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BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


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    New guy w/Travelwagon

    Otto
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    Post by Otto Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:44 am

    Hi everyone,

    I've been lurking here for a while and finally joined. Still trying to figure out the site and how to navigate postings. I started off with a post in the "E campers" section, but it seems like there are a number of different options for posting progress on the van's re-hab: Showcase section, galleries, etc. that seem to be used for similar purposes. Question: which one would be the proper place? This forum is very different from the vintage jeep site that I post on.
    Anywho, here's where I started from:
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1011

    All the camper stuff is gone, but very straight and rust free!

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    donivan65
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    Post by donivan65 Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:38 am

    You probably wont get much notice down in the Ford Camper section, but this is the place for members to post if you are going to have a story to tell,,,,,,,
    Otto
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    Post by Otto Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:42 pm

    Well since it's more van than camper at this point, I'll just post stuff here unless it's camper specific then those posts can go in the camper section.
    The van shows 89K miles on the odo and I think they're original based upon the general condition of the van. It's sporting a 170 6 cyl and a 3 speed.
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1014

    Once home, I started inventory of the parts pile in the back of the van. Since I didn't take it apart, it was a big adult-sized puzzle. I soon learned that all the parts weren't present and accounted for  Rolling Eyes  This is why I never buy someone else's projects. I also looked through the containers of nuts and bolts to see what I had; what I had was a shortage of fasteners  Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes  If there was four of something I had three; if there was three of something I had two. I invented some new names for whoever took this apart.
    Having never owned an old Econoline, I wasn't sure what Ford parts would interchange. I was able to score some at the Portland Swap Meet in 2019 which made me happy(er).

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    Otto
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    Post by Otto Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:56 pm

    Got the van running, just took some fresh gas and fiddling with the starter cables. Much easier to move it around under its own power and not mine. It runs like a 56 year old van- not great but not horrible either. I'm loving the camper top, with it up I can stand up straight in the center and I'm 6'3". It still has the hammock tubes and original fabric; the top carries serial #2941.
    I found parts that would work on the van- outside door handles from a Falcon and door latch striker assembly from a 60s Ford truck (thanks dad). I also found some of the obscure cabin lights for the camper top for 50 cents!Very Happy

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    Otto
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    Post by Otto Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:24 pm

    Since my shop doesn't have a source of heat, I finally got the van in for the body & paint work early in summer 2019.

    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1111

    Sprayed some guide coat on the existing primer for block sanding; I had ran my hands all over the van and it felt fairly good with some spots that needed some work. I used to do this work for a living, so I didn't see a tremendous project ahead.

    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1112

    Most of guide coat came off fairly evenly. The spots that I suspected needed additional work and I found a few surprises also. The van had received some repair work earlier in its life and the repairs weren't great. I wanted it to look good and be really straight so a lot of long board sanding was in order.
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1114


    Last edited by Otto on Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:30 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : last photo needed resizing)

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    vanny
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    Post by vanny Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:31 am

    Your garage may not have heat but it looks pretty roomy and even a basketball hoop? Jeep grills are a nice touch!  That body looks nice and straight after your efforts!!! Welcome aboard and I can't wait to see all you do with this Travel Wagon!  

    Otto, that thumbnail is such a tease...How about some more pics of the finished paint work, please, please ,please please! (If there are no pics, it never happened... lol! )

    New guy w/Travelwagon Perfec10


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    Otto
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    Post by Otto Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:49 pm

    All in good time Vanny.

    The rear doors took a bit of work. An extra LR cargo door was included in the deal as the left rear door was F'd with a horrible repair. I think the spare tire may have been hung off of this door and ruined the skin. So someone thought it would be a great idea to cut out the bad part and back it up with some sheet metal screwed in place and bondo over it. It also had one of the hinges "rebuilt" with a 3/8" bolt.
    The replacement door was super rust free but full of dents, so it got worked over with everything else.
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1310


    The left rear wheel opening had been repaired, but was still "in". So it got pulled out where it should be, funny that someone was "finished" at this point. Not a big deal as this part of the panel is only a single layer of sheet metal.


    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1115

    I had to replace all hinge pins on the rear doors and re-bush one down to the original pin size; 5 total were replaced

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    Post by vanny Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:50 pm

    Wow, that door was pretty well Shot...I really like the use of that Come-A-Long to pull out that panel...looks like it did the trick! Thanks for the pics! Cool Twisted Evil What a Face


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    Post by Keith D Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:33 am

    Your doing a GREAT job bringing the old van back to life!!!

    Thanks for the progress pictures, can't wait for more.

    Keith
    Otto
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    Post by Otto Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:09 pm

    With the smoke from the wildfires making working in the shop unpleasant, I’ll just sit in the house and update this thread. In the first photo in this thread, you can see that the letters are missing from the nose and the holes are not there.  I never got the letters and the holes were filled shut with the bondo worms visible inside. Since I prefer a cleaner look without the letters, I dug out the filler and welded them shut. I did the same with the letters on the rear doors too. I spent a lot of time on the nose of the van because I wanted it perfect, I think it’s close enough.
    I’ve stated the van was rust free- that’s not entirely true. I did find a couple of spots in the bottom corners of the windshield opening that I repaired. On the driver’s side the same bondo worms greeted me inside because that is what was used to repair a small rust hole at the corner. The passenger side wasn’t perforated but looking underneath some discoloration of the paint was evident. For these spots I would pick at the metal with a sharp awl and if I could pick through and create a hole, it got welded up. The other side got a small metal graft where the rubber window gasket sits. I don’t have any pictures of this step, sorry.

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    Otto
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    Post by Otto Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:27 pm

    After completing the bodywork and getting the panels where I was happy with them, I transitioned to priming and blocking; building up shoulder muscles pushing the long board. My brother turned me on to a product called “SlickSand”. It’s a polyester primer that builds very thick yet is easy to sand which helped a lot. After a few rounds of this I felt it was ready to jamb with color.

    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1211
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1212
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1213

    I should title this update “How I learned to love Tan”. The original color of the van is tan, (code K for 1964) which Ford called “Driftwood”, and it’s not my favorite. I can think of many other colors that I would rather see on this van but a color change would have been an insane amount of work, painting the interior. So tan it is! I don’t know what the color scheme was originally as I found traces of other colors under the PO’s primer- cream,light brown, and even a blue! There were not many options for this color at the paint store because they couldn’t find the old code K formula. We settled on another Ford color called Sterling Beige that is very close. This got sprayed on the door jambs and openings front and rear.
    lzxlz
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    Post by lzxlz Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:39 pm

    A guy had a camper conversion just like this for sale in Roseburg which he had also converted to run on propane as well. It had a huge propane tank in the back of the van and he beefed uo the springs to handle that except when I test drove it was a very windy day. It felt like I was driving with a sail hoisted on that a van sway city. So good move taking off that camper top.
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    Post by vanny Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:33 am

    Love following this thread...very nice work!!! cheers


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    Post by Otto Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:19 pm

    lzxlz wrote:A guy had a camper conversion just like this for sale in Roseburg which he had also converted to run on propane as well. It had a huge propane tank in the back of the van and he beefed uo the springs to handle that except when I test drove it was a very windy day. It felt like I was driving with a sail hoisted on that a van sway city. So good move taking off that camper top.

    Just to clarify, the camper top will stay on the van. It's one of the reasons that attracted me to it.

    Excellent point on weight carried up high on the roof. I don't know how much the turtle top adds up there, but I'm sure you can feel it compared to a standard van. This vehicle was ordered as a DSO and probably spec'd for being converted to a camper, but it doesn't really seem like they chose the right parts. This van has no anti-sway bar! I have yet to drive it on public roads but I'm sure it's a handful around corners! A big sway bar is on my list.
    lzxlz
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    Post by lzxlz Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:59 pm

    Yeah, the one I drove had a sway bar installed and steering dampener but it didn't do much with the additional weight of 25-gallon propane tank over the back axle. I think the guy selling was problem-solving so he didn't have the same perception as someone driving it fresh with different expectations. Yours should be fine if you're conscious of that when driving in winds. My 66 chevy G10 is completely stock original and it shifts from high winds too. Old vans are basically "anti-aerodynamic" but they look way cooler than a minivan!
    Otto
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    Post by Otto Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:33 pm

    The Auction
    In September 2019 I attended an auction roughly a mile from my house. It was the estate of a long- time Willys Jeep collector (old jeeps are my other vehicular vice). I previewed the auction Friday afternoon and couldn’t sleep that night because my plan was to buy everything there! Along with the jeep stuff was a couple of Ford 6 cylinder engines. In the program they were described as 250 ci, but because I know stuff, I knew they were 200s. During the auction the jeep stuff got bid up to crazy, stupid money for what was there, so I just waited until the engines came up. One of the engines was described as “rebuilt” and sported a fresh coat of paint along with the remnants of a gasket kit. The other was just a greasy core, but it was a later model from the late 70s. These have a better cylinder head than the earlier engines and will swap right on. I got into a bit of a bidding war on the rebuilt engine with another bidder but persevered and offered the highest bid, at $160! I was the only one to bid on the core engine and got it also- for the minimum bid of $10.
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1214

    Because I can’t help myself I also bid on a pallet of jeep junk that no one else was interested in and got it for $10 too. This lot included a couple of skid plates that I needed for one of my jeeps, score!
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1215

    Relevant to van discussion: you can see in the photo there is a pile of old clutch discs and pressure plates. When I had the Econoline’s transmission out I discovered that the 8.5” clutch disc in the van will interchange with the jeep disc. So if you’re in a jam, remember this little fun fact.

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    Post by vanny Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:40 pm

    Excellent info Otto and Congrats on the Auction deals...Sounds like you scored a lot of useful items for cheap money! Nice!!!


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    Otto
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    Post by Otto Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:47 pm

    Later in September I was running out of paintable temperatures and the van was ready for its first stage of a two-toned paint job. I don’t think the van was originally two-tone but that’s what I wanted it to look like and it will break up all the tan. I’m not sure how two-tones are painted on the assembly line; whether the white is painted first or last, but this is how I did it- mostly because this part of the van was ready and I thought the windows could be installed while not slowing down future paint work. I guess I did it this way because it was less masking rather than painting the white later.

    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1218
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1216
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1217
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1219

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    Otto
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    Post by Otto Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:06 pm

    As fall set in I switched to doing mechanical work. I dug into the rebuilt engine from the auction because I know better than to install an unknown “rebuilt” engine. Also the engine seemed dirty inside and out and I wanted to clean it. Because I am a born skeptic, I expected the rebuild to consist of a fresh coat of paint, but was super stoked when removing the cylinder head to see brand-new 0.020” over unfired pistons in a fresh bore! There were other new parts throughout the engine too- camshaft, lifters, timing chain, oil pump, cylinder head work, etc.
    I knew this was too good to be true; when removing the main caps I saw a scored, burned up crankshaft sitting on brand new bearings! This disappointment didn’t last long because I kept reminding myself of the purchase price. I took the crank and connecting rods to a machine shop who made everything good again. I also bought brand new valves as the old ones were just re-faced and the stems were worn. While the head was apart I bought some new carbide burrs and removed a fair amount of cast iron from the exhaust ports and valve pockets. More HP? Who knows, it made me feel better.
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1220
    I also had a greasy core engine that was now sitting in my shop- I had drug this home from the auction because of its cylinder head. What I didn’t notice was the casting number on the rebuilt engine’s cylinder head was the same as the core engine! Whoever put this engine together initially had sourced all the good parts that you would want in a small Ford 6 cyl; it also had the later year electronic distributor and coil too, sweet!

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    Otto
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    Post by Otto Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:34 pm

    After getting the engine back together in one piece, I bolted on some parts just for fun. This is from a project I had long ago and fabricated this setup to fit in a Mustang engine compartment; we’ll see how well it fits in an Econoline engine box.

    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1221

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    Post by Otto Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:54 pm

    When Spring 2020 warmed enough, I got out in the shop and got on swapping out the van’s super greasy, clapped-out 170 for the new 200. I posted pictures of this on the jeep forum I frequent to show how we change out engines in vehicles without hoods. During this process the old generator went bye-bye and was replaced with a GM alternator. The 200 came with a two belt pulley setup and a larger 5 bladed fan so hoping for a cool running engine. The van’s original radiator looks OK and holds coolant, but it should probably be checked out before pressing it back into service. The new 200 is running sweet!
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1222
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1223
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1311

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    Post by Otto Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:40 am

    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1312

    After finishing up the engine work, I didn’t want to put the ugly engine cover back on looking the way it did. When I got the van there were remnants of carpet and screws around the perimeter of the lid, and glue-lots of glue! The glue eventually came off and the screw holes got welded up. The sides of the engine box got stripped to metal and got some body work; I also tried using Lizardskin on the insides of the box and lid. I’ve heard a lot about this product and hoping all the stories are true. I applied the sound deadener and the thermal coating, so the expectation is a quieter, cooler ride. The metal box sides sounded really tinny before and now reflect a dull thud when you rap on them. The battery box got sandblasted and painted- I was also able to save and reinstall this little sticker with the part number.

    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1313

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    Post by vanny Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:29 pm

    Nice work Otto! So, about the Lizardskin, were there 2 products, sound deadener and thermal coating or was it one product that does both? Please let us know if it keeps the doghouse cool enough that you don’t get scalded if you lean on it. Love the way you’re taking time to fix things as you move along. Thanks again for posting updates. It’s inspiring to see progress pics!!! cheers cheers cheers


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    Post by Otto Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:51 pm

    Vanny, yes Lizardskin makes two products: the sound deadener and the thermal barrier. You can use them separately or in conjunction with one another. I used both. If using both, they say the sound deadener needs to be applied first and then the thermal barrier. I don't have a real good evaluation of it yet as I've only driven the van 100 yards at most so far.

    The lid's seal is shot so that needs to be replaced and I haven't found anyone reproducing it. I'd be curious what others have done here.

    I did mix the two products together and sprayed the interior body panels just to use up the leftovers- hope it works.
    Otto
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    Post by Otto Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:04 am

    The Roof
    As 2020 was warming up and getting into good painting season I was itching to get some solid work on the van completed. The plan was to paint the roof separately because I felt it would be easier. There was a lot of tree litter and dirt under the camper top and it was a never ending chore cleaning it out with air. I finally raised the top, removed the front and rear metal caps and brushed/vacuumed/blew as much crap as possible. Doing this I saw something odd at the front of the top. I picked at it and my scraper went through the roof! There was a rust hole in the roof-one on both sides. After pondering this for a long time, I decided the roof had to come off to fix the rust; there was no way I could properly repair the roof with the top in place.
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1314
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1316
    New guy w/Travelwagon Img_1315
    The camper manufacturer did not want the top to blow off so they used 68 Huck style split rivets to hold it on. I thought maybe an air chisel could cut them off quickly and cleanly- NOPE.
    The rivets were all steel and put up a fight, I had to grind the collars off of every one, punch out the centers and then drill the rest of the rivet out; some real work. This van has the later style all- metal top.

    With the top off, it gives the van a whole different look- like an old VW split screen bus with the fabric sunroof.

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