Team Blue Build

So we’ve joined Team Blue and, having turned away from the budget approach, have thrown everything we have at a almost new van.   We are planning to move the furniture from the LWB Team Silver to the new van but here is my conversion plan.

Saturday 3rd May – Van arrives home via Brunel Tyres having had the alloys from Team Silver fitted.  We had dropped Team Silver off first thing in the morning to have her Steelies refitted so the alloys were waiting for us when we arrived back from Bridgewater VW Van Centre. Unlike the 174, which sat lower on the wheels due to the uprated suspension the 140 sits a bit higher so might benefit from a standard 30mm drop using VW springs but this is something for the future.

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We  wasted no time over the weekend removing all the original builders interior so that the van was ready for its windows.

Wednesday 7th May – The van is dropped at Mad Workshop to have its windows fitted.  As always Arthur and Baz did the job and it was a joy to do business with the guys again.  We opted for the simple tinted non-sliders as we’ll cook from the side door and do not intend to carry people in the rear.

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Weekend 10/11th May – The jobs for this weekend were to prep the back for the insulation that should arrive this week and get all the electrics (purchased via 12VoltPlanet) fitted – there is a detailed description of the electrics here.  This time we opted for SilentCoat purchased from the Sound Deadening Shop, which at the time of fitting seems worth the price penalty – the panels have a dead feel to them.   @todo: SilentCoat the front door panels and above the cab. And lastly we filled all the holes in the floor with epoxy metal putty so nothing is left leaky once the new floor is fitted.

Monday 12th May – The new floor arrived from Amdro yesterday so we were able to measure it up against the van and mark where the joins will be.  This will allow us to position the floor packers in the correct place.  We also applied Waxoyl inside all the cavities in areas where moisture/condensation may collect.

Wednesday 14th May – A busy evenings work has meant that I have now insulated most of the van and I’m pretty happy with the result.  So I could fit the insulation correctly around the speakers and other electrical items I spent a couple of hours on the weekend planning where I would need to cut the board and this meant I could line everything up today.

Friday 15th May – Given today was POETs Day I left work quickly and headed home to get some carpeting done.   A few hours later and with help from the better half we had carpeted the bulk of one side.   You can read my take on carpeting here. I won’t lie and say it was not without it’s stresses – it was 24 degrees in the van and it got pretty hot and bothered at a couple of points.  That’s said, I’m happy with the finish and am now looking forward to seeing the barley front panel fitted.

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Weekend 16th May – This weekend we have pushed on and made lots of progress.  We have: finished all the blue carpeting; installed the LEDs into the rear side panels; fitted the floor packers and sound deadened the floor; and refitted the drivers seat after wiring in the battery etc.

It goes without saying we are happy with the lighting effect from the Single Blue LEDs from Wicked Camping:

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Monday 19th May – Got home from work early enough today to crack on with the floor and the first bits of furniture.  Also started on the Barley carpet and fitted the speakers.

Wednesday 21st May – Manage a short post gym session on the van last night and installed the side door panel.   Inspired by …  I decided to create a cubby-hole in the door for storing bits and bobs.  The romantic in me is thinking a nice single malt where as the realist in me sees it being used for carrier bags and maybe a torch!  This may not be it’s finished version as I’d like to create a larger and more even space inside the cubby-hole.  We had planned on using the same style carpet but switched to mega stretch because of creases.  I also need to remove the panel again to finish taping the silver foil down.

Tuesday 27th May – Tackled the roof today, which started with the perilous task of getting a very large (10′ x 5′) but thin sheet of plywood back to the house on the roof of the the van.  We spent a lot of time marking it all out as can be seen in the first photos before getting the carpet fixed, adding all the lights and wiring them up.   Eventually we were able to get the roof fitted and check everything out.   Sadly it needs to come down again as we appear to have one faulty LED and I’d like to try and line it up a little better.  All fixed this morning (Weds)!

Wednesday 28th May – Fettled around today and sorted the roof problem out about.  Have realised that the Halfords piggyback clips are not closing correctly and making circuits.   In the afternoon I starting to add lighting to the step.  I had planned to insert lights into the step but there is not the space so I went for lighting under the overhang.

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Thursday 29th May – Today was all about the stereo day and I spent most of it in the front sorting out the new stereo with some sound proofing.   You can read about it all on this blog post. I also managed to fit the table again and sorted out a few other little jobs.

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Friday 30th May – We are getting close to the end of the conversion now and today I spent my time getting the fridge/sink unit fitted.   This meant cutting a hole through the floor for the waste pipe and wiring in sockets for the fridge and pump.

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Saturday 31st May – Today we played around with sticker bombing the table and planning our we were going to make the curtains/blinds.

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Monday 2nd June – This evening we fitted the Fiamma Awning from John Cross Motorhomes.  It was a bit tricky to fit especially when it came to lining up the bolts.

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Tuesday 3rd – Thursday 4th June – Over three evenings last week through rain and sun and with the help of Mr Ed I was able to lower, fit sidebars and add mud flaps to the van but it wasn’t without event.   If you want all the gory details then check out the Pimping Blue page.

Friday 5th June – This evening in a mad dash towards completion I built and fitted the electrical panels.

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Weekend 6th to 8th June – Despite a snagging list (see below) the van went on its maiden voyage to the Bristol Volksfest this weekend:

  • Fit component speakers in the front doors
  • Fit the curtains/blinds.
  • Check the sidebar mounts and improve the cutouts for the undertray panels.
  • Fix the cross-threaded spare wheel bolt.
  • Add relays to the interior lighting to stop the flickering.
  • Fix the squeak from the rear seat
  • Tape the insulation in the side door and improve the cubby hole.
  • Fix the switch LEDs on the eletrical panels.

Weekend 13th to 15th June – Fitted the new front component speakers this weekend – what a mission!  For more images and details check out the media page!

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The Basic Shopping List

The following is an almost complete shopping list with approximately correct prices as of May 2014. Excludes the Amdro Furniture.

Product Total Supplier Notes
IMG_1062 Windows £660 Mad Workshop 2 x Static Side Windows @ £150 + VAT1 x Rear Barn Door Windows @ £250 + VAT
IMG_0912 Floor £308 Amdro Fortunately the van is already ply lined so I am planning to use this otherwise it would cost around £160 for a kit.  The Amdro floor is more expensive but it comes pre laminated, with under floor packers and pre drilled t-nut positions.  A masterpiece of engineering.
IMG_0905 Insulation Kit £120 Amdro Sheeps wool….
lrgscaleshop_large_silentcoat_b_multilayerextra Silent Coat £170 Deadening From the deadening shop online.  Recommended that 50% coverage was optimum so ordered 2 x bulk packs for a LWB T5.
screenshot_714 Foil Insulation £20 eBay Although I planned to get this via B&Q who appear to have stopped stocking it, I bought it via eBay (2 X 1.2M X 5M U-FOIL DOUBLE ALUMINIUM BUBBLE INSULATION FOIL LOFT HOME DIY ROOF WALL)  Much cheaper and an easier sized roll to work with
screenshot_713 10m Mega Stretch Lining Carpet, 10 x Adhesive. £125 MegaVanMats
  • 10M Deep Blue for the metal work and rear panels
  • 5M Barley for the front side panels and roof
  • Only used mega stretch for the Deep Blue.

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