Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rear Engine Support Bar

So the first step toward getting my rear cross bar set up was to grind down the original Vanagon bar on the passenger side to create a little more vertical lift.  In stock location, the top of the bar hit the bottom of the frame rails and ended up about an 1/8 of an inch below the engine mounts.  A little time with a 4 1/2" angle grinder and viola.  You will also notice in these pictures that I drilled holes through the cross bar.  The idea is to use angle iron to bolt to the botton of the frame rail and then run a grade 8 bolt through the cross bar and through the angle iron.

With the cross bar in place I realized that there is a bit of a lip on the frame rail that actually interfers by about 1/2" with the correct placement of the cross bar.  So I started permantent body modification #2 on this project: I cut 1/2" of the lip of the bottom of the frame rail.  I used an angle grinder to cut a notch in the lip, grabbed a pair of vice grips and broke the lip off on both frame rails.



Once I had the lips removed, I cut the angle iron, drilled the bolt holes in both sides and utlized a threaded bolt hole on the bottom of the frame rails as an attachement point.  Not sure what the threaded hole was originally for, but it suites my purposes quite well.  You can see where the bumper bracket is in comparison to thethreaded hole I am using.
The lip has not been taken off in this pic.  Bumper bracket on the far left just inside the picture. 

You can see also that I have not cut off the ends of the ar that extend past the frame rail.  I may do that and create a plate that can I weld to the bar end and that extends up and on the outside of the frame rails to utlize the original bar hanger bolt holes (seen in the puicture above).  That would give it both lateral and vertical support.

It also has taken me a lot of time to actually align the bolt holes with the angle iron and the cross bar (poor equipment and capabilities!).  I also had to wallow the orignal hole a bit to accept 10mm bolts since I used a 3/8 drill bit.  I love battery operated equipment, but my batteries kept dying and I am too cheap to buy a good corded drill (lots of waiting time during battery recharge!).  Oh well.