VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 94 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dottie, rags to "riches" build thread

Been posting on here for a while, but never got around to doing a proper build thread.

I had been watching through several damaged repairable sites and visiting local auctions for ex-police vans, when I came across "Dottie" on the Copart site. She was hit at the front (seemed quite light), so she suited the facelift conversion, was described as a camper (though we couldn't tell how much was actually done), had low miles (57k), 20 inch wheels. The colour wasn't the best(the wife wasn't happy at all) and we/I couldn't look before buying because she was in England (we're over in NIreland)

So here's how she sat in the yard.







and here's how she arrived on my drive for work to start.





Damage was more than I had expected. the big fuse box under the battery didn't exist any more and there was inner guard damage that I hadn't counted on. the "camper conversion" that I'd bought meant the back was carpeted (badly) but everything else (if there ever was anything) had been ripped out. On the plus side there seemed to be a recent spray job, back bumper/mirrors were already colour coded and there were already 20s fitted, even though one was scrap.

so the stripping began













So, the first trip to the scrappy was to get the bits to rebuild the fuse box and the repair the suspension damage to get the van rolling. I wanted the van around the back of the house to stop noseying neighbours!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Second hand bumper bar and slam panel purchased, fuse box replaced (second hand) and suspension parts replaced (again second hand), I put on a replacement hub, a frame thingy and a new tie rod. the threaded bar that goes onto the tie rod was bent too but I ended up replacing that as an MOT failure later.

so the next main purchase was a second hand ebay bumper



and caravelle lights off one of the forum sponsors. By this stage I was getting info off the facelift thread on here.



Similarly the grill came off ebay where someone had a brand new grill where they had upgraded their van to sportline spec.
I had a go later on at spraying the grill gloss black myself.



and the front splitter was an ebay copy



I had tried every scrapyard to get a bonnet, everyone who had a facelift front wouldn't break it (only sell complete front), so in the end I bit the bullet and bought a brand new one off TPS . This has proved to be the biggest/most expensive purchase to date



So, with all the parts stripped off, and packed off to the painter it was time to tackle the one job I really hated the thought of..... cutting off the inner guard and welding a new one. I'm a welder by trade so the welding wasn't the issue, it was the thought of starting. I bought a full inner guard/chassis leg off a scrappy for £100 and cut the bits a needed off with a 4.5 inch grinder, then cut through the damaged inner guard at exactly the same spot. There was no chassis leg damage at all, just inner guard. One day done this job.





obviously I bought 1/4 litre of paint too, just to brush paint the inner guard.



starting to look more respectable



The total cost of the painting was £350, and this was to include painting the black bits at the front in gloss. They turned out to be more a satin finish than gloss, and he wouldn't paint around the fog lights "as it wouldn't look right". Happy enough with the red paint finish but not the black. The vw badge was a "second", a genuine vw badge that had been scraped, so a budget buy again. The replacement 20 inch wheel turned out to be a copy too, only realised after I had a new tyre on it and had it painted. At some stage this will become the spare wheel, but in the meantime it'll have to do
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
Good job , I love threads like these , people doing it themselves and making a really good job of it. More pics as the job continues please . Very impressive !,!,!,!,!,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
So, interior almost stripped, just the remainder of the old carpet to remove.



First purchase was a pair of Hyundai coupe front seats, £100 scrappy buy, partly funded by the sale of the old front seats.





These seats had slightly longer and marginally wider runners than the original vw seats, but no new metal was needed to bolt them in. one advantage/disadvantage is they sit lower than the original seats. This suits me but not "the wife". I'll need to add some height to the drivers seat IF she's ever to drive the van!! Maybe not a bad thing.

The original stereo was gone out of the van, so I bought these off an online supplier. 4 Speakers and stereo came to under £200, so its not top of the range kit, but it's good enough for my ears!!











and the rear 6x9s were done with spare mm ply at the start. when I had offcuts from the 12mm floor later on, these were done more professionally and carpeted with offcuts.



and, since everything was apart, it seemed rude not to "upgrade" the dash a bit







the quality of the painting wasn't gret tbh, so I've since repainted them with PLASTIKOTE which has turned out to be a much better job. While the door cards were off I poured waxoyl into the door itself (I've done the same with all the openings/doors), and soundproofed the inside of the door and the card using flashband.





I've also tried painting the door card with matt black plastikote to get rid of that horrible light grey, but more on that later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so, back to the outside. the windows needed cutting out. This is the only job I wouldn't do again. I was not happy with the quality of my own work, even though I use a grinder every day in life. Would be interested to see a pro doing this to see what he does differently!!



"feeler" hole cut



proper hole cut







the windows were second hand OE vw windows, so are a slightly different shade to the limo tinted fronts, I'll have to sort that with some tinting film later on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Inside was sorted in the usual way...... flashband, waterproof insulation and alu foil/bubble insulation. Like I said earlier, I poured waxoyl into all the openings too. tbh, I'm surprised no one else has mentioned doing this.I've used much more insulation/foil than most mention in here and about 5x rolls flashband but I've done the roof right through as well and maybe went OTT in places. All insulation stuff was bought from B&Q

waxoyl in



flashband.



recycled bottle insulation



alu foil/bubble stuff just like everyone else.



the van was then carpeted, this was another b1tch of a job, causing some "falling out" as you can imagine (anyone who has tried this with a partner). First attempt was a complete failure, the wife even commenting at one stage "what the **** were you even thinking.....". Second, more patient attempt proved better. (pic is from first attempt)



Floor was done as per most on the forum. I couldn't get a 10x5 sheet of 12mm over here, so had to make do with [email protected] this caused problems later with the sheets moving down the join against one another. Next time I would put more battens down the devide to stop moving.






 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ceilings were treated to the same insulation.







then 3mm ply was cut using the original hardboards as a template.



this was my first "attempt". the wife REALLY didn't want the original lights reused, so it was all remade without the cut-outs for the OE lighting. PS it was secured using generic fir tree clips, not the invisible ones.




and second attempt, using 4 downlighters and 8 fairy type lights, from an online motorhome supplier. These were run to switches in the overhead console in the front, also with a voltmeter.



the boards were covered with 10mm sponge and trimmed using dotty curtain material (hence the name "Dottie" was born.







this was then covered in black carpet (by this stage the front headlining had been recovered in matching carpet). I don't have any pics of this as things were "tense" lol. this was far and away the most stressful job to date







it took probably 4 attempts at covering the front headcloth (and three different types of material) before we got it to an acceptable standard. the mirror had to be painted matt black to match, as had the sunvisors. a lot of the clips and things for the sunvisors are available from ebay searching for VRS skoda parts.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Then came some altro flooring, supplied by the resident forum seller. Floor sanded, and all holes filled. The wife didn't trust my patience levels with this one!! so She undertook the task of fitting the altro.









£280 lighter, and a new ikea kitchen arrived.



First unit was kept out from the wall to allow fitment of a waeco/similar at a later date. The cupboard is 600mm wide, so I hope to have room for a homemade wine-rack beside the fridge. the space at the far end will be hidden by a gable panel which extends to the floor.















the door won't be able to open in the rear cupboard, so I cut a hole in the gable to gain access.



and the doors fitted, but with protective film still in place

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I had said earlier I wasn't happy with the window cut outs, so I templated the windows with some scrap mm ply



which I then used to make window surrounds.



which the wife was able to use to mock up curtains. First attempt out of scrap sheet material just to see......



then with the real thing






and first fitting.......













and that's where we're at at the moment. More to follow
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
a few new additions

tried painting the door cards with matt black plastikote, didn't turn out to be perfection.... but certainly better than they were



and template made for kitchen worktop





a few days of dry weather meant I could finally get around to painting/repainting parts of the front.





and of course, time to start templating the seat cushions too.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,047 Posts
Give yourself a pat on the back for a great build thread.......looks like you are going to have some great fun in Dotty come spring....well done that man!A:A:A:A:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,544 Posts
Great build thread. I really enjoyed watching the progress 10/10
 
1 - 20 of 94 Posts
Top