Vanagon – start of trailing arm “rebuild”

Years ago I had a pair of trialing arms which I fixed up for good friend Simon. I shaved the wheel side seam and welded in a reinforcing plate in that area. Also welded up the spring pad perimeter. He finally had them installed last summer. His old ones he gave to me.

They were heavily coated in tar like undercoating and had been quickly cut from the van. I burdened off the undercoating using a tiger torch, and also got the bushings out.

Had them sandblasted. Here’s what one looks like after that. You might be able to see the Zip disk cuts in the arm, and the bent tabs. No idea what that tab on the inboard bushing area is for.

I welded up the zip cuts, and then I drilled out the spot welds on the spring perches. Yup, that’s what it’s like under the pads. Even though though the arms were rust free, on the surface, under the pads it’s nasty.

I’ll go out on a limb and say, unless you’re living in a super dry part of the world, your good looking spring pads will have cracked paint and rust under. Just saying, not being a Cassandra 🙂

  1. #1 by Leon Korkin on March 10, 2022 - 8:49 pm

    Great work. What is your recommendation? Remove perches, clean rust and weld back? Weld around perimeter so rust is not an issue?

    • #2 by albell on March 10, 2022 - 9:44 pm

      Yeah I think so. But I’m not sure.. I think for sure if there are no holes thru the trailing arm. Seems there are two factory alignment ? holes thru. Weld them up…

      I’ll report back. I’m planning on new spring perch but canted 10 degrees to more closely match the spring angle. Will be a bit of fab and welding, so I’ll see about sealing then



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