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Discussion Starter #161
I am finally getting around to my electrical build out. Feels good as I feared it for so long. I have a Xantrex 600w in house - waiting on my battery charger. I still have not decided which battery but I am leaning towards Trojan 75ah.

Due to a shipping error I ended up with an extra 10ft of thinsulate so I spent today putting some in. Thanks Hein! Last week I put a layer inside the drivers step as I was already in there wiring my light bar. Today I put some in the passenger step. It still fits the lug wrench and tools.



I also hit up the step behind the barn doors.



Next I put a full second layer inside both barn doors - dunno if it's gonna make a huge difference but it can't hurt. The whole roll weighed only 8 lbs. I have about 5 feet left so that will be used to get a few spots I wasn't able to the first time I did this. The rest I will double up in the rear of the van. No room in the front doors as it's tight in there due to the window mechanism.

This am I ordered a plus nut tool and some nuts. I still don't know what gauge wire I need from the battery to fuse panel or ground. Not sure how to figure out the load on circuits to determine fuse size. More research will get me there. When I buy the battery I will get the fuse panel, master switch and breaker to get started. Can't wait!
 

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Discussion Starter #162 (Edited)
I have been slowly working away. Everything takes a week when you have got to order, wait, install. A process not unfamiliar to most here. Perfect day for van working today, 20" on the ground and it's not done lol. This is the view out of my garage.



I cut this hole in the seat base to allow access to the inverter ports.



I sliced a piece of fuel line and lined the hole with it - you can see it in some of the later pics. I think later I will do a nicer job with it but for now it looks good and prevents hands getting cut. I am installing the inverter, a 20a charger, and my battery under there so I cut another hole for a CPU fan. I hacked that out of my old CPU yesterday.



Here it is with the fan installed. It's pretty quiet, brushless 12v. It doesn't move a ton of air but should get the job done - the seat base is about the same size as the CPU cabinet it came out of.



I did a lot of cutting/drilling and painting on the base so while I was in there I cut these off. I had hacked off the top when I put the swivel on, with these gone I can fashion some sort of cover to finish this spot off. I tossed the OEM fabric ones a long time ago.



This is my stash to wire everything up. 6awg welding cable, lugs, 80a inline fuse setup. The little relay box in the upper left is for the inverter - this will let me have it come on only when the van is running. I will connect it to C33-e under the drivers seat. I made a splitter so I can power the fan and inverter off pin 6 which provides ignition 12v+. This way I never have to turn either one on or off. Easy peasy.



Here is the finished product! The battery charger will mostly be plugged in the whole time, leaving the other side free for 110 power when traveling. I plan to run a crockpot, maybe rice cooker, and an ice maker. I am open to any other 110 suggestions lol. It's mostly for battery charging.



This is the view from the top. The coil of wire is the leads I put on the fan. The battery charger has two sets of leads - it's a dual output marine unit. I chose this because it is 20a and will divert the full amount to either of it's leads. Most dual output chargers offer fixed amperage to each. I got the dual as I have an enclosed trailer being built, road trip in May to FLA to get it. Can't wait! It will have basic amenities but it's own house battery as well. Gotta finish the van first lol.



I hope to wire it up mostly tomorrow. My battery is on the way - it's a 75ah V Max AGM. I chose it mostly because it fits, I also considered Trojan and Lifeline. Both were a bit bigger, the Vmax will give me a little more space. Fuse panel and all the bits to be ordered soon. Can anyone tell me what size fuse I need off the battery?
 

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Be sure to test the inverter in hot weather. I installed a 600 watt Xantrex inverter in a metal box with what I thought were large enough air vent holes at each end. In 100 degree weather inverter tripped. Came home and in 70 degree weather I could load it to capacity without tripping.

Cut larger air openings in the enclosure and added a 4" 120 volt AC fan that was plugged into the second inverter plug connection. When inverter ran the fan ran. Sold the Sprinter before I could find out if the fix worked. The inverter installed in the Transit is not in an enclosure.
 

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Yipes. I feel guilty working in almost 70 degree sunshine today. Admire your resolve. It's so tough to work on stuff when it's cold.

Your bird is looking pretty right, mate.
 

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Discussion Starter #165
Thanks for the vote of confidence! I wasn't outside - my first pic was inside the garage looking out. It was a balmy 57 degrees in there thanks to a pair of space heaters.
 

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Discussion Starter #166
I have got my inverter powered up! This is the fuse holder for the 80a fuse that protects its power supply.



Running power off the bus inside the seat was great but there was not a direct path out. If you look close you can see a hole I drilled in the bottom of the battery box. The wire runs in through the top then turns and exits at the bottom en route to the passenger base. Not the cleanest install but it works.

This is the finished install - I may add a couple clips to hold the wires in place.



For some reason Photobucket doesn't show edits right away, hopefully it rotates the image. I finished everything up, turned on the key... nothing. I was so disappointed! Turns out I attached the fan and inverter relay to pin 4 not pin 6. That is speed dependent - my inverter would have come on at 40mph lol.

I switched it to pin 6 and it is good to go, power to both when running or Acc. Next I need to fit the battery in there, I have an idea how I want to do it, just need a little time to get it done. After that run power and ground to my fuse panel area. I want them in one of the drivers side indents - any suggestions on how to mount them in there? Still thinking on that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #168 (Edited)
It sounds great!

I never took measurements for sound before but it is super quiet in there. Easy to have conversations with people in the back without raising your voice. Above 65 or on a windy day I still get some wind noise in front.

I still plan to go around and test all the doors for a tight seal. You can crib them out from behind to get them tighter against the door. I also have Thinsulate window covers that I need to make - I think my windows are now the biggest noise source. Big thermal loss there too. That and the wheel wells front and rear.

I think the combination of materials I used to quiet things down was very successful. Thinsulate alone is pretty good but I have no way to tell what I gained. The MLV/foam on the floor was probably the biggest single gain.

If I could do over I would line the wheel wells in the back with thinsulate to quiet them better. I would have loved to get the dash apart to insulate the firewall better. I reached in there as best I could.

The tiles are heavy and a bitch to install. If you want easy silence put MLV/CCF on the floor and as much thinsulate as you can afford. Pay special attention to all the wheel wells.
 

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Discussion Starter #169 (Edited)
My battery has now joined the other bits under the passenger seat!



It fits nice and snug. I started to make a fancy bent hold down out of 3/16x3/4 steel stock but I could not get the 90 deg bends tight enough. Instead I got some threaded rod and 1" steel stock. Works great.

With my power system complete I now need to get some power out to devices.



Sort of crude but functional. Eventually it will be mounted inside a recessed box in the third cubby back, drivers side. For now it will be suspended in that cubby by itself. I needed to get more 6awg wire - the amount I had left over only got me to the first cubby which is directly under the flip out window. Figured that wouldn't end well!

To mount it I have simple angle brackets - it should work fine. It'll look crude for this season but finished panels will hide everything in the end. Pics to come, I am still in progress on the brackets.
 

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Hello Yellow Bird, Snowflake here from out in the Pacific Northwest
I am converting a 2017 250 med roof and I am very interested in how your seat project is coming.I am curious if the sienna seats sit low in the van and how your modifications have gone installing your seats. I am also curious if all of the sienna seats came with integrated seat belts?
Thanks
Christian
 

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Discussion Starter #171
The Siennas are great!

They do sit low in relation to the floor but in the low roof it doesn't affect outward visibility. If I could do it again I would raise them 1.5" - make them easier to get in and out of.

They do have belts built in so install is pretty straightforward. All the details are early in my thread - it's one of the first things I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #172
Slow and steady! I took a few weeks off between a cold and yet another school vacation.

Yesterday I finished up my panel.



I added one 12v receptacle - eventually there will be four scattered throughout the van. With camp season fast approaching I just want access to my battery power.

This was my first time using the plus nut setup and it was awesome! Super easy and all three got a strong bite.

Eventually (next winter) this will be covered up. I will likely move the 12v socket elsewhere.



I have had a couple issues along the way. The 12v mounting was challenging as it has no threaded portion behind it like a Blue Sea one. I ended up press fitting it into 3/4 plywood - not elegant but it works.

My fog light works a treat when the van is off but not when the van is running. With the van running the relay just buzzes. I am not sure why - I have it connected to pin 5 on c33-e. This one powers up with the lights, I can't imagine why it would have less output when running. I plan to check it out today.

Another thing I didn't count on is a righteous beep from the inverter every time I start up. I spent some time on the phone with Xantrex - their claim is my setup is not conventional - usually these are connected to a house bank. The theory is I am getting the low voltage alarm. Makes sense as maybe right after startup my voltage is momentarily low. Dunno. I would love to be able to disable it but will live with it for now.

Today the plan is to finish wiring the panel, wire the passenger reading light and test everything out. After that I hope to get the drivers seat off and see what's up with my light.
 

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Discussion Starter #173
It works!



This was super exciting, hooked it all up and it works as advertised. Voltage drop doesn't seem to be an issue - I measured 12.97 at the battery and 12.95v at the fuse panel. Or do I need a load on to test for drop? Dunno. Didn't catch fire either! If I have to I will rewire it with bigger gauge next winter.

No pics but I also wired up the light over the passenger seat.

I put this back on as well - I like it a lot better in this spot versus the door. I feel lucky to have removed it without destroying it. I wish they sold the vertical style ones like you see on an f 150.




This is the final setup for the passenger base. It looks a little busy but is sturdy and as neat as I can get it. I have two charger leads on each post right now, it's a dual port charger and that's how it must be run until I get another battery hooked up to it. I am looking forward to putting the seat back on and leaving it!



Tomorrow I will remove the drivers seat and figure out what is wrong with my fog light relay. I also want to secure all the wiring and re fit the B pillar covers. Those have also been off a long time. I want to fashion some sort of cover to seal up the passenger seat base, when that is done I will re fit the e brake cover. I lowered mine long ago in hopes of a swivel but have since decided one side swivel is fine. The brake is about 2" lower so I figure I can cut the cover and get a nice snug fit.

After that I need to do some service - end of May I head to Florida. I will do an oil change, rotate tires and inspect the air filter. Never seen any water in there but I am hoping for some - my mileage isn't what it used to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #174
Got some more done today. Started with a Dremel, hack saw and my e brake cover. It was not a pretty battle, lots of trimming, fitting and cutting.



This is where I ended up - highly modified lol.



I am happy with the end result - it will need to be trimmed again if I can talk my brother into helping me finish the thresholds.



I also built a temporary cover for this area out of plywood.



I figure it will keep dirt out of there and also help the fan to draw through the base instead of from the top.



Finished result, held in with my new favorite tool - plus nuts!



I cleaned up my wiring in here as well.



In hindsight I should have removed the tie down point and run along the floor edge, that was not an option with the floor in already. I added a small bit of cushion in there to avoid chafing.

Doesn't look like much but the lower piece is super custom. Had to remove all sorts of material on the back side to let it fit in there. Also added another clip to the hall of shame.



After this I took off the drivers seat to check out my fog light. Turns out the reason it wasn't working is Fords fault not mine. Yeah, I was surprised too!

Pin 5 outputs 1.92 milliamps with the truck not running, this was enough to trigger my relay. When running it only puts out about half that - .92 ma, not enough to close the contacts only enough to buzz the relay. I moved it to pin 6 which is ignition 12v, not as cool as light switch power but it does the job.
 

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KLP,

Incredible job and thank you for detailing your build. I have a 148" wheelbase and am wondering if you think 3 rows of sienna seats could fit. From the looks of your pictures it looks possible as long as the 2 rows are not all the way back on the tracks. I'm also thinking that it is doable as long as the reclining portions are not extended. Perhaps, however, the reclining portion can extend but below the seat back of the row in front? My goal is to seat 8 extremely comfortably. I probably will go with the l-tracks on the floor and some adapters instead of bolting in the original sliding tracks. Tradeoff seems to be that the original sliding tracks allow for easy adjustment, but l-tracks might allow for easier removal and flexibility. I'm just in the planning stages now and will probably start up within the next year.

Best,

rj
 

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Discussion Starter #176
Thanks!



You could fit 3 rows but it would limit full extended legroom for adults. I will measure how much room they need in full recline.
 

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Funny how plans can change! Reading this thread I can see the development process - pretty cool.

My van has been all over the place this past summer. This is VT.



...
Thanks for your great build thread! :)

I'm in the design phase for my new Transit cargo. I like your floor layering.

Are you happy with the _thermal_ insulation properties of your floor?

Then I got sucked into the rest of the thread. D'OH!!!

Where I saw your CB350F. Deja-VU! I had that green '72 model also. It was a screamer! ;-)

I'll be returning to your thread many times for reference as I slowly convert mine. THANKS for sharing!

Catfish ...
 

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Discussion Starter #178 (Edited)
Thanks everyone for the kind words.



Catfish, the floor is great - always room temperature if that makes any sense. Never feels like a cold metal floor.



I'm baaaaaack! Of course my van is not done, this winter is interior time. This season represents the 4th year of my build for those keeping score. Let's just get this out of the way to start.





Yup, that's my passenger door - smashed. Van was parked in my driveway loaded up for my first week long trip of the season in June. The driver stuck around and it will get fixed but I am not looking forward to insulating another door. Oh and how do you back into a 20' long yellow van???!!! Either way my time shedding blood for Ford is not over.


I have not worked on my van yet this year - the summer was spent on various road trips. This is the cliff note version. Spent time in NY, PA, NH, VT, ME plus a major trip down south to TN. Pics if you want but these were mostly moto specific endeavors. This is the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA. You can see my cot to the left, bike on the right. Below the cot is a slide out drawer containing the basics. Up front was a box of wood, cooler and 110 ice maker. Coffee supplies on the edge. What more do you need?!





Below is Mt Pisgah campground, my favorite on the parkway by far. This camper seemed made for my van. Never leave home without my trusty scooter - makes a great camp runabout.





Rural WV, look close and you can see my bike inside - also my v2.0 window covers lol.





This was an awesome site in the Smoky mts, look close behind the site was a river. I spent 4 nights here riding my ass off!






Pisgah, NC again - had to go twice.





This is the reason you go down there if you like riding motorbikes. This spot is about a mile down from the campground.





Below is a week long family trip in VT with my two kids - mom is not into camping so much. We had a great time!





I have got to look around and see if I have more interior setup shots from the road. The van performed perfectly all summer - no issues.



I have a solid idea of how I want my interior finish to look - I have a pretty good idea what materials I am going to use. I even have some ideas on how I am going to assemble everything! Just need to do it now, easy peasy.



I got these OEM 12v sockets which look great but mount with clips not a threaded collar like the Blue Sea ones. This took some fiddling but is solid and I like the way it looks so this will be my mounting method for 12v outlets.






Stay tuned for more OCD build fun...
 

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Discussion Starter #179
Between sick kids and being sick as a result not much has been getting done but here we go. Looks like I am now going to be a carpenter for the interior build out.



First I started with the easy stuff. This is a filler strip for the tracks, look close and you can see some of the others in this picture.






These really make a big difference, you're not tripping over tracks all the time.



Next up was the rear threshold, this has been a long time coming. Three years if you're counting... Here it is roughed in - I just cut a simple 45 on the rear most section.






This is where I ended up. The board is a massive piece of a door jamb my brother gave me - I love it except for the weight. I have added enough lbs to this van. In the pics it looks like it doesn't meet the edge but it does, ends up flush with the van floor edge.






The tiles that I put there so long ago were looking pretty tatty so I decided to remove the ones you can see.






Turns out these are in no danger of falling off anytime soon. Removal with a plastic scraper was not getting it done so I crafted something a little more stout. Still took some elbow grease...





Here it is all cleaned up and looking pretty.






Below you see the fruits of my efforts. The black things you can still see are factory covers.






It does look a little wonky sitting up so high off the deck and I could have addressed it with a nosing of sorts. I left it there for two reasons. One, it lets my ramp slide underneath, reducing the angle and preserving a bit more clearance on the way in.





Two, it allowed me to craft and use this home brewed tool for spare tire access.






Just a simple section of 1/2" bar stock, fits like a champ in there. Actually provides a way better fit then the OEM flat blade affair. It was a little tricky to get in, I may trim it a bit shorter at some point. Either way, I will add it and a ratcheting 15mm wrench to my jack toolkit.



Here it is in place. I am happy as I can still use the OEM rubber plug and don't have to make a hole in my pretty threshold.






This is where I left off - it will take some fitment to get right. I have a couple more small trim areas to deal with on the floor and then I will start work on the ceiling.



 

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Discussion Starter #180
OK, OK, I am not a carpenter. Or maybe I am and this kind of stuff is just a PITA. Or maybe my OCD prevents me from enjoying this. Either way, today was a tough day.



After some fitting I ended up here on the front threshold.






Looks pretty good but if you look lower left you can see what looks like a mouse hole in the A pillar trim. I guess I was having a little too much fun trimming last winter. It didn't even need to be that high as the wires hug the floor.



Here's a closer pic.





After giving it some thought I decided to simply trim it out and hide my sins. I had planned for some sort of trim behind the seat bases anyhow. Here is the offending section just roughed in.





Not until you have tried to fit some wood in one of these vans do you appreciate the gravity of the phrase 'nothing is square'. It's true what they say.

Fitting of the new wood also required another Dremel session with the E brake cover. Ended up here - not awful but prior trimming once again let me down. I can live with it but if anyone has a cover they are not using I would have another go at it. Just in front of the wood is a void I am not too proud of.






Here is the threshold done and glued up.





And in place looking lovely...


 
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