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Old 08-14-2019, 12:10 AM   #1
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Question Awkward opening in van side? -- need ideas/help

Hi, I'm looking for suggestions of what to do with an awkward opening on the side of my van. (Photos attached). It's an old weather van so the opening is where they had electrical, cable stuff. I'm not really sure. It juts really far into the van on the inside so it definitely needs to be removed.

My first thought was to put a window, but I'm not sure if it will work since the opening is just a little bit off of where the van panels are. Does anyone know if this is a problem?

Would it be better to just weld a panel over it instead?

Any clever ideas out there please let me know:)
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Awkward opening in van side? -- need ideas/help

Awkward as it may look, I believe that the box is actually structural given that the second photo shows the pillar between the two window recesses has clearly been cut out. If you are considering removing the box, I would highly recommend hiring someone who understands vehicle structure and has high-quality welding skills.

On the other hand, you could leave the box, remove the door, and install a stained glass window or something interesting like that. I am sure a little bit of creativity could make it look intentional.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Awkward opening in van side? -- need ideas/help

I agree with Robert that there’s a probable structural element to the construction of the box. Cutting the center out of the door and using it as a frame for a custom piece of tempered glass would probably be the easiest and safest bet. Call around for quotes, prices can be insane from some manufacturers and ridiculously low from others
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Awkward opening in van side? -- need ideas/help

Seconding the other two comments, if that box isn't welded to the cut vertical frame member, they've really weakened the van in terms of twist and roll-over resistance.

2005 T1N 118" Freightliner 2500 Passenger Wagon (2.7L, 15" tires, standard (short) roof)
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Awkward opening in van side? -- need ideas/help

Personally I would try to get a pillar out of a scrap van and weld it back in where yours has been cut.

Then you have the choice of patching up the panels or fitting standard window(s) as per the design you want to have.

*edit* I could be wrong, but I think the light in your first pic is supplied by Whelen. It looks very much like one I had on my T1N which I needed a new lens cover for.

It took a LOT of searching so I thought I'd mention it in case you also want to put a new lens on it. Their website doesn't list older fittings, but they can normally still provide spares.

Good luck with whatever you do with the pillar, and be sure to let us know how you fixed it!
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Last edited by sparkplug; 08-14-2019 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Awkward opening in van side? -- need ideas/help

To clarify, the arrow points to the structural pilar. The best and most expensive course of action is have a bodyshop weld in a replacement. The challenge is finding the replacement. There should be laws about hack jobs like this.
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