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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys

I'm based in Bristol and this summer achieved a lifelong ambition of getting a van!! It's a LWB 1.9Tdi with 90k miles on the clock and the plan is to do a full conversion including dedicated area for our two dogs!

I'll post here as I progress through the build…

This is the bare van on the way home from the dealers



First job was to take it straight to local VW specialist for a full service, new brake discs and pads all round, new half shaft (wasn't expecting that!!) and they also fitted full length side windows





I then ripped out the old ply lining kit and the VW panels so I could insulate and carpet



I'm using ThermoLiner from Harrison Trim Supplies; it's a self adhesive 7mm high density foam with a foil backing so provides some sound deadening on the big panels. I've stuck it inside every panel including the roof and will be insulating under the floor with it too!



I'm currently working through carpeting the van using 4 way stretch carpet also from Harrison's. Was initially nervous at getting this wrong but just being patient and working methodically and it looks really good!



All the panels are being carpeted separately and then fitted over the carpeted frame so I can get access to run cabling later. I'm using 8mm Fir Tree Clips to fix the panels in place. For a couple of the panels including one of the roof panels and the two rear side panels I had to cut new panels from hardboard as the original panels didn't fit quite right.



I'll post some photos of the inside of the van once the carpeting is finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well in the run up to Christmas I managed to finish carpeting and getting the floor in!!!

On the roof, having carpeted the panels the original fittings for the trim strips were not long enough to hold the trim in place so I took some 8mm fir tree clips, sanded the heads a bit flatter and also sanded two of the edges square so they could slide into the grooves in the trim strip. Then I knocked out the fixings in the roof with a sharp chisel (the fitting holes are 8mm), lined up the fir tree clips and hey presto!





I used the old ply floor as a basic template but before I took it out I used hardboard sections cut to fit perfectly into the profile of the van. I then placed the old floor over the new ply and used a bearing router bit to follow the profile!!



For the floor I used 12mm battens (offcuts from the floor) to give a solid base



Then fitted Thermoliner between the battens; I've been really pleased with how much this has reduced the road noise!!



Then I used the ply floor as a template to cut the Altro flooring leaving a couple of inches all round to trim in situ



Finally I ran a bead of silicone sealant around the edge of the Altro to finish the edges; I quite like the contrast of the white but most will be hidden when I get the bed and units in.

This is the finished result









I'm now considering which 3/4 seat to fit and then will start building units down the driver's side
 

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yessssT: really like what you done so far, not many people carpet the back doors but they look great! going to be ordering my carpet and doing mine next month did you just use the mvm stretchy carpet? keep up the good work mateA:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yessssT: really like what you done so far, not many people carpet the back doors but they look great! going to be ordering my carpet and doing mine next month did you just use the mvm stretchy carpet? keep up the good work mateA:
Hi Mate

I used 4-way stretch carpet from Harrison Trim Supplies (I guess this is essentially the same stuff as the Megavan stuff just from a different supplier). I met them at Busfest in Malvern last year and got a package deal from them on Carpet, Adhesive, Altro and Thermoliner plus they were really helpful and took a load of time to explain how to fit etc. They do delivery so have a look at their website http://www.harrisonstrimsupplies.co.uk

Biggest hint I can give you is use hooked stanley knife blades!! I went through a packet of straight blades which got blunt really quickly before I found the hooked blades and they make life so much easier!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So been quite busy with the van recently.

I'm looking at getting a 120cm RIB bed to give the layout we want, but at £2k I wanted to make sure it'll fit where I want it to before buying. I therefore built a mock up out of MDF and battens with a top which can be located in 2 positions associated with the forward and backward movement of the RIB slider.







I then offered the mock up into the van assuming I use the larger rear bed section







We want a 'boot space' at the rear for the dogs when we're driving around and for the mountain bikes so offered both up.





There will be a small gap between the bed and the back of the doors when the bed is laid flat but I think I can get the bed just where I want. Even better there is a bit of flexibility so I can adjust to fit round the chassis rails. Will be using a local converter to make customer strengthening plates to fit under the chassis and to bolt sideways into the chassis rails.

I've also fitted roof rails, clear side indicators, LED sidelight bulbs and Osram Nighbreaker Unlimited headlights and UPSPEX headlight loom upgrade.



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So whilst waiting for the RIB bed to be built in France I've started on the van electrics.

First task was to check out under the driver seat where I want to put the battery and consumer unit but wanted to make sure everything would fit. Moved the VW control unit to left hand front side of the base and cut a rear panel for the seat base in 12mm ply. My plan is to cover the rear panel in carpet to give a nice appearance from inside the van



Then I cut a ply panel to fit down the centre of the seat base...



The centre panel will be used to mount the consumer unit and 12V fuse box allowing them to be accessed and reset / replaced from the front of the van if necessary without having to take the seat out



Then I offered up the battery and the consumer unit. Good news was I also have space behind the battery where I can mount the battery charger to the rear panel

So knowing where the battery and consumer unit will go next step was to run the 240V and 12V feed cables. I plan on locating the mains hookup point under the bonnet so both cables can follow the same route; I'm using the 'standard' route through the grommet behind the battery compartment



Red cable is 16mm square cable for the 12V DC, whilst the blue cable is 240V Arctic Flex 2.5mm squared

So before I ran out of light today I managed to get all of the 12V cables in plus Durite VSR and fuses (I have a fuse in the feed to the VSR mounted in front of the battery then a second fuse mounted behind the VSR before the cable runs off to the drivers seat so should mean any faults are protected).

Note the two small blade fuses are the UPSPEX headlight upgrade kit



As an aside I was able to borrow a hydraulic crimping tool from work to crimp the 16mm terminals, man this thing is strong and 16mm was the SMALLEST this thing will do



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So this morning I finished my electrical adventures under the bonnet!

Completed installing the mains hook up socket



And checked the bonnet still shuts when the hook up cable is plugged in A: A:



Cables were run in the VW channels



And up under the drivers seat: red is 12V live from engine, black is negative to the earthing point under drivers seat and blue is 240V

 

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Hey there JdPuddy, awesome stuff and great reading and viewing especially your Lab.! I'm in the process of doing the exact same and was wondering how much thermoliner and stretch carpet you needed to do it all..??.. I've emailed Harrison's to No avail and can't seem to find info about the real amounts needed. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey there JdPuddy, awesome stuff and great reading and viewing especially your Lab.! I'm in the process of doing the exact same and was wondering how much thermoliner and stretch carpet you needed to do it all..??.. I've emailed Harrison's to No avail and can't seem to find info about the real amounts needed. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Cheers
I bought all my stuff at busfest as they has a deal on, so bought 16m of thermoliner have about 4m left over in the shed but sure I will find a use for it, 12m of carpet which was just enough with a few scraps left over, 3m altro but they knew exactly how much to cut of that for a LWB and 12 cans of adhesive spray, again just enough but none left over so to use the offcuts of carpet eg on back of seat bases I had to get another couple of cans of adhesive. Note I didn't do the whole drivers side in a single piece so if you were going to do that I'd buy a couple of extra metres of carpet.

Cheers
 

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Thanks mate, yea it's costing a bit but by doing most myself recon I'm saving loads too (and having lots of fun with it!!)
You'll be saving a ton and your getting exactly what you want, it looks abso fab and I think we shall be stealing a few tips from this thread, keep it up T:T:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Spent a few hours this morning enjoying the sunshine and doing a few more bits on the van (my RIB bed is due in at the end of the month so that will be the next major thing to happen)

First off I replaced my sidelight bulbs, I had these LED ones in which I bought on eBay but they've lasted about three months so I'm not impressed. Have gone with white bulbs but need to find some better LED ones as I prefer the LED look.



Next job was to fit my Dubflecta wind deflectors. They look great, are really easy to fit and will mean we can leave the windows down a bit at night when camping without getting rain in! I can highly recommend





Then I made a bit more progress with the electrics. The consumer unit is now in and the main feed from the hookup is wired in plus the unit is earthed to the earthing stud just beneath the drivers seat. Next job will be installing the charger and battery in the rear section and then installing the fuse box next to the consumer unit. Once I've made sure I don't need to cut the wood any further I think I'm going to carpet the ply too.



Finally I installed the two carpet covered back panels to the seat bases.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Curtain rails and fabric have arrived and RIB bed is due here next week so getting very excited! I'm getting the RIB from Kiravans and the service has been fantastic. I've also ordered their RIB fitting kit which has just been launched so will be posting photos and installation soon.

However as soon as the bed is installed I figured it will make it harder to install the curtain rails around the rear side windows so decided to take a break from electrics and get those two curtail rails in whilst there is plenty of space to move round.

I've bought Silent Gliss 1025 rails from SG-S.co.uk where the staff were really helpful in getting the right things. You can buy all of the parts separately but the also do kits with rails, gliders, end stops and hooks. I priced up separate parts to put rails top and bottom on all 4 side windows but in the end 8 x 125cm kits worked out cheaper, I just need to trim the length of each rail slightly to fit but then would need to cut separate rails anyway!





The rails look great installed, I decided to use 3.2mm blind rivets to fit rather than the small screws provided. I've read posts from people who've used the screws but said they just stripped the thread. The only problem fitting the rivets is getting the tool down behind the rail. I ended up adapting the process to solve this problem. I took the sleeves off a load of rivets and slipped them over another rivet. This raised the rivet head above the rail; the second rivet head squashes whilst fitting but comes away with the rivet tail leaving just the rivet I wanted to fit in the first place





I'll fit the front window rails in the same way and want to complete the battery install too.
 

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This is brilliant!! Thanks so much for posting your progress......makes things a lot easier for me!!

What battery have you used? I assume you've had no problems clearing the seat?

T:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What battery have you used? I assume you've had no problems clearing the seat?

T:
I've got a 100Ah Avon leisure battery. It is brand new but came courtesy of a mate of a mate, cost to me was one case of cider! A:A:

There is no problem fitting under the seat as it's got terminal height of 175mm; that is the really important factor as batteries with 190mm terminals stand slightly high of the seat base. It's ok unless you plan (like me) on fitting a swivel as in this case the terminals must be below the top of the seat base. I have bought most of my electrics from Upspex on here and he's been awesome. He also does batteries so you will definitely be able to source from him although there are lots of other places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So it was back to electrics this morning and made further progress with the 12V side of things. Battery charger is mounted to the inside of the wood panel on the back of the seat base which leaves just the right gap between the charger and the middle wooden panel for the battery itself.



In routing the wires I brought the 12V positive feed from the engine and the negative from the earthing point up at the rear corners of the seat base. If you do this be careful, there are a load of sharp edges around which could damage cables over time so I use two pieces of conduit to make channels for positive and negative cables fixing the conduit to the seat base with zip ties and sticky back zip tie fixing spaces.



The 12V output wires from the battery charger also came up through these conduits and I fed a 12V feed cable from the battery positive back under the battery to the 6-way fuse box which is mounted next to the consumer unit



Overall I'm really pleased with the install so far; the front under the seat is really neat and I can get access to flip the RCD / MCBs or replace fuses if needed and the cables for the battery are all tucked out of the way so I can drop the battery in nice and easy.

Next steps are to wire in the 240V side of the charger to the consumer unit and also fit conduit ready for the 12V and 240V cables which will run into the units at the rear of the van once they're built!
 
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