Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop

Electric side door conversion to fully manual?


Once removed - mind the cable end does not flick off into an eye - you can see the drive motor:

View attachment 29814

So pop the cover off minus the pulleys. I did not but you can of course isolate the power to the motor to fully incapacitate it but it no longer has any connection to the door mechanism so will simply rotate freely and then stop if activated by the remote control accidently. To disable the dash switch you need to add a jumper across the terminals shown:

View attachment 29816

That's it. AFAIK the door tracks and major mechanical parts are the same and once you have removed the drag from the cable/motor then to operate the door in fully manual mode is a joy to behold (especially if you have been fighting the thing for more than a month previously!). It feels like every other manual VW van door I have ever used.
Thanks for the info.
Anyone considering doing might want to look at YouTube. There's are good video of a mechanic replacing the cable drive. It does give a good few tips on removal of the side panel.
Yes IIRC, but very simple - just a couple of screws. Tricky bit is getting the panel off (and back on) without scratching anything or deforming it.

Last question, maybe, do you lose the soft close element if you go manual?

Thank you
No - it's a separate part - if you look at the C pillar lock mechanism as you close the door from inside you will see the cam lock operate and 'pull' the door in.
Many thanks @Max-Felix my cable gave up on Saturday - was all over this Sunday and took about 30 mins today to carry out the conversion to manual - I wish we had done it years ago! Certainly an easier job than worrying about cable tensions, and wrestling with the door in manual when camping.

Also found one of the trim clips was already broken - may explain an intermittent rattle in the door area so I might just replace when the temperature warms up if I can satisfy my brain that this is the cause.
Light off, panel off, cut cables, take out reels. So. Much. Better. and reversible if needed, but would take longer