Tie Downs & Wheel Wells

Mod: Insulated Floor – Part One

Noise reduction in cargo vans is sometimes important, as these vehicles are built differently then passenger cars. The wheel wells are the obvious place to tackle the main source noise production. Limiting it, has some merit, but I see it as only a minor inconvenience, where driving is such a minimal part of the RV experience.


Project Insulated Floor Content

Tie Downs & Wheel Wells
Paper Plywood Templates
Floor Insulation
Fasten Insulation With Glue
Spray Foam Application
Plywood Installation
Hardware & Soft-Ware


What You’ll Learn:

  • How to remove tie downs in a Ford Transit.
  • How to soundproof the wheel wells.

What You’ll Use:

  • Wrench & Socket.
  • Utility Knife.
  • Tape Measure.
  • Rubbing Alcohol or Alcohol Swabs.
  • Small Wall Paper Seam Roller.
  • Window Screen Roller.
  • Hand Broom.
  • Optional:
    • Large J-Roller.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Roll of Peel & Seal – 6″ x 25′.

Approximate Duration For This Project: 3 hrs.


Considerations

To me, the tie downs are only useful to transport and secure goods in your van, so removal is obvious as they interfere with the rest of the interior. Some use the threads in the walls, that hold these tie downs, to secure the plywood sub-floor with the help of a few angled fasteners. I prefer to secure the sub-floor directly to the metal floor of the cargo area.

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Overall, I don’t regard the Ford Transit van as overly noisy, but the rear wheels produce most of that, especially when the tires throw small road debris against the wheel well.

The van already comes with a very limited amount noise reducing materials on the interior roof, that is supposed to minimize sound transmission through vibration. The same is intended here for the wheel wells.

Later on during this conversion, we will apply regular ‘heat’ insulation materials throughout the cargo van that will also help to reduce the overall noise levels.

peel and sealThe choice of Peel & Seal (a roofing material) is based on one of the principles of this entire project to create an inexpensive conversion van and on the generally, positive feedback of other DIY upfitters. Sound deadening materials like FatMat are approximately four times more expensive and could be used instead without a substantial increase in cost. If you want to apply it throughout the van, it will become a costly proposition.

Some complain about fumes that would disappear in days or weeks, but I haven’t noticed any of that.


Tie Downs & Wheel Wells

Gather all the tools and materials before proceeding. Regularly fit the materials, to avoid costly mistakes.

  • Use a wrench and socket to remove all nine tie downs from the cargo area of the Ford Transit.
  • Brush clean the area of the wheel well you’re working on.
  • Clean the surface with some rubbing alcohol or alcohol swabs.
  • Cut a piece of Peel & Seal to the appropriate length.
  • Try to use every bit of leftover. That’s how I succeeded to do both wheel wells with one roll, but barely!
  • Work from bottom up.
  • Remove only a short piece of backing at a time.
  • Then press firmly and use a roller to set it in place.
  • I use a window screen roller to press into every nook and cranny.

Conclusion

Removal of the tie downs is simple and quick. The application of the Peel & Seal to the wheel wells needs a bit of patience, but anybody can do this.

The materials for this part of the project, where acquired locally and the total cost was about $16.00.


Other projects of this Van Conversion:


Disclaimer:
I’m just a DIY’er with a lot of common sense, but with some of the projects, I use some tools and materials, that require you to really know, what you’re doing. Always read the manual and consult an expert if you’re in doubt.

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4 thoughts on “Tie Downs & Wheel Wells”

  1. Outstanding work. Thanks so much for attention to detail and your fine videos. They are very helpful to all of us out there doing a van build. I think the new Ford Transit is a great van. However, for several reasons I ended up with a Ram Promaster 2500 (Fiat/Chrysler). Was a bit leery about them until I went to Italy on vacation recently and saw them used as ambulances and post office vehicles throughout the country. Now they are also used by our own post office. So, IMHP, both vehicles with stand-up room make for a great camping van. The advantage to Ford in the USA deals with the many dealerships with repair centers.

    1. Thanks very much for your encouragement!

      The videos are sometimes very detailed, as I try to focus on those van owners, who feel that they lack the ability to complete more complicated modifications, by reducing them to small and feasible mods. The photos and videos help them anticipate what the real task will be.

      The Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster and MB Sprinter are the main van conversion models on the market today (I’m sorry …, Nissan NV and Chevy Express too!). When I had to replace my Dodge B-250 van last year, I also ended up choosing between the Transit and ProMaster. And it came down to the available options, before I made the decision.
      The number of dealerships/repair shops is a significant factor for the Sprinter, less so for the ProMaster and I wouldn’t worry about that too much.

      You chose your vacation destination wisely: Italy is the home of Fiat and as such has the home field advantage there. I think, if you stay with one of the big three here in the US, you can’t go wrong. Each make/model has its advantages and disadvantages, mostly based on personal preferences and less on capabilities.

      Enjoy your van/conversion and if you are proud of one of your own projects, send me a few pics and a short description and I’ll post them on the website.

      Van Williams

  2. Hello. Do you do contract out? I still work full time and do not have time skills patience to do a van. please let me know. Thanks

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t take orders for products or materials. I’m just a blogger, who writes about his experiences in converting a cargo van into an RV.

      If you need help with woodworking projects, you may be able to find assistance from a good friend or at a local woodworking club.

      Anyway, don’t let this keep you from building your own RV and to go out and enjoy all the beautiful places America has to offer.
      Happy Travels!

      Van Williams

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