AT IT AGAIN: Paul and Mike Convert a Mid/Tall T1N Sprinter Cargo

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
#1
As you can read about toward the end of this thread,

http://www.expeditionportal.com/for...OVERLANDER-Mikey-s-Transitory-Sprinter-Camper,

I've once again decided something needs to be more complicated and expensive. This time the victim is the 144" wheelbase, '03 Freightliner Sprinter van that I've been using as sort of a made-outta-leftovers camper. It's proven a really sweet van, and I recently decided it was worth making it a good bit spiffier.

I am very fortunate to once again enlist the talents of Paul Jensen, the craftsman who gets the credit for much work on my Wrangler camper:

P1010732.jpg

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/51254-EarthRoamer-XV-JP-quot-Northwest-Edition-quot

and the camper conversion of the rear of my LX470:

064.jpg

http://www.expeditionportal.com/for...s-LX470-Rear-Cabin-Conversion?highlight=LX470

I've loaded up the van with a bunch of bits and pieces and will head up to Paul's tomorrow.

083.jpg

With any luck, he'll keep you posted on the progress over the next few weeks.
 
#6
#1

The calendar said it was January 15th, the pre-arranged day to take possession of the Hiscox Sprinter...The shop was cleaned out, the driveway was swept and hosed...My work calendar was clear of other work and my full focus will be getting the conversion done before March 1...


(above) So it begins...


(above) Empty and clean, I couldn't ask for a better way to start...


(above) Last month when Mike came up to discuss the conversion, he had a fully built particle board mock-up in place...I was expecting that when it arrived today...I'm glad that removing all of that is something I don't have to do...Thanks Mike...


(above) Let's finish the pre-build tour...Driver side wall...


(above) The side windows went in since I last saw the van...From the inside it makes a huge difference in the amount of light, from the outside the van seems bigger...


(above) On the curb side will be a built in fridge, some storage, a built-in seat, a convertible bed, a storage compartment for the toilet and cabinets above the window...


(above) Over here will be a built-in full size bed/sofa, sink, stove, microwave, blue and grey water tanks, water pump, inverter,more storage and cabinets above the window...


(above) Under the floor is a battery bank...I'll start with what's here and rework it as needed...


(above) I haven't really looked intently at what's here, but the previous work looks clean and professional...Whew, they all don't come that way...


(above) One thing I don't need to do much with is the insulation...Under the plastic wrapped fiberglass is foil bubble wrap glued to the walls...


(above) Driver side door...Not sure how this will look when it's done...


(above) Curb side door...Same thing...


(above) The first thing to happen was the removal of the upper wall cabinet...


(above) The headliner came out next...Nice to see it's insulated up there too...Looks like at some time, there had been wired-in lights...???...


(above) The front cabin headliner was next to come out...i'll be adding a shelf into that and it's easier and stronger to have it out to do it...

After you've done a few Sprinter conversions, the mystery of how these things come apart is gone...Pop a fastener here, pull this weatherstrip loose here, remove this screw, voila', it's out...

At the end of the day it was basically a fresh canvas...Compared to the other conversions I've done, it feels like I'm already a week ahead of schedule...Experience tells me that is an illusion...Don't get cocky, get busy...Momentum matters...
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
#9
Looks like at some time, there had been wired-in lights...???...
Yes, there were. I put the remote controlled battery powered LED pucks at the same locations where John had previously installed small, invidivually switched lights of this style:

Feel free to use that ceiling wiring for bigger lights if you want.

Heck of a start for half-a-day's work.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
#10
This is great....I have been missing my fix of the Jensen magic....at times I find myself looking at older threads of Paul's work just to be amazed all over agan.
Looking forward to more fantastic work.
 
#14
#2

With a clearer understanding of the scope of work, the first thing to do today was to gather some of the cabinet building materials...

Some significant decisions still needed to be made that would set the style of the build...We've already decided to not go for a "wood" finish inside...It'll all get painted...Other than that I've been given permission to build it as I want...Nice...So today as I'm going through the lumber yards I'm thinking: Thick plywood vs. thin plywood...???...Hard edges vs. soft edges...???...Ceiling painted vs. fabric...???...Choices, choices...Given that Mike's Sprinter gets excellent performance and fuel economy, I opted to build the cabinets with light weight and high strength as the primary considerations...

So it was off to Lowe's, Hardel Lumber and Joanne Fabrics...Lumber yards are my second home, and getting what I needed went quickly, but fabric stores are something else...Old ladies moving slowly...Both the customers and the hired help...My patience was tested and eventually I left with what I needed...Then it was back to the shop to get busy...


(above) My plan (subject to change) is to get the front cabin done first...That way the stuff Mike is still acquiring and having shipped to me for the rear cabin can get here and once it's all here I can go full speed into that...So I'll get the bedding storage shelf in the front headlined done first...

The tape shows roughly where it'll go...


(above) Fortunately I have the same size Sprinter as Mike's, so I was in and out of mine measuring and marking...


(above) In the previous picture there are two pieces of tape that are my two measuring points...These wood sticks are cut to those widths...Front and back...


(above) Keep it simple, get rid of the tape measure whenever possible...


(above) Reference sticks in place...


(above) To get the depth right another stick is used...


(above) The plywood on the table is a 5-ply that is $15.50 per sheet at Lowe's...A great deal...The reference sticks are positioned and the plywood is marked...Connect the dots and cut it out...


(above) To get the curve up front right a cardboard pattern is made...Five trimming cuts get it close enough...


(above) Transfer and cut...


(above) Back in my van a test piece of pine framing gets the angle and placement right...Again no measuring...


(above) Glued and screwed...


(above) It's built, now it needs fine tuning...


(above) Five minutes with an aggressive 40 grit disc on a grinder and it's as tuned as it gets...


(above) Next the fabric gets glued to the ceiling side with this...I use a lot of this so I get the big tank...


(above) It goes on with this...


(above) Like this...On both the fabric and the plywood...


(above) Drop the ply on the fabric, trim the excess and fold...


(above) And it looks like this...


(above) The shelf is fastened to the headliner with ten 8/32 screws set into T-nuts...


(above) Done...

Tomorrow I hear the surf calling my name, and depending on how good the surf is maybe I'll get this re-installed back in the van afterwards...Maybe not...
 
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