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13-10-2010, 20:26   #1
Buford T Justice
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My Ford Transit Hi-Cube Conversion

Ok, So I've finally got the finger out and cracked into my conversion.
Last year, I bought a 1996 Ford Transit High Cube, and a caravan as a donor for my van. Never really got around to getting it done, until this week when I've gone at it hammer and tongs. Here's how I'm getting on.

Any questions, suggestions or tips, let me have 'em

My Van, in very good shape, considering its 16 years old


From the Side


Notice, there are a few bubbles of rust in the side arch and floor, and a hole behind the drivers door. Nothing major though, and certainly nothing that can't be fixed with a bit of P38
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13-10-2010, 20:40   #2
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First Job on the List:

Everything out. Not difficult since there was nothing in it barr a floor. Duly removed the floor and the seats from the van.

Since I was at it, I took up the Carpet in the front and got some sound deadening mats, and lined out the front floor with them, as it was a bit noisy when on the road. Hopefully this'll keep the clunking down when on long roads. I've not taken a pic of this though, but its rather un-exciting.

So, Floor was lifted and I de-greased and power washed out the van. There were four holes in the back of the van behind the wheel arches, and they were cut out, cleaned up and plated with steel and sprayed with primer.

The Floor was then insulated with Thermawrap General Purpose insulation, from Homebase @ €20 a roll. Stuck it down with Carpet adhesive, and I put the Floor back down again. It'll be perfect as a base floor to have everything built on.

Not a great photo, as its very sunny this time of the morning, but you can see the insulation on the wheel arches.

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13-10-2010, 20:44   #3
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Ummm, Whats this big hole in the Side of me van???

Oh yeah, its for my new window to be fitted.
Gotta be honest, its a nervous time cutting holes in the side of the van



And the finished product. I have to say I was actually quite relieved about how well it looks, and how easy the window was fitted. Its a nice snug fit. Note, the edges of the metal were all filed down and sprayed with primer to prevent rusting.


Last edited by Buford T Justice; 13-10-2010 at 20:57.
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13-10-2010, 20:55   #4
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Next job is to insulate the roof of the van, which to be honest was a bit of a laborious and tedious job. Nonetheless I persevered and managed to get it done.

Before I did it, I bonded timbers into the roof along side the supporting bars using Sikaflex 227. Expensive stuff, but man does it grip!

Since I was up there, I decided that it would be a good time to fit two Skylights. The timbers around the skylights were bonded with 227, and the Skylights were sealed down with Sikaflex Windscreen sealer.



These photos were taken before i was completely finished the roof, but at this stage its fully insulated and even down over the cab has been done.



So thats most of that out of the way, the real fun can begin, and I'm Starting to do the privvy now. Will update more once I have it.
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13-10-2010, 21:00   #5
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where did you get the windows as i have a transit to and need some for my camper

On the rust side of things if the wheel arch are bubbling dig a bit depper as there could be more rust hidding check the chassis at the back as they all go there i do recommond paint the under side with under body paint and waxhole in the chassis and even in the doors also check that all drains in the back door are clear as they can block

i know all this as my own van was rotten at the back i had to cut out large parts of the chassis and weld in fresh metal and all i had was a hole in the floor at frist and it ended up a big job i also now about wheel arch fail as my left on was bubbing i hit with a hammer and i was left with no wheel arch
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13-10-2010, 23:24   #6
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where did you get the windows as i have a transit to and need some for my camper
From a minibus from a breakers yard. Get on the phone and ring around. They should be common enough to get a hold of. Where are you located?

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On the rust side of things if the wheel arch are bubbling dig a bit depper as there could be more rust hidding check the chassis at the back as they all go there i do recommond paint the under side with under body paint and waxhole in the chassis and even in the doors also check that all drains in the back door are clear as they can block
All the body floor was coated in burned oil when I bought it to keep the rust at bay, hence the powerwash. I've used Dinitrol as waxoyl on all the lower panes inside the van to keep the rust out, and the thought crossed my mind about spraying the underside of the chassis and body. Might get a whirl next week.

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Originally Posted by redcube View Post
i know all this as my own van was rotten at the back i had to cut out large parts of the chassis and weld in fresh metal and all i had was a hole in the floor at frist and it ended up a big job i also now about wheel arch fail as my left on was bubbing i hit with a hammer and i was left with no wheel arch
I've been all around it prodding and poking the body. Thats how i found the holes i the floor and the one behind the drivers door. Its easy enough to find the holes with a quick poke of a screwdriver.

Have you any pics of your van?
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14-10-2010, 00:24   #7
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I'll post up a picture in my camper conversion thread go easy on the old girl its had a hard life

You got luckly with rust then i didn't

I'll ring around the scarp yards in the morning to see how much they want for the windows i'm based in co clare
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14-10-2010, 12:26   #8
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Good start! What insulation are you using? And good to see proper clear skylights , they make a huge difference . Have you a wiring plan done for it , so as to start running cables now ?
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14-10-2010, 14:22   #9
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Good start! What insulation are you using? And good to see proper clear skylights , they make a huge difference . Have you a wiring plan done for it , so as to start running cables now ?
For the Floor and roof, I used thinsulate. Like bubble wrap coated with foil both sides. Used this primarily to keep the height as big as possible. I can still stand up straight in it, and I'm 6"3'. The walls will be done with Rockwool or something similar stuck to the steel panels with carpet adhesive before the lining goes over it.

For the wiring, I'm making it up as I go. That's not to say that I don't know what I'm doing, i do. But I've no drawings as such, and as I progress through each appliance and unit, I'll pull in cables as i go

As an example, today, I've fitted the door for the thetford cassette at the back left of the van near the door. The john will fit there, and the wall in front of you as you sit on it will be slightly over the mudguard. No shower as I don't have the space but sink to go in.

I intend to put the kitchen in front of the toilet, and over the side door a bit if I need to, but it depends on how long it is. I've not decided wheather to put the controls and units above the kitchen or over the front passenger in the headspace yet, but I've run two sets of cables down to the toilet. One for the Sink and one for the Toilet. There is enough length on it to go up to the front if needs. The mains inlet will be behind the drivers seat just past the Pillar at a low ish level. easily routed wherever I decide to put the controls

I intend to build the water heater (Carver Cascade) into the kitchen unit, and it protrudes an inch and a half out from the side of the caravan currently. When the sliding door is open, there seems to be 2 inches of a void between the door and the van, so its looking good so far. The fridge exhaust and vents should also pose no problem.

The remainder of the floor level area will be for seating and beds but that will definitely be an interesting job. When I see the space left I will start to build. Overhead storage to the top then on the drivers side, and wherever else I can fit it, oh and maybe a fold down bed for the kids


Depending on the water tank that I get will depend on the amount of work and piping needed to plumb it in. If its under the van (hopefully) I'll need to plumb across the floor underneath and into the kitchen unit.

Gas is the next trick. I think I might build a sealed box at the back door opposite the toilet to house the cylinder, and again under the floor to the kitchen unit. Will see what stuff I can pick up on Saturday

What do you think? Any obvious pitfalls?

Last edited by Buford T Justice; 14-10-2010 at 14:25.
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14-10-2010, 15:41   #10
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Careful about the water heater, if you have the door open and it on you’ll bock the vents and build up heat. Also go to your local bring center to get empty gas cylinders as there is a deposit on them yet still people throw them out, I use the small 5kg Calor gas but can’t get it down the country, it’d be best to use a 11kg or two smaller ones, if you plan go going to France go big or two that you can get over there!
Also don’t forget to have a hole in the floor by the fridge and gas bottle in case of leaks. A vent for the fridge and a fan would also be good
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14-10-2010, 16:03   #11
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Agreed on the floor vents. And also agreed on the sealed compartment for the gas , and bear in mind all gas lines have to be solid , ie no flexi pipe anywhere apart from the regulator to the wall. We always use GOK Steel pipe , incredibly strong yet malleable .


I'd stop for a half day and try and plan the wiring if it were me , and have cables ran and hidden now for mains sockets , TV Aerial , downlighters etc.
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14-10-2010, 19:47   #12
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Quote:
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Agreed on the floor vents. And also agreed on the sealed compartment for the gas , and bear in mind all gas lines have to be solid , ie no flexi pipe anywhere apart from the regulator to the wall. We always use GOK Steel pipe , incredibly strong yet malleable .


I'd stop for a half day and try and plan the wiring if it were me , and have cables ran and hidden now for mains sockets , TV Aerial , downlighters etc.
I'll be knocking in a hole or two around the gas bottle to let out the vapours if any from it. Will be using the solid gas line, as I think they have some up in leterkenny, plus a fancy pants manifold for it with a couple of compression fittings.

Will have a think about what wiring is going in, but I know whats going in where, and i'll run in the cables when i get to that part of the van. Never thought of the sockets though. What gauge of cable is used for it, is it 2.5?
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20-10-2010, 01:25   #13
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Update:

For the sake of it, I've posted a pic of the donor Caravan for my project.

'ere it is.
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20-10-2010, 01:29   #14
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Right. That's that out of the way, and I've been busy cutting holes in the side of the van.

The below pic is for the two air vents for the fridge, and the Flue for the gas burner. Note, I need to extend the flue from the fridge to meet the chassis mounted one as the distance between the two is larger given that this is a van with curved walls and not a straight one. Plastic is only there to let the sealer cure before the rain gets at it
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, to save me loading another pic, you can see at the very back the door that has been fitted for the Cassette toilet. Thetford C2

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20-10-2010, 01:34   #15
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I've been quite busy lately, and I've managed to build the enclosure for the toilet and lined it with carpet. This was no mean feat mind you, as its two sheets of 3mm ply with a timber in between, effectively making it a double paneled wall. The pic shows the outside of it, lined with carpet



I've also borrowed / stolen the kitchen unit from the caravan and intend to use it. Below is a pic of it, minus the toolbag of course

I'm a bit further on than this, but these are all the pics I have at the moment. Any suggestions re the flue I would appreciate.

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