This user hasn't shared any biographical information


Vanagon – aux switch gear experiment

Starting to install one of those remote switch to solid state relay box type set ups. Just got the mounting plate done so far. Aluminum and slight texture powder coat. Not sure what will be controlled by this. You get stickers to go on the switch pads. I’ll show when done.


Vanagon – what silliness is this?

I’ll show finished later . Later has arrived…

It’s another version of the socket part of the ball and socket linkage back at the transmission. Other versions I made a while back here .

The idea of the spiral grooves is to retain some grease … that’s a tumbled finish on the part, gonna paint it. Bore hasn’t been deburred in this pic. The end has a rim to help keep the boot on.

M6 bolt goes up through the shift rod.

End of day today made another, slight changes. Any excuse to use this lathe .

Not finished, but you get idea. More thickness at bottom and a more sexy ridge at top for boot .

There is one thing I haven’t said.. one more step. I’ll show when done.

And done. I’ve done away with the roll pin years ago. The split clamp and bolt better, especially as the shift rod probably worn and the roll pin hole wallowed.

1 Comment

Tools – prototype transmission wrench

Quentin asked me to make a wrench to fit a locking nut, in Syncro transmission. Fits the nut fine, not sure yet if it clears other components in the stack. Has to be tested. The centre of the 1/2” drive hole is 2.000 inches from the centre of the nut when engaged. So you can easily do the calc to adjust torque. It’s a simple thing, waterjet cut 1/4” steel plate.

Leave a comment

Just interesting – waterjet cutting titanium

1/4” plate. First time we cut titanium. Was startling, but no surprise to those who do it a lot .


Tools – make a deep socket 52mm

Needed for classic landrover axle nut. Over built solution

Leave a comment

Vanagon – fuel rail fooling

Made a fuel rail a few weeks ago for fun. Trying out a tool and tool path. No need to do this, lots of commercial options. Last Friday I made a support for the rail, fitted up on old injectors and runners. No rubber on the injectors. And yes I have drilled and plugged , but not welded, the rail. Surprise for me is how sturdy the set up is


Vanagon – wee door mat

Yes, I could have tabbed the centre of the “O”, but didn’t 🙂 it’s 3/8” rubber

Leave a comment

Other cars – single din faceplate for BT amp

For an 82 Porsche. Idea is to mount simple and cheap BT amp in the single din space. It’s installed and works well even without fader. Door and parcel shelf speakers


Vanagon – replaced led strip over the kitchen

Left over from gutter strip replacement. Warmer colour temp. Controlled from same panel of switches as the gutter lights.


Vanagon – new led strip under gutter

Last year the strip I installed under the gutter ( 6 or so years ago?) partially failed… the forward 1/3 failed to light. I got another strip , this time the kind that looks more like a cob led. That is, looking like one continual led instead of discrete elements. Of course if you look closely you can see the led elements, but the effect is of one continuous strip.

Has the same thick clear coating as the previous. Making it waterproof they say. But I noticed when I took the old one off, water gets into it from the backside, the adhesive side. So I expect the same for this one. Mind you the van is outside all year round, and it is wet in the seasons not called summer 🙂

Pic below is in daylight and the strip on. It’s really not noticeable at all when it’s off.

And at dusk.

Controlled by the same touch to dim switches as before. Two others do the inside led strips, got one left as spare for something.

It’s a handy mod when camping.

Leave a comment

Vanagon – rear bumper done.

Well pretty well done. I can see things I’d like to change in the next one. But it’s ok. Had a bit of a silly moment and painted it orange. That didn’t work.


Vanagon – making another aluminum bumper

Rear first, close copy of the stock steel van bumper. This first go round ain’t perfect, but it’s good enough for my own use and next one ( I will be building more ) should be better. It’s 1/4” 5052 aluminum. Having it powder coated this week, slight texture black. You’ll notice I’ve cut some panel from the van , have plans.

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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!


Leave a comment

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 🙂

Leave a comment

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.


Vanagon – rare pairing

Amazing sight, BMW M1 parked beside my van. Immaculate condition and it’s for sale, around $600k US.


Vanagon – Quentin’s Syncro

I’ve posted about his transmission rebuild, and it all went back into the van with no bits left over. Quentin, from vivid vans, reports that he’s put 700km on the van since, and is super happy about the result. The van has a good look eh?


Other cars – Corolla wagons

You just don’t see this model on the road anymore. Doubt these two will be running anytime soon.


I’m just guessing – single 40 mm Bofors?

Quick snapshot while doing other stuff.

update 14/4/2022 I think my bore estimation at a distance skills are still top notch. It’s a party trick that annoys my wife. Show me a gun, I say, I’ll estimate bore and caliber. ( you can say all kinds of rubbish in a blog) . Anyway I just finally identified the gun.


The 40mm NC 1 L 60 Gun Weapon System (GWS) has been in the naval inventory since 1943.

From Wikipedia

The Canadian Forces removed the guns from their surface fleet in the late 1980s when they were considered to be outdated, only to re-use old Bofors guns as the main armament of the Kingston-class coastal defence vessel.[24] The Bofors served as the main armament for almost 20 years.[39]The decision to remove them was made in 2014, due to their maintenance burden, and their lack of stabilization.

Addendum June 5 2022.

Martins comment prompted me to post this pic of nearby equipment.


Other cars – I think Ford.

I’m guessing Ford F8-CMP

Pictures taken today.


Vanagon – door cards

It’s been years in the making. I’ve never got around to it until today. 0.090” aluminum. Some mods done too. I’ve cut the stock speaker hole larger and will attempt to fit larger speaker. That does have some challenges but I think I can do it. Also added smaller hole beside that main speaker hole for tweeter. Did the back hatch card too and added cut out for hatch release using the stock front door lever assembly.

I scuffed the cards up after cutting. If you look closely you can the my weight measurement written on one card. Comparison with bone stock 82 vinyl covered card.

Oh, what I used…


Vanagon – when I’m old I shall wear orange

One of the few *good* things about getting old, you care less and less about what people think 🙂


Two Broncos

At Greenlane Offroad. Quite a difference between blue and black, the latter got some mods.

3” lift with upper control arms
New wheels with less offset
37” tires
Grille hoop, side steps.


Vanagon – trailing arm rebuild part two

I had this thought that I’d make modified spring perches. To replace the rusty stock ones I pulled off, and…

This is where I doubt my thinking. The spring perch is really at an awkward angle when the trailing arm at fullest low position. I’m sure it’s more aligned with the upper spring bump stop when fully compressed. But I thought I’d cant the spring perch a little to make it align “better” with spring when trailing arm at a more neutral position.

You probably know that the diesel 16” Syncro had wedge shaped aluminum spacers on the spring perch to do the same thing. But I’m guessing it was more to accommodate the change brought about by the 16” Syncro longer trailing arm.

So it’s very debatable if what I’ve done is wise or needed. But hey ho! Off we go.

Perch made from circles of 3/16” steel. I modelled a tapered spacer from same stock , and made developed shape to cut out. I just hand bent it to slightly smaller than the discs, welding allowance.

Tacked up , you get the idea

Tacked, getting the idea now?

With an extra home made plastic pad, had milled in recess for spring pigtail. That’s about 1.5” at the back. I can make thinner plastic pad if this is too much of a lift. The pad as is, 1/2”.

I put some rust converter on the trailing arms and plug welded the three holes under the perch. I didn’t attempt to fill the divots left from drilling out the spot welds that held on the original perch

And then clumsily mig welded onto arm. I’ll drill a hole in the sandwich and squirt in some waxy stuff for rust protection. Then weld up the hole.

I don’t know if all this is a good idea. But I did it 🙂

Next is to pop in some m6 riv nuts that I’ll use to secure clios for both the brake hydraulic arm, and the e brake cable. I’m thinking about welding closed some of the seam area left open from factory, not sure about that though. And I might shave the seam for more tire clearance, as the kids are doing these days ( I did that on the pair of arms I gave to Simon). Apart from that the next steps are another sandblast then powdercoating .

Leave a comment