Hodakaguy's 4x4 Sprinter Conversion - Pic heavy!

Hodakaguy

Active member
Beautiful job on the wiring and pictures!

Was removing the B-pillar trim straightforward?
Thanks Mate. The pillars are easy to remove. You remove the upper hat hooks, tie down at the bottom and the passenger grab handle, the rest just pops off with spring clips. Nice and easy!

Hodakaguy.
 

Hodakaguy

Active member
Back at it....

Pulled the seats again for a couple minor finishes. Added a heat blanket around the wiring that is close to the heater outlet hose. I'll eventually change out the crumpled heater tube with some fresh stuff.










Next up I tied the headlight trigger for the switch pro into the ignition circuit under the seat. This gives me full manual control of the back lighting and lets me run the display at any brightness at any time.




Now to add in a couple power ports to the OEM headliner. There are two shelves located on each side of the dome light assembly, adding power ports here will make a perfect spot to charge batteries for camera's etc while keeping them off the floor.




I love Blue Sea Products, If your going to run a Cig Plug these are the Best. Here's a link to a video review I did earlier on the sockets.











On Amazon here: CLICK HERE

I pre-ran wiring from the Aux battery into this position earlier in the build. Here I'm taking down the dome light assy to wire up the harness for the ports.




Drilling the hole from the inside of the head liner with a hole saw.
















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Hodakaguy

Active member
Continued from above...

Wired up...











Made a quick trip down to Vanmadegear outside of Portland OR to get some custom window shades measured and built. Simon makes some really great gear, can't wait to have the shades in the van!

Stopped along the way to snag a picture of the Sunset in the Gorge.




Simon at his shop cutting out a template to fit the rear windows.




After some discussion we came up with a plan that will allow the shades to fit around the bed supports and still fold/open when needed. The shades are held in place with rare earth magnets that are sewn into the shades. Easy to remove when needed.






Getting ready for the trip back home, Simon and his crew are great....Can't wait to use the new shades. More info and pics soon!




Next up it's time to modify the plug on the Dometic fridge. The OEM plug has the ability to plug into either a standard US cig plug or a Powerlet port, although I find that the Powerlet port isn't as secure as an actual Powerlet Plug. I'll remove the OEM plug and replace it with a low profile Powerlet Unit. The Powerlet plugs are great on items like a fridge since then snap into place and won't work loose as you drive like a US cig plug does.

See above for the video review that includes the Powerlet Connectors.

Here's the OEM fridge plug next to the Powerlet unit.




Closer look at the OEM plug.




Pop the red end off and it will work in a Powerlet port.




I cut the OEM end off long enough so I can make up a Powerlet to US Cig adapter if I want to use the fridge in a different vehicle in the future.

Here's a closer look at the 90 Deg Powerlet Connector.






The insulation is pretty thick on the power chord so I opened up the end a bit to allow it to fit and still be snug/secure.










Earlier in the build I wired in both a Cig Plug and Powerlet connector where the fridge will sit.






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Hodakaguy

Active member
Continued from above...

And plugged in, I like that the low profile plug keeps everything tight against the wall.








Snagged a cheap hitch step at Walmart to use for the rest of this camping season, I'll eventually fabricate my own setup.






Organizers! We received our order of OverLandGearGuy Mule bag organizers this weekend. You can choose the colors and the Velcro labels when you order the bags. This will really help to organize our kitchen kit etc, after a while you will know exactly which bag to grab when you need something. Now our coffee setup is all in one bag and super convenient to snag and use each morning....nice!

























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Hodakaguy

Active member
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Here's a trick for filling DEF. I finally got tired of trying to use the crappy hoses that come with the DEF bottles that always leak and dribble while your using them. I snagged a oil fill hose that fits the DEF bottles perfectly and has a O-ring seal so there are NO leaks. The hose also has a on/off valve so you can throttle the pour and a cap to seal the hose when your done. There is no internal vent on this setup so you rock the bottle a bit to allow air in and keep flow going, I like this as I pour slow so I can listen to the sound and know when it's full so I can stop. If you want to dump the entire bottle in then just poke a hole in the upper rear of the bottle and it will pour quickly.

Hose is available here: CLICK HERE












Next up is to make a way to securely carry our bucket toilet. This is a super simple setup that uses WAG Bags (Plastic bags with a powder inside that turns liquids to solids and prevents odors). To use you pop the lid off the bucket, insert a bag and snap the lid back on. Then just tie the bag and toss in the garbage when done. We don't like carrying a toilet and always stop and use facilities whenever possible, this will be for emergency use when we can't find facilities and will be used outside the van.

The bucket will also be dual purpose, we can use it for water to put out camp fires etc and I will carry additional supplies in the bucket while we travel (Hatched, folding shovel etc).

Now to make a secure way to carry the bucket. I'll use the two factory tie down points and fabricate a third tie down point that will attach to the floor mounting plate.








I'll modify this bracket to fit the recess in the floor mount.






Painted and Installed






Now to modify the bucket to accept tie down straps. I'll seal all the mounting points so I can still use the bucket for water when needed without any leaks.












No sharp edges inside to catch the bags, I added a layer of sealant around the lock nuts and washers as well.




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Hodakaguy

Active member
Continued from above...

Cutting some straps to size and burning the edges to keep them from fraying.






All mounted up and super secure. Will make a great place to carry extra gear and will only be used as a porta-potty in emergencies (But nice to have the option).








The bag kits are small and we will carry spares in the bottom of the bucket. I got a good deal on these as open box items so snagged a bunch to have on hand.








The Hammock & Straps and the Alite Butterfly chair fit perfect in the rear door pockets.






More gear storage! I love our OverLandGearGuy organizer that goes on the back of the front seats. We use it to organize a lot of our smaller gear that we need frequent access to. We recently added a Map pocket as well as we didn't have a great place to keep the maps without them getting damaged. I'm using Giant Loop silicone Proghorn straps to secure the bottom of the unit to the seat base. My only complaint is that the mounting hoops are to wide for the headrest and it makes the bag bunch a bit at the top, I'll eventually fix this so it hangs flat.














More to come....

Hodakaguy
 

eranrund

Active member
Beautiful work! Amazing attention to details, really inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to create these rich posts.

Can you please provide more information on the protective heat cover you used for the wires near the heater? What material is it made of / where did you get it?
 

spator

New member
We just ordered a stone gray (My favorite color 4x4 2020 passenger van). It should be here in 2 months. We will use it as a camper van and a passenger van when needed. We loved your photos!
 

DSM

Camp-Explore-Build...Repeat
Continued from above...

If anyone has ever watched Lucy and the long long trailer you will get this...my wife started collecting rocks to bring home lol.




Heading out again....more amazing scenery






Heading up into the mountains on the Custer Motorway.








Time to get the drone out again for another perspective.










Continuing down the trail.








Kiddo cruising on the bed





More history. This was once a toll road and whats left of the toll cabins are still here at 9k feet. Very cool!








Wild strawberries...yummmm








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Stopped collecting rocks after warning in Hawaii. Now collecting driftwood-small pieces- where legal. Mpg has improved!
 

aamert

Member
Hodakaguy
Question on the sealants/adhesives that you used to patch up the holes in the roof and install the fans. Instead of 3+ different kinds of sealants (for example, silaprene m6325, sikaflex 252 and sickaflex 221), why not just one to simplify it? Maybe they each have a purpose that I cannot identify from the brief read through?
 

Hodakaguy

Active member
Been quite a while since I've posted. We've put over 5k miles on the van in our travels and have seen some amazing sights, I'll be posting pictures of our travels soon. Here's a few misc photo's to catch the build thread up to date.

MY Vanmadegear window covers came in.....super stoked.








The covers have rare earth magnets sewn into the edges of the covers and they just stick in place. The front units are the only ones that need to be removed and stowed, the remaining covers stay in place and just fold up or down (saving a ton of storage space!).


















The split design on the rear windows came out great!










I went with the silver reflective covering on the windshield to help keep the heat out.




Here's a video walk through showing how the shades function, Simon turns out a great product!



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Hodakaguy

Active member
Continued from above....

A few more details....I like labeling :) Cut some custom stickers for the passenger seat base.
















Time for Adventure Van Expo! Headed down to St. Helens OR for this years AVE. The event was quite a bit smaller than last year, I'm sure it was due to Covid, the event being pushed out twice while they tried to find a venue and it being later in the year. I told Simon I would park my van in his Vanmadegear vendor booth and we had an awesome time. Got to meet a ton of really cool people at the show, thanks to all who turned out.

Hanging at the show.




Setting up camp on the first day, the forcast was calling for rain and more rain.....ugg. Had to make a temporary gap seal between the rack and the awning to keep water from dripping into the van when I left the door open. Here I used a garbage bag but up into strips, worked perfectly. I'll be fabricating a permanent solution to this in the near future.



While at the show I pulled the Maxxfan trim rings and installed rare earth magnets on the back side of the covers to accept Simon's insulated fan covers. The magnets get taped in place then the trim rings re-installed. The fan covers are great and just like the other covers they can be folded and left in place....nice!






Stopped at the WW1 Stonehenge memorial on the way home....always a cool stop.




While heading to the Adventure Van Expo in Oregon I was heading down the highway when a truck ahead of me started loosing large sheets of plastic out of their trailer. I tried to avoid them but one went under the van and I didn't see it come out, as soon as I was able to pull over I did so and found the plastic wound tight around the rear driveline. I cut the plastic off with my knife and all looked good, fast forward a bit and I get back home and start smelling burning oil, pull to the side again and yep...oil everywhere from a failed pinion seal and nice burning oil on the muffler...eewwww. Plastic must have made it to the seal......dang!! Time to replace the Pinion Seal.

I ordered an OEM seal, nut and 4 replacement driveline bolts (these are set with stretch and non reusable).

I followed the Mercedes procedure and all went smooth. I used a 0-3.5nm torque wrench to measure the rotational drag torque both before nut removal and after I was finished, right on the money. The pinion nut is torqued to spec (30nm) then advanced in two stages at 15 deg each with 30 axle rotations (15 in each direction) between each step.. Zero axial play verified and then check again for proper drag torque, .1nm more than the starting torque....perfect.

Hard to see here but the entire underside of the van is wet in gear oil.




Up on the jack stands.




You can safely use a floor jack to lift the rear of the vehicle, just make sure you don't bend the diff cover. My jack has a rubber pad in the lifting surface and I place the jack just forward of the cover.




Using a paint stick to index the propshaft to the hub, always a good idea to replace everything on a drive line exactly as it came off.




Propshaft tied up and out of the way.




Here I have the wheels removed and the diff drained of fluid. I'm using a 0-3.5nm torque wrench to measure rotational drag torque before disassembling the flange.




Best not to use impact guns here. I used a large pipe wrench to back up the flange and a large breaker bar to remove the nut.






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Hodakaguy

Active member
Continued from above....

Using a puller to remove the flange, not a lot of pressure is needed which was good since this was a poor puller and the only one I had on hand that would work :)






Now we get a look at the old seal.....yep a piece of plastic stuck in the seal and caused the failure. Dang plastic!!






A seal puller made quick work on removing the old seal.








The new seal comes pre-greased and ready to install.






A oil filter wrench made a perfect seal driver to install the new seal.








Flange cleaned, oiled and re-installed.




The new flange nut is first torqued to 30nm then you verify zero axial play, then rotate the axle 15 turns in each direction. Next you tighten the nut 15 deg then rotate both ways again. Next tighten an additional 15deg then rotate again. At this point you check rotational torque again and it should be .1-.3nm higher than the original reading, mine was .1nm higher so It's right in spec.

Again I used the pipe wrench to back the flange while torquing the nut, it didn't leave any marks in the flange.




Now stake down the new nut to lock it into position so it can't move.






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Hodakaguy

Active member
Continued from above....

New propshaft bolts. These bolts are tightened to stretch and can't be re-used.




The propshaft bolts are first torqued to 15nm then tightened an additional 90 deg of rotation.






Wheels back on and torqued to 177 ft/lbs.




Diff filled with Redline 75-90W.......Good Stuff!




And back on the road!




More to come....

Hodakaguy
 

coastcamper

New member
I am very impressed with your information on your thread, I am really new at all this but I am learning fast. It will take me some time to study all your posts, I have subscribed to your thread so I will be notified when you post something new. I am planning to commit to starting a conversation on a sprinter 144 WB soon. I am getting insurance quotes now, I am going to get my van reclassified as an RV after I pass all the requirements that my state requires me to do. Have fun and please keep posting your awesome updates. Thanks.
 

Hodakaguy

Active member
I am very impressed with your information on your thread, I am really new at all this but I am learning fast. It will take me some time to study all your posts, I have subscribed to your thread so I will be notified when you post something new. I am planning to commit to starting a conversation on a sprinter 144 WB soon. I am getting insurance quotes now, I am going to get my van reclassified as an RV after I pass all the requirements that my state requires me to do. Have fun and please keep posting your awesome updates. Thanks.
Thanks Mate. Feel free to ask any questions that come up. Have fun with your build!

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Active member
Here's a video I took on the way home from our recent 4k mile trip as we explored the historic abandoned Shirk ranch. Pictures of the trip coming soon
:-)



Hodakaguy
 

andrewarm

Andrew
Fantastic build! Do your LP9s make any whining noise? I had an installer tell me that they would due to the length of the cable and that seemed very strange to me.
 

Hodakaguy

Active member
Fantastic build! Do your LP9s make any whining noise? I had an installer tell me that they would due to the length of the cable and that seemed very strange to me.
Nope, no noise at all. Length of wiring isn't an issue, just make sure you run correct size wire for the equipment. I ran 6awg for both positive and ground.

Hodakaguy
 

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