T1N Cargo Conversion

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
Things are moving along on the 03 158" cargo conversion.
First thing I did was install an aux battery system using the BlueSea SI-Series Automatic Charging Relay #7610 and a Cabela's Advanced Angler AGM Battery. Hooked up the center console, radio, cargo lights to the aux battery and also installed 2 12v outlets in the rear. Also ran wire for a roof fan.
Then I added a 2 person Sprinter bench seat. Used rivnuts to mount the tracks.
Before I was going to do any more work on the van, I needed better tunes! The stock radio was crap! I ordered a Sony head unit from Crutchfield and it arrived 3 days later. I installed it and put new 4" front speakers in (The Wallyworld VR3 $24 special!) Also ran speaker wire for rear speakers.
Then the insulation began! There is a place about 1/2 mile from our place in St. Louis called Diversified foam products. They normally sell to other large businesses, but they sell seconds or overstock to the general public. I went there looking for styrofoam and ended up buying 150 sq ft of 1/2" medium density closed cell rubber for $50! Hello sound insulation! I installed the 1/2" foam with spray adhesive and started with the ceiling working my way down. I did not have quite enough to finish the entire van, but I will buy Dynamat for the rest.
Then I put in styrofoam insulation and then reflectix.
I also liquid nailed a frame for a future roof fan, that I'll install when it arrives.
Next step is installing a ceiling, which I'm thinking of doing out of bendable plywood.

Here are some pics of the project.
 

Attachments

mackconsult

New member
Re: Conversion coming along!

Nice Al !!!!! Keep up the posts.
 

Afigman

Afigman
Re: Conversion coming along!

My van is a 140 tin high top. Instead of bendable plywood I had a piece of aluminum bent at a angle about 10 feet long bent to fit the corner. I used rivit nuts to attach it to the upper ribs. Then I used luan plywood covered with indoor outdoor carpet glued on with contact cement and used rivit nuts to attach it to the angle and ceiling ribs. Very simple and easy to remove. I removed the side panel for the picture. I left the black foam as it was simple to work around and it looks finished. I bent a 1-1/2x1-1/2 aluminum angle to match the back curve of the headliner and screwed it to the side of the ceiling rib so the luan would match the head liner. Looks flawless. Because the plywood only comes 4' wide I cut 2 strips 2-1/2" wide and glued them to the carpet on each side of the 4' wide panel. The end result was a panel 4'5 wide x 6'6 and 4'x 4'. Two panels make the roof. Luan ply and Home Depot indoor outdoor carpet is inexpensive. I included a pdf of the angle I used.
 

Attachments

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
Re: Conversion coming along!

My van is a 140 tin high top. Instead of bendable plywood I had a piece of aluminum bent at a angle about 10 feet long bent to fit the corner. I used rivit nuts to attach it to the upper ribs. Then I used luan plywood covered with indoor outdoor carpet glued on with contact cement and used rivit nuts to attach it to the angle and ceiling ribs. Very simple and easy to remove. I removed the side panel for the picture. I left the black foam as it was simple to work around and it looks finished. I bent a 1-1/2x1-1/2 aluminum angle to match the back curve of the headliner and screwed it to the side of the ceiling rib so the luan would match the head liner. Looks flawless. Because the plywood only comes 4' wide I cut 2 strips 2-1/2" wide and glued them to the carpet on each side of the 4' wide panel. The end result was a panel 4'5 wide x 6'6 and 4'x 4'. Two panels make the roof. Luan ply and Home Depot indoor outdoor carpet is inexpensive. I included a pdf of the angle I used.
I thought about doing a flat piece for the top and a flat piece for the sides. I did some checking, and there is a hardwood ply distributer about 5 miles from me where I can get the bending lauan ply for about $25/sheet. I'm going to give it a try and see what I can do. If it doesn't work out, I'll use the ply for some other project.
 

maxextz

Rollin Rollin Rollin.....
Re: Conversion coming along!

great insulation going on there al





do you have any more pics?
 

teamtexas

A Dad owner with a '03
Keep up the good work Al. That looks like a quiet ride already. I'm sure it will only get better once you get the covering up there!

Dan:popcorn:
 

Afigman

Afigman
I posted pictures of the ceiling on a new thread called (my surf, camp and work van. )I posted it in Tin Right-ups. May be the moderator could move it to Sprinter RV's & conversions Write- ups. I don't want to hijack this thread as I need to copy Colorado Al's aux battery set up. Please post more on that Al.
 

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
Here is the info on my Aux battery setup.

Parts:
150 Amp Alternator: BOSCH AL0798N New Alternator 150 amp alternator
http://www.autopartstomorrow.com/parts/37352-new-alternator

Battery: Cabela's Advanced Angler AGM Battery Group size 24
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Advanced-Angler-AGM-Batteries/727395.uts

Battery Isolator: BlueSea SI-Series Automatic Charging Relay #7610
http://bluesea.com/category/2/productline/overview/387

Inline Fuse (2 each): LITTELFUSE Fuse Block, 60A, In Line, Covered, MAXI
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/LITTELFUSE-Fuse-Block-2FCR2

Inline Fuses: 60 AMP Maxi Fuse (buy at your local auto parts store)

Fuse Block: BEP Blade-Style Fuse Block with Cover
http://www.cabelas.com/product/BEP174-Blade-Style-Fuse-Block-with-Cover/737539.uts

Component fuses: Blade fuses 20 AMP (buy at your local auto parts store)

Wire: 6 Gauge or bigger
Cheapest way to buy large gauge wire is as a set of jumper cables (make sure they are gauge 6 or bigger)

Various wire connectors and wire crimper, heat shrink wire covers


How to:
First, remove the negative lead on your battery and isolate it!!!!

Remove the 90 amp alternator and install the 150 amp alternator. Follow the linked PDF in this post

Connect one Maxi Fuse inline fuse holder to the 12v + terminal of your starting battery

Connect and run large gauge wire from the fuse to underneath the driver's seat by way of the hole in the floor that the rest of the wire for the vehicle is routed through.

Follow the directions included with your battery isolator for connecting to it (For the BlueSea, connect starter battery to post 1. Connect the ground post to ground under the driver's seat, connect the starter interrupt to the starter solenoid signal wire at the relay under the driver's seat (don't have the info on which wire, but search here and you'll find it)
Connect large gauge wire to post 2 on the battery isolator.

Run that wire from underneath the driver's seat to underneath the passenger seat via the wire chase in the floor. Connect to Maxi Fuse inline fuse holder and connect to 12v+ terminal of aux battery.

Connect a short piece of large gauge wire to 12v+ terminal of aux battery and the other end to the main terminal of your fuse block.

Tie down your aux battery. I used ubolts and tiedown straps.

Connect the negative terminal of your aux battery to a ground bolt (any large bolt connected to the vehicle body will do. I used a passenger seat hold down bolt.

Reconnect the negative terminal of your starting battery.
Insert fuses into the inline fuse blocks.

I then connected a lead from the fuse block to the fuse 8 & 15 of the fuse block under the steering column (I just used blade connectors and inserted them into the fuse holder), to power the cigar lighter, and radio (12v constant and switched), and interior lights from the aux battery. I think I used a 20 amp fuse there.

I also ran 3 leads to the rear of the vehicle for two 12v outlets and one for the soon to be roof fan.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

rockraptor5

New member
Then I added a 2 person Sprinter bench seat. Used rivnuts to mount the tracks.
Your conversion is way cleaner than mine! I got my hands on a sprinter bench seat as well but have yet to mount it. Where did you find the tracks? Also, do you have any photos of the installation and the rivetnut size?

Again, excellent conversion. I'll have to install the aux battery system in the spring when it's warm out again!

Thanks
~Joe
 

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
Your conversion is way cleaner than mine! I got my hands on a sprinter bench seat as well but have yet to mount it. Where did you find the tracks? Also, do you have any photos of the installation and the rivetnut size?

Again, excellent conversion. I'll have to install the aux battery system in the spring when it's warm out again!

Thanks
~Joe
Thanks Joe!

Mopar-Wholesale.com Talk to - Bobby Ryan Internet Parts Specialist
These are the parts you need:
5104531AA Seats and tracks - Rear seat components - Anchor Anchor - Two passenger 2003 - 2007 Quantity 1
5104532AA Seats and tracks - Rear seat components - Anchor Anchor - Three passenger 2003 - 2007 Quantity 2

That is for a 3 person seat. For the 2 person seat, you just need one of each.

As far as rivnuts and bolts go, I bought them at Grainger. M10 steel. The bolts are the highest strength socket head M10 I could find from them. I don;t have the part # but had them check the specs while I was there to order.
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Rivet-Nut-5RB48
I installed the rivnuts using a long bolt, a stack of washers and a nut, a socket wrench and an open ended wrench, and a lot of elbow grease.
My wood floor was marked with holes where the floor needed to be cut.
 

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
I copied Afigman's ceiling. 1/4" lauan and indoor outdoor carpet from Home Depot. I used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to attach the carpet (with 2"-3" on the back of each piece).
I ended up making the ceiling out of 4 pieces, each wrapped in their own piece of carpet.
I used pan head 1" self drilling sheet metal screws to attach them to the roof cross members.
I also built and installed the upper wall panels. I opted to keep the plastic lower cargo walls for now. I installed the speakers that came with my new Sony head unit, and they sound awesome!
Here are some pictures:
 

Attachments

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
Thanks Dan!
Overall, the ride is much quieter now! The insulation helped a ton, and the carpet on the ceiling helps to deaden any sounds that I do have. With the additional rear speakers, the sound system is much better sounding and the carpet also helps to reduce echo. Although it took the better part of a week of spare time, and you can't see all of the work that went into it, it was well worth it!

Also, I filled the tops of the rear cargo doors with spray foam, and carpeted them too. Adjusted the door stops and they are much quieter now too! I still have to insulate the doors. I began to pull the plastic off of them, and the retaining pieces began to crak, so I stopped. I will have to find the part # for them and buy a bag full. Then I'll insulate the doors and put the plastic back up with carpet on it too.

For the time being, I covered the support piece I glued in for the roof fan. When I get a fan, I will have to cut the ceiling with a jigsaw to open that spot back up.

Regarding the front headliner, my vehicle did not have foam inserts at the top front of the cargo area, it had a metal divider for a bulkhead. I drilled out the rivets and removed the divider. I will have to shape some foam to fill in the gaps at the sides , and cover them with carpet. I think I might drill through the top of the headliner and put screws trough it and the wood ceiling, into the cross member above, but I have not decided yet.
 
Last edited:

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
Webasto Heater Install:

I purchased a Webasto Airtop 2000 ST from www.bunkheaters.com for $900. It included all materials necessary for the install.

I cut the wood floor out where the heater would go, underneath the rear passenger seat. I went a little bigger on the cut than I needed to, but I wanted to have a bit of room to work with as far as placement of the heater.

I used the gasket that goes between the heater and the floor as a template for my holes. 4 holes for the mounting studs, 1 hole for the fuel pipe, and 2 holes for the intake and exhaust (1" hole saw). I primed the holes to help prevent rust and secured the heater into position.

Then the real work began. Connecting the fuel pump, filter and fuel line. Connecting and securing the combustion intake and output, connecting the electrical, mounting the controller, and tapping into the fuel tank.

My 03 does not have an auxiliary coolant heater, nor does it have a fuel tap at the fuel sender for one. I could have ordered a fuel sender with a tap for about $80. I decided to T into the fuel line at the tank instead. For about $5 in parts, I made a brass barbed T. 3/8" for the existing fuel line and 3/16" for the Webasto. So far, it is working great! I think because there is no lift pump in the tank, it will not be a problem to draw fuel for the heater from the vehicle fuel line. It may be a location that air could get in the lines, but no more so than the rest of the connections on the fuel line.

Additionally, before starting any work on the fuel line under the vehicle, I installed a check valve at the inlet to the fuel filter to help avoid the dreaded loss of prime on the 03. I used 2 pairs of hose shutoff clamps, one just before where I was installing the valve, and one near the tank, to keep from losing prime while installing the check valve.

The only thing I need to work on is the noise of the Webasto pump. I secured it to the skirt below floor and it makes a loud clunk noise when it doses the fuel. I think I will be able to reduce the noise by placing some closed cell foam between the pump and the body, but other than that, it is working great!
 

Attachments

mackconsult

New member
Looks good Al.

I will post pictures of my installation. How load is it when running?
 

Top Bottom