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Old 02-27-2009, 09:31 PM   #1
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2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

After lurking through the forums and watching for the right 4x4 van to build. I located an older 1979 Ford Pathfinder that I thought I would build. After driving it for a few weeks realized a new body style was more to my taste. After searching and searching I was able to locate this van locally. So the build begins....



This was the day I brought it home. It spent the first part of it's life as a window installation van.



The P.O. wanted to make sure I returned the naked girl license plate holder?????



Interior shot....



I was able to find a Sportsmobile VW Bus at a local yard which gave me the top Mech. Originally I was going to make a mold and glass up my own top, but after measuring a short wheel base Chevy high top van I realized it could be utilized. I started by cutting the entire roof of the donor van and it was all down hill from there....



















The previous photos are visually walking you through the process. I did not take photos along the way with any intention of documenting a build so they are spuratic. My intention is to share with those of you they might get inspired and want to achieve your own build and help generate your own ideas and visions....
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

Interior now in process...





















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Old 02-27-2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

Interesting. Really nice interior job. What was cutting into a perfectly good roof like?

Also did you reinforce the hole at all? I know (I think? I've heard?) SMB puts reinforcement around the cut roof to make it stronger than the original roof. There seems to be some hefty steel plate under my upholstry - seeing that shot of the overhead ribs cut made me think about how well the remaining material will withstand stress- such as twisting from offroad (I'm more used to Jeep Cherokee's where the phrase "fold like a taco" is often associated with cutting off the back of the roof).
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

Yes it is heavily reinforced... What is kinda crazy is most all the high roof vans you see going down the road are not reinforced? It was a lot easier to cut when I realized the P.O stood on the roof to load ladders...
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:01 PM   #5
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

Wow, that is fabulous. Please keep updating this as your progress continues. You may have just convinced me that a job like this is within reach. How many hours would you say you have into the cabinetry and gaucho so far? Anything you would have done any differently (looking back)? Are you building a bench or another cabinet or something behind the bed when its folded down for more sleeping room??
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

Geez, I'm so impressed!
Looking at the trees in the background, it seems like you've done all of this in one season: winter. Is that possible?
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:00 AM   #7
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

The Van was purchased about 4 weeks ago. We have had incredible weather here so I have taken full advantage of it. I have not been keeping track of hours but there has been alot..... At this point I have been waiting for hardware and items I have ordered to arrive to continue on. I still have the rear deck/storage to build and the over the sink storage cabinet to finish. The microwave that I had ordered arrived damaged and so waiting for a new one to arrive. It will also have new upolstery added in the near future. Thanks for all the pos. comments. Will add more as it continues....
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:40 AM   #8
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

What material is used for the cabinet facing? It looks really nice, like solid wood. Is it painted or a veneer?

Also, how much / what kind of insulation did you put into the walls?

Nice job!
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:33 PM   #9
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

The Cabinets are made of Birch Plywood with Nevamar (Formica) Laminated to the Birch. It is insulated though out with Jute and Fiberglass Insulation.....Thanks
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:05 PM   #10
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Re: 2000 4x4 Ford Van Build

Spurious, this is some of the finest craftsmanship I've seen. You've also got a really good sense of style. Thanks for the excellent pictures. Did you do the lam work with the Nevamar yourself? If so, how'd you learn? I.e., have you done this professionally, or did you just dig in and learn by doing? And what kind of laminate cutter did you use? Thanks!
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