Vanagon – westy luggage rack footman’s loops

When the pop top was on my old ’82 westy I replaced the stock footman’s loops with some stainless eye straps, 2″ Harken, from West Marine, about $2.50 each. Here is Tiny URL to the catalogue page. I find them much better than stock, easier to run rope or attach bungees. The 2″ size fits pretty closely to the stock holes in the luggage rack. When I put them on originally (7 years ago?) I just had to enlarge the holes in the rack with a 5/16″ drill so that 1/4″ stainless bolts would fit. I dug out an old stock loop for a comparison.

  1. #1 by Old Fussbudget on June 15, 2011 - 8:18 am

    Those look wonderful for tall loads where the angle of pull is somewhat in line, but I can’t imagine those loops were meant to withstand a lot of pull from the side. Have you had to baby them?

    What about chafe – Harken clearly didn’t contemplate lines being doubled back over that stamping. Has it been an issue in practice?

    I looked at diamond-mount padeyes which IMO are more suitable, but the prices…wow!

    What you really want though is a folding padeye. Here’s a nice lightweight one that’s padded so it won’t make a racket: . For a mere USD960 for four you can travel in style (I wonder if you have to use titanium bolts with it…).

    • #2 by albell on June 15, 2011 - 8:29 am

      good Ideas David, but not cheap eh?

      I have had no trouble with the eye straps. I have used the side ones to secure a heavy duty cargo strap (ex Air Canada) to hold down my canoe. Looking at the luggage rack on the bench, no signs of the fibreglass cracking. The ends of that cargo strap have biggish stamped metal hooks that would not fit in the stock loops. Years ago, a vanagon list member posted a tip about running a parachute cord through the stock loops, around not across the rack, to provide more securing points. I tried that with the stock loops and that works fine too.


  2. #3 by Old Fussbudget on June 15, 2011 - 9:06 am

    I’m completely amazed at the prices, even leaving aside the titanium one. Speaking of, though – in a little jar of odds-and-ends I bought from Liberty Tool (in Liberty ME) there was a piece of 1x1cm ground bar about 5.5 cm long that felt light. Not magnetic, not hardened. Notched on two sides and has 22 1B stamped on both ends. After touching it to a grinding wheel the length is ~2.197″ so I wonder if it was being used as a 2.2″ length standard, grade 1B? Anyhoo, it makes amazing brilliant white sparks on the grinder, almost blue-white. And by specific gravity it’s titanium.

    • #4 by albell on June 15, 2011 - 9:31 am

      heat it up and see if it gets the lovely oxidation colours titanium gets… deep blue through straw.


      • #5 by Old Fussbudget on June 15, 2011 - 9:42 am

        You lovely man…great idea.

        Re the stamping, I suspect the length is coincidence. I suspect it’s a test coupon for tensile strength or summat, and that’s why the ends were stamped. The notches are vee, couple millimeters deep, not quite evenly opposed. Notches and end stamps both high quality.

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