Hi everyone. Sorry it's been forever since an update. Life has been an adventure and I lost focus for a while. I've managed to rid myself of the source of most of the drama in my life (divorce is finally done), and I'm so much happier now. I'm getting my mojo back and I've started making progress on the van and other projects again. Unfortunately I lost a chunk of the winter build season, but everything is on the up and up now.
I'm going to dump prettymuch all of the in-progress pictures here not necessarily in any particular order in an attempt to get this thread caught up.
Transmission out and dropped off to the rebuilder:
Several weeks later, I got it back and re-installed it along with a rebuilt driveshaft
It drives so nice now! Shifts smooth and quiet. According to the rebuilder, the only worn out parts were the bearings and syncros, the gears and everything else was evidently fine, so that's good.
I have been continuing to work on the interior, so here are some of the updates there:
I finished the lower rear walls next to the bench/bed and also made filler cushions that fit between the bench and the wall. Now I can lay across the bed sideways and it's flat from wall to wall.
And here is the finished setup with the lower walls finished and the filler cushions installed. it makes a nice flat bed from wall to wall and it's pretty comfy. I also added a storage pocket in the drivers side wall as you can see in the pictures.
Next, I started working on the side doors and the exterior stereo. The panels are aluminum and the speaker pods are 3d printed plastic wrapped in blue vinyl. I have several more details and things I want to add to the doors, but for now they are functional and look good enough. The exterior stereo is loud and sounds great. It will be perfect for shows and parties. When I switch the lights on for the side doors, it triggers the dedicated amp to power on for those speakers. I also added a couple of puddle lights to the bottom of the doors.
I also added another Jaguar tray table to the 40 door. it makes a nice spot to set things if needed and looks neat.
I have also been working on the design for the bar unit a little bit more. I have some things in the works, but for now, I have added an old school lightning ball above the center of the bar on the back wall, and I also picked up some over the top VIP ashtrays that look really nice on the bar. I'm working on a system to hold those as well as clip the wine glasses to the wall while underway as well. I love how the bar is shaping up:
Also, I can't remember if I posted about this yet or not, but I picked up a marine style porta-potty to have on hand just in case. Obviously it's not a show piece, but will help with functionality during long trips and multiple day events.
I picked up a couple of these Junction Produce pillows that are normally used as decoration in Japanese VIP luxury cars. I have a few ideas for them, and will probably end up adding a few more to the mix as they really add to the aesthetic.
Junction produce also makes a very nice VIP style curtain setup that I want to integrate into my van as well. Many older vans have curtains, but I want to use something like this to keep with the modern luxury theme.
Most recently I've been working on the front door panels. I am doing these in 2 halves. Upper and lower. The lower halves are obviously much simpler, so I knocked them out first. They are made with aluminum and wrapped in the same black marine upholstery vinyl as everything else. I also added quite a bit of sound deadening to these panels as there was a lot of road noise that enters the cabin from that area. I haven't finished the upper panels yet, but they are in progress and are going to be pretty cool!
I guess I don't have any pictures of the lower panels finished, but they are done.
This covers most of the things I've done to the van lately. Not quite as much progress as I would have liked, but still chipping away at it. Still to finish are the front upper door panels, side window area filler panels and a handful of other interior parts, then I want to add a couple of monitors and a bunch more battery reserve capacity. All in due time I suppose. It's good enough to cruise for the 2021 season though.