Now it is time to do some restoration work to the floor.
A few areas had a some surface rust. A little sanding and some fresh paint took care of that.
Now I had to fill the dozen or so holes in the floor, that were left after the removal of the bench, chairs and safety belts.
I choose for carriage bolts with washers. With some additional caulk, they would solidly close these openings and later on, their flat heads will be covered by some rigid insulation board.
Again, working alone on the van, added a couple of extra hours to the work. Sometimes the fastening of the bolts left me with one hand short.
The rear passenger side wall panel and the narrow panel that covered the brake lights, were easily removed. They were mostly friction fit with a few additional (hidden) plastic plugs. It revealed a substantial amount of regular home insulation material, except for the narrow panel.
Lately I am working on the van, whenever I have an hour available. This time I removed the rear door panels. They were mostly attached with hidden plastic plugs.
I’m thinking of slightly enlarging the openings and creating some additional storage area inside the doors.
First thing I noticed was some water damage to the subfloor, which is to be expected after 20 years of use. It will be replaced with a regular ½ inch plywood panel.
The wood is attached with a couple of metal screws to the metal floor.
The rear 4 feet doesn’t have any insulation at all. That is something I’ll improve on with the new underlayment.
The remainder of the carpet is a snap, because there is no ply involved and the ½ inch insulation remains in place. I’ll leave the carpet in the cabin in place, until I’ve decided on the replacement material.
Today’s first is the passenger side, large window frame. A fairly simple job, just a lot of screws. I’ll set this frame apart until I have the correct paint to redo it.
Now we can see a little of the insulation used, some wire of the valance lighting which will be removed, and the former seat belt connection bolt.
I’ll use the latter as an attachment point for my dog’s leash/harness, when he’ll travels with me.
The remaining rear seat belts are still attached to a heavy metal bar underneath the carpet.
Lifting up the carpet, quickly reveals the bar which is attached with bolts to the chassis.
At the end of the day I have some more spare parts.
Lots of planning, designing and redesigning has taken place. Now it is time to do the physical work.
Today I started to remove the sofa bed. A quick look showed it was attached with 4 bolts to the car frame.
Working alone could have been a problem, but I managed to remove all four of them by constantly switching between the inside and outside. Even after 20 years, I did not need any WD-40.
With the sofa out of the way, the real space is showing. Can I fit a bed, closet and walkway in there? The worst part of the day was carrying the thing away; too heavy and awkward to be handled by one person.