Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Update #3

More finishing touches on their way; Seatbelts for the bench seat were first on the list as we may need to carry passengers in the near future.

Next up is the galley lighting and under body lights. I ordered these switches. They have a nice flush fit, and are long enough for mounting in plywood.

We also had the front windows tinted with 3M crystalline material. It is pretty amazing stuff IMHO, and worth the cost.

I placed an order for about $700 in spare parts. Mostly electrical bits that could leave the van stranded. Also included were belt drive parts and hoses (coolant, intake etc).

Jen has started working on the curtains. We have some fairly novel ideas, hopefully they will pan out. I am also planning on a roll down shade for the rear windows, maybe the galley as well? They are cheap, and the cabinets make a great mounting location.

We have also been discussing a small AC unit for the rear, either 12VDC or 120VAC. The cheapest route seems to be the Webasto FCF units and an underbody mounted radiator. For less than $1500 (including installation hardware) I can get 5k BTU of cooling at 4.4AAC load. I could feasibly run this unit for a night to cool the van and dehumidify as it consumes 50AH per hour when running continuously (not counting radiator fan/pump).

In theory the unit would fit under the bed or bench seat. I could use a detachable duct to route cooling air into the van or sleeping area. Cutting the cooled area down would likely have a significant impact on power consumption.

I ordered a steel “bumper” from South Texas outfitters. It’s not quite my look, but it will definitely stop wildlife intrusion into the engine compartment with schedule 40 pipe guards.

I also mounted a pair of fans in the van. One is mounted above the galley where it can swivel to cover much of the cab. The other is mounted on the driver’s side of the bed.

Here is the forward unit.

Here is the aft unit. The timer feature is fantastic for sleeping.

I took the van into to correct the alignment (steering wheel wasn’t straight). Of course the shop tells me the ball joints are “toast” and that the inner tie rods are also bad. Despite showing them the Daimler TSB they still wouldn’t believe me that unloaded play is normal.  I pulled the boots and guess what, no play...  In addition, the slow leaks at the tires were supposedly at the beads. They found some “light corrosion” on the sealing surface. Why they didn’t notice and fix it when the mounted the tires 2 weeks ago is beyond me. Earnest guys, but they will not be working on my cars again.


  1. those power buttons are super cool looking.

  2. It's all about the bling. Plus the blue matches the van!