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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions  >  DIY

 > The 1959 Ford Thames campervan restoration begins.

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Tvov

CT

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Posted: 09/24/10 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great looking gates!

Thanks for the update, keep going!


_________________________________________________________
2008 F-250 CrewCab 5.4L,
2004 21' Forest River Surveyor


lizzie

Unaka NC &Sopchoppy FL

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Posted: 09/24/10 05:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are obviously a very gifted person. What a project! I know lots of "B" folks will be following your progress. lizzie

seraphim

Ohio

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Posted: 09/30/10 03:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's nice to know there's someone out there crazier than I am. I'm looking forward to the next update.


2012 GMC 3500HD Crew Cab LB 4x4 DRW with Duramax 6.6 diesel 2013 Palomino Maverick 2902. [

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Silber Igel

Texas

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Posted: 10/02/10 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a great challenge! I'm hooked so keep us posted with plenty of photos!!!

Kevbarlas

Scotland

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Posted: 11/07/10 02:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

October -

The next again weekend my brother came along to give me a hand with the rear. He done a god job of stripping the axle out and disconnecting various bits. Then he cleaned up the chassis for me,.




just chilling out on the floor


Whilst he did one side i was measuring, cutting, marking and drilling the plates for the brackets. Same story as the front, bolted them up and tacked them.


Here you can see the bracers i tacked on so it wouldn't warp when welding up.
.

That was that for that day. My brother had to go home for his dinner (family man) so i took the brackets to my work and welded them up there. Last weekend i went with my girlfriend for a wee cheeky long weekend away up north for our 4 year anniversary and she was kind enough to not be pissed off with me by letting me to go to the garage on the Sunday afternoon. I forgot to take photos as i was going along though, i think it was because I got pissed off after spending an hour trying to level up the rear dodecagon and cutting the horizontal supports when i suddenly realized that, yes i had everything level but the rear ring wasn't level with the front. Luckily i noticed just in time as it was off by about 40mm. Once i got it packed up it went pretty much the same as the front did.








It was good to see my creation starting to actually be complete. Next step was figuring out how to slide the trolley wheel frames underneath. For the rear i managed to just lift the van up myself and kind of kick and shuffle the frames under. The front is a bit heavier so i jacked that up , as i did the whole back off the van started to veer towards the wall. Once i put the brakes on the wheels i jacked it up again and slid the front wheels underneath.

Front:


Back:






I tested the van to see if it would actually tilt and i got it onto its first step. I want to brace the inside of the van properly before i go any further but atleast i know it works so far. I recorded it on my mobile so the quality isn't the best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpW23wM3yrk

I also made a video of it being rolled about on the trolley wheels. I have a bit of a cold and sore throat so i pretty much cough all the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrcuuezMqBg


Next up i need to brace the van and make struts so that when its tipped over it will stay there and not roll back. Then finally , finally i can actually do something to the van , woohoo!



November -----------------------------

I have kind of went off the cosworth V6, i managed to get close to one and it is a lot wider than the standard ford 2.8 V6. I have found a guy close to my area who has a few old mk2 Granadas and i should be meeting him when i have money to get an engine, auto box, wiring loom, front and rear hubs and braking system.

When i ordered the metal for the bracing i thought id only need 15 metres worth but turns out i need an extra 8 metres so the whole bracing isn't fully complete yet, I did get most of it done though.

Last weekend i went back to the garage to make a start on the welding I know at the front cab the top of the door openings would need braced as the roof was quite rusty around here which led me to belive that underneath the roof it would be rotten (as i was proved right later on). So the openings got 2 horizontal braces, top and bottom and a diagonal brace (all the bracing is 25mmx25mm box).



To stop the sides folding in once i took the roof off i put in more diagonals, from the body to the chassis.









This was where i ran out of material, i need to go to my old work and buy some more to brace the rear door openings.

Yesterday i went back along to the garage determined to get the roof free. The roof mostly has 'ribs' inside it, which kind off supports it and the bracing for the pop up roof is quite ridged so i just made a little cross brace at the front to help strengthen that part. I think when Dormobile converted it they welded the ribs to the body of the van and so i had to cut the welds with the grinder as well as taking out bolts. After that i was thinking how to get the roof cut off. I tried to angle the grinder and cut through the guttering on one section but it seemed to waste a lot of the disc. I realized that if i just kept the cutting discs vertical and followed the guttering around it would separate from the roof and left me the part of the guttering that is spot welded to the body. After a bit of cutting and light tapping with a hammer and chisel i got it freed, success!.

To lift the roof off required an extra pair of hands so i spent the rest of the night tidying up and moving my benches around. The idea is to take the 2 benches in the corner out so i can get the van in the corner and make up a shot blasting shelter. Using the corner is ideal as i only need to make a 2 sided frame to put clear tarpaulin or something similar on the roof and sides and make a sealed box. With the 2 benches il use some rotten floor boards i have here to make a 6ft x 12ft base for me to screw down the MDF onto it and make a nice big strong table to work on the roof.

This afternoon i went back along with my dad to help me life the roof off. It was a bit heavier than we thought it would be, it was also catching on the lugs and stuff as we were trying to lift it free, all the blood was draining from our arms but eventually we got it off. I made up a temporary table as i hope to take it to my friends place and use his big caustic tank to strip the paint off it.



Some parts are better than others, these parts aren't.







With the roof off i could now see the real extent of the rust to the upper van body, it is bad. But im either naieve or brave as i know inside me that i can fix it.









And an over view of the roof missing. You can sort of make out the horizontal brace i have lightly welded to the dodecagon joining the inner van bracing to the dodecagon. Thats my idea at the front so that when its on its side the body wont move at all, once i have the rear door opening braced it will also be attached some how to the rear dodecagon.





Next step is to get the roof stripped and on the table to get it fixed and rust free. Also, i could make a start on building a frame for the sand blasting.

* This post was edited 04/02/11 08:46pm by an administrator/moderator *

rufcut

dawson

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Posted: 11/08/10 04:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic! Good writing and a great sence of humor.

Tvov

CT

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Posted: 11/08/10 06:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very cool! Keep going.

(as I posted on your YouTube video!)

Kevbarlas

Scotland

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Posted: 11/20/10 01:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not too much of a huge update but a bit of a milestone for me.
The dodecagon and bracing is now complete so i can roll the van around and not worry about distortion (thats the theory anyway).

Here its on the second step,







And on its side, I thought i took more photos of it on its side but apparently not. I will make some braces to attach to the side to stop it rolling back, it was steady enough to take photos but i wouldnt feel safe working on it like that.



I couldnt get a full shot of the underneath so this is a photomerge of 3 photos if your wondering why it doesnt look right.



It was a bit weird to see the underside at a decent viewing angle, not really something you see.

I also made another video of it being rolled on to its side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Kr22KSuAM

It is possible for one man to roll it on its side but i think any further over i would need some help.

Now that that is done i can on with actually fixing the bodywork. My plan is to shotblast the van body next. Im going to build a 6 metre x 5 metre shelter using clear tarpaulin in the corner of the garage. Ive never done shot-blasting before so it will be a bit of an experiment until i get the hang of it. I think it will be similar to painting the whole van with an artist paintbrush, joy....

* This post was edited 04/02/11 08:44pm by an administrator/moderator *

Silber Igel

Texas

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Posted: 11/24/10 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

May we have som more! Please!

Great work!!!

CA POPPY

Santa Clarita, CA, USA

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Posted: 11/24/10 11:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While I haven't understood even 5% of what you said, I am mightily impressed with your talent, skill, creativity and determination. It is nothing short of amazing that you are able to visualize what you intend to do and then make it happen. I can't wait to see it all finished up.

We had an English Ford Anglia of about that vintage, back in the day. I sincerely hope nobody has restored that beastie.

* This post was edited 11/25/10 12:58pm by CA POPPY *


Judy & Bud (Judy usually the one talking here)
2004 Pleasure-Way Excel TD
co-pilots Rosie & Darcy


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