Vanagon – yet another bumper build update

I got something done today on this never ending project. I bought some C channel steel (1″x2″, 3/16″ thick) to replace the stock bumper mounts. I cut them long enough so a third bolt can be used to secure, just like the stock VW trailer hitch set up, and just like the RMW bumper system. With those channels rough cut and inserted I was able to offer up the bumper to the van, fitting it to pretty well its final position.




I attached the unfinished swing away tire carrier.



And popped on a spare. I was worried that I had screwed up my measurements and the tire would cover part of the left rear light. But It clears it ok.






The bumper was not attached to the rails so it did tilt back a little. The tire carrier upright should be closer to the hatch.




And swung out, the tire clears the van.




  1. #1 by famillysyncro on April 1, 2014 - 7:55 pm

    Looks nice Alistair.
    The spare looks like in the right place!

    The C channel is better than the flat bar on the GW bumper on our van. I should replace it one day….


    • #2 by albell on April 1, 2014 - 8:09 pm

      Thanks Jerome,

      I’m thinking I might weld on a length of flat stock to close up the channel after I wel on the nuts. Just to give it a bit more strength.

      I was relieved that the tire was in the right position, for a moment I thought it would be too low. I wanted it as low as possible to reduce the stress on the upright.




  2. #3 by Jeffrey Woodall on April 1, 2014 - 8:54 pm

    Wow…great work.
    I’m staying tuned !

    • #4 by albell on April 1, 2014 - 9:25 pm

      At the rate I’m going at you might be tuning in dead air for a spell 🙂



  3. #5 by Ryan on April 1, 2014 - 8:55 pm


    • #6 by albell on April 1, 2014 - 9:27 pm

      Thanks Ryan,



  4. #7 by simon on April 1, 2014 - 9:01 pm

    Just looking again and again at pic #2 – really nice and snug to the van eh?!

    Looking forward to seeing the finished product one of these days.

    • #8 by albell on April 1, 2014 - 9:30 pm

      Yeah, very tight at the sides. In retrospect, I should have made the end caps separate, then fitted them onto to main bumper when on the van. I might have to grind a little off a tip of one of the end caps. Ab


  5. #9 by Angus on April 2, 2014 - 9:54 pm

    I’ll take two in black please. Friday is fine.

    • #10 by albell on April 2, 2014 - 10:08 pm

      Aren’t you going to wait for the front bumper?

      My dilettante nature has me thinking about doing a front before finishing the rear.

      Yup, black. But powder coat or bedliner? What do you think?




      • #11 by Angus on April 2, 2014 - 10:26 pm

        Powder coat on mine please, but only if you have it done by Friday…

      • #12 by albell on April 2, 2014 - 10:32 pm

        Enough of this banter, how’s your syncro doing?



  6. #13 by Angus on April 2, 2014 - 10:51 pm

    It’ll be ready Friday. 🙂
    Years ago I helped my friend Dave build an airplane in my shop. That was our answer to the eternal question.

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