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Old 07-12-2015, 10:31 PM   #11
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

Painted and installed:


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Old 07-12-2015, 10:33 PM   #12
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

It works:
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:39 PM   #13
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

With the inside back together I could pull the van out of the shop and get back to the bumpers. I frenched in some fog lights in the front. I am installing LED fog lights for a Jeep JK. They are 4" round so I used two 4" to 5" exhaust adapter for the buckets.

I used a piece of 4" PVC to test the angle to cut the buckets:

Cutting to 30 degrees:
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:44 PM   #14
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

Once the bucket was cut it was used to trace the cut out on the bumper:


Cut the hole using a jig saw:
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:48 PM   #15
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

The bucket placed and welded:


All sanded in with a flap disc:
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:53 PM   #16
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

Test fit with the fog light:

Add mounting tabs:

Then sand the whole bumper to prep for paint:
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:56 PM   #17
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

While I was cutting, welding and grinding on the bumper I pie cut the sides to allow more room for the bigger tires.


Closed up and tacked:
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:00 PM   #18
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

All welded up:


All ground and sanded and ready for paint:
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:38 PM   #19
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

You guys that can work magic with metal always impress me - nice work! Your Express is coming along great.

I'll be interested to know how your seat heater install turns out. I was looking for kits for our rig as well. Any extra details you can provide would be great (which kit you got, how hard the install was, etc.)

Is that a Shop4seats swivel? It looks like what I should have gotten, but they totally botched the offsets so I sent them back. Your seat base mod is perfect - I didn't like the way the seat sat with the swivel plate installed on the stock base.

I see a Webasto box - did you get a gas fired unit? Looking forward to seeing more!
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:05 AM   #20
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Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

I'm always surprised that there isn't more love for the GM platform in the 4x4 conversions. Sure, the ford chassis is a bit more stout, but every time I end up driving, or even just riding in something with a mid or higher end GM engine I question my sanity.

FWIW: I've not done any winter camping in the van (just in huts, also, I'm a wimp on AT gear, so feel free to ignore anything I write), but I really don't love the extra height of my van in the snow. I've seen plenty of big burly SUVs and trucks on their roofs after running up on snowbanks, while subarus and other AWD wagons just end up with some dents in their side panels, if they ever even make contact at all. So anytime I'm driving the van rather than a wagon in the snow I slow way, way, down.
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