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Old 06-05-13, 08:12
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T4 Post Icon Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Hi all,

As I have been gathering information these last couple of years, after having purchased my second T4, I thought I had better start a build thread as some of this information may be invaluable to some. My experiences, good and bad ( and screw-ups ) will also be included. Some may learn from my mistakes. I apologise in advance for some of my ramblings, and the many many pictures.

A quick explanation .... I had at the time a 1.9D, great runner, solid, but no 'oompth' if you know what I mean.
That was about the time I joined this great Forum. And become part of something that would take over my life ........ for the better I may add

After reading just about everything I could get my hands on, I quickly realised ( and it made great sense to me ) that the 2.5 Turbo Diesel 5 cylinder was the one for me. So my search begin. As I'm in Jersey in the Channel Islands this could be difficult. But I was prepared to travel for the right vehicle. So I carried on plodding around Jersey in my 1.9D with my head full of ideas, and a stack of money waiting to be spent !

Then one fine day ....... I saw her !

I made contact with the seller, and agreed to view the van that evening after work. He wanted waaaaayyyyyy too much cash for her. So I told him I'd sleep on it. SLEEP ....... not on your life. I didn't get any sleep as I was so afraid that he would sell her the following day. So the following day I went for another viewing and we went for a spin. I was smitten the difference was amazing. It didn't even drive like a van, these are comparable to some fine cars.

So the haggling began ...... it went on for a while ( as you do ) he just wouldn't budge ........ then I flashed the cash ! never fails that one

The price and terms were agreed, I was now the proud owner of a SWB 2003 2.5TDi 88BHP factory standard ( but we can always do something about that later ...... as I'd learned from reading posts on this forum ).



Here's what she looked like when I first went to view her the first evening >>




And a couple of days later after all the red tape had been taken care of. Parked up next to my 1.9D >>




The interior pretty much the same dull boring grey as my 1.9D. First thing I got to do is get rid of the awful steering wheel >>




A few days driving around around in 'Lulu', a well suited name I thought. I had a smile from ear to ear. Most of my mates and work colleagues agreed she was a beauty ...... but why the 'wallpaper' !? Seeing the picture again, reminds me of why they used to say that.
And besides, flowers are for girls ! >>




Looking inside told me I had a lot of work to do >>




I didn't rate his woodworking skills too much, but as a surfer, I know he would probably prefer to hit the waves. So it would all have to come out >>




The all important 2.5TDi - all in great shape, no records of anything though ! ...... why are people so bad at keeping records !?
It's good practise to type a purchase agreement, I've been doing this for years with second hand cars and motorbikes. If they refuse to sign it, they may have something to hide ....... just walk away. >>




She also came with some very posh 18" alloys ..... Porsche I was told at the time ...... later found out they're not >>




First phase of the operation was to swap out all my recent purchases from my 1.9D, my creature comforts such as bucket seats, Momo sports steering wheel, the DRL type headlights I would do that another time. I was like a proud dad that particular day with my two siblings >>




In order for my Momo steering wheel and boss to function correctly ( ie, indicator canceling ), I cut a piece off an aluminium pipe and glued it onto the original indicator canceling tab that was too short. >>




This close up shows the indicator canceling tab in the OFF position ( the little white tab to the right ) >>




This close up shows the tab sticking out ( indicator ON ) so when you straighten the steering wheel back up, the tab on the steering boss makes contact with that, and cancels your indicator, pretty straight forward really. >>




And the extended canceling tab on the steering wheel boss >>




As I had the intension of installing some electrics in my doors, I wasn't going to leave my door belows behind ..... not at 15 quid a piece ! >>




The smaller of the two ends goes between the two body panels, and come out underneath where the fuse box is located >>




Then the fatter end 'plugs' into the door. >>




My bucket seats in, and most of the 'fire wood' removed. >>




I dread to think what I could find behind those panels ! >>




Well, she's insulated ...... it's that horrid stuff they used to use in the building game. You don't want to be breathing this stuff in, or even let it make contact with your skin. Nothing worse than fiberglass dust in your lungs ! >>




After donning my breathing mask, I continued the demolition ( quite satisfying actually ). Well, this stuff was all over the place.
Must of been warm as toast in here ! >>




Behind all the loft insulation I found some ply panels glued to the metal van panels ! >>




Bit more cleaning up, and checking for rust. >>




And yet more of that god damn insulation in the roof. >>




He wasn't shy in using glue either by the looks of things >>




OK, that's just about everything out, Bit more cleaning and close inspection of various body panels, and I can start thinking about my personal build >>








TURK

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Quad Headlight Project & in the Classifieds Section
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  #2  
Old 06-05-13, 09:38
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Default Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Great start ..sweet looking van are you keeping the flowers
Nice clean canvas in the back to start fresh

Last edited by hugabug; 06-05-13 at 09:39. Reason: Oops
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Old 06-05-13, 11:44
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T4 Post Icon Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Hi mate,

Flowers are already gone ...... too many people said it looked like wallpaper !
So I removed the vinyl, shame really, the previous owner had done a good job of it, as he's a sign writer. Not so good at carpentry or auto electrics however !

It was a few weeks before I could get it to a 'blank canvas'. Apart from the makeshift furniture, it's immaculate. A good rule of thumb when buying a second hand T4, is to buy from an enthusiast such as was the previous owner. You can bet that it will have been looked after. Buy from an ex builder ....... and that's exactly what you'll get ..... a builders van, requiring a lot of money to put right.

Same as buying a house I suppose ..... we all want to put our own mark on it. I already had a definite plan as to what I wanted to do with it. I think the first step of any conversion, is the decision of how you're going to use the van. I'm not planning on spending too much time on campsites, or weeks on end wild camping, so a 'day van' or 'weekender' is what I'm aiming for.

But I do like my creature comforts

So loads of gizmo's going in. I'm going for a clean understated but functional interior.




TURK

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  #4  
Old 06-05-13, 13:39
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T4 Post Icon Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Hi all,

I have many more pictures to upload, so I will try and do this in chapters as it were.

As mentioned in my previous post my goal is for a 'weekend' van, so no 240 volt, no gas cooker, no kitchen sink. In fact, cooking inside any vehicle will only multiply the condensation problem ten fold. Any cooking will be done from the rear of the van under the tailgate. As I intend to design a sliding 'kitchenette' from under the rear seats.

Two Audio systems to be run off leisure battery ( front & rear ).
Amp running rear system ( powered from leisure battery ).
13 speakers in all ( including sub ).
Battery condition via digital volt meters.
Still trying to work out whether it's feasible to install an Amp meter for leisure battery.
LED's in doors to illuminate door handles at night.
Door open warning LED' in doors.
Security alarm with proximity sensors.
Rear view camera ( that will double up as rear view mirror ) as I'm going to build a bulkhead to incorporate all the electrics.
Monitor for rear view camera & rear view mirror.
All lighting in rear will be LED's, second lighting system will be 'mood lighting'.
Large 12v flat screen television.
Multi media system run off Raspberry Pi with solid state drive as storage. - Movies - MP3's - may look at GPS at a later date.

As we all know, space is at a premium in T4's, particularly the short wheel base. This can be done, if the space is used intelligently. With all those gadgets, gizmo's, knobs and switches to install, designing a roof console to accommodate most of those electrics, now sounds like a good idea. As you will run out of space on the dash very quickly.


So for my first project, I have to mark out the position of the roof console. In my book, much more practical than a sunroof. You want fresh air .....
wind the window down

I need to get the dimensions of the roof console, so I can make a mock-up of it in cardboard.
I'll set that aside as my evening project. >>




During daylight hours I'll consentrate on the van interior. Everything cleaned up real well. Well pleased, not rust at all >>




As my bulkhead will sit on top of the floor, I've got to get the floor in first. So I used the original floor boards the previous owner had, as a template. As I won't be using 25mm ply, I'll be using 12mm ply. An important thing to consider when doing a conversion of any type, is the amount of weight you're going to add to your vehicle. Keep everything as light as possible, without losing the rigidity of the furniture fittings. As an example, by using 12mm ply for the flooring, I gained in the region of 20 kilos ! Every bit you save, will make a big difference in the end. Too much weight gained, and your performance and fuel economy will suffer.

Before I began installing anything, I took Lulu to the local dump as they have a weigh bridge there. Totally gutted out, a full tank of fuel plus spare wheel and me = 1,653 Kilos

It'll be interesting to see what she weighs when I'm finished.

So here's the first board cut to size. I had no option than to go right across, Joining the two section floor would be awkward.
As there's bound to be some flex, and I don't have a biscuit joiner >>




As I was cutting wood with my plunge cutter using a straight edge, I took the opportunity to prepare some slats that I would use as ribs for my bulkhead >>




OK, both fit like a glove. See what I mean by the join in the middle. Ordering a larger sheet of ply in Jersey wasn't an option unfortunately. If you can, do it in one sheet. >>




I measured slightly larger, so when it came to fitting the floorboards. I would push down firmly. No screws or glue needed. But first I have to insulate >>




Here's what I'm going to use, it's a wool and fiber mixture that upholsterers use. I'm not suggesting you rush out and buy this, but this is the way I chose to do it, only time will tell if it works. Some of you will say it'll soak up moisture like a sponge. You may be right, but my way of thinking, condensation will cause the moisture. But if it's 'aired' and is allowed to breath, there won't be any condensation ....... in theory >>




I'll be creating a sandwich with laminate flooring underlay, great for sound proofing >>




OK, so I got the first section down >>




Final section going in >>




Entire floor done, now I can lay down my ply flooring I prepared earlier >>




Now I got my floor in, I can measure up for the ribs that will make up the bulkhead. I also put both my seats back in, and fully adjusted right back. I can now see the curvature behind the seats. I can't go back any further as I'm already obstructing the sliding door entry. but I have a cunning plan ! >>




Viewed from the back of the van, I can now see where the compartment door will be, not very wide ! ....... but nether am I

You will have noticed that I moved the rib forward by 8cm to be on the safe side, and there's still quite a bit of travel on the seats. >>




My other project 'The roof console' had been coming along just great, so I installed that on a temporary basis. As it has to but up to the bulkhead on the cab side. >>




So far my plan is coming together, I've now got plenty more measurements, so I need to update my drawings.
Next phase will be flashbanding ........




See you in the next chapter.



TURK

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  #5  
Old 06-05-13, 14:39
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T4 Post Icon Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Welcome,

Today we're going to 'flashband'

For those of you who don't know what this stuff is and have never used it. It's lead based, with one surface very sticky, makes it ideal for application. I can only say that's it's well worth the ten quid a roll, I only used two rolls for the entire van. Don't confuse it with 'sound proofing' though, As it's not sound proofing, it's actually very effective at reducing the 'drumming' effect that large metal panels create in vehicles. All you need to do is cover the large panels, no need to overlap, or go right into the little gaps, as those areas won't be vibrating anyway.

What it looks like with sticky back removed >>





Here's how I did mine, good clean surface, free from grease or dust. Cut length required then apply pressure.
I'm using using a sheet of paper to protect my roller, as this stuff is like tar on a hot day >>




First panel done. You'll also notice a white piece in the middle. That's the original VW damping pad. You're basically doing the same, but making a better job of it ! once you've done your first panel, go round the outside and knock on the panel, it now makes a distinctive thud as opposed to the sound of an empty tin can. >>




OK, now that's that entire side done >>




Repeat on other side. You'll notice there's a lot of gaps between the strips of flashband, but that's all you need. Don't waste your money putting 2 or 3 layers on top of one another, like I've seen on other builds on this forum >>




If theres one area you have to 'mate' the flashband, it's the wheel arches. As you're driving along stones and road debris bounce against your inner wheel arch. Doing this bit properly will reduce that sound dramatically >>




It's so pliable, it's a joy to work with. Eventually I will be boxing out the wheel arches. But thats for another day. >>




For now, we'll turn our attention back to the bulkhead. I now have all the necessary ribs for the bulkhead >>




The positioning of your leisure battery is critical, as all my electrics such as the battery isolator, fuse box and heavy duty split charge system will be built into the bulkhead, it's only logical that the leisure battery go under the passenger seat, making it a short run to the bulkhead. Making all my cable runs very short. The orientation is also important, I put my positive terminal closest to the passenger door step. This avoids criss-crossing cables, looks much tidier also. >>




So the battery doesn't move about while I'm driving, I just made a base with a cut-out that the battery sits in.
Eventually I will box the whole thing up. >>





To install the ribs for the bulkhead I'll be using pressure, you can't beat very tight fitting joins, and the help of CT 1'
If you you don't know what that is ( I think it's similar to Sikaflex ) they use CT 1 in the building trade. It's got to be one of the toughest adhesives around. In fact, I've seen an advert where there clued a 6 inch breeze block to the side of a building with the stuff ! .....
so no screws or nails required >>




To make better contact, I'll be doing the same at the top as I have done at the foot >>





OK, so that's enough for today. Next time we'll concentrate on the insulation.




See you next time.







TURK

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  #6  
Old 06-05-13, 22:19
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Default Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Mate that under bonnet pic with the intercooler shows me its a 102hp not an 88hp
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Old 06-05-13, 23:24
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Default Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIL View Post
Mate that under bonnet pic with the intercooler shows me its a 102hp not an 88hp
Thats what I was thinking too.


Looking great so far mate, loving the attention to detail!

Last edited by HarryDubya; 06-05-13 at 23:26.
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Old 06-05-13, 23:37
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Default Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

i am just wondering which way this will go.
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Old 07-05-13, 01:01
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T4 Post Icon Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIL View Post
Mate that under bonnet pic with the intercooler shows me its a 102hp not an 88hp

Hi guys,

The eagle eyed of you have noticed the deliberate mistake I was going to explain a little further down the thread. It was bad wording on my part.

In it's 'original' form, she's an 88hp ( blue I ), the previous owner installed the inter cooler, so you're correct there FIL. The previous owner also installed an induction unit. His idea idea of 'remapping' or 'chipping' was a little unorthodox however. I was going to explain about the 'little blue box' I found under the bonnet a few days after owning her.

I'll post a pic in a few days to better explain. All that's gone now, I got it done properly ....... now getting around 126 bhp


Quote:
i am just wondering which way this will go.
By that, do you mean ...... is the insulation sopping wet !?

Well, almost 2 years on and it's still bone dry


Trust me, it'll be something that you've not seen before ! you can think of all the different combinations for converting an interior and automatically assume 'its all been done before'.

But I do things differently ............... I'm French








TURK

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Old 07-05-13, 02:57
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T4 Post Icon Re: Lulu DIY build thread .......... The unconventional way !

Thought I would post a small update, as there's n'out on tv for us insomniacs


As a cost saving exercise ( and lack of decent materials in Jersey ) I decided I would try my insulation differently.

Heres how I did it ( bearing in mind I did it 2 years ago, and it's still fine ).

I brushed some Evo-Stick very thickly directly onto the metal panel of the van, when the adhesive goes a milky colour, I applied my pre-cut wool insulation, patting down very firmly. When I did a test patch a couple of weeks prior to this, I noticed that the adhesive went 'rubbery' when dry.
This I thought would give me a base layer between the wool and the metal panel. >>




Even waring a respirator, a couple of hours in the back of my van, all doors open, I felt ill ....... I had to pack up and go home
I can't believe some people sniff this stuff for pleasure >>




As the general idea is to have an 'air gap' between the two panels, I had to use batons. I needed at least a 1cm gap for air circulation. The basic concept of any roof insulation, is the air pocket. The aluminium bubble foil all you guys use is designed around this. My wood paneling, unfortunately I had to use 4mm MDF as I couldn't get good quality 4mm ply, has a sandwich layer of laminate flooring insulation and the wool / fiber glued to them. Edged off with adhesive aluminium tape >>




The first of my panels goes in. Currently they're only screwed into the wooden batons. I'm looking at an easy option where I can remove the panels easily. I read a nasty story a while back on a camping forum where a guy traveling around Europe was forced by customs officials to tear down the paneling in his converted van, as they needed to inspect behind the panels !
This won't be happening to me when I'm on my travels >>




Putting batons around the wheel arch was interesting. All the batons are clued on with CT-1
....... it'll stick anything to anything, even if it's porous >>




Next my other panel, I can't show you what the interior of the panel looks like, as I had a hard drive crash a while back, and a lot of photos got corrupted. >>




I used an old coat hanger shaped around the wheel arch, then drew it out on a sheet of card for a template >>




Just checking to see if I'm still square >>




That's one complete side done. I'm not going to carpet the panels, as you can't get the stretchy stuff in black, and grey is so over done. So I'm going to use 'Acoustic Cloth' as it's black and theres not too many contours. Anyway, I'm trying to move away from grey, as another one of my projects will involve removing my dash board and all the plastics and spraying them black >>





I'll try to post some more in the next few days.


TURK

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