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Westy Table vertical slider modification (How-to)
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indytriple
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Location: Brownsburg, Indiana
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the "Beating A Dead Horse Department"...

I wanted to see if I could find a way to do the table mod easily, inexpensively and leave behind a trail of part descriptions and pictures so that someone else here on The Samba could follow suit. I like all of the other table mods, but many folks are doing it with stuff they've found around the garage and the exact measurements and details are a bit fuzzy. I also wanted a minimum of cutting and filing and NO modifying of the original parts. I originally was going with a variation of Sodo's method, but for some reason NONE of the 1" conduit would fit inside my table leg.

I went to Lowe's and stared at pipes and fittings until I was dizzy so you won't have to. I am convinced that this is about the easiest and cheapest way to go about this project and still get a good, solid result.

Lowe's Shopping List

-3/4" PVC Box Adaptor/Enclosure, Grey (in the Electrical Section near the conduit) $0.45
-3/4" Plastic Insert Coupler, Barbed, Grey (in the Plumbing Section near the hose clamps) $0.37
-3/4" x 30" Galvanized Pipe with Threaded Ends (in the Plumbing section).

Total Cost w/Tax: $10.82

Tools needed:
-10mm wrench or socket to remove the table mounts
-Tape measure to measure the galvanized pipe (cut to 22")
-Hacksaw and vise to cut the galvanized pipe
-File to take off rough edges of the cut galvanized pipe
-Hammer to tap plastic coupler into the galvanized pipe

Photos and Details Here:
http://indytriple.smugmug.com/Cars/Westy-Table-Mod-Project/13027247_zkeYv#943292949_tN4be

Enjoy! This is a great van upgrade.
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whafalia
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A heads-up, on my 84 the bottom insert was tightly fitted metal which turned into an ugly vise grips and chisel kind of thing, well beyond 10 minutes, but still worth it. Eventually.
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indytriple
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of you that have the aforementioned metal insert, let's link these threads together...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=426051
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried to see how this is useful, but I guess I really don't understand the need. With the table up, you can get in the bins but you can't use the table or get in the closet. I like to get in the closet. With the table down, you can get in the closet and use the table, but the bins are blocked. It seems to me, it's far easier to just swing the table over 12" like it was designed to do when you need access to the bins, then shove it over when you're done. Isn't it easier to swing the table than raise it to new heights? Especially if you have stuff piled on it?

Just my 2cents.
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Last edited by PDXWesty on Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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indytriple
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough. For $10 and an hour of work, the versatility and ability to move the table in any way that I want (up/down/in/out) is worth it. Also, my wife requested it, and she finds it to be extremely useful. What momma wants, momma gets! That in itself makes it useful for my purposes.

I've found hundreds of mods on this message board that I myself would not consider useful. I simply pick and choose which ones are useful FOR ME and disregard the rest. That's the beauty of the Samba. With an unorganized wife, two kids and two dogs I need to be able to access any part of the van in the easiest way possible. I say put it all out there and let people sort it out themselves.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great upgrade with good documentation and pictures. I am usually too anxious to finish a project to document it. I am always impressed by those that do take the time to document and post here on the Samba. After living for 3 weeks in the Van on our last road trip, I determined the table could be better. It does block the access and you need to be out of the way of the table to swing it out to access the cabinets. We store our can goods in the two cabinets covered by the table. When it is time to eat, my wife is stuck in the back at "her" table and I am up front at "my" table. There has to be a better design overall. My 68 had a better table setup. We rented a VW California "Eurovan"a few years ago. The table stored into the sliding door. When you went to use it, there were some clips to attach it to the kitchen and I believe a folding leg. Thank you again for the write up.
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
I've tried to see how this is useful, but I guess I really don't understand the need. With the table up, you can get in the bins but you can't use the table or get in the closet. I like to get in the closet. With the table down, you can get in the closet and use the table, but the bins are blocked. It seems to me, it's far easier to just swing the table over 12" like it was designed to do when you need access to the bins, then shove it over when you're done. Isn't it easier to swing the table than raise it to new heights? Especially if you have stuff piled on it?

Just my 2cents.


This was a great mod for me. I use the table in an up position, about 10"
over the bins and it has my laptop on it where I can see it in a laying down postion.
I use my laptop to stream my direct tv over the internet where available.

Under the table I have a cloth box/bin for clothes and such
so it's out of the way. Actually the knob on the bottom of the table goes
into the box to keep it from moving around while I am driving. The ability
to raise the table over the stove to is a good option too, it would give you some
height to use it as a counter top while preparing a dish or two.

For the little time and money spent to do this mod seems like a good thing for
us that have done it and use it. What's there to lose but $10 or so.
I'm sure we have all fallen down and lost more in change!
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campism
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"We store our can goods in the two cabinets covered by the table."

One helpful little mod is to remove the hinges from these two hatches so that they can just be popped off when you need to access the cabinets and you don't need to lift the table in order to provide room for the hinged tops to swing up.
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another trick is to shorten the table be enough to allow the wardrobe door to open past it. Then put the end (or a longer piece) back on with card table hinges.

Documented here www.griffco.ca/interest
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timwhy wrote:
PDXWesty wrote:
I've tried to see how this is useful, but I guess I really don't understand the need. With the table up, you can get in the bins but you can't use the table or get in the closet. I like to get in the closet. With the table down, you can get in the closet and use the table, but the bins are blocked. It seems to me, it's far easier to just swing the table over 12" like it was designed to do when you need access to the bins, then shove it over when you're done. Isn't it easier to swing the table than raise it to new heights? Especially if you have stuff piled on it?

Just my 2cents.


This was a great mod for me. I use the table in an up position, about 10"
over the bins and it has my laptop on it where I can see it in a laying down postion.
I use my laptop to stream my direct tv over the internet where available.

Under the table I have a cloth box/bin for clothes and such
so it's out of the way. Actually the knob on the bottom of the table goes
into the box to keep it from moving around while I am driving. The ability
to raise the table over the stove to is a good option too, it would give you some
height to use it as a counter top while preparing a dish or two.

For the little time and money spent to do this mod seems like a good thing for
us that have done it and use it. What's there to lose but $10 or so.
I'm sure we have all fallen down and lost more in change!



agree 100%, versatility, nice cheap mod, love the extra counter space when table is raised, especially at bedtime, access to the bins, plenty of room to put stuff temporarily, I don't usually store stuff in the closet that I will need at night so I don't care about the closet when table is raised plus if you do the closet side door mod you won't have that problem anymore
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I went and bought a 24" length of 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC and a 1/2" threaded Schedule 80 irrigation coupling.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Trimmed the PVC down a bit less than 2"
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Wrapped the threaded coupling in a layer of tape, I had foil duct tape at hand so I used that. Just to make the coupling a tight push fit into the PVC.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Trimmed about 1/2" off the coupling, wrapped a couple more layers of tape around the end, and push fit that into the stock plastic table leg bottom fitting.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Totally reversible install. I like that I can get to the closet by swinging the table over the stove.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Also like that I can get into the food cabinets even when the table is not over the stove.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Whats not to like?

I spent $2.50, used only 2 PVC parts, some tape, and 2 cuts of a saw to shorten the plastic pieces. Does not require removing the table leg bottom bracket.

It took me about 2 years to have the courage to mod my table leg:-), I did not want anything that could not be reversed. Took about 10 minutes to actually do it.

thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas especially indytriple's http://tinyurl.com/2b2w85m and Harold's pictures http://tinyurl.com/2de2kqp
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job. Cool

We did the mod as well, although not for keeping the table up higher (edit: but this feature is used all the time!!. We did the mod to get rid of the annoying reposition wobble.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by kamzcab86 on Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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dogcoves
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sodo - This rear table modifcation worked really well. It only took me about 30 mintues to complete. A much sturdier table in all postions. Out of all the table mods I like this one because it uses all metal instead of plastic based pipe.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we are looking to upgrade from baywindow to vanagon, one thing we HATED about the vanagon was the crappy table, its nice to know the few things we didn't like about the vanagon can be easily fixed! We love the heat output of the vanagon heaters (a big deciding factor over the baywindow...)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following deserves a bump. It works amazingly well and takes exactly one cut and two sessions with a hammer to make everything work. The rest is just unbolt, fit, re-bolt. I used a pipe cutter to cut the pipe to length. The cut is a little cleaner and square to the pipe. At the Lowe's I used for the parts, there's a pipe cutting and threading machine available. The recommended 22" length is dead on but a little variance isn't going to hurt anything. Just ask the Lowe's plumbing associate to just the pipe to 22" and you're good to go. BTW, keep the orange thread protector on the 22" pipe - don't let the associate remove it!

All that's left is stuffing the barb into the box adapter (I put a turn of electrical tape on the barb to make the fit slightly tighter) and driving the pipe onto the remaining barb. Be sure to remove the upper bracket as well as the lower bracket. Getting the pipe into place is, as best I can see, impossible with the upper bracket in place. Note that a carriage bolt and nylon lock nut combination come from the cabinet front, while a bolt and washer go into the side of the cabinet towards the reefer. The nut on the other side is a captive nut. A 10 mm socket works on the nylon lock nut and the bolt.

I finished the job with a 1 3/4" "computer grommet" (intended to be drilled into a desk or table top) from Ace Hardware. They have grey grommets (a light grey, closer to the color of the counter than the trim) as well as black grommets. The grommet I got at Ace was exactly the right size for the existing hole. No sanding or trimming was needed. I just drove it in with a rubber mallet - end of job.

indytriple wrote:
From the "Beating A Dead Horse Department"...

I wanted to see if I could find a way to do the table mod easily, inexpensively and leave behind a trail of part descriptions and pictures so that someone else here on The Samba could follow suit. I like all of the other table mods, but many folks are doing it with stuff they've found around the garage and the exact measurements and details are a bit fuzzy. I also wanted a minimum of cutting and filing and NO modifying of the original parts. I originally was going with a variation of Sodo's method, but for some reason NONE of the 1" conduit would fit inside my table leg.

I went to Lowe's and stared at pipes and fittings until I was dizzy so you won't have to. I am convinced that this is about the easiest and cheapest way to go about this project and still get a good, solid result.

Lowe's Shopping List

-3/4" PVC Box Adaptor/Enclosure, Grey (in the Electrical Section near the conduit) $0.45
-3/4" Plastic Insert Coupler, Barbed, Grey (in the Plumbing Section near the hose clamps) $0.37
-3/4" x 30" Galvanized Pipe with Threaded Ends (in the Plumbing section).

Total Cost w/Tax: $10.82

Tools needed:
-10mm wrench or socket to remove the table mounts
-Tape measure to measure the galvanized pipe (cut to 22")
-Hacksaw and vise to cut the galvanized pipe
-File to take off rough edges of the cut galvanized pipe
-Hammer to tap plastic coupler into the galvanized pipe

Photos and Details Here:
http://indytriple.smugmug.com/Cars/Westy-Table-Mod-Project/13027247_zkeYv#943292949_tN4be

Enjoy! This is a great van upgrade.

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Sodo
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
I've tried to see how this is useful, but I guess I really don't understand the need. With the table up, you can get in the bins but you can't use the table or get in the closet. I like to get in the closet. With the table down, you can get in the closet and use the table, but the bins are blocked. It seems to me, it's far easier to just swing the table over 12" like it was designed to do when you need access to the bins, then shove it over when you're done. Isn't it easier to swing the table than raise it to new heights? Especially if you have stuff piled on it?

Just my 2cents.


What if there's "stuff" piled on the seat? You'll have to move that stuff before you can swing the table. With a slider you can simply lift the table. These added options will make themselves apparent quickly.

Obviously, the table retains all its old behaviors, swings out the same, blocks the bins the same, offers same access to the closet. It does not require you to change any old habits. The mod is completely invisible until someone shows off the added dimension of positions.

There are several ways to do it, with metal, plastic, wood. It's simple, low cost, easy. Pulling out/replacing the entire table (along with its support) is much easier too. I cannot imagine any downside to this mod.
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Keith Tanner
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another success story here. I went the conduit route and welded it to the bottom bracket with a few tack welds on the bottom. Easy to revert to stock, although I have absolutely no idea why I would want to. In my case, we'll probably store the table over top of the stove. Out of the way and we can reef down on the adjustment knob on the bottom of the table so it won't rattle.

My particular diversion from the original instructions was to taper the end of the conduit that went into the bottom bracket. My real purpose was to take off the galvanizing before welding, but it meant the end slipped into the unmodified hole so no file time was required. The tapering was accomplished in about 30 seconds with a belt sander.

So simple. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Er... why tack weld it? I had to get fairly active with a rubber mallet to force the conduit down on the 3/4" barbs. Once the bottom bracket is bolted up again and the box adapter and barb assembly is fixed in place, the conduit isn't going anywhere. I added the counter grommet after the basic project was completed but the leg was pretty tight without it. The grommet just makes the job look properly finished. Before, it looked like someone drilled the needed hole, took a lunch break, and never came back to finish the job. Shame on you

The table leg is now amazingly stable. I lubed the inside of the leg with Boeshield (liquid carrier for Teflon grease) and it's now slicker than a politician's promises... Cool
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because I didn't use any 3/4" barbs. The only piece of new hardware in my van is the piece of conduit. Unbolt the bracket, cut conduit to length, weld it to the bottom bracket, bolt it all back in. Voila. I'd much rather weld things than press fit them, it's (probably) how the factory would have done it.

Unfortunately, a grey grommet would look odd in my brown interior and the black would be too obvious.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The elevating table is neat, especially to access the bins below. My fix was not for bin access, but for keeping the table in place when not using it. Simple solution using a child latch...cheap and works like a charm. No more swinging table!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Been installed now for 18 months and still keeps the table restrained.
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