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Winston: Well-Raised, Badly Reared...
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:11 pm    Post subject: Winston: Well-Raised, Badly Reared... Reply with quote

Well, those of you who disliked the Toyota Truck Bumper I mounted on Winston can now rejoice--it is no longer the New Ugly Bumper (NUB), it is now the Late Ugly Bumper (LUB). It perished heroically defending Winston and myself today when a Ford F-250 Pickup truck lost its brakes at an intersection and piled into a Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey, which was two days old, piled into Winston, and did this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I was about to make a left turn at an arrow into the gas station when WHUMP. I was strapped in, and the swivel seats have a high neck rest, so I came through very well--although you might guess, given my investment in time and money into Winston, that I was FURIOUS.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I pulled Winston out of the road and into the drive of the gas station, then stopped him and ran back, fuming. The fellow driving the truck showed no intention of driving off, although I took the basic precaution of writing down his license plate, driver's license number, and insurance policy number, he offered all. I ended up feeling sorry for him, and didn't add to his problems while we all waited for the police. He had JUST renewed his insurance and, showed the officer the receipt for that.

The monster Ford was almost entirely undamaged, but he could show us all the brake fluid leaking from the front caliper. The Odyssey, which the poor lady driving it had had FOR TWO DAYS was mauled at the front and with a huge crescent on the rear panel--possibly totaled. Thank goodness her little son was well-secured in the back seat, and entirely all right. The Ford's driver was rattled, his passenger the same, the mother and child were all right, and I was shaken, which always makes me a bit incoherent.

Winston... Came through it well. And those of you who, at this URL:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=192837

expressed your dislike of that bumper--I'm calling vindication. That bumper did exactly what I had hoped it would do in a crash, it collapsed, caved, but completely protected Winston when the collision came. Take a look at this view:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


You can see how the tubes crushed, the structure bent, but, by God's grace, that bumper protected my van against some pretty heavy momentum! The minor damage on the van antedates both me and the new bumper.

One reason we did as well as we did is that I had Winston's clutch in preparatory to making the turn, but, thank goodness I pulled that ridiculous stock bumper and put on something heavier. When I think of all I've put into Winston, losing him to a bad brake line in a Ford would be a bit too much.

The Paramedics and a motorcycle cop pulled up in about half an hour, everyone was fine and the policeman awarded all responsibility for what happened to the unfortunate driver of the Ford, who got a 'Careless Driving' citation. I was able to complete my day's errands, which included buying some super-magnets to tack one last piece of that Reflectix insulation over the sliding door window for insulation and privacy.

Winston drove quite well and showed no signs of any problems at all--in fact, his refrigerator, which I'd been testing on propane, kept running even through the collision. It blew out later in high winds, but I think it's still all right. Right now, he looks like this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Well, I need another pair of bumper mounts, you got 'em, I'm interested. I'm going to look for another big tube bumper, one from a Ford Bronco or any Toyota Pickup will more or less fit. I'll try to find one that's a little wider than the Late Ugly Bumper--but I don't like to think what would have happened if I'd left the stock rear bumper on him.

I am a little shaken. I will submit a claim to the Ford driver's insurance company in the morning. Advice about that most welcome.

And I am very tired.

Best!
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Vanagon Poet Laureate: "I have suffered in
many ways, but never, never, never in silence."


Last edited by msinabottle on Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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backcountrymedic
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So very sorry to hear about Winston's woes! I must admit, I don't think I would have shown such self-restraint to the driver who had caused the injury. As ugly as it was, the bumper has certainly proven it's worth. I wonder how GoWesty's custom steel bumpers would have fared? Certainly more asthetically pleasing...

Glad to hear everyone is OK. Good luck with the ongoing claim! Looking forward to seeing Winston's ugly butt covered up properly again...

Cheers!
-Jared
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Last edited by backcountrymedic on Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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blackglasspirate
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa, sounds like you held your temper better than I would have been able to. It's good to see that the bumper did its job though. Good luck with the insurance claim.
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1621
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about the accident, but it sounds as if all the vehicles' safety features performed exactly how they were supposed to, and thank God no one was injured.

Now, for the new bumpers. Twisted Evil

I say you submit the claim and attempt to wrangle the price for a new rear bumper from Go Westy. You know, the big 3/16" steel jobbie. Then pay for the matching front and you'll be in great shape!

Lundy
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klucz
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to hear everyone's OK. Winston-1, them-0.
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noza
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've been rear ended in my subaru 4 times. I know the frustration. Evil or Very Mad

that being said, the suby has a cuter, though smaller ass than the westy. ford must have been damn horny. try to get the insurance to cover a bumper from fast forward
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bucko
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just went through a simular situation, but with my motorcycle rather than my Westy. The bike got hit while parked in a local eatery. The driver was talking on his cell phone and claimed he did not "see" my bike parked in the parked spot. Hit the bike hard enough to push it on it's kick-stand 4 feet forward.

Like you, anger strikes, but very soon settled, as I realized the driver stopped, went inside and asked the front servers who owned the bike. He could have easily drove off, and I never would have caught him. Be thankful you too had an insured motorist that caused the accident.

And most important, everyone, including the child are alright.

Still not sure I like that rear bumper though.....
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Rodknock
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The unthinkable almost happened. Glad to see it was cosmetic damage only. Maybe I should put one of these monster bumpers on my Westy. I am a magnate for tail-gaiting cell phone users, been hit 5 times in my Toyota trucks, thankfully never in the Westy.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting that the caliper went out, but what stopped the use of the emergency brake. Oh yeah, he was probably too close to begin with.

Badly Reared... Rolling Eyes

Rodknock, you perhaps should be called the Baron of Bumpers and Benders. Laughing

Andrew
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jmfoust
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew A. Libby wrote:
It's interesting that the caliper went out, but what stopped the use of the emergency brake. Oh yeah, he was probably too close to begin with.

Badly Reared... Rolling Eyes

Rodknock, you perhaps should be called the Baron of Bumpers and Benders. Laughing

Andrew


Caliper probably didn't go out. The hose to the caliper probably blew from a panic stop. I had this happen once as I pulled into my driveway, shot fluid everywhere. Time to change fuel lines and rubber brake lines! Shocked
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Veedoubleused
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that sucks ms but it sure could have been worse. I have always had a problem with tailgaters as I am usually not doing the common 10-15 mph over the limit that everyone else is doing.

What are your opinions of the ethics of squirting a fine mist of vegetable oil from the back of the bus. Either into the air to smear their windshield or into my muffler to create the impression of imminent heavy part separation.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob,

I would print out the web page from every aftermarket tube bumper for the Van. Get Gary's Van Cafe etc. Go to the VW dealer and get an estimate for labor to do the job and fix and paint that very small dent, and the price of NEW bumper mounts. Put it all together and the bargin with the insurance claims manager. You can probably pull off getting a new aftermarket bumper, mounts and some boot for spray paint at a bare minimum.

Glad to hear it is only metal that got hurt.
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad Sorry to hear about Winston, if that happened to my van I would be pretty upset! Maybe you can get a new sweet bumper out of the deal like Dogpilot mentioned. I talked about it in another post, but the Van-cafe bumper is pretty sweet!
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levi
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's what the ford bronco bumper looks like:
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levi
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, my westy was rammed twice at the back, once at a stop sign just like you! But, that was a drunk driver who didn't touch the brakes. The other by a semi driver that fell asleep. Both times, the original bumper protected the body from damage, just like yours did. Actually the bumper crumpled, but those heavy brackets going into the frame are what took the load.
Glad to see you didn't have any serious damage.
That bronco bumper didn't need much to be attached. It's bolted on at the same spot, with a 1/4" plate. The 1" square tow bar required spreading the tubes apart, and then was welded in.
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Thank You All, Very Much Reply with quote

I very much appreciate the advice, the support, and the input.

Crying or Very sad

I called Blazer, they suggested I get Winston to a VW dealership for an estimate about the cost of pulling the bent bumper, checking the frame for damage, and installing a new one. That would give me a 'high' estimate for bargaining purposes. I'm also taking James's advice about tracking down all the Vanagon aftermarket tube bumpers I can find-- so far, that's GoWesty's (which aren't tube), Van Cafe, Aircooled.net, the Skylight Guy selling the one from Canada, and Gary's, the one from Canada. Have I missed anybody?

Y'know, Levi, it's HARD to find an original Ford Bronco (As opposed to a Bronco II) bumper, that's why I ended up with one from the Toyota. Smittybilt's web site is still up, but I've been told you can't get their products. I'm as glad that the LUB didn't have that diamond plating, the impact would have driven it right into the valence. But that's a lovely installation, you should post the whole procedure as you sent it to me.

It did take me six months to get all that together--and now it's back to start. Oh, SIGH! I called the driver's insurance company, they have a local adjuster who's supposed to talk to me tomorrow.

Best!
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'Winston,' '84 1.9 WBX Westy
Vanagon Poet Laureate: "I have suffered in
many ways, but never, never, never in silence."
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Only a flesh wound."

Take it to VW and they will make you a nice high dollar estimate. Then just do as before and get some brackets and weld a bumper to them.

Betcha the body work is more expensive than the bumper......
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Stanyon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:49 pm    Post subject: Insurance Reply with quote

Ive delt with collision vehicle repair for 30 plus years, and I would make sure that the person checking out Winston has some experiance in this. Check the Engine mts, tranmission mts, and rear wheel alignment, and make sure that the sub frame was not knocked out of diamond. It really dosent take much of a hit to create a mess that is hidden out of site. Check all of you door gaps to see if they are still even, and all doors function normally. Crying or Very sad
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:13 pm    Post subject: Not Much News, But Much Thanks Reply with quote

Thank you all for the good advice--I haven't seen anything wrong, but I will have the frame, engine, and transmission mounts surveyed by some really good people before I accept a settlement.

Got a very nice call from his insurance's adjuster in South Carolina, they'll be sending out a local person to evaluate the damage. They MIGHT, given Winston's age, 'total him out.' Of course, anyone trying to tow him off will get severely bitten or at the least gently remonstrated with...

#Sniper #2gunfire #Sniper #2gunfire #Sniper #2gunfire

Barring any serious damage, they pay for a good aftermarket tube bumper-- I like the Aircooled Net one the best, it's wrap around -- and mounts, and I'm happy. But the Ford's insurance maxes out at $15K and that Odyssey looked pretty sick... Then I'd get a portion of whatever the final settlement was.

Developing...

Best!
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'Winston,' '84 1.9 WBX Westy
Vanagon Poet Laureate: "I have suffered in
many ways, but never, never, never in silence."
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Stanyon
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Bronco Bumper Reply with quote

Levi; What year Bronco did you get the bumper from ? I dont care about the looks as much as the protection of my Van, and the Bronco bumper looks better then some of the twisted up sheet metal bumpers that came on the Vanagon , or the plastic (fiberglass) ones being held together with duct tape.
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