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Old 09-12-2012, 08:07 PM   #11
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Out with the old, in with the new

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Any chance the van had been run with a heavy oil like 10w-40?

All of the bottom end failures I've read about seemed to correspond with heavier than specified oil.

I've also seen several other cars where a rod bearing went out about 4-5 months after a Quick-change oil place forgot to put oil or a filter back in/on. Last one was a Mazda6. Engine seized a couple miles after leaving Jiffy Lube. Pulled it in our shop, re-filled it. Fired back up no problem. 4 months later he was back in with some telltale knock from #2 cylinder.
Unfortunately I have no idea. I bought the van used about 9 months before this happened. I'm a careful shopper and I know It was a one owner, I chased down enough records to be comfortable with the purchase (from a dealer), but I don't know. I do know it's very uncommon for a Ford modular to have a rod bearing go, unless neglected.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

Continued, many have asked for more/better pics of the Colorado Camper Van pop top. I still say the best ones are of Coguzzi's rig, but here are some more of mine, with AC venting included.
top bunk with bed folded out (leaves a 3 ft long x 4 ft wide opening in the factory roof)

top bunk with first section folded back (leaves a 5 ft x 4 ft opening to walk around in)

top bunk with bed folded back twice (leaves a 7 ft x 4 ft opening to walk around in). Also, CCV tops have about 8 FEET from van floor to ceiling, with the top raised. That will vary slightly if you choose a lower top. Mine's a 12".

front bunk (about 2 ft wide x 5 ft or so long), basically a kid's bunk only, but this is an option. You can just have a shelf up there if you don't need the bunk. It is about 8" high with top closed, so a good place to stow bedding, etc.

photo of entire roof with standard LED lighting, and optional Fantastic Fan
How Derek did my rear air (still works fine, just stronger flow from the 2 vents than less from the original 6)

My rear air passenger control was removed. I have it and thought about reusing it somewhere, but why? No one ever touched it anyway. You have the main controls for both front and rear air on the dash.
TBC, next up, the paint saga.................
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:38 PM   #13
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

Continued......I have a friend who does body work and paints cars on the side. Well, I should say an acquaintance. My wife knows his.....blah, blah, blah. Anyway, he once painted a truck I wrecked and it turned out great, as was the price. He quoted me 'a couple hundred bucks' to later paint a fiberglass topper for that same truck, but I never had that done. So, when I was ordering my top with CCV, I was told I could save some $ and have the top sent in primer gray (or white gelcoat, um, no.) I called my painter guy and he said 'yeah, I can paint a fiberglass van top, probably $3-400'. I jumped on this as it was cheaper than Derek's quote. Simple. Or so I thought.
I drove this hideous monstrosity (blue van with primer gray top) home from Colorado, 2 weeks or so before a 6000 mile trip,
and dropped it off at the painter's house. He was at work and called me that evening. "Nope, sorry. I can't paint that. It's way too high. I'll fall off the ladder trying to drag paint gun/air lines around and break my leg. Sorry."
Hmmmm, neither me or my wife wanted to drive this van around like this, so I decided to attempt painting it. I have an air compressor, lots of lines, just need a gun. Simple, bought a paint gun. Always wanted one. How hard could it be?
This is where the big lesson was learned. Never try to paint anything as broad or as high up as a full-size van roof. It's just not easy. MUCH easier to paint off the van, then install.
Step one, build scaffolding around the van high enough to where you can lean over the roof to paint to the center:

The cool part was that I already had a huge boat tarp sitting in my basement, and since it's a pop top, I just lifted the top, shoved the tarp in to the edges, and lowered gently. Completely masked to floor and not a single piece of tape.


Then secure ladders/scaffolding to carport using every strap you own (I am from Tennessee after all, so I considered duct tape )

The actual painting was a cinch really. Clear coat is the art, and timing between coats is much more important than I ever thought.


So, let it cure in the sun a few days, and I managed to paint my first car, more or less, just in time for the maiden voyage.


No, it isn't perfect paint, but it's not bad either. For a dirtbag home build I'm pretty happy. I was under tremendous time constraints here, so through the whole process I was thinking get some paint on it for the trip and if it looks horrible, have someone paint it right next winter. After cleaning up a couple of drips, I'm totally satisfied and don't plan to touch it again. The top looks a lot better than the rest of the van. It looks even better the further away you get!
TBC............
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:04 PM   #14
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

Continued, my original pics of my big hideous rack (BHR) went by the wayside, so sorry to be redundant, but I'm reposting the thread sort of.......
I have had an old flat receiver mount steel mesh cargo carrier in the garage for a long time and have been thinking about how to build or transform it in to more storage and a slide-out bike rack. I borrowed a few ideas I've seen here and finally got it done. The problem I have with most I've seen is the inability to open the rear doors, so I thought out how to build a slide out one similar to TmTm's rack, but with a bulletproof 3 point mount I could add a lot of weight to. The stock 1 tube rack is rated for 500 lbs but I wanted a wobble free rack I could really weigh down if needed. My van's receiver hitch is a 1000/10,000 model so no worries there.
I started by adding a box of made of angle iron to my present hitch rack


Then i bought 2 5' receiver tubes and 2 15"ish larger tubes to weld on the outside of my van's receiver hitch. I wanted to make it lockable so I figured the easiest thing to do would be to weld the side tubes on flush with the center tube and just use the original pin/lock setup I've always used. It's a little tight to get to, but works great, without having to crawl under van. Also, I can take the rack off completely by removing the pin and sliding it out with a second set of hands.





Next I added my bike racks to the top and finished out the rear with a flat piece of angle across. Plenty strong

Surprisingly it doesn't sag the van even fully loaded. It doesn't drive like it has a lot of weight on it, and it doesn't rattle at all

I road tested it and took the first trip out this Spring up to Big South Fork NRRA, a beautiful place. Got rained on the entire trip but still had a good time. I loaded the rack down about as heavy as I ever will with firewood and bikes and had no problems. I still plan to add a trailer light set/tag holder to the rear since I designed the rack to just be left there. I'm also going to add a backup camera soon so I don't back it into things. I'm pretty long now with this rack on the extended van. If it looks like the rack sags a bit, remember it uses the factory center tube with 2 added on the outside, so that's just the way my hitch is built. It's almost like the angle is designed for the van to sit up higher in the back, which would make the receiver more level, but my van doesn't sag, not really even with this rack on and loaded. Not sure why the factory hitch isn't more level, but of course I never noticed it until I built this huge rack.

Edit: Some have asked about the dimensions of my rack, so here goes:
My rear rack is a standard sized hitch rack, 22x60", but I made it in to a 22x22x60" box, which gives you exactly enough room for a lot of common items such as coolers or the big Rubbermaid tubs. I can fit 4 of those across, or 3 and a standard sized cooler.
TBC...........
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:23 PM   #15
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

continued.........generator rack. Another update from an old post with missing pictures.
I don't like the idea of keeping my generator inside the van, it doesn't smell at all but i wanted to be set up to use it on the road if needed, or to charge house batteries while in a parking lot or something. I built up a wooden and steel rack which was just an experiment, and i definitely should share that it doesn't stay on the van unless i'm traveling. There is risk of it being crushed in a front end collision, but just as much risk if i mounted it on my rear rack.
First, i added a front receiver from Etrailer, then butchered an old bike rack for the tubing for the bottom, then bolted some 3/4 treated plywood for the base. This will be replaced by a square angle iron frame if i like how it works out.


I spray bombed it and wrapped some pipe insulation around the edges to save my shins if i walk in to it or bump it on something

Then i added a big cable lock which goes through the long vent hole in the bumper so there's no possible way anyone could walk away with it. I do realize people cut the handles on these and steal them anyway, but the cable fits so tight on mine, i don't think it could really go anywhere unless someone had a lot of time to work.
Also, i can't show this in pictures, but i ran some thick extension cord along the frame under the van and inside the rear door to where my inverter and power all ties together. This way, i can switch from inverter to generator power quickly and charge batteries. Update: Inverter (only) has been replaced by a Tripp-lite inverter/charger and a proper outside plug in, but the generator still goes along and is handy to have around.
This generator setup works great riding down the road or parked, and another reason i put it up front was so that the noise would be furthest from us while still being attached. Also, it's one thing less to load/unload and move around, that is until I rearend someone and destroy the whole apparatus.



TBC..........
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:44 PM   #16
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

continued...........just another experiment, my overhead console build

http://sportsmobileforum.com/viewtop...p=85874#p85874

TBC...........
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:48 PM   #17
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

continued..........battery box build

http://sportsmobileforum.com/viewtop...p=86682#p86682

TBC...........
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:50 PM   #18
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

continued............TV and lighting upgrades, moved switches, etc.

http://sportsmobileforum.com/viewtop...p=85352#p85352

TBC..........
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:26 AM   #19
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

Continued..........awning install

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...p=87925#p87925

TBC.................
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:09 PM   #20
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Re: Out with the old, in with the new

hi Eric --

Thanks for reconstructing your build thread. Derek has my van now -- a 5.4L v8 that averaged 16.5 mpg on the ramble through the NM and CO mountains, including awesome camping near Leadville at 10,000' --- for a new top, solar panel and roof rack, and some interior mods.

And now I'm really, really glad that I decided to have Derek paint the top!

--Meredith
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