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Old 05-16-2016, 12:29 PM   #1
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The Van Of Mayhem

So, as work progresses slowly, it's time to "show off" what's done to my van so far.
The "Van Of Mayhem" is a '98 E250 RB 2WD 5.4 cargo van, originally used by the US Navy as surveillance van for Navy base security in Italy. It even had a periscope installed, the round hole in the roof is closed for now, but will be the place for a moon roof in the future.
I bought the van from a contractor who used it as his work van for a couple of years without any problems. The day he sold the van to me, his brand new Sprinter left him stranded with the diesel pump going south
Thanks to the previous owner, the van was already converted to run on LPG, which is the only way here to keep the cost of driving a V8 acceptable. LPG is about 1/3 the price of gas here. The conversion is a typical bi-fuel conversion, consisting of a 29 gallon LPG tank under the van where the spare tire used to hang and keeping the stock fuel tank.
First thing was changing the tires to 235/85R16 General AT² on the stock wheels. This is how she looked back then:




The plan was to convert the van to a camper / work van hybrid whith flightcase style cabinets and boxes which could be put in and out as needed.
More on this later..........
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:43 PM   #2
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Since I'm a bit handicapped by rheumatism work on the van goes in little slow steps.
I started with little things, i.e. aux. power outlets (USB & 12V) in the doghouse, multi pocket seat covers and the Brodit mount for the 10.1" Xoom2 tablet






While I was laying wires anyway I installed a automatic cutoff relay and a 110AH Banner AGM house battery (in a removable box) wired with 35mm² cable.
Being a cargo van, I only had windows in the rear doors, so out came the air grinder and a sliding side window out of D90 Land Rover went into the passenger side panel





Whe I pulled the rear carpet I found the usual rust spot around the passenger side rearmost body mount in the cargo bay, so welding and 2 layers of fresh rust prevention paint where on order


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Old 05-16-2016, 12:55 PM   #3
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And then there was light.................
I changed the Hella E-code headlights for some TruckLite LED lights, a day and night difference. A set of Hella Micro Xenon HID spotlights support the high beams





As this wasn't enough, a 50" curved LED combo lightbar was added



The front turn signals got switchback LEDs to now act as white DRL and amber turn signals (no amber DRL or parking lights in Germany), while the rear parking/stop lights are also converted to LEDs with the turn signals using a similar white/amber switchback LED configuration in the backup lenses together with the backup lights (also no red turn signals in Germany). Underneath the rear bumper is an additional LED backup (white)/rear fog (red) combination.
A 14" Flowmaster series 40's muffler lets the engine breathe more easily
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:04 PM   #4
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But we wanted to have a multi porpose van, right?

The rear floor got a 3/8" plywood in combination with aircargo rails to attach the planned flightcases and use for latching cargo.



Underneath the plywood is a 3mm waterresistant insulation.
The cargo sides and roof got a 19mm Armaflex insulation, so temperature and noise effects are drastically better now.




Currently I'm installing the self made (3mm MDF) side panels.
Cool drinks travel in the 50ltr National Luna fridge which resides behind the drivers seat on a quick out mount, powered by the house battery.
As soon as I get my in-family painter (aka my oldest daughter) to paint my newly acquired side cargo doors, I'll have pop out windows there also.
I nearly forgot, I installed power windows and remote control central locking also right in the beginning.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:38 PM   #5
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That's looking nice, good work.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:30 PM   #6
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Looking good. What adhesive did you use to attaché the Armaflex with?
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:31 AM   #7
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I thought about using some kind of spray adhesive, but then I saw that Armaflex also offers a self adhesive version of it's insulation material. That stuff sticks like hell and is super easy to work with.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:51 AM   #8
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Got some more work done today.
The side panels are almost complete, still need to build the rear corners and cover it all in grey needle felt fabric.




The new side entry step



What are these little critters called? The keep the headliner from falling down.

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Old 05-17-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
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Wow, very nice so far. Where did you source the seat covers from?
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:23 PM   #10
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Friend of mine sells those: Tour Tec , they're perfect fit for the stock seats.
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