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TeleSteve 07-13-2015 02:51 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

Originally Posted by rockbender
You guys that can work magic with metal always impress me - nice work! Your Express is coming along great.

I'll be interested to know how your seat heater install turns out. I was looking for kits for our rig as well. Any extra details you can provide would be great (which kit you got, how hard the install was, etc.)

Is that a Shop4seats swivel? It looks like what I should have gotten, but they totally botched the offsets so I sent them back. Your seat base mod is perfect - I didn't like the way the seat sat with the swivel plate installed on the stock base.

I see a Webasto box - did you get a gas fired unit? Looking forward to seeing more!

I found these seat heaters on amazon: ... UTF8&psc=1
I was a little skeptical about the price, but I figured they aren't that hard to change. I was a little disappointed with the wiring harness, I was expecting a high and low heat. It has a three way switch so you can turn on one or both pads. I set it up for back only or both. Also the harness had relays to allow the separate functions, but not for battery and switched ignition power. Not a big deal to add a relay. I did have to lengthen some of the wiring to reach the dash. Installation was pretty simple with the express seats. Pull the seat out loosen the bottom cover, unbolt the top half and open up the covers to slide the heating pads in. If your doing GM van seats this video:

shows how easy the covers come off. I found that for just adding the heaters you don't need to remove the arm rest or the base from the seat.
The seat swivel is from discount van, hardly a discount and not as clean as I hoped for, but it works. It did need some grease on the bearing.
Yes, I picked up a Gasoline Webasto. I am still working on the best place to install it. I still have some decisions to make for the interior layout and where to place house batteries, inverter/charger, and water system. I am leaning towards a RB-50 type plan and I would like to keep the space below the back seat/bed open and large enough to store skis and gear. So I need to try and get all the permanent fixtures in the sides around the wheel wells or in the front cabinet.

TeleSteve 07-13-2015 03:04 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan

Originally Posted by MadScience
I'm always surprised that there isn't more love for the GM platform in the 4x4 conversions. Sure, the ford chassis is a bit more stout, but every time I end up driving, or even just riding in something with a mid or higher end GM engine I question my sanity.

FWIW: I've not done any winter camping in the van (just in huts, also, I'm a wimp on AT gear, so feel free to ignore anything I write), but I really don't love the extra height of my van in the snow. I've seen plenty of big burly SUVs and trucks on their roofs after running up on snowbanks, while subarus and other AWD wagons just end up with some dents in their side panels, if they ever even make contact at all. So anytime I'm driving the van rather than a wagon in the snow I slow way, way, down.

I spend a lot of time driving on snow covered roads chasing powder. I feel just as comfortable driving my big Ram 3500 with 35s in the snow as I do the wife's Subaru. I have seen several Subarus on there lids in the snow, it has more to do with the drivers then the cars. Most people who choose a Subaru have more experience driving in the snow.

TeleSteve 07-20-2015 09:59 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
2 Attachment(s)
I was able to get the bumpers painted last week and cured over the weekend.
Etching primer on the bumpers and adhesion promoter on the grill:

TeleSteve 07-20-2015 10:01 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
2 Attachment(s)
Epoxy 2K primer on everything:

TeleSteve 07-20-2015 10:05 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
3 Attachment(s)
After wet sanding and washing the single stage black was sprayed:

Out in the sun the next day to speed up the curing:

TeleSteve 07-20-2015 10:08 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
3 Attachment(s)
Rear bumper assembled and installed:

Front bumper assembled and installed w/ fog lights:

Testing the fog lights:

TeleSteve 07-20-2015 10:11 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
3 Attachment(s)
And a few shots out of the shop:

TeleSteve 07-20-2015 10:13 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
2 Attachment(s)
A few more:

TeleSteve 07-20-2015 10:24 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
Next up wheels and tires, I am hoping to get some slack time at work to get down the hill during business hours to get an alignment and the tires installed. We'll see how it goes during the test fit, but looks like I am going to go with 275/70R18 BFG KO2 (around 33.5") although I may go with GY Duratracs.
After that I have a MaxxFan ordered and I will start on sound deadener, insulation, paneling, and some house wiring.

boywonder 07-20-2015 10:51 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
Excellent fab and paint work!

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