/3 A max, each.

Let me know if you are interested. I don't expect to sell many of these
kits, so 
I don't have a large stock of the necessary parts. I can easily buy more if 

thanks for reading,

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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