Archive for April, 2009

Roof nearly done

April 28th, 2009

Today I mounted the bamboo cove panels on the roof.


Hopefully the bamboo won’t split lengthwise.   I put some Damplifier butyl rubber sound dampening material on the back, mostly to dampen rattles, but it also increases the strength a bit.


This is pretty much the last thing to be done to the roof in it’s turtled state.    As soon as I can get enough peeps in the shop to help flip the roof I can commence with mounting the solar panels.

I have decided to put bamboo panels in the doors as well.    Here’s a sample panel I temporarily set into the panel guides on one of the doors.




April 26th, 2009

I’ve had the roof turtled on my welding table for the past week or so.   It’s really getting in the way, making it difficult to proceed on the cabinets, or other fab jobs.    So, I’ve been working pretty much solely on the roof so I can call it done.   Here’s a shot with the roof rail that the roof sets upon.


The silver colored aluminum extrusion is the awning rail that holds the fabric for the tent.   Awning rail is also rivetted to the roof.    Awning rail insert is sewn to the canvas and then it is reeved into the rails.

I also replaced the existing hatch for the machine-gunner with a Lewmar Ocean 60 low profile hatch.    This required fabbing an aluminum frame and spacer since the new hatch is a a few inches narrower than the old hatch.




Insulation and wall panels

April 15th, 2009

Miguel finished with the insulation work as well as the wall panels.    The insulation is a foil lined polyisocyanurate panels, with the exposed edges wrapped in adhesive foil tape.       Its less flammable and less squeaky than polystyrene foam panels.     Any additional space was filled with 3/8″ thick Volara foam.


The wall panels are 5mm underlayment plywood called SuperPly.   SuperPly is nice stuff — it has a hardwood smooth face and is made with exterior grade glues.





Water tank in

April 11th, 2009

Miguel finished fabricating the water tank and installed it.    It’s 27gal and made of 316 stainless steel with all welds properly pickled to prevent corrosion.   Three internal baffles prevent sloshing and oil canning of the sides.    Two inspection ports allow cleanout.



Wiring nearly done

April 11th, 2009

Wow, that took way longer than I anticipated.    The new wiring harness is finally installed, with a few random wires still to be run.   I still need to zip tie the bundles and secure the split loom.

Here’s the American Autowire HiWay 22 panel.   It is installed behind the drivers seat, in the rear cabin.


I elected to run separate grounds, using American Autowire’s vehicle ground kit.   The black box below the fuse block is a terminal for grounds to be attached.   It has always bothered me that vehicles use the chassis/body metal as the ground return.   Firstly, steel isn’t that great of a conductor (though there is a large cross-sectional area), and secondly corrosion can degrade connections to the steel body.    This seems a better, more reliable way.   It also will help eliminate possible ground loops.    There’s a ground terminal block at the rear, this one near the fuse block, behind the guage panel and near the old fuse panel in front of the passenger seat.    6 gauge wire connects the 4 nodes.

The new dash rear.



I ended up using the old harness for the somewhat complicated windshield wiper logic which uses 4 relays and quite a few connections to the switches.

At the top is a tachometer I added.    It’s a VDO 6K tach that mostly matches the existing VDO instruments.


The new glove compartment area:


vs the old:


Overall, I liked the American Autowire Hiway harness kit.    Each wire is run individually, which adds a lot of flexibility, but greatly adds to the time required to wire.   I really should have preplanned where each wire went and made my own bundles to route as a group.    The long wires included in the kit meant that I only had to splice some of the wires which ran to the rear taillights.

Some things I didn’t like about the harness kit included the lack of a reverse light circuit(!), it assumed the stop/run lights are run with a single wire,  and it assumed a GM column for turn/brake/hazard logic.    I had to emulate the GM logic, mapping it to the Volvos system and placement of switches.