Six weeks progress...

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:46 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 126
I planned to update this every couple of weeks, but it's been a busy few fortnights! The old floor is all gone, along with both side walls and the front wall too. Everything had a degree of rot and damp that meant nothing was worth salvaging. The front end problems were all down to the aluminium on the front panels having eroded away. I suspect it was a case of the screws rusting, expanding and coming into contact with the aluminium; then reacting to erode the holes. Water access was then easy... and so it began. Given the extent of what I found, these leaks must have started in the previous century/millennium.

Here's a few pictures of progress:

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The first (rearmost) floor section being glued together. The general idea was to make the frame as accurate as possible, then trim the two plywood sheets to the frame.

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The same section completed and trimmed to size. The cut outs are for the wheel clearance.

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Meanwhile, here's the middle of the chassis. No rot in any of it - just surface rust where the original paint has gone. Campers likely get less regular use than any other kind of van. Note the 2" x 2" beams that are coach bolted to the chassis - the floor was held down to these by screws.

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Here's the third floor section (front) with the first block of polystyrene fitted. Note the missing beam in the bottom right - this is deliberate. Once the sections are joined together on the long side, I'll glue in beams that overlap the sections to make the joins stronger. Old batteries make handy gravity clamps! The original floor did not have a beam running up the centre; the hole is for access to the vehicle battery.

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Here's a view in from the back. The three floor sections have since had a coat of gloss white on their down side. I think it's dingy enough under a vehicle already - hence silver and white!

The next major hurdle is making up the front wall. This is made of four pieces in the original design: two identical side wall pieces, a beam across the bottom that slots into the ladder chassis, and a simple wide beam joining the top - all made of solid wood and stapled together then screwed into battens around the cab edges. I'm going to use the same layout but cut it from some good quality plywood instead. When I made some shelves last Xmas with round internal and external curves I made a template which I'll re use for the corners. On the rear-facing side, this will have wallboard ply that will overlap the joins for strength and I'll biscuit joint and staples the pieces together. The front-facing side will come later when I redo the cab. That will mark a major turn-around in the project: instead of taking old stuff out, I'll be putting new stuff back!

Re: Advantura Rebuild

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Post by VDUB384 » Club admin » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:07 am
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:01 am
Posts: 1367
Looking at the reg on your Advantura is very simular to the one I've just sold XGL 161T that was a CF350 Advantura.
Dave
Whilst good maintainece is the best prevention"If its not broken don't fix it."
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Re: Advantura Rebuild

Post by tctor68 » Subscribing Member » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:30 pm
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:37 am
Posts: 306
Looking a proper job job there Rob, keep up the good work and posts on here :thumb:

Tor

Re: Advantura Rebuild

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Post by Phil Bradshaw » Club admin » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:19 pm
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:15 pm
Posts: 3733
I hadn't realised that outriggers were added to the original chassis as well as the additional floor bearers between the chassis longitudinal members.

Interesting bit of over-engineering compared to some, maybe why Advantura bodies on 350 models have lasted so long.

To protect steel box sections try spraying WaxOyl into them. Needs re-applying every so often (about 5 years in water spray areas my panel van) but I've found that a schutz gun with refillable cartridge fires the stuff in faster and further than anything else.
  • What is real is not the external form but the idea, the essence of things. Constantin Brâncuși

It's been a while...

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Sun May 06, 2018 7:58 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 126
Well, that was a pain of a winter/spring, wasn't it? Kept me out of the front garden anyway - and they only work I've done on the camper since late October was trying to keep the rain out (mostly successful, thankfully).
So with the first good weekend for ages, I got going again. I'd already built the front wall, and on the occasional spell of good weather spent some time fixing it - I made the opening too big and had to add some wood along the edges to compensate.

First order of business was to clean up the last bit of the chassis, Hammerite it and clean the mastic off the cab. That left me with this:
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Best not to mention the state of my fingertips after cleaning all that mastic off... they'd stopped throbbing after a good night's sleep though!

Next order of business was to drop the wall in to place - a perfect fit! - and draw the outline of the cab on it. Then I pulled it out again, laid it on the lawn (artificial grass - like working on carpet) and transferred the lines to a sheet of clear plastic (wrapping from an IKEA mattress, if I remember correctly). This template then went up against the cab to mark out where I should make holes for screwing it in. I chose fresh wood a centimetre or so from the original holes. Then I turned the outline over and put it on the other side to check the marks were good for both sides - they were. Next step was to lay the template back on the wall and punch guide holes, then follow up with a 4mm drill.

Now the interesting part: lining the wall with ACM. The plan was to do this with four parts on the forward facing side:
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Then use the off-cuts of that to line the lower section (floor level down):
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This was pretty straight-forward:
1) Glue one side on (Wurth Bond + Seal),
2) Glue the other side on,
3) Cut the centre strips to length and glue them on.

I wasn't sure how quickly the glue would set, so I glued off-cuts of ACM and plywood together; turns out an hour at 20°C makes a good bond, certainly good enough to start routing. Routing ACM is pretty straight forward, best done at slow router rpm (2 out of 7 on my router's scale) and a feed speed that keeps it moving but not so fast that the router audibly starts to loose speed... easier to do than describe! Here's part way through the job:
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Looks a bit like I've got a major ant infestation, doesn't it? The swarf from cutting ACM is thousands of curly bits of composite. If I end up doing more of this, I'll definitely put an old sheet down first because the stuff's a bugger to clean up. Lucky I chose a windless day! Once that was done, I drilled the holes through the ACM too.

I must have had my brain in gear when I order the ACM, as the off-cuts were perfect for the other side. Total cost for the ACM was £81.68 delivered, by the way. This time I put the centre piece in first, then the two outer pieces (since they were going to be trimmed anyway). Last bit of work here was to drill holes here too, where appropriate.

That finished the wall... almost, anyway. I figured it would be easier to cut the interior panels while the wall was off the vehicle, so I clamped and trimmed those to size, then taped them together with the good sides facing and put them in storage for (much!) later.

So at the end of today, I have this:
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The wall still fits perfectly, and I have a bit of play between the front floor bearers and the cab rear - just right for getting some bond and seal in there for water-proofing (that's going to be messy though, I've plenty of room to improve on my gun skills), and plenty of room for peeling off the protective film. A job for tomorrow... then it's on to the floor. Main thing is though: almost everything from now on is creation or new stuff, not destruction or fixing old stuff (not until I get to the cab and engine anyway).

Not quite the day I planned...

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Mon May 07, 2018 9:15 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 126
Upon reflection, I decided mastic was the way to go for sealing the front wall to the cab: a) it's easy to apply to the cab; b) it's easy to clean off later. Since there's nowhere to buy mastic on a public holiday... after placing an order on Amazon it was on to plan B!

Plan B was prepared using MIUAYGA* principles. First I counter-sunk the holes in the wall, ready for screws. Then I put Hammerite on the battery tray because that would a lot less fun with the floor down. Finally, I started on the sub-frame; though there's a story behind that. Nearly six months ago I made a mind map of what I needed to do, and the order to do it. When it's raining outside, at least you can do the job in your head! I reviewed this today, and it was a good thing I did because I'd completely forgotten about the sub-frame. A-plan added six timber beams between the two main chassis members to even out the floor load distribution; and the back two had another beam between them running down the centre-line. So I headed off to B&Q to get some (allegedly) 47mm x 50mm treated timber which turned out to be more like 48mm than 50mm, but still: good enough. So far five beams are done, and it wasn't as easy as it might sound. I'm pretty sure the A-plan guys drilled their holes through the timber first and then the chassis, which is much easier than trying to match up existing holes. Still: five done with minimal fuss is OK. But I think I'll have my work cut out for me when it comes to bolting the actually floor down: getting four bolt holes right on a panel that big will be harder. Worst case, some of those holes might get bigger. :)

Here's the result of today's effort:
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You can see two of the new sub-frame beams.

There's also a medium-sized correction job visible here - I didn't make room in that floor panel for the fuel filler. So this week I'll need to remedy that before I can bolt the floor down.

* - Make It Up As You Go Along

Re: Not quite the day I planned...

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Post by Phil Bradshaw » Club admin » Mon May 07, 2018 10:03 pm
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:15 pm
Posts: 3733
RobX wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 9:15 pm
* - Make It Up As You Go Along
Often the best way. :)
  • What is real is not the external form but the idea, the essence of things. Constantin Brâncuși

Re: Advantura Rebuild

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Post by VDUB384 » Club admin » Tue May 08, 2018 8:44 am
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:01 am
Posts: 1367
I found the step into the Advantura wasn’t very deep and at times you can slip on it,What I did was to make it about 12” deep and it was much better you could do that to yours at the stage your at.
Dave
Whilst good maintainece is the best prevention"If its not broken don't fix it."
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Re: Advantura Rebuild

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Tue May 08, 2018 7:22 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 126
VDUB384 wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 8:44 am
I found the step into the Advantura wasn’t very deep and at times you can slip on it,What I did was to make it about 12” deep and it was much better you could do that to yours at the stage your at.
Dave
You know, that's a really good point. Now I think about it, I remember feeling it was like climbing a step ladder to get in. Thanks, Dave!

Progress Update

Post by RobX » Subscribing Member » Sat May 12, 2018 11:13 pm
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 pm
Posts: 126
The front wall is now up. First I put mastic along the original rubber beading (with the paper tape still on it) then slotted the wall in. This left just enough room to remove the tape, after which it was just a case of pushing the wall up against the cab and screwing it to the wooden inserts in the cab. A couple of days ago, I cut out the slot for the fuel filler I missed out. Today I finished the sub-frame and started removing the rusty brake lines (more on that here). Until I've done that, work on the camper body will have to wait a bit. Here's the state of play:
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That pictures missing one sub-frame beam but I added that later. The front floor isn't attached, and I've moved it out of the way now so I can get to the brake lines.

In the mean time, I've been converting my CAD drawings from TurboCAD (which almost nobody uses, and is only free for 30 days) to Sketchup (which almost everyone uses, and is free). Here's progress so far:
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@Dave: turned out I must have noticed the step was to short before I cut the new floor - it's already 10" deep! Great memory, me...

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