All Humans Are Welcome Here!

Category : My VW Westfalia

In October 2013 I bought a 1983.5 (water-cooled) Westfalia van and named him Chief Pete.

Chief Pete goes almost everywhere with me because he’s my home.

Concerned about the future of Chief Pete? Help him out with some GoBucks! GoWesty has quite a few parts we always want/need, but can never quite afford at the moment. Heck, nobody can afford this van.

Another Vanagon Wiring Harness

I made another wiring harness for another 1983.5 (water-cooled) 1.9L (2.2 GoWesty rebuild) Westfalia van. You can see the first engine wiring harness I made here. My friend’s van started right up, but still needs a new throttle body to smooth out the idle. We knew this before we started. The original wiring harness was in even worse shape than mine, with several sections of burned wire and wire casing. Anyway, here’s some pics of the new one I made. The pics were taken just before the harness was installed, and final connections made, so there are some unfinished ends. But you get the idea. Update: as of December 2019 both these harnesses are working fine, and no regrets. Except… continue reading

I’m Not An Electrician, But

I haven’t written for a while and since I last wrote I’ve had a pretty marvelous adventure through Utah and Arizona on foot. Yet here I’m going to write about a Vanagon wiring project I just completed. I’m sorry if this is totally off-topic, boring, and a waste of your time. But I took on this wiring project I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and thought I’d share a couple thoughts that could help other folks. Old: New: This was a pretty straightforward project and I’m pleased with the results. One thing I discovered while working on it bothers me and I haven’t been able to confirm anyone else has this situation: the original ECU connector was… continue reading

New flooring for Chief Pete

In March, I undertook installing the 9-piece Vanagon carpet set I purchased from Sew Fine in January. Even though new carpet was a must for sanitary and health reasons, I was really nervous about this change for a few reasons. I was scared of what I would find under the carpet, and I was not sure how well the carpet would fit. Also, I was disappointed with the quality of the carpet when it arrived. I almost returned it because it felt cheap and I can’t see it lasting in a vehicle application. As I’ve seen stated elsewhere on the Internet, the replacement carpet available for Vanagons is nowhere as nice as the original. I’ve also heard it said by… continue reading

Westfalia front end werk

This summer while a friend was driving my van through Yosemite to fetch me on the West side, my blower fan seized. He said he almost had a heart attack as my dash smoked and threatened to catch fire. (A reminder why all drivers should carry fire extinguishers.) “It’s ok. No big deal. It’s a cheap part,” I reassured him. But I knew the truth. The time has finally come for the dreaded Vanagon dash removal. The only way to replace the heater fan is to remove the entire dash, which means disconnecting all the wiring, removing the steering wheel, and worse, somehow opening the stubborn clam of a heater box. No big deal. Once my friend returned home to… continue reading

vanagon inside dash behind steering wheel

Dashboard disassembly

Fried blower fan means the whole old, brittle Vanagon dash has gotta come out. My left knee is near where my steering wheel would be mounted. The glorious “vanlife.” 105° where I’m parked, working on a damn heater. Ya feelin’ me now?

vanagon parked with top popped


I’ve noticed the Star Wars window sun shade seems to be popular amidst Westy owners traveling the Owens Valley this summer! The bling peace sign grill emblem is more unique to Chief Pete, though. Takes guts! Hey… If you’re going to hash tag delicate places such as hidden away hot springs, please also consider PICKING UP YOUR TRASH and WRITING LETTERS TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES to ensure they stay protected. Heck, pick up other people’s trash. I just spent two mornings doing it! Hashtagging is causing a real impact on previously quiet places. This place I stayed last night was crowded and littered. People are ignoring signs meant to protect restoration areas and private land. It wouldn’t be surprising if the… continue reading

Little Package