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Saturday: Getting to Know My Van

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Van Supply Closet

A busy day in the van. It started by watching a crap Liverpool performance at 7:30 am, huevos rancheros for breakfast, and still no hot water in the apartment.

The day was planned out and the "to-do list" included visiting the local hardware store and then working on removing rust, fixing holes in the floor, cleaning spray paint, taking measurements, and opening up the engine to investigate a check engine light issue.

At the hardware store we picked up a broom, a bucket, 2-1/2 wire brush drill bit, a pair of work gloves, steel wool, white rustoleum spray paint, 100-grit sand paper, propoxy 20 steel epoxy, and a 6 pack (not from the hardware store). I brought along all my tools, cordless drill, extra batteries, safety glasses, and some rags. My bag was way too heavy to walk over a mile with it, but I did it.

The first activity I started working on was investigating the check engine light. I guessed it might be a glow plug as that seems to be the most common issue with the sprinter engines. After 30 minutes of rewatching parts of youtube videos on how to take pieces of the engine apart (the air filter, heat shield, detached the turbo hose, and rubber cage around the engine) I finally uncovered the main part of the engine. I am happy to say that it looked really clean, I could not see any fluids or spills or any evidence of something going wrong. That's not to say everything is working but in my extremely limited current knowledge I was happy with what I saw.

Katie was very productive inside the van while I was working under the hood. She attacked a lot of the mess in and around the cab and worked on the floor mats. They needed some attention.

Moving onto removing rust. I have watched dozens of videos on how to remove rust and collected all the necessary tools. So far all the rust in the van is surface rust and thankfully there isn't even much of it. I went through both batteries for the drill and removed a good amount of surface rust from around the wheel arches and near the step into the van. There is still some rust left that I will address with a rust converter before painting over the converter rust to prepare it for insulation.

There were multiple bolt and screw holes through the bottom of the van that needed to be covered. The local hardware store recommended Propoxy 20 citing many people come in for it and say it works great. Propoxy 20 is a putty that comes in a small tube that is activated by mixing the two layers of putting togeteher. I cut off about an inch of putty per hole and mixed and mushed it between my fingers (with gloves on) to activate the hardening process. The putty was easily pliable. I covered the holes and smoothed the surface of the epoxy for a clean finish. 20 minutes later it was a solid extremely hard seal and I am very pleased with the outcome.

While the epoxy was setting I wanted to test if I could remove the spray paint on the side of the van. With a little bit of nail polish remover, the spray paint came off relatively easy. I am not too bothered by the graffiti though so I didn't waste the time in removing it all. The van will eventually get a new coat of paint and I will address the problem then. the graffiti adds some character....

A slow clean up of the van and finishing off a couple of beers was the end to a successful day. Back to work on it tomorrow.

On a side note, the van is parked next to the Prospect Park zoo, where we were visited by a large bird. It was squawking pretty loud and pecking around for food before it flew away.

I plan on posting some videos on how I do different parts of the conversion and they will be located in the van conversion part of stewsworld. This blog is just a small record full of stories from the conversion and other random things.

A visit from a peacock: 10/10 would recommend

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