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@thedak :
I have one installed inside the tunnel on my 2003 VS.

I’m happy to share any insight I may have.  The install was relatively straight forward, although I didn’t do it myself.  I had a panel cut out of the bottom of the pan that is held in place with sheet metal screws and sealed with a bead of silicone.  The panel was done to allow access if I had trouble with the system in the future, the silicone was to keep the parts dry inside the tunnel.

There was a bit of finagling that needed to be done with the actuator in the tunnel but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome.  With the way the E-stopp is designed there is zero interference with anything else in the tunnel...my issue was that I installed new fuel lines in there at the same time.  The initiator button is tucked up and away from view as I didn’t want it in the dash...and the alarm tone was disabled.

If there is any negative to this system it is the fact that it will NOT ENGAGE when the engine is running.  It will, however, engage as soon as the key is turned off if the button is pressed.  Because of this it is only used for parking and, by definition, is no longer an emergency brake so there is no handle to grab in an “oh sh...” situation.  I’m OK with that because it’s not a problem...until it’s a problem.

This actuator in this system is significantly larger than I anticipated and I later learned there are factory units in Prius sedans that function similarly but I did no research on their function or application.  I imagine there are many other modern vehicles with similar systems that may work in a shortened VW pan as well.

PM me if you want pics or more info.

Last edited by TheMayoMachine

@DannyP :

Agreed...entirely plausible...yet that never occurred to me!

I can’t help but wonder if the manual said something similar.  Guess I should have read it before depositing it in the round file.

I just envisioned reaching for the key with one hand and trying to push the switch with my other hand while hoping the alignment was true and I wasn’t in a corner.

Solid idea.  I like it and I think I’ll give it a go...

Last edited by TheMayoMachine

This device strikes me as a perfect "Stan Device"-- a complicated and somewhat expensive method to accomplish something very simple. When it comes to the Speedster, I generally default to the most difficult solution to whatever task I'm trying to accomplish. This is how one arrives at a dry-sump and a twin-plug arrangement, or why less reasonable members here would expend freaky amounts of effort and money to run beehive valve-springs.

But like @edsnova, I don't think this is for me.

In defense of the idea, though-- I couldn't personally get over the shame of a center mounted e-brake until after I spent the big bucks to have the (much less useful) umbrella e-brake installed in my coach back in 2005, so I completely understand the appeal. Like a lot of things that bug only the owner, perhaps it takes going to the effort and expense of getting rid of the hated thing to arrive at the conclusion that it wasn't really that bad to start with.

Yes, the center e-brake is a "tell".  But now, 20 years on, I'm way, way past caring. For me, more often than not I wish the visual connection to the original 356 could be well and finally severed-- so that people would judge the car for what it is, rather than to how carefully and faithfully it hews to the aesthetic of the original. It would be easier to make the leap into another (more practical) automotive endeavor, if only the original wasn't so achingly beautiful.

If I ever do this again (and I hope to build my own someday), I'll likely bite the bullet and get a stainless 550 e-brake handle from Fibersteel or Ming at Vintage (which would likely cost more than this electronic device)

... or maybe by then I will be completely over myself and just put in a completely functional, simple, and inexpensive Beetle handle and spend the effort and money on other things.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@Stan Galat posted:

This device strikes me as a perfect "Stan Device"-- a complicated and somewhat expensive method to accomplish something very simple...

... or maybe by then I will be completely over myself and just put in a completely functional, simple, and inexpensive Beetle handle and spend the effort and money on other things.

Let me know when and I'll drill up a lightened  piece for you- do you want the longer early or shorter (and significantly lighter to start with) late unit?

@Stan Galat posted:

This device strikes me as a perfect "Stan Device"-- a complicated and somewhat expensive method to accomplish something very simple. When it comes to the Speedster, I generally default to the most difficult solution ...

And btw, Stan, I found that very funny, only because I know how that feels and sometimes get caught up in looking at things the same way...

Last edited by ALB

@thedak :
I have one installed inside the tunnel on my 2003 VS.

I’m happy to share any insight I may have.  The install was relatively straight forward, although I didn’t do it myself.  I had a panel cut out of the bottom of the pan that is held in place with sheet metal screws and sealed with a bead of silicone.  The panel was done to allow access if I had trouble with the system in the future, the silicone was to keep the parts dry inside the tunnel.

There was a bit of finagling that needed to be done with the actuator in the tunnel but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome.  With the way the E-stopp is designed there is zero interference with anything else in the tunnel...my issue was that I installed new fuel lines in there at the same time.  The initiator button is tucked up and away from view as I didn’t want it in the dash...and the alarm tone was disabled.

If there is any negative to this system it is the fact that it will NOT ENGAGE when the engine is running.  It will, however, engage as soon as the key is turned off if the button is pressed.  Because of this it is only used for parking and, by definition, is no longer an emergency brake so there is no handle to grab in an “oh sh...” situation.  I’m OK with that because it’s not a problem...until it’s a problem.

This actuator in this system is significantly larger than I anticipated and I later learned there are factory units in Prius sedans that function similarly but I did no research on their function or application.  I imagine there are many other modern vehicles with similar systems that may work in a shortened VW pan as well.

PM me if you want pics or more info.

Thank you for the response and insight.

Will be my winter project.

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