PAV Adventure 4x4 Build

RickNifty

New member
Ddunaway --- Thank You for the Write Up on the headliner removal. I am from Yakima and just bought (10-14-2015) a 2015 Crew -170” High Roof 4x4 (equipped almost identical to yours) to Haul my Grandson around the country to Motocross Races. I wanted just the Cargo extended model but opted for the 4x4 because of where we live and a Mountain Passes we travel. Now I have to remove the headliner to install cabinets etc… I would have started this weekend on the removal but find myself reading this forum NON – STOP … Just like my wife --- no time to cook because her favorite cooking show is on tv 
Sorry to ramble on --- just wanted to say thanks

PS -- my first post/reply ever --- hope to have some pictures of MotVan Transformation someday
RickNifty
 

ddunaway

Member
Ddunaway --- Thank You for the Write Up on the headliner removal. I am from Yakima and just bought (10-14-2015) a 2015 Crew -170” High Roof 4x4 (equipped almost identical to yours) to Haul my Grandson around the country to Motocross Races. I wanted just the Cargo extended model but opted for the 4x4 because of where we live and a Mountain Passes we travel. Now I have to remove the headliner to install cabinets etc… I would have started this weekend on the removal but find myself reading this forum NON – STOP … Just like my wife --- no time to cook because her favorite cooking show is on tv 
Sorry to ramble on --- just wanted to say thanks

PS -- my first post/reply ever --- hope to have some pictures of MotVan Transformation someday
RickNifty
RickNifty,
Welcome to the forum and to Sprinter ownership! Yes the forum can be quite absorbing and helpful for your project. Glad you find the writeup useful.....
 

ddunaway

Member
A river runs thru it - leak into drivers footwell....ugg

I have a stream of water flowing into the driver’s side wheel well. I noticed the puddle in the footwell today when I took the plastic out of the footwell to do some wiring (finishing touches on the electrical under the driver seat). It happened to be raining hard, so I could see a stream of liquid flowing down from the front (see picture).

My left mirror adjustment also stopped working (first noticed a few weeks ago). I have been thinking about what to do about this one….sort of looking at the problem out of the corner of my eye hoping for further inspiration/discovery. Perhaps the leak is just that.

  • The question is where is the water entering?
  • There is a stream flowing over the electrical booty between the door and chassis but it seems unlikely that the booty could leak that much.
  • There are a lot of open seams that I cannot see easily between the mirror and front window.
  • It seems unlikely that my insulation efforts could have caused this but perhaps I blocked some drain when I ran insulation in the A pillar between metal and outer skin.

I’ll be working on the van tomorrow and it is supposed to rain, so I will have more opportunity to follow up.

Any suggestions/input would be greatly appreciated….. gotta stop the leak and would be nice to have the mirror working again too.

PS: I'll post this in another spot (conversion talk) too to get more visibility
 

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pfflyer

Well-known member
Are the holes below the windshield blocked leaves or dirt? Sometimes even if no leaves trapped in there they still could be blocked. Not sure if water could find its way to the foot well but I guess it is possible. Could be water from the roof/ windshield getting in from the engine compartment if the holes above are not blocked. There is a lot of water that flows from the roof/windshield down that path and I would suspect with the flow shown in your photo this is the source.
 
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ddunaway

Member
Electrical - 2nd battery, monitor, move solar charger

I finished the final details on the main electrical.

  • Mounted the second battery just in front of the drivers side rear wheel well. I found an off the shelf battery tray and attached it with a 1/4-20 thru the wall and an M8 thru one of those cargo mounts in the floor. Hopefully, strong enough. Wanted one more bolt but gotta wrap it up.....
  • Moved the solar charger to under the drivers seat. It is funny how many things you say you should not do early on then you just go ahead and do later. I wanted to keep the drivers pedestal somewhat clear in case the MB service people ever have to do something in there but I just could not help myself.....even when my left mirror is not working and I'll probably have to take it in to push for a warranty fix. Nice to have all the electronics tucked in under the seat.....especially when I am so non-committal on internal configurations.
  • Installed battery monitor and shunt. Very exciting to start to watch the amps flow. Now that all this is installed Inertiaman and I will do some controlled experiments on the power output of the 2015 alternators. There has been a lot of debate about how the alternator performs. It's all about the data.....
  • Lastly the battery switch to go between 2x115 Fullrivers (pos1), OEM under hood (pos2), off, or both.
 

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ddunaway

Member
I has been a big push to try and get it ready for winter. The bed was the big remaining must have. At this point, all I have left now is to implement a method to hold down the bed panels and make install/walls in a few places.

Version 1 bed/storage.......

These were my goals/constraints that led me to this design, which is a little different than most platform beds.

  • Limit the span of the bed to keep bending moments small, enable small size metal tubing (SS304 1" tall), and facilitate bed panel storage in the van, when the bed is not assembled. It is super stiff...very little deflection.
  • Keep just barely enough room/height for our mountain bikes under the platform (31" to top of bed).
  • Keep visibility out the back window.
  • Create some storage so that not everything is floating around. Skies fit just inside the wheel well on the floor of the storage space.
  • Maintain a largely open design that can allow for walking all the way to the back if bed panels are removed.

I was initially resistant to using wood but I like the appearance now especially for the top of the bed. The plan for the walls is to continue to OEM look with gray ABS.
 

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ddunaway

Member
Bed/storage features

  • The storage area is accessible from the top thru hinged panels and from the rear.
  • There will likely be a false floor separating the skis from the other gear in the front region near the battery, as well as a small wall blocking the battery.
  • I bought and installed the passenger wheel well covers (~$120 each). Like that OEM look.
  • The bed panels slide on top of one another. The front 2 panels only have 1 tube and rest on the tube of the next panel further toward the back. This creates a large workspace in the rear with a lot of counter space. Maintaining the OEM bench seat possibility largely precludes the normal kitchenette location, so this counter space makes up for it.
  • The panels can nestle into one another to create a thinner stackup. I plan on creating a system to strap them to the passenger side wall in back.
  • The plywood is chipping a little bit on the edges....might have to figure out something to protect it....prefinished stuff seem brittle on the edges

Note: I will probably create a removable kitchenette when not using the OEM bench seat. Long term though that bench seat has to go ....perhaps something a little more stealthy on 7071 L-track or a seat using the front panel hooking into the storage box.
 

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ddunaway

Member
More bed details

  • I attached to factory bolt locations in the floor. One just required cutting slits in the OEM rubber floor in back, M8. For the front one I had to measure then drill thru the floor (plywood and metal) to find the installed nut for the 2nd bench seat. This would be the back drivers side bolt in that position.
  • On the drivers side the panels rest on L-track and angle. The walls are lined with starboard to prevent rubbing.
  • The angle is spaced out to cantilever around the C pillar on the passenger side.
  • I cut out some of the angle in back to access the L-track for other uses. May do more of this.
 

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ddunaway

Member
Panel attachment method

  • My plan is to use these thumbscrews to go thru the angle on the bottom and into a rivnut that is installed into the SS tube. This was Inertiaman's idea. We'll see how it goes.
  • I also plan to cushion the metal on metal contacts with some sort of padding. I was thinking about using rubber. Ideally the cushion material would be rubber that is thin and sticky on one side to adhere to the angle and in certain areas wood.
  • Let me know if there are better ideas on attachment!

So that is it! Version 1 of the bed. Sort of simple but it did take me ~ 3-4 weekends. We'll see how it goes this season..........................
 

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ddunaway

Member
Alternator charging test on final electrical system

There has been a lot of discussion of late on how the new alternators work, the current they output, and whether there is some built in "smarts" that impedes charging performance on our house battery systems. After a few days of playing with the Victron BMV 700 battery monitor, I was ready to collect some data. I ran the batteries down as far as I was comfortable, 60.9% SOC and 12.03V. Then I started it up at night (to avoid solar charging) and went for a drive. The lights were on. The house system being tested has 2 X DC115-12 Fullriver deep cycle batteries with charging controlled by the stock Mercedes ACR and a 6 cylinder engine with the stock 220 Amp alternator.

min SOC Amps
0 60.9 120
4 62.2 100
6 63.4 94
8 64.1 68
12 65.6 82
15 67.3 57
18 69.5 90
23 72.2 78
26 74 74
31 76.5 67
36 78.7 61
41 80.8 56
46 82.7 51
51 84.9 46

I was pleased with the performance with a relatively simple and inexpensive charging setup.:thumbup: The alternator shows no signs of limiting current as far as I can tell. I ran 2 AWG everywhere for charging. Distances to the batteries from the main pedestal are about 6 ft and 10 ft for the 2 batteries. I did go to some extra efforts to utilize 3 different chassis grounds (2 in the pedestal and 1 under the hood) to make sure that was a good connection.
 

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Exhuast

I did not want the exhaust to come back in open doors or windows. When I initially decided to do the under passenger seat install, I did not realize that most people put the exhaust close to the slider door. I wanted to run the exhaust out near the drivers side rear wheel. To do this I transitioned to 30 mm tubing after the heater which is mounted close to the heater. SS Espar tubing is not cheap and lots more brackets.....
What did you do to accomplish the transition from 24 mm to 30 mm?
 

jme3505

2019 Gas Transit
Great build thread! You have a lot more ambition than me. When my maxxfan arrived I thought of everything I needed to do during the installation............That's when I decided that I would rather pay a professional to convert the van. At least they would finish! I've built and remodeled enough houses to know that it takes me far too long to finish, but I do love your progress Mr ddunnaway. Way to go. Did you ever solve the river problem?
Jon
 

nordich2o

New member
I have a 2015 Sprinter with factory radio. Just starting the wiring for my conversion. Planning to add more speakers to the cargo area. Can you add another set of speakers to the factory radio or should I plan on replacing the unit.
 

ddunaway

Member
What did you do to accomplish the transition from 24 mm to 30 mm?
To run the exhaust out to the driver's side rear well I had to go longer than the specified length. So to keep the pressure drop in the exhaust line within limits the Espar rep (Shreyas) recommended a transition to 30 mm. Maybe not totally necessary....

I like the exhaust away from the openings......keeps the diesel smell down. I use it a good bit working on the van in the cool wet northwest with some doors open.
 

ddunaway

Member
Great build thread! You have a lot more ambition than me. When my maxxfan arrived I thought of everything I needed to do during the installation............That's when I decided that I would rather pay a professional to convert the van. At least they would finish! I've built and remodeled enough houses to know that it takes me far too long to finish, but I do love your progress Mr ddunnaway. Way to go. Did you ever solve the river problem?
Jon
Well not yet. The river is still running. I am in Mallorca, Spain right now with a little van withdrawal. When I get back it is one of the first things to do. I'll try popping off the molding near the mirror and sealing with silicone. Apparently some T1 folks had that problem.

I am sure if I paid myself what I make I the real job it would be cheaper to pay van specialties like yourself. i really like the project aspect of the van though.....a whole new set of things to learn beyond houses and nano biology.
 

ddunaway

Member
I have a 2015 Sprinter with factory radio. Just starting the wiring for my conversion. Planning to add more speakers to the cargo area. Can you add another set of speakers to the factory radio or should I plan on replacing the unit.
From what I understand, the passenger models have more speakers and have fader control, which implies 4 channels. I do not think people have figured out how to enable those extra channels on crew or cargo vans. You can convert from high to low level inputs though and keep the factory head unit. The low level inputs then go into the normal amp.
 
To run the exhaust out to the driver's side rear well I had to go longer than the specified length. So to keep the pressure drop in the exhaust line within limits the Espar rep (Shreyas) recommended a transition to 30 mm. Maybe not totally necessary....

I like the exhaust away from the openings......keeps the diesel smell down. I use it a good bit working on the van in the cool wet northwest with some doors open.
I was not asking why you did that but what did you do to achieve that. What coupling did you use to go from 24 to 30?
 

Appy

New member
I've just got a new sprinter and want to replace the factory speakers but don't want be cutting or drilling anything just want a straight swop. Do you have the sizes of the speakers or recommend a set that will fit. Also what is the voice coil for.
 

ddunaway

Member
I've just got a new sprinter and want to replace the factory speakers but don't want be cutting or drilling anything just want a straight swop. Do you have the sizes of the speakers or recommend a set that will fit. Also what is the voice coil for.
Hi Appy,

I can tell you what I did, which was replace the speakers with a component set (separate woofers and tweeters). A component install is a little more work. I bought these.....(someone else found them on Amazon for much less than I paid).

http://www.amazon.com/Hertz-DSK-165-3-Component-DSK165-3/dp/B008B5JPTS

  • The tweeters happened to fit, which was not expected for me after reading other posts.
  • For the woofers, you would want to get the adapters Hein sells. Make sure he knows the size of the speaker; he'll give you an adapter with a larger opening so no grinding.

I am going to add a sub soon. For me more bass would round it out.

Alternatively, you could also just replace the door speakers with a 2 way model. Definitely faster. You would still want the adapter from Hein.

The good news is that the stock Mercedes speakers are soo bad that just about anything you do will sound soo much better!

I guess the voice coil is to make it sound like you are talking to someone right in front of you or give better voice audio. Honestly, I am not sure. You can talk on the Bluetooth and hear just fine without the voice coil hooked up.
 
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