Archive for March, 2015
Ok, this is not the most astounding modification of a westy, but it is a nice little touch. I was looking at the hole in the cabinet where the rear table leg goes in and I thought that it should have some sort of trim on it. I had the distinct idea that later westies did have trim there, but I found out later that my friend’s ’91 westy doesn’t. So I have no idea how the thought got into my addled brain.
I made a trim ring from some black Delrin.
Ok, that’s all well and good, but fellow Vanagon mailing list member Stuart wondered if I could make a leaking off plug for the hole as he doesn’t use the rear table. I had a little bit of some sort of South American hardwood that I had been hoarding for, I can’t belive it, 30 years, and it seemed like the right stuff to use for the plug. Stuart thinks it’s Cocobolo, and it might well be.
Fellow Vanagon mailing list member Stuart M asked me to make some sockets to affix to the westy rear seat so that the stock plastic insets could be fitted and then spread rests installed. I think there was a factory part made to do this, and I believe it involved cutting out a little of the plywood in the seat back. Also , some folk made steel tube versions of what I did. I believe ther is a Samba thread on that, yes there is, it’s here. As I work mostly with aluminum, I made a couple of pairs out that wonderful metal 🙂
I don’t know if you can make it out, but the slots on the top of the tube are of different width. That’s because the plastic socket has two rails down each side and the rails are different width. And i suppose its obvious that with this hack you have to sand off most of the plastic rails leaving just a little bit to engage the slots.
I’ve had a copy of the VW publication “Journeys under difficult conditions” since the early nineties. It’s a guide to modifications and tips for vanagon and LT owners who are planning on taking some rough trips. You get the impression that it is mostly centred on trips to North Africa, but the body protection modifications are pretty universal.
I only have a photocopy of the document, but I think it has been uploaded elsewhere. Maybe syncro.org.
Anyway, I finally made something from the plans. It’s a simple little thing meant to protect the rear jack points and trialling arm outer mount from damage. I made it from 316 stainless and just cut the stock with an angle grinder and zip disk. I made the bend in a vise, you can see the bend is not as crisp as it would be if i had used a press brake. But it fits up fine.
i still haven’t completed my rear bumper, I have it installed but unpainted and struggling with a good latch for the swing away tire carrier. I’ve tried a few ideas, but not happy with any of them.
But that hasn’t stopped me from starting a front bumper. Here is a picture when I was deciding on hole placement for auxiliary light mount. Btw, made from 1/4″ 6061 aluminum, that flat section in the middle is 3/4″ thick. As much as it looks like it, the flat section is not for a European style license plate but rather to mate with a replacement for the stock tire carrier – the forward end of the carrier will curve up in front of the bumper. Link to that carrier here.
yeah, I’ve got good reason to post this here 🙂
apologies for the silence over the last few months, I’m getting back on it. I have a few vanagon modification postings in the chamber, will be posting them in the next couple of days.
i also have to catch up on comments.