Zig MC-2000 Wiring

The task this week was to get a better understanding of the electrics installed in the van, some of the labels had rubbed off the Zig unit so it was impossible to know what did what.

I downloaded the MC-2000 wiring diagram from the VW T25/T3 Autosleeper Info Site, which shows the following:

MC-2000 Wiring Diagram with DCU-3
MC-2000 Wiring Diagram with DCU-3

Note: Sir Adventure is a 1991 Autosleeper conversion.

To work out what setup was installed in the van I went on the hunt for the ZIG DCU-3 and a split charge relay.


I knew I had a Leisure Battery (under the passenger seat) but was unsure whether the van was fitted with a ZIG DCU-3 charging unit. A quick Google search and i’m on the hunt for one of these:

ZIG DCU-3 (credit: David Palmer)

I checked all the cupboards and couldn’t find one so the blue wires do not apply to Sir Adventure. This means that when a 240V electrical hookup is used it will power the Fridge and 13 Amp Socket, but not charge the Leisure Battery.

Note: Another indication of whether you have a DCU-3 or not is the presence of a fourth LED on the front panel above the “Fridge is running on 12V” LED. This comes on to indicate charging.

Split Charge Relay

As the van has a Leisure battery I was pretty sure there would be a Split Charge Relay somewhere (how else would the battery get charged?).

I followed the red cable from the Leisure battery positive terminal, under the van (where it ran parallel to a blue cable) and back inside next to the Vehicle battery where I found the Split Charge Relay. It looks like this (the grey square thing):

Split Charge Relay
Split Charge Relay

The blue cable I mentioned earlier comes from the Alternator in the engine bay, this wire triggers the relay into action. When the engine is on the Alternator charges the Vehicle battery (via the big fat cable connected to the positive terminal), with the relay engaged current can flow between both batteries, charging both.


On the inside of the fuse panel is a handy sticker detailing what fuse does what. This turned out to be spot on. (AUX 1 is for the Propex blown heater).

Fuse panel labelling
Fuse panel labelling

Removing the Zig unit

To understand what was happening behind the Zig unit I took the front of the unit off. It is very straightforward, there are plastic covers on either side which slide off to reveal two Phillips screws. Undoing these lets whole unit comes free.

The main connector block has only 9 terminals, further confirmation that there was no DCU-3 unit or extractor fan in Sir Adventure.

The green wire into the terminal block does not lead onto anything, I could connect another accessory here such as a USB socket and take advantage of the AUX 2 fuse.

Wiring Diagram

With the above knowledge I updated the Wiring Diagram to reflect my setup:

Zig MC-2000 Wiring Diagram (no DCU-3)
Zig MC-2000 Wiring Diagram (no DCU-3)

One major difference is the common earth block comes off the Vehicle battery, not the Leisure battery.

Zig MC-2000 Labelling

As mentioned earlier, some of the labels had rubbed off. To give a clear understanding of what button does what (and does not disappear with age) I have created a digital version of the Zig MC-2000 faceplate:

Zig MC-2000 Faceplate
Zig MC-2000 Faceplate
Zig MC-2000 Faceplate (fuse cover removed)
Zig MC-2000 Faceplate (fuse cover removed)

If you wish to download high resolution versions (right-click and save as):

Full Wiring

After all my poking around i’m left with the diagram below. I have combined the Zig unit with the updated Wiring Diagram and linked the colour matched wiring to the correct terminal points. (Zig unit lightened for clarity).

It’s easy to understand how the 12V on/off switch controls all current through the fuses.

Zig MC-2000 Full Wiring Diagram
Zig MC-2000 Full Wiring Diagram

Download the Zig MC-2000 Full Wiring Diagram as a PDF.

Replacing the Fuel Lines

Modern Petrol now includes Ethanol which can eat away at old fuel lines from the inside out. I was unsure of the age of the lines in the van so decided to do a complete overhaul. A fuel leak in the engine bay could lead to a serious fire and not something I want to take any chances with.

Examples of perished fuel lines:

There are some excellent posts on the Club 80-90 Wiki I recommend reading around fuel lines in a VW T25:

Once you’ve decided to changed your fuel lines, choosing the right size and quality hose can be a bit of a minefield. However, Brickwerks explain the different types and the 100% Ethanol rated hose they supply.

UPDATE: The 100% Ethanol rated Fuel feed pipe and Fuel return pipe kits from Brickwerks are recommended. 

(Although there have been no issues so far with the R9 kit used below, I’ll be upgrading to the 100% Ethanol ones when I do the job again, just to be on the safe side)


Fuel Feed and Return Hose Kit

The kit fits as follows:

[Fuel Tank Outlet]
[7.3mm Hose][Fuel Filter][5.6mm Hose][Reinforcement Insert][Polyamide Pipe][Reinforcement Insert][5.6mm Hose]
[Fuel Pump]
[5.6mm Hose]
[5.6mm Hose][Reinforcement Insert][Polyamide Pipe][Reinforcement Insert][5.6mm Hose][Non-Return Valve][5.6mm Hose][8mm to 6mm Reducer][7.3mm Hose]
[Fuel Tank Inlet]

As well as the above, the kit includes grommets for the bulkhead and a variety of cable ties.

Tools needed for the job:

  • Scissors
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Petrol can (if draining tank)

Identifying the Fuel Lines

I have marked in red the hoses which will be replaced:

Fuel lines in engine bay to be replaced

The lines then run through the bulkhead, under the chassis and connect to the fuel tank. Here are some additional photos to identify the fuel lines in the engine bay:


First jack up the van and drain the fuel tank. This procedure is covered in my other post Replacing the Fuel Tank.

Once the fuel tank is empty the fuel lines connected to the tank can be cut, I snipped through the hard line with a pair of scissors. While under the van make a note of where the fuel lines go, you’ll need to channel the new ones in the same position.

On to the engine bay, unscrew the hose/jubilee clips and pull the fuel lines free of the Fuel Pump and Carburetor.

Pulling the old return line free of the engine bay

Do the same for the line from the fuel tank and finally disconnect the Fuel Pump to Carburetor. There may be some fuel left in the line but it is pretty minimal.

Engine bay with fuel lines removed

Fitting the new Fuel Lines

First I fitted the hose connecting Fuel Pump outlet to Carburetor inlet, I measured against the original hose and cut to size.

Next I fed the return hose hard line through the bulkhead and secured the 5.6mm hose onto the Carburetor outlet. (This section also includes a non-return valve to stop fuel going back into the Carb). Make sure the grommet is slipped over the hose before securing to the Carb, it protects the fuel line from rubbing.

Underneath the van on the Nearside I connected the pre-assembled 7.3mm/reducer/5.6mm hose section to the Fuel Tank inlet. The Polyamide hard line was fed from the the hole in the bulkhead down the same route the old fuel line had taken. I trimmed the hard line to the right length, inserted the reinforcement tube and pushed it into the 5.6mm hose before securing with a hose clip.

Finally I secured the whole return feed in place with the supplied cable ties.

Issue: The next step was to attach Fuel Feed line but I couldn’t get the 5.6mm hose onto the Fuel Pump. I took a measurement and found my Pierburg Fuel Pump has a 6mm outlet but a 8mm inlet. This meant it was impossible to fit the 5.6mm hose all the way on.

8mm Fuel Pump inlet

My solution was to get a short length of 7.3mm hose and a metal 8mm to 6mm reducer (had to be metal so it doesn’t melt in the engine bay).

7.3mm hose and metal 8mm to 6mm Reducer

The setup now looks like this:

[Fuel Tank Outlet]
[7.3mm Hose][Fuel Filter][5.6mm Hose][Reinforcement Insert][Polyamide Pipe][Reinforcement Insert][5.6mm Hose][8mm to 6mm Reducer *metal*][7.3mm Hose]
[Fuel Pump]
[5.6mm Hose]
[5.6mm Hose][Reinforcement Insert][Polyamide Pipe][Reinforcement Insert][5.6mm Hose][Non-Return Valve][5.6mm Hose][8mm to 6mm Reducer][7.3mm Hose]
[Fuel Tank Inlet]

Fuel feed line connected to Fuel Pump inlet

Like the return feed I slid the hard line through the bulkhead with the grommet in place. Just after the engine bay the original fuel line went through a circular bracket, I fed the new line through this before it goes towards the Fuel Tank.

Fuel feed line route between engine bay and fuel tank

Just like the return feed, I cut the hard line to size, inserted the reinforcement tube and clamped in place. Job done!

The last step was to put a small amount of fuel in the tank and start the engine. No leaks and it runs fantastic!

The new fuel lines in action


If you’re thinking of doing this with your van i’d definitely recommend spending the extra on the 100% Ethanol rated hose available from Brickwerks, the components are excellent quality and come part-assembled. Also, the Stainless Steel hose clips will last forever.

Make sure to check your fuel pump inlet size beforehand as you may need an additional length of 7.3mm hose and reducer.

It was a straightforward and quick job to do. (It has taken me longer to put this blog post together). The engine now starts first time and runs much smoother. Additionally, I feel much safer knowing the fuel lines are new and I can keep an eye on their condition.

Replacing the Fuel Tank

The task this week was to replace the Fuel Lines, however when inspecting the tank I found a lot of rust so a new one was purchased from Brickwerks.

I followed the directions in the Club 80-90 Wiki entry Fuel System tank removal.

Draining the Tank

First I disconnected the battery by taking off the earth lead, made sure the handbrake was on, put the van in gear and chocked the wheels.

I then jacked up the Nearside to allow the tank to drain on the fuel filter side (Offside). I used a 3 tonne bottle jack and hardwood blocks.

Next I removed the filler cap and cut the Offside fuel line just after the fuel filter. I angled a 20L container underneath the van and cut the fuel line with scissors. The tank drained slowly, it took around 15 minutes till empty.

When the tank was dry I jacked up the Offside so i’d have as much room as possible underneath when I drop the tank.

Filler Pipe

With the filler cap removed you can access the three screws securing the retainer plate, I undid these and poked the rubber neck through the hole.

The Filler Pipe has an secondary breather pipe attached, pull this off and you can remove the pipe out from under the wheel arch. Keep twisting while you do this, the pipe will pop out of the fuel tank and come free.

Breather Tanks

There are tanks situated under the wheel arches on both sides which act as expansion volume when filling the main fuel tank. In combination with the breather balance pipe they work to allow fuel to reach the top of both sides (the fuel tank has a divot).

Twist off or cut the breather pipes to the tanks, mine were already split so very easy to remove.

It is not necessary to remove the tanks, I did so to check the top seals and treat any rust behind.

To do so: There is one 13mm bolt holding the Breather Tank in place. Even when removed the tank was impossible to get off. This is due to 25 years of dirt trapped between the tank and body creating an unintentional seal. I used a large flat head screwdriver to jab all the dirt out then levered hard downwards. Eventually the tanks popped off.

Tank Straps

There are two straps that hold the fuel tank in place. They are secured with a 13mm bolt towards the front of the van and a flap with angled edges at the other. Undoing the bolts will cause the tank to drop slightly, there is a ridge at the front that stops it coming all the way down. The angled edges needed bending back with pliers before I was able to slide the straps out.

Once the straps were removed the tank will drop further down. Undo the connection to the Fuel Gauge Sensor and pull down, the Breather Balance Pipe will pop out allowing the tank to come completely free. As I was replacing the tank I didn’t worry about it getting damaged coming down, it wasn’t overly heavy so was done by hand. If you’re keeping the tank maybe use a jack or some sort of padding when you do the drop.

The Breather Balance Pipe is secured to the van with a small bracket, unscrew this and pull the pipe free of the van.

The Fuel Gauge Sensor is removed from the tank by twisting anti-clockwise and pulling free. I used a long flat head screwdriver as a lever. Mine had considerable accumulated dirt which needed cleaning off first.

I also removed the four strips of rubber padding on both sides of the tank to re-use on my new fuel tank. I bought new breather and filler grommets, you could however reuse the ones from your old tank if in good condition.

Painting the New Fuel Tank

The new tank from Brickwerks came primered ready to paint. I chose to first do a coat of Bilt Hamber Electrox and a topcoat of Rustoleum CombiColor for the ultimate rust protection. I went a bit overboard with my spray can of CombiColor, using it all up on the top of the tank. Luckily I had a tin as well so rollered the bottom (2 coats with 20% white spirit added to thin).

Breather Pipes

I laid all the pipes out and cut new lengths of 5.5mm Overbraid Fuel Hose (1 metre was enough).

New 5.5mm hose cut to size

The pictures below show how the breather tanks and filler neck connect to the Fuel Tank:

Refitting the Fuel Tank

With the tank out I could inspect the chassis, clutch pipe and handbrake cable. There was some surface rust (nothing too serious) which I wire brushed and coated in Electrox.

Underside treated with Bilt Hamber Electrox

To refit the tank I first secured the Breather Balance Pipe to the chassis and fed the hoses through to the wheel arches. The pipe has a kink in it which should be fitted the left side as the tank is lower on this side. Reconnect the Fuel Gauge Sensor here as well.

I then positioned the tank on the front lip, pushed the rear upwards and slid the tank straps into place. The tank is secure on the lip and tank straps so won’t drop down. I then pushed a tank strap upwards and secured the 13mm bolt before doing the next.

There is space to reach through the wheel arch (removing the wheel gives more room) and push the breather pipes down into the top of the tank grommets. Although you won’t be able to see it, this is what it looks like:

Breather Tank pipes attached, ready for Filler Breather Pipe to go in

In the image above you will notice the pipe in the top left corner coming through the chassis. This is from the top of the Breather Tank and should have a “trumpet” or “Shrek ear” attached. (I knocked mine off fitting the tank).

The Fuel Filler Breather pipe was pushed into the remaining tank grommet before going to the next step.

Refitting the Breather Tanks

The Breather Tanks are nearly as hard to get back in as they were to remove. I devised a cross screwdriver technique to lever the tanks back into place under the wheel arches:

Technique to refit the Breather Tanks

The hoses you poked into the wheel arch can now be reconnected to the bottom of the Breather Tanks.

Refitting the Fuel Filler Pipe

The Fuel Filler Neck Ring was a rusty mess so needed replacing, luckily Brickwerks do a very nice Stainless Steel version with upgraded bolts. It’s a simple case of enlarging the three holes in the retainer plate with a 5mm drill bit.

I wanted to replace the rusted jubilee clip as well but I would have destroyed the rubber filler neck in the process. (A job for another time when they’re back in stock).

Twist and push the Filler Neck into the Fuel Tank, reconnect the breather pipe and pull the rubber filler neck through the aperture.

Once you have aligned the holes you can bolt the retainer plate back into place. Job done!

My next post covers how to Replace the Fuel Lines.

Gearbox Oil Change

After refurbishing the Gear Lever and Linkage I thought i’d change the gearbox oil as I doubt it has been changed since 1991.

Just like the other jobs i’ve completed I simply crawled under the van to do this, it’s a tight squeeze but manageable.

Shopping list:

The Drain and Filler plugs are not essential but I wanted to replace with new as the current ones looked corroded and I could damage them during removal.

Before you start, go for a nice drive somewhere to warm up the gearbox as the oil will flow better and make draining easier.

First thing is to remove the Filler Plug, this is the one on the side of the gearbox next to the selector shaft.

Filler Plug

I used the Gearbox Key with a 14mm spanner to remove the Filler Plug. There is enough room to whack the spanner with a rubber hammer to get it out, mine was quite stiff so I gave it a good squirt of Plus Gas Releasing Fluid first.

Removing the Filler Plug with 17mm Key and 14mm spanner

It important to remove the Filler Plug before the Drain Plug. The Filler Plug may have seized and be impossible to remove, if this is the case you will have no way of refilling the oil if you have drained the gearbox. Follow this handy flowchart:

Gearbox Oil Flowchart
Gearbox Oil Plug Flowchart


Drain Plug

The Drain Plug is located underneath the gearbox to the rear.

Mine had quite a bit of corrosion so I cleaned out the inside to ensure the Gearbox Key went all the way in. Position the drain pan underneath and unscrew.

A word of warning: Gearbox oil STINKS. The drain pan I used could not deal with the initial flow of oil so spilled over the side onto the floor and onto me.

The Drain Plug is magnetic to collect any bits of metal floating around in the gearbox and protect your gears in the process. Here is Sir Adventure’s drain plug showing 25 years of gear wear:

Magnetic Drain Plug showing collected gearbox wear

Once the oil has finished draining you can replace your cleaned Drain Plug or like me, fit a new one. The plug does not go all the way in, there is some thread still visible when tightened.


I used a Draper Oil Funnel with Tube and it was the perfect length to pour the new oil in from the engine bay. The pack also includes a handy screw on funnel for the 5L bottle.

Funnel in the engine bay positioned behind the carburetor

The gearbox takes 3.5L of oil, I poured 1.5L into a separate container then slowly poured the rest into the funnel. Once oil starts to pour out of the filler hole (if the van is level) the gearbox is full. Remove the tube and refit the Filler Plug. Job done!

Gear Linkage Refurbishment

Following on from my post on Gear Lever Refurbishment the intention was to make some slight adjustments to the rear linkage so the lever sits in neutral properly. However, when inspecting the rods it was quite clear that all of the bellows would need replacing as they had perished as well as rust and wear on other parts.

I opted for the Gear Linkage Repair Kit from Brickwerks, this includes not only new bellows but also the bushes, gear shift joint and selector cup.

Again, I found the Club 80-90 Wiki invaluable, in particular the entries on Renovating 5 Speed Change Mechanism Pt2Renovating 5 Speed Change Mechanism – Adjustments and Renovating 4 Speed Change Mechanism Pt3.


The following diagram shows how the gear linkage works in operation:

5 Speed Gear Linkage Diagram
5 Speed Gear Linkage Diagram

The diagram is from the Transporter with Water-cooled Boxer Engine Construction and Operation VAG Self Study Programme which also includes information on the 4 speed gearbox.

Worn Parts


Starting from the rear, use a 13mm socket wrench to remove the bolt holding the Gear Shift Joint onto the gearbox. Next, undo the two bolts holding the Gear Linkage Support Plate in place.

The linkage will be free to drop to the floor.


Undo the bolt connecting the Gear Linkage Joint to the front linkage rod and twist/knock this free using a rubber mallet. (Normally you should mark the position of where the two pieces meet before removing so it’s easy to realign. As i’m replacing all the parts i’ve not bothered).

Gear Linkage Joint

The rear linkage rod and assembly will be completely disconnected and can be put aside.

At the front of the vehicle above the spare wheel is the Gear Linkage Box. Undo the 10mm/13mm bolt here and the front linkage rod will come free, pull it forward and completely out. (You may have to remove the Gear Linkage Box as space is tight).

View of Gear Linkage Box from under fuel tank

With the front linkage rod removed you can then undo the two bolts holding the central bush and flanges. (The picture below shows a plastic cover, I twisted this out of the way).

Central linkage flanges and bush

You should then have a nice collections of parts:

Gear Linkage parts removed from van


Selector Cup

The Selector Cup is attached to the rear linkage rod by a roll pin, to get this out you need to find a suitable piece of metal with a similar diameter. I used a bolt and hammered this through. (Do not use anything pointy like a screw as it will make the roll pin expand out and be impossible to remove).

There is a cap inside the cup with F19 on it, this popped out when I hammered the pin through.

Flanges and Bush

Undo the two bolts on the Gear Linkage Support Plate and slide the Flanges and Bush free of the rod.


Gear Linkage Joint

The joint is connected to the rear linkage rod by two pins, remove the circlips and prise the pins out using a claw hammer.

The Dismantled Parts


I thought i’d use a micrometer to see the wear on the Selector Ball rear Bush vs the new ones. Selector Ball: 0.18mm wear, rear Bush: 0.42mm wear.

Gear Linkage Repair Kit

The repair kit from Brickwerks comes with all the necessary parts for renewing the gear linkage. I added a Support Bracket to my order in case mine was knackered, it was fine so I didn’t end up using this.

Gear Linkage Repair Kit from Brickwerks


Putting everything back is a reverse of the removal procedure, with added grease!

I sprayed the rods and flanges with Bilt Hamber Electrox to add a layer of protection.

The Bellows are pushed inside the Flanges and slid on the end of the rod with the rear Bush inbetween, add lots of moly grease.

New Bellows and rear Bush


Both Flanges go onto the rod BEFORE the Support Bracket. I made the terrible mistake of putting the Bracket BETWEEN the Flanges. This is wrong and will mean dismantling everything again. Get this right before driving the pin into the Selector Cup.

The following images show the bracket in between the Flanges, it wasn’t until I fitted the whole lot under the van that I realised.

Slide the Selector Cup onto the end of the rod (make sure you’ve got it the right way up) and hammer the roll pin down to secure it in place.

Brickwerks machined aluminium Selector Cup

I warmed the Relay Lever Boot in hot water to soften it up before sliding over both sections. (Moly grease was added inside the cup).

Reassembled Selector Cup and Ball. (NOTE: Support bracket/flange position is wrong)
Gear Linkage Joint
Refurbished Gear Linkage parts

Reconnect the rods in the reverse order from removal.

Gear Linkage reattached (NOTE: Support bracket/flange position is wrong)

It was at this point I realised something was wrong, there was no enough space for forward movement. It was as if the bellows were too big. Reviewing the pictures I had taken before removal revealed that I had bolted the Flange to the wrong side of the Support Bracket.

Gear Linkage – Correct bracket and flange position


With everything in place there is one bolt on the Gear Linkage Joint which dictates the relationship between the front linkage (including the Gear Lever) and the rear linkage where it attaches to the gearbox.

Gear Linkage Joint adjustment

On the front linkage rod you will see the splines, there needs to be 8-10mm of these visible for the correct positioning of the gate so you can get across to first/reverse.

By rotating the rods you can line up the gear lever so it sits in the neutral position while the gearbox is in neutral.

I recommend following the directions in the Wiki entry Renovating 5 Speed Change Mechanism – Adjustments to get this right.


It is a time consuming task but very straightforward and well worth the effort. Shifting between gears on Sir Adventure is such a pleasure now, the gears are very easy to find and the distance between them has significantly decreased.

Gear Lever Refurbishment

Finding the right gear in Sir Adventure is a bit of chore, there is a lot of play between gears and my knuckles keep hitting the dash. Getting across to 1st gear (left and down on 5 speed gearbox) also requires a good deal of force and it is scraping against something when moving up and down .

The following image heavy post details installation of a Gear Stick Refurbishment Kit (from Just Kampers) as well as a new Gear Lever Bellows and Gear Lever Cap (from Brickwerks).

Many thanks go to the Wiki entry on Club 80-90 which I followed for this.


Gear Lever Removal

With the wheel removed you can access the gear linkage box.

Gear lever linkage box

The next photo is of the inside of the box looking back towards the front of the van. It’s immediately obvious that the perished bellows and gunk will be affecting how well the gear lever operates.

Gear linkage with split bellows and gunk

Remove the 4x 10mm bolts securing the box and it lifts away from the underside.

Gear lever linkage with box removed

Upper Assembly

To remove the upper gear lever assembly go into the cab, and pull up the rubber cover from the floor.

Important: Before doing anything mark the location of the 4 holes using a marker pen or by scratching the metal. You need these marks to re-align your replacement assembly.

Unscrew the gear knob then undo the 2x 10mm bolts and spring brace (it will shoot off so be careful). The assembly can then be moved up the gear lever and removed.

Removing the upper gear lever assembly

Back under the van, undo the bolt securing the lever to the linkage and the whole gear lever will come free.

Gear lever, assembly and box removed

Gear Lever Linkage Box

With everything removed, the first step was cleaning up the box. I used Bilt Hamber Surfex HD degreaser to de-gunk everything then sprayed the box with Bilt Hamber Electrox to protect against corrosion.

The metal arm on the side of the box is what stops you going into reverse without first pushing down on the gear lever.

You can see the wear on the aluminium guide blocks. I’m sticking with these for now but replacements are available from Brickwerks. (They’ve seen 25 years so far and think they’ll be good for a little longer).

Gear Lever Assembly

The Gear Stick Refurbishment Kit from Just Kampers contains all the parts for the assembly as well as new bushes and bolt where the lever attaches to the linkage.

It’s a case of putting the bits together, adding grease and forcing the assembled parts into the black rubber ring. This was quite an effort, if I did it again I would probably warm the ring in hot water to soften it up beforehand. (I don’t have any pictures of putting it together as I had grease absolutely everywhere!).

Gear Lever

The scraping sound when moving up and down in 1st and Reverse is most certainly due to the split bellows. The loss of lubrication will be also be why a lot of force is needed to get it over to the left.

Gear lever with perished bellows and cracked end cap

The bellows and end cap can be simply pulled off, you can then remove the clips holding the spring and rod in place. I did not push the rod completely out (if you do there is a ball bearing under pressure from another spring which will shoot out, be careful). By pushing the rod slightly out I could check on the band which act as a dampener for the ball bearing, it fell to pieces straight away so I replaced it with some o-rings.

Replacing the bellows is a PAIN! You need to fill it with grease and try to get the end over the lip which holds it in place. There are no tabs to pull on, there’s grease everywhere and you’re working against the pressure of the spring. It took me a good 45 minutes to get it on and i’m still not entirely sure how I did it.

If anyone has a method to get the bellows on easily, please share! I hope I never have to do it again…

Update (06/06/2016)

Doug Staplehurst suggested using a vice in the comments. I have since used this technique fit a new solid core gear lever with resounding success.

Using a vice to compress spring to fit the bellows
Installed gear lever bellows and end cap

The plastic guides at the end of the forks are a little worn so are probably contributing to the play in gear selection. I’ve decided not to replace them just yet, when I do I can get them from Brickwerks.

Bent Gear Lever

A common reason for knuckles hitting dashboards is a bent gear lever. 25 years of jamming it into 1st/reverse can slowly, bit by bit, bend the long tube. The gear lever should be straight with one bend, then straight again.

I took a picture of the lever into Photoshop and overlaid how the lever should be. It’s quite apparent it’s bent:

Example of bent gear lever

I’ve not attempted to correct this for fear of snapping the hollow tube. I intend to add a lever extension so should help with the knuckle rash!

Update (06/09/2016)

I purchased a new gear lever from JustKampers which is solid core so should hopefully not bend over time. The picture below shows the comparison against the old lever:

Old gear lever vs new showing bend

The Refurbished Parts

Refurbished gear lever and linkage box
Example of how the lever will sit in the linkage box


Putting everything back is a reverse of the removal instructions. The gear lever is inserted through the cab hole from the underside and reconnected to the linkage using the bushes and bolt from the Refurbishment Kit.

The assembly slides down the gear lever and bolted back into the cab floor. Align the marks you made on the floor plate when removing the old assembly to the four holes and secure the two bolts. The lever needs pulling up so the spring and locking collar can be fitted back in place (a second pair of hands helps here).

With the gear linkage box bolted back in place everything should be back as it was and gear changes should be much smoother.

Gear linkage box back in place

In the image above you will see the forks are slightly to the left when in neutral. They should sit directly over the aluminum guides for 2nd/3rd gears. I’ll be adjusting this next week so will do another post for that. (EDIT: New post here: Gear Linkage Refurbishment).

The images below show the position of the linkage for 1st and Reverse gears:

5 Speed Gear Lever Operation Diagram

The diagram is from the Transporter with Water-cooled Boxer Engine Construction and Operation VAG Self Study Programme which also includes information on the 4 speed gearbox.

Part numbers in this post:

  • Gear Stick Refurbishment Kit – 251798116A
  • Bellows – 251711248A
  • Clinch Bolt – 251711246A
  • Securing Circlip – N0122831
  • Damping Ring – 251711226
  • Detent Spring – 251711244B
  • Detent Ball Bearing – N0256663
  • E-clip – N0124382
  • Return Spring – 251711247A
  • Cap – 251711242A
  • Guides – 251711177
  • RHD Gear Stick – 252711117C


The task this weekend was to carry out a service, replacing the following:

  • Oil
  • Oil filter
  • Spark plugs
  • Air filter

Oil Change

For a complete oil change you need 4.5 litres of 15W40 Mineral Oil, a new Oil Filter and a Sump Plug Compression Washer.

The Sump Plug is located underneath the engine, it is easily accessible from the rear of the T25 and does not require jacking or ramps. I recommend sliding a piece of wood or cardboard on the floor for you to lie on.

Undo the Oil filler cap (behind the number plate) and pull out the dip stick slightly. Position an oil capture tray under the engine and undo the Oil Sump Plug. Once removed the oil will pour out very quickly:

Draining the engine oil

After the flow has slowed to just dripping you can remove the Oil Filter. I use an oil filter wrench but you can stab it with a screwdriver and twist off. Try not to drop the filter in the oil pan like I did, it’s very messy!

The next step is to pour a bit of fresh oil into the new oil filter, run a bit of oil around the rubber seal and screw into place. Put a new compression washer on the Sump Plug and bolt into place.

Finally, pour your fresh oil into the oil filler tube, you will need 4.5 litres in total (minus what you poured into the oil filter). I use a flexible funnel as the angle can be a bit tricky. Warming the oil in a bucket of hot water first speeds this bit up.

Spark Plugs

To remove the spark plugs pull off the ignition lead and unscrew using a socket wrench. In the second picture you can see the black buildup on the current plug compared to the brand new plug. I’ve opted for NGK BP6ET plugs. Remember to remove the terminal stud before fitting, they simply unscrew from the top.

Air Filter

Removing the Air Filter box

The Air Filter box is located at the top right of the engine bay (on a 1.9 Watercooled Petrol engine). To remove, follow the directions in the image above and the box will lift straight out. Once removed simply unclip the latches and you can lift the air filter straight out.

My air filter box was full of gunk and even had a dead snail inside. It was definitely due a replacement:

Sheared Alternator Tension Bolt

On first start up this weekend there was a loud squealing coming from the engine bay. A bit of investigating (and Google) identified the alternator belt, it looked in good condition so the problem should be a loose belt which is slipping. It’s a simple job of loosening the adjustment bolt and re-positioning the alternator to tighten the belt.

The bolt was really tight so I gave it some welly and sheared the bolt straight off!



Luckily there’s a whole section dedicated to removing seized bolts on the Club 80-90 wiki. A good squirt of Plus Gas Releasing Fluid made no difference, the bolt was stuck solid so the next step was to try drilling out the bolt. (Not something i’ve attempted before).

After disconnecting the battery and unbolting the alternator from the engine I clamped it to my folding workbench. The first step is to use a centre punch to locate the very middle of the bolt and act as a starting point for drill.


It’s a case of starting with a small drill bit and increasing the size until you can pick out the thread. I made steps of 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5.5mm and finally 6mm.



It’s out!


My alignment was just off (always going to be an issue using a hand drill instead of a bench drill), it looks worse than what it is. The thread inside is still intact so I can use another bolt. (If I hadn’t been able to save the thread I could drill it out completely and then use a nut at the other end).

A brand new shiny Stainless Steel M8x30mm bolt with washer was used as a replacement.


Secured in place and no more squealing alternator belt!

The Adventure Begins!

It’s a week after handing over a wad of cash and driving Sir Adventure from Bath to his new home in Manchester. The frustration of working a 9-5 job at this time of year is zero daylight when you get home so no time to tinker. It has been a long week!

The previous owner used to park him next to a hedge which made it very mossy. Needless to say he was in much need of a good clean.

We had a whole weekend free to clean him up and really examine any potential problem areas.


Moss covered pop-top roof

I used diluted Bilt Hamber Surfex HD to squirt onto the body work and gave everything a good scrub and power wash.



Thoroughly satisfying.

Next steps:

  • Carry out a service – oil change, oil filter, spark plugs, antifreeze, air filter, windscreen wipers (fuel filter replaced in September apparently so should be fine)
  • Test leisure battery
  • Examine rust areas and plan treatment