Vanagon – rear side marker light guards

i made a few prototypes, aluminum with quick spray bomb paint. What do you think, silly, sensible, or none of the above?


Update, in a way.

Still fooling with the idea. Made this version to see how a swing away guard would work. The proportions are a bit screwy but I like it enough to to try again.


  1. #1 by Trevor Reynolds on July 23, 2015 - 2:10 pm

    Love it; Very practical and would love a set for my van Alistair. I’ve often thought about how vulnerable those marker lights are to getting knocked off by branches and such.

    • #2 by albell on July 23, 2015 - 2:38 pm

      Hi Trevor,

      Well that’s one vote!

      I made them by hand, but after I had a couple done and tweaked the dimensions, I’ve started getting quotes to have the flat plate cnc cut and the entire thing powder coated. I have to be honest, the costs vary with numbers made. I’ll nail down the costs and get back to you.



  2. #3 by Todd Last on July 23, 2015 - 3:48 pm

    I’m thinking maybe a bar across the middle as well.

    • #4 by albell on July 23, 2015 - 7:25 pm

      You’re absolutely right Todd, but to get the light in the bars have. To be that far apart, and that high. I’ll explain later with some pics of the guard dismounted.

      I suppose one could make a vertical bar to span between the two horizontal bars, a removable one. I think about that, but you know that takes more fussing and time.



  3. #5 by Ethan on September 6, 2015 - 11:55 am

    I’d be interested in these for my van. Also I’m seriously considering finding a welder or someone who can copy the fiberglass bumpers on my 1990 vanagon and make them metal.. I know that would add serious weight to the vehicle. Any opinion?

    • #6 by albell on September 6, 2015 - 1:35 pm

      Hi Ethan,

      I’m still working on the light guards. I’m not really happy with the design I have on the van. One thing is that to get the lamp housing into the guard the horizontal bars have to be that far apart. I’d prefer them a little closer together, or maybe curved. To that end I made another prototype that has the bars on a hinge. Much more work and the initial version is a bit clunky. I might have a pic of that and I’ll post it with the condition that you. Haven to be kind, it was done very quickly and with some measurement errors 🙂

      Yeah the bumpers can add weight. I’ve made mine from 1/4″ aluminum and the front bumper weights much more than the stock thin steel bumper. The rear bumper is quite heavy but then again it incorporates a heavy trailer hitch sub structure.

      It becomes a pretty involved fab to make bumpers’ at least the first go round. I chose aluminum as I had access to plenty of off cut scraps and I like working with the metal. I can cut and reweld easier than if it was steel. And also it doesn’t rust.

      With steel I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to go much more than 1/8″ thick on most of it. I can’t estimate weight with that stock, copying the stock bumpers as you plan.
      The devil is in the details, the corners, the slight curves , the grinding and finishing. And all that takes a lot of time.

      Let me know more about your plans.



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