23rd November 2014
I looked high and low for the 16A outdoor extension leads, to run power out to the bus, but couldn't find it straight away. Finally realised it was at the factory, tucked away under one of the racks.
Once I had found the lead, I was able to get power into the bus and get the de-humidifier running. Started at 85% but was down to 70% after a couple of hours.
Concentrated on clearing up and getting the roof cleaned inside, that took a fair bit of time and various cleaners and solvents. A lot of black dirty dust everywhere, but it finished up looking nice. Only one side done as the mountain of stuff inside has to be moved out ready for the headlining work to start.
Looking down the bus of the driver's side (passenger side for LHD markets)
Another view, the paintwork is clean and solid
All of the stuff that is going to be moved out when we do the roof lining and the floor
Still got an hour or so before it gets too dark to work.
24th November 2014
Poor weather has stopped much being done, we haven't had much sunshine and it has been frosty or wet.
Here's what it WAS like before we loaded all the stuff from the caravan inside:
Nice clear floor!
Wheels and tyres on the back have been changed on one side, and we are going to swap the van around tomorrow so the front faces the house. That gives me more space to get at the other pair of rear wheels.
25th November 2014
Had to go to the painters with some 'work' stuff, which rather handily was only 12 miles from the woodshop where we ordered the timber for the cupboards and roof lining, so I got all of that on top of the Discovery and came back with it.
Back from the timber yard
There is 32mm square Meranti X 3, 15mm X 20mm Meranti X 10 and a 10ft X 5ft sheet of 12mm Birch ply cut to our sizes for the full-length cupboards.
27th November 2014
After a couple of wet days, I had a dryish evening, and started back on the interior work. Now I have power and light, courtesy of the converted luminaires from the bus, I started to get the interior trim off the sides, so I could see what things were going on behind.
The body pillar trims are screwed to the window flanges and stuck with double-sided tape to the body side. Fairly secure, but it takes nearly an inch a side of width and hides a lot of things that you should be looking at.
The insulation matting was damp where water had got in, and the rearmost window with its slanting bottom edge just channeled water down to one corner where it flowed out into the insides.
I'm leaning towards taking all the windows out and repairing the body where needed and then refitting, or maybe fitting new single pane windows with no opening at all. Break for dinner!
I had another bash after dinner, two windows are unbonded and leaking in more than one place, so the decision is made to have them out and see what can be done. I measured all the frames at the end of work and sent off an email to Reg Caldwell at Caldwell Windows, they did the windows for the trailer. The body pillar trims that I was trying to explain to Dan (JUGular on the SBMCC forum) are as I described. The complete trim is fitted BEFORE the windows are bonded in, so the trim bends round behind the pillar and sticks against the body inside face, with cut-outs to clears the pressed-in channels in the sides. The means that in the case of those windows that are a tight fit, it is almost impossible to get the bent return straightened out enough to withdraw it, so it it gets damaged, the windows on either side have to come out.
I got two off OK by cutting down the centre and straightening it out by working it backwards and forwards, but in the case of the unbonded windows it was pushing the frame away from the body.
Lots of water and damp, pictures show the wet plywood lining which is completely hidden by the carpet lining. Also shown is the little forest of MIG wire where the outer wheelarch panel has been 'repaired', I use the word loosely. I'll check with Mercedes later on Friday and see what panels are available as spares. This vehicle was in production up until 2013 so spares are good.
Glad I took it all out, there's a load of stuff which can be repaired properly now, but a few more years and it would be beyond it.
Rear o/side corner:
Rear offside corner. Passenger side in the USA
Offside rear wheelarch top outer
Showing the inside of the body over the outer wheelarch
Closer view, loads of dust and dirt in there
Loads of black dust and dirt down there
Spare wheel carrier bracket, unused on our chassis
Specified on the van build but not used, the inside spare wheel carrier bracket
Post trim after I sliced in down the middle (or nearly down the middle!)
Carpet covered aluminium trim, cut down the middle to ease removal
Taking the trim out in sections. There was a join halfway along.
Plywood for the main panelling with aluminium under the windows
A little forest of MIG wire ends
A previous repair to the wheelarch, same the other side
Damp hidden behind the trim:
One of the reasons for taking the trim off in the first place, unseen damp
The right-hand side of the pillar shows the carpeted trip sandwiched between the window frame and the pillar. The trim then goes left at a right angle behind the pillar and is stuck to the inside of the body with double-sided foam tape. Impossible to do after the windows are fitted, and this one is too tight to get out. The window on the right is coming out anyway.
The aluminium sheet with grey carpet is shown top to bottom of the picture.
It is impossible to remove until the window comes out.
So that's a few useful bits done tonight, and a few questions answered. I'll talk with Mercedes tomorrow and find out if a body repair panel is available for the exterior, I expect both sides are the same.
Windows I think I will replace, they are not sealed on the corners and are letting in rain, so a waste of money unless we strip and rebuild them.
Good evening's work.