MG Metalworks Van Build

SoCalChaos

Observer
Also got the fender flares installed.

View attachment 146856
gotta pic of the slider clearance with the fender flares?
I've been putting installing a set on until I can get my van up to Quadvan in Portland for the slider door extension mod.
but if it doesn't interfere anymore than the rear tire does I'll order the fender flares and get them on soon.

Nice job on the rear captains chairs to! those are awesome, I'd like to see how you mod them to be quick release.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Stating the obvious here but owning a black van means that it is hardly ever clean. Well…it might be clean but it hardly ever “looks” clean. That’s why one of the first things to do was to install the fender flares to cut down on the road spray and mud coating the side of the van. I chose to buy the Bushwacker flares but I didn’t get the slider version for the back, I chose the “barn door” style. As I said before, I’m working on a slider hinge design that will clear the barn door style flare (and bigger tire) but it isn’t ready just yet. My current slider hinge is extended about 2” but it isn’t enough to clear the flare…it needs to come out another 1.5-2” from what I can tell. In the meantime, I still need my slider to work so I did a little surgery on the current flare to get me by. I’ll replace the flare once I have my new hinge ready.

First, I used a heat gun to soften the flare and push it in as much as I could, hoping that it would be enough. It wasn’t enough though. It started to fold over on itself and I still needed another 1/4” inch. So I made a cut in the flare and heated/shaped some more until I got the clearance I needed.

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Then using a soldering iron and some of the trimmings, I “welded” the cut seam, sanded it and backed up the weld on the inside of the flare with an epoxy. The weld turned out pretty good. The sanding discolored the area a little. I might paint it…or I might not. Winter in Oregon means that it will always be covered in dirt so it may not be worth it. :)

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Still needs a little more massaging but I ran out of time for the weekend. The door now slides freely past the flare....though there is pretty much just a sliver of daylight between the door and the flare when the door is all the way back.

MG
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Great day on the Oregon Coast!!! Took the family out in the adventure van today. The wife LOVED the new seats. I even caught a little nap with the seat reclined and the ocean breeze blowing in the side door. One of the best mods I've ever made to a vehicle!

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SoCalChaos

Observer
Stating the obvious here but owning a black van means that it is hardly ever clean. Well…it might be clean but it hardly ever “looks” clean. That's why one of the first things to do was to install the fender flares to cut down on the road spray and mud coating the side of the van. I chose to buy the Bushwacker flares but I didn't get the slider version for the back, I chose the “barn door” style. As I said before, I'm working on a slider hinge design that will clear the barn door style flare (and bigger tire) but it isn't ready just yet. My current slider hinge is extended about 2” but it isn't enough to clear the flare…it needs to come out another 1.5-2” from what I can tell. In the meantime, I still need my slider to work so I did a little surgery on the current flare to get me by. I'll replace the flare once I have my new hinge ready.

First, I used a heat gun to soften the flare and push it in as much as I could, hoping that it would be enough. It wasn't enough though. It started to fold over on itself and I still needed another 1/4” inch. So I made a cut in the flare and heated/shaped some more until I got the clearance I needed.

View attachment 147567View attachment 147568


Then using a soldering iron and some of the trimmings, I “welded” the cut seam, sanded it and backed up the weld on the inside of the flare with an epoxy. The weld turned out pretty good. The sanding discolored the area a little. I might paint it…or I might not. Winter in Oregon means that it will always be covered in dirt so it may not be worth it. :)

View attachment 147569
View attachment 147570
View attachment 147571

Still needs a little more massaging but I ran out of time for the weekend. The door now slides freely past the flare....though there is pretty much just a sliver of daylight between the door and the flare when the door is all the way back.

MG
that looks great!
I should be getting my flares soon.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Finally some progress on my own van!!! Before I really dig deep into the Super Duty mirrors, I knocked out a request from the wife for a grab handle to get into the van. We're headed out for a road trip with the in-laws soon and the van is pretty hard to get into for the elder folk.

I used some interlocking tube clamps so I could dismount it easily if needed but also so I could cleanly hide the mounts behind the interior panels.

TrailGear-ChromolyInterlockingTubeClamps.jpg

Had to be mindful of access to the slider door release on the inside. The grab handle is closer to the seat than I'd like because of this but I'd rather have better access to the door release.... always a trade off to deal with. The handle doesn't touch the seat though.
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Getting out of the van is just as tough for my mother-in-law (and my own Mom) so I made it long enough to be used as a support coming down the steps. Gotta think of the moms!
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Tight fit!
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Doesn't interfere with the seat recline.
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Now I can get going on the mirrors!!!
 
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mgmetalworks

Explorer
I would absolutely love to see this!!!
I'm pretty sure the 6.7L Cummins conversion will happen within the next 1.5-2 years but I won't be going with a manual trans. I had a Super Duty truck with powerstroke/6-speed combo and I just didn't enjoy driving it. My friend's Dodge wasn't any more enjoyable...probably even less so. I personally just don't see that a manual offers any advantage for how we are going to use our van. It would actually be a nuisance because my wife would refuse to drive and I'd be stuck behind the wheel every time we went out.

I'm in the information gathering phase right now. Trying to decide which trans I will go with and how I am going to integrate all of the electronics. I'm also keeping my eyes open for deals on parts I know I'll need. Not much else can happen on the project without spending a van load of money though...

MG
 

BIGVAN

Lead Recon Team
Wow! Nice! My wife is gona make me build her one of those!
Nice job, looks good.
:smiley_drive:
 

TeCKis300

Observer
Those sets look so incredibly comfy.

Just a thought, but have you considered elevating the 3rd row seats on some sort or false platform like stadium seats? With the amount of headroom in the van, you could make for some great storage in and under the seats. Not sure if you're doing an expo type build, but it would be a great location for electronics, water tank, etc. And you could maybe clear some of the wheel well such that you could more easily access that recliner lever.

But then again, you've already done such of great job of modding and setting it all up.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Those sets look so incredibly comfy.

Just a thought, but have you considered elevating the 3rd row seats on some sort or false platform like stadium seats? With the amount of headroom in the van, you could make for some great storage in and under the seats. Not sure if you're doing an expo type build, but it would be a great location for electronics, water tank, etc. And you could maybe clear some of the wheel well such that you could more easily access that recliner lever.
That's an idea....I hadn't thought of that. I don't think you could go as high as to clear the wheel well but I'll kick the storage idea around in my head for a while... Thanks! The rear two seats are mounted right up against the wheel well and the original reclining lever wouldn't work. I relocated the cable used to release the foot rest to work on the middle lever (that was used in the toyota for sliding in the floor track). Everything works as it should.

My van is in the "family hauler" mode right now. Long term plan is to have an Expo-camper-type van. I say long term because right now my kids are still in diapers and we're not quite ready for hard core off-road adventures and off-grid camping. When we get to that point, I can envision that I won't have the rear seats in the same configuration (if they're in there at all). My interior plans are going to take a back seat (no pun intended) for now to the exterior goodies like bumpers, roof rack, ladders, pop up top, etc... And even some of that might come after the Cummins conversion. This is a long term project, lots of work ahead and I'll probably change my mind about things a few times along the way.

BTW... speaking of Sienna seats... We just got back from a quick over-night trip with the babies and my wife's parents. Roughly 6 hours of driving each way from our house in Newberg, OR to John Day, OR and back. My in-laws LOVED the seats!!! They were lounged out with their feet up pretty much the whole trip. My wife told me no less than 4 times that it was time for Sienna seats in the front. :)

MG
 

hobietony

Explorer
I'd take those factory seats off your hands when you replace them.... Hold me over 'til I get some sienna seats (of something more comfy than the misery seats I have now)
 
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