Archive for March, 2014

Vanagon – jury rigged fix for deceased cat

This post might get me some guff, but please have patience, I will get a new cat. The catalytic converter on my van is old, very old. Recently I’ve suspected it really was a converter in name only. I took it off today and it was empty. All the rare earth metals and ceramic had blown out through my stainless muffler. Ok, so now what? I had the shell in my hands and I decided to do a little experiment before i hunted up a new cat.

I had this resonator muffler thingy hanging around the mess I call a workshop. It is a little longer than the cat but I thought I could slap it in place and  see how it effects the sound of the exhaust. Ok, here goes..

The resonator, 2″ outlet/inlet. I scrounged a 3 bolt flange and cleaned it up on the lathe. Bored it out a tad so it would fit on the pipe.


You see? Pipe set into the flange.


And positioned not quite all the way through.



While I was at the lathe I necked down a nut to act as a threaded bung for the O2 sensor. Man, I just can’t recall the size of that nut right now.


Tacked the flange to the pipe.


Then a mostly autogenous weld inside.


If you squint you could imagine that hole was roundish.


Necked down nut pushed in hole.


And a bit of a heavy handed weld.


Two slits on the other end (tubing fits over the tubing inlet of the muffler. The slits will let the muffler clamp squeeze the assembly tight)


During installation my new lover was pestering me. For the last few weeks this goose has decided I am something special. I really don’t know what is going on with her.


I had to slide the muffler over a bit to get the resonator installed. It does look a bit funny, I admit. And did it change the exhaust sound? Yes it did, it is a bit quieter, with a hint of raspy with quick throttle off.




Vanagon – totally superfluous lantern holder

This is the result of Felder Enterprises announcing a lantern holder made using a Bus Depot awning gutter clamp. I can’t let FE get ahead so before I got down to paying work I made my own version. It is based on a design I’ve seen on the web that uses PVC tubing and a PVC “T”. But I had some aluminum stock so I used that.

I milled a slot at one end to hold the lantern bail.




And a slot to go over the rain gutter.



And a bit of paint protection.



On the van.


And surprise, it clears the sliding door.


I have no pressing need for a lantern holder, I guess i was just in one of those moods this morning.


Addendum, 28/03/2014

Well it seems that i didn’t get the itch scratched, i made another hanger. This time from some scrap thin walled stainless tubing. Part of it was the end of a roll, so it had a little bend to it. I thought that might be interesting. I ground the welds out just to make it look a little sleeker. I don’t think it works as well as the aluminum version, the tubing is so thin that the slot that goes over the gutter spreads a little when weight applied to the hanger. But it might be strong enough, we’ll see.






BMW doughnut gas tank

Fellow vanagon mailing list member John R. owns this tank and wanted to share some pics. Just in case it is not clear, the tank fits into the rim of the spare tire.