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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
howdy everyone! i got my floor in after a long week of late nights and useful help from this sub. now time for the fan!

here's my list of supplies:
Maxxfan deluxe 7500
DIYVan Roof adapter
DIYvan fan backing plate
one step primer (24 hour cure time??)
Rustoleum enamel paint (24 hour cure time??)
3m window weld (24 hour cure time)
lap dicor self leveling sealant (24-48 hour to 80% cured... 30 DAYS until full cure????)
Machine screws, washers, and nuts... was going to follow the far out ride build plan because they use the same adapters, but they don't list their screw length! would 1.5" be too short? instead of nuts&bolts, would screws work better and try to have them end somewhere in the middle of the backing frame on the interior?

my one concern with this is that after i prime/paint the pilot holes, i am just going to take more fresh metal out with the actual screws, only then they will be burried in the adapter frames and i can't clean out and paint.my worry about the screws and nuts, is sizing them wrong or accidentally plugging the holes with the butyl tape or 3m window wld and not being able to send the bolt through

my main issue right now is mostly cure times.. it gets down below freezing most nights this time of year, and this weekend has a window where it isn't supposed to dip colder than 4C or so. my issue, which i ran into with the floor, is all these paints, sealants, and adhesives ask for 24hr cure time!! do you all really take four days to do any installs such as this to ensure everything is cured properly? what would be a reasonable amount of time between priming and then painting the cut edges and holes? how long shoiuld i wait after paitning before applying the 3m 90 to the two adapters and sandwiching them onto the hole? i feel as though trying to apply and adhesive while paint isn't cured is a recipe for disaster...

i know it's a somewhat stupid question, but i have pretty much zero experience doing anything like this. what did your guys schedule/timeframe look like? my hope/goal was something like this:

Saturday AM: cut holes, file/sand, prime (wait 30 min), then paint (wait 3-4 hours for cure)
Saturday PM: 3m window weld on roof adapter and interior backing plate, lightly clamp, let sit overnight.

Sunday AM: butyl tape underneath fan flange, send bolts through predrilled holes, tighten using nuts (wait 1 hour for tape to become set)
Sunday PM: Lap Dicor around bolt holes/edges... put a small tarp over it and a little heater to keep it warm overnight and into the next day.. wait full 24 hours before driving it.. will it cure properly after, say 30 hours if it is now subject to freezing temps over the next few weeks as it should?

i know the safe move here is to wait until spring, and i even ordered it back in February, however the van only arrived in august and then the dealership took until the end of September to complete warranty repairs which majorly screwed me for building this thing out
 

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2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
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Similar to @RidingRoadsAndTrails, we did it all in one push. In the dark last winter. But "winter" here in southern California isn't much of a winter. But if I were in your situation, I'd start as the sun comes up and do it in one push. It'll take a bit to cure, but it will eventually cure adequately.

You mention machine screws and nuts, but then talk about pilot holes. With machine screws, it's the actual full hole - not just a pilot. Only with sheet-metal screws (like those included with the fan) are you taking out more material. We did one install with machine screws. and one with sheet-metal screws. Sheet metal seemed cleaner / better once complete. But sheet-metal will probably be fine as well. After all the sealant dries, it's super solid and enclosed if it's all done right.

Here, Jordan is laying on the final silicone coat - in clear, which seemed really cool at first but is now all faded and white would have been better. Or silver if they made it. You can see this is the one we did with machine screws - including fender washers on the top. Ad you can see the black frame under it - can't really see the black Window Weld that holds the DIY frame to the van roof, but that crap was super messy. You can also see the white butyl squeezing out after tightening the machine screws. It took many days to all cure. But zero leaks in weather since.

One push. Start in the morning.

Musical instrument accessory Gas T-shirt Engineering Electronic instrument
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Similar to @RidingRoadsAndTrails, we did it all in one push. In the dark last winter. But "winter" here in southern California isn't much of a winter. But if I were in your situation, I'd start as the sun comes up and do it in one push. It'll take a bit to cure, but it will eventually cure adequately.

You mention machine screws and nuts, but then talk about pilot holes. With machine screws, it's the actual full hole - not just a pilot. Only with sheet-metal screws (like those included with the fan) are you taking out more material. We did one install with machine screws. and one with sheet-metal screws. Sheet metal seemed cleaner / better once complete. But sheet-metal will probably be fine as well. After all the sealant dries, it's super solid and enclosed if it's all done right.

Here, Jordan is laying on the final silicone coat - in clear, which seemed really cool at first but is now all faded and white would have been better. Or silver if they made it. You can see this is the one we did with machine screws - including fender washers on the top. Ad you can see the black frame under it - can't really see the black Window Weld that holds the DIY frame to the van roof, but that crap was super messy. You can also see the white butyl squeezing out after tightening the machine screws. It took many days to all cure. But zero leaks in weather since.

One push. Start in the morning.

View attachment 161058
i'm hoping our warm fall day is close to your cold winter night lol

as for the screws, i accidentally minced my words. i am wishy-washy between using sheet metal screws and pilot holes (similar to what comes in the fan package but a little longer to bite into the interior backing frame), or drilling nominal size holes and using machine screws w/ nuts and washers. as you mention, moisture really souldn't be getting in there anyway to lead to rust if i went the sheet metal screw route and cut into new material as i secured the frames.. plus i imagine i wouldn't have to worry about painting the screw holes as i would if i went machine screw. i like the idea of using locktite on the machine screws and nuts though.

for your window weld, did you just apply in the AM and then let sit for a few hours before doing your final sealant layer? that may be my biggest source of anxity right now is how long i need to wait for the window weld to cure before applying the lap sealant
 

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Maybe put an electric heater in your van and run it continuously to try to keep it 80 F or so in there. The sheet metal will certainly be cooler but at least a start.

It might be that you will need to find an indoor location for some of the work, even if that means renting a place to work.
 

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2021 HR Ext DRW AWD T350
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When installing the screws into the sheet metal, do it by hand, i.e., do not use a drill (even on the lowest torque setting) as it will probably tear the metal. When doing it manually with a screw driver you will feel when the screw is fully seated. If you're not sure what it feels like, just clamp a piece of wood to the piece of waste metal you cut out, drill it like would for screwing, then put a screw in with a hand driver. You'll feel when the resistance changes and will know it is fully seated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When installing the screws into the sheet metal, do it by hand, i.e., do not use a drill (even on the lowest torque setting) as it will probably tear the metal. When doing it manually with a screw driver you will feel when the screw is fully seated. If you're not sure what it feels like, just clamp a piece of wood to the piece of waste metal you cut out, drill it like would for screwing, then put a screw in with a hand driver. You'll feel when the resistance changes and will know it is fully seated.
for sure, i just don't know if i want to use screws or nuts/bolts. on one hand it would be nice to just screw into the sheet metal and two adapter/inner frame with nothing protruding on the interior side. on the other hand it would be nice to use locktite and to be able to paint the hardware holes, instead of sending the screws through sheet metal (i know it'll be sealed over top, im still just cautious)
 

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I did a lot of my build well below 0°C in SW Ontario. If you're working on an isolated area, a ceramic space heater ("Micro Furnace") aimed toward the work area can keep it quite warm throughout the duration. You could even cover the area after with some combination of cardboard, blankets and a tarp to trap in heat. Just be sure not to overheat anything or start fires.
 

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Similar to @RidingRoadsAndTrails, we did it all in one push. In the dark last winter. But "winter" here in southern California isn't much of a winter. But if I were in your situation, I'd start as the sun comes up and do it in one push. It'll take a bit to cure, but it will eventually cure adequately.

You mention machine screws and nuts, but then talk about pilot holes. With machine screws, it's the actual full hole - not just a pilot. Only with sheet-metal screws (like those included with the fan) are you taking out more material. We did one install with machine screws. and one with sheet-metal screws. Sheet metal seemed cleaner / better once complete. But sheet-metal will probably be fine as well. After all the sealant dries, it's super solid and enclosed if it's all done right.

Here, Jordan is laying on the final silicone coat - in clear, which seemed really cool at first but is now all faded and white would have been better. Or silver if they made it. You can see this is the one we did with machine screws - including fender washers on the top. Ad you can see the black frame under it - can't really see the black Window Weld that holds the DIY frame to the van roof, but that crap was super messy. You can also see the white butyl squeezing out after tightening the machine screws. It took many days to all cure. But zero leaks in weather since.

One push. Start in the morning.

View attachment 161058
It's a little hard to see but it looks like you put washers under each screw, great idea!! I did something similar and I think it helps to get a good seal. I cut some aluminum strips to fit each side and framed out the inside with wood, I also used longer screws.
Building Shade Wood Fixture Window
Plant Rectangle Window Line Triangle
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's a little hard to see but it looks like you put washers under each screw, great idea!! I did something similar and I think it helps to get a good seal. I cut some aluminum strips to fit each side and framed out the inside with wood, I also used longer screws.
View attachment 161065 View attachment 161066
did you cut the wood flat? reason i ask is that i bought the backing frame from DIYvan for simplicity, but it is flat and the roof is curved. im cautious to send screws into the sheet metal and backing frame and bend the metal flat rather than the frame curved...

also, did you just buy the exact same screws that came with the fan but in a slightly longer size? im thinking an extra 1/4-1/2" will probably be sufficient to plunge through the mounting frame and backing frame?
 

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@4man and @Bazz99, we used the DIYvan inner and outer frames. We sandwiched all of it together with machine screws with fender washers on the top and bottom and nylon lock nuts on the inside. We waited just long enough for the Window Weld to get tacky - which wasn't long.

As you can sort of see, once the Window Weld and Dicor start squeezing out the sides (which I think goes more smoothly with the large fender washers pushing the even-ness out more), I don't think it would matter how well any of it cured. I suspect that attachment method plus a simple layer of silicone would have been more than enough without anything else - no window weld or dicor.

Alternatively, the manufacturer's approach is Dicor plus sheet-metal screws. Then some silicone. IOW, it really doesn't /need/ the amount of over-thinking or over-engineering we apply to it. 🤔

@Bazz99, that solid bar for sure made a good seal.
 

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It might be different depending on where you install your fan, mines towards the back of the van where it tends to be flatter than the front. I don't recall it bending the roof much at all. It was such a slight bend that by the time you finish with the self leveling Lap Sealant the water will not build up around the fan. When I wash the roof there's no build up of water and no leaks.
I think I had some 1 1/2 inch screws that were self tapping, basically the same. I was also going into the wood frame so I wanted them long.
 

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@4man and @Bazz99, we used the DIYvan inner and outer frames. We sandwiched all of it together with machine screws with fender washers on the top and bottom and nylon lock nuts on the inside. We waited just long enough for the Window Weld to get tacky - which wasn't long.

As you can sort of see, once the Window Weld and Dicor start squeezing out the sides (which I think goes more smoothly with the large fender washers pushing the even-ness out more), I don't think it would matter how well any of it cured. I suspect that attachment method plus a simple layer of silicone would have been more than enough without anything else - no window weld or dicor.

Alternatively, the manufacturer's approach is Dicor plus sheet-metal screws. Then some silicone. IOW, it really doesn't /need/ the amount of over-thinking or over-engineering we apply to it. 🤔

@Bazz99, that solid bar for sure made a good seal.
I actually screwed up on my install, I got everything done and then went to put on the final self leveling Lap Sealant and realized I bought the wrong type, it wasn't the self leveling stuff, so I had to order the self leveling sealant. I water tested it without the self leveling sealant and I had no leaks but I still used it.
My Dometic A/C unit just has a rubber gasket and they say not to put any sealant around it, just tighten it down. I've had no leaks.
 

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Our vent adapters are very popular but there is some confusion about what to do in the inside. We offer an interior backing frame for vent installs but these are not well suited for a Transit due to roof curvature.

Instead, we recommend our framing system that is designed specifically for each bay (spaces between roof beams). The framing system is comprised of strips that go along the sides of the hole that extend fore/aft up to the OEM beams. This helps distribute the load of the vent and keeps it from jiggling due to roof metal flexing. There are also strips that go across the front and rear of the hole. These are not needed/included for the 14" bay.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan

 

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The only overnight cure we waited for was the windo-weld, other than that just a reasonable 30 minutes for rustoleum. We did end up going back and forth to the hardware store a bit, so that added to some forced curing time I guess.

Having done it, I’d agree with gregoryx’ strategy—start early, get it done in a day. And yeah, if in Alberta throw an oil heater in the van overnight to keep things at least somewhat above freezing.

Our next move is solar panel and WeBoost wiring runs, I sure as heck hope Dicor is relatively well cured after 24 hours…
 
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