Vanning is a compulsion, an obsession, an occupation, an affliction, a fascination, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it, must. Those who don't, think it's a waste of time. For me it is a calling.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

 It wont be long till I have this baby on the road.   I am workin' hard to get this done for the Nationals and it looks like I just might make it., The interior is close to being finished.
Down to the last headliner panel.
The engine cover is done Got to put everything together, to make sure it will all fit. Got the rubber gasket installed. .

The center panel goes up.  This is tough when you do it alone!
The side door panel is the last major piece left of the interior. I had to take the door off again to get it fit and install the door gasket. 
Headliner done.   comin out just fine!

padding the front of the bed .

I've got 2 surfboards that go with the van one inside and this one I will use for a show sign.

using up some of the paint layin around
The engine cover fits together pretty good.
door panels are installed.  The speaker covers arrived too!

Ron is fitting the carpet. I am fitting the carpet on the wheel wells

This board is going to hang on the wall. I carved the design into it and glassed it

and a little one shot.

Cut the wood for the floor and glued it into place.
It is starting to come together  I am trial fitting it all.
Chris and Kenny are the local glass gurus. They are installing the windshield. Gona do some tricky stuff!

Brown glass?????

The hope is to set the windshield with urethane and eliminate the ugly wide rubber gasket.

This was the first cut. Makin me nervous!

Hmmm.  not bad.

After it was cut they install a trim gasket and set it in black urethane.

And Blacked out the edge just like the new cars come. The center is sealed with urethane,thus eliminating the vertical rubber in the center.

Man I'm lovin this

The bottom of the overhead console will go on last.  Most of the electronics are under here.  The controls for the windows and side door, switches,receiver for the remotes, Sirius radio, and more, may need more work.

Ron cut the carpet and bound the edges. If you have been paying attention, you will remember there is a battery box recessed below the floor. It is much better that the stock battery box that is inside the van behind the driver. The problem is the box is right where you kneel to get in the van.  Instead of trying to hide the access to the box I decided to make a cover that fit into the carpet made out of foam rubber.  I made a plug original of Rat Fink and Tikis and made a mold. Using that I cast this kneeling pad from flexible foam.  It works nicely.
It's thick and quite easy on the knees.

With all that I have to do yet, I most likely will not have the opportunity to post again before the Van Nats, where I intend to premier the Surfink. I have a lot of finish work to do yet. Polishing and detail underneath.lots of striping to do yet. A sign to do,as well as regular work, a show and the Rat Fink Reunion coming up next month.If you don't make it to the Nationls I will be posting finished pics after.   

Sunday, March 16, 2014

It's been warming up. been workin like a fool!

As you have seen in earlier posts, I have a digital dash in the stock instrument cluster. It is a very cool addition but trying to hook it up to the trans has been a pain.  It requires a pulse to drive.I also want to hook up the stock Chevy cruise control. Dale found me a solution.
Dakota Digital has a unit that will drive any digital speedometer. The ultimately cool
thing is that it doesn't hook to the trans or drive train at all. It uses GPS satellite technology.
It picks up the signal and uses it to determine movement and turns it into a pulse to drive a digital speedometer.  It only needs  hot and switched 12v, a ground, and a lead to the speedo. It also has a separate hook up for a cruise control unit. You can program the pulse number to drive any unit from 4000 per mile to 32000.Once you get it set it will put out a test pulse to check the display. It will read 60 mph. Programed and tested without leaving the garage.  Worth every dollar!!!
Since the unit should be able to see the sky for the best results I decided to mount it on top of the dash, where the stock ashtray was.
and of course I had to take most of the stuff in the dash out. It's getting crowed in there with the stereo head unit ,air conditioning, and assorted wire and hoses.
Here it is mounted. I made a wood plug to cover it and it will be covered with the same leather as the interior.
I got the door panels covered and door pull assembled. I will wait to finish mounting them till later.
Another quandary has been the headliner over the front seats. There is no structure there to hold up a board, so Ron suggested gluing it all into place. 
I masked up the area and sprayed contact cement to both surfaces and wrestled the material into place. 
worked like a charm.
Got the overhead console mounted and all the electronics hooked back up.
 Interior lighting,power window switches,Sirius radio dock, and camera monitors both sides and rear. 

             THE SEATS ARE HERE!
  I've been waiting with great anticipation for the seats to get finished. Ron Petrella,an old club member has been busy working on them. He did the interior on Rick Swanks' van, that won best interior at last years Nationals.  He is quite good at it.
The stitching design was done by Rick's wife Elaine Swank, before the panels were sewn into the seats. Awesome job,.  
I couldn't wait to see what they would look like in the van.
O man I'm digin' it!!
I also did a mount for my Ipad under the dash.I have all my music on it and it can be controlled thru the alpine head unit. This makes it look built in and the Ipad wont be flopin' around while driving.

I am at the point where I need to take EVERYTHING out and start covering it all with material!   I'm done building and its time to assemble it all.     woohoo !