VW T3 Rear Light Wiring Colours (European Models)

Recently a customer contacted us as he was buying a tow bar for his VW T3 from our store and he enquired about wiring in the towbar electrics.

As you know we used to run a VW T3 Specialist workshop and we have a lot of information saved, if we did a job for the first time we made notes and wrote them up to save time the second time we did the job.

One of our internal help sheets was simply the wiring colours for the rear lights and we passed this on to the customer to help with his towbar installation, I thought it would be helpful for other customers so we’ve added it to our blog to save us forwarding the same information over and over again!

As our workshop was in the UK then the following wiring colours are relevent to European models but as the UK drives on the left hand side of the road we only have a legal requirement for a rear fog lamp on the right side of the vehicle. There is no reason why we cannot have fog lamps on both sides but I presume just a cost saving exersize on the manufacturers part, this was common practice back in the day though I’m not entirly sure actually how much money a small brass tab, a bulb and a couple of metres of wire would save!

For our friends over in the USA, sorry, this isn’t for you Vanagon owners, the USA tail lights were wired differently and used what we consider the fog lamp as brake lights!

With VW being a German vehicle manufacturer then the wiring colours and terminations are to DIN 72552.

Position Wiring colour Din no Wire dia Towbar Pin Towbar Colour
Earth Brown 31 1mm² 3 White
Brake lights Black/red 54 1mm² 6 Red
Fog light Grey/white 55 1mm² 2 Blue
Left hand side light Grey/black 58 1mm² 7 Black
Right hand side light Grey/red 58 1mm² 5 Brown
Number plate lamps Grey/green 58 1mm²    
Left indicator Black/white L 1mm² 1 Yellow
Right indicator Black/green R 1mm² 4 Green
Reverse light Black/blue RF 1mm²    
Left Rear Light   Pin      
Black/Red   1      
Grey/Black   2      
Brown   3      
*Grey/White   4      
Black/Blue   5      
Black/White   6      
Right Rear Light   Pin      
Black/Green   1      
Black/Blue   2      
Brown   3      
Grey/White   4      
Grey/Red   5      
Black/Red   6      

VW T3 Towbar
Universal Towbar socket

Bellhousing Modifications for 228mm Flywheel

When installing an alternative engine into the place of a T3 Diesel engine then it’s sometimes neccesary to upgrade the clutch to handle the increased torque from the engine.

It’s quite common practice on VW T3 Diesels to install AAZ engines (1.9l TD with indirect injection), GTI engines (usually 2E or AGG) or indeed TDI (1.9 Direct Injection engines such as 1Z, AFN etc) engines as they are from the same AE827 engine series and are pretty much VW Lego.

The original 215mm clutch and flywheel from the VW T3 D / TD will bolt in and work with these engines but for a GTI and AAZ engines then the original 215mm clutch will be marginal if it will slip or not, a properly installed TDI engine will most definatley slip.

There are a couple of things we can offer to help you get your extra power through to the gearbox without slipping on your engine conversion.

The single mass flywheel and clutch is only really recommended for the AAZ and GTI engines, the Dual mass flywheel is recommended for the TDI.
The 228mm single mass will work with the TDI but the dual mass affords a little more protection for the gearbox and the associated harmonic vibrations that the TDI produces that can manifest in horrible rattles from the nose end of the gearbox. It is well known that gearboxes with TDI conversions will suffer accelerated wear due to extra low end torque and harmonics.

The fitting of either of these clutch systems to a T3 is not straight forward job and other parts and modifications are required.

Please see the following 3 pictures that will show you where to grind the inside of the bellhousing, for this you will need a die grinder with a rotary burr that’s suitable for Aluminium and a small angle grinder such as something that accepts Roloc discs.

VW T3 Diesel Bellhousing Modification
Overview of places to modify


VW T3 Diesel Bellhousing mods
Modification to the left hand face.


VW T3 Diesel Bellhousing mods
Modification to the right hand face

Failure to grind these places will result in the engine becoming locked when the bellhousing to engine bolts are fully tightened.

Once the bellhousing is modified then the whole set up can be assembled as normal.

Please be aware that the timing marks will now be missing and you’ll have to mark your own, we suggest that you use the “Full Stop Method” (Sometimes called Positive Stop or Dead Stop method) for accuracy, this is well documented on the internet and beyond the scope of this quick guide.



Input Shaft

Cover Plates

Clutch Release Bearing

Spigot Shaft Bearing

Starter Motor Adapter

And here starts the nightmare.


Simple job, import van, just come in from Lapland.
We’re just going through it undoing the “modifications” (in the loosest sense) and generally getting it ready for UK use.
One of the problems is quite simple, the front side lights don’t work.
Anyone spot the problem yet?
Yes, we can’t get the grille off, so we can’t take the head lights out so we can’t change the bulbs without unbolting the clothes horse off the front.
Deep joy. Simple job we don’t normally charge for turns into an hours labour!

Trial fitting of T3 syncro pre bent brake pipes


We’ve had these particular brake pipes sat in a box awaiting the opportunity to trial fit them. Brand new steel, copper coated, epoxy covered pre bent and flared with the correct fittings.
Made exclusively for us by an OEM supplier to all the car brands you’re bothered about. Using original samples these pipes are perfect for those who want to achieve a perfect replacement pipe without the hassle of bending and flaring your own. Saves time as you can just fit from the box. Made using original samples.
Now we know the fit is good we’ll add these syncro items to our growing range of pre bent pipes very soon.

One for the workshop customers

A few weeks ago as we were returning from a wedding and taking the scenic way home we chanced across a new campsite quite local to the workshop.
Now, regular visitors to Brickwerks HQ make use of the campsite a mile or so up the road from the workshop but it seems it’s a little “Marmite”, some love it, some don’t, so we are now in the position where we can recommend a second reasonably local site for those that like things a little wilder!

You know we like to try out the stuff we sell and I suppose this similar!

Whitegate Leisure is a small family run campsite on the moors above Holmfirth and is run by husband and wife team Shaun and Sue who bought the farm a few years ago and are in the process of renovating the farmhouse and out buildings and is located approx 5 miles from our premises.

We would say that this campsite is more suited to the outdoor-sy types as it’s located “in the sticks”. We’ll warn you though, it’s exposed location can give some great views over the valley but I can’t say I’d want to be camping there in a storm!
This campsite would be great for those that like walking, cylcling or ever a spot of green laning as there are plenty of walks, cycle routes and green lanes very close to the site.
Just down the road is Coddy’s Farm which sports a tea room [which does breakfasts] and a farm shop, another 10 minutes walk down the hill takes you to the Holmfirth Vinyard where you can go and sample wine made on the sunny slopes of the Holme Valley.

The only thing missing is a pub but the centre of Holmfirth is only 2 miles away and this then opens up a whole realm of things to go of an evening from eating out to the excellent Picturedrome, voted the NME’s 2nd best small music venue in the UK.

All in all, for us a great little campsite and just up the road for us for those last minute “I want to go camping” moments.
Please note it is seasonal and it shuts over the winter period, but, in fairness the lost village in the woods a mile or so away is called “Hades” … if you’re up there in the winter you’ll find out why! (the neighbouring farm is called Elysium, it must have been named in summer as that means “A place or state of perfect happiness.”)

-Secure site with private access
-Grass covered Hard Standing for caravans & tourers
-Electric Hook Ups
-Hot showers
-Toilet facilities
-Water point
-Outside wash up area
-Blue waste disposal
-Dogs welcome
-Free WIFI

Whitegate Leisure.
White Gate Rd

Farm: 01484 688080
Mob: 07786 707890

Not all caps are made equal [but some are..]

Now, here’s a thing.

I don’t know if you have ever noticed but we sell header tanks. The difference between us and other suppliers is that our tanks don’t have caps and other suppliers do.
Just a quick post to explain why.

So, we buy header tanks, when we buy them they come with caps on, the tanks are fine, the caps are absolute junk so we take them off and bin them and here’s why…

The header tank cap is simply not there to stop coolant falling out but it is a very important part of the cooling system.
If you pressurise coolant you raise it’s boiling point, its that simple! Your cooling system is designed to run at about 1 bar or pressure [14.7psi give or take] the effect of this is that your coolant no longer boils at 100° C but at a higher temperature of about 115°c. This means your engine can run warmer and the coolant not boil, brilliant!
So, as the engine warms up the coolant does too and as it does the coolant expands. As the coolant expands the pressure in the cooling system increases. Once the cooling system reaches a predetermined level [about 1 bar of pressure] then a pressure valve in the header tank cap opens and lets the extra coolant out into the tank behind the number plate flap safe and sound to maintain a constant 1 bar pressure. The pressure valve will regulate the cooling system pressure and keep everything hunky-dorey.

Okay, you pull up outside your lust cottage in the Yorkshire Dales for the evening, turn your engine off, now what?
As the cooling system cools the coolant contracts, oh no! a pressure less than atmospheric [I’m desperately trying not to say vacuum as I can see my old motor vehicle college tutor about to shout at me for saying vacuum…it’s a depression Simon, a depression.] then the hoses would all collapse and suck up, but wait! another valve in the cap [yes, not one but 2 valves, image!] opens and now lets the cap draw back the coolant it spat out earlier into the burp tank behind the number plate.
Ace, all sorted, one valve to let excess pressure out and another valve to let coolant back in when the pressure drops.
Now, in the olden days these 2 valves were visible…
Here’s a few pictures to illustrate what I mean


A bunch of caps.
Top row – Tthe cheap nasty ones we put in the bin.
Middle row – Genuine VW items [not actually made by VW but we’ll come back to that in a moment…]
Bottom row – OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] basically in layman’s terms the people who made them for VW which in this case is a company called “Blau”


Again, same lay out as above, top the nasty ones [eagle eyed readers will have already spotted the problem] middle row VW, bottom row OEM “Blau”

Sorry… pic missing. Im sure we can take another as the “worthless” caps are pretty common!

Okay, to the problem, this is how we received the cap, the “vacuum” *ahem* valve is just plain missing, meaning this cap will hold zero pressure, not good! You can also see the cap behind has a wonky valve too! 2 out of 4 failure rate out of the box!


Now, the 2 caps above, can you see the black bits in the middle, that’s the important bit, that’s where the valves are, they look fairly much the same don’t they? that’s because they are!
I’ve said this loads in the past but VW maybe a vehicle manufacturer but they don’t manufacture all the parts, most stuff is bought in and this is a prime example.
Vw’s header tank caps are made by a company called Blau [part of the Magna-Steyr company, Steyr-Puch as was..] and this is their aftermarket version of the same cap, it’s made by the same company probably on the same production line by the same people with the same material using the same mechanism but outwardly it has a slightly different appearance.
So, here’s the best bit, you get basically the same part but for much less money as the part hasn’t passed though as many hands so it’s loads cheaper!

Before these blue caps were introduced the earlier version was black in colour [025 121 321 A] and these too have the unreliable valve design, 9 times out of 10 if we pressure test these black caps they fail too.
We always replace cheap caps and black caps when we spot them in the workshop.

I know I can go online now and find half a dozen companies selling these cheap caps, and the same companies selling their tanks with the cap still fitted, how are you meant to know? You buy a new cap and expect it to work, it’s only the fact that we are also a workshop and work with these vehicles daily that we pick up on such faults. You hear all these horror stories of people not being able to bleed their cooling system, well I can tell you that you have no chance of bleeding the cooling system with a cap that doesn’t hold pressure!
That’s it! ramble over.
stand down….
As you were…

Link to OEM “Blau” caps.
Nice header tank caps

Link to cheap nasty caps.
Hah, yeah right..