Vanagon – frustrating sidetrack

Had a really frustrating week, seemed as though everything I touched went sideways. Most annoying was trying to eliminate vibrations in my swing away tire carrier. The latch pulls the swing away tight to the bumper assembly and I am pleased with how that finally worked out, but I don’t like the small amplitude vibration I get on the holder when the tire is attached. I think I am going to weld on a stiffening gusset to the upright and see if that will stiffen things up.

I bought a cheap rod bender from Princess Auto, this one here. It was on sale for 79 bucks. It works ok for what it is, and I thought instead of just bending random shapes while I try it out I would actually make something “useful”.

Well, I tried making a tail light protector and I soon realized that you REALLY NEED TO MAKE A JIG!

I’m showing you the result as a warning, think things out before you start merrily bending stock πŸ™‚


The the tricky part was locating the little stand-offs accurately on the screw holes in the tail light. It’s obvious that the tail light is thicker at the top, but it also has subtle curves laterally and I was trying to match those curves and that made placing the little hollow studs for the mounting screws maddeningly difficult. You can see the nasty welds at those studs, result of tacking, checking, cutting, tacking, checking, cutting…

You really do need a jig.

And I think the guard would look a whole lot better if the vertical cross wires were not welded on top of the horizontal wire but welded to the middle of the section. I’m not going to try another until I make a jig, but even assuming I pop one off without pulling out my hair, these would be fussy and expensive Vanagon jewellery.

  1. #1 by Ethan on September 7, 2015 - 11:33 am

    How can I get a pair of these!??

    • #2 by albell on September 7, 2015 - 11:56 am

      I’ll sell you a pair if I ever get the fab easy enough to make my labour cost reasonable πŸ™‚



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