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Old 09-12-2017, 06:09 PM   #11
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Re: Sully - 1990 Ford E350 EB 121K Miles - Home build

FYI: I started this original post saying my van was a 1991 but is actually a 1990. I don't think I've been able to edit the title of the original message thread.


Day 27-35 - Van Build: Finished the wall insulation. I chose rigid polyisocyanurate foam board using what I believe some call a "cut and cobble" approach. It seemed the best choice except for professional spray foam contractor or a DIY spray foam kit from Home Depot. The rigid iso board approach is time consuming but cheaper than spray foam. And I've read some people run short on coverage with a single DIY spray foam kit. Rigid iso foam board has a higher temperature rating than the pink foam board which I heard may melt due to the high van metal heat if the vehicle is in the hot sun. Didn't want to do any fiberglass because both moisture and it breaking down in a moving vehicle over time and releasing fiberglass dust into a small living space. Same with denim and wool insulation = not great with moisture.

1" of polyiso foam board insulation on the side walls using 2 layers of 1/2" sheets stacked to flex more with the curve of the van walls. Added an addition 1" board below the windows where there's more space for insulation. Lots of measuring and templates to account for all the curves of the windows and walls. Panels adhered with Great Stuff Pro. I waited until I had all pieces for a wall cut, then I adhered one 1/2" layer at a time on both sides using wood braces made from scrap plywood and waited a day for it to dry before adhering the next layer. I was quite impressed with using Great Stuff Pro as an adhesive. I wasn't shy with it and it feels solid.

I should have used a pop up tent earlier in the process. What a difference a work day in the shade makes.

All the insulation seams were taped with foil tape. All the gaps and seams filled/sealed with Great Stuff Pro.

The pricy gun applicator (~$50) for Great Stuff Pro was a worthwhile tool. I thought of doing a spray foam insulation kit myself instead because it may have been less time, but probably more expensive, and it seems like some people run short with one kit ($300-400 I think form Home Depot).

Cutting the panels was time consuming and tested my patience. Perhaps easier in a squarer van like a Transit or Sprinter or with less windows.

I cut everything pretty tight and snug. I used a lot of small scrap pieces to fit the rear corners around the tail lights. Had to do a lot of crazy 3-D angle cuts.

Altogether, I'm pretty happy with the results, and I'll be happier winter camping. I'll keep ya updated overtime how the insulation holds up once the van starts moving.

I put the window trimmings back up just to give me some garage space. They were originally tan/brown but I painted them flat white with Rustoleum 2in1 Primer/Paint spray can for plastics and more.

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Old 09-13-2017, 02:07 AM   #12
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Re: Sully - 1990 Ford E350 EB 121K Miles - Home build


Day 36 - Van Build: Patched a hole in the fiberglass high top roof left from an old TV antenna cable. Sanded the hole to make a tapered indent to glass in 4 fiberglass patches of increasing size. First time working with this bondo epoxy resin and you have to do it it quick. It was a hot sunny day and it hardened within 7 minutes. I'll sand and use body filler on the top coat later. Learning new things!

Setup the shop vac hose near the hole as I sanded the fiberglass. Wore respirator, eye protection, long sleeves, etc.

This cordless sander (multi tool) worked well. The triangle helps taper a small diameter a couple inches around the hole.

Masking tape on the underside so the patches and resin don't sag or drip. Comes off easy later.

Patched in 4 pieces of fiberglass matte with the resin of increasing size. Used a cheap paintbrush to dampened the resin (mixed with the hardener). Then used plastic squeegee to spread it out.

I'll sand this later and top coat it with Bondo body filler. Then paint. For now, just getting things water tight before I take a break from the van project.

Patched 2 pieces of fiberglass matte on the underside of the hole. The light is showing through the resin now because there's no body filler or paint on the top.

Also, I found my roof leak culprit. I thought it was the weatherstripping and poor seal on the backdoors. But, there was a crack in the fiberglass high top right on top of the rear brake light where water could pool in.

Patched fiberglass hole with bit of fiberglass and resin. Then did an additional seal with black rv silicone. It got messy because my caulking tube and gun was acting up.


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Old 09-15-2017, 12:24 PM   #13
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Re: Sully - 1990 Ford E350 EB 121K Miles - Home build


Visited a couple junk yards with no luck. Then I found one yard with a couple pre-1991 Ford Econoline vans. I felt like I was in a jungle. It was a fun treasure hunting experience. And, I found a dead animal in one of the vans... eeeh.

Took a steering wheel cover since mine didn't have one. Also, I'm hoping I can reroute the horn to the wheel cover. Right now, the van came with a red horn button wired and taped to my drive gear shifter- a pretty janky job.

Found some grey trim I'm gonna switch out with my tan/brown trim.

Also took a rear tail light assembly because my old was cracked and the bulb assembly was duck taped in there.

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Old 09-16-2017, 10:19 AM   #14
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Very nice, and that floor! Seems a shame to cover it up.
Arctic Traveller
2001 GTRV
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:41 AM   #15
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Looks like you found a good salvage yard, dead animals and all. Vans, being big dry boxes, unfortunately are a natural pick for critters in yards. It's a great house, why not move in! Also, salvage yard employees love to fill up vans with other parts since they'll be out of the weather. I've seen many decent van interiors destroyed from this, but it's not important to the salvage yard people. They don't see it like we do.
2015 Transit MR T350 ecoBoost, Vanilla
98 Silver E350 V10 4x4 home build (sold)
Rusty the rusty '95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van, 2002 e350 (sold)
...My name is Eric and I have a van problem...
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:15 PM   #16
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Floor Material Used

Noico 80mil Sound Deadener

x1 Sheet of 4"x8" Birch Plywood Purebond Soy 1/4" thick (Cut into strips for floor grooves)

(Note: The Purebond Soy product bought at Home Depot is suppose to be a healthier construction material compared to other plywoods which may off gas toxic formaldehyde from their glues.)

x3 Sheets of 4'x8' Rigid Polyisocyanurate Foam Board 1" thick

Floor foam seems taped with foil tape.

x3 Sheets of 4'x8' 1/2" Birch Plywood Purebond Soy

Foam board and 1/4" birch strips adhered with Great Stuff Pro and Gun Applicator. 1/2" birch subfloor is floating, no adhesion to 1" foam board.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:50 PM   #17
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Love the progress so far, can't wait to see the end result.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:08 PM   #18
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Cool build, I like the earlier body style. Great inexpensive platform to start from!

A word about the 460 cu in Ford big block: Not a lot of power, and not very good fuel economy. The exhaust runs hot and can be hard on catalytic converters if hauling a big load. Their are a few things that Ford did to achieve emissions targets in the 1980's on this older platform. Air injection into the exhaust manifolds, that acts as an afterburner of sorts, to clean up tailpipe emissions (Ford had to use more expensive cast steel manifolds, and $9 apiece titanium bolts to handle the high heat from this air injection. Ask me how I know ). Fuel injection from 1988 up was a big improvement. But Ford also retarded the cam timing a power robbing 8 degrees(again to better meet emissions goals) that seriously reduced power of the big block to an anemic 240hp on a good day (mine felt more like 190hp). At rebuild time, using a different cam gear, cam chain and gear set from a pre '72, or different cam altogether will restore the cam timing, and regain the power this engine had in the early 1970's.

Other than than, that big block is bullet-proof, Ford mad eit forever so parts are very available, it should go 250k miles if it was driven by an adult and taken care of

1995 E350 7.3 Diesel, 4x4 high roof camper, UJOR 4" lift
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build, diy, e350, ford, sully

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