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Old 01-13-2012, 06:33 AM   #101
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Solarblvd dot com has great prices on panels,I've picked up a few last month,ebay has been best place for controllers
Thanks! I'll look into it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:18 PM   #102
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Did a little work today on the floor over the hole where the generator used to be. I needed to cover this giant death trap before I fall into it.

Cutting out the old flooring to give the new plywood some support so it won't sag when I put weight on it (looking toward the rear from the right front):


The old plywood is out, showing the structure under the floor. You can see the lateral i-beams of steel and the foam insulation between the beams. This is the insulation throughout the vehicle with the exception of the driver's area. The aluminum diamond plate sheets under the driver's seat will be insulated between the metal and the new flooring. (These i-beams were cut to make room for the original generator which must have been HUGE. The genset I removed wasn't nearly large enough to warrant these modifications.)


New plywood is attached and is very sturdy. The only place it isn't supported at the edge is where it meets the wall. That edge will be supported from above when I install the walls (2x4 studs with base plate) and should stiffen right up when they go in. I'll also spray some expanding foam insulation under that part of the floor so my feet don't freeze while I'm working at the computer (that's where the desk will be).


There is a height difference between the wood flooring and the diamond plate sheets, so I can add the 1/2" foam boards under the 3/4" plywood and both sections of floor will be the same height. This will eliminate the small step from the driver's area to the main room.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:47 PM   #103
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

I feel pretty good about what I accomplished today.

I cut open a cardboard box and used the material to trace a pattern for the new plywood flooring:


Obviously, I couldn't install the floor as a single sheet, so I cut down the pieces to manageable sizes and installed them as shown. There is 1/2" styrofoam insulation under the plywood and some smaller pieces of 3/16" particle board between the plywood and insulation that brings the plywood closer to level with the existing floor. The next step is to place another layer of overlapping particle board on top of the plywood. This will bring up the new floor exactly level with the old floor.




The floors are held to the aluminum with these TeksŪ self-tapping screws. They are designed for this task, but the diamond tread aluminum is a lot softer than steel, so these tend to strip out the metal before they suck the wood down tight. In some spots I had to try three or four times to get a good bite in the aluminum, but when I did, it sucked right down and is very tight. I'm a little worried that my $7 fastener investment might fail once the bus starts vibrating as I drive, but I can always throw some new sheet metal screws through the floor if that happens.


I also found after I finished that the new floor blocks full travel of the accelerator pedal, so that will have to be remedied. I'll probably cut back the flooring to make room for my heel under the pedal. That will make it easier to rest my foot as I drive instead of having to press it forward all the time.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #104
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

I used those same Teks screws while building my stairs and hated them! I had the same problem as you. Honestly, I don't understand the design of the screw. It seems like that little wing towards the tip opens up the hole wider than the thread so the thread isn't able to get any bite on the metal. WTF?! Anyway, Teks makes another type of self-tapping screw that I like quite a bit. They have hex heads and work sooooo much better. Here's the ones I'm talking about:

http://www.homedepot.com/Teks/h_d1/N-5y ... ogId=10053

I used these to attach all my wood framing to the metal floor ceiling and walls.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:04 PM   #105
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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I used those same Teks screws while building my stairs and hated them! I had the same problem as you. Honestly, I don't understand the design of the screw. It seems like that little wing towards the tip opens up the hole wider than the thread so the thread isn't able to get any bite on the metal. WTF?! Anyway, Teks makes another type of self-tapping screw that I like quite a bit. They have hex heads and work sooooo much better. Here's the ones I'm talking about:

http://www.homedepot.com/Teks/h_d1/N-5y ... ogId=10053

I used these to attach all my wood framing to the metal floor ceiling and walls.
Yes, those have the threads I was looking for and I saw those at Lowes, but the fasteners I used have a flat head and I needed it for the floor. The hex heads, while better in nearly every way, would require a separate countersink drill to allow for the thickness of the head. The ones I used drive right into the wood and leave a perfectly flat surface. Of course, that detail might be moot if these start to loosen up over time.

The old flooring is held down with screws very similar to what I used, but they are secured into the steel i-beams under the floor and they will NOT pull out or strip.

Anyhow, live and learn.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #106
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

I have used the self tapping screw/bolts for metal instead of these "Teks". They don't have that wing and they just drill a hole and screw right down.
You are doing a great job on the "bus".
I am wondering did you weld the cut beams back together to keep strength?
Also you mentioned using particle board? I wouldn't any moisture and it will expand and fall apart.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:33 PM   #107
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Originally Posted by Bullwhacker007
I have used the self tapping screw/bolts for metal instead of these "Teks". They don't have that wing and they just drill a hole and screw right down.
You are doing a great job on the "bus".
I am wondering did you weld the cut beams back together to keep strength?
Also you mentioned using particle board? I wouldn't any moisture and it will expand and fall apart.
No, I didn't repair the cut i-beams, but I did cut back the layers of plywood on the old floor to allow the new floor some additional support. The 3/4" plywood is strong enough to walk on as it is now, but once I install the bottom plates for the stud walls and attach them to the floor, it will gain even more strength and rigidity along the wall edge.

I know the particle board is susceptible to moisture damage, but after I install the walls I'm going to coat the entire floor with bedliner (Herculiner or something similar) and roll the liner up the walls a couple of inches, too. This should effectively waterproof the floors. Since I'm planning to carry a 150-175 gallon water bladder inside the vehicle, I do want to make sure the floor is protected in case there is a leak (though I'm hoping some strategically placed drain holes will mitigate any water pooling in that event).
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:30 AM   #108
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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The hex heads, while better in nearly every way, would require a separate countersink drill to allow for the thickness of the head...
That's exactly what I did on my floor. I countersunk the wood so the hex head would be flush with the surface.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #109
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
That's exactly what I did on my floor. I countersunk the wood so the hex head would be flush with the surface.
Yeah, well ... I'm lazy.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:34 PM   #110
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

It rained all day, so I couldn't do any wood cutting to finish the floors. I did, however, manage to relocate two switches that were mounted on a panel that was removed a few days ago.


This is where that switch panel used to be. There is still a few relays and associated wiring in this area, but I'll eventually build a decorative panel to cover this ugliness.


The right side of the dash has also undergone a few changes since I started the floors. The heater core and blower were mounted to the floor here (and the setup looked like it had been rigged by a drunken teenager). I've removed the heater and all its parts (I'll be using electric heat) so this area will be where the dog cages are mounted.
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