Duxford Logo Lister 5/1 Diesel

Mercedes 614D Vario Motorhome

Our DIY Conversion - Page 12 of 21

29th November 2014

At work today, end of the Month and a couple of jobs to finish off for despatch on Monday, so just an hour or so after dinner and after my tablet, so couldn't get too energetic. Have now got 3/4 of the side trims out and a fair bit of the remaining 1/4 unscrewed and ready to go.

I shudder to think how many button flange head self tappers I have taken out, it must be over 300 now, probably nearer 400.

Nearside rear corner with trim taken out

Nearside over the wheel arch

Inside with all the mess!

The coils of cable are two 6sq mm feeds from the solar panels. The pile of aluminium scrap is growing again, 20kg weighed in last week.

30th November 2014

I got the rest of the trim out after work, six bin bags full of carpet trim and Rockwool.

Just goes to show how little was done to insulate these vans, the gap between the outer body and the inner panelling is nearly 70mm or more in places, yet all they put in was a 1" or 1-1/4" slab which bounced backwards and fowards pumping dirt and dust around the cavity.

Our plan is to treat the insides of the panels after cleaning, then pack the cavities out with Knauf insulation (because we have 8 rolls doing nothing after the house roof was replaced) and then cover with 1000gauge polythene sheet, stuck down with double-sided foam tape.

Panelling would go over that. Looked at spray foam, but the Vario is a big old lump and it wouldn't be cheap, plus I can't find anyone reasonably close to do it.

Kingspan is OK but we'd need a variety of sizes to fit the variable thickness cavities.

2nd December 2014

Rita had her Cancer check this morning, all clear for another 6 months, that will be 3 years come May since the operation.

We came home early today to get a bit of sleep! Rita hasn't been well with flu symptoms and I'm trying to make sure I don't catch it and hold up the scan on Thursday.

I did manage to get the last pair of repainted wheels and new tyres on the back nearside, that's all 6 wheels done now, plus there's a spare somewhere.

Just started spitting with rain as I was finishing up.

One thing I did do and am very glad of, I bought a new knuckle bar, extension and impact socket to keep in the bus for the wheel brace. I borrowed Philip's longer bar but didn't need it as this was the side that had the puncture when we first bought it so the studs had been off recently.

Had a quick look at the fixings on the skirt panels, they will be off shortly, the cutting grinder is in the bus, just waiting for a dry afternoon.

3rd December 2014

Spent a fruitful hour at lunchtime, cutting off three of the four skirt panels. Had to go and rescue Philip after his Discovery V8 starter died on him. Towed him back from the field where the nags are kept.

Had no big problems getting the panels off, lots of smoke when the bolts got red hot and the underseal on them started to ignite, but nothing exciting. It makes a big difference being able to just roll under and do some work, rather than squeezing under those wretched skirts.

Rear nearside before the butchery. Freddie the stray gets in the picture

Rear nearside after the butchery.

Nearside view

Scrap skirting panels

I'll have to move the van away from the fence before doing the last one, but loads of room underneath for the LPG tanks on the nearside, just got to do something with the low step and the door bottom to bring them both up.

It is sitting high at present with little inside, but once we add the batteries, LPG tanks and the engine at 600kg, it will come down. Also got to sort out the very low entrance step and door.

5th December 2014

Nothing done yesterday as I was in hospital at Kettering having my heart scan.

Had a 'happy hour' after lunch, got the driver's side skirt off, didn't change the tailpipe but that will probably get done tomorrow. The old tailpipe has more welds in it than original metal!

Chassis looks good, nothing to worry about there, it's all pretty massive and 'Old School' construction.

We may bolt a 'Z' extrusion to that bottom body edge after we have cleaned it up and painted it, Aalco have a standard extrusion that would work well under there.

Pleased with that, another job out of the way, exhaust tomorrow, then I'll be looking at locations for the LPG tanks on the nearside behind the entrance step.

Side with no skirts, much better!

Another view, replacement tailpipe waiting to go on underneath.

Peek under the chassis, really massive for a van

Multi-patch tailpipe, right mess!

6th December 2014

First heavy frost of the winter, but bright and clear. I went up to the farm to drain the water heater out on the trailer, having forgotten to do it after we returned from Little Casterton in September. Despite the frost it was not frozen up.

While I was out I ran up to the BP service station at Raunds to fill up the Discovery with LPG. I get about 150 miles between fills, so try and keep it topped up.

On my return I sat in the Mercedes and stripped the bed slats of the webbing and wire staples. It was quite nice inside the bus with the sun on it, temperature was 12+ degrees C.

After that I tackled the tailpipe with the grinder.

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