Safety of wheel on the front?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LiliesWheels, Jun 10, 2021 at 9:38 PM.

  1. Total noob here. Posted on another forum about whether it was a set conversion co. that put the wheels on the front.

    The post turned to safety and tbh now a bit freaked out. The point was made in a head on collision the first point of contact is designed to be the bumper under the driver - with a wheel on that sticks out further than the bumper so it becomes the new first point of impact potentially crushing the cab first.

    I realise we’re talking 40+ yr old vehicles here so it’s never going to be the same safety as a modern car… but… what are people’s thoughts? My spare is in terrible condition so even if I did get a flat I’d be needing to call AA anyway (only just got her so haven’t had a chance to get the spare looked at).
  2. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    I wouldn’t want a head on collision in a bay with, or without, the spare wheel there.
    Personally, I wouldn’t worry about it.
  3. jivedubbin

    jivedubbin Moderator

    More early air bag than spare wheel
  4. Bear in mind that some of the Westfalia's had a big plastic cover over the spare wheel which stuck out but not past the bumper, thus


    I'd not worry about it either way to be fair, I'd just avoid having a front end accident!
    scrooge95, nicktuft and Iain McAvoy like this.
  5. You wouldn't want to have a front-ender in a Bay anyway, but if you insist, best done in a Late Bay with the deformation panel and "Y" chassis members. Actually did quite well in US crash tests (in the 1970s). Best avoided, anyway.

    The main peril of a wheel on the front is if you bump into something in Sainsbury's car park - it'll put a great dent in the front panel.
    cunny44 and Soggz like this.
  6. PS If you were looking on the forum, it is true that dentures need a good soaking overnight. And, generally, Horlicks is better than cocoa.
    Fruitcake, art b, Jack Tatty and 5 others like this.
  7. Day


    Learn to drive the bus well, anticipating things ahead...

    In my experience there's always clear road ahead.
    Jack Tatty, rob.e, mikedjames and 2 others like this.
  8. I think the difficulty in answering your question is that there is unlikely to be hard evidence to back up any view. The old expression 'show me the accident you are going to have and I'll tell you the protection you need' possibly applies.
    I'm no expert but I doubt the spare wheel would act as a modern crumple zone would because of the structure it is attached to. Lots of VW campervans have this configuration, lots don't. Without the facts, you are probable just going to have to choose what makes you feel most comfortable.
  9. Y
    that is the plan. Yes I’ve seen these ones shared seems like they moved the bumper forward.

    I think I’ll keep driving like a granny, slow and steady is safest.
    cunny44, Merlin Cat and MorkC68 like this.
  10. It kicks out...
  11. Also,if your vans at standard height,you may be lucky in a head on, and just ride up over the car, decapitating the occupants.:thumbsup:
    Razzyh likes this.
  12. No need to drive like a granny. Just look where you’re going ;). It’s the ones you don’t see that get you. And you wouldn’t see those anyway…
    cunny44 likes this.
  13. ^this.
  14. Use your extra head height to look over the cars in front.
    Try seeing how your bus stops and leave a bigger gap as a result.
    Dont roll out too far at road junctions underestimating stopping distance.

    If your bus is lowered the deformation panel is too low anyway.
    You dont have an engine just above your knees, theres actually some space.
  15. If you want to feel safer, ride a motorbike…:rolleyes:
  16. May as well put the spare in the back.
    S1mon and Chrisd like this.
  17. One advantage of having the spare on the front is that pigeons bounce off it without denting your front panel
  18. Thanks for sharing, really interesting second video as well giving the first one some context. The first one was a bit shocking until I saw the second one...phew:eek::thumbsup:
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021 at 7:41 AM
    Mark Darby, Soggz, Day and 2 others like this.
  19. Many, many years ago I had an exhaust fitted to the bay. It was on the ramp & chap reached up & started the engine to see how it sounded. Sadly he'd left it in gear and it rolled forward until it hit the wall, which in those days was corrugated asbestol and shattered instantly. There was a LOT of shouting from the unit next door and then the van stopped. Bob the mechanic had a siezure & the chaps from next door ran round to administer CPR. The van was saved by the front mounted spare, the only damage was that the radio arial had a bit of a kink in it.

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