The story goes that VW introduced these protectors in 1990 for 14″ syncros with the rough road package, and on all 16″ syncros. Here is the English language bulletin.
I wanted some. I worry about logging road debris catching on the front outer cv boot, and that boot is a pain to replace. You can buy them, one good source is Burley Motorsports, but seeing as there are plans for them on the internetubes I thought I’s have a go at making a set.
Here are the pdf’s of the plans I used: CV_protectors_bracket, CV_protectors_Rubber. I scrounged all of the material used, so my version differs slightly from the plans. First up are the metal parts. I had some scrap 14 gage stainless which is not quite as thick as speccified ( 1.6 mm vs 2.0 mm), and I glued a print-out of the plans to the metal and cut to shape.
I bent the parts in a vise (that accounts for the less than crisp bends), then I made a hack-job of the tig welding. I need new glasses, well that is my current excuse for my poor welding.
Next was the hunt for rubber. You’d think it would be easy to find some 1/4″ thick, fabric reinforced conveyor belting, wouldn’t you? I spent an hour looking then I used some 1/4″ rubber sheeting that my neighbour had. It is not the best stuff, it is like thin horse stall matting. You know, crumbled tires pressed together. I can always replace the rubber when I find the belting. Ok, enough mumbling, I cut the rubber and I cut some 1/8″ 6061 aluminum for the backing strip. I used 1/4″ – 20 ss carriage bolts (the square part of the bolt shank will dig into a 5/16″ hole drilled in the backing plate) and nylock nuts to hold all the parts together. Well all but one, I ran out of nylocks and had to use a split washer and plain nut.
Okee-dokee, out to the van and installation. It is a bit of a pain, you have to remove the brake calipers and rotor to get to the backing plate. The same old but important safety warnings apply – van securely supported etc.
Two phillips headed screws holds the splash to the steering upright (or bearing housing, as VW calls it). They were fekkin tight, I doubt they had ever been removed. I had to use an impact driver, but even so I still managed to bugger up the screw heads a tad. I have said this before about my van, despite the ugly areas of body rust I have, all the fastenings (despite how tight they have been) are not rusted in.
Once the splash plate is off the cv protector goes on and the splash plate reattached.
Brake rotor back on and the splash plate is now closer to the brake rotor by an amount equal to the thickness of the protection plate, but they do not touch.
The other side went a lot quicker.
And with the van down on the ground.
I got more satisfaction from this little mod than seems normal. I don’t know why this should be. Perhaps because I do worry about catching a branch up there when I’m on logging roads. Or maybe it is because the project went without any real screw ups.