Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 25 to 48 of 51

Thread: My Van Project :)

  1. #25
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Time for a bit of an update...

    This probably won't be very interesting, but it's one of those jobs that just needed doing to make the van usable. The van has had no dashboard thingy/heater controls/stereo etc... for several months now, so I decided to dedicate the bank holiday weekend to sorting it out. This is actually the last thing I wanted to spend the weekend doing

    Anyway, this is what I've achieved:


    If you look closely, it's a slightly unusual dashboard



    This is how it started. I had been planning this for weeks, started drawing it up in CAD etc. In the end, I just grabbed the panel and pretty much just drew the design straight onto it and cut it out with the jigsaw. It was one of those moments when you have a sudden burst of "let's just get on with it"





    I've spent the whole day immersed in spaghetti world, 9AM until 9PM. It's like some kind of punishment, and definitely the last thing I wanted to be doing on my bank holiday... I think I already said that somewhere.

    Anyway the dashboard has a couple of features, the reversing camera comes on when you are reversing and I have also added an over-ride so you can switch it on whenever you want (just for fun, and possibly for use as a security camera). The stereo works normally (!), but also has a switch on the dashboard that allows you to switch it on with the key out of the ignition, so that I can use it as a stereo when I'm sitting in the back.


    Part of me is glad I've got a few more bits sorted... but a bigger part of me just wants to stop faffing about and start using the van now. This is typical of me - over-complicate and then spend months and months constructing.
    I plan to get away in the van towards the end of May, like I planned in April. Feel free to send arse kickings my way
    The following users think this post is groovy: kiwikid, ollieollie, Trap

  2. #26
    Jeez, that's some dedication. I too have a massive issue with spaghetti wires but I solved it by shoving them all back in the hole and keeping it all up with a load of gaffer tape! I am suitable shamed and impressed in equal measures.

    No arse kicking from me - it will all happen at the right time and for the right reasons. Maybe all you need to do now is faff about - be gentle with yourself.

    If you're still posting pictures of wires in another year however then I might have to get my best butt kicking boots on!
    Roughing it smoothly...

  3. #27
    That's great work, I like it a lot. I wouldn't know where to start with electrics. How do the covered windows look from outside?

  4. #28
    Chilling Out
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    South East
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    45
    Posts
    485
    I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread and looking at the photos. You've done an old van very proud!

    I wish I was mechanically minded. I'd love to tackle some kind of van project but sadly I haven't got a clue about mechanics, electrics; or carpentry. By the time I'd have to pay a garage to do all the work I'd probably be better of buying a newish van.

    I'm looking forward to hearing about some of your adventures in it when it's ready to roll....

  5. #29
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Thanks again folks

    Quote Originally Posted by MrsP View Post
    No arse kicking from me - it will all happen at the right time and for the right reasons. Maybe all you need to do now is faff about - be gentle with yourself.

    If you're still posting pictures of wires in another year however then I might have to get my best butt kicking boots on!
    Hehe hopefully I will have been on a few adventures in it by this time next year... finished or not. I find it really hard to break away from the work for some reason, like it has to be finished before I can use it. I've decided I'm just going to fit something for the curtains, then start using it.

    Quote Originally Posted by zico View Post
    That's great work, I like it a lot. I wouldn't know where to start with electrics. How do the covered windows look from outside?
    Thanks, glad you like it The windows are dark tinted, and appear completely opaque from the outside. So they look no different where they've been covered. The dark tint isn't good enough to not need curtains though, because at night if I have a light on inside the van you can see in just as easily as you can see out during the day.

    Kerouac - there's nothing stopping you having a shot at doing up an old van I think the best way to learn is to just have a go at at. I wasn't entirely sure how this one was going to turn out, and I wouldn't have attempted it on a newer van for fear of destroying it's value.


    I'm slowly getting into the adventuring mood now - spent the last few lunchtimes researching Scottish islands to visit, and looking at ferry timetables etc. Always fancied doing a bit more island hopping after whetting my appetite back in 2010.
    The following users think this post is groovy: Trap

  6. #30
    Love this van. Great job you've done on the interior. Bet your looking forward to escaping in it now

  7. #31
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    It has been a while... but I'm starting to think van work again.

    It hasn't changed at all since the last post, but I've had some great trips out in it, had a close call with the cambelt tensioner failing (had to do an emergency cambelt change one evening round at my parents house, never again) and then a couple of weeks ago the clutch release bearing failed and the van has sat on the drive ever since.

    A random list of thoughts:

    -I've got about 5 months to get it re-registered as 'motor caravan' by DVLA (for insurance)
    -It's nothing close to being DVLA's idea of a 'motor caravan'
    -My idea of putting the kitchen where it is was not ideal, because there's no opening window. The stove needs to be near one of the opening windows
    -The bed is good, but gets in the way when I'm not using it. A bigger van would solve this, but the next best thing is a rock n' roll style bed that can be folded out of the way
    -No sink/water is getting annoying
    -No power in the back is getting annoying
    -Self opening plastic drawers (when going around corners) is super annoying, especially when the pots and pans come crashing out
    -No proper food storage is getting annoying
    -The bed sliding around when driving is getting annoying
    -I had lots of fancy ideas when I was building it, but not having implemented any of those fancy ideas is not annoying one bit
    -No toilet/bathroom is slightly annoying. A work colleague suggested I could turn the passenger seat into one, but I quickly dismissed that idea.


    The plan therefore is something along the lines of:

    -Rip everything out except the bulkhead, put a worktop down the side the bed is on, with cupboards, sink and stove
    -Make a rock n' roll bed than can be turned into a sofa, maybe even seatbelts so that it can carry more peoples
    -Sort out the split charge system, so I have power in the back other than just cigar lighter power.
    -Try it out again, get it re-registered

    It'll actually be a pretty normal campervan after that, minus all the varnished pine

    Wooohoo.....Arrrghhh!
    The following users think this post is groovy: Trap

  8. #32
    Radiant Being patchypete's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    southern england
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    58
    Posts
    6,336
    The new proposed lay out Sounds good to me Andy, it's going to give you more room and storage . Did laugh about the passenger seat/toilet sounds like something out of Top Gear, (toilet roll on the wing mirror ) lol. Can't wait to see pictures of the mk2 build
    The following users think this post is groovy: andyvw

  9. #33
    T4s are fairly small, why not look at fitting some swivel front seats and blackout curtains for the front windows to make a bit more space?

    As for loo and bathroom, my chemical loo is in a box which doubles as a footrest for the swivel front seat ( just bought the seats) the loo sits on a siding frame so I can slide in in and out at will.

    Kitchen in a sticky out bit half into the area of the side loading door, so cooking I can open the door a bit, and if I turn the tap ( one of those ones you can pull out the head on a hose) through 180 degrees I can use it as an outside shower.

    I have built a few van based love abords and I now try and make everything do two jobs and be adaptable.
    The following users think this post is groovy: andyvw, patchypete

  10. #34
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Quote Originally Posted by patchypete View Post
    Did laugh about the passenger seat/toilet sounds like something out of Top Gear,
    I think my work colleague was taking the mickey out of me for being single when he said that ("there's never anyone in the passenger seat" etc..)

    Well the van is almost healthy again, it has a new(ish)clutch fitted but needs some serious work on the brakes, wheel bearings, etc. but just about goes. Although I have no plan to sell it, I'm starting to think resale value now... so I'll be tidying it up externally and doing a re-spray at about the same time I do the 'full' conversion. Hopefully another trip to the Lakes in the next few weeks, then it'll be time to start work again
    The following users think this post is groovy: Trap

  11. #35
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Nooooooooooooo

    Well, a few weeks ago the van started running very badly. It has always used a bit of coolant, but it started using about a liter a day. A few days later, it became very difficult to start, and then when it finally did there were clouds of steam coming out of the exhaust. It went from very bad to unusable overnight.

    I concluded that the head gasket had failed catastrophically, and managed to drive the van to my parents fearing that it may be the last time I ever drive it. When I arrived, the coolant was empty.

    It now sits with the engine in lots of pieces! I still don't know if I'm going to be able to fix it, but optimistically I have bought all the tools and replacement gasket. Today I took the rocker cover off and was greeted with puddles of water

    I'm hoping the head is re-usable, i.e. it hasn't cracked and I can get it skimmed. I was trying to get this fixed in time for the UKH gathering, but unless I can pull off some kind of miracle it looks like I'll be bringing a tent instead.


    DSC_0252-r.jpg

    One positive is that I have used it as an excuse to buy a slightly silly second-hand car

  12. #36
    Radiant Being Sootyfoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    53
    Posts
    7,773
    Andy. I feel for ya...:'( :'(

    NC500 is one of my goals too... Maybe September IF I can raise the funds..

  13. #37
    Amateur photographer EnglishLens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Hampshire
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,397
    I really hope you are able to sort out the problem with your head gasket, and that there isn't any further problem that it has caused. Don't forget to fit new stretch bolts when you replace the head. I've seen several gaskets go for the second time where the old bolts have been re-used.

    I love this thread, and I've learnt a lot from it, thanks for starting it.

  14. #38
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Thanks guys, the head will hopefully be coming off this week sometime if I've managed to remove everything that I need to. Unfortunately I stripped 2 bolts trying to remove them - one on the fuel rail, another on the intake manifold so those are going to have to come off with the head now.

    I'd completely forgotten about NC500, so stuck in the reality of engine problems I've lost track of the bigger picture and forgotten why I'm even doing it haha

  15. #39
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Well, I've found out where the iron brew has been coming from.

    Now is the time to start making bets as to whether or not this is ever going to run again... but I do have all the required bits and I've not written off the idea of driving it to the gathering. Infinite optimism...?

    DSC_0256.jpg
    The following users think this post is groovy: Colin M, essexcamper, kiwikid, patchypete, Sootyfoot

  16. #40
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Well I've just downloaded all the pics off my phone, and I found a load of pictures from my frantic couple of days getting the van fixed just in time for UKH gathering.

    Warning - this post might be quite boring for anyone who isn't interested in the internals of an engine.


    With the head removed, I found the source of the problems - coolant leaking into cylinder no.2
    This also explained why the van had been so difficult to start sometimes - if cylinder no.2 was on a compression stroke at startup, then the engine jammed up on the starter because it was trying to compress water.


    There was a fair bit of corrosion on the head, so I decided to clean everything up and regrind the valves too.


    This was the head after I removed it, and dumped it in the garage hallway at my parents. This was just before my parents went to the Isle of Man for MGP practice week. I think before they left they'd suggested that I just scrap the lot


    Cleaned up


    Valves out. No pitting, very little corrosion. Impressive for 80,000 miles


    This photo doesn't convey the hell I went through removing the exhaust and intake manifolds. I had to drill out 5 bolts in the end, in the rain. This was taken the next day when I had tidied up.


    The parents were away on holiday, so suddenly it was OK to use the kitchen as a workshop. Here's the head all cleaned up. The Dremel was a fantastic tool to do this, and quite fun. It turned into a bit of an obsession to get it perfect. I think I'd reground the valves by this point as well.


    Re-assembly begins. On with new exhaust gaskets. I'd used silicone on the intake, because I couldn't get the gaskets.

    Something I've failed to convey so far is all the rushing around I did to get parts from GSF and EuroCarParts. I had to go into town 3 times to buy valve stem seals, after I was sold the wrong ones twice. The various gaskets came from different suppliers, and nothing was quite right or complete. I also went on a wild goose chase or 2 trying to buy the right bolts I needed. Next time, buy everything before starting the job. But I was in a rush. I did over 100 miles driving to buy parts.


    New head gasket in place. This was about teatime on Tuesday evening


    This is the head all refurbished and reassembled. I fixed a crack in the exhaust manifold using high temperature epoxy. Seems to have held up so far.


    This is the head refitted and camshaft refitted. I had nearly dislocated my shoulder tightening the head bolts. Didn't realise how tight they go!


    At this point, I stopped taking photos. It was late evening, and I was slowly beginning to realise that the thing might actually bloody start up and run, at which point I pressed on as fast as I could to get everything else put back together so I could try it.

    About 9.00pm I got it to start. There was a lot of luck involved I think.

    Now the reason for all the rushing about the last couple of days - it was the UKH gathering and I'd said that I was going to attend, and I didn't fancy staying in a tent. When it started, I immediately decided that I was was going to try and drive it to Dovedale. I cleaned up and packed, and stopped at a local garage to get fuel and beer. It was a very nervous and slow drive to the gathering, but it made it!

    Since taking the pictures it has done about 500 miles with no coolant usage, so I think it has been a success. Hopefully an inspiration to anyone struggling to keep an old vehicle on the road. This was the first time I have done any work this drastic on a van engine, and I will say that no one part of it was any more difficult than changing brake pads - there was just a lot 'more' of it. I took hundreds of photos along the way to remind myself where things went, stuck labels to random pieces of pipe to remind me where it goes, and used about 20 foil trays to keep bolts organised. Etc, etc, I've written way too much - need to get away in it now
    The following users think this post is groovy: Big Millie, essexcamper, kiwikid, patchypete, RavingRambles, realnutter, Rick69, ursus, wanderingwill

  17. #41
    Good stuff and very well done
    The following users think this post is groovy: andyvw

  18. #42
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Well, I've opened up a can of worms today. Sorting out the bodywork.

    I've been putting it off for about 2 years now, but today I took to it with various tools and found what I was expecting - lots of filler, and lots of holes. But it isn't that bad really, I don't want to make it look perfect I just want it to look tidier from a distance.

    More interestingly, I've also ripped out part of the interior and I'm re-doing it with a long worktop down one side, and the stove beside the window that actually opens. I'm going to try and make a rock-and-roll bed out of wood and hinges. Too tired to explain.

    Having lots of fun, pictures coming soon!
    The following users think this post is groovy: essexcamper, kiwikid, NomadicRT, patchypete, r3ubs, realnutter, Rick69, Sootyfoot, wurzel

  19. #43
    Heavenly Creature dieseldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    West Wales
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,114
    Welcome back, Andy! Looking forward to your pics. Toby.
    The following users think this post is groovy: andyvw

  20. #44
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    P1010147.JPG
    Here's the new framework to hold the worktop. I removed some of the wall cladding to expose the rest of the window. This is where the kitchen bit will be

    P1010150.JPG
    Meanwhile...

    P1010152.JPG
    Marking the new worktop to match the contour of the van wall. It sort of worked. I used a cheap 28mm Ikea worktop

    P1010154.JPG
    After todays work. I'm going for a fairly standard layout with fold-up bed. Only difference is I'm doing it very cheaply. No overpriced units for me!

    P1010155.JPG
    I've ended up in a slightly bizarre situation with the speakers - they are going to be in the cupboards (I'm actually going to move them really)

    P1010156.JPG
    The outside is starting to look tidy enough to use public campsites. I'll probably add some wheel trims to neaten it up a bit. I should have taken a 'before' photo - the van was starting to look very tatty with rust all over.

    P1010157.JPG
    Old vs. new


    When I last worked inside the van I was trying to be a lot more precise than I am this time - and I was constantly being disappointed when things didn't fit properly. This time I'm doing a lot less measuring and just eyeing things up and making adjustments as I go and it is going a lot more smoothly!

    Well, tired out again, off to get a takeaway and some beers.
    The following users think this post is groovy: essexcamper, Fire-Tree, NomadicRT, patchypete, Rick69, Sootyfoot

  21. #45
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lincolnshire
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    3,124
    Quote Originally Posted by andyvw View Post
    This time I'm doing a lot less measuring and just eyeing things up and making adjustments as I go and it is going a lot more smoothly!

    Thats the method i used, bits of trim will hide a multitude of sins!
    The following users think this post is groovy: andyvw, Sootyfoot

  22. #46
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Quick update for todays work.

    I decided I wanted a small window at the back, and one thing that I learnt from the previous conversion is that the existing windows are both too large, and the shape makes it difficult to fit a makeshift curtain to (I used to tape the curtains shut all round). They are also too van-like, rather than home-like. I want to be able to sit in the back and feel like I'm sitting in a cabin in the woods

    DSC_0061.jpg
    I started off by making a sort of window frame and fitting it into the space of the existing back window. Sikaflex was used to hold it in place

    DSC_0063.jpg
    Next up was to insulate the gaps around it with Celotex, and stuff the wires behind it for audio and lights. I also taped over everything to help keep the warm air in, and to stop it condensing behind the wall.

    DSC_0064.jpg
    Boarding in progress

    DSC_0066.jpg
    Finished around the window frame with some thin timber that I cut to fit tight up against the glass all around. Ran a bead of Sikaflex around to seal it.

    Done! Feels a bit more like a home
    The following users think this post is groovy: Colin M, essexcamper, patchypete, Rick69, Sootyfoot

  23. #47
    Heavenly Creature realnutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Berkshire
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,679
    Looks good Andy.... What does it look like from outside?
    The following users think this post is groovy: andyvw

  24. #48
    Chilling Out andyvw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Gender
    Male
    Age
    33
    Posts
    335
    Quote Originally Posted by realnutter View Post
    Looks good Andy.... What does it look like from outside?
    During the daytime, you can't really see much because of the tinted glass, but at night it looks quite weird when the lights are on inside - it looks like there's a TV on the side of the van. I'll try and get a picture tomorrow night.
    The following users think this post is groovy: Sootyfoot

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •