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Old 02-04-2018, 08:58 PM   #1
ChadBuilds
Chad
 
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Default 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

We purchased a new 2017 2500 Crew Van 144 4x4 in July of last year after I wore my wife down with incessant van talk. Originally I planned to buy a used 2WD, but my wife insisted we needed a 4x4 vehicle! She is a keeper. This pretty much required us to get a new vehicle. Luckily a local dealer had a nice selection of 4x4 cargo and crew vehicles to choose from. Since purchasing I have been wrapping up a list of house projects required to be completed by my wife before van works starts. The first day of van progress commenced yesterday on 2/3/18. I expect progress will be slow with the full build out taking at least a year.

First off, I want to thank all of those that have taken the time to document their builds, provide tips, etc. I plan to do the same. I won't repeat information that is readily available, but I will provide useful links. I will add useful information I pick up along the way. I will also try to do some interesting things utilizing a range of fabrication methods I have available to me. In particular the use of 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC routing along with the usual woodworking and metalworking techniques. I plan to model everything up in CAD to help with layout and design details.

Here is the requisite vehicle feature list:

Paint/Upholstery & Trim
759 - Graphite Grey Metallic
VU9 - Leatherette black

Optional Equipment & Value Added Packages
AR2 Axle ratio 3.92
CL3 Leather steering wheel
D03 Roof - high
D13 Roof rails
H15 Heated co-driver seat (a must for the wife)
H16 Heated driver seat
LB9 Illuminated exits
T85 Assist handle – left rear door
T85 Assist handle – right rear door
ZG4 Downhill speed regulation for 4x4
C01 Driver comfort package
C02 Driver efficiency package
C03 Active safety plus package
C05 Premium appearance package
X22 Trailer hitch package
X27 Additional battery package
X30 Low & high range 4x4 package

Other Relevant Details:
Auxillary diesel fuel tap
Upfitter electrical connection under driver's seat

My build plan is pretty similar to many others. Here are the general requirements and plan:

Sleep up to two adults and two teenage boys
Provide maximum flexibility for hauling gear (mainly surfboards, kiteboards, and skis) - i.e. lots of track
Electrical system with battery storage and shore power - possibly solar panels in future
Clean water system with sink and a heater
Gray water system
Rear shower extension for external use
Diesel heater
Two vent fans
Portable toilet
3 panel bed
Refridgerator and microwave
LED lighting throughout
Cook top will be stand alone LP unit for internal or external use
Table between front and bench seat
Swivel seats up front

I am currently trying to decide whether or not to keep the included headliner. I am leaning towards no based on feedback on the forum. The first project was to remove the trim panels and seal the clips. While I have them off I intend to spray them with a black 3-part urethane. That is up next. I also plan to do the front and rear bumpers along with the area below the trim, if the trim coating goes well. I will discuss more about the material I plan to use and questions I have in my next post.

Last edited by ChadBuilds; 02-05-2018 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Photo posting fun
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:42 AM   #2
ChadBuilds
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

The first bit of progress was to remove the trim panels and seal the body clips. There is a great deal of information online regarding this topic so I don't have much to add. I ended up using Dynaflex 800 because my local store did not carry butyl rubber. I had bought some Sikaflex but decided not to use it due to its reported permanency. Here are a few links I found useful:

https://radvanadventures.com/2016/11...rrible-design/
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-16293-22.html

And a big thanks to LooseRocks as reading his build thread was my first exposure to the problem!

As others have noted a good set of trim/panel tools is a must. It took me a bit to get used to exerting some force and as others have reported the clips are pretty hardy. I didn't break a single one.

As I noted in the first post I have decided to apply a bedliner material to the trim and some other areas. I have settled on using U-POL Raptor after doing some research. I probably should have asked this before I ordered it, but if anyone has had experience good or bad with it please let me know. I am also debating as to whether or not to remove the front and rear bumpers to spray them or just mask them off and do it on the van. If anyone has sage advice in this area I would also appreciate it!
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File Type: jpg Clips-Sealed.jpg (112.8 KB, 953 views)

Last edited by ChadBuilds; 02-07-2018 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:02 AM   #3
pdxkid
2004 118" High Roof Pass.
 
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

Welcome to the forum! Really looking forward to your build!
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:31 AM   #4
ChadBuilds
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

Finished the first major project! I sprayed the front fender flares, trim, bumpers and rocker panels with U-Pol Raptor. I highly recommend this product. Super easy to use and apply. There are a host of videos out there with good advice. I sanded the trim while I had it off to seal the clips using an old random orbit sander with 120 grit sandpaper. This worked really well. I ended up removing the rear bumper and mud flaps to sand them as well. I sanded the front bumper and mud flaps on the van. I learned quickly to sand the painted areas of the van (rocker panels and fender flare) by hand to prevent going through the paint. I then reinstalled all of the trim except the fog lamp bezels and masked everything off.

I used one can of U-Pol #4 adhesion promoter to get into joints and crevices. I then ended up spraying two coats of Raptor as recommended. The first was a thinner coat and the second was more geared at getting good coverage. I ended up using one kit, which has 4 one liter bottles. If anyone would like more specifics please let me know and I will be happy to go into more detail.
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File Type: jpg Flare-Closeup.JPG (205.1 KB, 923 views)
File Type: jpg Trim-Overall.JPG (223.6 KB, 885 views)
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:36 AM   #5
ChadBuilds
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

This project was all prep. Here is a shot of the trim as sanded and the van part way through masking. I can understand why LineX charges as much as they do given the labor involved in this type of work. Definitely gets easier as you do more of it.
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File Type: jpg Trim-Sanded.jpg (103.9 KB, 824 views)
File Type: jpg Prepping-for-Spray.jpg (123.9 KB, 824 views)
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

Enjoying this, thanks for posting.
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Old 03-17-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

Nice rig! I really need to do the body panel mod that you completed...
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:57 PM   #8
ChadBuilds
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

Quote:
Originally Posted by shouldbeasy View Post
Nice rig! I really need to do the body panel mod that you completed...


Thanks! Hopefully it's as durable as advertised. I will try to report back on this in the future.


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Old 03-25-2018, 12:28 AM   #9
ChadBuilds
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

The headliner came out today in order to prepare for fan installation and to figure out the layout and wiring. We have decided to go with two MaxxFan's which have arrived and will go in soon.

If anyone in the NW is interested in a factory headliner for your build drop me a line. They will be going up online for sale soon. I have decided not to try and reuse them.

I have seen some debate on the forum as to whether or not the headliner above the cab needs to be removed to get everything aft out. A few things on the headliner above the cab need to be undone, but not the whole thing. You do need to remove the coat hooks on each B pillar and pop out the pillar cover at the top. Then pop four grey clips loose along the top edge of the cab headliner (see photo). Be careful as they are likely to break. Once these are loose there are some black clips that have to be removed to get the section behind it out. The only real difficulty in removing the rear sections is the molded tabs that fit into the body frame oval holes. I found by pushing up on them with a screwdriver I could get them to pop out.

I am currently planning out the electrical system. I have a lot of questions in this area. I will do more research and then post a schematic with any questions for which I can't find answers or lack understanding.
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File Type: png Four_Grey_Clips.png (432.1 KB, 703 views)
File Type: png Oval_Frame_Holes.png (439.1 KB, 682 views)
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

The U Pol looks neat - did you do that mostly for aesthetics or other reasons?

If you do end up putting some solar panels on a 2 fan setup, there is a photo of a 170 with 2 fans and 440 watts of solar in the link. It can be a bit tricky to put it all up there but it is feasible. (edit - sorry, just saw that you have the 144)

Two fans on a 144 ?
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