MG Metalworks Van Build

ChuckB

Expedition Leader
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
I totally understand your reasoning.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Another pair of Sienna seats arrived last week and I'm just about finished with the seat mount designs. The passenger side will have a swivel, the driver side will not. I purchased a swivel base from Sportsmobile a couple weeks ago hoping that I could make something work but no luck. I now have a virtually brand new swivel base that I had mounted in my van for a couple days if anyone is interested in making an offer.

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Here is a rendering of the passenger side design. It utilizes the factory slide tracks but pretty much everything else is a custom piece. It looks deceivingly tall in this picture but it is actually pretty compact for a swivel base. I originally didn't want to design my own swivel but the swivels that are readily available are either low quality or they simply just aren't the right dimensions. There are some sweet, very compact swivels made in Europe but I couldn't find a US distributor and they would have been over $250 each.

Passenger side render.JPG

MG
 

steelheadbum

Adventurer
Mg how much for new base?? Wish I had your skills!

The Redneck Mexican
2002 E350 7.3 PSD 4x4 8inch lift pop top conversion....
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Mg how much for new base??
I'll have pricing figured out in a few days once I have the laser cutting quoted.

So our new base slides and swivels? That's pretty cool if so.
Yes, the design retains the factory slides and the passenger side will have a swivel. I'm replacing the front two ford seats with Sienna seats if I hadn't mentioned that already. I'm going to disable the foot rest feature on the drivers seat because it won't be practical to use on that side. I considered getting a Sienna seat without the foot rest just for the driver side but I can't find a good enough deal on a single seat...

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MG
 

steelheadbum

Adventurer
Will you have enough room on the passenger side to utilize the reclining feature? Also when the passenger seat is swiveled around can you recline both front and rear seat with no interference?
Bro I have to see your setup in person....what's you schedule like days off etc...
Buck

The Redneck Mexican
2002 E350 7.3 PSD 4x4 8inch lift pop top conversion....
 
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mgmetalworks

Explorer
Will you have enough room on the passenger side to utilize the reclining feature?
Facing forward and foot rest extended...probably not going to be very practical. Not for my body type at least.

Also when the passenger seat is swiveled around can you recline both front and rear seat with no interference?
With my current seating configuration, it will be one or the other but not both. Others might not have any problem at all if they choose to layout seats differently than I did. Honestly, I would have been ok with non-recliner style Sienna seats in the front for our rig but with all the requests for information I've gotten about this style of seats, I figured I'd just come up with a mounting solution for the recliners instead of some other odd-ball configuration.

Bro I have to see your setup in person....what's you schedule like days off etc...
I have a day job but I work from home most Fridays. Weekends are mostly available...I'm flexible. PM me some dates that work for you and we'll set something up. I'd really like to see your camper top up close. I have some ideas for my own design but I want to see different types (already checked out a SMB top).


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MG
 

steelheadbum

Adventurer
MG,
Can you tell if your sienna seat mounts will work with my removable seat base's? I'm hoping they will looks like the just bolt to factory slides.



If so looks like I'm about to spend so more $$$$.
Buck

The Redneck Mexican
2002 E350 7.3 PSD 4x4 8inch lift pop top conversion....
 

a_frye

New member
Can you show us some detailed pictures of your door slider/hinge mods? Would be greatly appreciated.....! Nice build....
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Steelheadbum - ill get some of the dimensions from the mounts so you can compare with your brackets. It looks like it could work but may have to drill a few holes.

a_frye - when I get back home I can post a couple pics but what I have doesn't show a lot of detail of how I got from point A to B. I can tell you that the level of difficulty goes way up the more you try to extend out. I'm not trying to discourage you from doing it yourself but if you don't get the geometry right, you can't get the door to line up nor will it slide in the track right. (my very first attempt proved that). :) It isn't a trivial exercise to try to eyeball. I ended up machining a jig for positioning the parts for welding.

I'm working on a new design in Solidworks which should be ready for testing soon. I just need to finish some other projects first.

MG
 

steelheadbum

Adventurer
Thanks bud, and I would be happy to let ya check out my CCV top.
Buck
The Redneck Mexican
2002 E350 7.3 PSD 4x4 8inch lift pop top conversion....
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Steelheadbum - Here are some of the dimensions of the Sienna seat bracket (the original design, not the swivel base design) for checking against your current mounts. The factory front slide tracks are 14.375" wide (center to center of the mounting bolts) for another reference.
bracket dimensions.jpg

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Here are a couple pictures of the extended hinge I did when I first got my van (stock hinge on top). I basically cut the part that mounts to the door and moved the pivot point forward ~2" and outward ~.25". The slider side of the hinge was extended a little over 2". If you look close, you can see in the second picture that I cut a small section out of the door so the hinge could swing out.

20130128_170634.jpg
20130128_180803.jpg

If you're modifying the stock hinge, you can only go so far before the shape of the inside of the door starts creating problems for you. I'm trying to get around that by redesigning the hinge with a little bit different shape but the same motion. I've modeled the stock hinge and the re-designed hinge in Solidworks and I think I have it pretty close. I can get about 3" extension with minimal trimming on the door (In the virtual world anyway). I want to get more than that but I'm going to prototype the design I have now and see how it works. Parts are on their way for this so hopefully I can get some time in the shop soon.

MG
 

Acheateaux

Adventurer
I could be interested in the swivel base if you still have it. I'm trying to figure out if I can swivel my passenger front seat, it looks pretty tight in there.
 
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