So Tom and Ray are trashing my beloved vanagons again! The caller wondered about putting shoulder belts in the back of his 84 vanagon, they said it couldn’t be done (safely). I retrofitted shoulder belts from a late model (89 or 90) vanagon into my 87 syncro- I got all the belts and hardware from a scrapyard and guess what, all the mounting plates and weld nuts were already behingd the panels on my van! I don’t know if an 84 would have them all, but it is a pretty straightforward procedure as later vanagons did come with shoulder belts in back. As far as safety, at vanagon.com under there safety section, they have crash test results including picture and results of a vanagon hitting a volvo wagon (which Tom and Ray always reccomend for safety!)head on and the vangon passenger comes out way better than the poor sap in the volvo. Bottom line, if you feel the fall in love with a vanagon, there is a lot you can do to update it ( I have a jetta motor, 15 inch whells and am putting bigger audi brakes on my syncro) and safety shouldn’t scare you away!
“Safety shouldn’t scare you away.”
For a stock Vanagon, yes it should. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the skills or expertise required to properly and safely modify a vehicle with extra safety equipment.
Remember we are talking about a comedy show here, commenting on the vanagon is a pretty easy laugh. The inclusion of any actual automotive information in the show will be purely coincidental. Just shut off your brain and enjoy the show. This is sorta like listening to Jay Leno for national news. However, they do seem to draw the line at giving any advice that is actually dangerous.
These guys seem to know a little about generic cars, the kind of stuff that will actually show up at a general repair garage. A couple of years ago I actually heard them tell someone that their 912E had a leaky heater core. They probably don’t know what a vanagon is, don’t worry about it. Their callers are normally screened down to the “what does the check engine light mean?” folks, they take the occasional “vanagon” type call for laughs.
Oh, no! My safety is in jeopardy!
Ever since I can remember it’s been Mom, Dad, Bro, Sis, and I in the Vanagon everywhere. In the Boston area it handled great, got into all sorts of places, snow didn’t pose a problem it couldn’t handle. Accident free, I got the VW and then traded it in for $6k in 1998. Fun-est car I’ve ever had to this day. If you feel that you are at risk while driving and your car should act as your saviour then please shred your operator license now (not later). I detest the oblivious on our roads. A little natural selection would take care of the problem but we haven’t allowed it to.
There’s not really an un-safe way to add safety equipment. If there’s a belt and it’s attached to something, you can’t be worse off. If you drive defensively and actively then the number of accidents you could potentially have is about zilch (save a bridge that falls out from under you and then somehow on top of you…) The moral of the story is, don’t get into accidents. The government is not here to save your dumb ass. As active duty military I’m just trying to give you the right to do your thing. Live and let live right?
Oh, no! My safety is in jeopardy!
LOL, I’m not sure when the government decided it was their job to protect everyone from themselves. The result (partially) is the automotive junk that’s currently available. Fortunately the supply of old interesting vehicles will outlive me, so I’ll never have to drive these appliances. I do feel sorry for the next generation, though.
I have a very simple safety standard, anything safer than my motorcycle is more than adequate for me.