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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 08:06:AM
EddieZ
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Garage
I'll copy over info on my Celtec job, from my build thread, since this thread can make a good reference.

Have been considering purchase of commercial wall and ceiling (and even floor) liner kits. In another thread, I had looked at theeconomics and quality of liner kits. I had determined that doing it myself with Celtec -- my preferred material -- would cost at least $1062, while kits from Legend, via Inlad, would cost $1448.

Today, I finally found a way to get Celtec for less, through a plastics supplier in Atlanta. I just ordered sheets of 6mm gray Celtec for $68 each, and $139 shipping for 8 of 'em, total of $685. I think the liners can be done with 7 sheets, so, I'll have 1 extra backup sheet. So, I'll be saving $250 over my previous DIY estimate, and more than $600 over buying kits from Inlad.

Will it be Celtec light grey, or dark grey? I don't know! The supplier was unsure, from his available data. Either will be OK. Light grey, more like the pewter seats. Dark grey, more like the slider door panel, and other charcoal accents.

I've been worried about how to join panels of Celtec, for the ceiling. When I was talking to Hein, ordering Thinsulate, he mentioned that Celtec bonds well with CA glue (similar to Superglue). Hein even makes interior van furnishings with thicker pieces of Celtec, and CA glue. Now, I think I can work out edge bonding with CA, possibly with router cut-edges, if necessary.

For the record, the Legend liners are made of their Duratherm, and, I eventually learned that the material consists of two layers of HDPE, with corrugated or other hollow material between them.

Also, for benefit of others, I eventually found another liner kit for less money. But, it appears too soft, as photos show the fastener buttons causing indents in the material.


Wall panels
The Celtec worked out as I had hoped, for walls. I wanted to get close to an OEM or commercial liner look. I did not want to deal with wood, and finishing. The Celtec will be durable enough for my use, though it can be scratched or marred with thoughtless treatment. Well, so can other materials, to some degree. I'm not too rough on my stuff.

In fact, it's pretty easy to mar in handling, when working with it -- especially working alone. I do have a few blems built into the walls, but, it's not like I even notice them. Most of the layout work and cutting was done on the back sides of the Celtec.

Working with Celtec reminded me of working with balsa wood. Careful with those power tools!

The material is pretty floppy, and my work environment limited. I could not get perfect "machined" edge cuts. So, I made sure the edges that butted near van center were the manufactured edges.

I had purchased 150 of the OEM push-fasteners. I thought I'd have leftovers. But, I see that, by the time I'm done with the ceiling, I'll be short a few fasteners.

I had to drill a few new fastener holes, most of which can be referenced in the left-side photo, below. One at the rearmost part of the lower front panel. One at the upper front corner of the upper rear panel. There is nothing to anchor the paneling to at the front of the front upper panel. For that, I had to use 1 inch aluminum angle, cut to 1-inch pieces, with fastener holes drilled, then attached with VHB tape. I also had to squeeze the aluminum angle in a vice, to tighten up the angles, due to the angled sides of the B-pillar.

The panel edges below the wiring race may appear not to be cut straight. Actually, the wiring race is kind of goofy.







Ceiling complete

The ceiling was a much bigger challenge than the walls, complicated by having to wait 4x, for assistance in handling/placing/removing/installing the ceiling, as I progressed.

It's installed as one single piece, using the factory holes, along with 8 screws at the edges that go into nut plates that I made, to fit into the crossbar rectangles. All along, I wanted to do one large piece, to avoid having to engineer some way to join and support separate panels, at the ceiling.

I had learned from Hien -- the Thinsulate guy -- that Celtec bonds well with "superglue" type CA. The question was, would it sufficiently edge-bond 6mm Celtec? The answer is: yes, and no. It's true, that IF you have perfect edges, the bond will be stronger than the material itself. The best glue I tried for this was "Bob Smith" BSI MaxiCure. BUT, it's virtually impossible to get perfect edges to work with. None of my tools or setups are precise enough to get perfect, stutter-free, smooth, perpendicular cuts. SO, I figured I'd use the factory cut edges for the joints I needed to make a 1-piece ceiling. BUT, even those edges are not perfect, which becomes more apparent as the joints become longer.

I finally had to resort to putting fiberglass over the joints, on both sides. The fiberglass is wetted with CA glue. The best for glassing is BSI Insta-Cure Super Thin. But, I ran out of Super Thin, and had to use some thicker formulations -- just one of several headaches that resulted in what I consider less-than-perfect visual results of the joints. Ah-well -- it still looks pretty good, for what little time anyone would actually be looking at the joints.

I've included a photo of my custom made nut insert plates, for the rectangles at each end of the ceiling cross-bar supports. They are just held in place by their own structure, and having insulation packed in behind them. They can slide up/down a bit in the rectangle, as needed. I had made the same 9 or 10mm holes as for the push fasteners, so I would have some slop factor. When I went to install the screws, I did have to stick a tiny screwdriver in, and line up a couple of the nuts. The screws that I used are
black, with large captive washers black, with large captive washers
.

In the photo of the ceiling, you can see my installed LED lights. The one near the back door is to be a reading light, over the head of the bed. The double light near the center is operated by the wall switch at the rear of the sliding door. This switch can be reached while standing outside the van. I placed this "center" light out of the center walking area. It will be partially over a cabinet, eventually. Also, up high and near the back door, I have 2 12v power sockets. They are recessed into one of those ovals in the sheet metal, so, there's support (several push-fasteners, and one sheet metal screw with fender washer, that I added up high, hidden by the ceiling) for both inserting and removing 12v plugs. I will make a shelf over the bed that, among other things, will be a good place to stash electronic devices while they are charging.

There is not currently any support for the ceiling, up there at the cross-bar that is shared with the cabin headliner. It does not seem to be a major need, given that the ceiling arch makes that section pretty rigid. I may attach some supports of angle aluminum to the side of the crossbar, with VHB tape. Or, I may find some 3M Command self-stick attachments that I can modify and attach, both to give the ceiling support, and, possibly, to hold up other stuff, like curtains, or clothes on a hanger, or drying towels... I dunno.

It's worth noting that the ceiling could be assembled out of just three pieces, with fewer joints. But, that would require a nice pattern to work off of, and getting a pattern of the ceiling is not nearly as practical as getting patterns for the walls was. I found it relatively easy to get a pattern for the front, center edge, at the crossbar shared with the headliner. After getting that transferred to the front of a sheet of Celtec, and doing a lot of very careful measurements for hole placement, I was able to do a preliminary install of the main, center section. From there, it was possible to do a few patterns and more measurements for the side extensions. That's how I wound up with 6 pieces and more joints.


I don't have a pic handy of the custom nut plate, so, it would need to be viewed at the original post: Project: Minimalist with kayak

I should also note that the Celtec weighs a little bit more than wood would, and surely weighs more than corrugated plastic liners.


Transit 250 Cargo MR LWB 3.5L w/3.31

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Last edited by EddieZ; 07-18-2016 at 09:01:AM.
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