With that lovely narrative, let's get to work on installing a fire extinguisher in a WK2 without it being aesthetically annoying or too much in the way:
- Small Drill Bits
- Pop Rivet Gun
- Medium-length Rivets
- Painter's Tape
I bought a 3.7lb Kidde B/C (Auto/Marine) fire extinguisher in a snazzy silver color for $17 at Depot. It came with a plastic mount, but I had horrible visions of a high-speed crash where the plastic would break and the extinguisher would become a missile into the back of my skull in the driver's seat. No problem - quick trip to my local Grainger Supply and I was in possession of a $7 Kidde mount, made from metal and with a metal latching strap. I did have to do some modifications to the bracket to widen the space where the neck of the extinguisher goes in order to make it fit. When it came time to touch up the paint, I ended up painting the whole thing black to make it less visible inside.
I knew I wanted the extinguisher in the rear trunk space, as when we cook with the stove it would be the most accessible. Realistically I think the stove catching fire has a higher likelihood than the engine bay (but fingers crossed for neither), so it's located accordingly.
First off, I put some painter's tape down on the window sill space of the rear-most driver's side window. Driver's side because the fridge is on the passenger side and it seemed too crowded in there for easy access. Holding the bracket up in the space, I used a sharpie to mark through the holes I drilled out for this specific purpose. They're on the flat planes of the bracket. Once the marks were made, I drilled them out with a drill bit appropriately sized for my rivets.
I had to use some dikes/diagonal wire cutters to get the rivets cut flush, and then was able to fit the extinguisher itself. I used the super scientific "wiggle" test, and the whole assembly seemed sufficiently secure. Ideally I'll never need to use this thing, but I'm glad to know it's back there now.
The shear strength of these rivets is rated around 420lbs in a "perfect" scenario... where I'm into plastic, the plastic obviously becomes my weakest point. In reviewing it with an engineer friend Rob, he suggested a third rivet to form a triangular fastening situation, which I'll do when I get home. In a usual crash scenario, to its benefit, there's not really a clear path for it to go forward, as it would come into direct contact with the C pillar before moving too far forward. There's only about 6" of space in there after the nozzle of the extinguisher.
It's right to think there's concern with the extinguisher becoming dangerous in a crash because of its mounting, which I believe I put a bit of thought into, but I may re-evaluate beyond a triangulated rivet if I see an issue. I'll keep this updated if any further changes happen.