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T3 pop top wiring install mystery!

Discussion in 'T3 & T4 Tech Help Clinic' started by Lifecraft, Sep 1, 2021.

  1. Lifecraft

    Lifecraft New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Victoria
    Hello everyone!

    First post and new here :)
    After plodding around all day scratching my head at this I thought I’d take it to the forums.
    Any help here would be amazing-

    Firstly, the original ceiling light was attached to the actual roof of the pop top...no signs of running cables from the outside or inside.
    Just 4 walls of canvas where the stitching joins.
    Although I took the roof off 2 years ago now, I can’t remember how TRAKKA assembled it to conceal the wiring (lost all my data and my phone of original documentation, hooray).
    I’ve come up with 2 logics...
    Either the 3 mode ceiling light never had wiring, or it was so well hidden I’m still scratching my head.

    My plan is to install a new 12v ceiling light and also bring the cables down from the solar panel i’ve fitted to the roof in a hidden fashion.

    For the sake of our sanity I’ll attach photos of the van before so that you can see where I’m coming from.

    Any explanation, tips, workarounds what have you will be greatly appreciated.

    Johnny
     
  2. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,904
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    G’day and welcome Johnny. I’m no use to you as I only own tin tops.
    I have seen a few threads on lights over the time. Someone will chime in soon.

    Nice van.
    Early T3’s are scant on the ground

    Don’t be a stranger here. Jump in with posts and comments.
    The more the merrier
     
    Lifecraft likes this.
  3. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    Near Ballarat
    Can you run the leads down the gas strut lifters?
    Take a peep a camper trailer and see how it's done. If I get a chance I'll open mine up and take some photos.
    PR
     
    Lifecraft likes this.
  4. rstucke

    rstucke Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,854
    Location:
    Wamberal NSW AUS
    Wasn't there a pocket up the rear corner in the canvas that had wires for the light in the pop top
     
  5. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,480
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Welcome to the Kombi Club Johnny! :)

    I too, have no experience with pop tops, so no help here either unfortunately.

    Enjoy the ride……… ;)
     
    Lifecraft likes this.
  6. AC-T3

    AC-T3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    Location:
    Woy Woy
    Nice bus and nice to see another '82 survivor out of the 600 odd air cooled T3's imported. My '82 Trakka has a canvas pocket stitched to the middle of the rear panel to run cables down to the fiberglass base then across and down the left D panel into the engine bay. The pocket opens via velco down one side. Is the canvas new?
     
  7. Lifecraft

    Lifecraft New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Victoria
    Never seen that done on a van. My struts are way too small to consider doing that..not opposed to upgrading but also not sure the style that could fit it either taking in to account I also have to close the roof by pulling it back down (capacity/size in mind). Would love some photos thank you mate.
     
  8. Lifecraft

    Lifecraft New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Victoria
    This is definitely an option. I’ve redone the canvas myself, unstitched it all and sewn it all back together with marine zippers along both the top and the sides. The idea is to have the van completely open or closed up depending on the weather :) I’ve never seen it done before on a kombi so I’m looking forward to posting some photos once it’s finished.
    Also...I had no idea there were only 600 imported :O The original owner years ago told me it was manufactured in 1981.
     
  9. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,480
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    If it was manufactured after August 1981, it is considered to be an 82 model. :rolleyes:

    Your VIN would reveal the actual year and month of manufacture…;)
     
  10. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    Near Ballarat
    Too windy today to open up and take photos so I went to the online brochure in the meantime.
    The camper trailer is fold forward design so the roof is the bed base hinged where shown.
    The red ellipse is where the cables for the lights head up into the roof.
    There are two led strip lights, one on the fold going across the roof at the back and the same in the front.
    It is not a gas strut, you should be able to just make out the wing nut and the piece of black tape on the extension pole.
    The cables are taped at the top of the pole, the middle below the wing nut and at the bottom.
    When shut there is a loop of excess cable from the collapsed part of the pole.

    strut.jpg
    PR
     
    Lifecraft likes this.
  11. Dapom

    Dapom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    787
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Nice airpumper Trakka mate :) I have some info for you. I have an ‘83 Trakka which is undergoing a full refurb at the moment. The cable for the light on mine originally entered the bus through a hole at the front RH corner…on the high bit which the canvas is fitted to. From there it went into a canvas pocket and upto the roof. I have done away with the pocket on mine (I’ve had canvas remade). My plan is to run all the cables from the roof (lights/solar/cable for Fiamma roof vent) by running them down the front lifting bar held in lace with heatshrink and then into the bus through the original hole.
     
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  12. David H

    David H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,612
    Location:
    newcastle
    In my 76 Sopru the wires run up thru the LHR canvas corner join to access the ceiling space.
    Was a bugger to get them back up that way when I replaced the canvas.

    And welcome to KC Johnny.

    Cheers
     
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  13. AC-T3

    AC-T3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    Location:
    Woy Woy
    Lifecraft likes this.
  14. MartyVS

    MartyVS New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Facing the rear, Trakka pop tops had/have a wire pocket sown into the centre of the fabric panel - mine does. The wiring is traced through a hole in the base - it's hidden where the fabric joins the base so I suspect it's on the inside of the camper top. Wiring for the interior light is fed from the front of the van to the back along the left side of the roof.
     
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  15. Lifecraft

    Lifecraft New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Victoria
    Thank you everyone for your replies, I didn’t expect so many of you to be so quick in sharing your thoughts. Great to know for future. I’ll endeavour to jump in and help where I can now too.

    I’ve decided the idea of sewing a pocket or heat shrinking cables to the lift bar would be against my current design in mind, although really great ideas. I’ll be running the lights along the side channels underneath the fibreglass base of the roof.
    This will mean mostly just reading lamps, and possibly getting some detachable 3M adhesive USB light for the actual roof.
    Thanks again...oh and it is an 82! Just manufactured in 1981 she’s getting on now.
     
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  16. Dapom

    Dapom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    787
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I suppose one bit of info which I should’ve shared is that Trakka didn’t seem to be real consistent in the way they put these buses together. I’ve seen 4 air cooled Trakkas and there were major differences even between those roof installs lol I guess what I’m trying to say is that just because one Trakka is built a certain way doesn’t appear to mean that any of the others will be done the same way!!
     

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