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Old 02-14-2016, 03:14 AM   #1
LooseRocks
 
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
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Default In the Belly of the Whale

First off I would like to thank the many contributors to this site as I will be ripping your ideas off wholesale. It was Geekís adventure van that originally brought me here and poisoned my mind with this bit of insanity. Initially following his build kept me coming here. Guys like GeorgeRA, hein, and Graphite Dave working my mind overtime. And many others that I got bits and pieces from. You guys are awesome.

It has to have a name so I will call it the Whale due to its proximity in size to a small whale.

Goal.

This thing is going to be a camper for the weekend warrior, a couple of longish trips per year and possible work van.

First and foremost itís a play thing. So it has to accommodate all the goals for play. I want it to be able to camp for a few days at a time without any need connect to anything. I have to shower from time to time so there might be some KOA type camping in there for longer road trips. Iím probably doing this or similar 10 to 16 times a year. More if I can manage. Thereís also going to be some week long to multi-week trips in there also. These will be more like touring so there will be hotels and the like involved along with KOA style camping.

The work in my area is slowly drying up. I can work remotely but most places want you in office at least a few days a week. I have friends that work in the south bay and are in the office Mon-Wed and WFH Thurs-Fri. Some of them do that commute daily and others go down there and stay in a motel. I will park this thing in the parking lot of my future employer and sleep there. Hopefully this will not come to pass but I donít see how I will avoid it.

What is going into the belly of this whale? Itís pretty much the standard build.

Bed
Refrigerator
Microwave
Cooktop
Diesel air heater
Cartridge crapper
Water (sink with white/gray tanks)
Solar/shore/inverter/house battery AGMs
T-slot cabinetry with plywood/formica panels
Cloth covered walls
Misc electronics: TV, laptop, 4G booster, Wifi booster.

Is there really a good reason for doing something like this? The answer for me is possibly maybe.
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:57 PM   #2
LooseRocks
 
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Default Re: In the Belly of the Whale

Build Sheet.

MY2016 4x4 Crew high top.

Paint/Upholstery & Trim
744 - Brilliant Silver Metallic
VU9 - Letherette

Optoinal Equipment and Value Added Packages
D03 - Roof-high
D13 - Roof Rails
DE4 - AMG Battery 12V 95 Ah
H00 - Warm/cool air duct to rear compartment
Lb9 - Illuminated Exits
RF1 - Continental Tires
RL5 - Wheel Light Alloy 6.5Jx16
SZ7 - Seatback Map Pocket Ė passenger
SZ8 - Seatback Map Pocket Ė driver
T12 - Sliding door Ė two stage opening
T85 - Assist Handle Ė left rear door
T85 - Assist Handle Ė right rear door
C01 - Driver Comfort Package:
12V outlet at driver seat
Hinged lid for storage
Two extra master keys
Comfort seater driver
Comfort seat passenger
C02 - Driver Efficiency Package:
Becker map pilot navigation
Lockable glove compartment
Rear view camera
Fog lamps
Cruise control
C04 - Active Safety Plus package w/Partronic:
Multifunction wheel w/trip computer
Parktronic
Light and rain sensor
Driver assistance pakage
Pixedl matrix display
Heated adjustable mirror
Windshield filter band
Overhead control panel with 2 reading
First aid kit
Emergency flashlight
X22 - Trailer Hitch Pakage:
Low & High Range 4x4
6CE - 6-cylinder/5-speed transmission

July order date, October build dated delivered in the last week of December. By the time I went down in September to confirm the options all MY2016 4x4 were sold and he had a line 20 deep for MY2017 4x4. Not the best deal in the world but still pretty decent considering they didn't really have to give me a deal at all. $1200 off MSRP (done at order time before deep ass line) and allow 10K on CC (he wanted to beef up his year end numbers) for pickup before Dec 31. I could have gotten a better deal but it was only a few hundred bucks more and hundreds of miles away.

Day 1
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:19 PM   #3
LooseRocks
 
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Default Re: In the Belly of the Whale

I'm not a fan of street parking on my street as it is a through street. I've and a couple of cars vandalized by drive by smashers. We've even had a couple of drunks drive down the street and launch boulders. They messed up about 30 cars that night. Then there was the night the drunk lady played bumper cars down the street. It's funny. Driveway is safe but 10 feet away on the street and we'll hulk-smash your car.

Phase Zero:
Months before the arrival of the whale. Install parking space. Driveway is only two wide and we use the garage. Now driveway is 3.5 cars wide. Thereís now a place for the whale and plenty of room to gut and stuff it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg driveway_00.jpg (141.6 KB, 1120 views)
File Type: jpg driveway_01.jpg (150.4 KB, 832 views)
File Type: jpg driveway_02.jpg (108.6 KB, 770 views)
File Type: jpg driveway_03.jpg (117.2 KB, 762 views)
File Type: jpg driveway_04.jpg (349.1 KB, 949 views)
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: In the Belly of the Whale

Not the best of starts. On pick-up date there was two issues immediately. The sliding door required slamming effort to get the upper rear latch to catch. The rattling in the van was crazy bad due to MB crappy method and lack of care in attaching the interior panels. I had the dealer guy put it in writing that these would be fixed. You’re dealing with car folks, if it isn’t in ink it’s not going to happen. Everybody that’s older than 14 should know this.

I fixed this myself by removing all of the side panels including the rear door. The rear most side panels was the biggest contributor. They’re just screwed in by self-drilling sheet metal screws and nothing else. The distance between screw placements was about 20 inches with no velcro. This allowed the plastic to flap against the metal and it sounded like drums. The rear hard plastic panels also rattled. They have a bunch of the green clips but somehow still manage to buzz. The one thing which I found funny was one door had the CLD blocks and the other did not. It must have been a Friday afternoon. Check the done box it’s quitting time. The side door was also producing a ton of noise if I didn’t slam it to get the rear upper latch to catch. I removed that panel only to find a bunch of foam covered cables that had enough range of motion to beat against the door skin. With all the panels gone it was significantly better in there. The cables are still beating a tune but it will stop once I insulate the door.

Then there was the dreaded 2100 RPM drone. This I didn’t find until I left the lot and removed the percussion band in the back. I had to take it back to have this fixed. I had them adjust the door and turn on the rear fade on the Audio15 at the same time. The drone is gone, the door is working better and the fader is turned on and ready for rear speakers. I’m happy with my purchase again.

Last edited by LooseRocks; 02-14-2016 at 05:18 PM. Reason: change description for panel location
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:03 PM   #5
LooseRocks
 
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Default Re: In the Belly of the Whale

I posted the vibration fix in another thread but I'll stick it here also. They changed the leaf springs to some that had rubber blocks fused to it. It also looked like the arch chanted a little also but I didn't take pics or measure it before hand so it might just be my imagination. The service adviser said he couldn't order these parts without an open case with MB. So some sort of know issue. Not sure what the 4 nuts and bolt do.

PN:
2x 906-320-06-00 Leaf Springs.
4x 00000-003276 Nut
1x 017-990-80-01 Bolt.

the drone and the door was covered under warranty. The turning on of the rear fader was free. The dealership and service has been awesome throughout the whole purchase/fix process. I would recommend them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg leaf_spring_00.jpg (78.4 KB, 906 views)
File Type: jpg leaf_spring_01.jpg (146.1 KB, 772 views)
File Type: jpg leaf_spring_02.jpg (154.4 KB, 808 views)
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:29 PM   #6
GeorgeRa
2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB
 
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Default Re: In the Belly of the Whale

Quote:
Originally Posted by LooseRocks View Post
First off I would like to thank the many contributors to this site as I will be ripping your ideas off wholesale. It was Geekís adventure van that originally brought me here and poisoned my mind with this bit of insanity. Initially following his build kept me coming here. Guys like GeorgeRA, hein, and Graphite Dave working my mind overtime. And many others that I got bits and pieces from. You guys are awesome.
It has to have a name so I will call it the Whale due to its proximity in size to a small whale.
Goal.
This thing is going to be a camper for the weekend warrior, a couple of longish trips per year and possible work van.
First and foremost itís a play thing. So it has to accommodate all the goals for play. I want it to be able to camp for a few days at a time without any need connect to anything. I have to shower from time to time so there might be some KOA type camping in there for longer road trips. Iím probably doing this or similar 10 to 16 times a year. More if I can manage. Thereís also going to be some week long to multi-week trips in there also. These will be more like touring so there will be hotels and the like involved along with KOA style camping.
The work in my area is slowly drying up. I can work remotely but most places want you in office at least a few days a week. I have friends that work in the south bay and are in the office Mon-Wed and WFH Thurs-Fri. Some of them do that commute daily and others go down there and stay in a motel. I will park this thing in the parking lot of my future employer and sleep there. Hopefully this will not come to pass but I donít see how I will avoid it.
What is going into the belly of this whale? Itís pretty much the standard build.
Bed
Refrigerator
Microwave
Cooktop
Diesel air heater
Cartridge crapper
Water (sink with white/gray tanks)
Solar/shore/inverter/house battery AGMs
T-slot cabinetry with plywood/formica panels
Cloth covered walls
Misc electronics: TV, laptop, 4G booster, Wifi booster.

Is there really a good reason for doing something like this? The answer for me is possibly maybe.
Congratulation and it looks like you hit a running start thanks to your homework.

George.
__________________
George.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:40 PM   #7
LooseRocks
 
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Thumbs up Re: In the Belly of the Whale

Add a step on the back so I donít have to jump out. This step is about 8Ē lower than the floor of the van. It comes powder coated and would be the step of broken legs in the wet. I added skateboard tape. Cut it to shape and put it on with a roller. This was a 10/10 mod.
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File Type: jpg step.jpg (116.8 KB, 895 views)

Last edited by LooseRocks; 02-14-2016 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:46 PM   #8
LooseRocks
 
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Default Re: In the Belly of the Whale

Add a handle for the side door from Sprinterworld.com. Super easy install. It took about 10 minutes. He has a really good install vid on Youtube. But he has kind of a wonky way of doing orders. Get this. You actually have to call him. Nice guy though.

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Old 02-14-2016, 05:50 PM   #9
LooseRocks
 
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Default Re: In the Belly of the Whale

Fix MB built in leak. The leaks are as design and well documented on SS. Water comes in the body panel clips, runs down the interior van skin and hopefully out the weep holes. Great for empty wall not great if you plan on stuffing it with insulation. This one is like a rite of passage along with the cutting of the whole in the roof and the smashing(or cutting) of side windows to install T-vent windows.
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File Type: jpg panel_gooped.jpg (69.9 KB, 973 views)
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:02 PM   #10
LooseRocks
 
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Default Re: In the Belly of the Whale

I have some tips for this one.

Donít for get to remove the screw for the sliding door.
You can start the panel off from the inside by crushing the portion of the clip that expands and push out.
You canít get to them all.
At some point you will have to just yank on the trim.
Try not to ďpryĒ at an angle and pull straight out. This will leave the clip on the van.
Some of the clips for the arch is outside the van and can be accessed in the wheel well.
To get the clip off the panels push a screwdriver in to the back and flatten one of the tab while pressing with your thumb. They will roll out. Most are easy.
The rear most panel has some tabs that slot into the corner bumper trim. The come straight out away from van. It also has a funky ďuse onceĒ press in clip. You can press the center pin most of the way out from the inside of the van and yank it out. Now it can be reused.

The arch needs to be gooped and pressed on with clips.
Other clips can be gooped and put on van before pressing panels back on.
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File Type: jpg clip_from_panel_00.jpg (152.5 KB, 934 views)
File Type: jpg clip_from_panel_01.jpg (126.1 KB, 831 views)
File Type: jpg clip_from_panel_02.jpg (132.8 KB, 804 views)
File Type: jpg panel_rearmost_tabs.jpg (217.7 KB, 865 views)
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