Archive for August, 2015
Vanagon – front bumper pics
Posted by albell in vanagon, vanagon mods on August 5, 2015
I’m declaring it done, well almost. Still fussing with ideas to cover the exposed bolt heads. I’m going to give it an 8/10. It is doing what I wanted it to do, but I really don’t like the end caps very much. I found it hard to enclose the “C” shape of the bumper because I carried the bottom angled section of the bumper right back to the standing seam on the body. It made for a big cross section to enclose at the ends. I added facets to the endcaps that really don’t do much for looks. Also noticed after painting how my casual approach to finish grinding and a little warping due to welding gave the top surface the hint of downturn towards the ends. Mostly this is a visual due to the sloppy finish grinding on the top edge. But now my eye is drawn to it and I get that pang of regret.
Oh well, that’s how it goes, I have to see the thing made then decide what I like and don’t like 🙂
The light bar worked out ok. Places the lights approximately in front of the metal section between the upper and lower grills. One could argue that the lights are too close together, but I’ll leave that conclusion until I aim the lights and do some night driving.
As for the lights, I did manage to shoehorn the 6.5″ H4 lamps into the housings. Right now I have it wired to the fog light switch and only connected to the low beam filaments in the lamps. I plan on connecting (yes, of course relayed) to the hi-lo stalk switch so I can have both high and low beam auxiliaries. The lamps had city light bulb holders in them. I replaced them with 2W led eagle eyes. I wired them to come on with key on, thinking they might make DRLs. Not quite bright enough, but certainly noticeable. The night shot shows them on, appearing more brilliant than they actually are. I’ll see if I can dig out some pics I took months ago showing the eagle eye install. I’ll update this post then.
Wiring to the aux lights runs inside the light bar and out behind the bumper. The nice flat top surface really makes it easy to stand on to get things on the roof. The paint is rubberized rocker guard paint. Yes, not bedliner. I thought it would be be a better choice for touch ups after the inevitable scrapes on rocks. Certainly less expensive than bedliner. About ten bucks a can, took two cans to do the bumper. Aluminum was prepared by scuff sanding and acid based aluminum wash. Then one coat of self etching primer and about three coats of the paint.
I should mention how I mounted them to the sub bumper. The stock mounting holes (M10x1.5 I think) got reworked with helicoils for M11x1.5. I made a stainless steel bracket, like two “C” shaped pieces connected by a straight section out of 1/8″X1.5″ bar stock. The “C” parts fit over the sub bumper and are held onto it by two bolts running vertically down through drilled holes in the sub bumper. The bolts hold the brackets in place and also pinch the sub bumper a bit, pretty solid. On the back of the rackets I welded nuts for the M13x1.75 bolts that go through the centre section of the bumper. Trust me, the bumper is on there solid.
Trip – relaxation in sun
Departed last Saturday morning and both of us were tired from work week. So we headed to favourite spot, set up camp, and dozed off. No inspirational slogans or hipster hashtags on this trip 🙂 Supper of cold chicken wings, wine, bread, olives, etc. Smoke in the sky, Washington or Vern California fires? Certainly made a spectacular sunset. Next day we forced ourselves to do some exploring, scratched up the van some more, saw a bear. By the way, not as much bear poop on the trails as on previous trips. The berry crops change, the heat, the after sources, all must influence their behaviour. We both love bears and despise the poaching that goes on around here. There is no good reason that these coastal Vancouver island bears should be killed. Oh oh, sounds like a hashtag. Them on up to another favourite site, higher, back form the coast, and with an excellent little swimming lake. On the way found an abandoned truck. The mentality of some people, defies understanding. Signs of elk up there, poop and tracks. More longing, swimming, drinking, eating. Next day the fog and marine cloud closed in and didn’t burn off until about 2pm. Had one last swim and headed home. At Jordan River I noticed a familiar van at coffe shop. We had met years before in the road to the kluhdak, but right now I’ll be damned if I can recall names. All in all it was a great trip even if we were lazy and tired.
And exciting video of a bear. Hey, it takes time to get the camera out…