Well after trolling round aluminium supply yards here and not being too impressed with the thickness ( ie strength) of the various tubing/boxing on offer to constuct the intended stretcher bed for rear of van, bit of left field thinking, bought these today for the princely sum of €15, ( been walking through shop/cafe doors thinking ‘ thats what I need), bit of deconstruction before construction and probably double or more of the amount of necessary material, happier with the intergral strength, its thicker, reasuringly they both fitted in the van in the intended placement for the finished article and there longer than req.
With glass and double amount they didnt affect the driving/handling on return journey, looks like the lightweight camper plan will come together.
Time to make my bed so I can lie in it.
Decided to brighten up Mr. Magoo, never liked the black bumpers so there now grey,straightened front bumper mounts, fitted two good overriders that came in ‘magic bag’ with van, moved no plate onto bumper to make use of bonnet grill ( summers coming), black on top of rear bumpers anti skid tape ( cheaper than vet dental bills when the dogs loose grip using bumper as slippy step to a wack on the chin ), previous owner also sent me some red anodized valve caps with temp gauge, so Mr Magoos got some ‘Madrid’ red running shoes now to match the caps
Ally doors now in a constructive pile, headscratching stage over, will be fitting it all in the not to distant future ( design and all fixings for bed complete, but its currently in the final finish/fit stage ), no photo, would just look like a pile of cut up doors atm.
Had it 6 months now, 4000km, these 4s really do get more appealing when owned, not less so.
Well today, unlike the plane Lorraine Chase used for her Campari ads, the rain was here.., ITV day, checked van over, all seemed OK, drove a very wet 20 mins to test centre, and Fail!!, front UK offside indicator bulb blew on journey ( the law of sod returns ), so bulb changed and retest without the odometer reading changing and a pass with no advisories, every cloud has a silver.....
lining, especially when you tweak the mixture screw to lean pre-test
Vans been very busy, had a friend and her daughter over for a week, I’ve been host and tour guide, vans got us about, basically coved a tad under 2000km, still awaiting the ‘edited’ photos to arrive via mail from the daughter ( 13, could be a while...) so not too much progress has been made on van due to van just making steady progress.
So this week as a treat for being good, it got a new grill ( and an old broken belt buckle )
Got a full set of filters to give it a service, awaiting arrival of electric ignition kit, also found some folding large hinges with a 400kg load rating that will make the intended bed a lot sturdier and lot easier to fit, have also sourced and ordered some feet and clamps for roof rack earlier in thread, its going on, planning on having it sorted internally by end of month for some potential road trips...
Started installing camping arrangement I’ve been pondering over the last few days, heres some photos to get an idea, I’ve made a false floor to cover the rear seat footspace, this is hinged using the original rear seat hinges ( teak too, whats a holiday home with no teak decking...), the photo of under front seat area is just to show position of brackets that front bed legs slot into, I’m not planning on furniture as such any more than is in photos, I will be using a various array of the stackable plastic boxs in pics, as seen the fold up table is for cooking from ( from in or out of van, through rear door, or even side window), the two brackets also support the main two stretcher bed supports aswell as front support legs. Apart from area covered by containers ( the now level area behind seats, hidden storage for tools etc under hinged floor) the floor space remains clear even with table and/or bed in place, the fittings etc for install coming in weight wise probably less or similar weight as the now removed rear seat.
Although not quite finished in photos, the support for bed will fold and roll up, all storing on the shelf that in pic has window blinds rolled up on. The overall size of bed is 60 cm X 190cm when up.
Been final fitting the sleeping arrangement, was initially planning to use the material from a tent I’ve got, but when I took it out of bag, put it up, its just too good to cut up..
So after much searching local shops for a plan b, plan x came into play, spotted hanging in the local Chinese cheap shop a hammock, that’s now not, but still serving its intended purpose.
Both sides are hinged in a ‘z’ arrangement, so you slot it into front fixings ( modified internal corner brakets from orginal doors), drop the hinged table to rest position, put bed lengths onto table and lift, lock a few fixings into place and its up.o
The crossbraces at each end are now gone, they were to tension material during fitment of fixings to the table/ bed support. The ‘table’ itself luckily worked out to be a nigh on perfect fit for the re-use of a top layer off of a folding camping kitchen set-up, so although in photos just appears to be grid I have the base and if necessary the splash/wind guard when using to cook, sitting on opposite wheel arch its just right..
Well made a few weekend trips in van last summer, sleeping arrangement worked fine, same as folding table etc., but Aug /Sept other commitments took priority and the van has been hibernating...
Started going through a few things that I wanted to sort, minors, the shelf in rear above where seat would be holds all the bed stuff/blinds etc., started to bow slightly, so fixed a few alloy supports to hold dead straight, also a few hidden fixings to stop any movement over rough surfaces, these also double to hold folded bed frame in a secure position when traveling ( pet hate is rattles, had to be done)
Made some enclosed speaker pods up to go in footwells, used MDF cut into a series of rings,screwed/glued fitted into panels made that use the door hinge bolts to fix, pleased with the sound.
There covered in same material as throughout van. There connected to a ‘retro’ look bluetooth radio, remote for when in back, b/t connected to iPad for tunes when ((for me) the radio stations talk in strange languages to my ears.
Then while ‘tinkering’ ( rainy days!!) though I would have a go at the instrument cluster, here's the result
Its the same grey as bumpers, but tinted outer lense same as rear windows, silvered part of facia around warning lights/fuel gauge etc., gives off a nice green glow at night. ( helps differentiate the headlights from dashlights when tooling along dark country lanes )
Spent today going round reading for upcoming ITV, basically checking/adjusting brakes, checking and cleaning suspension/arch and underside, still all good and now shiny again, all thats left now is to give it and oil and filter change, tomorrow’s job..
Thanks JonathanT, the soundproofing really has transformed the levels of road noise in the van, rattle in video is genuinely the ipad resting on dash, you can hear my foot releasing the brake peddle in video to give a better indication of noise in car when now on the road, there was a strong crosswind going over ‘flyover’ before roundabout, I was driving it with the ‘spirit’ that just makes 4’s so much fun on the road, to drive bigger/ more modern cars the same you know points don’t necessarily mean prizes, but lack of license....
Been a while since last post, van has been in a hibernation period ( or is todays phrase ‘under lockdown?’) been periodically starting ,warming and driving around the garage to keep things free and working but over the past few days been giving it the a ‘I’m only taking it to the test centre once going over’ due to booking it in for its freedom ticket on Thursday.
Not too much to report really, front tires needed a few pound of air, cleaned and greased front calipers, checked rest of brakes, looked for rust, dodgy balljoints, etc, underside/engine bay back to clean as, bodywork dull and dustier than its looked since I first got, but got to say during its period off of the road have been tempted to just sand all the paint off and go full rusty rat look, but dusty patina think will probably be more enduring ( might clean the windows though) but all in all was just reassuring myself that these 4s are just great little cars/vans that can be holed up without going to pieces in the right environment, onwards and upwards, Thursday looms ( or shines!).....