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Old 03-20-2014, 09:26 AM   #61
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Re: Popping my top

Quote:
Originally Posted by twogone
When we rebuilt the interior of my '95, ALL of the SMBWest cuts were like that or worse! I am not fully emotionally recovered from some of what they did
I don't know what they look like in modern builds, but I would homebuild if at all possible.
SMB Indiana is not like that. But, they only build ~35 vans a year..

Mike
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:24 PM   #62
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Re: Popping my top

It's a production mindset. If it gets the job done and is hidden to the consumer when all is done, that's fine to them. 90% of buyers will never tear into it and see. "Good enough" is often good enough in a production line. My 98 SMB is a SMB-N build. Overall it's fine, but the "particular" part of me occasionally finds stuff that I would have taken more time on and done nicer (wiring, etc.).
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:16 AM   #63
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Re: Popping my top

Trimming out the PH top.......

I am reworking/re-making some of the trim pieces for the top. The PH was removed from a cargo van and is installed in a window van with rear AC so there needs to be some mods. I am presently attempting to minimize the use of the SMB trim pieces since I have chopped up and installed the factory headliner down both sides.

The first one is the front upper trim piece. The fabric on this part was quite stained and a bit worn and had lots of screw holes that are not needed. I also added a lip on the bottom of this piece so it would integrate with the cab area headliner properly without additional trim pieces.

As the first picture shows, the wood substrate is OSB and 1/8" melamine plywood. The OSB part was duplicated in 1/2" baltic birch ply and the 1/8" melamine ply was duplicated with 1/8" baltic birch ply using a router with a laminate trim bit. The parts were also dialed in a bit to fit better in the new van. Based on the writing on the old part, a guy named Chad probably made it.

The grey velour was purchased at a local upholstery supply house and appears to be an exact match to the SMB velour. The old cover has foam backing built-in, the new fabric does not so some 1/4" foam was also purchased. The foam and fabric were attached using a light duty staple gun and 1/4" staples.















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Old 03-25-2014, 09:20 PM   #64
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Re: Popping my top

A few more pics.......

Here is the new setup on the PH roof fasteners. Butyl tape under stainless 1/4" fender washers, then small stainless sealing 1/4" washers with integral o-rings, then stainless 1/4-20 nylock nuts (nut not shown). The screws that hold the front lifting block on the roof are intentionally long; I'm planning on mounting the solar panel to these to minimize roof penetrations.



The three fasteners that attach the J-hooks to the roof also have a smaller stainless washer between the fender washer and the sealing washer. All of the washers were sourced from Mcmaster Carr.


Next up, new handles on the front lifting block (ribbed for her pleasure)





The sheet metal screws that were holding down the retainer plates over the helper springs were replaced with machine screws and riv-nuts. I originally just drilled holes through the roof and used lock nuts, but removing the plates would then require removal of the headliner to get at the nuts. Riv-nuts allow removal of the plates without having to remove the headliner.

This image also shows the butyl tape just squeezing out from under the wood strips holding the canvas to the roof.





The side 60/40 doors were insulated and soundproofed using leftover project materials and a few other cheap supplies.

Starting at the inner face of the outer sheet metal on each door, there is Soundcoat brand damping sheet with 1/2" of foam (peel and stick), followed by approximately 3" of ultratouch recycled denim insulation. All of the extra holes in the inner door sheet metal were sealed with aluminum duct tape and bituthane window flashing. The inside of the door panels also got Soundcoat and bituthane treatment.

The bituthane window flashing (the stuff in the picture labeled "Protecto-Wrap") makes a great poor-man's constrained layer damping sheet. Both doors now close with a solid "thud". Although the only thing touching the outer sheet metal is the self adhesive Soundcoat damping sheet, I'm planning on taking a look inside the doors every so often to check for moisture/corrosion just in case.



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Old 03-26-2014, 12:33 AM   #65
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Re: Popping my top

Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
A few more pics.......

...
The sheet metal screws that were holding down the retainer plates over the helper springs were replaced with machine screws and riv-nuts...
Hello Boywonder, by any chance do you have a larger picture showing the retainer plates in place.
I need to install some on mine but don't know how long and wide they need to be.
Is it an 1/8" thick plate?
Thank you,
Andrew
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:37 AM   #66
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Re: Popping my top

Andrew, I just sent you an email.......
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:34 PM   #67
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Re: Popping my top

Started building the floor.......

The present plan is to use plastic/rubber sheet flooring on the floor, still deciding what it will be exactly.....perhaps nautalex decko dot flooring or some other coin/dot flooring.

We used 1/2" Baltic birch for the floor, since the 5'x5' sheets allow for one seam/two sheets total. The pics show the area behind the drivers seat without flooring, this will be filled in but it will end up under cabinets so I'm not worried about appearance.


The old carpeting was used as a template and the baltic birch was cut to size using a jigsaw. The edges are a bit rough but all of the edges will be covered/trimmed out.





3/4" furring strips were ripped from some leftover oak veneer plywood from our bathroom remodel. They were glued (using PL 375-liquid nails type stuff) and stapled to the floor in place in the van.









The floor was then removed from the van, inverted, and some romex and 12V wiring were installed across the width, and the furring strips were covered in Bituthane (to help seal the mounting holes and reduce squeaks) and some thin carpet padding was added for additional sound damping and insulation.



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Old 03-30-2014, 05:11 AM   #68
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Re: Popping my top

I'm glad seeing the plywood floor's underside padding NOT attached so that it comes in contact with the van's sheet metal floor.

The OEM mats are known to absorb and hold moisture to the point they're saturated and never dry out, staying in constant contact with the sheet metal. Resulting extensive rust of the floor is of course never seen and almost never treated.

Nice progress BTW---creative solutions!
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:35 AM   #69
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Re: Popping my top

hey there...just following your thread.... i am taking the floor out of an '87 e-250 and trying to figure out what to replace it with... i have very little experience with this kind of work so this forum is both helpful and overwhelming!! that said, tks for contributing your stuff for people like me!

anyway, the old floor just had plywood screwed into the metal with padding and carpet on top....

i'm trying to keep things simple and effective and relatively low cost but perhaps make things a little better..... the idea of furring strips seems simple enough and i can seal the old screw holes.....

where did you staple the furring strips to the plywood? i could not see the holes? did they stay in place pretty easily when you put glue on them and then layed the plywood on top? seems kind of scary to do...like glue might go everywhere on the metal floor

then just bitu-tape and some padding? how is the padding attached?

if they questions are ridiculous i completely understand....please don't feel any obligation to respond to them at all.... thanks for posting you stuff and i'll keep following along - cheers choochee
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:19 PM   #70
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Re: Popping my top

Quote:
Originally Posted by choochee
i have very little experience with this kind of work......


where did you staple the furring strips to the plywood? i could not see the holes? did they stay in place pretty easily when you put glue on them and then layed the plywood on top? seems kind of scary to do...like glue might go everywhere on the metal floor

then just bitu-tape and some padding? how is the padding attached?

haha! I have very little experience (none really) with camper van conversions as well, but I don't let that slow me down

Here is a slightly more detailed sequence...

We cut the 1/2" BB ply to fit in the van, around the wheel wells, etc. using the old carpet as a template trying to minimize the exposed seam(s) since they may telegraph through the vinyl floor which we haven't picked yet.

We ripped some 3/4" plywood into strips and laid them in the grooves on the floor. Since they were leftovers from another project, there are short pieces at each end and a few other places. One goal of this exercise for us is to burn up some of the leftover materials that we have hanging around the garage.

There are a few floor undulations that would require staggering the strips a bit, you just want enough to make the plywood stiff enough to not deflect under your feet. If you use a thicker, say 3/4" top deck you may be able to get away with less strips.

Once everything was cut and in it's happy place we tilted up the 1/2" decking ply and ran beads of PL 375 (liquid nails would work just fine also) along the furring strips, dropped the decking ply back down and shot 1" long pneumatic narrow crown staples through the deck ply into the strips every 5" or so, like nailing down a subfloor in your house. The staples only really hold the wood together while the adhesive sets up. You could skip the adhesive but you may end up with a squeaky floor.

The carpet padding is attached to the underside of the flooring with 3/8" long staples from a bostich hand stapler, similar to what you would use to attach felt paper to your roof or rosin paper to your floor during remodeling. I don't know how much insulation or sound damping we will get from this but it was a project leftover from something else.

The bituthane strips may or may not be needed, again, we are burning up old project leftovers when it seems like a good idea.

I am planning on installing 1/4-20 brass threaded inserts in the furring strips in a few locations where there are existing holes in the metal floor to fasten/locate the floor from under the van. That way there are no extra holes poked in the metal van floor. I imagine that you could use liquid nails type decking adhesive to glue the furring strips to the metal if you want. Future mods may be a PITA through.

In our case, 100% of the decking edges will be trimmed with something so that eases up the cosmetic accuracy requirement.

I contemplated rather heavily running 1/2" strips cross-wise on the floor, that should also work fine. The advantage to that is that there would be more space under the decking for insulation and running wires after the fact would be possible if you left some space for a wire chase under the floor. One downside of this method is that the finished floor would be over an inch above the metal floor. Running the 3/4" strips lengthwise, we will probably save 1/4" of floor height compared to crosswise strips.
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