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Spoolin 04-07-2013 08:59 PM

2006 Duramax Build thread
Hey guys,
Just Joined today, I've been building my van for about 8 months right now and didn't even know what a sports mobile was until a few days ago and low and behold...I've been building one!! I kinda wish I found out about these vans sooner as I'm sure there are a few things I would of done differently. So here's what I've done to warned I love pictures!! :)

So, Main reasons for buying a van were:
-Duramax Diesel
-Towing Capability
-Can haul my street/dirt bikes around easily
-Versatility with the cargo bay
-Fairly good on fuel efficiency
-It's different
-It's GM based so fairly familiar with it

Here's what it looked like when I bought it...had to fly to Houston to get it. Its a 2006 Chevy Express 2500 Duramax Diesel. Was an ex Anheiser-Busch company van w/ 103,000 miles. Was assigned to one employee since it was bought so all in all it was really well taken care of.

First fill up! Averaging 18.5mph completely stock

I slept in the van on the drive back home...wasn't too bad but have since adressed that issue in a major way, more on that later.
Inside was stripped down and cleaned by the Used car lot, wasn't too pleased with that since they posted pictures of it as being fully paneled inside. Got him to knock some of the price down but still wasn't too thrilled about it.

Installed a class V tow hitch on it and bought myself a car hauler. She towed really well when I finally got the trailer load situated correctly. Averaged 14.5mpg's while towing +/- 10,000lbs. :rock:

First thing I did was install a double din 6.5" Kenwood touchscreen Stereo w/ Nav. two 10" subs.

Followed that by ripping out the Adrain Steele cage. I'm sure it's super useful for work vans but to me it was just annoying so I pulled it out.

Next up was the interior walls...
Decided on Radiant Technology Double Sided Reflective Insulation - Rated R19 at 75 degrees inside. Should help keep the van at even temperature during hot days and not act as such a Heat absorbing Tin Can during the day and a freezer at night.

Ripped out the headliner and the door panels and wiped down all the interior walls...

Also ripped out the crappy rubber mat that was on the floor, underneath it was 6 years of spilled beer and nasty rotted out insulation! :barf:

Here's with the Insulation installed...

BroncoHauler 04-07-2013 09:05 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread
Welcome,and it's nice to find a new member that we don't have to ask to post pictures.

Looks like you're well on your way. Keep in mind that this forum will cause you to spend money on things you didn't know you needed.


Spoolin 04-07-2013 09:07 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread

Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Welcome,and it's nice to find a new member that we don't have to ask to post pictures.

Looks like you're well on your way. Keep in mind that this forum will cause you to spend money on things you didn't know you needed.


:b5: You have no idea how much I understand this!! I joined a truck forum 6 years ago and ended up building a $100K race truck!! lol
However I've gotten pretty far with this build so I'm trying my best to update this thread as fast as I can! :a1:

Spoolin 04-07-2013 09:10 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread
Next up was to do the floors, had a bunch of different ideas but settled on Rhino-lining it... was more expensive than I thought it would be but I think it came out great! Notice that I had them go up the walls an inch so it fills all the cracks between the floor and the van walls. This way I can hose down the interior and the van has a bath-tub effect and that water can drain out.

Had them do the uprights as well so that they won't get too dinged up when I load gear and bikes in and out of it. The ones that are coated are the support ones, all the other ones I've learned are only there to keep the van sides from flexing in and out while the van is at speed, so essentially I cannot use them as tie-down supports or what not.

Don't mind the foot prints! :D

Also got the windows on the Van tinted, I've tinted about 10-11 vehicles so far and it always blows my mind how much cooler the inside of a vehicle is once you get dark tint! Score!!

I weighed this fat bitch and came up with 6080 fully stripped! :nono:

Spoolin 04-07-2013 09:35 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread
Next job was lining the walls with cut-to-fit FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Panels). They cover the walls and the Ceiling of the van. After that was a 76" Folding bed that I could fold it up against the driver side wall and it sticks out between 3-4 inches which is fine because that well inside the wheel well. When it folds down it's a couch and then folds down once more into a bed. Should work better than sleeping on the floor! :jest:

Driver side suede walls with the bed folded up against the wall...

Passenger side and the sliding door

Looking forward

Bed folded up, give an idea of how flush it is with the van walls

Bed folded down into the sleeping position rather than the seating position

Next were two Aluminum Logistics Tracks (L-tracks). They anchor into the floor flush within the ribs in the floor. Each track is rated to hold down 4,000lbs of gear so with two of them they should be able to tie down a couple bikes when needed. They come with quick disconnect clasps which should make securing the bikes a cinch.

Next thing I did was to debadged it. Didn't take too long but I did need to go buy a plastic razor to help get that crap/glue/gunk/foam off the van without scratching the paint.

Here's a before:

And with the badges ripped-off but that crap/glue/gunk/foam still on...

And after some Heat gun/Goo-off/plastic razor...

I left the Duramax badges cuz i like them...[/QUOTE]

webbmac 04-07-2013 09:42 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread

Spoolin 04-07-2013 09:45 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread
I wanted to build a shelf to hold all of my tools and towing gear and instead of buying an Adrian Steele one or something pre-fabbed because they cost a little too much I decided to build myself a custom shelf. So I laid out all the gear/tools that I'm gonna want to keep in the van. So far this is what I came up with...

I also bought some tool bags to hold all the misc tools and make it easier to store it. Ended up getting a basket and a gearbag.

I'm no carpenter but have built a few things before so I was kinda looking forward to building it.
So I started the cabinet and picked up a sheet of 4x8' 3/4" MDF at home depot. Cost $30 so it wasn't too bad, not sure how much an equivalent sheet of Drywood would of been but this wasn't too bad on the wallet.

Here's the first upright, I'm from the school of measure once and cut 7 times! :D

Followed by the second upright that's just behind the bed...

I got a little sloppy with the wheel well arch! :nono:

Made a top shelf, which took alot of time because of the contours but after quite a bit if sanding I think I got it just right...

And followed by the bottom shelf:

I added the final two shelves into the cabinet, I think they came out real nice.

First one...

And becaust the bottom two shelves will be holding the most weight(bout 30-35lbs each) I decided to go overboard on the shelf support. In addition to the wood glue and the 8 total screws screwed into the shevlves from outside the shelf uprights, I also added some heavy duty gusset 90's brackets to those two shelves, so 4 brackets for each shelf. Using MDF made me wary about it's strength so I tried to distribute the load as much as possible. I countersinked and pilot holed every screw that I put into the MDF so there really should be no splitting, I hope...

Here is the shelf complete with most of the heavy tool bags and tool boxes loaded up in the shelves, hold them easily. I also found a black wire basket that you can see on top of the shelf that I will be securing to the top of the shelf. It holds about 6 oil bottles perfectly. I'm sure I over built the shelf but better to be safe than sorry...

After that I pulled it out and spray-lined them with the truck liner stuff. It seemed to work well. I put it in the garage to let it dry over the weekend while I took off to go out of town so when I get back I'll have a better idea of what it's like and if it will work out well. I did notice that it's not very thick, nothing like the thickness of the liner we have in our beds done by line-x and rhino but I guess that's to be expected. The paint/liner is still wet in these pictures, then again I'm no pro when it comes to spray painting so hopefully it dries evenly...

Spoolin 04-07-2013 09:47 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread

Originally Posted by webbmac
Subscribed. Welcome and looking good. I think you'll love the Duramax/van combo. I sure miss mine!

What did you do to it and why did you sell it? I really love my Van, it's kinda weird since I've owned quite a few vehicles and this one is at the top!

Spoolin 04-07-2013 09:59 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread
I might of overdone it on the shelf mounts but better safe that sorry. A neighbor came by and shook the shelf to see how well it was mounted and he ended up rocking the van back and forth! It didn't budge one bit from it's mounts, just exercised the suspension!!

So here are the mounts I made, they are all down low and super beefy, I also added one at the very top but I did not take a picture of it unfortunately.

Here is the Shelf all painted and ready to get bolted in:

I bought some wood dowels and some wooden closet rod holders.

Cut them to size, painted them black and wrapped the ends with some carpet to act as insulation to keep any rattling noise buffered and also ensure there's a nice tight fit.

Also bought and mounted a steel basket, was a cheap alternative to building something up there.

So this is what it looks like finished w/ a couple tools in it...

Got the tie-down hangers built. I used some stainless steel drawer handles. I plasti-dipped them black and the came out kinda good

Drilled and mounted...

And with a couple tie-downs I had laying around. I have about a dozen or so, should work well once they are all on there.

webbmac 04-07-2013 10:02 PM

Re: 2006 Duramax Build thread

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