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Old 07-17-2017, 05:23 AM   #1
ranchworld
'06 158 2500 Passenger
 
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Default Blooper Buildout

Time to start writing about the work I have been doing to my Van. We bought a 2006 158" T1N passenger van about a year ago, drove it around for a good long while to be sure it was the one and have now started converting it into our camper.

Background:
I grew up in a family with a 1971 Westfalia, my wife's family had a '76 Westfalia (red, white and blue!), I ended up buying the '71 from my folks and we drove that for years till it was totaled by a drunk driver while parked in front of my house in Seattle.. We bought a Ford E150 and converted that but did not like it much. Next up was a watercooled '87 Westfalia that we lived in for a year down in Mexico as well as many other adventures.

The family '71 at Obsidian Butte in Eastern Oregon on the way to Burning Man in '98

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The '87 in Baja in 2006
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Last edited by ranchworld; 07-17-2017 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Photo screwup
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:57 AM   #2
Tooth Fairy
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Default Re: Blooper Buildout

Your links dont show the pictures, maybe you have the links set to private viewing only?
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Ford Territory reliability, full time 4x4, 6 speed auto, 2.7L V6 Diesel Durotech, 8.5 litres per 100 kilometers.

Previous vehicles.
2002 Ford F250 Super Duty (excellent for 13 years from new)
2004 Mercedes T1N 316 (secondhand ex ambulance)
2011 Mercedes Vito 115 (secondhand ex police camera vehicle)
2011 Mercedes NCV3 316 cab chassis 4x4 (secondhand absolute piece of sh!t, I hope it burns in hell)
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ranchworld (07-17-2017)
Old 07-17-2017, 09:52 AM   #3
Cheyenne
UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
 
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Default Re: Blooper Buildout

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tooth Fairy View Post
Your links dont show the pictures, maybe you have the links set to private viewing only?
Or better still post the actual photos on this site, then they will be here for ever and ever!!!
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:42 PM   #4
ranchworld
'06 158 2500 Passenger
 
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Default Blooper Buildout

The Blooper: So now the search for the perfect replacement begins. I wanted a 2006 long tall passenger, original owner, all maintenance records, low mileage, owners manual in the glovebox, excellent condition and ... not white. Sort of like looking for bigfoot or unicorns. After searching high and low for the better part of a year I found a dark blue (stahlblau / steel blue) van all the way across the country in Maryland. We live in Seattle a few blocks from the ocean. After some very positive back and forth with the seller my then 6 year old daughter and I flew out to the east coast, bought the van and had an awesome 10 day road trip back home. The highlight was camping in the backcountry of Badlands National Park. She named the van "The Blooper".


Cowgirl up!

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Surveying her kingdom

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Helping with the chores

IMG_0537.jpg
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:45 PM   #5
ranchworld
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Default Blooper Buildout

Once we got the van home we sold the two three person bench seats with their floor brackets and kept just the two person bench seat. We mounted that in the first row and made some scrap wood filler plates for the holes left by the missing floor brackets. I did a full oil and coolant change, air, fuel and oil filters, thorough check over and then it was time to take the wife for a test drive. We threw some sleeping pads and bins of gear in the back and headed to the Blue Mountains in eastern Oregon.



Heading in

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At Buckhorn Lookout. That's the Hells Canyon of the Snake River on the left, the deepest canyon in the USA.

IMG_6606.jpg
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:50 PM   #6
ranchworld
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Default Re: Blooper Buildout

Super fun trip but the van camping arrangements needed work. There was really just a loose pile of gear in the back and nowhere to put it when it was time to lay out the sleeping bags.
I built a simple plywood platform just the right height for the black and yellow bins from Costco
to slide under. I didn't take many photos of it.


IMG_1364.jpg

IMG_1366.jpg
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Blooper Buildout

Then we headed down to Redwood national park for a week at Gold Bluff Beach.

Here is the platform in use, it made a really big difference in van comfort.

IMG_1593.jpg

IMG_6697.jpg

IMG_6703.jpg
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:22 PM   #8
ranchworld
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Default Blooper Buildout T1N AC removal

Now we were convinced this was the van for us. Time to start the conversion!

I removed the rear AC, It didn't work and we wanted a vent fan instead. The front AC still works. I removed the headliner and interior ducting, the cover and was left with this.

IMG_1900.jpg

Removing the inside part was easy, just a few bolts, cut some hoses and out it came.




Interestingly there is a 80 amp circuit running from the fuse block on the battery in the engine compartment in thru the firewall, under the driver seat and up the B pillar then back to the rear on top of the wall. Euro wires don't have the same requirements for labeling so there is no info on the sheathing to say what size wire it is but it was sized by Mercedes to handle 80 amps on a really long run, over 25 feet. Not sure what I can use it for, it would be too small for my house battery to engine battery... I may just cut it, determine size by cross section and use it for some other circuit.

IMG_1905.jpg
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:31 PM   #9
ranchworld
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Default Blooper Buildout T1N AC removal

Removing the roof top part was more difficult. It was attached to 7 M8 studs that protrude thru holes in the roof sheet metal. The studs end inside the van at sturdy fore/aft brackets that attach to the roof ribs. Once I removed the nuts I had to deal with some Sikaflex like adhesive caulk holding the AC to the roof. I used a propane torch to soften the caulk and slipped a thin pry bar under an edge. Once it started to move I switched to a larger pry bar and some cedar shims to separate it. Easy once the heat had done it's work.

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Old 07-17-2017, 04:40 PM   #10
ranchworld
'06 158 2500 Passenger
 
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Default Blooper Buildout T1N AC removal

Now I was left with 3 35mm holes in the roof where the hoses had passed thru grommets. I went to my local hardware store (Stone Way) and found some 1 3/8 snap in hole covers like you would use on a stainless sink. I cleaned off the old caulk, popped the cover in and covered with Eternabond tape.

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The 7 holes from the mounting studs were sealed with Sikaflex and fender washers with nylock nuts on each stud.

IMG_2060.jpg
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