shouldbeasy's 'home away from home' 2017 4x4 Sprinter build

Installed my CRL Laurence window on the passenger sliding door - relatively straight forward installation. Lots of trial fits to ensure that I was taking material out of the right spots - got it to seal no problem (I think... a real rain storm will truly tell!) and it sure holds tight. Happy with the fit and finish.

Starting to cut

Using glazing pucks on the outside while I cut from the inside

Cut out complete

Window installed!

CRL Laurence for the win!

CRL Laurence T Vent open

CRL Laurence T Vent open side profile

Also got around to installing my Chip Express tuning module as it arrived on Friday and since it's a straight forward installation I was able to make it happen on my lazy day. 20 mins later and its installed! It will bump me up about 30hp and 50 ft*lbs on setting one and up to 51hp and 91 ft*lbs on setting 3. Should be good for when I get my little Fiesta ST hooked up and am towing through some mountains! I have a long drive ahead of me tomorrow to Montana to collect parts, I'm very interested to see how it runs.

Tuning Module

Fuel Rail Sensor

Fuel Rail Sensor Close Up

Tuning Module Wiring Harness

Tuning Moduel Wiring Harness # 2

Family photo!
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Time for some progress updates!

I have wired in my secondary battery disconnect switch - shuts off power to the van so it's 'dead in the water' so to speak. Hard to steal when you can't figure out why it doesn't have power!

So, some pictures of that set up:

BlueSea Battery Disconnect

Ring Terminals with heat shrink

Ring Terminals Connected to the Switch

Wire exposed for Wire-to-Wire connector

Stock Battery Wiring Cut - Negative Post

Wire-to-Wire Connector (one end)

Wire-to-Wire Connector

Wire-to-Wire Connector

Wire-to-Wire Connector - sheath protection

Wire-to-Wire Connector - sheath protection

Wire-to-Wire Connector - sheath protection

Wire-to-Wire Connector - completed

Negative Post Marine Terminal

Negative Post Wiring Complete

Next up is my BlueSea fuse block, Bussman 100A breaker and Hella relay block wired in where the secondary battery used to be. I'm making an aluminum plate for them to sit on and it should bolt up. I need to get it wired in as I'd like to have both of my cameras going (front and rear) and they require a secondary power source. In order for them to not be powered all the time I have tapped in to a fuse block under the driver seat which seems to come on only when the ignition is on. So, that can trigger a relay and I can use the output for it for all of my low power draw items such as switch power, cameras etc.
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Update time!

First off, I'll start with my seats - I purchased a set of Recaro ERGOMED ES from a vendor on eBay called 'carpartzz' who is located in Germany close to the Recaro factory and creates custom seats that Recaro can't / won't create.

So thankfully I was able to get the seats in a lovely brown leather which, in my mind, classes up the inside of the van a bit. The seats themselves are amazing - the cooling function doesn't work that well but I'm not so concerned as I may upgrade the fans to improve the air flow. I purchased the seats for their range of adjustment and it paid off in spades - the ability to adjust the seat so that it takes the pressure of my back and also supporting my lumbar section is amazing. Add in the arm rests and I could not be happier - these should last the life of the vehicle easily.

On to the install! I had to weld up some brackets for not only the seat belt buckle but also the seat swivels.

Next on my 'hit list' was adding in some sound deadening. Couple observations while driving on gravel: 1.) the van is super loud (as expected) and the metal flexes around while going over washboard and also reflects the sound of all the gravel rock 'pings' as they hit the underside of the van. 2.) the stock tires throw rocks like mad! I was towing a small trailer and had the rocks ricochet off of the trailer and into the rear window... So now I'm out $400 and already have to replace a window on a brand new van. Bugger!! I'll be adding film protection to the rear doors and the rear windows!

Sound deadening pictures:

Passenger door - I actually overdid the boundaries and when I installed the door panel I cut back the Dynamat so that it doesn't show around the door. There was more metal showing normally than I had thought!

Picture of the rear of the van with the Dynamat installed - and my nice cardboard window.

Passenger side - completed the driver side as well but didn't take pictures

Center tunnel and battery cover


Sliding door

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At this point I've had my awning installed for a month or so but didn't have the exterior support brackets installed - while having the interior apart for Dynamat I decided it was best to make use of the time for adding the brackets.

Having a nice large backing plate was critical so that the supports wouldn't pull through the thin sheet metal of the body

Add in some black silicone for sealant

Next was wiring up a fuse block and relay system for powering the cameras (front and back) along with the seats. Gotta start somewhere and it was apparent that these two items needed some fused power that wasn't available!

If you're ever installing a bunch of welding cable for powering various things (winches, solar etc) I would HIGHLY recommend getting one of these lug crimping tools - it has saved me a whole bunch of time and effort connecting ring terminals.

Fuse block power running from an OEM location - worked great!

Ran the power cable from the center console under the dash and out the firewall - I do love me some wire loom!

Power and camera wires from the rear ran down the A-Pillar

Rear camera

Passenger seat power - I originally only ran one line for the seats but due to the power use (one seat blows a 20A fuse) I'll have to run a second 12G wire dedicated to the passenger seat.

One of the best ideas I saw was using the label maker and clear heat shrink to label all my wires - super handy when I have to make the aluminum block removable for when I want to add another relay circuit! WeatherPack connectors are also amazing - worth every penny (bit cheaper when you buy them bulk off Amazon).

Hella relay block

BlueSea fuse block

Bussman 100A breaker
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That is a lot of sound proofing - How much quieter is it? Worth the effort?
WAAAAAY better than without it! Before when I would drive down a gravel road it would rattle and sound like an empty tin can (imagine that!!) and with the sound deadening it seems like all the high frequency noises (rocks hitting the fender liners) are muted and in general its a lot quieter. I purchased another box of sound deadening for the roof and maybe the floor too... I love this stuff and find it makes a big difference overall.
Here are a few pre-lift pictures that I took - unfortunately I didn't take any measurements so I don't know where I started but I can certainly take some after measurements for everyone's reference. Also, as I sit here writing this at the dealership waiting for the wheel alignment I can also go and park next to a stock vehicle and take a couple photos.

Anyways, one to the pictures!

While having my 4Runner offroad and needing to lift it in the air to change a tire I've realized how precariously balanced a hi-lift can be - when it came to lifting this beast in the air I decided to go another route (although I will still carry a hi-lift for its various other uses and back-up). I purchased the ARB X-Jack and gave it a trial run in the driveway - very happy with the performance as it raises the vehicle in a very controlled manner and dropping it is just as smooth. Always make sure to chock the wheels! I had the van roll forward on me and land on the rear axle... Whoops!! No harm, no foul, lesson learned... Also, having the tires that you removed placed under the vehicle when it's on stands is a good habit to have - better to have it land on the wheels than directly on the ground.

Front suspension torn apart

Van Compass 2.5" lift spacers

Healthy coating of Cop-R-Cote on all the bolts (except caliper and wheel studs) as rust is NOT my friend!!

Brake line protection - they don't fit back in the stock mounting location on the body so when I zip tied them back I wanted something between them and the body - a bit of spare tubing did the trick.

Front spacers and additional Fox shock installed

Starting on the rear - chock your wheels!!!

Rear leaf spring, replacement shock and extended sway bar end links installed

Love these rooster guards from Fox - they should do a decent job of protecting the shock shafts so I don't end up having to rebuild them due to the shafts being completely pitted! Managed to get them installed front and rear.

On to the trimming - the rear was easy - I just removed the stock mudflap and used the stock mounting location to secure the Long John mud flap from Husky on to the body and then used some autobody clips to secure it to the fender. There is just barely enough material for the clips to work but they seem to be holding tight! I think the mud flaps look pretty awesome...

Showing how much material I removed - I always purchase the longest flap so I have more material than I need and just cut it to size.

These are the autobody clips I used on the fender - this one is a bit crooked but you can see how much I trimmed off - making sure it grabs the fender but doesn't protrude out past it on the exterior nor push it out so far that it doesn't engage anymore.
Front mud flaps - showing how much I cut off the stock flap. Once I removed the screws and it was obvious that the mud flap was part of the moulding I decided I had to keep it as the body lines would look odd otherwise. So, I ended up mounting the Long John mud flap to the stock one and it worked quite well.

Stainless steel hardware and loc-nuts to secure the Long John to the stock mud flap - even though they shouldn't rust, Cop-R-Cote is your friend!


Next to my 4Runner also on 35" tires

As mentioned, sitting at the stealership now so I'll take some more photos today - comparing it against a stock 4x4 Sprinter and then just a bit of a photo shoot in general. I really, REALLY, need to wash this thing...
I'm loving this build!!

love seeing these Euro vans getting modded and converted, but I'm bias as I'm building a 2017 VW LWB camper van build myself

it sits up high now!!! don't forget to report in the new suspension upgrade and how it handles
I'm loving this build!!

love seeing these Euro vans getting modded and converted, but I'm bias as I'm building a 2017 VW LWB camper van build myself

it sits up high now!!! don't forget to report in the new suspension upgrade and how it handles
Thanks! I'm in love with the stance... it's burly!

Fortunately I'm a tall guy (6'3") so its not so odd when I climb out of the van - and of course it's in Alberta so I don't stand out too much among the lifted Dodge 3500's and Ford F-350's.

The van is at the dealership for the weekend as they ran in to issues with the vehicle on the lift before mine so it will be aligned Tuesday (Holiday Monday). Can't wait to go drive this thing around a bit more!