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Old 08-01-2019, 05:42 AM   #41
ranchworld
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Default Re: Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

That grab handle on the ceiling is a great idea.
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Old 08-01-2019, 06:17 AM   #42
gltrimble
 
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Default Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

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Originally Posted by ranchworld View Post
That grab handle on the ceiling is a great idea.

That handle and a short step stool are a necessity for getting in and out of the bed. I installed a second handle on the bottom side of the rear bed panel. This second handle allows me to stand on my Van Compass hitch step while making the bed. I have plans for a third one on the rear ceiling.

Attwood 2053-5 Vinyl Grab Handle - Gray https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FGV882..._3pNqDb6AAGZ4S




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Old 08-01-2019, 06:23 PM   #43
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Default Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

WINDOWS

I replaced the driver side window with a CR Laurence awning window and added two 10x36” Hehr slider windows over the rear bed. These three ventilating windows combined with a centrally located Maxxair fan have worked successfully.



I purchased the CR Laurence window thru Amazon for about $500 and was able to pick it up locally at the CR Lawrence’s San Diego distribution center to avoid shipping charges.

SprinterPaul and I had unsuccessfully tried to remove his window using some piano wire but the sealant would not cut with an ordinary wire. When it came time to remove my driver’s side window I picked up a $17 window removal kit from Harbor Freight. The kit came with a sharp piece of metal to pierce the window sealant and also thread a saw tooth wire thru the opening. Two plastic handles attach to the saw tooth wire. With the help of my wife we had the window out in 10 minutes with no scratches on the painted surface. Amazing little kit from Harbor Freight.





If you look closely at the above picture you will see some ventilation holes/slots along the periphery of the window recess. This is typical for a crew van. You will also note that the factory windows form a seal outboard of the ventilation holes and thus no rain water can enter the van. The new CR Laurence window came with a rubber seal that makes contact on the inboard side of these ventilation holes. If you are lucky the rubber seals might cover the holes. I learned later that the rubber seals were not enough to keep water out of the ventilation holes.

Every time I washed the van I noted tiny drips of water on the inside lower wall cavity where I had previously removed all the wall panels. These leaks would not be noticeable if you did not have the wall panels removed. Upon removal of the window I discovered the source of the leaks, the ventilation holes. I covered the entire periphery of the window including the holes with a 1” x 1/8” Dicor sealant before reinstalling the window. Follow up water tests showed I was successful.

I decided against installing a second CR Laurence window in the slider because 1) the slider is hard on the awning windows with the constant slamming, 2) the awning window partially blocks your view both when driving and when sitting in the second row, 3) driver’s awning window combined with the fan would provide adequate ventilation, 4) only one of the awning windows functions on the slider side version.



I purchased the rear 10x36 windows from RB Components for $200 each. They are manufactured by Hehr. I did not purchase the trim rings at $100 each.

Installation of the 10x36 windows is relatively simple. Fabricating the custom trim rings and trimming out the interior was a lot more time consuming. The trim rings from RB Components appear to be the same thickness along the periphery. My measurements showed that the trim ring should be tapered from top to bottom and from front to back to fit more precisely. For most DIY installers the RB Component trim rings are adequate. I chose to fabricate custom tapered trim rings that would be removable.

Plenty of videos are available detailing the window install. I cut the sheet metal backing ribs with an angle grinder. I carefully laid out the cut lines on the inside and outside before drilling some starter holes for my jigsaw. I covered the exterior surface with painters tape to allow me to accurately cut the hole from the outside.





Securing the windows to the sheet metal requires a 1/4” ply spacer on the inside. I reinforced the surrounding area with the same ply attached using construction adhesive. The ply was primered prior to gluing in place.









The windows were installed using 1”x1/8” Dicor sealant applied to the window flange. As I tightened the window metal trim ring screws some of the excess sealant oozed from behind the window. This was easily removed using a plastic trim tool from Harbor Freight.





I used the Hehr window metal trim ring as a reference to fabricate a trim ring pattern from 1/2” Baltic ply. The wood trim rings themselves are made from gluing two 2x6 boards together. I rough cut the interior portion of the trim ring, screwed the pattern to one side, and then finished cut the trim ring using a 2” shaper cutter and a follower bearing on my shaper.



I taper cut the wood trim rings both horizontally and vertically on my table saw. The total taper was between 1/8-1/4”. I also modified the custom trim rings at each end to make them removable if needed before priming and installing them using construction adhesive on the permanently attached end pieces.

I trimmed out the removable trim rings with Marathon fabric before reinstalling them.



I cut the openings in the wall panels using a small router equipped with a follower bearing. The wall panel was secured to the trim ring prior to installing the fabric.

The upholstered wall panels fit snugly against the trim rings. No additional screws were needed to hold the wall panels to the trim rings.











The insulated window covers were supplied by @SprinterPaul. Paul added magnetic metal strips to the aluminum trim rings on the rear sliders that allowed his magnetic window covers to stay in place. Additional magnets allow half the window cover to fold back when ventilation is needed.

The driver’s side insulated window cover has a center split that allows the window cover to fold up to expose the awning windows. Internal magnets hold the cover in place.





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Last edited by gltrimble; 08-01-2019 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:04 AM   #44
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Default Re: Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

Quote:
One of the first things I did was test the Espar D5 heater by placing the ambient temperature probe into a bag of ice water. This allowed me to determine the hot water flow path from engine to D5 and thru the H88 rear heater loop.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...56d56c8cc8.jpg
What a sanitary installation. What are the hard lines and where did you get them? Sure beats the rubber heater hose I have running around under the van.
BTW - I remember when my undercarriage was that uncluttered. You can actually still see the bottom of the floor.
Great build and workmanship.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:31 PM   #45
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Default Re: Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazylnm View Post
What a sanitary installation. What are the hard lines and where did you get them? Sure beats the rubber heater hose I have running around under the van.

BTW - I remember when my undercarriage was that uncluttered. You can actually still see the bottom of the floor.

Great build and workmanship.


The rigid black plumbing is included with the H12 and H88 options.


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Old 08-16-2019, 07:00 AM   #46
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Default Re: Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

We are about to start a similar 4 berth build here in Edinburgh. I have a lot to learn and less choice of suppliers. I am very impressed with your build and may have lots of questions..
We need a 4 season van, 4x4 and as self sufficient as possible. Planning for a series of extended trips.
Struggling to source a base vehicle at a sensible price.
Eager to see more...

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Old 08-20-2019, 05:54 PM   #47
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Default Re: Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

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Incredible build. Your hot water solution is the most complete I have seen. Get some shock boots on those front Auxiliaries before this happens....

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Old 08-20-2019, 07:03 PM   #48
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Default Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

FLOORING

My Crew 170 4x4 van came from the factory with three layers of flooring material. The bottom layer was a thin layer of foam probably intended to minimize squeaks between the bare metal floor and the composite wood floor. The second layer is a two piece 3/8” thick composite wood floor. The composite material is very durable and I fully intended to reuse it since it was already cut to fit.

The top layer on my crew van was a heavy rubber mat. My plan was to replace the thin foam layer under the composite wood floor with the heavy rubber layer. This would provide a small thermal barrier but the primary goal was noise suppression.

I initially filled all the grooves in the metal floor with neoprene foam for added thermal benefits and noise suppression. All but three of the grooves required 1/4” neoprene foam. The three deeper grooves required two layers of the foam. I used 3M 90 to glue the foam to the metal floor.

Xcel Large Neoprene Foam Sheet - 54" Wide x 12" Length x 1/4" Soft/Medium for Cosplay, Costume, Padding, DIY, and Gaskets, Made in USA, Easy Cut Technology https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JSWJTNY..._3udxDbNJ4MSEW



I planned to install multiple lengths of flush mount L-Track in my cargo area floor to secure both bikes and cargo. Once installed the L-Track is thicker than the 3/8” composite flooring. To accommodate the thicker L-Track and better reinforce the floor I added an additional 1/2” layer of Baltic ply in critical areas. This included the L-Track areas, borders, seat mounts, and anywhere cabinets would require a secure mounting platform.



In areas not reinforced by the 1/2” Baltic ply I added a 1/2” layer of poly-iso foam.



My plans also included a galley and water tank that would overhang a portion of the slider step. I used this opportunity to add 1/2” ply for added support. I also filled the existing seat mount holes since I had no plans to use the three person crew bench. I also filled any D-ring holes that would not be accessible.





To install the L-Track I made a simple template for my router that cut the composite flooring and a small bit of the underlying Baltic ply. I later primed the newly cut wood before installing the L-Track. All the floor mounted L-Track is bolted through the floor using 5/16” stainless taper head hardware.







As previously mentioned I installed the OEM rubber flooring under the wood floor. This required some minor trimming of the rubber flooring along the edges to ensure the floor would sit flat.

Finish flooring included coin flooring for the cargo area and boat carpeting for the forward areas. The coin flooring was first glued to the floor before I used a router equipped with a follower bearing to expose the L-Track grooves.

I was able to cut duplicate carpeting pieces out of the 8.5’ x 10’ boat carpeting. I will use the second carpet as a future replacement.

For the aluminum trim I was able to use one existing trim piece behind the driver’s seat after adding some foam “fill” below the factory floor mat. This brought the floor flush with the new 1/2” higher carpeting. For other trim pieces I used various aluminum profiles from a local metal supplier and Home Depot.

32 oz. Pontoon Boat Carpet - 8.5' Wide x Various Lengths (Choose Your Color!) (Granite, 8.5' x 10') https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013ROP8TI..._qdexDbQDJ37G7

















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Last edited by gltrimble; 08-21-2019 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:36 AM   #49
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Default Re: Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

Super nice finish details. I wish I'd installed L-track in the floor like yours, although it's actually not too late. The hole in the rear side panel for the rear door holder is always an awkward spot but yours looks pro.
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Old 09-01-2019, 03:00 AM   #50
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Default Re: Baby Shamu - 170 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by gltrimble View Post
BATTERY AND AUXILIARY ALTERNATOR

For batteries I am using four Fullriver AGM 6 volt 224 amp GC2s. I went with AGM batteries primarily for cold weather performance and cost with the idea of converting to lithium in the future as prices drop.



I custom fabricated two identical undercarriage mounts just forward of the rear wheels on my 170 4x4 van. The two removable battery cages each bolt to two 2” angle brackets secured to the van crossmembers. Each bracket secured by three 3/8” rivnuts.









To install the batteries I used a Harbor Freight aluminum motorcycle jack that dropped down to approximately 3” in height, just enough to slide each pair of batteries under the van without jacking up the van.







I also installed the Nations 280 amp auxiliary alternator and a Balmar 614 voltage regulator. The regulator is programmed for AGM batteries. I ordered my van with the N62 alternator mount which made the install very simple. Basically one bolt to mount the alternator. The new longer belt was also a quick install. Once I confirmed that the new belt was the proper length I cut the shorter OEM belt with a razor knife. The original belt could not be easily removed without some disassembly of the fan. I did have to unplug a couple connections to the fan before slipping the new belt over the fan. A large screwdriver was all that was needed to slip the new belt over the tensioner that was included with the N62 package.

I mounted the Balmar 614 on the firewall sharing some bolts that hold the cabin air intake filter. The Balmar 614 comes with a wiring harness that connects directly to the alternator. One additional connection is required for the ignition source. I routed a wire to an ignition source located in the driver’s seat base, entering thru the firewall opening and then up the “A” pillar and down the “B” pillar. My headliner and associated plastic pillar covers were already removed for the conversion.





I ran a pair of 2/0 copper welding cables wrapped in plastic loom from the alternator to the passenger side batteries. I used the same size 2/0 cable between the two pairs of batteries and also from the driver’s side batteries to a 400 amp slow fuse mounted just below floor level. The fuse feeds a 3000 watt Go Power pure sine wave inverter mounted directly above the floor. It also feeds the DC breaker panel.

I created a ground connection to the frame adjacent to my 400 amp fuse. I then installed my Victron battery monitor shunt directly above the floor.







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So this amounts to ~900aH? Can you comment on battery sizing and operating your stereo system (+ sub/amp)? Is the head unit powered off the house batteries or starter?

Awesome build - thanks for the writeup.

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