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Old 11-05-2016, 08:28 PM   #11
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An idea for cabinet construction.

I am looking into cabinet builds and was planning on plywood or MDF. I will still use a combo of this for the bed/back benches. Then I saw these two YouTube Videos. They shoiw how to make cabinets out of ridgid foam and then cover them in fiberglass mesh or metal screen and then paint them with Glidden Gripper Paint.

Build Ultralight cabinets


How to Paper Bag Finish Poly them

Here is a tour of a really basic van that has them built and shows the strength.

Has anyone here tried this? It sounds like there could be some substantial weight savings which is a plus. Let me know what you all think.
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:32 PM   #12
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Stereo installed and a bunch more stuff on the way!

Well I have been working a lot, and needed to work on a few things in the van. I am planning a big trip in the spring but I have a few things that I really need to get done in order to make it work for work off and on for the next few months.
I did get this installed this weekend.


I am pretty stoked because this stereo has Android Auto and can also act a s a media player for the whole Van. I have to do a few more things to it to get the full functionality out of it. this is the Head unit i Installed.
Pioneer AVH-4200NEX -- DVD Player, Android Auto, or Apple Carplay it also has an SD card reader and a 7 inch plus screen. It has a lot of other features as well but those are the main ones I am going to be using. The screen is big enough the passenger seat and second row could watch movies.
If you are installing it in an Econoline (mine is a 98) you will need a few other things.
Metra 44-EC18 18-Inch Antenna Extension Cable

Metra 95-5817 Double DIN Installation Dash Kit You will need to trim the top or bottom of the opening in the dash opening in order to get this one to fit but nothing to major.
Metra 70-1771 Radio Wiring Harness You can splice all the wires in without this but I prefer the adapter route.

RAYSUN 2 Meter HDMI and USB AUX Extension Panel Flush Mount In the left of my picture you can see the USB cable plugged into this. The spot where it is used to have a cigarette lighter and I don't need that so I pulled it out and then just reamed the hole out a bit bigger and this fit right in its place. The back of the stereo has 2 USB ports (#1 is for Apple and #2 is for everything else.) It also has an HDMI port on the back so you can plug a laptop into if you want or anything else that uses HDMI. Having them on the front makes them much more accessible and Android Auto requires a USB connection so it will be right there by my RAM Mount.

Now after looking at this I wish I would have gotten a similar one that has a USB port and an AUX jack on it. I think we will use the HDMI a few times but I would use the AUX more often. I will end up adding an AUX port somewhere on the dash but if you want to have them together this is the one to use. RAYSUN 2 Meter USB and 2RCA to USB and 3.5mm Aux Dash Mount

I also decided to upgrade the speakers mine were pretty hammered. I got 4 for the moment. I will eventually want another set in the back by the bed but I am not sure if the will go in the rear doors or not. So I got these for the front doors, sliding door, and side panel.
Pioneer 6.5 Inch 3-Way 640 Watt Car Stereo Speakers Four | TS-A167

These make the speakers a bit easier to install if you still have factory speakers.
Metra 72-5512 Speaker Harness for Select 1989-Up Ford Vehicles Now there is an option to buy 4 of these but it costs more than buying two sets of two so remember to check that if you order them.

I also got a PIONEER ND-BC8 Universal Rearview Camera This will be great especially after I have the windows tinted. I am having all the rears blacked out and the fronts as dark as I can legally go in Utah so the camera will be nice.

There was also a really good deal on this Pro II Leg and Bar Kit by Kargo Master so I ordered it as well, it showed up yesterday and I was hoping to get it installed but I decided to swap out my damaged passenger door and fender instead and that turned into a bit more of a project than I planned so I will get it on this week hopefully and add some pictures of it when I do.
I really like the low profile look, and I have an idea of how to mount some solar panels and an extruded metal platform on it as well so I am excited to try that out.
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"The problem with common sense is, its not that common." Mark Twain
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:56 PM   #13
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Since I am a Handyman by trade and will hopefully be doing some travel/work trips I am working on some tool solutions. I am making a rear bed, full walkthrough layout. My Ridgid Toolboxes will fit under the bed in the back, but I do want a toolbox that is designed with what I will need for maintenance and emergency repairs on the van itself. I have a dedicated socket and wrench set, and need to get an electrical tool list together as well, I will probably get them together as I am doing the electrical system and solar stuff.
I am looking for a small ox I can keep all this stuff together in and have a dedicated spot for it. Trying to figure it out now before I build a spot for it so I am not trying to fit something in later that doesn't work as well.

My main boxes I use for work are the Stackable Ridgid System and it works well but I dont need anything this big for the dedicated box.


I found this Stanley Metal Box on Amazon and it is pretty cool. The price ia bit higher than I was looking into but the reviews say it is well built and really sturdy.


There is a Stanley Plastic Version as well that is much cheaper but doesnt look as strong or as cool for that matter.


There is also a Cantilever Excel Toolbox I found but I have had issues with this style in the past getting slightly bent and then not opening or closing properly. It does have the benefit of more storage in the same amount of space.


There is also a super beefy International Toolbox but there are no organization trays, and it is larger than I was thinking of. It would make a great bumper box, I don't think it is big enough for batteries or that might be another use for it.


Is there a toolbox you have used for your dedicated Van Tools? Also is there any tools you view as must have in the Van?
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:00 AM   #14
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I almost forgot! I found some new seats for my back seats on my local classifieds. I wanted some reclining buckets out of a Transit but I haven't been able to find any for under 1000.00, I was also curious about Sienna Recliners but they take up a bit more room than I wanted. I found these for 30.00 and they have integrated seat belts so I can make them removable! I am not sure what they are out of, the guy I bought them from got them at a Storage unit auction so no history.
There is a small burn on one, and one of the arm rests is a bit wonky but for the price I can have them recovered. They are really comfortable, recline slightly, and they even have a fire extinguisher holder under one side.


Anyone know what these are from originally?
Ill get some better pics soon when I am fitting it in.
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"The problem with common sense is, its not that common." Mark Twain
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1998 E-350 LWB (Being converted now)
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:55 AM   #15
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Shuttle bus seats would be my guess.
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:47 PM   #16
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I am getting my stuff together for my build and will be using it while I am converting as well. I just found this and there are some cool features on it, it does cost 65.00 but in a way it can almost be an all in one solution.

Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box Power Center -- Pretty neat box with external lugs for hookups, a USB port, 12v charging port and a charge meter. It fits group 24 and 27 batteries.

Pros:
It is a vented box that has terminals on the outside for charging and hookups. (designed for a trolling motor but just as good for a Van Dwelling scenario)
It has a 12v plug for charging devices or people have used it for charging the battery as well
The USB charging port could be used during the build and then if the box is getting covered a USB extension cable could be used as well to make it more accessible.

Cons:
A battery box is 15.00 and this is 65.00 so it is an extra 40.00 for the ports, charger, and the meter which will probably be redundant eventually.

I am thinking I may get it and mount it in the van close to its permanent location, but then it is covered and protected until I get the platform and everything else built around it.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:02 PM   #17
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Burried in snow here for a week so nothing new to post about the van. I did get the new headlight support and got it in but need a few clips to get the headlights in now.

I did come up with a name though, considering it is a re-purposed transport it is christened "Rogue One" time for some Star Wars decals.

pics will be coming soon things are starting to thaw.
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"The problem with common sense is, its not that common." Mark Twain
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:32 PM   #18
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Got working on the van again

Finally got a break in the weather and got the headlight and headlight support back in place. I have been driving it for a week now and started working on a few other small things. I removed all the rear panels as well, I still have to take out the head liner but all the side panels are out.
My project today was to replace the cruise control buttons. I got them off Amazon and they are actual Motorcraft buttons. When I called a shop to see how much it would be to get them replaced I was quoted 350-400.00! The parts is under 110.00 and it took me about 20 minutes to change them out.

Here is what it looked like when I started:


First thing to do is disconnect the negative battery cable. There are a lot of reports about air bags going off when they are removed. I ran a towing company for years and we messed around with a lot of airbags and they were actually quite difficult to go off unless they are properly triggered. With that being said obviously be careful and be sure and disconnect the battery cable but don't let worry about the airbag scare you from doing this it is a really simple job.

Here are the tools I used:

5/16 Socket (1/4 drive is best because the holes in the steering cover are small.)
Socket extension
Ratchet
5/16 Box wrench (ratcheting is nice) Used to disconnect battery cable
Leatherman Surge ( I carry this all the time, I used the knife to carefully pry the release clip on the red connector. The small scissors are also very nice for trimming the ends off the zip ties.)
Zip Ties (Only need 4 but I bought an assortment.)

Pop the small covers off of each side of the steering wheel.

After the covers are off remove the small 5/16 bolt behind each cover these are the only bolts holding the airbag in. After that tip the airbag forward and remove the two connectors. There are videos showing how to do this without unplugging it, but it is very difficult to work around it. It is much better in my opinion to just unplug them.

After it is out this is what you will have:


Just cut all the zip ties and then lightly pry the old buttons out. They are just held in by clips that push into the steering wheel. Then just lay in the new wires, and then snap in the new buttons and plug it back in. I used Blue and yellow zip ties since that seemed to match the wire color scheme


After that just plug the airbag back in and set it back into the steering wheel. The four posts that stick up make sure it is aligned very well with where the bolts will go back in. Just replace the two bolts and covers and then reconnect your battery cable.

I would suggest starting the vehicle by sitting in the passenger seat just in case the airbag decides to deploy. As I mentioned this is a very small probability but just to be safe. If the airbag doesn't go off when you first turn on the ignition then you are back in business with a cruise control that works again.
Hopefully the photos show how simple this is, not a very complicated project at all.
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"The problem with common sense is, its not that common." Mark Twain
1999 F-250SD XCab 4x4 5.4 170k
1998 E-350 LWB (Being converted now)
www.DirkMitchell.com
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:58 PM   #19
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I got some new windows

I got the rear windows replaced with some that open.
I also got the batteries, inverter, and AC/DC panel tested out.

I made a video with most of it.
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"The problem with common sense is, its not that common." Mark Twain
1999 F-250SD XCab 4x4 5.4 170k
1998 E-350 LWB (Being converted now)
www.DirkMitchell.com
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:22 PM   #20
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I got the floor in!

Finally got to spend some time getting the floor down so I can install the vinyl and start building. It was more work than I thought getting all that old flooring out and cleaning the thing up.
I guess almost 20 years of dust will do that. I made a video that has a lot of it.

I got the flooring all pulled out, used the old mat as a template to cut the 1/2 OSB for the floor sheeting. I put 1/2 in OSB strips in the low points of the floor and then reflectix in the high spots. I glued the strips down to the body and put a few screws in them, and then taped all the joints with foil tape and installed the sheeting with screws about every 6 inches into the strips.
I also got the FatMat installed on the roof panels to keep the noise and vibrations down after I pulled the headliner out.

Here is a list of all the parts I have used so far:

Reflectix BP24050 24-Inch-by-50-Foot
(This is probably enough for my whole van due to the windows on the sides. If you have a full size cargo van and want to do all the walls as a vapor barrier and insulation you will probably need 2 of them)
3M Foil Tape 3381 Silver, 1.88 in x 50 yd 2.7 mil http://amzn.to/2yAADLb
This works good to seal the edges of the Reflectix
Loctite Power Grab All Purpose Adhesive 9 Fluid Ounce Cartridge
I prefer this unless it is below 50 degrees or the surfaces are possibly damp if so I use:
Loctite Power Grab Ultimate Adhesive 9 Fluid Ounce Cartridge
Very similar to the one above but works well in colder conditions.
Loctite Polyseal 10 Oz White 2 In 1 Seal & Bond All Purpose Caulk
This is another great thing to have I use it for sealing gaps it skins over rather quickly
DAP 59184 QT Ready to Use Flexible Floor Leveler
Fills small gaps or inconsistencies in your subfloor, flexible so it won't crack with movement
3/4-Inch Modified Truss Lath Self Piercing Screw, 100-Pack
I used 2 packs between the strips and the sheeting on top of the slats.
FatMat Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener Bulk Pack w/ Install Kit
If you have a cargo van this is probably the amount you need I will have some left over
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"The problem with common sense is, its not that common." Mark Twain
1999 F-250SD XCab 4x4 5.4 170k
1998 E-350 LWB (Being converted now)
www.DirkMitchell.com
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