Rust and holes.

Now it is time to do some restoration work to the floor.

001 002A few areas had a some surface rust. A little sanding and some fresh paint took care of that.


Now I had to fill the dozen or so holes in the floor, that were left after the removal of the bench, chairs and safety belts.

004I choose for carriage bolts with washers. With some additional caulk, they would solidly close these openings and later on, their flat heads will be covered by some rigid insulation board.


005 006 007 008




009Again, working alone on the van, added a couple of extra hours to the work. Sometimes the fastening of the bolts left me with one hand short.


Subfloor removal

036First thing I noticed was some water damage to the subfloor, which is to be expected after 20 years of use. It will be replaced with a regular ½ inch plywood panel.

037The wood is attached with a couple of metal screws to the metal floor.

038The rear 4 feet doesn’t have any insulation at all. That is something I’ll improve on with the new underlayment.

039The remainder of the carpet is a snap, because there is no ply involved and the ½ inch insulation remains in place. I’ll leave the carpet in the cabin in place, until I’ve decided on the replacement material.

Window frame & seat belts

027Today’s first is the passenger side, large window frame. A fairly simple job, just a lot of screws. I’ll set this frame apart until I have the correct paint to redo it.


028029Now we can see a little of the insulation used, some wire of the valance lighting which will be removed, and the former seat belt connection bolt.

I’ll use the latter as an attachment point for my dog’s leash/harness, when he’ll travels with me.

030 031 032



The remaining rear seat belts are still attached to a heavy metal bar underneath the carpet.


033Lifting up the carpet, quickly reveals the bar which is attached with bolts to the chassis.



034 035At the end of the day I have some more spare parts.



More dismanteling

I have started preparing the wood for the bed in my workshop, which takes up one half of my garage. I’ll have to glue up thinner boards to get to the right thickness for the wood in the frame of the bed.

020 021In the meantime, I am getting the rear belt systems out. Removing the valance resulted in access to the top connector, which is primarily a big bolt connected to the frame.

022The belt roll-up mechanism had to be accessed both from the inside and under the van, which as the only person working on it, posed some problems, but after several attempts, that worked out fine.

023This opened up the wheel casing. Time to get rid of the carpet glued to its surface. Careful peeling revealed the casing and reinforcement plate; after removal of the latter, I temporarily taped up the resulting hole from the belt mechanism, until a more permanent solution is applied.

024 025 026



Removal cont. 2

015I have two lights that switch on when the rear doors are opened. They have to be removed, but I have plans to reinstall one or both of them at a later time, so I have to be careful not to damage them.

016Everything nicely installed with connectors and screws, thus it took me only minutes to take them off.

017The remaining 12V wires will be used at a later time.

018Next, the valance over the future bed (rear passenger side). Just barely attached with 2 screws. Astonished that it never dropped down. I wonder what would have happened in an accident.

019Work done for today! Tomorrow I’ll continue with the safety belts.




Removal cont. 1

009After yesterday’s sofa bed, today I’ll keep it simple by only removing a few small items. Next in line is the inside luggage rack, composed of just a few strips attached thru the carpet to the subfloor. Those were gone a few minutes later.

Originally I bought this van as a Mark III conversion van; the company is long gone but the interior is still looking fairly good. The removal of items so far has taught me how flimsy everything has been put together. I am astonished that nothing has fallen apart yet.

010In front of both wheel cases I have two cool boxes that have to go next. I took me a while to figure out, how they were connected to the walls and floor: just a few screws in strategic places. As soon as I removed them, the boxes collapsed and only a few small parts remained. I try not to use a sledge hammer, because I plan to reuse some of the materials. The wall coverings (thin plywood with a cloth cover) will return with a new cover, as needed. Since the walls are curved and difficult to apply, this will save me a lot of time and effort.

011I have to find out after 20 years, that the boxes were really insulated and even had tubing to the outside to expose of the melted ice.

012Flimsy attachments.


014More and more space.




After yesterday’s sofa bed, today I’ll keep it simple by only removing a few small items. Next in line is the inside luggage rack, composed of just a few strips attached thru the carpet to the subfloor. Those were gone a few minutes later.

Time for the Beast



Lots of planning, designing and redesigning has taken place. Now it is time to do the physical work.



003 002 001

Today I started to remove the sofa bed. A quick look showed it was attached with 4 bolts to the car frame.


005 004

Working alone could have been a problem, but I managed to remove all four of them by constantly switching between the inside and outside. Even after 20 years, I did not need any WD-40.


007 006

With the sofa out of the way, the real space is showing. Can I fit a bed, closet and walkway in there? The worst part of the day was carrying the thing away; too heavy and awkward to be handled by one person.

Build a stealth camper out of a basic cargo van.