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Very nice work! Would you mind explaining the process for the windows?

What ones did you pick?
What is that method of "steaming?" the fabric to to adhesive sheet? It looks very aesthetically appealing to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Very nice work! Would you mind explaining the process for the windows?

What ones did you pick?
What is that method of "steaming?" the fabric to to adhesive sheet? It looks very aesthetically appealing to me.
I picked Cr laurence t vent windows for the slider and behind driver. still waiting for my 10x33 CRL slider bunk windows.

Steam is an upholsters best friend they say. i once picked the hottest day of the year to install a headliner in a VW karmann ghia, one man and his steamer in the smallest space he could find. steam relaxes the fabric so its more supple and allows it to either stretch or shrink. the white sheet is 1/8" Landau foam, a closed cell foam that give a lil cushion as well as sound deadening and small insulation value. glued down with Landau glue in a spray gun. then the fabric is glued down using the same glue to that. I'm using tweed fabric for my finish, which is motor vehicle safety standard rated (MVSS-302) but actually did consider doing it in a vinyl and may still do some parts (lowers) in vinyl.

Slider door does not have same finish as it see's the weather
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
its mind boggling how much time i have into these 5 ceiling panels, but finally got em how i want them. complex curve in all directions. my initial plan failed, but only wasted 12" of plywood, so not bad
143322
 

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(Sold) 2020 Crew Van AWD, 148WB HR, 3.5 Ecoboost
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its mind boggling how much time i have into these 5 ceiling panels, but finally got em how i want them. complex curve in all directions. my initial plan failed, but only wasted 12" of plywood, so not bad
View attachment 143322
Now that is too cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
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finally got all my panels prebuilt (couple more no pictured here) so i jacked the van up to do some things underneath.

propane tank mount is first order of business Manchester 6813 10x23 5.5 gallon. this is for heat, hot water and cooking
had to make a cut into a non structural piece of metal (gives the floor a lil more rigidity is its only purpose, cabinets are going there). i wanted to get the tank as high as possible for those off road explorations
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the 23" tank fit perfectly between the 2 "structural" frame member, very tightly actually.
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all brackets i TIG welded and thru bolted through the "structural" frame members
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tank is mounted about 1.5" higher than the gas tank, so not the lowest point and well protected. still very easy to fill with plenty of access for the attendant, but not very visible from the side view
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now im onto the Van Compass suspension upgrade, but messed up my back doing so--stuck on the couch right now--doh
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Looking good! I had this dream of improving my TIG skills with my last two van builds. But...MIG is so much faster!
TIG is very intimidating at first, and easily gets discouraging. then it clicks and ends up being faster and cleaner once it does. i pretty much only pull my MIG out now if its old rusty metal or the pieces dont fit well and need to fill big gaps. or body work on cars, MIG is easy to tack stuff together. that said, i patched a hole on a moto gas tank with TIG lately and it went really well (gas tank had not had gas in it for at least 10 years-ha)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
been slow going lately, paying jobs getting in the way. BUT, finally got the Van Compass AWD topo lift installed that has been sitting on my shelf for months. i had the Bilstien B6 struts ordered since July, finally just cancelled my order and kept the stock ones. I was wavering on that upgrade anyway and saw a couple people having issues, so....

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out with the old. i kind of forgot how much i dislike doing suspension work on the ground, and the transit is kind of extensive since entire hub assembly has to come out. done close to 100 lifts probably on customer trucks, personal trucks and my vanagon syncros, this is one of a lamer ones

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shiny new RED springs

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back together, this is where my back said it had enough and i was glad i had a customer upholstery project to do

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and finally got back to it and banged out the back. nothing unusual here past the high clearance shock mount trimming. i plan to do a leaf pack in the future vs block--because i kind of hate blocks. kind of want to see how it weighs out and sits before i do that.

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new stance on stock tires, fixing the 1 shortcoming of the transit in my opinion, ground clearance. i actually wish we could get it a little higher to help approach/departure some more, but... I'll make an appointment to get an alignment and tires once i get more weight in it, which will effect alignment. haven driven it since i parked it to build anyway--might as well wait
 

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Im Back in a VAN after many years. this will be my build thread for my personal van from a guy who has built sprinters and overland trucks professionally. ill explain some

i got the van buzz a long long time ago before "vanlife" and "overland" was ever a thing. my first van was a 66 VW Kombi split window bus i did a full ground up restoration on over a 5 year period. i got a hair up my *** one day and sold it in 20 minutes online before i could even rethink my decision

View attachment 138933
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
more paying jobs slowing me down on the van build, when it rains it pours they say. finally getting caught up on that and got my floor installed finally.

first thing was run the big wire from CCP1 and my ignition signal for my Red Arc manager 30 from C33-E connector. runs from driver seat to passenger wheel well where all my electrical cabinet will live. I had to order the C33-E connector which came empty, i populated 9 of the 10 pins (10 pins in 2020 and #10 is empty) for future expansion ease, then wired IGNITION from pin 6
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then i glued down with 3/8 ply runners, loosely filled the voids left over with a minicell insulation which also had a reflective heat shield layer, (left over from another project) and covered that all in a closed cell foam, including the metal ribs to avoid "squeaks". to me this is a good compromise in insulating with out building up a super thick floor. there is plenty of air pathways for it to dry if/when it gets damp under there which is inevitable. thermal bridges will be stopped/minimized by the closed cell foam. this is actually more insulation than i initially planned or have done in the past, we will see how it works.
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then my 1/2 russian birch ply was glued and stapled to the ply runners, its not going anywhere with zero screws or holes drilled in the floor. groove in the back is for L-track, so that of course will have to be thru bolted, no choice there.
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i then cut the diamond plate vinyl, and laid it in the van and let it relax for several days (mostly because i got busy) and then glued it down with vinyl cement and 1/16" grooved trowel. worked it into the routered out cuts i made and installed the factory sill plates i put on my order when i ordered the van. ended up pretty clean i think
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i also installed a Remora side ladder, again, an excellent company to deal with and really refreshing these days. i really wanted a rear door ladder, and maybe tire carrier if i needed to (prefer not to ). i prefer ladders on the back to not snag branches when on the trails. i wasnt 100% sold on the 2 options (aluminess and prime design) and considered buying that tube bender once again to develop my own. decided it was more important to actually finish the van to use vs spending the time developing a new product. i might revisit this in the future since side ladder is bolt on.
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2022 MR AWD Ordered 9/14/2021
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its mind boggling how much time i have into these 5 ceiling panels, but finally got em how i want them. complex curve in all directions. my initial plan failed, but only wasted 12" of plywood, so not bad
View attachment 143322
Coguzzi,
Impressive work! Can you give some details on the plywood type and attachment. I think you mentioned Baltic birch at some point, what thickness?

Are you mounting it directly to the van body? Some kind of self tapping screw through the sheet metal?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Coguzzi,
Impressive work! Can you give some details on the plywood type and attachment. I think you mentioned Baltic birch at some point, what thickness?

Are you mounting it directly to the van body? Some kind of self tapping screw through the sheet metal?

Thanks
sure thing. its 1/4 baltic birch. it is mounted to the existing van cross beams with rivnuts or plus nuts in certain locations where i know im going to be hanging more heavy stuff (cabinet etc) and 1/4-20 bolts. the most forward bolts you see, there actually was not a beam in the van in this location, so i made one out of 3 layers of 1/2" baltic birch (so 1.5" thick now) which has threaded inserts in it. my next time lapse video shows that (video isnt done yet) or i can try to find a good picture. on final install there will be a layer of foam between body and panels to eliminate squeaks and thermal bridge
 

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Fantastic ongoing work! I'll be following this closely.

What extra clearance did the VC mod give you and how much total clearance do you expect once you swap the tires (if you intend to do so)?

Also, what kind of departure angle do you think you'll be able to achieve?
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Fantastic ongoing work! I'll be following this closely.

What extra clearance did the VC mod give you and how much total clearance do you expect once you swap the tires (if you intend to do so)?

Also, what kind of departure angle do you think you'll be able to achieve?
lift netted an honest 2" at all 4 corners, as i build rear will sag some but either add the leaf pack at the time or an air bag system with cradles.

i have not done tires yet since i need to get an alignment as well and since im building and not driving, but think i am going 245/75/16, so a 30.4~5" tire vs stock 28", so another 1.25" there

id have to do some math to figure out departure angle--my head hurts with everything in it already
 
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