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…

  1. #1 by Daniel L Minskey on July 23, 2022 - 10:14 am

    woot woot.. these are awesome….me likes that spacer

  2. #2 by Simon McVaugh-Smock on July 23, 2022 - 11:19 am

    Ohhhh baby!

    Love the Renault Benetton colour scheme

    • #3 by albell on July 23, 2022 - 11:45 am

      Jeeze, I didn’t twig on the colour scheme!


  3. #4 by syncro26 on July 24, 2022 - 12:33 am

    Don’t mention the age thing!! I feel the same. It’s like it’s taken my whole life to get my van perfect ( and find the money for it) and now we are getting on a bit! Bloody hell, I realize I just have to travel like mad now before the knees are just too creaky!

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