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Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon
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BC_Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:48 pm    Post subject: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

Hi. First time poster here after finding a '91 Weekender in the site's classifieds. Am looking forward to using my hitch-style bike rack, but the factory hitch isn't a typical square receiver, but rather a flat bar with a hole for the hitch-ball. It's welded right to the stock bumper, so appears to have been a factory option.

This is in the way of a modern hitch receiver, so I want it gone. Anyone have experience with removing this kind of hitch? Is it just an angle grinder job to get through the 3/4" thick steel bar?

Many thanks for any tips you can pass my way. This site is amazing resource, but after several searches I couldn't find anything on this topic.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

Welcome to the madness.

At the top of the Vanagon forum page is a Vanagon Essentials and FAQs thread.
In it is all kinds of crazy info.

You want hitches?
Here:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/search.php?search...=titleonly
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

I converted a standard ball type hitch to a 1.25" box receiver. I use it exclusively for my four bike hitch mount carrier. I just welded a box receiver on top of the flat ball blade.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

Got any pix?
Any of the factory approved hitches that I have seen were bolt on not welded.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
Got any pix?
Any of the factory approved hitches that I have seen were bolt on not welded.

I have seen a few of those bolt-on-to tow loop varieties welded onto the tow loops. (not likely "factory")
Might be what he has..

Pics would certainly help.
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

Mine bolts between the two bumper mounts--not the tow loops
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

<<<<Hi. First time poster here after finding a '91 Weekender in the site's classifieds. Am looking forward to using my hitch-style bike rack, but the factory hitch isn't a typical square receiver, but rather a flat bar with a hole for the hitch-ball. It's welded right to the stock bumper, so appears to have been a factory option.>>>>

This is in no way, shape or form a factory set up, being welded to the flimsy twist-O-matic lightweight , small gauge steel bumper.

Cut it off with a torch.

You'll be grinding on that draw bar for an awfully long time to remove it.

Locate a local hitch dealer and get yourself a frame mounted hitch.
Master Hitch would be a good place to start.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:

Locate a local hitch dealer and get yourself a frame mounted hitch.
Master Hitch would be a good place to start.

Don't send this guy on a wild goose chase, please.

A "hitch dealer" will not sell any hitch for a Vanagon other than the commonly available 1000lb rated ball hitch.. (the one he likely has installed, now)
Nothing else fits without modification... (the computer/catalogue will tell them.)

You might be able to find an outfit that will retrofit something.. but in our state its a major liability... and the name brands shy away.
You'd have to go to a small no-name shop.

Go Westy, Burley, and Rocky Mountain are the only outfits that sell Vanagon specific frame mount receiver style hitches for the Vanagon.
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

I looked into custom built hitches, none of the 'hitch" shops here wanted to work on a Vanagon. Not with the exhaust and engine hanging where they are.

The one guy who would, came up with monstrosity that hung down so low it was at least 4" lower than the bottom of the muffler. No go.

So I asked Burley to build me one, sorta-custom based on a prototype he did for another Samba fellow.. That same hitch (refined more) is available now via online order from Burley... He has built and sold dozens.
Bolts right up wit minor mods to bumper.

Likewise Go-Westy and RMW build their own versions.


(Edited, because this post no longer flowed with the thread. It was originally a reply to a post that has since been removed)
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..


Last edited by j_dirge on Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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SyncroButter
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I converted a standard ball type hitch to a 1.25" box receiver. I use it exclusively for my four bike hitch mount carrier. I just welded a box receiver on top of the flat ball blade.


I was thinking about doing this exact thing, albeit with a 2 inch receiver. I would never use it for anything except bike rack.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

SyncroButter wrote:
Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I converted a standard ball type hitch to a 1.25" box receiver. I use it exclusively for my four bike hitch mount carrier. I just welded a box receiver on top of the flat ball blade.


I was thinking about doing this exact thing, albeit with a 2 inch receiver. I would never use it for anything except bike rack.


I fabbed this up about ten years ago. The only thing I'd do differently is make it shorter, and tie it underneath with the engine crossbar, for stabilization.
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boroko
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:09 am    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

With a little bit of time, steel, cardboard, and a welder, you can greatly improve the stock loop mounted trailer hitch.

Before I knew anything about theSamba, I needed to haul a trailer. Knowing that the tow loops weren't the best option, I pulled the whole bumper off with the horns attached. A couple of bolts in the frame on each side, and it will pull right out, both horns and the bumper.

I plated the inside of the stamped horns using a template that I made out of cardboard. From that piece, I welded a flat with a hole in it for the bolts onto the tow loops and tied it to the plate that I had added previously. Basically reinforcing the tow loops. Pulled a 4500# trailer 1300 miles and never had a problem. I did check the mounting bolt tightness at every stop, but the stock ones did the job. Obviously not the best for the tranny, but I didn't know that at the time.

The shape becomes self explanatory once you look at the stamped horn.

No guarantees, but it is an option that worked for me.

Bo
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BC_Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for all the replies guys. Sounds like this isn't a typical situation and may not be stock. In my next reply, I'll include some pictures. I'm not keen on the welding idea because it will leave the receiver protuding out from the bumper instead of being tucked away. Would be just a matter of time until I whack my shin on it.

I also didn't realize the Vanagon receiver was only found in a those select few suppliers. This will save me a ton of time.

After being TDiClub.com member for years, I've alway been impressed with the knowledge base in community forums like thesamba.

Hitch notwithstanding, I had busy weekend getting my new-to-me van dialed in a bit more. Replaced the hatch struts to get rid of the saggy hatch syndrome. Also go some ugly stains out of the pop top canvas and installed the GW child seat anchor. Places like GoWesty sure make keeping these vans going a lot easier! Have a lead on a jump seat, so hopefully I'll get that piece of the puzzle soon. So many things to do, but the it's about the journey, right?

Mike
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: Stock hitch on a '91 Vanagon Reply with quote

There is usually a lot lost in translation, or personal nomenclature;
I for one would like to view this drawbar welded to the rear bumper only.
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