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Anyone modify engine hatch with a prop rod for ease?
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:08 am    Post subject: Anyone modify engine hatch with a prop rod for ease? Reply with quote

I tend to check my engine bay often as the van sits for weeks between drives. So perhaps I'm more sensitive than most, but its a real pain to push the mattress up or remove it completely, and do the same on the engine hatch just to peek in. I usually have a flashlight, so don't have an extra hand to hold things up while I peek. The flashlight lets me spot tiny leaks, or belt nicks, etc.

Has anyone thought of a clever way to prop this stuff up? I'm thinking like a normal car hood arrangement where you can just lift the mattress, then grab the hatch and lift it and prop it, so the hatch holds the mattress up as well. Would sure make checking things faster - especially mid trip where there is gear everywhere.

Doug
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a Bostig and you won't have to open or prop that hatch again.
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone modify engine hatch with a prop rod for ease? Reply with quote

My way of doing it, primarily on the road for a quick looksie or minor work, is I have a flat piece of wood, maybe 4 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick and about 2 feet tall that I use to hold the engine hatch and everything on top up.

After opening the rear hatch, I reach under the mattress and release the two engine hatch latches. Then usually with my left hand and arm I'll lift it all up and insert the wood with the right hand between the hatch itself and rim of the opening, usually a little inside the front corner facing you. If you get it in there 'correctly' the weight of the cushion and etc. will hold it firmly in place. Crude but effective for me.

I store this wood either off to one of the sides, usually under the carpet if you have that, or in the case of the westy, in that upper top tray.


Last edited by WestyBob on Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This all assumes no Westy corner cabinet, or a modded engine cover...???
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the joker
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

install very tiny cameras in the engine compartment , some run off an app Wink Wink
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KevinsKamper
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would be possible to hook something up but the damn closet is in the way to open like a normal hood......I assume this must have been discussed at vw design meetings back in the day.....
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
This all assumes no Westy corner cabinet, or a modded engine cover...???


Good point and I forgot to add .... it's a little trickier with the westy but I still do it this way.

I release the hatch locks as mentioned, pull the hatch part way out, lift the cushion and etc. up with the left hand/arm, and pull the hatch out the rest of the way followed by inserting the wood with the right hand against the cushion on top and rim on bottom. I haven't had any problems damaging the cushion although I do move the wood brace inward closer to the center since the cushion can be flopping down on the sides.

I've done it so many times now that I can do it very quickly. But again I do it this way for a quick look and maybe some short work. For me it's most commonly to check the coolant res. and maybe 'burp' it to remove any air that may be trapped in there while on the road. Sometimes to add coolant too, then a brief belt inspection and etc.

I also recall, in the case of a westy, simply using my head to hold up the cushion as well (flexing those neck muscles) Shocked

It works for me.
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking for those who want a more refined method, perhaps have two spaced straps attached to the rear bench seat with hooks on the other ends that are under the cushion and can be lifted to metal 'eyes' or loops mounted above like in the upper cabinet to hold up the cushion. Could even use straps that have an adjustable length feature.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny you bring it up!

Snowy morning here so I've been online too much, I noticed a post with a photo of an engine hatch that has hinges on it!
I thought "that's interesting, never saw that before" and continued on my way.

I've been to a lot of places today.... Germany, Spain, etc. So I've been retracing my steps and of course found it here!

Posted by narendra.vw in India........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Once you have hinges...... It's only a small step to a hood prop!

Dave

PS..... Just found a much better photo.... He is hanging that lid with an Air Hook!

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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes ... I've seen that before but not for a westy with cabinets.

Some truck owners (doka/sinka) added to the top engine hatches hinges and even a small lifter like those used on the rear hatch with a latch to hold it down.


Last edited by WestyBob on Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Later year air-cooled squarebacks and fastbacks had a strap attached directly to the engine hatch with a hook on the other end to hold it open. Some earlier ones had a built-in (to the hatch) dual flexible wire bracket that would snap into a metal tab when the hatch was raised.
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campism
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Funny you bring it up!

Snowy morning here so I've been online too much, I noticed a post with a photo of an engine hatch that has hinges on it!
I thought "that's interesting, never saw that before" and continued on my way.

Posted by narendra.vw in India........
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


You must have been looking at the same "engine hoist" thread. I went and copied the same forum code to post and found you'd already done it.

For a Westy with the closet you might have to cut the engine cover so you can lift the right (passenger) side of it independently of the left in order to clear the closet and leave the smaller left side portion in place. Means sacrificing the cover integrity but that would be secondary to the convenience. It is more of a pain accessing the engine in a Westy or any van with the closet.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saved the rear trunk hinges/struts from my MkIV Jetta engine donor, for this very purpose. Probably just needs one of the struts for the lightweight lid, though.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob - I guess your method involves pulling out the cover completely and prop up just the cushion, (...???)
but a guy COULD lift the cushion, pull the cover back just to clear the hold-downs on the forward edge,
then slide the cover to the right to clear the cabinet and then prop it ALL up as you described...

Cool Cool Cool
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
Bob - I guess your method involves pulling out the cover completely and prop up just the cushion, (...???)
but a guy COULD lift the cushion, pull the cover back just to clear the hold-downs on the forward edge,
then slide the cover to the right to clear the cabinet and then prop it ALL up as you described...

Cool Cool Cool


Indeed there can many ways to do it. But for a quickie I usually just get that hatch out of there altogether in a westy. Using the head to keep the cushion up allows for two hands to pull out the hatch. But even using the hatch as a cushion prop can work too.
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campism
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WestyBob wrote:
dhaavers wrote:
Bob - I guess your method involves pulling out the cover completely and prop up just the cushion, (...???)
but a guy COULD lift the cushion, pull the cover back just to clear the hold-downs on the forward edge,
then slide the cover to the right to clear the cabinet and then prop it ALL up as you described...

8) 8) 8)


Indeed there can many ways to do it. But for a quickie I usually just get that hatch out of there altogether in a westy. Using the head to keep the cushion up allows for two hands to pull out the hatch. But even using the hatch as a cushion prop can work too.

In my '87 Westy tilting the cushion up lets it be held upright between the closet and the passenger side wall and it stays put by itself. Needs no prop to stay up, just that friction fit. However, the engine cover itself is more troublesome in the Westy due to the closet.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

campism wrote:
In my '87 Westy tilting the cushion up lets it be held upright between the closet and the passenger side wall and it stays put by itself. Needs no prop to stay up, just that friction fit.


That can work if it's the cushion only but when I'm on a road trip I usually have stuff on top so that won't work -- too heavy.
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ Stuff gets shoved forward onto the back seat...

It's still a pain, either way. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
^^^ Stuff gets shoved forward onto the back seat...

It's still a pain, either way. Rolling Eyes


That darn engine Bay access hatch!
How dare you give us such a big and open access port!

What was VW thinking?!?
How rude! Making us move things to access it!

Let's just go back to the Bay Window style rear engine lid and the deep dark cavern you had to wiggle into to look at or work on anything!

Damn you VW! Damn you! Rolling Eyes

Dave

Looks like fun Huh? My Dad had this setup...... Was NOT fun!
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Most famous of the VW repair guys hard at work shoving his limbs into the engine hole!
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Last edited by djkeev on Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Damn you VW! Damn you!

Laughing Laughing Wink
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