So.....after yet another damn health scare (no COVID, no mono, no strep) and two weeks down and out, I have made some more progress. I wired in a battery isolater to push power to my rear deep-cell battery, and started routing a 2GA wire back there for power. However, one thing that has been a nuisance for a couple years is the four "regions" of the undercarriage, between the frame rails, that has been filthy, rusted, and plain out of sorts with the rest of the van. I did all of the back end when I pulled the rear end and gas tank, and all of the front when the whole engine, drivetrain, and clip was pulled for restoration and replacement. I just could not allow myself to mount clamps and route the wire without finally getting the whole underside brushed, sanded, acetoned, primed, and painted. So I spent more filthy, dirty, upside-down, crap in eyes, mask covering, arm tiring hours than I should have getting that all taken care of. Although it is just rattle can work, I still feel so much better knowing its done. Not something that anyone will ever see, but it just feels good. A few shots of that effort.....I won't provide what I looked like after it, or how long I was in the shower scrubbing everything.
Once I got that done, I found places to mount the large fuse holders, mounted them, soldered on connectors with a propane torch, shrouded the wire where it went through the frame rail, then located and opened up a hole near where the battery is mounted. I then laid out how best to mount my power inverter, and what would be best for access, etc. I decided on the front face of my left-hand wheel well box. I then placed the plywood that will be mounted over it for lounging, etc., and cut an access hole. I made a filler and mounted it with some small hinges. When all is complete I will probably just put a little loop of some sort on it to pull it open, and use my little magnets to have it "snap" shut. I then started looking at routing power and ground wires to it, along with another fuse for protection.
Last edited by Leakbox; November 05th 2020 8:56 am.
Arianrhod:2003 Chevy Astro Black Magic: 1985 Dodge B-250 Serenity:1985 Chevy G-20 The Outcast:1983 Ford club wagon Luna 1974 VW bay window transporter Freedom:1990 Ford E-150(parts van) Outcast Vanners van club Support your local 2%
Well......after thinking long and hard about my "hard earned dollars" and how far they would go, I am going to need to make some decisions...and have already made one big one. Although I get that skilled labor is not cheap, the only real "actual" RV builder and custom shop in my area looked at my detailed wood cabinet mock ups and came back with just about $5,000 to actually build them both. Ouch. I also drove her over to a new contact I have who happened to be right across the driveway from an interior shop I had do some looking at stuff. He is a great guy and very well known within the So Cal vanning community. His personal roller has been all over and would be easily recognized. After looking at all my metal cancer requirements and other challenges, he came back with about $20k to do the body work and paint her Hugger Orange. Double ouch. Those I will need to chew on a bit.....the THIRD thing I did was brought my engine cover back home from a place I was going to have custom-fab a glove box and door for the front. I was trying to replicate the beautiful job on the Vangerine show winner out of Erie Coast Customs, but he wanted $2400 BEFORE any vinyl wrapping. I decided to have a go of it myself, and have that underway. The first task was epoxying in a sheet of plywood in the recess to get rid of the "double drop" and have it all at one level. I splined in glass fiber bondo around it to blend. Then I took the piece of expanded PVC that the guy who started on it had made, cut it down, and screwed it to an angled plywood block I had mounted to the face of the doghouse. Next was to make plywood "stringers" that will form the edges of the opening and shape them so they carry a smooth arc from the lower face up to the drink holder PVC. Plywood sides were made from cardboard templates that were cut out to fit the outer edges of the recess that drop down to the big opening. Once they were test-fit and fine-tuned, I took sheets of PVC and bonded them together so I could start forming the sides. At the same time, I cut a piece from the 1/8" Dibond sheet I bought and then gently hand bent it in two directions to form what will become the glove box door. I was surprised how well it contours and will fit. I then cut a square in it using the actual glove box from an Astro Van as a guide, and snapped in the latch mechanism from it. I have a piano hinge I will now need to make a block for that will attach to the curved bottom portion of the door and then to the engine cover itself. Prior to permanently attaching all this, I then masked things off and shot all the interior areas with a few coats of Plasicoat, which should make things look pretty uniform and provide a pretty durable rubber finish to the whole interior of the box. Next up after attaching everything will be to start laying on some fiberglass to firm everything up and make it a strong unit. Then will come some body filler and sanding to get it all looking smooth and HOPEFULLY not too amateurish!......and then it will be off to get it wrapped in vinyl with some carpet sides separated by a stainless steel trim bar.
Last edited by Leakbox; November 25th 2020 3:20 pm.
Additional shots of the current status. I am also going to need to fab some sort of block to attach the latch strike bracket to. I'm not sure yet how to do so in able to both allow the latch to lock in the socket yet also not "drop" in more than desired and not fit the outer contour. I will need to figure out some sort of hard stop that will enable it to do so. I can't remember how the Astro set up worked, and I can't find any pictures or exploded views on line of that assembly. Regardless, I have the parts from one so I should be able to cobble something together.
Last edited by Leakbox; November 25th 2020 3:25 pm.