AmboVan Restarted


Alright, I've been coasting on Chris' original thread since last fall, and figured I'd start my own now that I'm back hard at work on Ambovan

Original thread is here:!!

Had a trip to Alaska in late April, sailing trip with our little catamaran to Puerto Penasco in early May, and a week in San Carlos the week of Memorial Day. Nothing else planned for the summer or fall except getting the rig on the road.

Seeing as it is well into the 100s now in June, first thing I needed is some shade to work in.

braced it off to the house, and put some relief cuts in the side wall, hasn't blown away yet

Start the rebuilding from the back forward - First thing is to finish chopping off and rebuilding the bodywork behind the wheels. I cut off the bumper below the rear doors over the winter, but never got any further than that. Easy to cut off the bumper - A little more involved to rebuild the side boxes and doors

Right side first...

Then the left side

Extracting the bottom part of the compartment frame from the chopped-off part...

Getting it tacked back in place

Starting to get an idea of how it will look

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Rebuilding the inside of the boxes

Aluminum welds are starting to get a little more visually appealing, but not so much that they dont look better with a covering of Sikaflex sealant

Doors need to rebuilt too

Paint Prep

A little Ford White paint...

Still need to get the doors back on, need to do some work on the door latches and get some new weather stripping
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Need to get the bumper built, but need to clean up the frame a bit first. Lots of surface rust, and turns out the ends of the frame have a bit of twist in them

Rusty before

Getting cleaner

All braced and boxed in.

Also replaced the aluminum trim at the bottom of the box, so I can have a good reference on where the bumper will be fitted

Trim all bolted in place

Catches me up to now, more updates as I continue. I just have to keep remember that it will be awesome when I am done - Whenever that is.
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Next updates...

Finishing up the compartment doors -

I am replacing the key locks on the compartments with barrel locks, all matching. They are a bit proud of them, but it will be nice to have a good secure lock for all the doors and compartments, that all work with the same key.


When I got them installed, I was a bit annoyed that the reveals were not as precise as I thought they would be, but then I looked at how all the rest of the doors fit from the factory, and I am WELL within the tolerances set from the factory.

New seals as well

Other thing to do prior to getting the bumper built was rework the fuel filler - It hung down below the cutoff line of the body

Chopped it down a bit... We will see if the fuel nozzle bottoms out when I gas up!

and then trimmed the aluminum a bit so the hoses can tuck up and out of the way

1/4" diamond plate should protect it a bit better

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Also had a monsoon storm tear off the canopy top I put up, so back to working in the sun, at least until monsoon season passes

At least the side shade stayed put
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Finally, the bumper

My wife took the camera when she was out of town for a couple of days over the 4th, so missed some shots of the early work

1"x4" barstock as frame attachment, carrying through the bumper as recovery points. 3x8x1/4" rectangular tubing for the main bumper - cut wedges out of the tubing, bent it up, rewelded and ground the line to make the sloping part. Probably went through 15 cutting wheels, no plasma cutter, and a torch puts in way too much heat.

Square tubing as a spacer to the brace I added earlier to the frame, I have bolts in there as well - Total of 10 grade 8 bolts.

Fabbed the bar stock first, bolted it to the frame, and then slipped the 3x8 over the recovery tabs. Once the bumper was bolted to the frame as well, I started welding the pieces together

All the welds that I cant get to will get finished when the bumper comes off for painting

Return pieces up the side - 3x3x1/4" square tubing

That brace is a 2.5"x1/4" square tube, really sturdy in the lateral direction, but still a really long cantilever in the vertical direction. Not much I can do about it, except dont use the bumper all the way up at the wheel as a jacking point. Still pretty burley

Trim the corner a bit

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