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Discussion Starter #1
My T5 LWB came complete with a factory fitted bulkhead. I managed to remove the bulkhead itself easily enough, however I want to remove the frame that it was bolted onto as well. Has anyone done this before? Before I get stuck in I was hoping to get some advice on the best way to go about it and what problems to watch out for.

The baisc steps would be something like:

1) Remove Seats To Gain Access - Is it just a case of uncrewing the bolts at the base. I notice there are some electric cables attached to a plate in both the passenger double and driver seat, is it just a case of unscrewing these from the seat frame? Is there anything tricky about the drivers seat? (When refitting the seats is there a particular torque setting for the bolts?)
2) Remove Plastic Covers (around seat belts) - Again, knowing the trick makes all the difference. Perhaps some of the guys who have carpeted their vans may have done this before?
3) Remove Seat Belts - Is this even necessary?
4) Finally, Remove Bulkhead Frame - I am assuming its spot welded on, any advice for removing spot welds?.

Advice in any of these areas would be greatly appreciated, please dont assume anything is too obvious.

Thanks in advance.
 

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bottom half flange welded half inch long welds. used a grinder to grind away the tacks,(sat with a blanket over my head to catch the sparks must have looked a right pillock) then gentle with a hammer and chisel to prize awy the flange. top half bolted need to remove the plastic trim next to seat belt mounts to expose nuts holding top flange. then carefully pop off roof trim strip 2 inch wide strip of plastic width of van thats hiding the last 4 i think nuts and studs. you need to be forcefull with the plastic trim prize useing a screwdriver it will break free eventuaaly and you ill think you hav broke it once it pops off but you wont have hope this helps jon........................
 

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Just a personal opinion...I removed the top mounts, but kept the bottom one and grinded off the screws.

Once it is capreted in, it provides a really nice divide between the cab and the back.
 

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Hi

When removing the bulkhead, are there any structural problems?
Think I know the answer is no but it confirmed would be great.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #6
An update. Finally finished this job, my basic outline above was nearly correct, so with hindisght here are the steps involved.

Thanks to jonnie22 for the steer.

1) Remove seats. There are some electrical connections underneath the passenger double seat attached to a frame screwed onto the seat base. I could have removed the frame to which they were attached from the base of the seat, however it looked like the 2 screws were some kind of modified torx head, so instead I just disconnected all the electrics. Next undo all 8 nuts (16mm socket) in the seat base. Gently lift the seat away so as not to damage the threads on the bolts. The drivers seat also has some electrics underneath, however this time the scews were a standard torx and I was able to dsiconnect the electric box from the seat frame. The handbrake is also attached to the drivers seat, this is removed by removing 2 nuts (13mm socket). Obviously it is a good idea to make sure the van will not roll away with the handbrake off. Finally remove the 4 nuts at the bottom of the seat base.

2) Remove Plastic Trim on the B Pillars. Firstly, at the top of the seat belt, lift the plastic flap covering the bolt and remove the bolt (10mm spline) at the top of the seat belt. Next starting at the top gently, yet firmly pry the plastic trim away from the pillar. This is the tricky bit as at first you are not sure if that popping sound is something breaking or the plastic clips loosening. There are 3 clips on the top piece of plastic trim and four at the bottom.

3) Remove Frame. The top half of the frame (black) is simply bolted onto the B pillar with 3 10mm bolts on each side, easy enough. The bottom half (white), on the van floor is welded on both sides with inch long welds. I used a grinder to carefully grind these away. Usual safety advice when using a grinder applies, also its a good idea to protect your windows, seat bealts etc as you grind high velocity bits of molten metal all over the inside of your van. After grinding the welds down the frame still took some encouragement with a hammer and chisel to gently prise it away. Finally, the bottom half of the frame attached to the bottom half of the b pillar was attached by 4 circular welds each. I grinded the welds down flush with the metal and then used a 10mm spot weld cutter to drill them out one at a time. The spot weld cutter ensures you dont drill down into the frame of the b piller itself. One of the welds is very close to the seat belt tensioner so not a good idea to drill through. Also its a good idea to be as gentle as you can as the tensioner can fire if you bang about too much. After drilling the welds a bit of gentle manual persuasion eventually removed the frame.

4) treat any exposed metal with appropriate paint to protect against corrosion and then put everything back together again.

Phew, writing all this out was nearly as painful as the job itself, but hopefully it will help someone else out.
 

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I am thinkng this post could be helpful, have the same job to do next weekend before getting my T5 lined and carpeted, how long did it take roughly?

Jason.

I:
 

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Re: Factory Fitted Bulkhead Frame Removal: Advice Needed

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Just a personal opinion...I removed the top mounts, but kept the bottom one and grinded off the screws.

Once it is capreted in, it provides a really nice divide between the cab and the back.

THIS IS WHAT I DID AND IT LOOKS FINE
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The job took me quite a few hours spread over a number of evenings after work. Dont let this put you off as I tend to work very slowly, especially with an angle grinder. Im sure somebody else could do the same job in much less time.

Alternatively you can do as iss suggests and leave it in and do away with all the stress. I suppose that also depends on if you ever intend to put the bulkhead back in. My problem is that I am a bit of a perfectionist and wanted a nice looking seemless devide between the front and the back. With one exception, I did actaully leave the flange on the bottom half of the b pillar behind the drivers seat, my reasoning was that you would not see it behind the cabinets when they are installed and I was hoping to make use of it as an additional surface fix the cabinets too (complete with threads and bolts). I have not done this yet, so cannot comment on if it was a good idea. Hope that makes sense.
 

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Cool, thanks for the replies. My thinking is I want the finish right so probably want it out and no bulkhead will ever be going back. The company doing my lining etc have offered to do it for £100 so I am thinking I am may as well let them, consider time, hassle and risk!!

Thanks of all the info to help me make an informed decision!!

:D
 

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The job took me quite a few hours spread over a number of evenings after work. Dont let this put you off as I tend to work very slowly, especially with an angle grinder. Im sure somebody else could do the same job in much less time.


After looking at many many posted got round to doing mine today, Took about 1 1/2 hrs start to finish.

This is only because of ther prior help from this forum.

Knowledge is power!

Keep up the good work
:)
 

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Sorry, big picture. Meant to also say I left the seats in, pulled the plastic trim out 5mm or so, and just chiselled the weld through the gap.
 

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Another fan of using the chisel-took me about half an hour as i had to remove front of ply/carpeted floor.

I didnt just chisel it though, i weakened the weld by bending the frame back n forth till the top part cracked, then chiseled the sides away. Easy peasy.
 

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Cool, thanks for the replies. My thinking is I want the finish right so probably want it out and no bulkhead will ever be going back. The company doing my lining etc have offered to do it for £100 so I am thinking I am may as well let them, consider time, hassle and risk!!

Thanks of all the info to help me make an informed decision!!

:D

Did you get the company to remove the bulkhead for you? did they do a good job? Can I ask who you used. I just don't have access to the tools or even a spot to park up and do it myself with power and might just pay the £100 for someone else to take on the pain of doing it.
 

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daithi666 your directions were spot on, cheers. I too left the frame behind the drivers seat for the very same reason, everything else was removed. I didn't have a spot weld cutter so just use the grinder to weaken the weld on the b pillar and then used the cold chisel. I'd say it took me an hour and a half of steady work, which included removing the seats (which I hadn't planned to do but I couldn't reach the welds).
 

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Ready to give this a go. The side supports are out so just the strip going across the floor to remove. Planning on attacking it with a cold chisel. Any tips before I start?

Should I chisel above the welds or below?
 

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Turned out to be much easier than I expected. Just chiselled above the welds and the metal strip pulled off fairly easily. I left the welds in place because they're covered by the mats.
For future reference, here are a couple of pictures showing what I did...
Chiselled above the weld

Lever the frame away


Just need to paint the raw metal now
 
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