Ok, so one of the first jobs we wanted to do, was to fit the side bars to the van, we wanted to fit these, for several reasons.
- The steps will help the boys climb in through the side door
- they are supposed to help prevent car park dings from other car doors
- they look cool
Fitting them proved to be a lot trickier than we expected, and I am fairly sure I may of taught any passers by a few new words during the struggle.
The side bars were from VanTech and the instructions were not brilliant, but good enough, the fixings go into blind holes in the chassis rails, so they are basically round headed bolts welded offset into a piece of flat bar.
You also get some plastic clips, which I think are supposed to hold the fixing in place while you fit the bracket, these in my opinion are about as much good as a poke in the eye.
So with the front of the van up on ramps, I removed all of the plastic under tray and proceed to fit the brackets.
Basically you hook the long leg of the fixing into the hole and then centralise it to fit the bracket, this is not so easy , as you can’t see the hole after the bracket is fixed.
The issue is, the bolts that go into the vertical part of the chassis, have to go all the way into the chassis to allow the bracket to go on, So you can’t hang on to it while you put the bracket in place, This caused a fair amount of pain, until I found a solution, which was taping a piece of wire to bolt, so I could pull it back out through the bracket when I got it in place.
There is no way you can fit the middle bracket on the near side as the fuel tank is in the way, even if you dropped it, there is not enough room for the actual bracket, let alone the bolt, its a shame as this side will get the most use, as this is the side with the sliding door.
When I drop the tank to fit the seat, I will look at modifying the middle bracket. The offside brackets were quite straightforward, and al three have enough room to fit.
Then before the brackets are fully tight, I let my glamourous assistant loosely fit the side bars onto the brackets, once this is done, you can fully tighten the brackets to the chassis, then fully tighten the sidebars. You then have to cut the under tray to clear the brackets, I did this using a cutting disc on the grinder, as the plastic was starting to get a bit brittle, then bolt them back up and your done.
we are very happy with the results, but the nearside one will need attention, when the tank is out, I will modify the bracket, as it does flex a bit, with my (immense) weight on it.