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Old 01-24-2010, 10:45 PM   #11
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Re: Polar Bear 1

Thanks for the link. Interesting forum, I may have to crawl through there and see what I can learn.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:14 PM   #12
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Re: Polar Bear 1

Another forum? Are you kidding? I can't keep up with this one....
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:30 PM   #13
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Re: Polar Bear 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Another forum? Are you kidding? I can't keep up with this one....

To be true, it is called the Econoline Message Board, primarily geared to the early Ford vans. They do have a section for the Quadravan/Pathfinder Ford vans that is kind of cool. Neat older iron in some cases.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:04 AM   #14
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Re: Polar Bear 1

I haven't been working on the van much lately as I have been in the process of moving. Speaking of, it's extremely nice to own your own moving van. I did have one minor issue while moving - the radiator blew up. Eventually, I think I'll have replaced the entire van.

Anyway, in lieu having a penthouse top, I decided to purchase a roof top tent. Slee was closing out a bunch of Afican Outback products and I picked up a Technitop RTT for cost:



I also acquired some nice cases from the office. These were used to ship HP Blackbirds to trade shows but were no longer needed. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to use these, but I'm thinking of mounting them on the roof basket. They're not aerodynamic by any means, but then again, neither is my van:



At the new place, I have a bit of garage and a drive way.... I did not have this in the condo. I'm pretty stoked about getting my work area setup this weekend. =)
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:41 AM   #15
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Re: Polar Bear 1

This morning I took the bear in to have a leak in the windshield taken care of. After pulling off the trim, it was easy to see water still trapped under the glass. He decided to cut the glass out and clean up the seal. After cutting 16 to 18 inches, the glass fell out. Had I a small wreck of any kind, I probably would have lost the windshield. I should have a solid seal by the end of today.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:05 AM   #16
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Re: Polar Bear 1

I had a reminder of how quickly time is getting away from me today. It was time to go in for an oil change. Yikes. However, I finally got a work space setup and am happy to be working on the van.

As my first project, I picked up a rusty chrome ladder at a junk yard, stripped it with a grinder, and painted it black. I'm eager to find out how durable the paint turned out. This is my first attempt to turn Chrome black. I hope to do more of this since the theme is black trim on white.



I did wear goggles while grinding, I just forgot while I was quickly posing for a photo. I also did not permanently hang the ladder on the side of the van. After seeing it done on august's van, I thought about leaving it right there. It might give me better access to my eventual roof design and free up space on the back door for jerry cans. However, the ladder was really engineered for the rear door and I suspect it would be sturdier there. Plus, the only place I can find safe points for mounting it on the side of the van put the ladder right in front of a window. It was either that or block the gas tank door.

Once the weekend finally got here, I decided to start stripping down the inside of the van.



I'm about ready to go through the dash cleaning as much as I can. The more I peel back the layers, the more concerned I get. After pulling up the carpet I noticed the rust damaged patches on the floor at two body mount points. Someone treated the spots with some black paint.



After talking to a mechanic and a body shop about it, I think I'm just going to paint over it and leave it. The two closest body mount points to each patch are healthy. If I get inspired, I might tack on a couple of plates here.

I got more of a scare out of the front left body mount point. It would appear that a bolt has been missing for some time and someone tried welding the bracket.



While the mechanic told me he thinks its fine just how it is, I'm thinking I might try to get a bolt in there. I may not get the gap to close all the way, but I'd feel better with it bolted as tightly as possible regardless.

Meanwhile, I spotted this Sportsmobile in town and almost drowned in my own envious drool...

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Old 03-17-2010, 07:35 AM   #17
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Re: Polar Bear 1

I hate it when mechanics say, "Oh that's fine." That looks like a big problem to me, and when that fatigued metal breaks it's not going to be the mechanics problem.

At the least I would junkyard a new frame-body piece, remove the bent/welded one and put a good one back with all the bolts. I think it's a really good catch and an opportunity to get it back right before something breaks worse.

Also, my bet is that is REF.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:24 AM   #18
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Re: Polar Bear 1

Hey Zaskoda,
I had similar problem with my rear mounts. on the inside of the van, have you tried taping on the metal around the bolt head with a hammer. If it starts to flak off, keep hitting. All the metal that flaks off needs to be remove to show where the good metal is.
At least that worked for me.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:35 AM   #19
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Re: Polar Bear 1

the floor rust looks EXACTLY like mine...I wire brushed it and gave it a good coat of acid-etch primer and then a good coat of rustoleum heavy duty black paint...


and I too have the envy...then I realize they cost MORE than my 09 4dr wrangler..and I smile cus my van is PAID FOR!!!!
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:23 PM   #20
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Re: Polar Bear 1

@WVvan & @wanderer351: It's comforting that other vans are having similar rusting issues... thanks for the reinforcement. I'll probably try to clean it up without disturbing it too much. I was pretty nervous until I noticed the adjacent mount points were just fine.

@jage: I need to look again myself, but the mechanic thinks the frame itself is bend there. Given the way the body mount is slid out of place, I disagree... but if it is the frame a new bracket probably won't help. Whatever I do, I don't think I'm just going to leave it as is.

It's so tempting to start bolting, nailing, and screwing stuff together... But, I really need to get everything prepped and cleaned up first. Oh the anticipation. Wish I had a week off of work.
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