Yes the Raptor liner is rock hard now. Here's some more photos of the chassis and body reunited.
This photo from the rear. Note the under-body spare wheel carrier
From the front. That's an 85 litre grey water tank in the cradle. There are 2x 85 litre fresh water tanks behind over the axles. Gas shockies are the same as what fits the rear of my Pajero - redundancy.
Yes I was a bit concerned it might look obscenely high, but it actually doesn't look to bad. No worse than the new "off-road" vans on the market selling for obscene prices. I believe it will fit right in and as you say a "one-of-a-kind". I wonder if anyone would be stupid enough to steal it?
We have the Bay Expoon 16-18th Feb. Hoping to get there to get some updated ideas for the reno. Particularly in the area of en-suites. Ours will need to be on the sidewall and compact due to height issues in the rear of the van and we both want a club lounge at the front.
OK. So it's been over a year since I did an update I'm a bit disappointed with myself for not getting more done on this old girl. Unfortunately I got caught up in another van resto that had to be finished.
Progress has been minimal - just a few body repairs here and there. However the next part of this update will be considered sacrilege by some members.
Some of you may already know that I plan to put a lot of solar up on the roof - 600w plus actually. Not having a great deal of flat surface space to mount solar panels, I've elected to use the super thin/flexible solar panels - 3x 100w panels mounted diagonally across the top of each hatch. I've fibre-glassed some light-weight meranti to the top of each hatch to mount the panels to -this also provided ventilation under the panels to improve their efficiency. The solar panels weigh under 2 kg each, so I'm adding around 6kg to each hatch including the timber. Total weight of each hatch is now around 24kg.
The good old wifey complained about the weight so, I've taken another unplanned step. See images and video below.
Now that that's all sorted, I've started repairing and sanding the roof in preparation for the special coating I'm going to use. I'm using the Van Pack supplied by Globalcote which I'll have tinted to match the rest of the van.
Paint the roof
Repair and paint the rest of the body
Fit the new windows and door
Move inside and start the fitout
Anyway; I'm hoping to get much more done this year.
Yes Mustang, the weight does add up; in fact I underestimated the weight of each hatch - they're actually weigh closer to 28kg each. The 12v Linear actuator is rated at 150kg.
I'm not sure if anyone has noticed, but I have re-manufactured the hatch opening with a flat surface using aluminium angle; I've also re-manufactured the underside of the hatches to have a flat surface. The idea being it will be dust proof once I add a foam seal.
Just on a different topic. I just finished reading my entire forum thread; Between back problems, heart problems, other resto's etc. It's been nearly 6 years on this project!!! and still going. Started in Jan 2013. I'm seriously hoping to get a lot done this year.
Greg, flexible solar panels have a pretty high failure rate. I know of a owner of lithium battery supply and install company that has stopped supplying these panels until he can find a reliable one.
Hi Warren. Well I do hope your wrong obviously.
I have been using a couple of them (the ones I plan to use) for about 18mths for camping - just laid out on the ground; no particular care taken; so far they haven't been a problem.
I have had a few cheap and nasties in the past, which weren't performing very well. But through self education, I have learnt what to look for and replaced the cheapies with panels made with Sunpower A grade cells. Unlike the cheapies which are super light and super flexible, creek and crack when you flex them, and you can feel the cells through a thin gloss coating on them, mine are a bit heavier and have a heavy mat finish, slightly thicker and less flexible. Also there are no thin metal strips visible. All metal strips are embedded behind the panels in one of the layers.
Having said that, I got these at a good price; which warranted giving them a go. The way I figure it, even if I have to replace one a year, I'm still better off than staying at caravan parks for power.
Thought I'd upload some updated photos of the van.
The roof has been completely repaired and sanded ready for the special thermal paint - as are the hatches. I've started repairing all the body blemishes/damage - this included all the resized windows.. So far I've done the rear of the van where I've also completely fibreglassed in the rear window, and I've done the left hand side of the van- so much work to get it looking perfect!!!! SO MANY BLEMISHES.
One of the jobs that has been done which I have failed to mention; this van had been painted, and I've completely stripped all the paint off. That was one big job too. No wonder I don't appear to be making progress. Am I being too anal about doing it right??? Nahhhh. . I'm replacing all the windows with the latest double insulated 4 radius model with internal screens. This has required reshaping the window openings to suit 4 round corners. I've also done the cut out for the new kitchen window
Images further down show the progress on the en-suite. This has been redesigned 3 times now.
I think your idea of glassing the back totally is a good move for strength. Most moderns have done away with the rear (& the front). Adding to your difficulty working without a shed!!! I take my hat off to you.
OK. So there's been a lot more body work done since my last post. I've cut out all the bulges and tried to smooth out all the ripples in the fibreglass, along with 100's of gelcoat cracks and fractures - what a job!!. As you can see by the many colours of filler,, I've been over her a few times. I took all the car bog out (really crap stuff for this type of job) and have redone it with fibreglass resin/talc first, then resin and some other much lighter filler. This was completed 2 weeks ago. Last weekend effort in next post.
Body is completely sanded and ready for spray on high build polyester undercoat. I'm using a product call Reface from Upol. This hides all the sandpaper scratches and minor blemishs.
I really do hope the effort shows in the finished product.
So, despite mild windy conditions on Saturday, I managed to get the roof painted with Globcote. I sprayed this on and got a nice even satin/semi glass finish. I think in hindsight, it would have looked more glossy if I rolled it on.
The multiple gland outlets you see are for the solar wire inputs - yes lots of solar mentioned in previous posts. I've also provisioned for a roof mounted satellite disk; still thinking about that one.
Now to put up my 10m x 6m marquee which I'm using as a spray booth to paint the body.
Hope to be able to show a fully painted body in 3-4 weeks - weather permitting - possibly with windows and door fitted..
Hi Greg, I used Norglass marine fiberglass 2 pack primer & top coat with a gloss softner. Very happy with the outcome considering we didn't go to your trouble of removing the wooppys. Any marine outlet sells it & the Norglass help line is great. Cheers Brent
Finally got a coat of undercoat on, only to find 100's of pin holes in the gel coat. Had to spend another 2 weekends dealing with the pin holes, so never got it painted before Christmas.
In the process of sanding the entire van again after fixing the pin holes.; I Should have the sanding finished tomorrow. I'm going to paint the red banding on it first and leave that to dry for a day. Then mask up the banding and paint the rest of the van the next day - assuming the weather holds out.
As you can see I've now got her under a marquee - and the marquee poles have been raise 600mm so the van would fit under it.. I did have the sides of the marquee fitted, but the wind here has been too strong and the sides were acting like sails. I've removed the sides and replaced with 70% shade-cloth to the ground - this is working out great.
With the undercoat you can use a car spray putty on it. Then spray with a very light coat of black paint to be As a guide coat to show up the imperfections and sand with 320 grit paper on a sander to save time if you put on spot putty it will take forever and still have to be sanded also will show up any scraches you have missed Cheers chris
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