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Stock bumper or heavy metal?
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sea_sick
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Stock bumper or heavy metal? Reply with quote

Hi All -

One of the few "custom features" of my 90 Westy prior to me taking ownership of her was the PO backed into a post or some other hard non-movable object. The result was a nice crack/shatter on the fiberglass bumper (who would've guessed?!!). Fast forward to the early daze of summer with me enjoying intimate grime getting to know her. In the time it takes to sing "I drive a mutha f&*%^ng Vanagon" my brother jumped up on the bumper to inspect the fiberglass top and CRUNCH, there went the right rear corner and end cap which must've been holding it all together.

To the question - should I continue to wait for a rear fiberglass bumper to show up used for a semi-reasonable price to keep the stock look or do a GoWesty (or similar) Prerunner style bomber looking steel bumper? What are the other options besides bolting on an old 2x8? Frankly if funds weren't an issue I'd probably go all out Prerunner, but (barring any unforeseen surprises) serious suspension and a replacement engine ($0.10?) are off in the future.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a good one.
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SpeedoJosh
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a somewhat similar problem. Wanted to install a hitch, so ordered my Burley HD hitch. When it arrived, I removed my fiberglass bumper, and found out it had been cracked in two places pretty good, and it pretty much feel apart once I took it off. I ended up just leaving it off, and just have the hitch mount there. I think it looks fine, and am in no rush to replace it. I'm sure I will eventually, but for now I don't see a need.

All I have on there now. Weird angle, but the hitch mount actually fills out more of the back then appears in the photo. Doesn't look all that bad.

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goffoz
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your a little handy with a grinder and a drill. you can make a nice bumper, that looks correct from a late 80's dodge raider or Montero.
You need to widen it about 4" and dremel the plastic end caps to fit the VW body shape.
Looks good, easy to find, cheap$
I've also seen a old fordF150 PU bumper modded to fit...that looked good too...alittle heavy.
I got one in my bone pile you cann have, if your anywhere near Sac. CA.
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SCM
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts are that the beauty of any bumper is in the eye of the wallet holder. For my $, none of the aftermarket bumpers have as nice a look as the stock fiberglass bumpers, flimsy as they are. I wish they did because I would really like something more stout. Just not ugly.

You may also look into the Pikes Peak bumper by Rocky Mountain Westy or the Bostig bumper (front only, if it's even for sale yet).

IMO the tube style bumpers contrast too strongly with the boxy shape of a Vanagon and the plate steel bumpers either look too clunky or have too many extra visible bolts, or are also more flexible than I would like (GoWesty's).
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too ordered a burley hitch. The thing is fugly so for now, I covered itup with a powder coated black stock bumper. Some day I will get bigger better bumpers, if I continue to go off roading...
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Crankey
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OEM black steel with plastic end caps, no rubber strip. imho it looks the best, you can stand on it.
it may not be super tough but hey, don't run into stuff Idea
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K58
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCM wrote:
My thoughts are that the beauty of any bumper is in the eye of the wallet holder. For my $, none of the aftermarket bumpers have as nice a look as the stock fiberglass bumpers, flimsy as they are. I wish they did because I would really like something more stout. Just not ugly.

You may also look into the Pikes Peak bumper by Rocky Mountain Westy or the Bostig bumper (front only, if it's even for sale yet).

IMO the tube style bumpers contrast too strongly with the boxy shape of a Vanagon and the plate steel bumpers either look too clunky or have too many extra visible bolts, or are also more flexible than I would like (GoWesty's).

I couldn't agree with you more....
Clunky, ugly, boxy describes just about every aftermarket bumper. Why can't they make a reinforced fiberglass style bumper?
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually like some of the RMW bumpers... I don't think any amount of reinforcement will make a fiber glass bumper as strong as a steel one.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kuleinc wrote:
I actually like some of the RMW bumpers... I don't think any amount of reinforcement will make a fiber glass bumper as strong as a steel one.


Steel isn't necessarily very strong, depends on the thickness and the shape. Go too strong/stiff though and you will be damaging the subframe before damaging the bumper. A well designed fiberglass bumper could absorb a lot of force and since it is easy to add extra strength just where needed could make for a much better bumper.
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sea_sick
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing all of your ideas and opinions. To my surprise I just found a good condition rear fiberglass bumper locally so for now I'll be staying with the stock flavor. Keep on bussin! Cheers
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bosruten
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My attempt at a rear bumper. A co worker gave me this bike rack, I used 1/4" plate and traced the stock bumper. It's a little rough using oxy/gas torch, CNC plasma would be terrific. Anyway, I welded it together tonight and gave it a rattle can black paint job. Shipping a bumper up to Canada is not in the cards for me so this will do until I win the lottery. Smile
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Good for three bikes and I'll load the Chariot on the roof. Cool
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome!
Love the stealthy beefed up bumper approach.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second that.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing it weighs approx. 30-35lb's. I feel safe standing on it! Laughing
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joseph928
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:07 pm    Post subject: heavy bumper Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus Or build your own. 1/4 plate steel a little heavy but bomb proof. Very Happy
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greenraVR6
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

K58 wrote:
SCM wrote:
My thoughts are that the beauty of any bumper is in the eye of the wallet holder. For my $, none of the aftermarket bumpers have as nice a look as the stock fiberglass bumpers, flimsy as they are. I wish they did because I would really like something more stout. Just not ugly.

You may also look into the Pikes Peak bumper by Rocky Mountain Westy or the Bostig bumper (front only, if it's even for sale yet).

IMO the tube style bumpers contrast too strongly with the boxy shape of a Vanagon and the plate steel bumpers either look too clunky or have too many extra visible bolts, or are also more flexible than I would like (GoWesty's).

I couldn't agree with you more....
Clunky, ugly, boxy describes just about every aftermarket bumper. Why can't they make a reinforced fiberglass style bumper?


TRUTH^

Most of the gnarly steel aftermarket bumpers available look pretty out of place on these vans IMO. Especially the tube bumpers, they just don't go with the flow of a boxy vanagon. They may not offer much protection but I think the stock fiberglass bumpers are the best look out there
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a really good looking bumper. I bet you could sell those - one anyway! Wink
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bosruten
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at the pictures of my rear bumper build, I recognize the hitch needs gussets with holes to attach chains if hauling a trailer Embarassed . I did hang three bikes off it this morning and did a few laps around the block. I'm happy with it.
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1621
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke with Burley several weeks back about the potential of designing and building a set of beefy, stock looking bumpers while including one of his HD hitches, and without reusing the plastic end caps. He said he'd be interested, but not until after he relocates his shop. I think if there's enough interest from the community, he'll build more which could bring down the cost a bit.
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juanl
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be interested. My PO also damaged the rear bumper, and the available aftermarket options just don't do it for me. Thanks for checking with them, and keep us posted.
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