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Old 03-04-2014, 02:33 PM   #1
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Quick Build for Summer

Alright I will keep it brief because my build does not seem to be the norm for the average sporty. So here is the deal. I bought my Van from the FBI 5 years ago. It was a stripped Quigley Chassis. At the time I got a steal on it (think 2k miles for under 20k) Anyways after breaking the piggy bank open my wife said I could do a modest build on the inside to suit our life which mainly consisted of Me going Whitewater Kayaking (3 to 4 days a week) and her driving shuttle if she came at all.

The original van parked in Virginia.


First I added a interior that had some boxes that folded into a bed along with a bench seat poorly mounted to the floor.


That worked great for a few years until life caught up to me and I had two kids. So now here is where I am at. I have a 1.5 year old and a 2.8 year old. Both are wild kids already in camp mode. I don't want to drop all the coin into a top and interior just yet because I have a feeling if this trend continues we might have 3 or 4 heck maybe 5 and then the camping in a van is out and a rugged trailer will become reality. So for now my wife and I have decided to build the van for our current needs cheaply and as our family progresses decide what we want to do a step at a time. Personally I am not too keen on a poptop, mainly because I put wacky stuff on my roof and it just gets abused uptop. A voyager seems cool but honestly the height is a turn off because I am already at just over 9.5 ft as it is. So here are the specs.

1. Gotta have legitimate seats for a minimum of 5 butts and ideally 8 since we take friends frequently.
2. Gotta have a bed that is at least 76" for dad and mom.
3. Gotta have a space for the crib
4. Gotta have a space for the kids in between cribs and tents.

Here is what I came up with.
Floor plan has one Bench Seat in the front with another just behind it. Those two together fold into an 80" bed which es muy bien.
Behind the second bench are two cabinets on each wall. Both cabinets offer drawers on bottom for gear and then a fold out bunk bed in the top. Crib fits underneath while big kid bunks above. Finally a third bed build to extend across the driver and passenger seat.

The reality is that we drive alot of friends and family not to mention dirt bag boaters and bikers into the woods and seats are just more important than cabinets at the current time.

So I figured I would start a thread as I go about making this thing happen. Hopefully it works so well I don't tear it all out next year and have it done by Van Specialties or Sportsmobile, of course either one would not make me loose much sleep....
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: Quick Build for Summer

So after getting my van back from Ujoint getting the right equipment that we consider more important that interior we went about starting our build.

Stage one. Strip Down.


Panels out, flooring out pretty much everything including the front headliner and most of the dash. I will also say that the rubber floor I bought for the van was critical in the process of cutting foam, plywood and flooring. Made it a snap.

Stage two. Electronics.
I wanted to get the wiring out of the way for most of my goodies while all the interior was out. So I wired up the Light Bar, The rack lights, New Android based Double Din Deck (which is awesome), Radio, Amps, Interior 17" LCD Flip Down DVD Playey and new speakers. Then I re-routed my House Battery Cables using 2ga to the drivers side, routed into floor with super heavy duty grommets and extra insulation. Installed new LED lights inside and added a Blue Sea 7622 with Remote connecting 2 Optima D31m batteries into my house bank. Added a fuse panel and Blue Sea 150amp circuit breaker and then ran all my electronics into the fuse terminals. Still waiting for my Xantrex Prosine 2.0 to tie in.

After buying a large number or new Carling switches I ran out of space down below (didn't like them down there anyways) so I made a little bracket and moved them all into the shelf above the driver.


Stage three. Install Seat Mounts
First there was a bit of a boo boo when my van was at Ujoint and we forgot to add the Main Tank while it was down there, not really anyone's fault just oversight since we talked about so much and had so much done it got missed. No worries, Chris had one built and shipped out to me which was fine because I had to pull the tank to weld in the 1/4" steel re-inforcement on the mounts anyways. Basically I drilled through the vans cross member for the first set of mounts, then into the next cross member for the second set of mounts. Then ran a 4" x 36" sheet of 1/4 steel between the two mounts, welded that to the cross members and then bolted the quick release mounts onto that of course triple measuring everything and then testing bed/seat spacing at each step.

So then I went down and ordered the Congolium Flooring. Of course that took two weeks so in the meantime I got everything prepped. Sorry plenty of photos missing in the process. First I dynamatted the whole van. Ceiling, Walls and Floor. Next I cut carpet foam to fill the ridges.

Then Rtech over the carpet foam and finally 1/2" plywood. Fastened the plywood with 4 countersunk bolts in each corner and then wood to metal self tapping screws in the rest. PS those things don't like going through Dynamat so just get a junky bit and pre drill your holes.

Happy that the quick release mounts were flush with the plywood I did a bit of leveling on them and then waited for the Flooring.

Meanwhile I swapped the Fuel Tanks out. Was a bit of a process (more learning a unknown area of the van) ... I was happy and sad to see my old tank out. Sad because this is a testament to poor quality from Ford. Happy that I can waive good bye. My wife thought it was like gold flakes and we could make some design out of it so I offered her the old tank but she declined.

Can you see a quality and size difference between the two tanks?


What do people do with old gas tanks?
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:17 PM   #3
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Re: Quick Build for Summer


While I was waiting for the flooring I of course like any other sportsmobile dufus was scouring craigslist for other goodies and deals... and wouldn't you know I ran across a new black grille for $25.00 bucks... Who could pass that up? I fabricated a little hood latch popper out of left over steel and got that puppy on before the snow came.

Tired of waiting for the flooring ... we tossed the kiddo's into the rig for a quick trip to the snow to leak test the tank, 24 hours after install.

Although I would argue the suspension, tires, lights, onboard air, lockers, aux tanks or other countless Ujoint goodness was best, my wife had me convinced ... The flip down monitor gets the award for best addition at this point.


So finally the flooring arrived and I scooped it up. Traced out, crossed my fingers and glued that stuff down.


When I get home I will snap a few photos of the Audio because that is honestly part of the awesome factor as of late.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: Quick Build for Summer

Way cool. I had a monitor added to my van as well and my kids would totally agree with yours. It definitly helps to knock out some miles without too much whining from the back seat. Or the front for that matter.... Anyway good luck with the build, I'm interested to see how it works for your family. I'm in a similar situation, needing to balance a high demand for seats with my desire to keep adding features and storeage.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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Re: Quick Build for Summer

Prof,
I would love to know what you did for seats?
Thanks,
Taylor
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: Quick Build for Summer

With no windows, are you worried about your kids getting car sick?
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:36 AM   #7
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Re: Quick Build for Summer

There are currently two windows in the side doors another going into the drivers side wall and the rears will stay dark for sleeping purposes.

I used two attwood folding sofa beds. The mounts were different looking on both but function the same way. I am currently building the battery and fuse/charging area which will be just behind the drivers seat but not inhibit reclining etc.

[thumbfv7p0q3]26975[/thumbfv7p0q3]

The radio is a native android stereo that I rooted then flashed with a new ROM that is rockin. It connects via Bluetooth to phones, obd2 scanners, a rear bluray player and best yet can wirelessly control 4 of my Carling positions. So sitting by the fire I can pull out my phone, turn off the movie or turn on the roof rack lights and generator etc. Now if only my xantrex and blue sea connected via Bluetooth... That would be neato.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:49 AM   #8
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Re: Quick Build for Summer

man, thats a nice looking van! is this the one that we watched happen realtime at ujoint?
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: Quick Build for Summer

I don't think it was ever in realtime but there was plenty of footage of it in the works. I'll post photos of the seats I did later today once I pull my makeshift box out and start working on the new electrical housings.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:29 PM   #10
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Re: Quick Build for Summer

Nice build. We have 4 kids so I understand your need for seating, etc. I am going to try the EB27 layout for ours and see how it goes, if it doesn't work out I will probably add a bench behind the 2nd row buckets and pull the dinette.
My build here: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/t ... rch-begins

Looking forward to the other pictures and build!
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