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Hodakaguy's 4wd Sprinter Build - Pic Heavy!

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#21 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:02 PM

More progress...

Welding up more roof L-track braces.  The first brace now has the proper angle set, I just used that brace and flipped it upside down to replicate the angle on the other braces.

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Counter sinking the bolt holes in the forward piece of L-track.

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Bolts will now sit flush in the L-track

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Next up I decided to install the OEM roof rails.  These rails will ultimately be used to attach a roof rack to the van and support solar, an awning etc.  The van comes from the factory with holes already punched into the body to accommodate the roof rails, there are plastic plugs in the holes with adhesive sealing them from the weather.

Plug viewed from the roof...

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And the plug from inside the van..

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Removing the plugs is pretty easy.  Use a heat gun from inside the van and heat the plastic plug to the point where it just starts to deform.  At that point just use a screw driver to push up on the plug and it will pop right out.  While the adhesive is still hot use a plastic scraper to remove as much as the adhesive as possible.

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Piece of plastic lexan cut to use as a scraper.

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Up top after cleaning it up with the scraper.

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Working my way down the channel

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Using a little acetone to clean up the remaining adhesive around the holes.

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Before cleaning with acetone...

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And after....

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I chose to go with the OEM roof rails...if you shop around you can find these for not a lot more than the aftermarket units and you know they will fit perfectly.

Here's one of the studs on the roof rail.  The rail has a rubber washer at the base of the mounting studs to seal the rail against the roof.

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Continued Below...

 


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My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#22 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:03 PM

Continued from above...

I added some Butyl rubber around the base of the stud to ensure a water proof connection to the van.

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I placed a small amount of Butyl around the base of the stud on the inside of the van as well.

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Loctite 243 applied to the threads then started slowly tightening the nuts down.  I slowly went back and forth allowing the Butyl to ease out between tightening steps.  Eventually they were all tight and the rails are now in place.

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More to come.....

Hodakaguy

 


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My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#23 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:04 PM

Bit more work today on the upper supports.

Here I have the holes pre-drilled in the L-Track and the support clamped in place to the track.

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I'm using the drill to just lightly make a center mark on the support and using the pre drilled L-track as a guide.

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Next up is to center punch the plus nut locations using the marks left by the drill bit then drill the holes for the plus nuts.

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Installing the plus nuts and seating them in place.

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Before and after seating the plus nuts.

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And mounted up in the van.  Now that the brace is mounted to the L-Track I can mark and drill the holes for the Plus Nuts that will support the braces to the cross members.

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Then Just more of the same....

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More to come...

Hodakaguy

 


  • 0

My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#24 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:05 PM

More progress.....

With the upper braces completed it's time to remove them and get them painted before final install.  I'll mark them so that I know what area and direction that they came out of to make re-installation easy.

Here I'm using an Air Scribe to mark the braces starting from the rear and moving forward.

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Braces painted and drying.

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With the braces out it's time to finish counter sinking the holes in the L-track.

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I used plus nuts to install the front two braces into the vans roof ribs, on the remaining units I switched it up and decided to go with heavy duty steel 1/4" pop rivets.   Here the passenger side rear brace has been riveted into place.  Solid!

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On the middle two braces I had to mix it up a bit.  Since this van was a passenger model with the roof AC unit there are factory braces welded onto the under side of the roof that the AC unit used to mount to.  These factory braces interfere with my brace design so I had to come up with something a little different for the middle two braces.  Ultimately I decided to just use the factory bracing to support one end of my brace.  

Here my support brace is in place and slid into the factory brace on one end.

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This is the piece that will join the two braces.

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Joining piece slid into place

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Adding the side plates to join everything together.

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And finishing it all up.

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At this point I ran out of rivets so I'll switch over to something else for now.

Here I've removed the horizontal L-Track so I can counter sink the mounting holes.  At this time I'm going to install a piece of wood to form a wire chase for the factory wire loom.

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Continued Below...

 


  • 0

My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#25 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:06 PM

Continued From Above....

Rear piece in place.

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When the panels are added this piece of wood will kick the panels out just enough to allow the wires to run through the channel behind the panels.

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Front section going in.

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Time to remove the rear passenger side horizontal L-track and finish counter sinking all the holes.

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More to come...

Hodakaguy

 


  • 0

My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#26 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:06 PM

Time to upgrade my pneumatic rivet gun.  My old JET unit is only made for 3/16" rivets but I installed a 1/4" tip and it kinda got the job done so far.  To pop a 1/4" steel rivet it took many pulls of the trigger and its hammering the poor thing.   Time for a upgrade.

I read a lot of good reviews on the Harbor freight 1/4" rivet gun so I snagged their"Proffessional" Chief unit today and came home to give it a try.   Pops aluminum or steel 1/4" rivets with ease every time!  Quality looks and feels great as well.  Time will tell how it holds up but it's not a high use tool in my shop so it should be fine.

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Hodakaguy

 


  • 0

My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#27 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:07 PM

Final installation of the roof braces and L-Track.

One of the forward pieces.

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And everything in place and installed....sorry not many pictures today as a cold front is coming in and it's freezing outside.

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Hodakaguy

 


  • 0

My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#28 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:09 PM

More L-Track Work.   I'm going to add a couple small sections of L-track on the rear doors, they will be good for numerous things like hanging a cloths line between them when the doors are open, handing small bags for your pocket items when on the bed, etc etc.

Time to break into the angled L-track and cut a couple pieces down to size.

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Rear door pieces cut to size.  I'm applying tape along the edges to keep them from getting scratched up while in the vise.

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Drilling holes....

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Here I'm using a Forstner bit to recess the back side of the L-track.  The heads on the Plus nuts stick up about a 1/16" or so above the vans sheet metal causing the L-track to tighten up against the head of the Plus nut only.  This causes the loads on the L-track to be distributed directly to the plus nuts instead of spreading the load out over the entire rear surface of the L-track and the vans sheet metal.  With the rear recess holes in place the L-track can now sit down completely flush against the van.

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Recessed holes complete for one side.

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Here you can see how the head of the plus nut will recess down into the L-track to allow the L-track to sit flush.

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Front side counter sinks completed.

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Here are the plastic end caps that will finish these pieces off.

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Installing the plus nuts into the door.

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And installed.  These should be great for any number of uses.

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Continued Below....

 


  • 0

My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#29 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:10 PM

Continued from above...

Next up the passenger side horizontal L-track.

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Thinsulate installed in the recesses behind the L-track.

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And installed

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Next up is to use the Forstner bit to recess the back sides of the upper L-track.  This will allow the braces to sit down completely flush on my support braces and add a lot of strength/rigidity in the process.

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And re-installing the piece back on the ceiling braces

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In this shot you can see the huge difference that the recess makes in allowing the L-track to fit up tight against the Braces, will be a LOT more solid.

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And after both sides have been recessed.

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More of the same on the drivers side.

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More to come....

Hodakaguy

 


  • 0

My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE


#30 Hodakaguy

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 08:10 PM

Sun is out...time for some more progress.

Yesterday I snagged a RoamBuilt aluminum rear ladder, now to get it installed.

I like the Roambuilt rear ladder since it has the double hoops and wide steps, it makes the ladder super secure to climb....even in sandals :-).  I also like how the ladder is out away from the van a bit, keeps toes from scratching up the paint when going up and down the ladder and gives a better footprint.

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First up...remove the door panels.  I needed to remove these anyways to finish installing insulation in the doors.

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I applied some painters tape to the door to keep if from getting scratched up while fitting the ladder.  I held the door in place and drilled the upper center hole first then pinned it with a bolt, then aligned and did the same thing on the bottom.  Then marked and drilled the remaining holes.

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Test fitting to make sure the bolts all fit correctly....Check :-)

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Deburring the holes.

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I didn't get any pictures but I did apply primer and paint on the holes.   After the paint was dry it's time to mount up the ladder.

I used some Sikaflex 221 to ensure a waterproof seal at the door.  The ladder came with some gaskets pre-cut and I used the Sikaflex as well for extra measure.

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Here's a shot of the aluminum backing plates installed in the doors.  I used Sikaflex on these as well.

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And installed.  Love the looks of this setup.....now to get my roof rack so I have something to climb up to lol.

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Continued Below....

 


  • 0

My 4wd Sprinter Build: CLICK HERE

My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

My Tacoma/FWC  Builds: CLICK HERE

Ride Report - In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE






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