shouldbeasy's 'home away from home' 2017 4x4 Sprinter build

The most recent project is installing the auxiliary fuel tank - bit of a hassle but thankfully my fabrication skills are up to the task. I was able to make a bracket / box that will sit on top of the tank and sandwich in between it and the body of the van to protect the hose connections and stop it from rubbing against the frame rails. Thankfully I didn't lose much space from dropping the tank maybe 1" from the body.

Pictures to come... this is still a work in progress, I've had to build the bracket and test fit a few times but thankfully I have the main support hole drilled in the floor and an idea of how to support the tank adequately. Should provide a reasonable guide to those who follow behind me. I think the tank will work out fine.
 
Well, I hate doing write ups on items which are half finished which is why this update took so long (that and I've prioritized my energy to other efforts and not forum posts lately...) but alas, here is my auxiliary tank write up which will hopefully help someone in the future. Certainly not a simple bolt on mod!



First off was discovering that the diesel tank acquired is nothing specific to the Sprinter but the standard Titan Tank Spare Tire diesel tank kit which can be purchased at any of their retailers. This resulted in one significant problem - the tank would not sit flush again the bottom of the vehicle as the cross member interfered and would have resulted in crushed tank sides if you attempted to secure the tank. So... first hurdle was to build a drop down bracket which would allow the tank to clear the cross member and be sandwiched between the body and the tank.



Bracket tack welded





Completed bracket





Bracket in place in the tank





Moving on to the next hurdle, this one was self inflicted as I placed the filler neck exactly where I wanted it and that went fine - the issue was when I drilled a hole for the piece to go through the body and back to the tank. Unfortunately when I did so, I lined it up 'straight' and thus, the hole was just a bit too close to the rear leaf spring hanger and so I had to drill another. Whoops. Oh well, shouldn't be too hard to weld in a plate to cover it (or I take the easy route and silicone in a hole plug...).



Original location of the filler neck





BAD Location





GOOD Location!





The next step was to secure the tank to the vehicle and I used a HUGE piece of redi-rod to accomplish this. I may integrate a skid plate in to this rod so I went for overkill on the sizing. I had the room so why not?





Redi-rod was cut down from this - much easier to install the tank when it could hang lower.





Installed





Next was on to the plumbing and unfortunately the supplied fitting from Titan had a pinhole leak in it...









Filler neck installed





Ran in to an issue with the plumbing where the 'obvious' spot to install the supplied fitting was not going to work - there is a check valve which prevents the diesel from entering the tank from this location. Bummer, would have worked beautifully.





So, it was a bit more complicated in that I had to drop the tank, remove the fuel pump, drill a hole in the top of the tank (while reaching inside to catch chaff) and then install a fitting to allow the diesel a uninterrupted flow in to the main tank.

Location of the diesel feed line hole - I went with a nice flat area on the tank. Little did I know but it aligned with a cross member and so a bit of cutting was required to get the fitting to clear.





My fitting was a bit too long and so I made a stainless/aluminum washer sandwich to prop it up a bit - there is another washer below the aluminum spacer







After doing some fitting I trimmed down the hose elbow to be as short as I could get it - this picture doesn't reflect that but does show the overall layout.





Notch created for the fitting - unfortunately I had to make it even larger but in reality it won't affect the integrity of anything.





Wiring along the underside moving forward to the cab





Titan controller installed

 
Next on my hit list was the boat motor mount and in turn a new place for the MaxTrax - I figured the driver side of the vehicle was bare enough that the ladders could go there as the boat motors HAD to go on the rear swing out, I couldn't think of anywhere else to put them. All in all I'm happy with the look and the functionality - just need to go out fishing now!



Butyl tape used on the exterior 4 mounts in order to keep them in place - I should have moved it further in towards the center of the disc as it spread out and I had to delicately cut it away from the vehicle afterwards. Lesson learned! On the interior I also used some aluminum as backing material so that the sheet metal isn't deflecting trying to hold the ladders in place. It's very secure.


Used some washers to add some distance between the backing plate and the MaxTrax


MaxTrax mounted!
 
And so, off I went to the boat motor mount - using another piece of aluminum as a backing plate I drilled some more speed holes and then fitted a square piece at the top for support. Unfortunately the first one was too wide (3") and so I had to drill new holes and move the mounts over to accommodate a 2" wide piece for the boat motors to sit on. Thankfully I just used the previous holes as additional mounting for the rail going around the box.







Too wide!


Much better


Using some Kryptonite U-Locks to secure the motors to the vehicle - works great! Thankfully the locks are only 6" deep and hold the motor legs in place. These pictures show my temporary 2x4 but I decided to put in the work and make it out of aluminum.


 





Some pictures of my yellow fog light set up - I FINALLY got them to work but holy crap, never change the bulbs to anything but stock. The circuit detects a different line resistance and simply won't work. I had to cut the stock bulbs apart (used my cut off wheel and destroyed the socket until I had just the two electrodes from the filament sticking through) at which point I plugged them in to my LightForce Striker 170 housings and ta-da! Finally functional fog lights - they're not the brightest but they work and I don't have to deal with another relay circuit (and I'd hate to lose the functionality of the dash switch).
 

MDS

New member
Any new updates? I need a Shouldbeasy fix :) How is the Webasto Dual Top 6 working? I am interested to hear about the hot water performance during summer months. I know the system has a summer mode, but curious about what it does with the hot air loop? I'm just about ready to make the purchase.
 
Couple videos from the summer - had to go to the Sunshine Coast to collect my boat and hit up the Island for a short visit and found a couple sites off the beaten path as recommended by a local.

More van details to come, long overdue updates and progress report. Lots has happened, even more progress to come.
 

Wrinkledpants

2017 144WB 4x4
How's the gearing with 35" tires? Are you lifted? We're on 33's and the extra tire weight is noticeable. I can't imagine what a 35" tire must do to acceleration.
 
How's the gearing with 35" tires? Are you lifted? We're on 33's and the extra tire weight is noticeable. I can't imagine what a 35" tire must do to acceleration.
It's not too bad - also tuned / chipped so it accelerates not so badly. I'm used to big slow offroaders so this isn't a big deal! I'll make it up on the highway with a lower cruising rpm, just having to downshift manually on hills with any decent grade.
 

Wrinkledpants

2017 144WB 4x4
It's a super solid build. You're setup is making me rethink my decision to NOT do an aluminuess front bumper and 35"s. Came from SC and the amount of red stains on the road from deer was alarming.
 
Couple videos from the summer - had to go to the Sunshine Coast to collect my boat and hit up the Island for a short visit and found a couple sites off the beaten path as recommended by a local.

More van details to come, long overdue updates and progress report. Lots has happened, even more progress to come.
Really looking forward to seeing how your interior has progressed!
 
Really looking forward to seeing how your interior has progressed!
The galley and shelf above it is complete - ALL the wiring is done - most of the plumbing is done and I've bought a TIG welder to tackle the SS wetbath.

Having a fridge, freezer, toaster oven, sink, wet garbage and diesel fired cooktop is just amazing - add to that tons of battery power and using the van is becoming pretty easy!
 

Top Bottom