Vanagon – swing away tire carrier latch – a start

I’ve been amusing myself (!) by attempting to make a latch for the swing away tire carrier that’s going on my aluminum bumper. I have this almost unreasonable desire to make sure the horizontal arm of the carrier is fixed hard against a back stop on the bumper. I know other designs use an over the centre draw latch mechanism, and I am sure they work well. But I got in my head that I wanted to try another approach.

The back stop mentioned will be a sturdy bit of aluminum plate welded vertically to the forward top edge of the bumper. Something like a 4″ X 6″ bit of 3/8″ plate. It will be positioned at a point on the bumper were the end of the swing arm end up when the arm is “closed”. Now imagine a truncated cone projecting horizontally back from that plate that fits into it’s female mate that is in the swing arm. The cone arrangement will, I think, locate and secure the arm to the back stop.

Instead of a draw latch I decided to have a captured screw handle on the swing arm. This screw handle will engage a threaded rod projecting out from the male cone.

Yeah, it doesn’t seem very clear and I don’t have a sketch of my idea. But here are the parts I have made so far.

From left to right: hand wheel/screw handle, male cone (will be attached to back stop), female cone partially inserted into bit of tubing that will be welded into the swing arm.

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The cone couple. 10 degree included angle, made from Delrin. It is a tight fit into the aluminum tube that will house the female cone. A bit of glue and a couple of countersunk screws on the flange will hold the Delrin in the aluminum.

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The hand wheel (going to call it that from now on) is made from scrap aluminum with a centre section of stainless steel pressed in. I mean really pressed in, a shrink fit. I heated the aluminum and drove the stainless into, the somewhat enlarged by heat, hole. Then I fancied it up with a turned recess and some holes. The stainless centre is threaded for 1/2″ NC.

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The other side. The narrow section will be inside the “cage” that I have yet to make that will hold the hand wheel to the swing arm.

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Arranged in order.

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I had to make a collar to put on the narrow portion of the hand wheel to stop it falling out of the cage when unscrewed from the threaded rod. Of course I broke the damned tap when i was threading a set screw hole.

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Grr.

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I didn’t want to make another collar so i ground down the stuck tap (carbide burr on die grinder) and drilled for another set screw.

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I was so pissed that i broke a tap I didn’t get the new hole exactly centred on the collar. Too bad, thats the way it is.

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Enough of this for today.

  1. #1 by Angus on February 19, 2014 - 5:13 pm

    Looks interesting!
    What’s with the seat/cargo tracks?

    • #2 by albell on February 19, 2014 - 5:20 pm

      Interesting is right Angus. I figure why not try something different, if it fails I can hang my head and make a draw latch like everyone else does.

      Found the seat tracks at the scrapyard the other day. I think it might be Viking air scrap. Good friend Simon will get some of it, to go on the outside rear of his high top.

      I need to find the tie down fixin’s though

      Cheers

      Ab

      >

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