Vannin' Home

Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van

Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 18th 2018 4:18 am

Ahoy there!
Finally I found new love of my life and me being me (nothing is good enough out of the box) have to pimp it. It's 92' Chevy G20 with 5l V8:)

[Linked Image]

As I don't have a garage and still most of the stuff doing myself it is gonna be a few years project, but eventually it will be unrecognizable. I have a list of stuff that I want to do to my baby and everything has to be one at the time coz it is my daily driver. Here's my plans:
1.Less is more. Hide all hinges, gullwing side and rear doors, flush mount door handles etc, very minimalistic design.
2. Flat/mat red paint job.
3. Digital gauges, LCD screens in the dash with cams as rear view mirrors.
4. The lower I go the more she likes it:) Smaller wheels, 3in drop spindles + leaf spring shackles, airbags later with 4link suspension. I want to ride as low as possible without frame mods.
5. Sunroof windows, 25pcs altogether.
6. Cedar strip canoe style interior, red flocked dash with carbon/kevlar molded parts.
7. Some engine mods- camshafts, better carb etc.
8. Magnaflow or similar exhaust.
9. Have some beer and a lot of fun while DIYing:)

Let's start tidying up the bumpers. Here's what original front one looks like:

[Linked Image]

I got rid of side brackets and cut the middle ones a bit. Made incisions in the bumper so I can slide it in the brackets to have a nice 1/4" gap from the bumper to the body. Also had to cut a bit in and fold the ends towards the body as bumper lines does not match body lines:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Tacked it then welded everything, as well as all bolt holes. Bondo on, primer on, and it is gonna stay like this until it rolls in to bodyshop for painty job. Here's what it looks like now:

[Linked Image]

Rear one was much worse than the front one- sticking out 2" out the back and 3" each side, I had to shorten it whole 6 inches! Did same style as the front one and mounted white LED strip for plates' lights:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Also in the pics you the change of wheels. Instead of existing R16s I put 205/55/R17, what lowered the van by 1":)
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 18th 2018 4:39 am

Getting my dash ready for flocking. To peel that fugly vinyl off is a bit of nightmare...

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

On the same note, made myself a tool for pulling body panels:)

[Linked Image]
Posted By: oldskool73

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 18th 2018 8:32 am

Nice work.
Posted By: Frosty

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 18th 2018 11:57 pm

I like your bumper mods. Great work. I'm interested in what you'll do next.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 19th 2018 12:19 am

Cheers lads!

Next, I got rid of those big bulky mirrors and replaced them with a motorbike ones. Once I get my cameras I'll tidy up even them ones. I was tempting to get rid of mirrors altogether but reading regulations I'll probably leave them on just not to start an argument with cops... It says that you *have* to have mirrors, but doesn't say whether it can be a digital (cam+screen) or it has to be an actual glass. It's kinda grey area but in a small'ish town you don't want to get in to bad books with cops, especially when your ride will be recognized everywhere:))

[Linked Image]

Some stuff I did before I signed up here- floors at the front. Grinded all the rust, sprayed and glued industrial rubber mat:

[Linked Image]

And as long as I have my dash out, I fixed my heater box, cleaned from rust and painted blower housing. My motor was still working but was way too noisy, couldn't enjoy the music of V8, so I decided to replace it. The one I got from Lordco had fins too tall and not wanting to wait till tomorrow for the right one I swapped the old fins to a new motor.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 19th 2018 8:21 pm

Since you're already there, it would be a good time to replace the heater core, too.
Posted By: Wizard78

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 19th 2018 10:08 pm

Nice, Going to be Sweeeeeeeet
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 20th 2018 6:23 am

Originally Posted by Rusty_Pancelode
Since you're already there, it would be a good time to replace the heater core, too.

I kinda put everything back together already. It is my daily driver so whatever I started in the morning at a weekend I have to put it back as it was. Except that I'm driving with no dash on atm. Was pulled over by cops next day I took my dash out and got a comment "hm, what an interesting interior..." I explained my pimp process and showed them that everything is plugged in and working, all is good:)
Speaking of heater core, more likely I'll have to replace it whether I want it or not. Started the van in the morning and saw some coolant dripping from the spot where one of the hoses connected to a heater core. Presuming that the hose is cracked at the end (heater core did not look corroded, looked more like new one), after work I chopped a bit and tightened. Still leaking... It wasn't leaking before I took everything apart and I didn't forced or bent anything, but obviously it was my doing.
I have aluminium brazing rods and I can find that crack using pressure, but for what they cost it's not worth the hassle, I'll just replace it.
Posted By: tuner4life

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 20th 2018 1:53 pm

No windows with those tiny mirrors is going to be a trip. You are braver than me!

Looking good so far though. I like what you did with the bumpers.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 21st 2018 2:21 am

Thanks bro!
Yeah, it is trip already, that size is just not enough, I have to get my cams in ASAP:)
Posted By: Lee7673

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 21st 2018 3:21 am

Moving right along! Keep posting pics of the progress!
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 21st 2018 12:44 pm

Looking real nice. Peeeled my dash like that and painted it. I love it.
Posted By: lukester

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 22nd 2018 2:25 pm

Looks good man.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 29th 2018 4:51 am

Another thing I didn't share yet that was done a while ago, my seats.
I wanted to modify my front seats to swivel 180 deg but then got a good deal on a pair of seats from Monte Carlo.

[Linked Image]

Dunno which year they came from but they look like from older models as they are kinda retro looking, which is absolutely awesome. Another bonus for me is that they're red coz my van eventually gonna be red with red interior, red flocked dash etc. I found red seat belts as well from some trucks at a auto wreckers. Those seats turn only 90 deg so the first step was to grind down their stoppers. Now they swivel 360 deg and locks only when facing forward.
Because they're sport car seats their backrest leans back a bit but they're not adjustable, the seat is one solid piece. Therefore I had a problem- I could not swivel them 180 deg neither turning inwards or outwards. One way backrest was hitting door pillar, the other way front of the seat was hitting door pillar. And moving it forward and back didn't help either. With a help of beer I came up with a solution, that liquid is just pure magic...LOL
I made my own brackets to suit existing holes through the floor and made my seat non adjustable forward/back. From old seat I took the sliders and welded them the other way for my seat to slide sideways instead.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

This way when I'm turning it outwards it still hits door pillar,...

[Linked Image]

...then I'm sliding it towards the center,...

[Linked Image]

...and it is clear to turn facing towards the back:

[Linked Image]

The cool trick to this is that when I'll have both seats done they will be nearly touching each other when facing back. There are few reasons why I have only one seat done, passenger side. First is time vs the weather. It took me a day and a half to get one seat done including seat belts, and now I barely get a full weekend without rain.
Second and most important reason- the seat is not adjustable forward/back and it's all good for passenger side, but my mocking and triangulating driver's side I realised that backrest can hit my steering wheel. It is very tight there... If I cheat by angling my seat forward, I ain't gonna have a comfy ride. If I leave enough gap between my steering wheel and the backrest, I become a bit to far for my pedals and hand on a steering wheel. That's why driver's seat will be done only after I sort out my steering wheel mods. I outruled the option to make that seat adjustable 4 ways as due to too many brackets my height doesn't work.
I ordered low profile hub adapter- https://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Polished-5-6-Hole-Steering-Wheel-Hub-Adapter-Flaming-River-Ididit-GM-Chevy/113208914533?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649, and my steering wheel- https://www.ebay.com/itm/DEEP-DISH-350MM-6-HOLE-LEATHER-BLK-STITCH-RACING-JDM-STEERING-WHEEL-HORN/253580675919?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649. By the looks the combination of two should be same'ish depth as my existing original steering wheel, but we'll see, they should be at my door very shortly:)
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 29th 2018 12:45 pm

Nice seats and good work you did there.
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 29th 2018 5:01 pm

I love those seats. My buddy had them in a '74 Chevelle when we were in H.S.

Good work making them work for your van!
Posted By: Wizard78

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 29th 2018 10:15 pm

Nice seats
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 30th 2018 3:55 am

Cheers lads! I'll get my drivers side done shortly as well.
Just got my steering wheel in the post, it is a good inch smaller in diameter then original one. I should be happy but somehow I'm not "feeling it". Dunno why, can't explain... I'll see when I get my hub adapter, slap it on and start driving.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 30th 2018 4:57 am

Just about anything is better than that silly, marshmallowy thing GM put on.
I put a Grant #969 on mine... Couldn't be happier.
Posted By: tuner4life

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - November 30th 2018 2:21 pm

Cool idea with the seat!
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 01st 2018 2:01 am

Originally Posted by Rusty_Pancelode

I put a Grant #969 on mine...

I had to Google it as never heard of them:) Some time in the future I'll make my own steering wheel, but for now cheap chinesium will do.
Here's my idea for my steering wheel- centerpiece similar to my new one and for the rim weld together a timing chain (coz it's thicker, double links) and encase it in clear casting resin or acrylic. It would look like chain inside glass. My worries about that is temperature variations, expanding and contracting metal might crack resin rim. Leaving the chain open is very risky and I don't want to do that. From what I heard where I live if cops see you driving with chain link steering wheel they'll take your vehicle off the road immediately. Apparently it's too dangerous coz your pinky might get stuck between the links...
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 02nd 2018 2:00 am

Back to my leaking heater core. The problem was me being a bit of a moron sometimes... See the pic how one tube is thicker in diameter and tapers to a smaller diameter? So apparently when I put my thicker hose back on last time I put a clamp too far forward, on a thinner section. Therefore it wasn't clamped properly and collant was squirting towards my heater box and leaking inside my van. Geez...

[Linked Image]
Posted By: kursed

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 03rd 2018 4:13 pm

Glad it was a simple fix though. I went through the wife's entire heating/cooling system in her 2000 XJ last year. What a pain in the arse. New radiator, water pump, thermostat, hoses, and heater core. I bought a spare HVAC box from a friend that was parting one out, as you have to pull the whole dash in those things to replace the heater core, so I just swapped the whole box. Still a huge pain pulling the dash. UGH!
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 04th 2018 4:34 am

I pulled the dash out to modify and prepare for flocking so while it's out I get my heating sorted as well. Not much pain anymore, after pulling out and putting back in few times I can do it with my hands behind my back before I finish my beer:) I'll an update on it shortly.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 07th 2018 4:33 am

Got my steering wheel hub adapter:

[Linked Image]

Put it on, all looks good, diameter is the same as column

[Linked Image]

Before mounting the wheel I noticed that my horn switch is not gonna fit. The nut ends right at the wheel's flat base and the switch is ~1/2" thickness. So I have to either modify/DIY the switch or make a half inch spacer. No big deal, dunno what I'll do yet.

[Linked Image]

I wasn't sure about smaller steering wheel but I have to say it is really cool:) I drove only few miles so far but it is definitely growing on me. The next question would be whether it will obstruct the view of my screens in the dash. I'll find that out when I have my dash back in.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 07th 2018 5:24 am

Now my dash:)
On the left side of the dash I cut a fiberglass plate and glued it on with epoxy. Instead of putting back on that piece of plastic to cover, it will be flocked and later I'll make a nice carbon/kevlar plate to cover. As my lights switch knob I'll have a piston from 26cc weed eater. Same pistons will be as inside door handle knobs and gear shifter knob on a welder chain, eventually:) I filled that piston with resin and microballoons, drilled a hole in the center for the switch and two holes on the sides which I tapped for M5 grub screws. Also beside it I'll have my power switch.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

In order to have enough space for my gauge/screens/airbag monitor I have to move my heating control system down. It did not want to fit due to a bracket that holds steering column so I chopped it a bit. Got rid of it's light as well, I know where it's gonna be and what button does what...LOL Using existing cover as a template I cut a piece from fiberglass plate to fit and using CA superglue and baking soda tacked it in place.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Then I could take out the dash again, for a gazillionth time... From inside I put a bead of epoxy with microballoons to hold that fiberglass pale but I think it will need a small strip of fiberglass cloth as well. I just don't want it to crack at the joint when the dash is flocked. Also using CA+baking soda I started to fill little holes that were there for vacuum forming that vinyl on that I peeled off.

[Linked Image]

With PET plastic covered speaker holes so my filler on the outside doesn't push through:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

So here's what my dash is gonna look like. 6in1 digital gauge in the center, 2 screens each side (rear view screen will be at rear view mirror's place), power switch on the left, push start button on the right . Them 2 pieces of cardboard are my imaginary 5in1 digital airbag+air tank monitor/controller and airbag switches. The real stuff is stuck somewhere in the post as our postmen are on strike atm. I got plenty to do before that anyway:)

[Linked Image]

P.S. If anybody has a question, critique, beer, concern or just a thought, speak your mind plz. I can make anything from anything but I'm only a self taught DIY mechanic so there's a chance that I can miss an important detail or smth:)
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 08th 2018 12:28 am

Really cool... Looking forward to seeing more.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 13th 2018 3:52 am

Here's more for Rusty:)

Got my airbag monitor/controller. Buttons on the side doesn't suit me coz it makes the unit too long, so as I expected I'll make my own mounting plate with monitor on the top and buttons beneath it.

[Linked Image]

I got some cheap chinesium car window handles. They're not CNCed from billet but stamped, low quality aluminium, so I'm aware that they might not last long. Red anodized ones seen at the back I'll use for windows, and silver ones I'll use as interior door handles. As a knob I epoxied in 26cc weed eater pistons:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Now the exciting part about my dash- I might discovered here smth:)
Flocking kit for standard car dash costs ~$100 USD shipped to my door. As my van's dash is bigger + engine cover + extra for my mods + a bit spare to be safe, I'll need two kits. Instead of spending $200 I started to re-think how can I spray-can it. There are some satin/flat colors but I ain't gonna have a texture. There are texture paints but mostly for bumpers, which is not an option for me either. Looking at flocking videos I think that the glue is used for flocking should be similar substance as contact cement glue we use on our building sites, only it is pre-colored to suit flock color. Buying a bag of flock doesn't save me much either coz if I want to use my own glue then I'll have to paint my dash first, and for collor to be consistent put primer before that.
So I came up with an idea and plz let me know if you think it's nuts and not worth trying. I applied some contact cement on a test piece of fiberglass plate, and before it started drying I sprinkled some baking soda. Once that dried I gently brushed textured surface with steel wool and then painted with spray can. I got a nice matt finish with texture:) It's on solid, can't peel, the corner in the picture is when I tried to peel before it was dry completely.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I'll face some challenges here. Painting from spray can must be very consistent and spraying from few angles due to surface texture. It has to be just the right amount of paint as overspraying will leave shiny patches by filling in the texture. Contact cement starts drying pretty quickly- too dry and baking soda won't stick. Which comes to another challenge how to apply sprinkle soda to a wide area. According to my wife I'm brilliant with my fingers but in this case it won't do...:)) More likely I'll use my small sand blasting gun at low pressure and spraying soda from a distance, I have to test that.
I'll go get some different grain baking soda, more beer, and go do a better test on a bigger piece with a curve or smth. I need to find out how much time do I have before soda doesn't stick anymore, whether there'll be a consistent color and so on.
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 14th 2018 3:26 pm

Thanks for posting that just for me. lol

I don't know about the baking soda idea...
From here it doesn't look so much textured as it looks like it was painted using a clogged nozzle.

I mean, I think the idea is sound, and I love experimenting and discovering new methods and processes, but I'm not sure the results are showing off your effort.
Granted, it might look different in person, and if it looks good to you, by all means go for it. That's what's important anyway.

If you want a texture, what about getting some of that fleck-stone paint, throwing a bit of that down, then painting over it with the color you want.
Seems like that would give you a texture and be easy to do.
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 14th 2018 3:28 pm

Oh, I forgot to say...

The pistons on the door handles idea is super cool.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 15th 2018 2:02 am

Originally Posted by Rusty_Pancelode

If you want a texture...


It is not as much of a texture I want as flat/matt finish. Texture usually hides little imperfections and makes cheap ordinary spray paints flat, that's why I'm experimenting on this. I just sprayed a bigger test piece, will upload a pic when it dries with elaboration of my win and fail, wait and go get a beer for few hours:)
The other day I sprayed my steel rims with acrylic enamel flat black and that semi shine is exactly what I'm looking for to do my dash. It's just Lordco doesn't have it in red, otherwise I'll be spraying with it and be happy. I kinda don't want to buy few different cans for testing but looks like I'll have to...
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 15th 2018 3:30 am

K, so here's the story...
Contact cement is a no go, a total failure. Only after rolling a square foot it started drying and bubbling into lumps, and I was testing in my carport where temperature is same as outside (+5C) to reduce drying time.
Then I mixed some resin- with a roller put on a thin coat on another test piece, using small sand blaster gun sprayed some baking soda, left to dry for a day. All was super- everything smooth and even, sandblasting gun with reduced pressure to 3 bar works the charm, but a disappointment when I sprayed some color today...
In the pic middle part has just enough color to cover and it is patchy. From sharpie mark to the left I oversprayed evenly- better, but still a bit patchy, on a large area it is definitely gonna be visible. From sharpie mark to the right I oversprayed anyhow with patches deliberately- total disaster...
So to summarize- it is doable, but extremely hard to get a consistent color without patches. Also on a test piece I had few spots made with sharpie before resin+soda+paint and they are visible, which means that primer is needed. In other words- it's a no go, back to original plan just can it.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 15th 2018 6:58 pm

Sorry man, I don't know what happened when I saw your pics the first time, but there was some kind of an optical illusion that made me think the piece you painted before was folded instead of masked...
Thus, I was judging your work based on the left side of the part, when that's not even what you were trying to show us.

Now that I'm seeing it correctly, it looks really good.
It's too bad it's so hard to do.

Sorry I'm an idiot... I see what you're trying to do now.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 16th 2018 2:02 am

Hehe, not enough beers, or too many? :))
Even though it failed on a larger scale I still think the idea is worth keeping for smaller pieces.
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 16th 2018 1:05 pm

Beer's will do that rofl
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 17th 2018 2:35 pm

LOL
I don't even drink! lol

So... there were no beers involved.
I kind of wish I could use that excuse though.

I agree that it would work on small stuff.
But don't listen to me... I can't even see correctly. smile
Posted By: kursed

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 18th 2018 4:04 am

Tuned in and following along on this build. Neat stuff, keep it comin'.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 19th 2018 4:38 am

@Kursed- cheers bro, welcome aboard. My build will go a bit slow as I don't have a garage and any major works doing outside my front driveway. And now it is +5C with lots of rain and wind, also this time of the year that fat red bastard drains me dry...:)

Back to my dash. After a call I found out that my local Nappa can make me any color into a spray can, except matt/flat, dammit. And that flat colors other than black is hard to come by in a can. I got one red lately for my ATV exhaust but that high temperature paint spray can cost me $25CAD, and it is completely matt, it will look dirty. I'll have chat with Lordco guys as well but not getting high hopes anymore. Also found out that flat color altogether is a bit complicated- you have to mix some sort of additive to make any color flat and it is mixed some percentage by weight or volume to make your prefered color more or less shiny. I was hoping to get few cans for my dash and all interior- doors, pillars etc, do all the work inside and leave for professionals just to fix my bodywork and spray the outside. More likely not gonna work. I have to get that paint and that additive but still can't spray anything in winter, and just for the dash probably not worth getting it and then storing till spring. So I'll finish my dash, put primer on, and it'll go back in my van till bodywork starts in warmer weather.
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 19th 2018 8:17 pm

What about painting the dash the color you want, then coating it with a matte clear?
My brother had some good results on a guitar he did that way.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 20th 2018 4:20 am

I thought about that as well, but somehow I didn't get results I wanted. I tried few cans and some leave white'ish see-through color in patches. Now that you reminded me, I'll look into this option again, cheers bro!
Posted By: kursed

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 21st 2018 3:01 am

If you can find a body shop supply nearby, they can mix your color with a flattening agent into it.

You could also try Hot Rod Flatz.

HERE
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 21st 2018 5:01 am

Originally Posted by kursed
If you can find a body shop supply nearby, they can mix your color with a flattening agent into it.

I'm a cheapskate and was hoping to get away without that:) Thanks to Rusty I revisited my plan to put matt clearcoat on the paint and hit my sweet spot. Got Krylon satin clearcoat to try and I'm happy with results- it does exactly what it says on the can and doesn't leave any white fog. And it costs ~$8 CAD a can!!! The color is Fire Red and with that satin clearcoat it turned out nearly exactly what I'm planning for my van color. Here's a test piece:

[Linked Image]

So it'll do for the dash. I might consider a bit darker/warmer red for the dash as that Fire Red is a bit screaming-in-your-face, but it will suit my molded stuff. I got this carbon and colored kevlar mix cloth for my dash parts, speakers console, door panels etc.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 21st 2018 1:28 pm

That multi-colored woven cloth is interesting. I've never seen that before.
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 22nd 2018 5:53 am

Cool.
That fabric is cool too.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 22nd 2018 7:36 pm

You can get this type of cloth in any color. Kevlar can be tinted, fiberglass- not. I don't need the strength and lightness here to use carbon/kevlar composite versus fiberglass but I like that look:) Molded carbon looks super sexy, but kevlar originally is yellow color which is not cool. The down side to kevlar is that you have to have your piece molded in to plug (or so called negative mold) as you cannot sand it after- end fibers are fluffing and it is a long painstaking process of wet sanding with fine grits.
But as I'm building RC models since I was a little kid I have a good few tricks up my sleeve so hang around, I'll start molding as soon as the weather warms up a bit.

I hope mods won't get mad about OT (it's somewhat related to composite molding:), but here's my custom molded speed record racing drone I'm building atm:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 24th 2018 6:09 am

WOOP WOOP!!! Was ist das? Das iz my 3" drop spindles:) They'll be going in shortly, more likely next weekend.

[Linked Image]

Back to my dash. Some bodywork pros can do filler in one go, I need two filler/sanding sessions. That's OK, skillz comes with practice.

[Linked Image]

First primer coat, looking good. What you don't see is that there's still some tiny holes and small bits that need to be fixed.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Astrocreep66

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 24th 2018 2:03 pm

Build a antenna that looks like a B52 wing with all those glorious jets ..you guys are too good with your hands all I can do is exhaust..lol
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 25th 2018 3:36 am

Originally Posted by Astrocreep66
all I can do is exhaust..lol

Haha, that's probably the only thing I'm afraid of touching it:)

Before final coat of primer I got my screw holes sorted. On the left existing ugly philips button heads, on the right my sunken ones that will be painted dash color. Later I'll look for hex screws as that robbie bits doesn't look that appealing either.

[Linked Image]

Before painting main dash I have to make sure my center part fits right. It was out in some parts and joining line wasn't that good either. I sanded the edges to have a snug line and pre drilled joining holes. Will countersink holes when finish cutting it and peeling that baby-warm-diarrhea-color vinyl.

[Linked Image]

Oh, BTW, Merry Xmas vanbros!
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 26th 2018 12:35 pm

Looking great.Love mine after I took the vinyl off.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 27th 2018 7:28 am

Cheers bro!

Xmas was quite productive, got most of my dash painted:)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Sanded engine cover and took me 3 coats of primer for color to be consistent. Some weird type of plastic that is a bit porous, besides that Krylon primer from a can is way too lean for my liking. I'll look for a thicker one.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Finished peeling centerpiece and cut out the hole in the middle, where my two 6x9 3way speakers with radio will sit:

[Linked Image]

Fixed a crack as well:

[Linked Image]

Where centerpiece bolts onto engine cover at the bottom there was broken holes and was covered with bigass washers. I covered them with fiberglass plates and doubled them on the inside so there'll be enough meat for countersink bolts:

[Linked Image]

And here's me starting molding my carbon/kevlar plates for lights/ignition and heater switches covers. One layer of carbon/kevlar and 3 layers of fiberglass to build up a thickness. It's drying atm, I'll have a pic of finished plate tomorrow:)

[Linked Image]
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 27th 2018 12:53 pm

Looks great and nice work you do.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 27th 2018 10:49 pm

Cheers bro, it'll keep on comin':)
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 28th 2018 2:13 am

Look at that, shiny like cat's ba...Stuff like this is better than porn for me:) There are few little bubbles from air pockets but no big deal, clearcoat will get rid of them. I'll have same molded inside door panels and speakers centerpiece, eventually:)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 31st 2018 12:59 am

Before I put my dash back in, few things to do as it'll make it easier later. In speaker hole I put my GPS sensor for my digital gauge, routed and tucked it's wire to gauge area for later.

[Linked Image]

I won't be using heater part towards the back of the van so I chopped it, blocked the hole, and it is good for mounting my car alarm system:

[Linked Image]

My rear view cameras will be outside the doors and for them not to fog/freeze I need some little heating. There's always air blowing to the windshield so from there I drilled holes and siliconed in pieces of tube. Drilled holes in the frame and left the tubes tucked in the dash for when there's time for cameras.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I was supposed to put clear clearcoat on molded pieces for them to be mirror-shine, but after a test of satin clearcoat I decided it looks better this way. It is non reflective but still gets that carbon shine-through-depth look. Bolted with small bronze screws, which are holding heater switch system as well. I have an idea for it's switch knobs, be patient and you'll find out shortly:) Ignition and engine start buttons are not hooked on yet,

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Where centerpiece bolts to main dash, one corner cracked at a screw. Dammit...:( I'll leave it for now, will fix that with my next painting session.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Now I can start my gauge area as I have everything for it already- digital gauge, screens and airbag monitor. My 6x9 3way speakers are on the way, radio is here, so next step will be to finish centerpiece area so I can finally start blasting some 90's punk rock/grunge, hehe...
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 31st 2018 1:05 pm

Nice work and you have been busy!
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - December 31st 2018 7:15 pm

Thanks bud! Few days off due to holidays is my chance to boost up the build, it'll slow down again a bit.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 04th 2019 4:03 am

My glove box latch broke, the spring of it. The hole thing cost only $15 but do I buy it? No, I make my own spring:)

[Linked Image]
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 04th 2019 4:16 am

I cut out my gauge area on the dash part that will be screwed on later:

[Linked Image]

Airbag monitor/controller doesn't suit me as it is too long so made my own frame for it from fiberglass plates. I doubled in some areas for the screen with buttons to fit correctly and for switches to clickn in more snug. That gives me less flex as well, and enough meat to hide my bolts under carbon/kevlar finish later. Second pic has original frame on the right.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 04th 2019 12:32 pm

Awesome!
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 04th 2019 2:25 pm

That looks great.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 07th 2019 7:33 am

Thanks lads!
A while ago I mentioned that my horn button doesn't fit in my steering wheel and I need a ~15mm spacer. Thought I do smth different than just a block so made one from fiberglass and carbon fiber tubes:

[Linked Image]

As long as I had my wheel off, I painted it as well. It is the most touched/rubbed thing so I put 3 thick coats of satin clearcoat between drying each. Had a piece of my carbon/kevlar plate left, it covered my horn button:)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I know I know, my steering column covers look rough. I'll sort that out once I'm changing my gearshift lever.
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 11th 2019 8:23 pm

Dude, that spacer is awesome!

Edit: And the wheel looks good too!
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 11th 2019 9:00 pm

Sweet!
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 15th 2019 3:42 am

Thanks lads, appreciate the feedback. I'm so pumped about my van that I'm dreaming about it and wake up with a cheeky smile on my face coz I've just had another mad idea:) And I'm full of them! It's just to make them reality I need time and some $$$...

So here's another thing i've done that I was waiting for ages, I got my drop spindles in!!!
Apparently my 92' G20 is some sort of transition model and besides that there's no lowering kits for G20. Plenty stuff for G10, G30, but nothing for G20, and in particular year 92'. So my brother in law (he's my mechanic for more complicated things that just DIY) found out that spindles are the same as 87' Suburban. Then we had to find a dealer that ships to Canada and can do returns in case they won't fit. Then I had to wait for weekend where I don't have to go to work and he has some space for my van. I wanted 3in drop spindles but beggars can't be choosers so I got whatever was available- 2in ones. And after we put them in I was thanking my luck coz with 3in I had to have my brake hoses replaced to longer ones. Due to higher wheel position brake caliper position is moved down a bit on drop spindles, therefore when I turned the wheels fully I had just just about enough of brake hose length.
On the same note I changed my upper and lower ball joints and brake pads. As I was doing everything myself (under supervision of proper mechanic:) it took us a bit too long and we didn't have enough time to lower rear end. Next time we'll cut 1/4ish turn of front springs to lower another inch or so and take out one leaf spring to sag the back a bit. After that another lowering session will be airbags:)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

P.S. My summer tires are 2in less in diameter so when snowboarding season is over I'll have another inch of drop.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 16th 2019 7:03 am

Full swing at my dash again. Cut my gauge area from double fiberglass plates, 3.2mm overall thickness. Marked where my gear will sit and cut a rim on which my gauge plate will be bolted. I'll be stretching a material on my dash part (same way speaker boxes are made) so I screwed that rim on to a plate for stiffness. I put some tape on that plate first for resin not to stick to it, it will be removed once I'm finished with material and layers of fiberglass. This way I'll have an exact size rim for my gauge plate to bolt on.

[Linked Image]

Before cutting plates I took my screens apart. I don't need that plastic frame around and menu buttons were at the back. I need them at the front for brightness etc.

[Linked Image]

All those holes are for sinking M2 bolts for mounting the gear and mounting the plate to dash part. They will be covered by carbon kevlar later. More holes for 3mm LEDs for my dash lights.

[Linked Image]

I'll be sinking my gauge plate approx 4 inches deep from the front of my dash part, at least that's the plan so far. I'll do some brainstorming in the van later when I see how much space I have there. It'' look smth like this:

[Linked Image]

And of course I couldn't resist to power everything up to check and hooked on one of my racing drone cameras to check the screens:) Each side of the screen are their menu buttons, green LEDs for indicators, from the gauge bottom right white LED for engine warning (didn't have yellow and generally it is not coming on often:) and beside it there's a square hole for gauge's button to zero ODO and for setting the gauge. Bottom left red LED for e-brake warning and right beside it blue one for high beams. They look bright enough in the picture due to camera, but not as bad to the eye. Of course if you point them directly to your eyes they will be blinding, they're LEDs, but my gauge plate won't be pointing square to my face so it should be fine, besides that they are not lit all the time when you driving. But I'll check them once in the van in the dark and daylight, I might have to dim them somehow.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 16th 2019 1:10 pm

Nice!
Posted By: tuner4life

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 16th 2019 1:17 pm

Alright, that is really cool!!!
Posted By: Uncle_Fester

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 17th 2019 3:01 am

Just read all of this so far, and all I can say is....DAMN DUDE ! You do great work and I can not wait to see more !
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 17th 2019 3:46 am

Thanks lads!
@ Uncle Fester- welcome to my show:)
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - January 24th 2019 9:16 pm

That's super cool, man!
Posted By: heavyman

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - February 01st 2019 2:28 pm

Damn there is some cool ideas going on here. 🤗
Posted By: lukester

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - February 03rd 2019 3:55 am

Very nice.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 11th 2019 6:54 am

Been a while since I worked on my van. Been busy at work, shitty weather, bla bla bla and the rest of them lousy excuses...:))
Back again at my dash. On a piece of mirror I layed one layer of carbon/kevlar cloth soaked in resin and pressed my fiberglass pieces on:

[Linked Image]

After drying cut out and sanded my pieces:

[Linked Image]

Before glueing on LEDs I sanded them down to shorten them, colored with black sharpie, glued them in with resin and sanded flush. For them not to shine through fiberglass I put some black nail varnish at the back. Once that done only then I could put some clear satin clearcoat on to finish my pieces. I did this way because I want for LEDs to be invisible. Black sharpie makes them blend with carbon/kevlar cloth yet does not block the light when lit. If you look very closely in second pic you'll spot where they are (besides one lit indicator for test, doh...:), but from driver's seat to dash distance there's no way to tell where are they are until they lit. Here's my dash parts assembled for good

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 11th 2019 7:24 am

Let's put more boogie in the van!!! I lowered it again:)
I put my summer wheels on which are 2 inch less in diameter (17s with low profile tires vs original 15s) and that dropped 1 inch. Cut one full turn of each coil and dropped around 2 inches. Now between 2 inch drop spindles, lower wheels and cut coils I have a total of ~5 inch drop at the front, he he:)) The back is coming next as it is only 1 inch drop due to wheels. I will take out 2 leaf springs- one overload that does nothing and next short one, what will be 1 inch drop plus that extra little sag due to weaker leafs. And I can drill another hole in a bracket where front part of leaf springs mounts, approx 3-4 inches higher, what will totally raise my axle by ~3 extra inches. I'd like to milk another inch somewhere for the van to sit level but I can't mechanically without frame mods like C-cut. So my rear will drop ~3 inches and will be ~1 inch higher than my front, that'll be good enough for me until there's time for air bags:)
I officially no longer can drive through speed bumps diagonally. Between the road and my lower A-arm I have 2 inches and a c*nt hair:))

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Now I need a set of nice alloys... I'm pretty sure my evil financial adviser that I'm married to will kill me for that anyway, but still- does it hurt less when you ask for permission or forgiveness? LOL
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 11th 2019 12:21 pm

Looking good ! boy that is low lol
Posted By: lukester

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 11th 2019 1:11 pm

Sweet...
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 12th 2019 2:42 am

Hehe, the lower I go the more she likes it:) But that's not about the van, she calls it quote[ green money draining piece of sh@# ]. I'm trying to calm her saying that after $20K worth of mods later it will be flat red, but it makes only worse. Dunno what I'm doing wrong, she likes color red... LOL
Posted By: tuner4life

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 12th 2019 12:57 pm

Haha! Good luck, I've found it to be best if the $ is not discussed while building a vehicle of any sort.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 13th 2019 2:09 am

Oh brother, I will need all the luck now, I've just ordered a set of these babies:) They're 17x9, with 0 offset. Measured 4.5 inches from the hub tires will be a wee bit less than an inch from fenders at the front and to bring the back out I'll need approx half an inch spacers for the rear. We'll see when I'll have them on, I might need a divorce lawyer first... LOL

[Linked Image]
Posted By: lyledriver

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 13th 2019 10:15 pm

Your G20 looks sweet.
The bumper mod is interesting. I was just drawing some lines on mine outside the brackets to chop and weld to take out 4" total, without messing with the bracket holes.
How did you remount yours after smoothing? are just a couple brackets welded to the backside now?
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 14th 2019 3:33 am

Thanks bro!
My both bumpers are held just by two main brackets, no corner ones left anymore. To mount/unmount I have to go underneath the van to unbolt them and bumpers just sliding out. First pics on page one of this thread basically says it all. Once I finish lowering and have my ride height I want I'll get rid of therm bumpers and make my own lightweight ones from fiberglass.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 25th 2019 4:56 am

Oh, I was busy this weekend, did loads on my van:)

Got my new wheels and before putting them on I grinded a bit of lower A-arms. Common problem of knocking wheel weights with drop spindles in.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

That helped a lot, but didn't eliminate the problem so on tmy drop spindles I welded 10mm spacer to limit my steering endpoints a wee bit. My best guess it limited only by one or two degrees as it is barely noticeable when driving.

[Linked Image]

Tires are 205/50 R17 stretched on 9" wide 0 offset rims. Now the van looks and sits exactly the way I was imagining, minus the back which still waiting for the drop:)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I was waiting to swap my driver's seat until I finish with my steering wheel and I glad that I did. If I make it non adjustable forward/back then either backrest was hitting steering wheel while swiveling or I couldn't reach pedals. So I had to weld 2 sets of seat sliders criss cross for the seat to be adjustable 4 ways. Forward/back for distance to the pedals and to clear steering wheel while swiveling, and left/right to clear door pillar while swiveling.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - March 25th 2019 7:12 am

Forgot to mention smth about the wheels. New rims are 9" width and outside of the rim at the front is deal plum with the outside of my fender. Even when I have nearly an inch from the top of the tire to the bottom of the fender I'm afraid that when hit a bigger bump on the road my fender might touch the tire, especially when wheels are turned a bit. So I cut a bit from the inside of my front fenders:

[Linked Image]

Measured my stance and front is 1 inch wider than my back, half an inch on each side. At the back I have nearly an inch from each tire to back fender plum. I thought I'll get half an inch spacers for the back for the stance to be the same as the front but couldn't source out half inch longer wheel studs. I actually did, but paying $10 for a stud is a bit meh... So I ordered 1 inch wheel spacers for the back for 60 bucks including studs. Now my stance will be one inch wider at the back than the front. I'm not entirely sure whether I'll like it yet, we'll see when I'll get them in the post and put them on.

And once again back on my dash, not the last time anyway:)
To my front section I glued carbon rod pins. Front section will sit in the pins to align and will be screw on top to main dash.

[Linked Image]

I ripped the tights of my wife... ehm, you don't need to know whole 2 minutes of saucy details, all you need to know is that this material is perfect for resin molding like speaker boxes etc:) I glued the edges with CA, made cross supports and tacked with hot glue. Then pushed in fiberglass pieces nearly 4 inches in (this depth kinda looks more appealing to me personally) and tacked again with hot glue.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Once that was done I soaked material in resin, taped it in main dash and had to drive my van like this for 2 days. I couldn't do the piece out of main dash because it is flimsy and deforming due to stretch, it just had to be where it sits until resin sets. And my resin sets fully after 48 hours.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 05th 2019 6:15 am

While dash is waiting for smth else I can do my grill mods.
I inverted center bracket and welded extra piece at the bottom. I need it to be closer to my radiator to have space wanted for the grill:

[Linked Image]

Then I made some fiberglass and carbon/kevlar plate:

[Linked Image]

Cut out one section at the time and using 5min epoxy started glueing 2.5in fiberglass strips:

[Linked Image]

When all was done I put the grill back in the van and glued thin MDF supports using hot glue. This way it will not deform for the next step:

[Linked Image]

I bent pieces of wire (they will hold my mesh), glued them on and with resin glued extra strip of carbon/kevlar cloth. It will hold my wire in place and will further connect fiberglass strip to plastic grill:

[Linked Image]

While supports were still in I sprayed around some low expanding foam. It will give some rigidity to fiberglass plates for sanding:

[Linked Image]

Only then supports could come out and filler/sanding sessions could start:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Sprayed few coats of primer, cut my honeycomb mesh and secured in place using wire pieces:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Using wire system now I can take my mesh out when the van rolls into spray booth, whenever that's happening....
I won't put my grill back in till after this weekend as there's more cutting to do on the van but hold your breath, it won't be long:)
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 05th 2019 6:36 am

Originally my van had wider stance at the front than the rear. Measured between front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, front was wider by 1 inch, half an inch each side. And that was like that when I got it, even before drop spindles went in. Dunno why is that so, but is was annoying me visually. With my new wheels front tires are plum with front fenders and at the rear I had nearly an inch to go each side to be the same looks as the front. I thought I'll put half an inch spacers for the stance to be the same as the front but didn't want to pay 10 bucks per stud plus spacers so I found a pair of 1 inch spacers for 60 bucks with studs pressed in and lugnuts included:

[Linked Image]

And I'm glad than I went for 1 inch spacers rather than half an inch. I think it looks better this way coz now rear wheels are plum to rear fenders, same as my front:)
Pics before and after:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 05th 2019 6:43 am

One more picture. That back needs to be lowered ASAP... can't find a weekend that I'm not working, but it'll happen, soon... :))

[Linked Image]
Posted By: tuner4life

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 05th 2019 12:00 pm

Jeez you are good at custom fabrication! The dash and now the grille both look great!

I know you just bought new wheels, but, might I suggest replacing the backs with some that are the correct backspacing/width.. Those spacers scare me (And that is coming from a tuner guy). These vans are too heavy for spacers imo. Plus you could fit a much wider wheel/tire combo back there ;)
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 07th 2019 1:08 am

Cheers bro! I kinda feel your fear/discomfort about them spacers, I'm a bit like that as well, they don't look that trustworthy to me either. I would feel more secure with longer studs.
When I was looking for my wheels I was hoping to find same wheels with two width measurements to have wider at the back and not to have spacers, but when I saw these it was love at first sight and for $152CAD I got married instantly:) Unfortunately they come only in 9" width. The van is heavy indeed, but it will become lighter eventually. Not much, but still. I'll make fiberglass gullwing rear and side barn doors, make fiberglass front and rear bumpers and probably my hood as well. Roof will get 25 polycarbonate windows and carbon/kevlar interior door panels. My best guess when I finish my mods it'll lose nearly half a ton, like a good ass of a wife that was sent to the gym :))
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 11th 2019 3:11 am

Before putting my grill back on I sprayed satin black all that goes behind it, including radiator:

[Linked Image]

And there it is:)

[Linked Image]
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 11th 2019 11:49 am

Looks nice! Good job.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 21st 2019 11:07 pm

Cheers!

Now, before we continue I'd like to explain myself on smth:) It might be annoying to watch my progress when I'm jumping from one to another thing, coming back to finish earlier bits, jumping far ahead and going back again. I have few reasons for that. Main reason is that my van is my daily driver and some parts takes days to finish. I'm working long hours and after work I can do only a small thing or two, just not worth to take a welder out or smth like that. I don't have a garage and working on my van outside at my driveway, therefore working till late would make me a bad noisy neighbour. I'm not banging millionaire's daughter so each part for my van has to wait for my wages check and while I'm waiting I'm doing smth else.
Before I start building smth I already have a 3D image of complete thing spinning in my head with broken down list of all the pieces and A to Z steps so be patient plz, everything will come into places, eventually:)

If we cool with that, then let's get back to my dash again. Yet again, not the last time... LOL

After resin on stretched material was set I put 2 layers of fiberglass on the inside:

[Linked Image]

Then I could take out MDF supports, it will not warp anymore:

[Linked Image]

Before going any further I had to test fit my electronics and test fit the piece in my van to make sure there was no warp. With tiny adjustments all is good:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Biggest headwreck was filler/sanding session, damn... Couldn't use any power tools, all manually by hand, and had to take extra time to make it perfect as this is the piece I'll be staring at all the time when driving.

[Linked Image]

Sprayed some color, clear satin, put it together, installed in the van to admire my work and took it out again:) Before it goes in permanently I have to make a female plug connector to suit existing one for original dash and wire it as much as as my knowledge allows it. It will be finished wiring when I go to my brother in-laws who is a proper mechanic. And I'll go there when I have my car alarm installed so we can do it all in one day. Few more pics before it went out:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 21st 2019 11:34 pm

When I have a full day off to myself at a weekend I can boost up my bodywork.
Before I start my gullwing doors I have to cut that ugly rain gutter so let's start there. Also I have to weld and fix panels around my windshield so it make sense to prepare front gutter before I do that. Just in case I'll be stuck with windshield.
After cutting front gutter off I ended up with top roof panel tapered therefore too thin to butt-weld it. I never did that before, also welding body panels is kinda new to me. I had to put a half an inch strip to join two panels together at the front. Sides were fine as I was more careful on cutting and sanding... Ran out of gas for my MIG and nowhere to get it on Easter weekend I ended up using flux core which is much more messy. And that combined with my yet to be perfected welding skillz will require some filler and sanding session. Here's the start of it and and half cut van, I could do only half the van in a day and a half. Now that I know what to do the rest will go faster:)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: tuner4life

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 22nd 2019 11:55 am

We don't mind at all! That dash is still the coolest thing! It turned out great!

Also you are a madman doing significant bodywork like shaving the gutters while daily driving this! You're nuts! haha!
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 23rd 2019 1:38 am

Originally Posted by tuner4life
You're nuts! haha!

Aww... what a compliment! A virtual hug? :))
Yep, cutting gutters and driving bit me already. I should have checked the weather first for the next few days or do an smaller section and finish it completely. Now there's only first filler session with some gaps and not siliconed around my windshield. All doors has worn rubber seal as well. No point changing them now as I'll be making rear and side gullwing doors and front ones will get suicide door hidden hinges. And it was raining all night and all day so let's say I had some "extra" drips in my interior...
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 23rd 2019 11:17 am

Dash is definitely a nice job. Great work.
Posted By: DontComeKnocken

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 24th 2019 1:53 am

Nice build! The bumpers look awesome and the interior is coming out sweet. Love the red I have a similar color throughout mine. You have some balls driving that low! Very cool
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 24th 2019 3:43 am

Cheers lads, appreciate the heads up!
People say the older you get, the lower your balls drop:) My front is already roughly my riding height I was looking for. I'd like to drop another good half an inch but it would be illegal due to my lower A-arms. In British Columbia regulations say that lowest part of your vehicle cannot be lower than the bottom of your rims. My tires are ~2 inch and I have around 2 and a half inch from the ground to lower A-arms. From the ground to chassis' crossmember I have ~3 1/2 inches, smth around that from the top of the tire to wheel wells inside my fenders. So when airbags goes in next year I can drop my front fully on the floor without major mods. I'm waiting for my brother-in law to help my lower the back, that's coming shortly. I'll take one overload and next smallest leaf spring and that will drop ~1 inch in leaf thickness plus whatever extra sag I will have due to weakened leaf springs. And where leafs are bolted at their front I can drill another mounting hole in the bracket around 3 inches higher what will raise my axle by another inch and a half. Altogether my back will drop ~2 1/2 inches and that's not even close to what I want LOL. My front has dropped ~5 inches for final riding height so I want to drop my back 4-5 inches for it to be just a tad above level compared to the front. But here's a problem for me to solve- atm from my axle to the frame there's only ~3 1/2 inches and after 2 1/2 rear drop I'll have only 1 inch of suspension travel. And that's not even to a rubber stopper on the frame, that's metal to metal... Then we can revisit our chat about low balls LOL
So I ain't gonna have my back as low as I want to for some time plus future airbags for rear end wouldn't make any sense. I need a C-cut on my frame before airbags... Now I go get some beer and go brainstorming how can I make that happen on the van that I'm driving every single day:)
Posted By: Gnarlyfoot

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 24th 2019 4:15 am

Well, LOW balls would be better than NO balls I reckon. 😂
Posted By: relaxedvanner

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - April 30th 2019 8:32 am

Bring that bad boy out to Vantopia at Equity Alberta at the first weekend in may-june. Would love to see it.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 05th 2019 12:40 am

Man, I'd love to but it is a bad time for me... Besides the long trip I'm so busy at work that I can't take any days off and after 10-11 hour day I can't do much on the van either. Today with big hangover I took my windshield out and started welding around perimeter. I have to finish it till Sunday evening as Monday SpeedyGlass guys are coming to install new windshield. I need at least 36 hours in a day...
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 13th 2019 3:48 am

Finished cutting my rain gutters. Still need some filler but that's coming later.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

In the process I manage to feckup my driver's door window.... I guess I didn't tape it properly and welding splatter went under frown

[Linked Image]

As I mentioned my windshield was leaking due to rust around the perimeter so it's time to get that sorted. I cut external rubber trim and got pretty scarred what I'll find underneath,

[Linked Image]

but to my surprise there was only few rust-through holes and the rest was just a surface rust that was easily cleaned:

[Linked Image]

After weekend's worth of work SpeedyGlass guys came on Monday and installed my new windshield. I painted pillars and front dash part before the windshield went in as later there's no chance I can do that.

[Linked Image]

As a part of my minimalistic looks I asked them not to put that fugly outside rubber trim so they put a universal small trim instead that I think it looks gazillion times better. There's the difference between them two:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Two thin long holes under my grill are annoying me visually, so I welded them shut. They don't do much for radiator so airflow restriction is so minimal that it won't be noticeable in engine cooling, especially when I have extra airflow due to my grill mods.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: DontComeKnocken

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 13th 2019 3:59 am

Nice job on the windshield frame repair. Looks good as new
Posted By: kursed

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 13th 2019 9:46 am

100% agree on the windshield rubber looking better than the original. Front end is looking awesome as well. I'm going to have to do the same on my windshield channel, not looking forward to that task at all.
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 13th 2019 11:00 am

Nice work. I got the same windshield problem.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 25th 2019 5:23 am

Did my tail light mods last weekend.
Here's the original that I didn't like:

[Linked Image]

So I got a pair of LED tail lights from 07' Jeep Wrangler and trimmed them a bit to have flat surface. Left one is trimmed:

[Linked Image]

I didn't want them to be screwed on from the outside so I epoxied bolts in the lights, filled the holes and put primer around so they can be bolted on from the inside.

[Linked Image]

I cut existing lights' pockets, welded a piece of sheet flush and cut the right size holes.

[Linked Image]

And there we have it:) Also I put a small temporary LED side marker at the bottom coz I'll be cutting out and welding flush existing side markers. Regulations say that I have to have reflector side markers so I'll be integrating old ones into my future fiberglass bumpers after body panels are replaced.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Juntao_DW

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 25th 2019 11:28 am

Looks good tail lights look super nice, they turned out great
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 27th 2019 2:28 am

Cheers bro!
I want to move my windshield wipers to the top so they can be hidden under visor cap (or whatever you call it:) and when I mold my hood so it will be one piece and covering wiper section. Before I do that I had to move my windshield washer can to the left. On my fiberglass hood there will be air intake scoop going inwards so windshield washer can will be not in the way. I'm not making my hood yet but to hook on washer fluid the can had to be moved anyway so I don't do things twice.

[Linked Image]

Next I had to draw a super detailed and well engineered wiper geometry plan:)

[Linked Image]

Cut the holes, bolted wiper motors in, sealed, as well as the tubes for washer fluid.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

These are stand-alone boat motors that are swinging 110 deg and coming back/stop at the same position and all looked awesome until I finished my work. When all was done only then it hit me- what if they swing in wrong direction??? And when I powered them up- of course they do, damn it!!! They were supposed to be bolted towards the center and swing the other way... In that case my motors' "stop at the same position" feature goes out the window. I couldn't figure it out connection either. On them motors there's 3 wires- pos, neg and signal. And on original wiper motor there's 5- 1neg and others are pos or signal. I came to a dead end and just powered them so they are either on or off and for them to stop at the top I have to switch off my switch a certain position:) It is inconvenient but I do not want my wipers to swing the other way. The way they are now I'll get the most cleaned area once I'll get my longer wiper blades.
Also wiper motors inside the van sticking down past the top of the windshield. They will be covered by overhead console, but I'll have to sacrifice around 2 inches of windshield at the top. From the outside visor cap will definitely cover them 2 inches so on the inside I'll button up my overhead console right to the windshield.
In other words all this turned out not the way I planned and imagined but there's nothing I can't re-think so no big deal here. It will be covered by visor cap anyway, smth like this:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 27th 2019 11:15 am

Awesome work !
Posted By: lukester

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 27th 2019 11:20 am

Excellent work. So much wicked cool stuff going on here.
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - May 28th 2019 2:17 am

Thanks guys, appreciate the heads up!
Now a bit of rant... Some young guys at automotive shops lack of common sense. I went to pick up washer fluid tube and one guy just couldn't figure it out how to help me. As my wipers are at the top now I need close to 10ft of tubing to route from my canister to the wipers. Home Depot plumbing stuff won't do coz it'll crack in winter and I needed a rubber tube sold by a foot or similar length roll. I asked a guy where to look for it and he was like a broken record keep on asking me for make/model/year and was saying that without it he can't help. Like a feckin old Windows- throws "error" and that's it, no way around. Power down and looking at me like a goat to new gates... Jeez, it's just a tube, it cannot be more simple than that! Lost my patience playing chess with a pigeon (they just knock down chess pieces off the board and walk around with the head held high:) and it took me less time to scout through the whole shop to find what I was looking for, than trying to explain him that any rubber tube will do me. Maybe he would be better selling condoms in a drug store where people are too shy to ask for inner diameter of the rubber...LOL
Posted By: RoboforcerX2000

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - June 02nd 2019 3:58 am

Finally got a chance to lower my back. I took one overload leaf spring and next shortest one.

[Linked Image]

As you can see from the pic I didn't do it the right way by disassembling whole leaf system. Bushing mount bolts were rust-seized and wasn't coming out at all. It stripped the rubber and started spin around with their retaining tube inside. I just couldn't hammer them out. So I just cut that second leaf leaving it's ends on existing leafs for alignment. I was planning to drill another hole in a mount, 3 inches higher to raise my front bushing so I can get that extra inch an a half lower but it didn't happen as I couldn't get them bolts out.
Two leafs were nearly an inch combined and with some sag from weaker rest of the leafs my back dropped 2 and a quarter inches. I needed that extra inch a half down but it is what it is. If I want to make that changes I have to get another bushings and bolts as old ones would have to be cut, front and rear as new ones would have to be pressed in. In other words it's not worth coz later there will be 4-link suspension with airbags and leafs will end up as scrap metal anyway.
She sits much nicer now anyway, and the ride is much smoother as well. I'll get another picture when it's level later.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: kursed

Re: Robo's Lowrider Boogie Van - June 02nd 2019 1:59 pm

Lookin bitchin' man! Keep knocking it out.
© 2019 Vannin' Community and Forums