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Old 12-22-2012, 12:25 AM   #11
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

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Originally Posted by richlindquist
Wow, you guys are doing great work! Keep the updates coming.

About "the spare gas tank you can use for water" - don't. Water tanks and gas tanks are very different creatures.

What are your plans when you get done?

Rich

This^^^^ Reusing the gas tank for water is a very bad idea.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:28 PM   #12
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

Hooooya! Update time! We've been on vacation, but busy.

Got the cab light put back in. Wired it in to the battery, so it won't be a constant use light.


Fan for the driver. This van has no AC in-dash...sooo.. gonna be warm unless we run the genny while driving.


New switches and buttons for various controls.


New additional fuse box. The original one is pretty sketchy and should eventually be replaced. This has a direct feed from the battery, so it's always on. Both good and bad, I guess. We'll see first time we need a jump.


Sweet logos still in place on both sides. STEP VAN.


Oh yeah. We also bought a '78 Vespa. Finally got it running after a new ignition system. The wiring harness is a mess so it's kick to start, stall it to stop. 4 speed, 200 cc. I'm kind of scared of it, but it'll look nice perched on the back of the Van.


My wife, caulking the top and removing some odd pieces of hardware. She didn't want to, but I insisted since rain was coming. It was all we did that day (Christmas, I think).


One nice hole, one ugly, for power and cable TV input. 1/4" aluminum is pretty tough to grind out. Hole saw wasn't nearly big enough so I nipped it out using an air tool with a metal removing head on it. Took a long time, VERY noisy, but it got the job done. Yes, I know I have too many wires.


Installed. Needs a little clean up, but not bad.


On the inside. Power is neat. Cable TV is just a cable wired in to the back. It's going to be a sad, annoying day if I ever have to replace that thing.


Start of a cabinet/desk with a fresh coat of poly on it. My wife's handywork.


My totally sweet power cable notch in the insulation. The shallow back-boxes we got are EXACTLY the same depth as the ribs, so they'll cover up nicely when the wall boards go in.


Another hideous hole. I'm embarrassed, but it gets the job done.


The result - nice outside power outlet. Looks like it belongs.


More flooring in, covered in paper and death threats should I get dirty footprints on any of it before it's sealed.


Drill press time!


Blurry photo of the gaucho bed frame. I'm thrilled to be working on this buildout at a metal shop and having a wife that can weld.


Fun photo - vibrations from sanding create little sawdust bubbles.


Things are going well now that we have a plan. 15 gallon black water tank is going inside soon with an exit out the rear. I, like a dummy, thought I could mix PVC and ABS, but alas, I cannot. Trying to find a good source for ABS at the moment. I need 3" (about 1 foot of it) and 1/2" for the sink and vent. If anybody has some spare sitting around and is within a few hours of Houston, I'll totally drive to it.

Other than that, I think we're in control of the systems. Power will be finished soon on the inside, cabinets are being built, and we're ready to wood-clad the interior.

Thanks for looking!
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:38 PM   #13
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

I had a 1961 Vespa. No need to be scared of it. I actually could go 55 MPH downhill with it. It had a variable venturi carburetor with only 11 parts to it. The fun thing to do was press the horn button while revving up the engine. The sound would vary in pitch because the whole scooter ran off a magneto.

It was such a simple design. It had a rotary sleeve valve and was a kick start. Nowadays when you open up the hood of your car, you wonder where the engine is.

I once had a 1958 Ford pickup with a six cylinder motor. I could sit on the inner wheel well and change the spark plugs.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:51 PM   #14
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

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Originally Posted by Accordion
I had a 1961 Vespa. No need to be scared of it. I actually could go 55 MPH downhill with it. It had a variable venturi carburetor with only 11 parts to it. The fun thing to do was press the horn button while revving up the engine. The sound would vary in pitch because the whole scooter ran off a magneto.

It was such a simple design. It had a rotary sleeve valve and was a kick start. Nowadays when you open up the hood of your car, you wonder where the engine is.

I once had a 1958 Ford pickup with a six cylinder motor. I could sit on the inner wheel well and change the spark plugs.
I think this vespa is about the same - simple simple simple. I like it. Just need to figure out the kill switch so it looks like someone couldn't just drive it off if they wanted

The 1994 Ford we have is the same - you can just climb in and start working. I'm scared of newer cars - they're such a mess, so tight - you can barely get your hand in to change whatever of the 4000 sensors are on there and tend to go bad.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:01 PM   #15
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

I've resurected a couple of Vespas. This is the place you got to deal with. www.scooterworks.com. Their catalog is a worthy read even if you didn't have a scooter. GREAT guys to deal with.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:01 AM   #16
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

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Originally Posted by sdwarf36
I've resurected a couple of Vespas. This is the place you got to deal with. http://www.scooterworks.com. Their catalog is a worthy read even if you didn't have a scooter. GREAT guys to deal with.
We were looking for the ignition system on that site - sadly did not have it in stock, but it's a great resource for cool bits and pieces! I just need to find a wiring diagram now, and I should be okay...
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:23 AM   #17
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

Quick picture update, 'cause who doesn't like some pictures?

Yesterday while my wife was at work I finished putting in all the outlets and cut in the last bit of power so we can start skinning the walls. I also did some cleaning so we can take a look at what's done so far and see if we're happy.

Clean from the front. The floor putty came out a little... visible... so we're going to put a light stain on the floor to even it out before the poly goes on.


Clean from the back. Floor will be finished to the back. To the left, there will be the black water tank and toilet. My wife welded up a sweeeeet metal frame for that. We'll probably leave off wallboard in that corner for a little bit since we still have to cut in our water ins and outs.


Nice frankenstitches in the insulation.



I have a few questions, if you happen to know the answer or have a strong opinion (the stronger the better!):
-For water I was going to use PEX, but it's really stiff and uses all these goofy connectors and crimpers. Do I have to? Can I just use a quality tubing with hose clamps, or am I asking for trouble with water pressure? I have a pressure regulator on the water input, btw.
-From the sink to black-water - same sort of question, do I need hard pipe with a trap, or can I use a flexible type hose with the built-in trap? Planning on using a small bar sink.
-Insulation-wise, do I want to just PACK every nook and cranny of the RV, or is it better/preferred to have a little bit of space? My wife is vehemently opposed to expanding foam because of the toxicity and difficulty in removing, but there are a lot of little gaps that I think should be filled.

Thanks everybody and happy new year!
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:56 AM   #18
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_inevitable
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36
I've resurected a couple of Vespas. This is the place you got to deal with. http://www.scooterworks.com. Their catalog is a worthy read even if you didn't have a scooter. GREAT guys to deal with.
We were looking for the ignition system on that site - sadly did not have it in stock, but it's a great resource for cool bits and pieces! I just need to find a wiring diagram now, and I should be okay...
Call them-the've helpped me track down stuff they didnt have listed-I'd bet they'd even fax you a diagram.

My wife is vehemently opposed to expanding foam because of the toxicity and difficulty in removing, but there are a lot of little gaps that I think should be filled.
Oh man-good thing you dont have a short bus. They go apesh*t with the stuff-inside and underneath. My (rusted out) wheel arches missed the curvature of the body-so they just filled the last few inches with the stuff when they put the body on!
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:32 PM   #19
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

Strong opinion time. The only crimp connect I'd use would be on a hydrolic fitting. Every variety of crimp I've seen for use with water distribution has leaked. Take a look at some of the mobile home sites and you will find many folks complaining about their crimp connects. I'll be using plain old PVC and braided flex for my water system--they are both inexpensive and time tested. I'll be using ABS for drains, its cheap and easy to use.

My only experience with expanding foam has been with Great Stuff brand. The only problem I had with it was caused by me not following the directions--I way overfilled and had GS ozing out of everywhere. As to the toxicity, once the product has cured (a day or two) the manufacturer's MSDS says the stuff is inert--unless you set it on fire and then those fumes would be toxic as would be the fumes from burning board insulation. My two cents worth. Jack
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:47 PM   #20
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Re: 1973 Chevy Step Van Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt
Strong opinion time. The only crimp connect I'd use would be on a hydrolic fitting. Every variety of crimp I've seen for use with water distribution has leaked. Take a look at some of the mobile home sites and you will find many folks complaining about their crimp connects. I'll be using plain old PVC and braided flex for my water system--they are both inexpensive and time tested...
Thanks for that comment Jack! I have been wondering if I made the right decision in using PVC, and now at least I have some external validation. I thought about using PEX but intuitively thought that I just didn't trust the crimp connections to hold up under conditions where there is a lot of movement. I'll be curious to hear from those who have used PEX as to the long-term effectiveness of this approach.
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