Vanagon – bumper build – other end cap done

Update: I weighed the bumper as you see it below, it’s 9.2 kg (20.3 lbs). For comparison, the stock chromed steel bumper, minus plastic end caps, weighs in at a svelte 5.6 kg (12.3 lbs)

A little progress made on this project. Made up a more or less matching end cap and also did some preliminary grinding out of the welds. What a chore this way of making a bumper this is.  You understand don’t you, that this is me making it up as I go along, modelling (I can hardly say sculpting can I?) a bumper out of aluminum plate. Once I get a shape that I like and that works then I can take measurements and think about how you could make one easier and faster.



  1. #1 by famillysyncro on August 9, 2013 - 7:26 pm

    Looks good.
    I think you could use sculpting only when you get a chunk of aluminium and use your mill to make it….. good luck with that.

    • #2 by albell on August 9, 2013 - 7:57 pm


      I’ve ground off enough aluminum that sculpting is not far from the mark!



      • #3 by famillysyncro on August 9, 2013 - 8:02 pm

        I can believe that……;-)

      • #4 by albell on August 9, 2013 - 8:42 pm

        I sweep it up 🙂


  2. #5 by Simon on August 9, 2013 - 9:50 pm

    Looking really good though. I’m betting it’ll look great on the van (esp once it’s painted).

    • #6 by albell on August 10, 2013 - 8:31 am

      And if I ever finish it completely, and I still have the motivation, I can move on to a front version?


  3. #7 by Joel on August 10, 2013 - 7:45 am

    Maybe sculpting with Aluminum is your thing and you’re discovering it through the bumper. . . What I see looks like a nice bumper. Seeing it on the van will be the true test. Could be the only syncro with a ‘sculpted’ Al bumper. Will you mount it with electrolysis reducing washers?

    Always a pleasure to follow your exploits.


    • #8 by albell on August 10, 2013 - 8:16 am

      Hi Joel,

      yes, I have found my niche – slapping aluminum together then cutting and grinding it off again 🙂

      I’m not worried at all about electrolysis. Even if I use stainless hardware the relative surface areas of the bumper to fasteners would mean only limited white powder forming at connections. All the other aluminum and stainless combos I have added to van seem to be doing fine. And recall there are a few dissimilar metal connections from the factory.

      I’m going back and forth between powder coating and rattle can bed liner for the finish. Pros and cons for each.



      • #9 by Joel on August 10, 2013 - 11:45 am

        I used bed liner to cover my stock bumpers. I can try and send you a photo. My rig is the same color as yours.

      • #10 by albell on August 10, 2013 - 5:21 pm

        That’d be great Joel,


  4. #11 by Joel on August 10, 2013 - 11:52 am

    Sorry, not a very good picture of bumper but you get a sense off the color match. It has held up well. When nicked I spray it again.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • #12 by albell on August 10, 2013 - 5:26 pm

      no pic attached. can you pmail me?


      • #13 by famillysyncro on August 10, 2013 - 7:19 pm

        What about anodizing?
        Pretty sure you could get some nice color….


      • #14 by albell on August 11, 2013 - 9:40 am

        Yes, but would mean a pretty good surface prep/polish. And anodising place in vancouver, none on the island. And touch ups for scratches would be a problem.



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