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Old 12-22-2016, 11:49 AM   #211
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Metal Building Update

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The above text is from post #135 in the string above.

Flash! The "it will take 15 days to review" building permit is finally in hand. Permit application submitted 7/20/16, permit received 10/24/16. One submittal and two re-submittals for a pre-fabricated metal carport....

I told the fabricator I have the permit in hand. The response: "Our lead time is 6-8 weeks and we will call you 2-3 days prior to installation."

Hurry up and wait some more. I should have designed it myself and stick-built it...
I have mentioned Flint's new home several times in this build thread, reference posts 31, 64, 127, 135 and 179 quoted above.

Pacific Metal Buildings finally called me this past week, and the installation is scheduled for the first week in January 2017. Looking back, it was February 2016 when I first contacted them as I was exploring options, I made my decision and placed the order in June 2016, then came dealing with the Designer and the Building Department until the permit was finally issued late in October 2016, all leading up to what looks like a four hour installation with an experienced three-man crew.

Assuming no rain on the day of installation, look for pictures and comments to follow in the next month or so!
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:00 PM   #212
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Sprinter Preventative Maintenance - Molding Trim Retaining Clips

Thanks to Mer1039 for bringing this to my attention. He sent me the following link regarding a known problem with the Sprinter molding trim retaining clips, a long-term leak issue in Sprinters:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42065

After doing my research I decided this was preventative maintenance that needed doing sooner rather than later. I bought a tube of Sikaflex (polyurethane) construction sealant, picked up the necessary trim tools, and bought a bag of the trim retaining clips, all referenced in the attached link and none much of an investment considering the damage that could occur if this issue were to be ignored.

For background, these plastic clips are inserted in holes in the Sprinter lower side and door panels, they hold the plastic molding trim in place. The design of the plastic clips is less than MBZ's best work - they do not seal and water penetrates behind the plastic clip, through the hole in the metal panel, and into the interior. The result over time is rusted lower panels. Here is the clip, note the flat smooth cupped surface that is supposed to seal to the vertical metal surface of the van.



As projects go, there wasn't much to this one and it took me 3-4 hours from start to finish. There are a total of six torx screws to remove - two in the back of each front door and one each at either end of the slider. Beyond that fingers and the appropriate body trim tools are all you need for removal.





Removal of the panels was fairly simple, I found that starting on the bottom worked best (because there are fewer clips on the bottom row, thus it is easier to insert the tool and to get the first clip to break free). Some of the clips stayed in the panel when it was removed, some in the body, it makes no difference as all must be removed.







Once all of the clips were removed I cleaned both the back side of the clip and the metal sealing surface, then I applied a bead of Sikaflex around the backside of the clip. I inserted the clip, rotated it 90 degrees, and called it good.



Note the dirt within the area of the round sealing surface in the picture above. This is a sure sign that water was getting behind the sealing surface and thus had a path through the hole and into the van.




It was a simple matter to snap the trim pieces back in place, re-install the screws, and call it a job well done.

From what I read it seemed like this would be a big job. It wasn't. I bought spare clips and didn't need one of them (still a good idea to have on hand). I bought two tubes of Sikaflex and used about a half of one. I bought some trim tools and wonder now how I got along without them for all these years prior to this.
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Old 12-25-2016, 04:07 PM   #213
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Thanks Fitz for showing us how easy it was for you to seal those plastic clips. With your detailed photos and instructions, I'm comfortable that I will be able to do the job myself on my van.
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Old 12-25-2016, 05:23 PM   #214
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Ron,

Glad it makes sense to you.

I'm just up the road from you, so don't buy anything! Give me a call when you are ready and we will get together and take care of it.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:33 PM   #215
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Spare Fuses

I went through the two fuse panels (under the driver's seat and in the base of the rear bench seat) plus looked at the various in-line fuse holders scattered about and came up with a list. From there it was a simple matter to determine what I needed for spares.

What I didn't realize is that there are more fuses in the Sprinter battery compartment, and they are not your garden variety fuse!

To access, first you have to use the correct Torx driver (if you don't have a set add them to your on-board tool kit) to gain access to the panel below the floor, and then you need another size driver to remove the panel itself. Note: There is a MB-supplied Torx driver contained in the bag with the tools for the jack located in the passenger's side foot well.

The battery is located in the driver's side foot well. Here is what you see when you open it up.



Note the brass bar on the right hand side coming off the positive terminal. Follow it and you will find a black plastic cover nestled immediately to the right of the battery. You can just see the uppermost part of it in this picture.



Remove the 13mm nut attaching the brass bar to the positive terminal and carefully extract all that is attached to it. Remove the plastic cover and this is what you will find.



Note the first 150 amp fuse from the left, this is what SMB added to run power to the separator and then on to the house battery. The other fuses are MB factory and I have no idea what they are for. I haven't started to look yet, but I will. If anyone knows what they are for please pass on the information as I want to label them.

Next I thought I'd run to the auto parts store and pick up a couple of spares. No luck, and I tried several different stores. Not only were they not in stock, but I didn't find one person behind the counter who had ever seen them! Of course that meant an on-line search followed by an Amazon delivery. If you want spares, and who doesn't, here is what to look for.



I hope to never need them, but having them and knowing where they are located is the best way I know of to assure that I won't need them. If you run across any other odd-ball Sprinter items like this, please pass them on for the rest of us to learn from.

You just might need them! I recently blew this fuse in Baja, and didn't have a replacement with me.
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:44 PM   #216
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We traveled for three days with it blown, had to find a campground with hookups every night so we could charge the house battery so we could go out in the desert the next day. That's when I learned that the solar doesn't charge the battery when the engine is running, another good thing to know when you are troubleshooting a system. Hope things worked out well for you and that obtaining a replacement fuse wasn't too much of a hassle. I carry several spares now....
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:29 PM   #217
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We traveled for three days with it blown, had to find a campground with hookups every night so we could charge the house battery so we could go out in the desert the next day. That's when I learned that the solar doesn't charge the battery when the engine is running, another good thing to know when you are troubleshooting a system. Hope things worked out well for you and that obtaining a replacement fuse wasn't too much of a hassle. I carry several spares now....
Thanks agin for this information. When my system went down I originally thought it was the Blue Sea switch, but I remembered reading your thread on this fuse. Tested a couple of the electrical lines in and out, and bingo, it was the fuse.

Was able to buy a couple of fuses at the local O'Reilly Auto parts store.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:08 AM   #218
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Dawghandler didn't bring the dogs but did bring the van by yesterday and we got a chance to put the two vans (one an Austin build, one a Fresno build) side-by-side and compare features. It always strikes me how different these builds can be and how much I can learn every time I see another one to see other features and methods of construction. Dawghandler has a beautiful van and plans to use it, what a great combination!




Question to the group - Dawghandler's light bar mounted above the windshield makes a lot of wind noise going down the road. I recall reading about several fixes to quiet this situation down but I don't recall the details and I haven't been able to locate the reference. Any ideas, links to past write-up, experienced based solutions? Please pass them on! Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:31 PM   #219
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Is the wind noise a resonance or whistle at certain speeds? Or is it just turbulent wind noise that increases in volume as the speed increases? If it's hard bolted to the metal up there, it any vibrations from turbulence could resonate through the interior. Putting rubber pads between the mounts and the roof could help. If it's just audible wind noise that increases with speed, there isn't much you can do. One of those hood bug deflectors could cause enough turbulence lower down on the hood that it decreases the laminar flow over the light bar. But, would need to know whether it's a resonance or whistle compared to just having something in the airstream causing drag.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:03 PM   #220
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It is a very loud whistle!
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