Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #351
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

I finally managed to go camping this week.


I really needed that. If you're in the market for a new walking stick I can personally recommend the 52" replacement shovel handle they carry at Ace Hardware. For me it's just the perfect height and has a nice heft to it. Would make a good Whacking Stick if need be.

Back to work on the van.
This next project will be a undervan storage box. I've been working on this one project on and off for months. I've not finished it yet but maybe by the time I get to the end of writing about it I'll have it completed.

As everyone with a "B" RV knows, space is a premium. Especially if you have a regular length van like mine. Sportsmobile offers a undervan storage as an option on their vans that will increase usable space. If you go to this web page you'll see the "XL Storage Compartment" listed near the bottom of the page. I've never seen one of the Sportsmobile versions in real life so I don't know it's dimensions or how it's attached. All I know is what you can see on their web page.

Since I won't be reverse engineering someone else's design I'll have to come up with my own. Luckily I'll gotten a lot help from several people at this forum.

The undervan storage box ( AKA "The Basement") will be located under the van where the spare tire is hung. Once I cranked down and removed the spare tire this is how it looked under my van. This is looking from the drivers side towards the passenger side.


In the center of the picture is the Tire Carrier with the Tire Winch attached. In the center of the frame rail you can see a Exhaust Hanger which is attached to the Exhaust Pipe at a point just out of sight below the picture. Also visible is part of the Trailer Hitch.

Looking the other direction you can again see the Tire Carrier along with the Charcoal Canister and part of the Trailer Hitch.


All these parts I've mentioned will come up again later in the project.

First consideration is if the removal of the Tire Carrier will have an adverse affect on the frame. These following two documents, kindly pointed to by Carringb, indicate that the already installed trailer hitch should work as sufficient reinforcement to the frame.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas.../Q-184e_5_.pdf

https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/non-html/Q18.pdf

continued -
__________________

__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2011, 08:17 PM   #352
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

I found this diagram from one of the documents to be most helpful in planning out a undervan storage box..



Quote:
Trailer Hitch Crossmember (can increase protection area)
Need to take some measurements from the van.

Park the van on a level surface. Measure the distance from the bottom of the trailer hitch to the ground.


Close to 14-3/4". One problem with this measurement is it's taken with the van empty. Once the van is fully built out it will contain more weight and this measurement would change. The best way I can think of to compensate for this will be to load the van up and see how the rear height changes.

Need something to load the van down. Cement pavers should work.


Around 22 lbs each.


Start loading up the van. Space the pavers through out the van.






45 pavers x 22 lbs = 990 lbs. That should do the trick.

Measure again. 13-1/2" this time.


The distance from the center of rear tire to directly below the rear edge of the trailer hitch is 39-1/2".

Next up the removal of the undervan tire carrier.
continued -
__________________

__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2011, 09:34 PM   #353
Senior Member
 
Nomadcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Greenwich Village, NYC
Posts: 567
Re: Hal The Van

the tension is killing me...
__________________
2009 E350 5.4 Quadvan Homebrew
One day at a time
Nomadcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2011, 10:38 AM   #354
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Undervan Storage Box continued:

Before I cut out the tire carrier I have to remove the emission canister. This is also called the charcoal canister or vapor canister. The canister is bolted to the inside of the drivers side frame rail next to the tire carrier. In this picture you can see the purge valve mounted on the top of the canister.


I made a mistake in that I removed the canister from it's badly rusted carrier first.


Getting the carrier apart was a real pain. I should have removed the carrier from the van first. In this picture you can see the two bolts on the outside of the frame rail that are holding the carrier in place. Just remove the two nuts and the carrier comes right out.


Here's the canister after removal.


This "V" groove is where the purge valve is attached. The canister must be positioned so the "V" is at the top.


Purge valve.


There is another connection besides the purge valve.


With the canister out of the way I can get to removing the tire carrier. My main tool for this is going to be a sawzall. Since I'll be laying on my back and cutting above my head I need to support the carrier first. Use a wood beam to support a couple of jack stands.
Hopefully his will keep the tire carrier from falling on me.




Cutting the carrier out from under the van has been without a doubt the absolutely worst job I've had to do on the van so far. It's a uncomfortable position using a power tool in a confined space while cutting directly above my head. I'm wearing hearing protection and goggles but it's still very loud and debris is hitting you in the face. Just nasty. I was in such a hurry to get it done I wasn't as careful as I normally am and almost didn't even stop to take pictures!




I said almost didn't take pictures. Couldn't help myself.

Because of my haste some of these cuts are ragged.






I was also hard on the sawzall blades. I straightened these out later. They will be reused


Success.


After removing the tire carrier I went back and cleaned up all the cuts.


I tried with mixed success to remove the parts of the tire carrier still riveted to the frame rails. If I couldn't get them all the way out I did reduced them in size.


The sawzall wasn't the only tool I needed for this job.


For curiosities sake I weighted the tire carrier after removal. 29 lbs.


continued -
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2011, 09:38 AM   #355
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

From this past weekend. Harpers Ferry WV as seen from Maryland Heights.

John Brown's "Fort" is the building just above where the left set of tracks enters Harpers Ferry. It was originally located 150 feet to the right.

Undervan storage box continued:

With the tire carrier removed this is the view of the underside of the van floor. You can see that the floor is bowed slightly downward. No doubt caused when the original owner used it to carry heavy building materials.


Here is the area where I want to relocate the emissions canister. You're looking at the underside of the van forward of the rear axle on the drivers side.


There is a fair amount of room here but finding just the right place for the canister turned out to be harder than I thought it would be. Here was the main constraint. Near the top of this picture you can see a rectangular rubber bumper. Directly below it is the rear axle. Under extreme loading or hitting a bump at hight speed these two points could come in contact.


There is six inches between the two.


The problem with mounting the canister under the floor was to find a spot where it wouldn't contact the rear axle if that axle was to rise six inches. That greatly limits the number of places the canister can safely be mounted.

I couldn't find a good way to plan out where to install the canister but to just hold it up in there and keep moving it around till I thought I found the best spot. It's a cramped and dirty space and trying to maneuver and hold the canister while checking the measurements was a real pain. I ended up not being as careful as I should have been.

Found what I thought was a good spot.


Used a cardboard template that matched the bolts on the canister carrier and used that to mark the underneath of the van.


Removed the wood flooring and the insulating foam layer then pulled back the rubber mat exposing where I was going to be drilling. Some of the matting and insulation had been held in place by double sided tape. Will have to redo that when I'm done.


Drilled the holes from underneath and then did a test mount of the canister.




Measured the canister in relation to the rear axle and found out that I'd messed it up. I didn't have the six inches of clearance. Time to step back and regroup.

When in doubt, paint. Broke out my can of Rust Bullet rustproofing and got to work.




As a side note you can see in this picture that I've replaced the original rear exhaust hanger with a generic version from the local auto parts store.


Grind off the rust from the canister carrier then rustproof it.


The carrier had a hinged strap that held the canister in place. It was so badly rusted I removed it and replaced it with three screw clamps.


Find a new mounting spot for the canister that will clear the axle.


This new location is closer to the front of the van so both the electrical and vent lines that run to the canister have to be rerouted. The electrical line was fairly easy. Just used a loop to take up the extra slack and zip tied it in place.


The vent hoses took some more work. I replaced and shorted the vent hose.


With the hose rerouting I need to create a 180 degree turn. Took a piece of vent hose to the hardware store and asked that they had that fit it. Bought two brass elbows.


Used some sealant and screw clamps to make the 180.




Here's the 180 installed.




Be sure to install the canister so that the purge valve is at the top.


Hook everything back up.


Patch up the extra holes in the van floor with fiberglass reinforced Bondo. Didn't worry about smoothing it out since it's hidden.


I'd like to write that I didn't have to do anything else with the canister after this but I'd be lying.

continued -
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2011, 10:10 PM   #356
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Undervan Storage Box continued:

UPDATE: This posting originally contained some bad information in regards to brake line repair. I've edited the post to remove the mistake. See the follow-up post for a explanation and correction.

While spending time under the van I couldn't help but notice that the steel brake line that runs between the two rear wheels was badly rusted. Looks like it needed replaced.


The brake line will be easier to deal with before the storage box is installed. I've never custom bent a brake line before but no time like the present to learn.

This brake line goes from this metal fitting between the differential and the drivers side rear wheel -


to the passenger side rear wheel.


I measured one of the end fittings and the length of the brake line. Mistake #1. I only measured one end. I assumed they would both be the same.

Went to the local auto supply store and bought a new brake line. It's longer than I need so I'll have to cut and flare one end. From Harbor Freight I also bought Tube Bending Pliers and a ( UPDATE: Don't buy this kit) [s:5zouxrj0]Tube Flaring Kit[/s:5zouxrj0].

Next up is the removal of the old brake line. Found it's easier if you remove the rear passenger side tire first.




Brake line off the van.


Using the tube bending pliers on the new brake line -


to replicate the profile of the original brake line.


For my first ever effort at this I don't think it turned out too bad.


The new brake line is longer than needed.


Use a tube cutter to remove the extra.


UPDATE: I used the wrong kind of flaring kit when I did this so I'm editing this post. See my following post for the correction.

[s:5zouxrj0]Here's a close look at the flaring tool. I'm using 3/16 brake line.[/s:5zouxrj0]

Time to install the new brake line. The first fitting worked OK. Take extra care not to cross thread the fitting.


It's when I went to screw the brake line into the wheel that I found the problem with the fittings I missed earlier. The wheel takes a larger size fitting.


I ended up cutting the flare end off the new brake line and reusing the bigger fitting from the original. Then used the flaring tool again.


Finished with the new brake line.


Put the tire back on and got my neighbor to help me bleed the brake lines. No leaks. Did a test drive and A-OK.

I might never need the flaring tool or the tube bender again but buying them for this single use was still cheaper than paying for a garage to do this work for me.

continued -
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2011, 12:10 PM   #357
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 55
Re: Hal The Van

nice job, sometimes you'll need the tubing wrenches, which grab almost all 6 sides of the fitting... the open end has a tendency to strip, especially on frozen fittings.

another special tool which is very handy for brakes is the mighty vac. i picked mine up for about $35, worth every penny.
dimension4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2011, 04:26 PM   #358
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 7,621
Re: Hal The Van

You can use a jar and some tube to make a brake bleeder with extra fluid, but a neighbor is probably a better choice.
__________________
good to be back
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2011, 07:46 AM   #359
Senior Member
 
SheepShagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 371
Re: Hal The Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
After removing the tire carrier I went back and cleaned up all the cuts.


I tried with mixed success to remove the parts of the tire carrier still riveted to the frame rails. If I couldn't get them all the way out I did reduced them in size.
If you want to get them out, use an air hammer, it was the only thing that worked for me.
I used a chisel end to knock the heads off the rivets, then a punch end to knock them through. There were a few stubborn ones, those I drilled out most of the way, then punched through with the air hammer.
SheepShagger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2011, 08:43 AM   #360
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Thanks for the tips. It would have been nice to get rid of the last bits of the tire carrier but there's not much left of them. I'll have to put air hammer on my list of things to buy.
__________________

__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Agnes

ranchero

Rex

Tomboy
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×