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Old 06-08-2016, 07:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Otter View Post
JWA, thanks for the insight. Do you suppose the Chevy above has heavier/more durable glass? Or is this a one-off thing
Otter the Chevy set-up is a factory modification, the panels you see lifted are metal formed to fit in the spaces where you'd normally find glass as in the people mover versions.

Its quite a robust system, most factors affecting its operation already considered and accommodated by the factory build.

Glass wouldn't be a good option without significantly adding to the cost---custom made pieces very, very impractical. Not sure who'd even tackle such a project honestly----none come to mind.

Refitting an existing built-out SMB or homebuilt would pretty much require the interior gutted to bare steel walls in order to fit hinges and latches suitably for the swing up panels.

Its a great idea but aftermarket just not too practical for a lot of reasons.

Sorry.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:25 PM   #12
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JWA: Wow! Well, maybe we'll see it one day on a home build when they've torn it down for other reasons. It would be a blast to have.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:26 PM   #13
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I looked around the inter-web thingy rather heavily this morning and came up empty-handed for the latches/hinges.....I was curious.........
Ah, too bad...
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:54 PM   #14
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Otter the Chevy set-up is a factory modification, the panels you see lifted are metal formed to fit in the spaces where you'd normally find glass as in the people mover versions.
Yes, as JWA said, this is a factory option on Express vans, called the "Express Access." I've seen one in person and it's very cool. It's a ~$1500 option on new Express vans.
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:55 PM   #15
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That makes sense, since the van profiled in the article was purchased used from an electrician. It didn't sound like the new owner actually installed the access panels himself.

The panels do get rave reviews from other tradesmen though. Lots of photos on this blog: The Benefits of a Work Van | THISisCarpentry
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:19 PM   #16
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I always thought an AWD diesel Express van with the Access Package would make a cool base for a build.
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:58 AM   #17
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Yes, as JWA said, this is a factory option on Express vans, called the "Express Access." I've seen one in person and it's very cool. It's a ~$1500 option on new Express vans.
Like anyone whose seen that feature in action or used it for $1500 its stupid cheap.

I'd never thought of it as observation ports but if present when a new build out was begun integration wouldn't be difficult at all.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:34 PM   #18
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I'll add new hinges/latches that to my bucket list of stuff to try but it's a big bucket and it's lonely at the bottom.

Seems to be a perfect excuse to save up for a 3d carbon fiber printer. ;p

If someone else markets a kit I'll buy it. Drives me bonkers all that glass is useless.
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