Archive for July, 2022

Vanagon – dash foil replacement

Good friend Greg has replacement dash foil in the works. Made from better materials than the original, a very nice bit of work. If you are interested , check out this survey form he created to determine numbers to make

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Vanagon – stock fridge vent delete option

I’ve installed a Dometic CRX-50 fridge. Yup I finally let go of the propane fridge I’ve been faithful to for 20 years. The install pics may come later, but the fridge vent replacement is now.

Made an aluminum thing that approximates the stock vent dimensions. Has a lid with magnets that correspond to magnets in main body , north south opposed.

I kinda had issues with the magnet placement, you’ll see the marks, but the concept works, a twist on the lid and it comes off.

Inder the lid is a Noco 120V inlet plug. That goes to the fridge ( has an AC power option). If I were to do it again, and I’m probably going to, I’d use larger and fewer magnets, and try not to screw up on the magnet hole drilling!


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What the cool kids do

They don’t bother with westies or even roof top tents on a truck. They get an EOF camper.


Vanagon – trailing arm replacement

Not much to say here. I replaced my trailing arms with a pair I refurbished and modified, I ground off the spring perches and welded up new , thicker, and angled perches. Also made some thicker plastic pads to go on them. Primed and powder coated the arms and installed polyurethane bushings.

Made the angled perch. The lens shaped part,waterjet cut flat, then I just hammered into a roughly circular shape. Welded to top and bottom flat disks. The central boss welded in too. I drilled and tapped the top plate for a 5/16” set screw. That way I could squirt some rust inhibitor into that space after the arms painted. Also put in a couple of M6 riv nuts in arms to hold a clip for the brake hard line.

The blue plastic spacers I made from some mystery plastic that was hanging around. I think it’s nylon. Let me add this…

The reason I made the thick plastic pads for the perch was to be able to machine a recess for the spring end. The stock pad as you know, has a formed recess, with a corresponding thin and formed plastic pad. Those stock pads are hard to get, the replacements from vendors seem only to be plain plastic discs, no recess. I didn’t want to machine the metal for the recess if I couldn’t find a plastic pad to fit… get what I’m saying?

Not shown is new springs and slave cylinders in the brakes, new ( well a used 2wd ) handbrake cable on the passenger side wheel, and new brake flex lines. I did manage to bend the passenger side hardline into an ugly mess when doing that side flex line, but the little blue plastic clips ( yeah I made those) helped pull it back to reason.

The combo of the angled perch and thicker plastic pad has resulted in a height of about 19.88” from fender lip to hub centre. That’s at the limit, I think, of amount of lift for stock axles and joints.

Did the swap in my driveway, on gravel. I’m too old for this type of thing now, I felt every minute of the job.

Ok Simon…


Vanagon – “The Swellegant Junior” sneak peek

Some of you may know I’ve been working a few versions of a table stand that uses the stock westy table, since about 2016. The idea is you can screw on your small or large westy table to the stand and have a place to put nibbles and drinks when sitting at the campsite.

This is the latest iteration. 6061 aluminum, stainless pins and screw, and powder coated black. It is designed for the later westy tables, the ones with the thread hole in metal plate on the underside. The earlier version table with the tube on the bottom…. Well I have a prototype adapter made, but not tested.

Has a rubber gasket that holds the legs together when folded, and when in use , the gasket goes between the table and the stand to give firm adjustability of the leg orientation.

This is a luxury item. It’s expensive to make – cnc machined, quality materials, and living wages.

But it’s excellent , and it works!

And the price…

$150 Canadian

Here are some pics taken in the workshop.


I dunno, just looks interesting

Igus ground stainless rod, hardened on outside, inside softer but still tough. M10x1.50 thread, and quite a slow tapping cycle. I’ve done this particular op almost 200 times now and every time I’m anxious and yet amazed at how the machine works.


Vanagon – a slim radiator shroud and fan

Made a shroud for Quentin, his design I’m just the fab guy. He has reasons for wanting slimmer.

It’s quite a reduction in thickness.


Vanagon – good, better, best

You decide 🙂

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Vanagon – stock westy kitchen light improvement

Friend Greg has developed a snap in replacement for the three halogen festoon bulbs in the westy kitchen light.

Led strips and dimmer control integrated on a board that really does just snap into the bulb holders on the stock light unit.

That spring on the left is the dimmer control. It rests in the stock shade and allows touch dimming.

Friend Simon got one and tried it out. He made a wee vid which explains how it installs and works. Have to note there are camera artifacts , you don’t see those in actual use.

I have to say, this unit is superbe. It’s so easy to install and the light quality is excellent. I think it’s a no brainer for those wanting to retain the stock light but move up to lower power draw led, with good light quality.

I think at max brightness the unit draws 1 amp, at lowest setting 70 mA.

Oh and I should add, he’s selling them.