Vanagon – muffler update

I got the final end cap welded on today, not the neatest tig weld due to my poor cutting of that end of the can. No filler was used in the weld, just flowing the parent material. I gave the muffler a quick once over with a cup wire brush on the angle grinder. I think this is as far as I am going with the finish, I don’t see myself holding the thing up to the buffing wheel for a couple of hours.

The pics show the muffler sitting on some aluminum off cuts ( I have access to a lot of interesting shapes in various thicknesses of aluminum, remnants from water jet cutting of work parts). These scrap bits had curves to match the radius of the muffler. The scrap is clamped to a spare engine mount casting so I can see how I need to move things and what metal to remove. I’m leaning towards the aluminum supports (yes David, there will be electrolysis where the ss and Al touch:)) with some T-bolt ss straps holding the muffler tight.




  1. #1 by Simon on December 13, 2012 - 7:31 pm

    Nice welding!

    It might just end up looking pretty sharp – will be interesting to see how the SS looks after it heats up.

    Oh and to hear how it sounds!

    • #2 by albell on December 13, 2012 - 7:35 pm

      I kinda wonder just how much heat the can will see after the heat tries to make its way through the pounds of SS packing ๐Ÿ™‚

      Dave and I did a sound check on it, he yelled at me directly, then yelled at me through the muffler – big difference!

      I’m going to have one fitted to his mouth.


  2. #3 by famillysyncro on December 13, 2012 - 8:26 pm

    Looks really nice, support included.
    Do you think we’ll get a video to see how it looks in place and how it sounds?


    • #4 by albell on December 13, 2012 - 8:48 pm

      sure, I’ll make a vid/sound when I get it installed.

      I was having a re-look at your blog post about front spring removal. I’m pretty well ready to try putting my ’82 westy springs into the syncro, and while they are not quite as long as the Go-Westy springs you have, I have my doubts whether I will be able to install without a compressor or dropping an axle as you di.



      • #5 by famillysyncro on December 14, 2012 - 8:22 am

        I am sure you’ll be fine especially if those are shorter than the GW springs.
        It is easier to put them in for the first time, not as scary as taking them out…..

      • #6 by albell on December 14, 2012 - 8:46 am


        The westy springs are about* 345 mm long (13.58″). That’s about 20 mm longer than the stock pas. van syncro springs installed. So you think I can squeeze them in without dropping the axle shaft? Hope so.



        * kinda tricky to decide where to measure spring length – they don’t stand up straight etc

      • #7 by famillysyncro on December 14, 2012 - 9:07 am

        Oups, cannot reply to your last post.

        I replaced all bushing, bearings and seals so everything was apart (axle still attached on the diff side) so I think I put back everything in once but I am not sure if I could have the spring back with the axle in place in the hub.
        Not sure if there is a difference between your shocks and the OME I have neither.
        That might be tight but you’ll see it right away at the beginning if you can lower the control lower arm enough.
        The other way might be to separate the upper arm from the hub, so you’ll be able to move the axle to give you more room.

        I understand with you don’t want to take the axle out (bearing wise) but worse case, if you took them out a sort time ago, the diff side shouldn’t be too hard to separate with the right socket. My problem at that time is with longer springs, the lower arm doesn’t go low enough and you still have tension in the spring when you take them apart.

        Hope that helps.


  3. #8 by Joel on December 13, 2012 - 9:32 pm

    Very impressed that you pulled it off. BUT not surprised. Thanks for laying it our for the rest of us. I am going to stay tuned to hear her run .. . .

    Cheers from Portland, OR


    • #9 by albell on December 13, 2012 - 10:03 pm

      Here’s the secret Joel:

      -have an idea, crazy or otherwise, that you want to try out on the van -make the idea public on a blog or something, post some pics to show you have started on it -then have friends bug you about finishing the project -now you’re forced to finish the damn thing ๐Ÿ™‚



      • #10 by famillysyncro on December 14, 2012 - 8:28 am

        LMAO and I sincerely hope you’ll never learn…. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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