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post #31 of 210 (permalink) Old 07-27-2015, 09:34:PM Thread Starter
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Ceiling complete -- finally!

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.
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File Type: jpg P1030703_nut_inserts.jpg (67.9 KB, 453 views)
File Type: jpg P1030716_ceiling.jpg (134.7 KB, 551 views)
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Last edited by EddieZ; 07-28-2015 at 12:15:PM.
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post #32 of 210 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 12:01:PM
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Celtec panels look really nice. And I like your honest assessment of the material. Good idea to overlap the joints with fiberglass laminated with CA. That's also a quick surfboard repair technique.

I saw a van with the factory cargo panels just yesterday. They look nice but the light grey Celtec results in a much brighter interior look.

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post #33 of 210 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 05:57:PM Thread Starter
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2nd fan installed

I've now got my 2nd fan installed. I was not sure the MaxxFan would be enough for some hot nights. If Maxx is exhausting, I would not get much flow over the bed. If Maxx is doing intake, it would be blowing down on the bed. Not sure which I'll use most, but, wanted a fan to direct at the bed, regardless. Also, I wanted a fan with the option of directing it to the cab area, or, more importantly, to the sliding door. I often sit in the sliding door step well, when I'm exercising my dog -- when she's taking a break from Frisbee catching. Maxx, on intake, would not provide quite enough airflow at the slider, to make enough difference in comfort.

This fan is a Caframo Bora, sold for marine use. Of all of the "dashboard" or "cabin" type fans I could review online, this one seemed to be most likely to hold up, and looks pretty good. It has 2 easy adjustments in its mount bracket, that allow it to be turned in any direction. My mount location provides for that movement, but keeps it as far out of the way as possible.

The mount bracket is another of my custom weld items. It is attached through a single M8 threaded OEM insert. The unique thing, though, is that it is also supported by an 8.5mm pin, through one of the panel attachment holes. That pin is made from the smooth shank of a 3/8 inch bolt, which I filed down ('turned' it in a drill press) to the hole size. Mainly, the pin keeps the bracket at the proper angle for the placement.

I also tapped threads into the 3/16 inch bar, for the 10-24 threads of the machine screws that hold down the Caframo mount. To make sure there was no vibration against the wall panel, I glued a square of felt to the back of the mount, opposite the fan attachment.

I would have preferred to put the hole for the wiring behind the fan, but, because of the way it articulates, and the way the fan stows near the big white adjusting "nut," the wire had to go to the front.

Today, it was over 95 degrees. I did a test sitting in the door step. The Caframo, alone, was not putting out as much air as I wanted. Ah, but, the MaxxFan and the Caframo did pretty well, together. I think the Caframo will be good for my expected uses.
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post #34 of 210 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 05:33:PM Thread Starter
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I finally revisited the sliding door. It was kind of daunting to insulate, with the sealed dust cover, and all the cables, wires and mechanisms taking up some of the space inside. I was encouraged by post by jethaden, which explained that the butyl rubber gasket needed to be sliced with a razor, between the door and dust cover, as the cover was removed.

Adding insulation without interfering with any of the doodads inside was not so bad. So, I was putting the dust cover back on, and I looked up around the slider window, and noticed that there are 13 openings where dust can still get through (and 4 more with transparent stickies over them, to keep dust out). I had to laugh. I know that must be just a cargo van thing.

While I was at it, I made a new door panel out of gray Celtec -- replacing the darker corrugated OEM panel, and matching the rest of the interior.

Insulating the slider was worth doing, as I can tell that the ride is quieter. That makes me wonder how much road noise comes through the front doors.
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post #35 of 210 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 01:36:PM Thread Starter
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Interior rear door handles

I had posted a thread to get ideas for interior rear door handles. In particular, I wanted the handles to reside in the indents that turned out to be provisions for rear window wiper motors.

There are a couple of good pictures and diagrams of the rear doors on that thread, which may be of continuing value. It was noted that Orton had already found a nice handle, which is available on
Amazon Amazon
. He had mounted a single handle vertically on the right-hand door, using existing holes.

I wanted two handles, rather than just one on the right-hand door. When I did my initial camping test, I found I was using the rear doors a lot, and found myself standing on the rear bumper, reaching for the outer or upper edges of the doors, to close them.

So, it all worked out great. I used dabs from a hot glue gun to test the positions of the handles. I wanted them to match -- difficult to eyeball, due to curves, angles and shadows. It turned out there's a limit to how much one can obsess over the positions, as the door insets have a slightly different "vertical" angle... the forward edge of the right-hand handle dips a bit, as compared to the left-hand setup.

Also, I found the area of the lower rear door to be deceptively large -- that is, a good-sized area to be insulated.

HEY, you can see my finger-slot interior door latch in the photo. Is there another type of latch, with a lever or protrusion? I get the impression there is. I'd like to know what it looks like, as I might try to get one, or modify the one I have.
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post #36 of 210 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 11:46:PM
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Excellent idea. I was happy to steal it. On the alternative rear release, the wagon has T handle set into the top of the interior door panel. I can't find anything on it in the service manual, other than a mention of the need to remove it prior to taking off the panel. A search of the parts website might be useful.

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post #37 of 210 (permalink) Old 08-16-2015, 09:55:PM
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Great post and I really dig the pictures!

Thanks.

Craig, The (I'm Just A) Loxmyth
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post #38 of 210 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 02:24:AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieZ View Post
I had posted a thread to get ideas for interior rear door handles. In particular, I wanted the handles to reside in the indents that turned out to be provisions for rear window wiper motors.

There are a couple of good pictures and diagrams of the rear doors on that thread, which may be of continuing value. It was noted that Orton had already found a nice handle, which is available on Amazon. He had mounted a single handle vertically on the right-hand door, using existing holes.

I wanted two handles, rather than just one on the right-hand door. When I did my initial camping test, I found I was using the rear doors a lot, and found myself standing on the rear bumper, reaching for the outer or upper edges of the doors, to close them.

So, it all worked out great. I used dabs from a hot glue gun to test the positions of the handles. I wanted them to match -- difficult to eyeball, due to curves, angles and shadows. It turned out there's a limit to how much one can obsess over the positions, as the door insets have a slightly different "vertical" angle... the forward edge of the right-hand handle dips a bit, as compared to the left-hand setup.

Also, I found the area of the lower rear door to be deceptively large -- that is, a good-sized area to be insulated.

HEY, you can see my finger-slot interior door latch in the photo. Is there another type of latch, with a lever or protrusion? I get the impression there is. I'd like to know what it looks like, as I might try to get one, or modify the one I have.
My bed platform extends all the way to the back doors. The rounded edge of the platform is only 1/4" from the back doors when they are closed. Unfortunately that means I can't reach the back door finger latch. I don't like not being able to open the back door for an emergency or even just fresh air. I'd love to mount a door handle to open the door in the same area you attached your grab handle. When I took off the door panel it looks like something could be attached to push the finger latch down, but I'd like the handle to function by pulling out or up so I won't accidentally open the door leaning against the handle. Right now I'm thinking of a cable that pulls on a lever attached to the inside of the finger latch, but that's a bit crude. If anyone knows a better option please post.

TNorth

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post #39 of 210 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 09:53:AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on rear door latch actuator

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNorth View Post
My bed platform extends all the way to the back doors. The rounded edge of the platform is only 1/4" from the back doors when they are closed. Unfortunately that means I can't reach the back door finger latch. I don't like not being able to open the back door for an emergency or even just fresh air. I'd love to mount a door handle to open the door in the same area you attached your grab handle. When I took off the door panel it looks like something could be attached to push the finger latch down, but I'd like the handle to function by pulling out or up so I won't accidentally open the door leaning against the handle. Right now I'm thinking of a cable that pulls on a lever attached to the inside of the finger latch, but that's a bit crude. If anyone knows a better option please post.
I like the way you think. Yes, I think it would be possible to devise an alternate actuator for the door latch. This is from memory... The finger-slot has an apron or flashing on the lower-left, that's designed to cover the hole when in resting position. My inclination would be to put a hole in the flashing, then run a stiff push-rod up to the top of the door. In its simplest form, think of it protruding as another door lock stem -- you would push down on it to open the door.

One possible problem would be the durability of the plastic flashing, when used this way. Also note that using cable would likely be more complex, requiring fixed anchor points, and maybe a loop to have pull direction from 8 o'clock on the flashing. OTOH, a very stiff cable in a tube might able to work from directly above, as with the push-rod.

I'm just starting to work on my bed. I considered going all the way to the door, but have decided, instead, to save the 3+ inches of aisle space, and situate the bed closer to the wall, and extending several inches past the slider door opening. Yes, I did consider going against the wall, but having a corner notch for the rear pillar, and extend the head area to the back door, but, then, you get into having to have a custom shaped mattress. I'm planning to use a 4-inch Thermarest luxury base-camp mattress. And, if that proves insufficient, then 2 x 3-inch Thermarests, Velcro'd together.

EDIT: Oh, you're worried about accidentally opening the door. That can't happen if you have the door locked! Thus, something simple, rather than elegantly complex, might work for you.

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post #40 of 210 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 11:15:AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieZ View Post
I like the way you think. Yes, I think it would be possible to devise an alternate actuator for the door latch. This is from memory... The finger-slot has an apron or flashing on the lower-left, that's designed to cover the hole when in resting position. My inclination would be to put a hole in the flashing, then run a stiff push-rod up to the top of the door. In its simplest form, think of it protruding as another door lock stem -- you would push down on it to open the door.

One possible problem would be the durability of the plastic flashing, when used this way. Also note that using cable would likely be more complex, requiring fixed anchor points, and maybe a loop to have pull direction from 8 o'clock on the flashing. OTOH, a very stiff cable in a tube might able to work from directly above, as with the push-rod.

I'm just starting to work on my bed. I considered going all the way to the door, but have decided, instead, to save the 3+ inches of aisle space, and situate the bed closer to the wall, and extending several inches past the slider door opening. Yes, I did consider going against the wall, but having a corner notch for the rear pillar, and extend the head area to the back door, but, then, you get into having to have a custom shaped mattress. I'm planning to use a 4-inch Thermarest luxury base-camp mattress. And, if that proves insufficient, then 2 x 3-inch Thermarests, Velcro'd together.

EDIT: Oh, you're worried about accidentally opening the door. That can't happen if you have the door locked! Thus, something simple, rather than elegantly complex, might work for you.
I left space between the rear doors and the bed platform so I can carry a Xooter foldable bike between the doors and the bed. Can not have a bike hanging off the back outside for a stealth van.

We use two 2 1/2" thick x 25" x 70" REI self inflating camp pads as a "mattress" for each person. Comfortable. They do slide around too much so will try your Velcro solution. Did try only one of the 2 1/2" thick pads but that was not enough.

Just returned from a 5 night stay in the van for the first time with a temporary across the back bed platform. Bed length is 74" and pad lengths are 70". That creates a 2" x 5" x 27" hole at each end of the bed. On head end a pillow is stuffed in the hole. On the feet end my toes drop down into the hole which makes bed more comfortable.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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