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

#32
Update time - the weather has left me inside cuddling a black labrador and a coffee. Tried to leave in the van but was getting blown around and damn near hit the ditch thrice. I promptly turned around after the second scare and had a third driving towards home! Definitely needs some weight in the back... Hopefully a rear bumper will help out weight distribution for the time being as I think it's the heaviest item I have to add relatively quickly. Should be on within the month. Just checked some photos I took at the weigh scale - total weight is 2870kgs (6327 lbs) with me and the 65 lbs dog (I assume, can't remember) with the front tipping the scales at 1670kgs (3680 lbs) and the rear at 1200kgs (2645 lbs).

Anyways, the real updates, real progress is pretty decent - the first order of business is the stereo. I kind of held off on doing this write up for a while as I only had the head unit in and knew that I would be eventually adding speakers, amps and subs to make it the ultimate sound machine.

Rundown of the hardware used:
- Pioneer AVH-X5800BHS
- Pioneer 8604 4 Channel Amp
- Pioneer 9601 Mono Channel Amp
- Rockford Fosgate 2 Farad Capacitor
- JBL GTO638 6.5" 3 way speakers (x2)
- JBL GTO18T 1" Tweeter (x2)
- JBL GTO938 6x9 Speakers (x2)
- Pioneer TS-SW2502S4 10" Subwoofer (x2)
- PAC RadioPro Pioneer Headunit / Steering wheel controls integration unit
- InstallGear Wiring Distribution Block
- BlueSea 300A Battery Disconnect Switch

So, a fair bit of gear! This was my first FULL stereo install which included x3 sets of RCA cables going from the headunit to the amps (front, rear and subs) along with a distribution block for the power cable so it can run both amps after the capacitor. The 6x9 speakers aren't installed yet as I'm not sure where the final location will be so I'll hold off for now - I ran the wiring and double checked that it's all functioning so I can't imagine how loud it will be with the addition of the rear speakers. It's so crisp!

I managed to install both amps, the capacitor, distribution block and master cut off switch in the passenger seat compartment which gives me access if I want to shut off the power to the audio system. It seemed as though the capacitor would continually turn on and off due to power fluctuations which in turn runs the LED display sucking power and probably draining the battery in short time. So... Not a big deal but something I have to keep in mind.

Overall I can definitely say the stereo was worth the effort - the headunit allows for so much customization regarding the sound (crossovers etc) and I have yet to really dive into it. Same with the amps - I installed a similar amp for my Fiesta ST sub and it required a bit of tuning using the stock head unit, fortunately the aftermarket one makes it much easier to get the sound I wanted.

On to the pictures!

Wiring loom is your best friend!


Capacitor wiring going in



Capacitor displaying voltage


WeatherPack Connectors to fuse block for amp power


Pioneer Amps Installed




Tweeter Install




Rear of headunit - so many wires!!!



Wiring routed through the seats


Making the sub boxes from MDF - small notch for the seat bracket on each side. These boxes BARELY made the minimum size for the 10" shallow mount subs - they sound amazing and am glad they worked out.



Showing the mounting of the sub boxes to the seat risers


Subs installed!


 
#33
Next up was installing my winter wheels and tires - the Black Rhino York wheels had a pretty bad shake at around 100kmph (60mph) and so I was somewhat concerned. But, as the shake was intermittent I had come to the conclusion it was the beads. Thankfully, I was right - I'll order up some TPMS monitors and have them installed for next spring along with a few more balancing beads to hopefully get things under control. The winter set up rolls nice and smooth - thankfully the tire shop was able to set up the steel wheels with weights on the lip instead of beads.

Still needs some weight in the bed but looks pretty great!




 
#34
Also, forgot to include my USB power mod - this was a BlueSea USB hub which I installed in the center flip console.

WeatherPack power connector - this was later changed to using the power coming from a relay turned on by a tap into a line under the driver seat. Comes on only with vehicle power instead of being constantly on as it has a green LED which would drain the battery. Not a problem as I've got the relay set up for exactly this reason, just one more wire tapped into that circuit!


Console trimmed out




Rear of the USB hub trimmed down - it was interfering with the vent air adjustment roller so I had to trim down a bunch of the back plastic. Thankfully there is a lot of 'air space' on the back and nothing crucial so it went smoothly.




 
#35
I've also ran the power for my CB radio - brought the antenna wiring up to the front as well so when I get my bumper I can install the antenna easily. This Cobra box is set up so the handheld can be used in multiple rigs easily - I don't need a super fancy CB radio (I really need to learn how to use my Yaesu radio) and so moving the Cobra handheld from my 4Runner to the Sprinter and back is easy enough.


 
#37
Yesterday I managed to get some protection for the subs made - used a bit of Canadian flavour as hockey pucks cut in half worked great for stand offs for the plexiglass.

Looks good enough for me! I didn't do many measurements on the holes, probably could have taken some more time but it should work.





 
#38
And as my tractor has a flat tire and I needed to run to town, why not just run the Sprinter through the snow a couple times! It was fun so I went and found more drifts to drive into... I wish I got the first attempt at going through the main drift but alas, my GoPro was on picture mode. Bugger!

So, enjoy this little video to show the 4x4 getting down. This thing needs a locker...

 

southpier

Expedition Leader
#39
this looks like it's shaping up into a great rig. interesting how meticulous the wiring and hidden mechanics are, and then there's those speaker things ... hope they are only temporary!

following along.
 
#40
this looks like it's shaping up into a great rig. interesting how meticulous the wiring and hidden mechanics are, and then there's those speaker things ... hope they are only temporary!

following along.
I've had a 'trial' run on my 4Runner which I love and I learned a lot from it - this Sprinter is the culmination of all of my knowledge as every aspect of the rig will be touched. So much to consider!

Making sure I can troubleshoot things or have someone else do it for me is crucial so labeling the wiring made sense. Having the label maker and being a bit crazy, I knew I had to make it happen. The results are great and I'm happy I can disconnect wires and not question where they came from!
 
#41
Alright, time for another update!

Got the skid plates installed - pretty straight forward and very easy to install.







I then went to Montana to pick up some more goodies - this time it was the Aluminess bumpers which I was pretty excited for. A couple well packaged pallets awaited me at the depot and I had to break them down a bit to get it all in the van. Thankfully van interiors are HUGE and it all worked out.

The install was straight forward but they did lack some details... I managed to make sense of the nuts and bolts provided and got the job done. Added some additional mounts to the galley box on the rear as I felt 4 wasn't quite enough - it now has 6 bolts securing it to the rear curbside swing arm.

Front bumper at home in the garage:








Warn Zeon 10-S winch installed in the front bumper - had to use their control relocation kit to get it to clear but I kinda knew that going in. The Zeon winches seem to be quite tall in profile if you don't do the relocation kit.


Rear bumper sitting in the garage:


Galley box


The bumper looks pretty bare without any fog lights - I wanted to make sure I knew the hole opening size before ordering my lights but was happy to find that the large openings will fit a 170mm light such as the Lightforce Striker 170 HID's. An astute eye will also notice my headlight washing system is now exposed - Aluminess decided that the aesthetics of the bumper were more important than retaining the functionality of the headlight cleaning system - something which I didn't agree with. So... I trimmed holes where the washers protrude out from the vehicle and now they can do their thing! They're simply pushed forward by water pressure with just a spring loaded door so there wasn't anything to move over from the stock bumper.













In a few of these pictures you can see that I've also installed the Flarespace rear flares to ensure I can set up my bed across the vehicle instead of lengthwise. Looking forward to starting the inside retrofit soon!






One side cut


Two sides cut!


Enlisted some help for the install - definitely a two person job. Fortunately my Fiesta friend Mic has installed glass in a previous life and was more than happy to help. He's also helped me when I had to replace both of my back windows. Yes that's right. BOTH. Apparently I can't tow a trailer and drive on gravel at all with this van... gonna have to get it set up with more paint and window protection, this time on the rear doors. Bugger!


That's it for now - I'm enjoying driving the van around. I thought it turned heads before the bumpers and flares... If you want a vehicle that gets noticed screw the Lambo, get a big jacked up Sprinter!!
 
#42
love it!!

The bullbar looks great, looking forward to seeing the new lights in it.

As for the barn door glass smashing, another option is a deflection screen on the trailer to reduce window damage.

Its angled back down at the towball, quite common on camper trailers here in Aus.


looking forwards to seeing the rest of the build.
 
#43
love it!!

The bullbar looks great, looking forward to seeing the new lights in it.

As for the barn door glass smashing, another option is a deflection screen on the trailer to reduce window damage.

Its angled back down at the towball, quite common on camper trailers here in Aus.


looking forwards to seeing the rest of the build.
Thanks! This is my dream build so I'm pretty excited to see it transform.

Two different trailers - one smashed when stock, one when lifted. One with stock tires, one with my winter tires. That being said, I need to come up with a solution which will stop it from happening regardless of which trailer I tow.
 

Jostt

Adventurer
#44
Very nice the bullbar, It is a shame here in Spain it is no legal any more These cain of bars , the rules are caming just to sale New Cars, I Was thinking to build one for the Mog, and install the warm winch I have , but I m locking the rules to know if I can do, great job I like how is comeing your project
 
#45
Very nice the bullbar, It is a shame here in Spain it is no legal any more These cain of bars , the rules are caming just to sale New Cars, I Was thinking to build one for the Mog, and install the warm winch I have , but I m locking the rules to know if I can do, great job I like how is comeing your project
Thanks! I've been watching your build too - unfortunate that you have to make all sorts of concessions regarding the safety regulations but you're making the most of it.